Build A Resilient Spine: Challenge Your System

Matthew Ibrahim


Medford, Massachusetts, United States

Strength Training, Mobility & Recovery



Long Lever Mountain Climber (Anti-Extension)

We’ve all seen it: “One minute on the clock. Give me as many mountain climbers as you can. Go.” This makes me want to cry myself to sleep. I’d rather watch molasses attempt to travel uphill. It kills me that much.



Why? Tell me the last time you saw someone who could lock down their core stability like their life depended on it, all the while alternating one knee to their chest at a time, in a slow and controlled manner - let alone an individual who could maintain a lower back position that could house a tall glass of water filled to the brim without spilling it. I’ve never seen this before.


You need to own core stability (i.e., think lumbar spinal stiffness) and hip mobility at the same time. They need to work together for optimal function and performance to occur.


The long lever mountain climber is a pretty damn awesome exercise when performed with pristine execution and form. It might get overlooked in your typical fitness facility due to the fact that most athletes use it as a conditioning tool, while letting their hip stability fall out the window. That’s not the case here, though. Balance that tall glass of water like you’re out in the desert and it’s the last one you have access to.


Do This:

  1. Flex your right knee up toward your chest. Pause. Return your right leg back to the starting position.
  2. Repeat with the left leg. That equals 1 rep per side.
  3. Complete 12 reps per side for 1 set.
  4. Perform 3 sets.



Continue for Video Demonstration of the McGill Side Bridge


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