Conquer the mountain climber
Climbing, you say? Up a mountain? It sounds hard. Well, yes, there’s a reason they don’t call this one the ‘downhill stroll’. But the fact that 30 seconds of the move is a quick and easy way to get your blood pumping might explain why it’s a frequent fixture in any HIIT class. ‘The mountain climber is great to add to a workout between resistance sets to keep your heart rate elevated – but it’s not an exercise you want to do in isolation,’ says biokineticist David Fabricius. Attempt to do it for more than a minute and you’ll probably find your elbows begin to buckle.
It might look like one for leg day, but it actually targets the core and shoulders – those leg movements just help to raise your heart rate and increase the burn. ‘Your core, chest and triceps will be doing most of the work here,’ explains personal trainer Aneeka Buys. ‘To reap the rewards, focus on form, otherwise you risk shoulder strain,’ she cautions. To start with, get down on all fours. Your hands should be directly beneath your shoulders, your arms fully extended and your fingers facing forward, slightly spread apart. Then move into a high plank, keeping your back straight and your head in line with your spine. From this position, you’ll be working your upper and lower abs. Now pump your knees toward your chest one at a time. Breathe through it, this halfminute will be over soon.
You’re pregnant or suffer from lower-back pain, especially if you can’t keep your spine neutral throughout the exercise.