When was the last time you spiced things up in the weight room?
Lifting big, heavy weights sure is nice for the badonkadonk, but after a while, it gets a little stale. Once your workouts get dry and boring like a Cesar Salad without the dressing, you can say bu-bye to motivation and fitness gains.
The Landmine is an excellent tool for any level lifter who wants to hone in on technique, progress or regress certain movements like the squat or overhead press, and apply a bit more torque and versatility into their workouts. If you’re looking to spice up your accessory exercises or apply a new spin to a classic movement, I got you with these six Landmine exercises guaranteed to rock your whole body.
From Barbell Squat to Landmine Squat (Optional: Add an overhead press)
Perks: The landmine squat is a great teaching tool to grove the squat pattern with an upright torso, something even experienced lifters should revisit from time to time. It’s not uncommon for even the strongest lifters to end up in a forward lean at the bottom of the squat, turning it into more of a good morning than a squat and at worse, using too much of the back to hoist the barbell back up.
Extra credit: Add an overhead press and/or a calf raise at the top, turning this into an overhead squat movement pattern that is both shoulder and back friendly. Use an unloaded bar for your warm-up sets before loading up.
Ben Bruno, the grandfather of landmine versatility, has a great tutorial on the squat variation:
From Single-leg Barbell RDL to Landmine Single-leg RDL
Perks: Anyone who struggles with balance on single-leg exercises will love the landmine. First, it offers a much smaller learning curve for teaching and learning the one leg hip hinge pattern. Second, the offset load provides a counterbalance for those that feel unstable doing one-leg RDLs with bodyweight and/or barbells or dumbbells.
Extra credit: Once perfected, add a single-arm row before you hinge back up.
Our boy Ben does it again with the combo version here (he’s a strong mofo).
From Overhead Press to Half Kneeling Landmine Press
Perks: This is a lifesaver for cranky shoulders because the angle of the landmine allows the scapula to move more freely into upward rotation, which we don’t get when we’re in a fixed position like the military press. Most people aren’t well equipped for strict overhead pressing anyway due to poor shoulder mobility and stability, poor mechanics, or a joint structure that makes overhead work a huge pain. The landmine variation is an excellent substitute for anyone with tender shoulders or who is already an overhead athlete and needs to ease off the excessive overhead work.
Extra credit: The half-kneeling position offers more of a core challenge than if one were standing up, while still providing ample stability.
Here’s a mini-tutorial I did on Instagram (@Trishdfit)
From Side Crunches to Landmine Twist (or Chop)
Perks: Core stability? Check! Rotational power? Check! An ab exercise that doesn’t involved a single crunch? CHECK! I’m amazed at how little rotation work lifters do (READ: Training Beyond the Saggital Plane) because developing rotational power translates into better athleticism, agility and efficiency overall. If you enjoy playing soccer in a rec league, golfing with your boss, or being more powerful in general, throw this into your accessory work.
Extra credit: Add in a squat to make this a combo move that targets all the major muscle groups. Use a light to moderate load, squat first, rise up then add in a twist/chop. This will get your heart rate pumping quick!
Rogue Fitness demonstrates with this quickie:
From Barbell rows to Meadows row
Perks: If you have already have a strong, healthy back and are tired of the basic barbell or dumbbell row, the Meadows row is a next-level variation (more pump, bigger back!) The thickness of the barbell allows you to work on your grip as well as load up the bar as heavy as you can, once you run out of heavy dumbbells. Meadows rows are a bit more advanced so proceed only when ready.
Extra credit: There is none. This rowing variation should only be used if you have a strong and healthy back. Trust me, it’ll be challenging enough as it is. The bonus is that it challenges your grip.
Dr. John Rusin (one of my faves!) demonstrates with a light load, which quite frankly, feels best for me.
From Ab wheel to Landmine rollout
Perks: A beast of a movement for core engagement, and not for the faint of heart! Use a mat for your knees on this one. If I’m doing a few landmine exercises back to back, it only makes sense to end it with this rollout because
I hate myself it’s very effective!
Extra Credit: Um, besides not dying?
If you’re curious about what death looks like…look no more: