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Dumbbell Mountain Climber 101 Video Tutorial

Home Main Variation Core Exercise


Dumbbell Mountain Climber
Dumbbell Mountain Climber

Exercise Synopsis

Target Muscle Group


Secondary Targets



Force Type


Required Equipment


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The Dumbbell Mountain Climber is a dynamic core-strengthening exercise that targets the abdominal muscles as its primary focus, specifically engaging the rectus abdominis while also involving secondary muscle groups such as the obliques and hip flexors. To perform the exercise, one assumes a plank position with hands gripping dumbbells placed on the floor directly beneath the shoulders. Alternating legs are then rapidly drawn towards the chest, resembling a climbing motion. This movement not only strengthens the core but also requires stability from the shoulders, arms, and legs, making it a comprehensive full-body exercise. Adding dumbbells intensifies the workout by adding resistance, thereby promoting muscle growth and enhancing overall strength.

How to Perform

  1. Begin by assuming a plank position on the floor, with your hands gripping a dumbbell in each hand directly beneath your shoulders. Ensure your body forms a straight line from your head to your heels, engaging your core muscles to maintain stability.

  2. Keep your feet together and your toes on the floor, with your weight evenly distributed between your hands and toes.

  3. Brace your core muscles to stabilize your spine and prevent your lower back from sagging or arching.

  4. While maintaining a strong plank position, bend your right knee and bring it towards your chest, keeping your foot off the ground.

  5. As you return your right leg to the starting position, simultaneously bend your left knee and bring it towards your chest, alternating legs in a fluid motion.

  6. Continue alternating legs at a moderate to rapid pace, mimicking the movement of climbing a mountain.

  7. Focus on keeping your hips level and avoiding excessive movement or rotation in your torso as you perform the exercise.

  8. Engage your abdominal muscles throughout the movement, imagining you are pulling your belly button towards your spine to maximize activation of the core muscles.

  9. Aim to perform the exercise with controlled, steady movements, avoiding jerky or rushed motions that could compromise form or stability.

  10. Continue the mountain climber movement for the desired number of repetitions or time duration, maintaining proper form and breathing rhythm throughout.

  11. To modify the intensity of the exercise, you can adjust the speed of the leg movements or increase/decrease the weight of the dumbbells used.


  1. Start in a plank position with hands gripping dumbbells directly beneath shoulders, maintaining a straight line from head to heels.

  2. Engage core muscles to stabilize spine and prevent lower back from sagging or arching.

  3. Alternate bending knees and bringing them towards chest in a climbing motion while keeping toes on the ground.

  4. Focus on maintaining a steady pace and fluid motion throughout the exercise.

  5. Keep hips level and avoid excessive rotation or movement in the torso.

  6. Emphasize controlled movements to maximize effectiveness and prevent injury.

  7. Ensure proper breathing by inhaling as you bring knees towards chest and exhaling as you extend legs back to plank position.

  8. Aim for full range of motion by bringing knees as close to chest as possible without compromising form.

  9. Maintain tension in abdominal muscles throughout the exercise to maximize engagement.

  10. Adjust the intensity by modifying the speed of movement or increasing/decreasing the weight of the dumbbells.

How Not to Perform

  1. Avoid arching or rounding your lower back during the exercise; keep your spine neutral and engage your core muscles to maintain stability and prevent strain.

  2. Do not rush through the movement or sacrifice proper form for speed; focus on performing each repetition with control and precision to maximize muscle engagement and effectiveness.

  3. Avoid lifting your hips too high or sagging them towards the ground; aim to keep your body in a straight line from head to heels throughout the exercise.

  4. Do not allow your shoulders to round or hunch forward; keep them stable and aligned with your wrists to support proper posture and shoulder health.

  5. Avoid holding your breath; maintain a steady breathing pattern throughout the exercise to facilitate oxygen flow and support endurance.

  6. Do not forcefully slam your knees towards your chest; instead, focus on controlled movements to engage the abdominal muscles and minimize strain on the hip flexors.

  7. Avoid excessive swinging or momentum; use the strength of your core muscles to drive the movement rather than relying on momentum to lift your legs.

  8. Do not hyperextend your neck or strain your shoulders; keep your gaze neutral and your shoulders relaxed to reduce tension and risk of discomfort.

  9. Avoid neglecting your secondary muscle targets; engage your obliques and hip flexors by focusing on maintaining stability and control throughout the exercise.

  10. Do not compromise form for intensity; prioritize proper technique to prevent injuries and maximize the effectiveness of the exercise for strengthening the abs and secondary muscle groups.


Variations of fitness exercises refer to different ways of performing a specific exercise or movement to target various muscle groups, intensities, or goals. These variations aim to challenge the body differently, prevent plateaus, and cater to individuals with varying fitness levels.








Alternative exercises in fitness refer to different movements or activities that target similar muscle groups or serve the same training purpose as the primary exercise. These alternative exercises can be used as substitutes when the original exercise is unavailable or challenging to perform due to various reasons such as equipment limitations, injuries, or personal preferences.