Plate Climbers Workout

I recently had a Plate Climbers Workout in my men’s basketball team’s Wednesday’s weight training workout.  It basically is a combination of mountain climbers (with the feet on 10 pound plates) and a plate push.

Most athletes have done mountain climbers before and there are many variations to this exercise.  Traditionally, most people do mountain climbers by getting down into a push-up position and bring one knee up towards the chest; then you would want to maintain a tight core and keep the weight on your hands as you quickly kick the legs back and forth-driving the knees up towards the chest.  This is usually done for time or reps.

For Plate Climbers, I basically have the athlete do the same thing but their feet are on 10 pound plates.  As they kick the legs back and forth they will do so by sliding and dragging/pushing the 10 pound plates back and forth under the feet.  I typically will have the athlete do that for 30 seconds as fast as they can or to the best of their abilities.

After the athlete does the plate climbers for 30 seconds they immediately take their feet off the 10 pound plates and put their hands on a 45 pound plate and push it the length of the weight room.  For our weight room they are trying to get to the other end in under 10 seconds.  This is challenging when their legs are fatigued from the plate climbers.

I would also like to point out that on this day they had done 8 sets of 2 reps for Hang Cleans and a few sets of D-Ball Alternating Shouldering Squats (20 reps each set) before this.  I had them do 4 sets of Plate Climber/Plate Push combinations at about 40 seconds of all out work per set.

This combination of work is great because it not only improves muscular endurance and gets them out of their comfort zone, it also gets them to get low.  Big guys don’t always like to get low or at least down to my level-heck the one player in this video is 6′ 11″.

Obviously, the type of flooring you have will play an issue with exercises like this, but if you have the capabilities to try it you will not be disappointed at how demanding and beneficial this is.

Hope this helps!

To your health,


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About Jerry Shreck

Division 1 Head Strength Coach at Bucknell University, Specialize In The Art of Injury Prevention Training Techniques God Loving Family Man (Wife-Trina & 2 daughters-Alexis & Aleyda)

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