Fitness Tips

To Nail Mountain Climbers, Repeat After Me: Planks but Make ’Em Cardio

Rachel Lapidos

Fire up your core and shoulders with mountain climbers—watch how to do them correctly, here

Mountain climbers are one of those workout moves—much like burpees and jumping lunges—that I could actually write full-fledged hate mail to. Seriously. I can never seem to do them for 30 seconds straight without struggling or falling flat onto the floor in utter despair.

But, that's all about to be a thing of the past. Superstar trainer Charlee Atkins is here to show us how they're done like a pro in our latest episode of Well+Good's video series The Right Way. "Oftentimes, what we do is have our butt up in the air, which causes our shoulders to come away from our wrists," she explains of the common mistake that she sees people make with the move. "Then, I have no room to bring my knees into my chest—so then I'm not even really working my core." That makes going up that mountain that much more difficult, not to mention pointless if you're not working your abs.

To nail mountain climbers, Atkins says you've gotta keep three main things in mind:

1. Stay flat and straight: From your plank position, you should have a straight line from your head to your heels with your back completely flat.

2. Keep your shoulders in line with your wrists: To truly work your core and your arms, Atkins says it's super important to have your shoulders directly over your wrists. From there, you can pull your knees into your chest.

3. Start slow: If you immediately start climbing like your life depends on it, it's easier to wreck your good form. Atkins' tip? March it slowly and alternate one knee into your chest at a time, as opposed to speeding it up—and potentially losing your form. Then you're definitely going to feel it.

Also, here's how to stretch your wrists... which also helps with proper plank and mountain climber form. And this is the proper way to hold a plank

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