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How to: Do Mountain Climbers


Mountain Climber

Name:  Mountain Climbers

Also known as:  Single leg squat thrusts

Main muscles used:  Shoulders, legs, heart.

Other muscles used:  Stomach, arms.

Top tips:

  • Drive one foot as far back as possible.
  • Drive the other foot as far forward as your flexibility will allow.
  • Think about pulling the knee as close to your chest as possible.
  • Keep your spine flat and tight at all times.

Common mistakes:

  • Sticking the bum too high in the air.
  • Not pulling the foot forward enough.


If you have not done these before, or in a long time, do a few minutes of them slowly.  Gradually increase the length of the leg moves by bringing the knee as close to the chest as you can.  Done gently like this, mountain climbers are a fantastic dynamic stretch, suitable for pre-exercise warm ups.

As you get better, try to increase the speed of the individual moves.  Don’t just poddle along at a sedate pace.  Make the moves fast and explosive.  Visualise kicking hard and fast behind you, and driving the other knee hard and fast in front of you.  If you have done any kind of martial arts, think of a back kick and knee strike.

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