The landmine was invented a long time before the barbell attachment came in vogue. Remember the big boys sticking a barbell in the corner of the gym and doing T-Bar rows? You knew the gym was great when there was holes in the corner of the wall and scuff marks all over it.
The landmine attachment (or sticking it in a corner) is predominantly used for pressing (and T-Bar rows) from a standing, tall kneeling, half kneeling and a supine position. It’s great for people who haven’t the shoulder mobility to go overhead and nice change-up from overhead and bench pressing.
However, you can use the landmine for so much more…
Advantages of Landmine Training
- The fatter grip can lead to increases in grip strength
- The angle of the landmine gives your spine a break from compressive load caused by axial loading, a godsend for the older lifter.
- The ability to hit the muscles from abnormal angles in standing, tall kneeling, and half kneeling positions.
- The ability to go heavy with unilateral exercises.
Landmine training makes for a nice change of pace and is great for accessory exercises catered to the big three. Consider adding these exercises for fun, variety, and for strengthening the body from different angles.
3 Landmine Exercises That Are Not Presses
1. Bent Over Row to RDL
Dr. Bo Babenko, Physical Therapist
This landmine variation of the bent over row is one of my favorites.
Not only does this save some time by combining the hinge the pattern with the upper body horizontal pull, I believe it is actually superior to many of the other varieties based on the angle you end up working through.
Huge credit here goes to Dr. Joel Seedman. By doing two rows into one RDL allows the targeted muscles to get more work in mainly by avoiding over taxing your low back in this tough position.
I have found great success in improving folk’s hinge and pull patterns by doing this.
The combination of moving better and improving the endurance and strength of the upper back, lats, and posterior lower body all have led to fantastic pain relief and performance enhancement in my practice.”
Throw some extra shoulder work with a unique lateral raise variation with a barbell. For exampl
- 1A. Landmine Bent Over row to RDL 8-12 reps (rows
- 1B. Landmine lateral raise– 8-12 reps on each side
2. Single Leg RDL
Ariel Osharenko, PT, CSCS
“Whether you use the traditional Romanian deadlift exercise for increased performance and injury prevention or rehabilitation the single leg landmine RDL exercise is a refreshing variation.
Hip hinging is of major importance to both coaches and therapists as one as the movement is essential in most sports, especially ones that demand a lot from the hips.
The movement is executed in different ways to focus on different areas of needs. For example, lowering the weights slowly will emphasis the eccentric part of the movement which as a result increase posterior hip and thigh mobility as well as decrease the risk of suffering from hamstring injuries.
In addition, executing the movement single leg will target not only balance but also the ability of the hip to stabilize with various hip movements.”
Pairing with an exercise that works on hip mobility works well. For example,
- 1A. Landmine Single Leg RDL 6-8 reps each side
- 1B. Hip internal/external rotation 5 reps each side
3. Landmine Tall Kneeling Core Rotation
Robbie Bagby, CSCS
“Core stability, hip mobility and the ability to resist rotation is extremely important qualities for almost all of your core lifts. And this exercise covers all 3 of these bases.”
The tall kneeling position will give you feedback on whether you’re flexing and extending the spine or unnecessarily rotating through your low back.”
Here’s how to do it.
- Place a pad under your knees with the end of the barbell right in front your body.
- Grasp the bar with and alternating grip, the outside hand facing up.
- Lift the bar off the ground while staying tall tension in the abs and glutes.
- Rotate the bar up and across the body with the arms straight.
- Try not to rotate the upper body or lean back
- Return to starting position
- Shoot for 2-3 sets of 6-10 reps on each side
While you’re in the tall kneeling position, take advantage to do some extra core work with this superset. For example,
- 1A. Landmine Tall Kneeling Core Rotation 6-10 reps
- 1B. Landmine steering wheel 6-10 reps
The landmine set up is a versatile way to work your body from different positions and angles to help strengthen weaknesses, assist in hypertrophy and work around mobility issues.
However, please use a towel to prevent marks on the wall.
Feature image from Barbell Shrugged YouTube channel.