The Best Landmine Exercises to Grow Bigger Muscles

One piece of equipment that is often overlooked at many local gyms is the landmine. However, its simple design that fixes one end of a barbell in place is a great training tool that allows you to perform a variety of compound exercises.

The rotating nature of a landmine forces your body to engage your core helping to develop full-body strength and building a well-rounded physique.

But with such a versatile piece of equipment, it can be difficult to decide what exercises to perform. So we have created our guide to the 7 best landmine exercises to help give you some workout ideas.

If you have no idea what we are talking about, don't worry as we will explain everything you need to know about landmines below.

 

What is a Landmine in the Gym?

What is a Landmine in the Gym?

For anybody unsure of what a landmine is, it is a special piece of gym equipment that generally has a barbell inserted into it which fixes that end of the barbell in place. This allows you to perform a variety of exercises holding the opposite end.

Landmine attachments come in a few different varieties, they can be attached to power racks or any compatible equipment. There is also a freestanding version which uses heavy weight plate to hold it in place.

Some people create their own by cutting a tennis ball placing it over the end of the barbell and then wedge it in the corner of a room.

However, I don't recommend doing this at your local gym as the owner might be worried you will damage their wall.

For the most part, landmine attachments are designed to be at floor level or just above, although there are a few exceptions.

 

How Do I Use a Landmine at the Gym?

In case you are wondering how to use a landmine at the gym, it's not that hard.

Assuming that you have a landmine attachment already set up and ready to be used, you simply slide an Olympic barbell into the sleeve of the landmine.

Then on the other end of the barbell, depending on the exercise that you are doing, you'll want to add a few weight plates.

It may also be the case that you're doing an exercise that requires a handle for some added grip.

 

The Benefits of Landmine Exercises

The Benefits of Landmine Exercises

Before we start talking about the best landmine exercises for you to do, you might be wondering why landmine exercises are so beneficial to begin with.

Well, there are several reasons, with one of them being that landmine exercises, especially if you're doing something like an overhead press, tend to be much safer than if you are using barbells or dumbbells.

The same can be said for landmine deadlifts or landmine squats, because they force your body to stay upright, therefore being much friendlier for your back.

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of doing landmine exercises is that you usually have to hold the sleeve of the bar instead of the bar itself as you would with most other barbell exercises. That much thicker sleeve forces you to train your grip strength.

Landmine Rotation

They also create a unique movement which can be used to effectively target areas such as your core.

Landmines are a great training tool and add extra variety to your workouts which keeps them interesting and challenging.

 

Our Top Pick Best Landmine Exercises

Now that we know what a landmine is and what purposes it serves, let's take a closer look at the various exercises that can be done with them.

We're going to try and include exercises for every single part of your body, so you can effectively engage in a full-body workout using nothing more than a landmine attachment.

 

Landmine Lateral Raise

When it comes to growing bigger and stronger shoulders, one of the best exercises you can do is the landmine lateral raise.

The landmine lateral raise allows for a very wide range of motion, therefore allowing you to work out your posterior, anterior, and lateral deltoids all at the same time.

When compared to doing lateral raises with a cable machine or dumbbells, this particular version is much better, both in terms of hypertrophy and building overall muscle strength.

Instructions

  1. Start by standing perpendicular to the bar, with your right side facing the bar, and your toes pointing sideways. If it is your right foot that is closer to the landmine, then it's your right hand that you're going to start with.
  2. Bend down and grab the bar with an overhand grip, using your right hand.
  3. Start by holding the barbell so that your right hand is roughly at the level of your hip, on your left side.
  4. From this position, you're then going to slowly lift your arm upwards and across your body in a diagonal way so that your right arm ends up facing upwards at a 45° angle.
  5. During this time, you can keep your left hand on your hips for a bit of avid balance.
  6. You can then return the barbell to its original position, and repeat this for up to 15 repetitions per side, for up to three reps per side.

Related: Guide to Side Delt Exercises

Landmine Rotation

If one of your main goals is to target your core, particularly your obliques, your transversus abdominis, your rectus abdominis and your lower back, then the landmine rotation is a fantastic exercise to try.

It's very similar to the Russian twist, and it's also extremely functional. Let's take a closer look at exactly how to do the landmine rotation.

Instructions

  1. Stand facing the landmine attachment and the barbell so that your feet are just slightly wider than shoulder width. You want your feet to be at roughly the same level as the front of the barbell.
  2. Attach one weight plate to the barbell, or as much as you see fit, based on your own fitness level.
  3. Slowly lean forward and hold the bar with both of your hands, and then stand straight up, so that your chest is puffed out and your arms are extended out in front of your body.
  4. You'll now want to bring the bar down on your right side so that it's close to your right hip by rotating your torso.
  5. You'll then rotate your torso again, move the bar upwards, and then rotate to the other side, so the bar ends up on your left side.
  6. Make sure that your feet stay flat on the ground for the duration of this exercise, and repeat for up to 10 repetitions per side.

 

Meadows Row

If you really want to work out your lats, your upper back, your rear deltoids, and even your biceps, then doing what is known as the meadows row is a great option.

This is a classic landmine exercise, and it's known as a unilateral exercise because you work out one side at a time.

It’s an ideal exercise for decreasing any muscle imbalances you might have while being able to focus on a single side.

It's also a good exercise for increasing overall grip strength because you have to hold on to the bar with just a single hand.

Instructions

  1. Stand so that you are perpendicular to the bar, with your left leg slightly backwards, so you are in a split stance position. Make sure that your knees are slightly bent. Keep in mind that the leg that you have closer to the bar should be the one that is slightly further back.
  2. Bend forward at your waist and lower your upper body so that you can easily take hold of the bar. You're going to use an overhand grip for this exercise.
  3. With your right hand holding the barbell, put your left forearm on your left quad for some added stability.
  4. With the motion coming from your shoulders, row the barbell upwards, ensuring that your spine stays neutral.
  5. At the top of the movement, squeeze your back and laugh as much as you can, hold the position, and then lower the bar back down to the starting position.
  6. Repeat this exercise for up to 15 reps and up to four sets.

 

Landmine Squats

A great leg exercise to do with the landmine attachment is the landmine squat. As you can imagine, this is quite similar to other versions of the squat, especially in terms of it working out your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, core muscles, and more.

The landmine squat is an ideal squat variation to do because the weight stays in front of you, and you're generally holding it at chest or shoulder level.

This allows your body to stay upright during the whole exercise, and it lowers the risk of you suffering an injury, such as with a normal weighted barbell squat.

Instructions

  1. The first step is to add as much weight to the barbell as you see fit. We recommend starting off with a single 45 LB plate, until you know how much weight you can handle.
  2. Stand with your feet at roughly shoulder width apart, with your feet on either side of the front of the barbell.
  3. Slowly bend down and hold the barbell with both hands so that your palms are facing each other. Deadlift the bar up to the starting position, which is at roughly chest height.
  4. While squeezing your glutes and engaging your core, squat down just like you would with any other squat. Your goal is to get your upper legs at least parallel to the ground, and even lower if possible.
  5. Hold this position for a couple of seconds, and then push your feet into the ground, pushing your heels through the floor, to return back up to the original position.
  6. Repeat this for anywhere between 10 and 15 repetitions, for three or four sets.

 

Rotational Single-Arm Press

If your goal is to work out your shoulder muscles, such as what with the overhead press, while also engaging your core, then the rotational single-arm press with a landmine attachment is a great way to go.

As far as core stability is concerned, this is one of the most difficult landmine exercises out there, not to mention that it goes a long way in training both your shoulders and your triceps.

Instructions

  1. First, add as much weight to the bar as you feel comfortable pressing. If you're used to pressing a 40 LB dumbbell, then start with a regular plate. Figuring out exactly how much weight to use is up to you.
  2. Stand with your feet at roughly hip width apart, and face the landmine and barbell head on.
  3. Using your quadriceps and thighs, squat down and grip the barbell with both of your hands, and then stand up.
  4. Here, you're going to start off with your right hand, so let go of it with your left hand, and place it closer to your right shoulder.
  5. To help engage your core, breathe in and then keep your head in a neutral position.
  6. Before you lift upwards, you want to squat down very slightly, and then while you are pushing up through your heels, fully extend your right arm so that you press the barbell up and forward.
  7. When this happens, your torso is going to rotate to the right, and you'll want to use your right foot to pivot, while your left foot stays planted on the ground.
  8. You can then slowly bring the bar back down to its starting position. Aim to do up to 10 repetitions and three sets.

Half-Kneeling Landmine Shoulder Press

Half-Kneeling Landmine Shoulder Press

Similar to the single-arm press, here we have the half-kneeling landmine shoulder press.

If you're looking to activate virtually every muscle in your upper body, from your chest and shoulders to your core, labs, triceps, and more, then the landmine half-kneeling shoulder press is the way to go. 

This exercise sees you pressing the barbell at an angle both forwards and upwards, instead of just straight upwards like with a regular shoulder press.

It's a great exercise to help strengthen your shoulders and upper body, while also being relatively easy on your joints.

Instructions

  1. Choose one side to start with. For the purposes of this instructional, start with your left leg forward and your right leg behind it. You should be in a half kneeling position, so that your left leg is bent at the knee, and your right knee is resting on the ground, with your right foot out behind you.
  2. Add as much weight to the barbell as you see fit, and then pick it up with both of your hands.
  3. Transfer the barbell into your left hand and place it so that it's directly in front of your left shoulder.
  4. With your chest puffed out, breathe in so that your core is engaged, and then press with your elbow until your left arm is fully extended. The bar should be fully extended upwards and outwards at an angle, with your elbow virtually straight.
  5. Lower the barbell back down to the original position and repeat this for about 8 to 12 repetitions. You can now switch sides and repeat the exercise on the other side.

Related Post: Overhead Press Muscles Worked

 

Landmine Row

Landmine Row

If you are looking to train your upper back, your lats, your biceps, and your rear deltoids, doing a landmine row is a great option to consider.

Let's take a look at exactly how to do this exercise.

Instructions

  1. Start by adding some weighted plates to the barbell, with a single plate generally being more than enough to start with.
  2. Interestingly, this is one of the only exercises where you stand facing away from the landmine attachment, with the barbell between your legs. You should be standing at about shoulder width apart, with the barbell in between your legs. You should be standing just slightly in front of the middle point.
  3. Lean forward slightly and hold the barbell using the attachment, or simply hold it with both hands.
  4. Stand so that your core is engaged with your chest puffed out, and then pull the bar up towards your chest.
  5. Hold this position for one or two seconds, and then slowly return to the starting position. Aim to do anywhere between 8 and 15 repetitions for up to four sets.

Related: Build Bigger Traps with These Exercises

 

The Bottom Line on Landmine Exercises

The bottom line with landmine exercises is that they are extremely versatile in the sense that there's an exercise for virtually every part of your body.

Moreover, landmine exercises tend to be quite a bit safer than exercises done with barbells or dumbbells, therefore making them quite beginner friendly.

Just remember to take things slow, start with a low weight, and work your way up from there.

Author's Photo

William Parrett

Will, co-founder of Home Gym Supply, launched the company in 2019 after 15-years in the fitness industry. His expertise stems not only from his professional background but also from his athletic pursuits. A former competitor in the World Beauty Fitness & Fashion (WBFF) and a competitive rugby player, Will has always been dedicated to health and fitness.