Mountain climbers mimic the arm and leg movements used when climbing an actual mountain, only you'll be moving much faster. The move works many of the muscles in your body, including in your legs, abs, butt and hips, while also burning calories. Though you probably can't rely on them alone, adding mountain climbers to a weight loss routine can help you work off the calories needed to drop unwanted pounds.
The number of calories burned with mountain climbers varies slightly, depending on several factors. In general, doing three sets of 15 to 20 repetitions burns about 50 calories, according to Gold's Gym. However, this is only an estimate. If the woman next to you at the gym is heavier, she'll burn more calories than you do. Due to this calorie burn, you probably can't rely on mountain climbers alone for weight loss, but including them in your workout routine offers benefits, so don't write them off completely.
The speed at which you do mountain climbers affects your overall calorie burn. If you slack off and do them slowly, you won't burn as many calories as you might think. Likewise, if you go all out and give it your all, you might burn a few additional calories. If you do one set, then rest for a couple of minutes, you might not burn as many calories as you would if you limited the rest time between your sets of mountain climbers.
Doing mountain climbers with proper form enhances the benefit of the move and maximizes your overall calorie burn. If you're unsure whether you're doing the move correctly, ask a fitness trainer at your gym to monitor your technique and give you pointers if needed. To do a mountain climber, place your hands slightly higher than shoulder level on the floor and rest your body on your palms and toes, as if you are in an elevated pushup position. Bend your left knee, bringing it toward your chest. Jump back with your left leg as you straighten it and bring your right leg up at the same time. Alternate legs 15 to 20 times quickly to complete a set of mountain climbers.
If you want to lose weight, the calorie burn alone from mountain climbers is not likely enough to produce effective results. Combine the move with other calorie burners, such as jogging, swimming or biking, to create a well-rounded workout that aids in weight loss and works all your muscles evenly. In addition, exercise might not be enough to drop unwanted weight. Combine your workout routine with a low-calorie meal plan with foods from each group. This gives you energy for your workout and adequate nutrition without overloading you on calories.