5 Ways to Use a Landmine

Blow up your results with this versatile training tool.

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At first glance, a landmine doesn’t look like much — a simple tube holding a barbell at one end and a shaft extending down into a weight-plate ring at the other. But this gadget allows you to move multidirectionally, performing traditional bodybuilding-style moves as well as functional, sports-specific actions to enhance performance and promote synergy. Here are five landmine moves to try. Blend these exercises into your regular protocol, or add a dedicated landmine workout to your training week to really blow up your results.

Tweaks to Peak

Because it’s tethered at one end, the barbell moves in an arc rather than a straight line. This triangulation means that the closer the bar is to the floor or the farther away you are from the anchor (or both), the heavier the weight becomes (thanks, physics). Ergo, a kneeling shoulder press is more challenging than one done standing, and a standing shoulder press done closer to the anchor is easier than one standing at the end of the bar.

No landmine? No problem. Simply wedge an Olympic barbell into a corner of a room, or place one end inside the center ring of a weight plate.

For Strength: Squat Press

Woman demonstrating a landmine squat press

Works: quads, glutes, hamstrings, shoulders, traps, chest

Stand facing the landmine with your feet hip-width apart, legs turned out slightly from your hips, and hold the end of the bar hand-over-hand at chest height. Kick your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a deep squat, then quickly extend your legs and hips and, as you come to standing, continue the upward momentum and press the bar forward and overhead to full extension. Reverse the steps and repeat, trying to link your reps together.

Raise the Stakes

  • Perform the move with one arm at a time to challenge your balance and promote symmetry.
  • Add a plyometric jump to boost intensity.

For Stability: Anti-Rotational Arc

Woman demonstrating a landmine anti-rotational arc

Works: obliques, back, shoulders, hips, glutes

Stand facing the landmine with your feet outside shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the end of the barbell with both hands at one hip with your shoulders and hips square to the front. Slowly lift the bar in a smooth arc up and across to your opposite hip, keeping your arms straight and your shoulders and hips square. Continue, alternating sides.

Raise the Stakes

  • Perform while seated on an exercise ball to add an element of instability and further engage your core.
  • Do while kneeling on the floor to really engage your hips.

For Balance: Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

Woman demonstrating a landmine single-leg Romanian deadlift

Works: glutes, hamstrings, hips, back

Stand with your left side to a loaded landmine. Grasp the end of the bar with your left hand and pack your shoulder blade. Shift your weight into your left leg, bend your knee slightly and square your hips. Keeping your back straight and your head neutral, hinge from your hips to fold forward, lifting your right leg behind you as your torso lowers. When your torso and leg are parallel with the floor, reverse the move to return to the start. Complete all reps on one side, then switch.

Raise the Stakes

  • Add a one-arm row before standing back up.
  • Never let your non-working leg touch the floor to challenge your balance.

Landmine Mountain Climber

Woman demonstrating a landmine mountain climber

Works: core, hips, lower back, shoulders, chest

Get into plank alongside a plate-loaded landmine with your hands underneath your shoulders and your head, hips and heels aligned. Place your left foot laces down on the end of the bar close to the plate, then lift your hips and right leg to align with your body, parallel to the floor. Hold here as you perform mountain climbers, rolling the bar back and forth underneath you with your left foot while your right foot reps it out in the air. Complete all reps on one side, then switch.

Raise the Stakes

  • After you complete your reps, hold a one-leg plank for time.
  • Add more plates to the bar to increase the weight you have to roll back and forth.

For Function: Shot-Put Press

Woman demonstrating a landmine shot-put press

Works: hips, core, shoulders, chest, quads, glutes

Stand with your left side to the landmine with your feet outside shoulder-width apart, knees soft. Hold the end of the bar in your right hand at chest height, elbow down. In one explosive motion, twist your hips and pivot on your front foot to turn quickly toward the landmine, simultaneously extending your right arm and pressing the bar up and away from you as if throwing a shot put. Reverse the steps to return to the start. Do all reps on one side before switching.

Raise the Stakes

  • Add a squat between reps to make this aerobic and incorporate more of your lower body.
  • Link your reps continuously for time to improve muscular endurance.