Landmine your way to a stronger body!
If you need added variety and challenge to your current strength programming, look no further than the landmine! Landmine Exercises
The landmine was once relegated only to gym bros repping out T-bar rows on back day. In contrast, today it is gaining acknowledgement for its ability to diversify the exercise options and bridge the gap between various movements in the realm of strength and conditioning. As an implement, it offers some unique characteristics over the traditional barbell usage such as the arcing motion, moving in both vertical and horizontal planes, the increased stability of it by having one extra point of contact to the ground, etc. Due to these unique points, the landmine can be a great addition to your exercise arsenal!
The landmine is a great medium for those who are actively working towards overhead pressing. For those who have spent most of their time pressing purely in the horizontal realm (bench press, push ups, etc.), going to an overhead motion can be overly challenging and the landmine offers a solution. Due to its position and arc of motion, it allows for a blend between horizontal and vertical pressing exercises.
This is one of my favorite pressing combos for shoulders and upper chest that's also easy on the joints. Start by performing six band-resisted landmine presses per arm, then go directly into six squeeze presses. This functions are a simple but awesome mechanical drop set whereby the weight remains the same but you switch to an easier variation as you fatigue. Both pressing variations are great on their own, but one issue with landmine presses is that due to the arc of the bar, it gets easier as you approach lockout at the top, and this effect is heightened even more in taller lifters since it becomes more of a horizontal press. Adding band tension works great with the strength curve because band tension increases the higher up you go (aka. accommodating resistance) so it ends up providing a more even resistance throughout the entire range of motion. Remember that the wider your stance, the greater the band tension. The video is sped up slightly, but you get the idea.
Half kneeling landmine press
The landmine press from half kneeling is a great option for people to begin incorporating. By placing you in half kneeling we can focus in on the pressing mechanics better as the positioning helps to control the rib cage, pelvis, and lower back. As well, it adds an increased challenge to resist lateral flexion as the loading is coming down to one side.
Standing landmine press
Progressing to the landmine press from standing allows for more significant loading and increased challenge to the trunk in resisting motion (arching the back, leaning side to side, etc.). From this position we can focus on creating a rigid structure to press from, incorporating the ankle, knee, and hips. Landmine Exercises
Side to side press
With most of the landmine pressing exercises we are often working unilaterally. In contrast, the side to side press blends the unilateral pressing of the standing landmine press we looked at previously with a slight bilateral touch. Having both arms work allows for increased load, while we are still emphasizing one side at a time. As we are able to increase the load, this can place a higher emphasis on the pressing muscles obviously, but the trunk musculature has to work to an even greater degree to resist extending or laterally flexing.
For individuals who are working on squat mechanics, one of the difficult concepts to get down well is the motion of the hips. The landmine squat is a fantastic exercise for these individuals as the arcing motion of the landmine helps to situate their hips backwards while lowering down smoothly, letting them get the feel for the motion and allowing them to focus on other details. As well, for those who have pushed goblet squats to the point where the heaviest dumbbell they have available is no longer a challenge, the landmine squat can be the next progression for these people
Landmine 1 leg SLDL (Stiff legged deadlift)
A strong posterior chain is important for moving big weights. Developing unilateral control of your hips and legs can help wade off potential issues, shore up side to side imbalances, and much more. The landmine 1 leg SLDL hits these points beautifully. In contrast to the normal version of this exercise where it is done with a kettlebell or dumbbell, the landmine option increases the stability slightly by providing an additional contact point to the ground and guiding the motion for you. One aspect of this movement people often struggle with is keeping their hips level and not rotating the moving leg out. With the arc of the landmine going out towards the down leg, this helps to reduce that compensation and encourage a more level movement.
One of my favorite barbell movements for both performance and rehab, the landline single leg deadlift. I love SLDLs but often the balance component limits your ability to load the weights up. The landline takes care of that by adding abbot of stability. #physicaltherapy #physiotherapy #sportsrehab #sportstherapy
Landmine anti-rotation from standing and half kneeling
A rigid trunk position allows for more force to be transferred through the extremities (legs to arms and vice versa). The landmine anti-rotation exercises can provide a great challenge to people learning to not only resist rotation as the bar goes out to the side, but also how to move their arms while resisting motion below the shoulder. In the majority of activities we do in real life or sports, our arms are moving while we need to control our trunk. Utilizing this exercise can allow a seamless transition to implementation of those skills.
The standing version is a great starting point in beginning this exercise series and allows for a good amount of stability to start off with.
The half kneeling version of the landmine anti-rotation exercise really increases the challenge. By reducing your base of support laterally, the demand to resist laterally flexing or to rotate shoots up.
Landmine Row – perpendicular
The traditional usage of the landmine for rowing uses a bilateral grip and puts a high demand on the low back. In contrast, this version where we stand perpendicular to the bar is a unilateral load, allowing for more emphasis on each side of your upper body, and reducing the stress to your lower back. Again we see the arc motion of the bar path help with the motion as we are able to get an awesome contraction at the top due to the movement out to the side slightly.
Landmine Goblet Reverse Lunge
The landmine offers a nice twist to traditional lunging exercises. As we step back, the bar helps to guide us to transition our weight backwards and encourage a good step length. Through the utilization of the goblet positioning for the load, we can increase the challenge to the upper back and reduce the challenge to grip the bar. This is an awesome exercise to help build some strong legs and thick upper back.
Hip hinge variations are fantastic to load the posterior chain and build a strong back side. The landmine deadlift hits these points by allowing you to set up with a slightly wider than shoulder width stance and take advantage of the movement of the bar path. As you go down to the floor from the standing position, the bar will arc backwards, helping your hips to sit back and get a nice hinge motion – loading up the glutes and hamstrings beautifully.
Give them a shot and tag me or Zach in your video!
Move well, lift heavy, stay healthy,
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