10 Landmine Exercises You Need To Be Doing
19/04/2021 | Andrew Tracey
Andrew Tracey is a long time collaborator with Bulldog Gear. A coach, writer and current fitness editor of Men’s Health Magazine, he has been in and around the fitness industry for the past 16 years. Having enjoyed and endured a number of disciplines from endurance racing, to strongman, to Crossfit AT enjoys getting neck deep in the practice just as much as the theory.
Landmine attachments are a simple, portable, and effective piece of equipment that allow you to massively diversify your barbell movement selection.
Landmine movements are perfect for rotational training exercises as well as regressing exercises and altering movement patterns for rehab purposes, or for those struggling with certain ranges of motion.
Their ‘semi-fixed’ range of motion also makes them an ideal tool to introduce beginners to pulling, squatting, lunging, and rotation under load.
If you're looking to broaden your landmine library, or just need a little bit of inspiration, we’ve got ten moves for to plug in to your training.
1. Half Kneeling Press
A simple, safe, effective pressing variation that’s a great option for trainees struggling with overhead pressing, whether through injury, lack of mobility, or just plain boredom.
With your barbell anchored at one end and loaded at the other, lift the loaded end onto your shoulder and step back into a lunge position, with the opposite foot from the barbell forward, knee high. Squeeze your empty hand, contract your glutes and brace your core to create tension through your entire body. Push the barbell away from your shoulder explosively, following the natural arc that the barbell will create, whilst keeping your torso upright and resisting any twisting motion. Slowly lower the weight back down to your shoulder under control, reset and repeat.
2. Meadows Row
Popularised by the late, great John Meadows, this move hits your lats hard whilst building serious grip. Position a barbell in a landline attachment or wedged into a corner, loading your plates onto the opposite end. Stand at the end of the bar, hinge down with a staggered stance and grip the thick end of the bar with an overhand grip. Pinch your shoulder blade back and draw your elbow back, behind your body, raising the bar towards your hips, pause here for a count then slowly lower the weight to the floor before repeating.
3. Kneeling Pass-overs
Building rotational strength through your entire trunk and posterior chain- real world core work never felt so satisfying. With your barbell secured in a landmine attachment, kneel directly in front of the weighted end. Roll the bar to one side of your body and grip the end with both hands. Keeping your torso upright, core tight and feet and knees on the ground, lift the bar into the air, bringing it to the centre of your chest before continuing the arc back down to the opposite side. Take a deep breath, create tension through your trunk and repeat.
4. 'T'-Bar Row
The T-bar row is a great fixed path machine, but not all gyms floors have the room for one. Try this hack to reap the benefits. Position a barbell in a landline attachment or wedged into a corner, loading your plates onto the opposite end. Take a set of gymnastics rings and pass a single strap through both rings, adjust the straps until the gap between both rings is as small as possible. Loop the strap beneath the barbell, as close to the plates as possible. Grip a ring in each hand, either side of the barbell. Hinge at the hips until your torso is near parallel to the ground, brace your core and create tension through your entire body. Draw your elbows up and back, without allowing them to flare, rowing the weight up as far as possible before the plates make contact with your body. Contract your shoulder blades and pause at the top of each rep before slowly lowering the weight back to the ground under control.
5. Reverse Lunge
This variation on a classic gives you something to ‘push against’ as you drive upwards and forwards simultaneously, helping to cue your front leg to handle the lion’s share of the work. Lift the loaded end of the barbell and hold it close to your chest with both hands (A). Step back with one leg, dropping into a deep lunge position, ensuring you keep your torso upright and core braced. Once your back knee makes contact with the floor explosively stand upright. You can either repeat on the same leg until you reach your rep target, or alternate legs on each rep.
6. Clean & Rotational Press
Building full-body rotational strength is often overlooked and can be difficult with a standard barbell setup, that’s where the landmine comes in. Stand bar facing at the loaded end of your bar, with the side of your feet close to the plates. Hinge down with a flat back and grip the bar with the hand closest to the plate. Explosively pull the bar upwards simultaneously rotating your body to face the weight. As the bar reaches the top of your chest, grasp the end with the opposite hand, letting go with the other, and press the bar away to full lockout. Reverse the movement exactly, switching hands at chest height before rotating 90 degrees and returning the weights to the ground with a flat back, repeat. Switch leading hands/ sides each set.
7. Single Legged RDL
This landmine variation creates a smooth arc, adding some stability to a trick movement. A great adaptation if you struggle with balance. Grab the loaded end of the bar and lift it up to waist height, holding it suit case style to one side of your body. Lift the opposite leg from the ground, brace your core and slowly hinge at the hips, slowly lowering the bar towards the floor, using the ‘fixed’ forward direction to aid your balance. Pause as the bar lightly touches down before dynamically reversing the movement back to an upright posture, repeat. Switch sides after your designated reps.
8. Hack Squat
This hack squat alternative eliminates the need for expensive machinery and can help those struggling with squat mechanics. Lift the loaded end of your bar on to your shoulder, then turn around, ‘resting’ your back against the weight plate whilst holding the bar securely on your shoulder. Step your feet forward until your body is at an angel almost symmetrical to the barbell behind you. Bend your knees and push your hips back, dropping into a deep squat. Press your back into the plate as you stand back up explosively. Pause and repeat. switch shoulders each set.
9. Y Press
This peculiar looking movement allows you to stimulate our shoulders using lighter weights and without pressing directly overhead, perfect for rehab, warm-up and high rep finishers. Sit on the floor, laterally on from the loaded end of your bar (disclaimer: you may not even need weights for this one!) Grip the very end of the bar with your palms facing away from your body and lift it up to shoulder height. Extend at the arm, pressing the bar upwards and away from your body. Pause at full lockout and reverse the movement, slowly lowering the bar back to your shoulder. Repeat, switching sides after your set.
10. Delt Flyes
Building the often overlooked upper back and rear shoulder muscles that are vital for your posture and shoulder health; this is one you almost definitely won’t need additional weight for. Stand tall holding the unanchored end of your bar in front of your body at hip height. Keeping your arm as straight possible lift the bar allowing it to travel in an arc from the front your body, upwards, finishing with a fully extended arm behind your head. Slowly lower the bar back to your waist, following the same arc. Repeat, before switching sides.
The barbell is the quintessential tool of weight training- perhaps only superseded by the humble dumbbell- but unlike the dumbbell there are a lot of options when it comes to picking the right bar. Let us run you through some of our offerings, so you can make the right decision for your needs.