Cross Body Mountain Climbers: How To Guide For A Fun Core Exercise

Are you tired of doing regular old mountain climbers and seeing little to no progress in your core strength? Well, perhaps it’s time to switch it up with cross body mountain climbers. As someone who has experienced the frustration of stagnation in workouts, I can understand how discouraging it can be. It’s easy to fall into a rut of doing the same exercises over and over again, but don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. Fortunately, in this post, I’ll be sharing with you how cross body mountain climbers can help you break through that plateau and kickstart your core gains.

Cross Body Mountain Climbers Summary

  • Primary Muscles: Iliopsoas (Psoas Major & Iliacus)
  • Secondary Muscles: Tensor Fasciae Latae, Pectineus, Sartorius, Adductor Longus, and Adductor Brevis
  • Equipment: Body Weight
  • Mechanics Type: Compound
  • Force: Push
  • Utility: Basic and Auxiliary
Graphic image of a fit woman performing alternate cable triceps extensions.

Cross Body Mountain Climbers Instructions

  • Get into the starting position, a standard extended pushup position, hands on the floor shoulder-width apart.
  • With your arms straight, raise one knee under and across your body.
  • Return your leg to the starting position.
  • Then repeat the mountain climber with your other leg.
  • Continue alternating legs with the cross-body mountain climbers for a complete set.

Video Tutorial

How to Do a Cross-Body Mountain Climber

Cross Body Mountain Climbers Muscles

Target (Agonist)


  • Tensor Fasciae Latae
  • Pectineus
  • Sartorius
  • Adductor Longus
  • Adductor Brevis

Dynamic Stabilizers

  • Rectus Femoris


Antagonist Stabilizers

Image of the skeletal muscular system with the muscles used in the cross body mountain climbers exercise highlighted in red and the rest in blue.

Benefits of Cross Body Mountain Climbers

The Cross Body Mountain Climbers exercise is beneficial to a strength training or fitness routine because it targets the iliopsoas muscles. The iliopsoas, which consists of the psoas major and iliacus, are important muscles of the hip flexors. Strengthening these muscles can help improve posture, reduce back pain, and reduce the risk of injury. Furthermore, targeting these muscles through Cross Body Mountain Climbers can help to increase mobility and flexibility in the hips and lower back. This can help to improve overall performance in physical activities and prevent overuse injuries.

Tips for Performing Cross Body Mountain Climbers

Your at the right place if you’re motivated to enhance your cross body mountain climbers execution. Using these suggestions can allow you to maximize the advantages of this amazing exercise. In addition to shaping your core muscles, improving mobility, and also a reduced possibility of injury can all be accomplished with this exercise. Let’s get started and see what these tips can accomplish for you.

  • Keep your back straight: Make sure to keep your back as straight as possible to maintain proper form and prevent any injuries. This will also help you engage more of your core muscles.
  • Move at a controlled pace: Moving too quickly can decrease the effectiveness of the exercise, so focus on going slowly and with control to maximize your results.
  • Keep your elbows close to your body: Doing this will ensure that you are engaging the right muscles and getting the most out of the exercise. Keeping your elbows close to your body will also help you maintain better form throughout the movement.

Benefits and Tips Video

Mountain Climbers Exercise: How To, Benefits & Muscles Worked

Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

When executing cross body mountain climbers, avoiding typical errors is usually the difference between a productive workout and a debilitating injury. From bad form to not engaging your core, these errors can diminish the effectiveness of the exercise and can even put you at risk for injury. But don’t worry, it’s not at all difficult as it might appear. You can execute the exercise safely and effectively by avoiding the mistakes to prevent and by executing the proper steps. So it is time for you to maximize your results from this exercise and enjoy the benefits of a productive workout.

  • Not engaging the core: When doing Cross Body Mountain Climbers, it’s important to engage your core muscles to support your body and prevent injury. Without engaging the core, you won’t be able to get the most out of this exercise, and you may cause yourself an injury.
  • Going too fast: When doing Cross Body Mountain Climbers, it’s important to keep your movements controlled and slow. If you go too fast, you won’t be able to properly engage your muscles and you won’t get the most out of this exercise.
  • Not keeping your back straight: Keeping your back straight is essential when doing Cross Body Mountain Climbers. If your back is not straight, you will be compromising your form and can cause yourself an injury. Keeping your back straight ensures that your body is in the correct alignment to get the most out of this exercise.

Find More Bodyweight Exercises Here

Variations and Complementary Exercises

Cross Body Mountain Climbers are an excellent exercise for strengthening the core, shoulders, and legs. To really get the most out of this exercise, it is important to vary your routine. Here are some variations, complementary, or alternative exercises that will give you a similar workout.

Scissor Kicks

Graphic image of Scissor Kicks.

Scissor Kicks are a great complementary or alternative exercise to Cross Body Mountain Climbers. This exercise works the same muscle groups as Cross Body Mountain Climbers, but in a slightly different way. Scissor Kicks target the glutes, quads, and core, while Cross Body Mountain Climbers focus more on the core, hip flexors, and shoulders. Both exercises help to build strength, balance, and coordination. When done together, they create a dynamic and effective workout that will help to improve overall fitness and performance.

Lying Knee Up

Graphic image of Lying Knee Up.

Lying Knee Up is an alternative or complementary exercise to Cross Body Mountain Climbers. This exercise is great for building strength and stability in your core and hips while still getting the same cardiovascular benefits as Cross Body Mountain Climbers. The movement involves laying on your back and bringing one knee up towards your chest while keeping the other leg extended. This exercise can be done with both legs alternating or just one at a time. It also works your hip flexors which can be beneficial for those who experience lower back pain. Lying Knee Up is a great way to add variety to your workouts and strengthen your core muscles at the same time.

Leg Lift

Graphic image of Leg Lift.

Leg lifts are a great complement or alternative exercise to Cross Body Mountain Climbers. This exercise works the quads and core muscles and can help improve balance, stability, and coordination. To do a leg lift, start in a plank position and slowly lift one leg as high as possible, keeping the core engaged and the back straight. Hold for a few seconds before returning to the plank position. Repeat this motion with the opposite leg, alternating sides for desired repetitions. Leg lifts can be done with or without weights to increase the intensity. They are an effective way to challenge the core and build muscular endurance.

Check Out These Top Bodyweight Exercises

L Sit Hold

Graphic image of L Sit Hold.

The L Sit Hold is a great alternative or complementary exercise to Cross Body Mountain Climbers. The L Sit Hold is an isometric exercise that works the core muscles, hip flexors, and lower back, while also improving grip strength and shoulder stability. It can be done by sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and your hands placed either side of your hips. From this position, lift your legs off the ground and hold for as long as you can before returning to the starting position. The L Sit Hold requires minimal movement, but it will still provide a great challenge for your core and upper body muscles.

Hollow Bench Hold

Graphic image of Hollow Bench Hold.

Hollow Bench Hold is a great complementary or alternative exercise for Cross Body Mountain Climbers. This bodyweight exercise requires you to lie on your back with your arms stretched out and your feet slightly elevated off the ground. The goal of the Hollow Bench Hold is to hold your body in a hollow position, with your core engaged and your back flat against the ground. This exercise helps to increase core strength and stability, while also working the hips, glutes, and hamstrings. It is an effective alternative to Cross Body Mountain Climbers because it engages all of the same muscle groups while requiring significantly less coordination and balance.

Hip Lift

Graphic image of Hip Lift.

Hip Lift is a great complementary or alternative exercise to Cross Body Mountain Climbers. It strengthens the abdominal and hip muscles, helps to improve posture and core stability, and can be done at home with minimal equipment. The exercise is performed by lying on the floor in a bent-knee position with feet flat on the ground, then lifting the hips off the ground using the abdominal and hip muscles. The goal of this exercise is to hold the hip lift position for a few seconds while maintaining control and good form. This exercise can be done in sets of 10-15 repetitions, or held in static positions for up to 30 seconds. Hip Lift is a great way to target the core muscles while still providing a challenge for the entire body.

Find More Legs Exercises Here

Opposing Complementary Exercises

To further complement the exercise Cross Body Mountain Climbers, it is recommended to incorporate exercises that target opposing muscle groups. This will ensure the muscles are being trained evenly and will prevent any muscle imbalances. The following exercises are great for targeting the opposite muscles:

45 Degree One Leg Hyperextension

Graphic image of 45 Degree One Leg Hyperextension.

The 45 Degree One Leg Hyperextension is an excellent exercise for working the glutes, hamstrings and lower back. This exercise requires one to lay face down on a 45-degree angled bench and extend the legs outwards while keeping the feet on the floor. This exercise helps to strengthen the posterior chain and can be used to complement the Cross Body Mountain Climbers by using the opposing muscle group. The Cross Body Mountain Climbers focus on the quadriceps and core, while the 45 Degree One Leg Hyperextension helps to strengthen the hamstrings, glutes and lower back, creating balance in the body.

Rear Lunge

Graphic image of Rear Lunge.

Rear Lunge is a great exercise to pair with Cross Body Mountain Climbers because it works the opposite muscle group. Rear Lunge targets the quads and glutes, while Cross Body Mountain Climbers target the core and hip flexors. This combination of exercises will help to balance out your body and make sure that no muscle group is neglected. Additionally, performing both exercises together will help you improve your coordination and balance, as you are engaging both sides of your body at the same time.

Goblet Sumo Squat

Graphic image of Goblet Sumo Squat.

Goblet Sumo Squats are a great complement to Cross Body Mountain Climbers, as they engage the opposing muscle group. This exercise requires you to stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and hold a weight in front of you with both hands. You then squat down as low as possible while keeping your back straight, ensuring your elbows stay close to your body. By strengthening the quads and glutes, Goblet Sumo Squats help offset the muscle fatigue caused by the Cross Body Mountain Climbers, which target the core, shoulders, and arms.

Get Your Heart Pumping With Cross Body Mountain Climbers

If you’re looking for a challenging exercise that gets your heart pumping, cross body mountain climbers are the way to go. By engaging your core muscles and increasing your heart rate, this exercise can help you achieve a full-body workout and improve your cardiovascular health. Not only that, but it’s a low-impact exercise, meaning it’s easier on your joints than others. Make sure you have proper form and start with a few reps before increasing the intensity. With consistency, you’ll see your stamina and endurance improve in no time.

References: Wikipedia | | | Comprehensive List of Legs Bodyweight Exercises

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