Exercise 101: Burpees and Mountain Climbers

It’s always important to have a wide range of exercises and movements that you can use in your routine, so that you never get bored with working out. Over the years, I have been adding more and more functional and specialized movements to my list so that I can build dynamic workouts months in advance, without any significant repetition. Today, I am going to add two more exercises to your fitness routines: burpees and mountain climbers. If you haven’t been doing these up until now, then it is time to seriously amp up your movements!


Depending on who you talk to, this is either the best or the worst exercise that you will ever do if you have to do it more than one at a time. In my estimation, it is actually the best and the worst exercise you will ever have to do if you have to do more than one at a time.

How to do a Burpee:

-Start by standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your hands at your side
-Raise your hands above your head as you jump off the ground with both feet, and swing your hands down towards your hips as you land
-Immediately bend over and place your hands on the ground, while you kick both feet out behind you into a push-up position
-Perform one push-up, then moving both feet at the same time, jump back up to the bent over position
-Stand until your body is fully straight up

That entire movement constitutes a single burpee. So, you would go through every one of those steps – standing jump directly into push-up position and then back into standing – for every repetition. This is definitely a movement which uses all of your major muscle groups, including your quadriceps, core abdominal muscles, and chest/back. If you want to change up your exercise routine a good bit, try replacing regular push-ups with Burpee push-ups. It will add a new dynamic movement to your routine, while still hitting all the benefits of the push-up.

Mountain climbers:

I really like including mountain climbers in my exercise routine, because it works two different types of strength at the same time. First, you are developing static strength in your chest while you hold your upper body in position so that your legs have freedom of movement. Second, you are developing ballistic strength in both your legs and your abdominal muscles as you go through the full range of motion for the exercise. In my estimation, this makes the mountain climber an incredibly useful tool for exercising your entire body in a single session.

How to do a Mountain Climber:

-Start in a regular push-up position, with the only portions of your body touching the floor being your hands and toes; your back should be straight
-Raise your butt slightly into the air, as you bring your right knee up to your chest; your leg should be bent at work Less than a 90° angle
-Now quickly change feet so that your left leg is bent and your right leg is straight
-Repeat the motion through your entire set; each time your right knee and left knee touch your chest, that counts as a single repetition, so that both legs have to move for every rep

As I mentioned previously, the mountain climber is a full body movement. Once you start doing them, you will notice that your legs, chest, arms, and abdominals will all be worked by this movement. If you want a truly challenging session, superset the mountain climbers with the burpees that we discussed earlier. Here’s a fun example:

Complete as many rounds of the following as possible in 10 minutes…
-10 Burpees
-10 Mountain climbers

Good luck and have fun!