Reaching New Heights with the Mountain Climber

Mountain Climber

A Part of Fierce Play’s Grounded Gymnastics Series

The mountain climber is an exercise where the athlete holds a plank position while attempting to bring their feet up toward their hands in a swift alternating motion. This movement engages the athlete’s core muscles, as well as the legs and arms. Unlike static core-strengthening exercises, such as the plank or hollow hold, where an athlete holds the same position without moving the body, the mountain climber is a dynamic core exercise that requires the athlete to be moving constantly while keeping the core stabilized, giving you more bang for your buck.

Watch the video clip below for a full explanation of technique, tips and tricks for performing the movement with efficiency, as well as precautions for staying safe.


  1. Hold a Plank Position: Start by setting up in a proper plank position with your shoulders directly above your hands, your abs tight and back flat. You will hold this position throughout the mountain climber movement.
  2. Feet to Hands: One leg at a time, bring your knee and foot toward your hand, and then replace your leg back in the starting position of the plank. Switch legs and do the same thing on the other side, continuing to alternate legs back and forth. The goal is to alternate legs swiftly.
  3. Move Knees Outward: Instead of having knees directly under your chest as you move legs back and forth, focus on pushing your knees outward toward your elbows to better engage the sides of your abdomen. This will increase your core strength much faster and provide maximum value from the movement.
  4. Count it Out: Work toward increasing the number of reps you do in each set of mountain climbers. Be sure to keep the number of reps even on each side as you move through the exercise, to ensure your core muscles are worked equally on both sides of the body. Move faster to increase intensity.
  5. Max Time: Another method for mountain climbers is to simply go as long as possible! Max time simply mean that you attempt to do the mountain climber for as long as you can before dropping down to rest. Set a goal for yourself as you complete your max times to continue to drive improvement. Even reaching for that additional ten seconds of hold time can make a big difference in your core strength!


QUESTIONS: Ready to get started, or curious to learn more about how Fierce Play can help you meet your health and wellness goals? Contact us for more information. Also feel free to check out more of our videos series to learn how to perform the basics with solid form and efficiency. 


Fierce Play’s Grounded Gymnastics Series focuses on proper technique, as well as tips & tricks, to master some of the foundational movements that will be integrated into many of the workouts you will perform. Start your next workout with the confidence and skills to do the movement safely and effectively.


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CrossFit Level 1 Certification



Mark Mancuso started his fitness journey while enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Like most individuals, at first, he only focused on bodybuilding type workouts. Mark learned quickly that focusing just on the aesthetics of the body would get you only so far. In 2013, Mark found out about Crossfit and fell in love with everything that it stood for.

In June of 2015, Mark was Honorably Discharged from the Marine Corps and returned from his duty station in Okinawa, Japan to his home in Maple Grove, MN. Not having any formal coaching in Crossfit he was on a mission to find a Crossfit Box to call home. Fierce Play welcomed him with open arms, and he hasn’t looked back. Mark obtained his Level One Crossfit certification in November 2015 and plans to add additional certifications in the future. He also intends to compete in a variety of Crossfit competitions as opportunities arise.


CrossFit Level 1 Certification


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Jeff Birthler has a contagious passion for fitness. He graduated and obtained a personal training certificate from the National Personal Training Institute in 2010. On his way, he discovered and fell in love with CrossFit. Jeff hasn’t stopped learning, and still seeks a well-rounded education within the health domain, going beyond physical facets. He has trained clients at several corporate gyms, including Fitness 19 and LA Fitness, as he established a plan for his own gym.

Fierce Play was established in 2012 in a 500 sq. ft. garage. After a few moves and upgrades, it now has a permanent, 4800 sq. ft. location in Maple Grove. Jeff calls it “home”.


NPTI (National Personal Training Institute) CPT Diploma January 5, 2012

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