Mountain Climber Crossovers (How To, Muscles Worked & More)

Mountain Climber Crossovers are a core exercise that works the entire abdominal region. And while we may all remember doing Mountain Climbers in gym class, the Crossover version is a very underrated exercise that will absolutely smoke your core.

In this guide, I’m going to teach you how to do Mountain Climber Crossovers including important coaching tips and some alternate exercises.

How To Do Mountain Climber Crossovers

Equipment Needed

  • None

Muscles Worked

  • Core Abdominals (Rectus Abdominis, Obliquus Externus Abdominis)
  • Tensor Fasciae Latae
  • Quadriceps, Rectus Femoris
  • Shoulders (as a stabilizer)

How To

  • Begin in a push-up position – hands under shoulders, core engaged, body in a straight line.
  • Now drive the right knee across the body toward the opposite elbow.
  • As you bring the right foot back to the starting position, begin to drive the left knee toward the opposite elbow.
  • Continue alternating back and forth until all reps are completed. (count moving left and right legs up as one rep)

Coaching Points

Keep hips down throughout the movement. Don’t allow the hips to start to raise if you begin to tire. Also, work to maintain the same range of motion throughout the entire set.

Benefits of Mountain Climber Crossovers

Some benefits of Mountain Climber Crossovers include:

  1. Improved core strength: Mountain Climber Crossovers require you to maintain a plank position while driving your legs up and across your body, which will challenge your core muscles. This can help to improve the strength and stability of your core, including your abs, obliques, and lower back.
  2. Cardiovascular endurance: Mountain Climber Crossovers can elevate your heart rate and, therefore, improve your cardiovascular endurance. This is especially true if they are done at high volume or as part of a circuit.
  3. Coordination: Mountain Climber Crossovers require you to coordinate the movement of your hips and legs, which can help to improve your overall coordination and balance.
  4. Flexibility: The stretching and reaching motion involved in Mountain Climber Crossovers can help to improve your flexibility, particularly in your hips and lower back.

How Many Reps?

I generally program Mountain Climber Crossovers either as part of the warm-up or as part of a core circuit.

If programmed in the warm-up, 1 or 2 sets of 10 reps. If programmed as part of a core circuit with other core exercises then 2 to 3 sets of 15 to 20 reps.

Mountain Climber Crossover Alternatives

Looking for an alternative for Mountain Climber Crossovers? Here are a couple of exercises that you may be able to use as a replacement.

Lateral Bridges

Another core exercise that does a great job of targeting the obliques is Lateral Bridges. Jump into a side plank position (another great oblique exercise by the way), lower the hips down to the ground and then drive them back up to the starting position.

Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle Crunches are essentially the upside-down version of Mountain Climber Crossovers. Lay on your back, support your head, alternate driving your knees to your chest and rotate the elbows to meet the opposite knee each rep.

More Links and Info

If you’d like to see more core exercises, head over to the Core section of our Exercise Library. There you’ll find dozens of core movements, all with step-by-step instructions.

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