The landmine has some unique capabilities that the barbell does not have such as pressing and squatting with a different joint-angle that is often more user-friendly for most people than it’s barbell counterpart.
The landmine will give you a huge bang for the buck and can be used in a number of settings such as strength, strength endurance, and metabolic stress. You can even go as far as using complexes with the landmine for conditioning to train the aerobic system and bridge the gap between your other main training sessions.
While the landmine doesn’t seem like a conventional tool for most gyms, you don’t need an actual landmine to reap the benefits – simply placing a barbell in the corner of your space will work just fine.
Landmine variations are so effective that there is NOT one single program that we offer that does not utilize the landmine on a regular basis.
If you’re not currently utilizing the landmine in your training here are some variations to start with.
The Landmine Squat
Unlike the traditional Goblet Squat, the landmine variation changes the strength curve and actually turns the squat into a more hip-dominant version.
Our society is plagued by lower back disorders which aren’t surprising seeing the daily postures we’re in – extra work for the posterior chain is often the remedy for lower-back issues.
And we are an anterior-chain dominant society so allowing the squat to remain more demanding on the musculature of the glutes and hamstrings is key to long term gains.
This isn’t a movement for the faint of heart either with loading capability that will challenge even the most seasoned meathead.
Landmine Reverse Lunge
If you’re looking to change up your lunge variations this is it. Similar to that of a goblet reverse lunge, the landmine version places the strength curve differently than a kettlebell or dumbbell pressed against the chest simply because of the angle of the barbell.
You’ll most likely be surprised by the increased level of balance required as well.
Landmine Reverse Lunges
For increased loading capacity compared to that of the goblet version, the landmine reverse lunge held by your side will offer you the ability to go slightly heavier or for some variety to the goblet version.
Single-Leg Landmine RDL
The Single-Leg RDL is a challenging movement for just about anyone and often used as an assessment tool – as you can imagine the loading capability is quite low with it. In the case of the landmine variation, loading capacity is higher because the level stability required is lower – again using the length of the barbell for differences in the strength curve is key.
If you’re looking for global movement the thruster is your best option. For some performing the barbell version of the thruster presents challenges with both the front rack position as well as the overhead position – the landmine will allow you to train the same stimulus while being more user-friendly.
We use the landmine thruster in a conditioning setting to change things up from the barbell version.
It’s no mystery that complexes offer a huge bang-for-the-back in terms of metabolic stress and “after-burn” (increased EPOC) so it’s nice to have other options instead of the barbell.
This complex consists of:
– Single-Leg RDL on each leg
– Reverse Lunge on each leg
– Elbow out row on each leg
Perform 8-10 reps of each movement without stopping resting 2-3:00 between sets.
The landmine row is another favorite simply because most people are able to incur better scapular position vs. a standard dumbbell row. The reason for that is where the weight is positioned as well as the angle of the barbell – there is constant tension throughout ROM perfect for a hypertrophy scenario.
On paper, it looks similar to a 1-Arm that you could perform with a dumbbell or a kettlebell, but once you try you’ll see the “feel” is actually quite different.
Elbow out Landmine Row
Another variation that is used to change the angle of your horizontal rowing – this version engages the upper-back differently with more emphasis on the rhomboids/mid traps vs. the standard row has more emphasis on the lattismus dorsi.
T-Bar Landmine Row
Finally, if you’re lucky enough to have access to a T-Bar row attachment you’ll be able to notice that albeit this version looks the same as a t-bar row, the feel is certainly different.
Landmine Bilateral Press
Pressing with the landmine is a mainstay in our programming both bilaterally (two arms) and unilaterally (one arm.) Reason being, the scapulohumeral rhythm is better by change the joint angle – people aren’t typically limited by their lack of thoracic extension with this variation. Furthermore, this variation allows for upward rotation, elevation, and protraction of scapula through range of motion.
If you’re considering the daily posture that most of us are in the landmine is a great tool that will improve posture and not exacerbate it or force you to compensate at the lumbar spine as many do with the barbell overhead press.
Landmine Half-Kneeling Press
The half-kneeling landmine press is a regression to the bilateral press and one we use often to teach people how to engage their anterior core (stacked position needed for a great overhead press) while performing the movement. The same aforementioned benefits that were mentioned with the bilateral press still apply though.
Landmine Split Jerk
Performing an “explosive” variation such as the split jerk with the landmine will give you all the same benefits, but can be added to your dynamic effort training instead of a standard jerk.
*Bonus: Viking Attachment Landmine Press with a neutral grip
The Viking press is a great exercise if you’re looking to increase loading capability. If you’re in the market for a Viking attachment check this one out here.
The landmine might be the tool that’s missing in your training. And if you’re just looking to change things up, this is the way to do so in an intelligent way that will actually improve posture, strength, and body composition.
Let’s also not forget that this work has transferability to your big lifts by improving your limitations – getting jacked while being more functional – double win.