Landmine exercises are an extremely underused category of movements in bodybuilding, with many athletes never having the privilege to even know what it is.
However, turns out it is so stupidly simple and inexpensive, that you will beat yourself up for not knowing about it before.
Whatever your goal- muscle mass, fat loss, or dealing with mobility restrictions, landmines can help.
What Is A Landmine Anyway?
A landmine is really a type of attachment, that is either bolted into the ground and into which a barbell can be placed into a hollow metal socket that allows up and down and lateral movement (virtually 360-degree movement), or can be fitted into an Olympic bar size weight plate for on the go convenience.
Landmine training can take your body to the next level without needing a lot of other equipment.
Why Use A Landmine Attachment When Dumbbells Exist?
The landmine attachment is truly a versatile piece of equipment.
Not only can you utilize a large variety of exercises, but it also does the following:
Improves stability and supports joint health
Can be overloaded to initiate hypertrophy more easily than dumbbells
Helps you develop functional fitness for the real world
Can be used unilaterally or in pairs as needed
Intrigued but have no idea about the capabilities of the landmine?
Have no fear, as these are excellent exercises to start incorporating today.
The Best Landmine Exercises for Strength & Hypertrophy
This is an example of the most classic landmine exercise that exists.
Decades ago, gyms might have a movable socket affixed to a squat rack that would mimic the action of the modern-day landmine attachment, but it was typically used for just one thing; rows.
To make it a true T bar row, you would ideally need the T-handle attachment, but there’s an easy workaround if you don’t- a towel.
Just grab each end after securing it around your barbell, so that it looks like a letter T.
Place the Barbell in the Landmine attachment and stand over the barbell with your back towards the pivot arm.
Keeping feet roughly shoulder-width apart, bend forward from your hips, maintaining your torso at about a 45 degrees angle. Your arms should be straight with a slight bend in your knees to take off the pressure. Keep a tight core throughout.
Grab the bar, row into your midsection until your elbows are just behind the plane of your back.
Slowly lower the weight to return to the starting position and repeat for reps. Aim for 10-12 reps done for 2-3 working sets.
Variation: The Single Arm Landmine Row
Changes the emphasis of the exercise to a unilateral one which helps with balance or symmetry if you think one side is lacking.
The landmine Romanian deadlift is great for hamstrings and lower back, as it mimics the movement of a Romanian deadlift with a barbell, but lessens the shearing forces on your spine since you’re not required to lift an excessively heavy weight.
Stand facing one end of a loaded barbell that’s inserted into the landmine pivot attachment
Bend at the hip as you grip the bar with a standard grip, knees soft, and your hands narrower than shoulder-width apart. Keep feet shoulder-width apart as you return to an upright position.
Bend at your hips, keeping your back straight and chest up until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings or you reach a point at which it feels too difficult to control the descent. Strive for minimal knee flexion on the way up and down.
Forcefully stand back up with hips straight and squeeze through your hamstrings to return to the starting position and repeat for reps. Aim for 3 working sets of 10-12 reps each.
The landmine reverse lunge is one of the best unilateral movements for the hip extension muscles, as well as hamstring and glute strength.
Stand facing one end of a loaded barbell that’s inserted into the landmine pivot attachment with the bar high and supported in your arm close to your upper body.
Step back with your leg on the same side with the bar in your hand, into a reverse lunge, keeping your back straight and chest up. Stop when your rear leg’s knee touches the ground at a roughly 90-degree angle.
Forcefully push through your front heel to return to the starting position and repeat for reps. Aim for 3 working sets of 10-12 reps on each side.
This is a great exercise for hitting all heads of the deltoid muscle.
Stand with one side of a loaded barbell affixed to the landmine in your arm, across your body, and in front of the opposite side thigh.
With elbows almost straight, move the loaded bar from its starting position in front of your thigh to the opposite side and straight overhead. At the top position, your arm should resemble the top of a press.
Repeat for 10-12 reps and 2 sets per side. Be sure to use very low resistance with this exercise.
This is a great, simple exercise for strengthening the lats and improving overall upper-back strength.
Stand on one leg for support (the same as your working arm), with your other arm pressing onto the bench and your knee bent on the bench for support.
Grasp the loaded bar at your side with your working arm, and pull into the torse with an overhand grip (resembling a standard barbell row grip).
Pull with your lats and not your elbows as you raise just above the height of your back (almost parallel to the floor).
Repeat for 20 reps for 2 sets on each side.
If you plan on investing in just one piece of gym equipment this year, the landmine attachment should immediately jump to the top of that list.
It is cheap, versatile, and can deliver a complete body workout with just a little know-how.
Plus, when you incorporate landmine exercises into your routine it is easy on the joints and can help you develop what really matters at the end of the day- functional health, strength, and real athletic performance.
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