Why you should be doing Mountain Climbers.
We live in an age of high pressure, minimal spare time and quick fixes. So, if I had time to do just one exercise to augment my swimming and/or cycling and/or running, it would be this – Mountain Climbers. I have posted a video on Youtube that details my workout.
With the video in mind, I want to write about some of the benefits of mountain climbers.
- This is a compound exercise. Several joints and muscles are worked at once. Joints that get involved include your shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. Muscles that get involved include Deltoids, biceps, triceps, pectoralis major, obliques, rectus abdominals, lower trapezius, latissimus dorsi, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip adductors, hip abductors.
That is one massive list.
- The more stable your core is, the more injury free you will be.
- In an age of inactivity, this is a simple exercise that doesn’t require equipment or much space.
- Movement is everything.
- There is a cardiovascular element. Your heart rate will go up. You will breath heavily.
- Mountain climbers require agility and co-ordination. The worst mistake you can make as an athlete is to diminish the role of your brain. I don’t care how strong your muscles are, if your brain cannot co-ordinate their movement you are in real trouble. Mountain climbers will get your brain and muscles working.
- You can isolate your big toe and get it both stretched and strong. One cannot overemphasize the importance of the big toe and the strong muscles that move it.
- By throwing a stretch element into the mix you end up stretching your hip flexors which are likely to shorten from too much sitting. Tightened flexors will act like a brake in that they will stop you from driving your leg back and utilizing your really powerful glutes, hamstrings and calves. Tightened hip flexors can cause you to swing your leg too far forward while running. That will result in an exaggerated heel strike which can lead to all sorts of injury.
So, give it a shot. Work some mountain climbers into your exercise routine.