By Eric Astrauskas, Spec. Hons. B.A. (Kinesiology), P.T.S.
Personal Trainer in Toronto
Kneeling press using a landmine is a great exercise that targets upper chest, anterior and medial deltoids (front and middle shoulder muscles). This landmine exercise also works the core – abs and obliques. Perform this movement a kneeling position, have one leg behind. Press with the same arm as the leg that is behind you – the front leg will offer stability/balance. Exhale as you are pressing and inhale as you lower the weight slowly. To increase the difficulty of this exercise, you can loop a strength band around the bar and kneel on it.
The landmine can be effectively used for building chest strength and muscular development. The best positioning for performing a landmine chest press is to be facing away from the rotational base. I prefer doing these elevated on a step as it allows pressing with a greater range of motion. Angle your elbow slightly downwards. Contract your core as you are pressing. Exhale as you press and inhale as you lower the weight.
Single Leg Deadlifts
A slightly safer way to perform deadlifts without potentially straining your lower back is by using a landmine. Grip the end of the bar so that the plates are outside of the leg/glute you will be working. Keep your back fairly straight/neutral throughout the movement. You can have a slight knee bend. Treat the deadlift like a leg press. Keep your neck straight by not tilting your head up excessively. Keep your abs and obliques engaged throughout the movement. Inhale as you start to come down and exhale as you are coming out of the deadlift.
Split squat/lunges with the landmine target the quads and glutes very well. The best positioning for this exercise is facing away from the landmine with the weight plate in front of you. In a split stance, lower your body until your back knee touches or is close to touching the floor. Lean your torso slightly forward. Contract your quads and glutes at the same time as you come up from the lunge. Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up.
This is a very challenging whole-body combination exercise that requires good cardio conditioning along with strength. This exercise targets the glutes, quads, abs, upper chest, and shoulders. Inhale as you are going down into the squat and exhale as you come up and press.
Landmine lunge presses are another effective combination exercise that target glutes, quads, hamstrings, upper chest, and shoulders. Perform them in the split-stance position. Inhale and lower down, exhale and come out of the lunge and press. Keep your abs engaged.
Landmine rainbows are an advanced core exercise. They work the abs and obliques very effectively. This exhausting exercise is cardio intensive as well. Rotate from side to side, bending the knee and lowering the bar close to the ground on each side.
Landmine front squats are great for glutes and quads. They are also more comfortable and shoulder-friendly than standard barbell front squats. Due to the weights positioning in front, this move forces you to use your abdominals more. Inhale on the way down and exhale coming out of the squat.
Landmine rows are a variation of standard bent-over dumbbell rows. They are a good back strength and muscle builder. There are two angles you can tackle them from. They stimulate the latissimus dorsi and rhomboids slightly differently. Row to your hip and bring your elbow as high as possible. Exhale as you row up and inhale on the return to the starting position.