How to Modify Mountain Climbers

by Shane Barnard, JD
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How to Modify Mountain Climbers

If you’re a fan of two-for-one deals, then mountain climbers are a great move to incorporate into your routine. This plank variation boosts strength in your legs and core and works your cardiovascular system — the faster you move your legs, the higher your heart rate will climb.

But, it’s a challenging move to master. You need enough upper-body strength to hold your entire body in a plank position, and you need the coordination to move your legs quickly. Have no fear. Our tutorial will show you how to complete this move with a few modifications.

You can safely modify mountain climbers with the following adjustments:

1. Elevate your upper body and hands.
2. Tap your toes to provide more stability as you pull your opposite knee under your body.
3. Maintain a slow tempo until you feel comfortable increasing the pace.

As you become more comfortable with this exercise, you can progress your tempo or bring your hands to the floor.

Before you start any exercise program, make sure you consult with a physician.

About the Author

Shane Barnard, JD

Shane is NASM, ACE, AFAA and USATF certified and the creator and founder of the Urbankick format and instructor certifications, co-founder of Urbanplay, a non-profit health and fitness education program for youth, and a business partner at Studio360. With over 20 years of fitness experience, she is a nationally recognized presenter and currently teaches at Crunch, Fitness SF, and the University of California at Berkeley, where she is a health coach. Shane is a CEC provider for ACE and AFFA and an honored ambassador for lululemon. You can work out with Shane and Urbankick anytime, anywhere at


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