The Best Shoulder Movement You’re Not Doing: The Half Kneeling Landmine Press
22/02/2021 | 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.
When it comes to barbells, there’s really not much left to the imagination in terms of ‘operating’ one. Two hands on the bar, gripping the knurling. Pretty intuitive.
With that being said, you can add to the barbells already vast exercise repertoire by switching up your technique and trying out some ‘landmine’ movements. A landmine is simply a barbell anchored to the floor or a rack with a specialist post, a weight or simply wedged into a corner. The angle of the bar and semi-fixed motion allows you to exert force vertically and horizontally, simultaneously, creating an ‘arc’ of resistance. Think of landmine training as the perfect hybrid between the barbell and cable machines.
Chief among landmine training’s best offerings is ‘the half kneeling landmine press’. The name may be a bit of a mouthful, but the outcome is far from convoluted- a simple, safe, effective pressing variation. The half kneeling landmine press is a great option for trainees struggling with overhead pressing, whether through injury, lack of mobility, or just plain boredom.
The more horizontal angle, semi fixed range of motion and greater inclusion of the chest muscles can alleviate some of the issues often associated with pressing above your head, keeping you moving through niggles or periods of injury.
Pressing from the opposite side to your kneeling leg also makes this a ‘contralateral’ movement, firing your core up to stabilise your torso and keep it upright, this can also help to address any left to right imbalances in your body, in a way that traditional barbell pressing can’t.
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.