Strong to the Core Challenge: Standing Mountain Climber Progressions

By the Editors of SilverSneakers |

This strength-training exercise is good news for your legs, glutes, and upper body.


Deadlifts, burpees, snatches. Some exercises just sound intimidating. The mountain climber is no exception. Thankfully, you don’t need to scale a rocky cliff face—or pick up any fancy equipment—to reap the benefits of this strength-training exercise.     

The mountain climber is a popular move because it’s truly a total body exercise: It works muscles above and below your waistline. You’ll also get your heart pumping as your arms, legs, and core work together to complete the motion.    

Typically, the exercise is done on the floor in a plank position. Here, SilverSneakers Master Trainer Andi shows you a beginner-friendly (and totally non-intimidating) way to use the mountain climber to strengthen your core, while building balance and coordination.  


How to Use the Standing Mountain Climber Progressions 

To get started, you’ll just need yourself and some open space. Feel free to have a sturdy chair or wall nearby for support, if you need.   

In this workout, Andi shows you three mountain climber progressions. Start with the first variation. When that feels good, try the next variation, and so on. Then add your favorites to your regular strength-training workouts at home or at the gym.  

If this movement is challenging, that’s okay. Stay patient and keep practicing. You can slow down the movement, or hold on to your chair for balance. The most important thing: Keep your core engaged.  

As always, safety is key. The exercises here may be different or more advanced than those you’ll experience in a SilverSneakers class. If you have a chronic condition, an injury, or balance issues, talk to your doctor about how you can exercise safely.  

More Ways to Challenge Your Core: Three SilverSneakers Classes to Try 

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If you’re already working out regularly and are looking for a new and different workout, check out SilverSneakers BOOM Mind. This is a fun and unique intermediate-level class that builds endurance, flexibility, and, yes, a stronger core through a combination of yoga, Pilates, and barre exercises. It’s offered at participating SilverSneakers fitness locations (review the gym’s schedule for exact times) and through SilverSneakers LIVE.   

Or check out one of our popular SilverSneakers LIVE Bodyweight Bootcamp classes. It’s a 45-minute circuit workout that combines cardio moves with strength-training exercises. See the latest SilverSneakers LIVE schedule and RSVP for classes here  

Have something slower paced in mind? SilverSneakers Yoga is the ticket. You’ll move through a series of standing and seated poses intended to boost your strength, balance, and flexilibity. It’s also offered both in-person and online.  

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