When it comes to lifting weights, the simpler and safer the setup, the better. The landmine press is a beginner-friendly weightlifting exercise that strengthens the upper body with nothing but firm determination and an angled barbell attached to a sturdy base! It requires a simple setup, yet it’s still one of the most effective strength training exercises for all fitness levels.
Whether or not you’re new to the weight room, landmine presses are a great addition to your strength training program. Are you thinking of integrating the landmine press into your exercise routine? Here are the most important things you must know.
Psst! Don’t forget to read our blog on the landmine squat.
What is the Landmine Press?
The landmine press is a shoulder and chest exercise that involves a barbell fixed to the ground. There are a few ways to set it up:
- Use a landmine core trainer.
- Cut a tennis ball open and stick it on the end of the barbell that’s on the ground.
- Stick the end of the barbell into the hole of a plate, which is resting on the ground. You can put a dumbbell on top of it to secure it more, if needed.
Since it’s not entirely fixed on the ground, you can partly control the movement, making it easier to engage multiple muscle groups without putting them under too much strain.
There are several landmine press variations you can try. Most people, however, start with the simple one-arm or two-arm landmine press.
How to Do the Landmine Press
- Start by setting up the equipment using one of the three methods above. Next, load a weight that you can easily control and, at the same time, challenge your strength throughout the exercise. Start with something modest so you can learn the movement first.
- Stand facing the barbell, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep a neutral head and neck position.
- Tighten your core muscles by slightly leaning forward. Then, wrap one hand around the weighted end of the bar and gradually push it upward. If you’re doing a two-arm landmine press, hold the barbell with your two hands and rest it on your upper chest before initiating an upward movement.
- Pause for one to two seconds once you reach the top of the movement. Afterward, slowly bend your elbows and return to your starting position. Do around three sets of eight to 15 reps.
Landmine Press: Muscles Worked
The landmine press focuses mainly on the chest and shoulders, including the deltoids, biceps, triceps, obliques, and core muscles. It works the entire upper body, with the glutes, core, and upper back maintaining balance and stabilization.
However, between the one-arm and two-arm variations, the latter engages more of your chest muscles. This is because you are starting with two hands gripping the barbell at chest level. Once you start lifting it, it’s the chest muscles that are driving the movement.
Landmine Press Variations
The landmine press can be done in several ways. It can be easily altered to change focal muscles and explore different ranges of motion. Thus, once you’re feeling more confident doing one-arm and two-arm versions, you can try more advanced landmine press variations to keep your strength training more fun and exciting. There are many versions you can explore, depending on your fitness goals.
1. Single-Arm Kneeling Landmine Press
Perform a one-arm landmine press while in a half-kneeling position. Try to press up at about 45 degrees and then slowly lower the bar down.
2. Landmine Squat Press
Hold the weight with both hands at chest height. Next, bend your knees and squat down with the weight still at your chest. Pause for around a second once you’re at the bottom of your squat, and press the barbell upward. Lower it and return to your starting position by extending your legs with the barbell still in front of your chest.
3. Landmine Shoulder-to-Shoulder Press
Use both of your hands to lift the barbell. First, bring it down toward your shoulder on the left side of your body. Next, press it back again, and then this time, lower it on the right side. Continue with these rotating movements on alternating shoulders to work up your core a little bit more.
4. Banded Landmine Push Press
A more difficult landmine press variation involves putting bands around the end of the bar and your feet, creating more resistance as you reach the top of the movement.
5. Anti-Rotation Landmine
Hold the bar with your two hands at chest level. Then, move it in a broad arc, back and forth, as far as possible. Keep your hips and core still. Focus on maximizing the range of your arms by not moving your lower trunk and hips.
5 Benefits of the Landmine Press
1. Builds Core Strength and Stability
Doing the landmine press in proper form means balancing well from the neck to the glutes and strengthening your core for adequate support. It’s an effective move for someone who is trying to build core strength and stability. It also helps improve anti-rotational strength, as it tones the obliques and keeps the entirety of your core muscles engaged while the rest of the body remains in one motion or direction.
2. Improves Pressing Strength
The landmine press is a beneficial exercise for those who want to improve their pushing and pressing power. In addition, this routine is a good starting point if you want to progress to more advanced landmine variations, like those involving kneeling and using resistance bands.
3. Fixes Instability and Imbalances
It can also fix instability and imbalances in your shoulders and scapular region. In addition, this movement is relatively easy to do compared to some other pushing and pressing exercises, so beginners and those suffering from mobility issues can perform it without increased risk of injury.
4. Builds Motor Control
The landmine press demands harmonious work with your central nervous system (CNS). Therefore, you must focus not only on the scaps and triceps but also on establishing mind-muscle connection. Moreover, it can help you enhance motor control in other routines that require overhead movements.
5. Works Several Muscle Groups
The landmine press helps activate multiple muscles in our bodies. It can be a huge game-changer for athletes, people struggling with mobility problems, and those who want to gain more confidence and foundational strength in the weight room.
The Landmine Press is Your Strength Training Best Friend
The landmine press is an amazing accessory. Feel free to modify the move based on your current strength level and health goals. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what your preferred variations are. The landmine press and its modifications can lead you towards excellent strength progress. However, to see stable improvement, you need to do the exercise in the correct form, integrate warm-ups, and incorporate a healthy diet into your day-to-day routine.