A landmine transforms an ordinary bar and plates into a workout that allows for versatility, rotations, power and functional movement. The movement pattern is circular, which allows for rotation and anti-rotation utilizing a free weight. Smooth transitions between squatting, pressing, pulling, twisting and turning allow for compound exercises. This versatility allows for a full-body workout in one spot. The unilateral and asymmetrical loading, twisting and design of the bar challenges your core. It also increases strength and stability in an injury prone area of the body, the shoulder. The power, torque and athletic movement involved is extremely beneficial for athletes. The functionality, variety and mimicking of movements performed in everyday life make the landmine an exceptional tool for the general fitness population. Here is a full-body circuit with an emphasis on core and shoulders.
Squat Press Triple Extension
Major Muscles Worked: Glutes, Quads, Calves, Shoulders, Abs
The squat to press is also a very core-intensive exercise, so really focus on bracing your abs to help you maintain a nice tall posture throughout the movement. This one compound movement combines a squat, overhead press and calf raise all in one.
Stand facing the landmine attachment with your feet about hip-width to shoulder-width apart, or a little wider. Hold the bar with both of your hands and bring the bar up to your shoulders. Bring your hips and butt back and down to squat down. Keep your back straight and chest upright, and maintain a nice tall posture with your abs braced. Then drive back up to standing, pushing through your heels. As you come up, press the bar overhead and come up on your toes into a calf raise. Bring the barbells back down to your shoulders and repeat the squat. 12 reps.
Alternating Two-Arm Press and Throw
Major Muscle Worked: Shoulders
The alternating overhead press is an explosive shoulder exercise and core stability move.
Hold the bar in your right hand, bring up to the right shoulder and stand with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart. Bend your legs slightly, bracing your abs to protect your low back. Press the bar up explosively with your right arm overhead, throw it over in front of you toward your left side and catch with your left hand and place at the top of your left shoulder. Immediately repeat the motion and throw back over to the right side. As you alternate presses, do not let your low back arch or your shoulders shrug up near your ears. Keep your core engaged the entire time and maintain a nice, tall posture. 20 total reps.
180s: Hip-to-Hip Rotation
Major Muscles Worked: Abs, Obliques
This move activates fast-twitch muscles. It’s an effective exercise for athletes, as it requires power through a rotation and reaction time.
Raise the bar from the floor, taking it to shoulder height with both hands with your arms extended in front of you. Stand in a wide stance. This will be your starting position. Perform the movement by rotating your trunk and hips as you swing the weight all the way down to one side. Keep your arms extended throughout the exercise. Reverse the motion to swing the weight all the way to the opposite side. Continue alternating the movement until the set is complete. 20 total reps.
Seated Torso Twist
Major Muscles Worked: Abs, Obliques
This is a great alternative to a traditional seated torso twist. Sit on the floor with your feet slightly raised. Form a raised “V” shape with your legs, but keep your knees slightly bent. Begin by keeping your shoulders squared with your hips, chest tall and back flat. Twist the landmine to the left side toward the left hip. Twist to the right side and keep your feet raised up and under the bar. Repeat this movement without stopping. 20 total reps
Major Muscle Worked: Back
Load the bar with a plate(s) appropriate for your training. Stand facing away from the frame, astride the bar and bend at the knees and forward at the hips. Grip on the handles, ensure that your back remains flat, and let the bar hang at arms length. This will be your starting position. Perform the movement by pulling the bar up toward your chest by flexing your elbows and retracting your shoulder blades. After a brief pause at the top of the motion, return to the starting position. 12 reps.
About the Landmine
The landmine is a versatile new tool (actually a post) that affixes to a power rack to take your existing barbells on a rotational training adventure. By incorporating the landmine into your training arsenal, you can improve the effectiveness of standard exercises— increasing range of motion and targeting new muscle groups.
Photography by Robert Carani