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Whether you’re an avid exerciser or a gym novice, chances are you want to get more from your workout. But we get it if you don’t want to invest in fancy exercise equipment or boutique fitness classes. The good news is you don’t have to. This basic move – called a mountain climber – is good for all fitness levels, and it can be done without setting foot outside of your house.
“Mountain climbers strengthen your entire body and are a great form of cardio,” says Schamger Cenat, a tier 3+ trainer at Equinox Fitness Clubs in New York City. “You start in plank position, which works your core, arms, and legs. Then, you add a cardio element by running your legs forward and back. The faster you go, the higher your heart rate gets.”
You can do mountain climbers between sets of cardio or strength-training routines to supercharge any workout. The key is starting with a strong base. “You want to make sure you get into a stable plank position before you continue with the rest of the exercise,” says Cenat. Here’s how:
Step 1: Perfect Your Plank
- Get into upper pushup position with your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders (you want your shoulders to be over your wrists) and your feet behind you.
- Keep your feet together, toes pulling in toward your shins.
- Squeeze your glutes and lower abdomen to stabilize your body.
- Look at a spot on the ground, about a foot in front of your hands. Try to keep your head in line with your back.
- Hold for 30 to 45 seconds.
“Pretend that you want to break the ground in half,” recommends Cenat. “This will help fire up your core and turn on your lats – the muscles in your back.” Plank position also works your shoulders, chest, biceps, triceps, glutes, and quads, notes Cenat.
For some people, holding plank pose for 30 to 45 seconds is enough to supercharge their workout. But if you’re looking to take things to the next level, progress to mountain climber.