Groiners vs Mt. Climbers – What is the Difference & How to Do Them Properly

A lot of people get confused regarding the proper execution of the Groiner and the Mountain Climber. I suspect it is because they were never taught the difference between the two, so I wanted to clear the air. I also explain how to implement these beautiful exercises into your training program, as both movements provide a much different result.


Groiners are one of the best dynamic stretches out there, and are best implemented as part of a thorough warm-up routine. When done properly, this movement targets the hips, glutes, quads, core, shoulders, and chest.

Here’s the breakdown…

Start in a high plank position, which is the starting position of a Push Up. Bring one foot all the way up to the outside of the hand on the same side (see image above). Pause in this position for 1-2 seconds, feeling a nice stretch in the glutes, quads, and hips. Bring that foot back to the starting position and pause in the plank for another 1-2 full seconds. That is one repetition. Repeat on the opposite side.

As you can see, this is intended to be a stretch that includes active position work while moving the body from one position to the next. This is exactly what you want out of your dynamic warm-up routine. I recommend performing 3 sets of 5 repetitions on each side for a total of 10 repetitions total. I particularly like incorporating these into my warm-ups before a workout that involves Squats, Push Ups, or Burpees.

Here is a quick and straight forward video tutorial from my YouTube channel that includes a proper demo & common faults…

Video tutorial includes demo, coaching cues, and common faults

Mt. Climbers

Mt. Climbers are one of the best bodyweight movements you can do. When done properly, these thoroughly tax the shoulders, pecs, abs, hip flexors, and calves. Oh, and they also get the lungs burning…but you gotta do them right!

Here’s the breakdown…

Start in a plank position, making sure that the shoulders are directly over the hands. Quickly bring the left leg straight forward until the knee touches the left arm, then return back to a plank position. Quickly bring the right leg straight forward until the knee touches the right arm, then return to a plank position. Perform this as fast as you possibly can until the desired reps are complete.

This is intended to be a quick, explosive, high intensity exercise. Most times this movement is incorporated into a workout as a way to increase the heart rate. I recommend performing these as part of a circuit or interval training such as Tabata. Beginner gym goers should aim for 10-20 reps at a time, intermediates 20-40 reps at a time, and advanced 40-60 at a time.

Check out the video tutorial of the Mt. Climber…

Video tutorial includes demo, coaching cues, and common faults

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