November 06, 2021 7 min read
The landmine is an inexpensive, convenient piece of equipment that has many effective benefits and offers challenging variations for high-value training movements. These can include actions like pushing, pulling, knee bending, or hip extending.
The main advantages are the ease of adding heavier weights and the ability to put your body at different angles in both standing and kneeling positions.
But before we get intosome of the best landmine exercises, you will first need to warm up the muscles and joints you will be using for these upper body workouts.
Landmine exercises can be very good fortraining the stability and strength of your core muscles. They offer a fundamental full-body movement pattern that can help mobilize your hips, glutes, and thoracic spine.
Although landmine exercises might initially seem difficult, putting your body into new and different positions can lead to many surprising benefits. Some of these include improving your overall body strength and increasing the range of motion of your joints.
These are especially important factors for all weightlifters to consider as they get older.
As with many other exercises in the gym, be sure to do a proper warm-up to avoid any type of risk of injury.
A series of different stability functions and controlled movements will be needed for these exercises. One of the most important muscle groups in ensuring the stability of your lumbar spine is the core.
The most important stabilization muscles for developing your core strength are your obliques, your abdominal muscles, your spinal erectors, and your transversus abdominis, often just referred to as the core muscles.
Although it might not seem directly related to landmine exercises, core strength training offers plenty of benefits. Doing these types of exercises regularly, as well as otherab exercises like cable crunches or movements with dumbbells, can make your day to day tasks more manageable, help you feel younger, and improve your overall health.
Mastering core strength andincreasing your strength and mobility can help with pain you might have in your lower back. Most importantly, never overwork yourself when you are just getting started with a new body exercise, such as the first variation of landmine exercises as listed below.
This exercise can be done either in a standing or kneeling position, and from mid-chest or either shoulder. The kneeling position is better for shoulder work and when you are just starting out. It can also be useful during power or explosive workouts when you add a hip extension. The standing varieties seem better suited once you are a little more experienced, and they can be done as an add-on to some of the leg options we have listed below.
For the two-handed landmine press, stand or kneel and hold the end of a barbell with both hands in front of your chest. Be sure that the barbell is wedged securely in a landmine attachment or corner. Your feet should be level and shoulder-width apart. Press the weight up with both of your hands until your arms are extended, and then bring it back down slowly.
The landmine squat forces you into an ideal squatting position. Even beginners can get the proper form down pretty easily, since the movement naturally pushes you onto your heels in an upright upper-body position. Try adjusting your shoulder transfer movement because it transforms this movement into a challenging core exercise.
Grip the bar close to your chest and cup it with both hands. Adjust your stance and foot placement. Pick a squat stance that will let you get the most hip and knee range of motion. Brace your abs and squeeze your butt. Keep the bar position on your upper chest solid and maintain tension and tightness to overcome any dead weight on the bar.
Tony Gentilcore is a master of the half-kneeling one-arm landmine press. This exercise is really good for pressing if you have a properly positioned elbow and a stabilized core. It is a movement that will really work your triceps and your deltoids (delts). There are a few simple steps to remember when you are doing this exercise.
Grab the end of the barbell with your right hand. Get down into a kneeling position with your right knee down on the ground and your left foot forward on the opposite side. Bring the barbell down to your shoulder and then push it straight up in the air. Bring it back down to shoulder height to complete one repetition.
The Meadow’s row describes a set of bent over barbell rows with a pause on the floor.
The pause on the floor provides the brief recovery that is necessary to maximize your pulling power, while challenging more than just the upper back. Load up the landmine and stand in a staggered stance with the leading foot perpendicular with the bar.
With the right foot as the leading foot, bend over at the waist and grasp the end of the bar in your left hand with an overhand grip. Rest your right elbow on your thigh for support and row the weight up so that your left hand is just outside your chest. Lower the weight back down to complete one rep.
The Meadow’s row can also be done with dumbbells or kettlebells, but it can be even better to use the landmine to take advantage of the fat grip, better range of motion, and the potential for larger loads. You can also adjust your angle to the bar because a perpendicular bar offers you a better range at the top.
Standing with a shoulder-width stance, hold the end of a bar attached to a landmine at your chest level. After taking a step backward, bend slightly at your knees so that the back knee just barely touches the ground. Then stand up by driving your front foot so that you go back to the initial position.The different press options can help you forget about the legs during higher rep protocols.
For example, Tony Gentilcore recommends eight reps with alternating shoulder presses and eight straight-ahead presses, which can be quite challenging for most bodybuilders. Similar to the lumberjack squat, this exercise forces you to use proper form. It pushes your torso upright and does not let you get away with improper positioning of the legs.
These are good additions to a HIIT or metabolic conditioning workout. Keep the weight light and perform multiple reps for speed, because this movement can put the shoulder in an awkward position. Also worth mentioning in this category is Dr. Jim Stoppani’s alternating landmine deadlift, which is a similar exercise with some slight variations.
For the standard movement, stand with your right side facing the bar. Bend at the waist and slightly at the knees and reach down and grab the bar with your right hand. Pull the bar up to your chest and then lower it back down to the ground. Repeat this action for the desired amount of repetitions and then switch sides.
Ben Bruno has been experimenting with landmine floor presses for some time now. Aside from a fat grip and the potential for heavier weights, the advantage of using a landmine instead of a dumbbell is the ability to get your body into a range of different angles.
This makes it useful for bodybuilders who want to build specific muscles and athletes who need strength in non-standard positions (like in football or MMA).Grab the end of the barbell with your right hand. Get down into a supine position. Bring the barbell down to your shoulder and then push it straight up in the air. Bring it back down to shoulder height to complete one repetition.
This might be the perfect exercise for a beginner but it is also a good alternative for an experienced lifter. It allows for a bit of a forward lean, which makes it good for athletic performance. Compared to using a dumbbell, there is no restriction on weight, which makes it much easier to perform than a barbell sumo squat. When you first attempt this exercise, you might notice some glute activation and a little tension on your lower back.
Set up with a stance just slightly outside the shoulders with a grip inside your feet. From the floor, initiate the pull by activating your hamstrings and driving your hips up. During the entire movement, think of your arms as cables. They are there for support, not to lift the barbell up. At the top of the movement, squeeze your glutes to complete one repetition.
Ben Bruno has been discussing different maneuvers of this type for years. With a dumbbell, the single-leg Romanian deadlift (RDL) can be difficult because of balance, but also because some people are too concerned with touching the ground instead of getting height with their back leg. Fortunately, the landmine addresses both of these challenges.Stand in front of the loaded end with your feet about hip-width apart. Sit back and grasp the sleeve of the barbell with interlocking fingers and lift the weight.
Engage your entire core as well as your lats and your upper back. Keep your back straight and flat and push your hips back and hinge your upper body forward. Bend your knees slightly. Keep lowering your upper body and the weight until you are nearly parallel to the ground or until you feel a strong stretch in your hamstrings. Hold it and then extend your hips forward and return to the starting position.
Standing landmine trunk twists can be quite tricky. It feels natural to bend the arms, bring the bar close to the body, and power it with everything other than the core. These problems are exactly why the half-kneeling option is such an attractive alternative, because you are forced to keep the bar away from your body and it ensures no cheating with the legs.
Load the bar and grasp the opposite end with both hands, with a stance that is perpendicular to the bar, your feet shoulder-width apart, and arms in an extended position. As you move your right foot, twist your torso to the opposite position, and then explode back to a neutral position. Repeat this movement while you are twisting to the other side.
Although all of the above landmine exercises are good ones for upper body strength (along with dips and push-ups, standing one-arm presses, t-bar rows, and Russian twists), it's recommended to start your landmine exercises with Tony Gentilcore’s one-arm half-kneeling landmine press, Mike Sheridan’s landmine sumo squat, and John Meadow’s one-arm bent-over landmine row. These movements are relatively easy to achieve if you are a beginner.