Landmine Press: Muscles Worked, Exercise Demo, Benefits

In this article we discuss one of the more functional variations of a barbell press: the landmine press. The landmine press can be done with all level lifters to increase shoulder strength and stability (works well to build out a strong safe pressing movement when paired with more traditional presses) as well as help to develop athletic core strength and the understanding of leverage in moving loads. Below we will discuss the muscles worked, training benefits, and four exercise variations of the landmine press.

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Muscles Worked

The landmine press works similar muscles to most frontal pressing movements. That said, the diagonal pressing of the movement, paired with the asymmetric/unilateral pushing involved can also increase core strength and posterior shoulder performance. Below are the primary muscle groups that are targeted with this lift.

  • Anterior Shoulder
  • Rhomboids
  • Upper Trap
  • Triceps
  • Upper Pectoral
  • Posterior Shoulder
  • Abdominals
  • Obliques
  • Glutes and Erectors

Landmine Press Exercise Demo

In the below video we see the single knee landmine press being demonstrated (which is discussed below). Regardless of the foot/knee placement in the landmine press, the press (and core stability and body control) itself is what is to be focused on.

Benefits of the Landmine Press

Below are three benefits of the landmine press which coaches and athletes can come to expect when performing any of the variations below.

Core Stability

The landmine press is a challenging shoulder pressing movement, however due to the asymmetrical and unilateral loading properties is an effective core strengthening exercise as well. Anti-rotational strength is needed to resist spinal and pelvis rotation during a press, which can help to develop anti-rotational performance necessary for running, jumping, and other athletic movements.

Scapular Control

Due to the angle of the press, the landmine press can help strengthen the posterior shoulder capsule and scapular stabilizers. Additionally, the unbalanced and asymmetrical loading of the landmine can increase strength and neurological coordination of the rhomboids, scapular stabilizers, and smaller muscles within and around the shoulder capsule to properly develop strength and stability in a very injury prone joint (the shoulder).

Increased Functional Strength  

Increasing one’s ability to perform pressing movements in a wide domain of movement patterning, with various equipment, and at non linear or sagittal movement patterns can help to maximize real world strength. This movement, done in any variation, mimics movements done in human life and athletics.

Landmine Press Variations

Below are a few popular landmine pressing variations that can be done to increase core strength, scapular health, and athletic performance.

Standing Landmine Press

The standing landmine press is a popular landmine pressing variation that simply has the lifter/athlete perform the Press while standing (either with staggered stance or feet in line). By standing, you increase the lifters ability to stabilize the pressing movement with the legs, hips, and core. A staggered stance will also enhance balance and stability of this movement.

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Single Knee Landmine Press

The single knee landmine press (above exercise demo video) has a lifter/athlete perform a press from with one knee down. By doing so, the lifter’s stability is slightly less than standing, however does allow for some weight displacement (more balance than the double knee landmine press).

Double Knee Landmine Press

The double knee landmine press has a lifter/athlete place both knees on the ground in line with one another, and perform the landmine press. While in this position the lifter must fully engage to abdominals, glutes, and body to resist the urge to slouch and/or go into spinal extension.

Banded Landmine Press

This is a more advanced landmine pressing variation that can be done with any placement (standing, single knee, double knee). By simply using a band as resistance you train the muscles (see muscles worked section above) to increase rate of force production and power, very similar to band training with squats, pulls, and presses.

Shoulder Health Made Easy

Check out these articles on shoulder prehab and rehabilitation moves to keep you growing stronger, safely.

Featured Image: @mikejdewar on Instagram

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