landmine-training

13 Landmine exercises (Downloadable Workout Included)

In this post we are going to take a look at how to workout using a landmine tool. No, I’m not talking about those things that you explode once you step on them.

 

A landmine is a versatile piece of equipment that allows you to perform a myriad of dynamic exercises and movements. You place a barbell inside the landmine tool and you can perform pressing, pulling, pushing and even rotating movements. The rotation exercises are especially useful because rotation is an aspect of fitness that is often overlooked or not emphasized enough.

 

Perhaps my favorite benefit of using the landmine is that you will be using your core with most, if not all the exercises you do with it. Exercises with the landmine tool don’t necessarily isolate a muscle. They in fact require a group of muscles to perform a given movement.

 

 

There are different ways to set up a landmine equipment. You can either place it on the floor, attach it to a weight training rack or integrate it into plates. There isn’t one that is clearly a better option then the other. In the video examples below I am using a very affordable landmine tool from Valor Fitness. You can get one for less than $50, just have to be careful with the set up. You want to use a 45 lb plate (a rubber one would be a better option) and another small plate like a 10lb, 15lb or 25lb. If you place two big plates on it, the landmine can dig into the plates and we wouldn’t want that.

 

 

 

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The landmine can be very portable but it is somewhat heavy. Especially the ground based landmine that is attached to a diamond shaped platform. The reason for it’s heavy weight is that you don’t want the base coming off the ground when you are working out. That of course can cause an injury.

 

 Landmine exercises

Like I mentioned above, most of these exercises will target a broad range of muscle groups. For some of you, simply using the barbell by itself will be enough. Keep in mind that most standard barbells weigh about 45 lbs or 20.4 kilos.At the end of this article I’ve included some workouts so that you can take what you learned and put it into practice.

1) Standing Press

 

This is a phenomenal exercise to develop upper body and core strength. In this context when I mention upper body strength, I am specifically referring to upper body pushing strength.

 

You will see that this exercise will greatly challenge your abs as the bar comes down towards you, especially if you keep your hips and shoulders facing forward because you want to resist rotation as the bar comes down.

 

How to do it: Stand facing the landmine. Place your feet in a staggered position and hold the barbell with one arm. Keep a soft bend at the knees as you press the barbell up in a diagonal fashion.

 

You want to take advantage of a full range of motion and let your hand tap your shoulder as you bring the barbell down. You can also use a different stance where you have your feet together with some space between them. This variation will challenge your stability more.

 

Main Muscles Used: Chest (upper region), front deltoids, traps and triceps.

 

 

2) Reverse Lunge (One Arm)

Throughout this article you will see different lunges that you can do with a landmine. This is a variation where you keep lunging on the same side. All the lunges you will see here are done in a reverse motion, meaning you will go backwards as you lunge and not forward.

 

A reverse lunge does not require you to decelerate as you do with a forward lunge. This makes the exercise easier and even safer in some instances.

 

You will notice I gently tap my back knee on the floor. This ensures I’m working through a full range of motion. If you can’t go all the way down with this exercise then maybe you should practice your split squats instead.

 

 

How to do it: Face the landmine and grab the barbell with one arm. Place the barbell right in front of your shoulder throughout the exercise.  You’re going to perform a reverse lunge with the leg that is on the same side of the arm that is carrying the barbell.

 

Main Muscles Used: Abs, quads and glutes.

 

 

 

3) Reverse Lunge#2 (One Arm with A Perpendicular Position)

This reverse lunge is somewhat similar to the previous one, only difference is that we are now perpendicular to the landmine. Like the previous lunge, this variation will challenge our core due to the offset loading.

 

Offset loading refers to when a load is placed only on one side of the body. Below is another example of an offset loaded exercise.

 

Offset Loaded Step Up

Offset Loaded Step Up

 

How to do it: Stand perpendicular to the landmine and grab the barbell with one arm. Lunge backwards while holding the barbell and don’t let your trunk shift towards the landmine. Step back up and repeat the movement again.

 

 

Main Muscles Used: Abs, quads and glutes.

 

 

4) Reverse Lunge to Press

 

In this lunge variation we will be adding a press at the top position of the exercise. You will probably find yourself breathing heavy after a few reps in this one. This is due the amount of muscles involved in one single movement.

 

Generally speaking, the more muscles used in an exercise, the higher demand of oxygen and nutrients. This process burns more calories and with enough intensity, it elicits a positive hormone response that is optimal for fat loss and muscle growth.

 

How to do it: Face the landmine and grab the barbell with one arm. Place the barbell right in front of your shoulder and proceed by taking a step back to lunge. As you come back up press the barbell up.

 

Main Muscles Used: Abs, quads, glutes, chest (upper region), front deltoids, traps and triceps.

 

 

5) Reverse Lunge to Press (Pressing at the Bottom Portion)

This lunge variation is slightly different from the previous one. You’re going to be pressing at the bottom portion of the exercise. Pressing at the bottom requires a lot more hip and ankle stability.

 

How to do it: Face the landmine and grab the barbell with one arm. Place the barbell right in front of your shoulder and proceed by taking a step back to lunge. Once you are in the bottom position of your lunge, press the barbell but avoid moving or shifting throughout your trunk and hips.

 

Main Muscles Used: Abs, quads, glutes, chest (upper region), front deltoids, traps and triceps.

 

6) Isometric Lunge & Press

Lunge, Lunges and more Lunges. As you can tell you can perform tons of lunge variations with a landmine equipment. This one has another subtle change. You will remain in an isometric lunge and press while you’re in that position.

 

This one will require even more hip and core stability. You might want to put less weight on the barbell on this variation until you get comfortable with the movement.

How to do it: Face the landmine and grab the barbell with one arm. Place the barbell right in front of your shoulder and proceed by taking a step back to lunge. Once you are in the bottom position of your lunge, stay there and press the barbell but avoid moving or shifting throughout your trunk and hips. Only stand up after you complete the recommended amount of repetitions in the workouts at the end of this post.

 

Main Muscles Used: Abs, quads, glutes, chest (upper region), front deltoids, traps and triceps.

 

7) Single Leg Deadlifts

This is a single leg exercise that will challenge hip and ankle stability while targeting the lower back, glutes and hamstrings.

 

How to do it: Stand perpendicular to the landmine and grab the barbell with one arm. Initiate the movement by shooting your hips back and allowing your trunk to bend forward. Keep the bar close to your body and try your best to keep the natural curvature of your back as you descend. Let the plate come close to ground, tap the floor if you can, and try to leave the moving leg in the air throughout the exercise.

 

Main Muscles Used: Lower back, glutes and hamstrings.

 

 

8) Explosive Front Squats

This is perhaps my favorite exercise on this list. Perhaps because it feels good- to me. You will notice right away that this front squat has a diagonal pattern. This motion is unique to this exercise.

 

One of the reasons why I like this squat so much is because we aren’t loading the spine. Loading the spine isn’t necessarily bad, but this just shows you that there is tons of ways to overload the lower body without placing a barbell on our backs.

 

How to do it: Face the landmine and grab the barbell with both hands. The barbell should be close to your body and about chest to neck height. Initiate the movement by shooting your hips back down to a deep squat position. Since the bar is moving towards you, this enables you to efficiently sit back. This is especially useful for people that don’t really have a proper squat pattern. Then stand up quickly by forcefully extending your legs and driving your hips forward. Squeeze your glutes at the top position.

 

Main Muscles Used: Quads, adductors (inner thigh muscles), hamstrings, glutes and abs.

 

 

9) Rotational Squat to Press

This is a full body, athletic movement. Like the reverse lunge to press, this landmine squat variation will surely burn tons of calories.

How to do it: Face the landmine in a staggered stance and grab the barbell with one arm. Rotate your back foot as you bring the barbell down towards you and shoot your hips back to the bottom portion of a squat. The barbell should be in front of your chest in this position. Then forcefully stand up and pivot your back foot forward. Make sure to extend you arms at the top position.

Main Muscles Used: Quads, adductors (inner thigh muscles), hamstrings, glutes, front deltoids, traps, triceps and abs.

10) Landmine Deadlift

This is a different approach to perform a deadlift and a very doable one. This is another spine sparing exercise. As you can see in the video above, this is a very hip dominant movement not a knee dominant one. Meaning most of the movement will happen at your hips and not at your knees. Like the front squat I mentioned earlier, the bar’s unconventional position forces to shoot our hips back.

How to do it: Face the landmine and grab the barbell with both hands. Initiate the movement by shooting your hips back and allowing the barbell to travel under control towards the ground. Make sure you are keeping your eyes on the horizon, this allows for a better posture. Then stand up forcefully, extend your legs and squeeze your butt at the top position.

Main Muscles Used: Spinal erectors (lower back), glutes, hamstrings and quads.

11) Alternating Reverse Lunge

You probably thought we were done with lunges. Here is one more. This one is a more natural lunge variation because we take the time in alternating legs.

How to do it: Face the landmine and grab the barbell with both hands. Take one step back and let the knee of that leg come close to the ground (or tap the ground if you can). Then come back to the top position and repeat the sequence in the other side.

Main Muscles Used: Abs, quads and glutes.

12) T-Bar Row

This is the first exercise that focuses on the upper back. Most gyms have a dedicated t-bar row machine but even if you there wasn’t one, the landmine tool is a great alternative.

How to do it: Face away from the landmine with the barbell between your legs. Shoot your hips back and keep your eyes on the horizon to keep a neutral curve on your spine. Then row the barbell towards your torso. Make sure not to jerk the barbell up with your shoulders and hips.

Main Muscles Used: Back, biceps and hamstrings.

13) Standing Oblique Rotations

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This is a wonderful exercise to target the obliques.

How to do it: Face the landmine and grab the barbell with both hands. Make sure you are not too close to the barbell. Keep your arms extended, this leverage will increase demand on the core. Keep your hips squared and when you are ready bring the barbell towards one side of your body and then reverse the movement to the other side. 

Main Muscles Used: Obliques

Download Workout PDF

In this downloadable PDF you’ll have three total body workouts to do. I added some bodyweight movements to the workouts to add more variety.  I am certain that you will find them challenging and effective.

LANDMINE WORKOUT PDF

 

 

 

 

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Juan Lugo
2 Comments
  • Arnaldo
    Reply

    All I can say from the bottom of my heart is thank you for your post. Work outs like this sure puts me in gear.

    July 2, 2017 at 1:50 pm

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