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What’s worse than the gym at 5 p.m. on a Monday? The gym at 5 p.m. on a Monday in January. You know you’re in for a game of musical benches when you walk in and hear weights clanging like a bucket of bolts in a dryer: Your 30-minute workout just turned into two hours of working-in. Might we suggest: a landmine.
A true landmine apparatus looks like a baseball diamond with a hinged tube on top into which you simply insert the end of an Olympic bar and get to work. But if your gym doesn’t have one, no worries: Use a 45-pound plate and place the end of the barbell in the center, as we have done here. Voilà — instant landmine.
Because the landmine works with gravity, it’s perfect for developing functional strength and power, helping push you past those sticking points that plague your workouts. It also helps develop coordination between your upper and lower halves and lights a fire in your core as you work to stabilize yourself, resist torque or transfer power from one part of your body to another.
This HIIT-style workout uses just six moves and engages pretty much every muscle in your body, and as you know, the more muscle mass you recruit in a workout, the greater the release of muscle-building hormones postworkout. Done right, you should feel your cardiovascular system getting tapped and your metabolism running extra hot. Do this landmine workout once a week and BOOM goes the body fat.
The Landmine Workout
|Squat and Pivot Press||1||8 each side|
|Truck Driver||1||Each Side|
|Lateral Hurdle Jump||1||8 each side|
|Jab and Shuffle||1||8 each side|
|One-Arm Floor Press||1||8 each side|
Rest 90 seconds. Repeat routine a total of four times.
Squat and Pivot Press
Setup: Stand sideways to the loaded end of the barbell with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Hold the end of the bar at your shoulder with the outside hand, elbow bent and tucked into your side.
Move: Push your hips back and squat down, and as you drive back up to standing, pivot toward the landmine and press the bar up and across your body to full extension. Immediately reverse the move and repeat. Do all reps on one side before switching.
Really Blow It Up: Add more weight to the bar, and do your reps without rest in between to add intensity.
Tip: The rotation occurs at the hips, not at the waist. Keep your torso stable and powerful by bracing your abs.
Setup: Straddle the bar facing away from the landmine with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back flat, bend down and pick up the bar. You can either grip the bar with your bare hands or use a V-handle secured underneath the end of the barbell. Stand up only until your torso is about 45 degrees to the floor and hold, arms extended toward the floor.
Move: Drive your elbows up and back and pull the bar toward your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top. Slowly lower back to the start.
Really Blow It Up: Do the move one arm at a time using a towel wrapped around the bar to hold it.
Tip: Keep your eyes focused on the floor or slightly in front of the bar to prevent your neck from arching.
Setup: Face the landmine and hold the end of the bar with both hands at head height, arms extended. Keep a slight bend in your knees with your back neutral, and lean forward slightly into the bar.
Move: Pivot as you bring the bar down in an arc toward one hip while bending that same-side knee and keeping your arms straight. Lower the bar to waist height, then extend your legs and power the bar back up through the center, then to the opposite side, again pivoting as you lower the bar.
Really Blow It Up: The straighter your arms, the more difficult the move becomes.
Tip: Turn your feet out 10 to 15 degrees in the start position to reduce torque on your knee.
Lateral Hurdle Jump
Setup: Put a plate on the end of the barbell and stand on one side of the bar in the middle, facing away from the landmine.
Move: Quickly dip into a quarter squat, then explode upward and over the bar and land softly on the other side. Continue, alternating sides.
Really Blow It Up: Move closer to the plate to make your jumps higher and more challenging, and make the move continuous — i.e., no stopping between jumps.
Tip: Be careful as you get fatigued and really focus on lifting your feet so you don’t trip on the barbell.
Jab and Shuffle
Setup: Hold the bar in your forward hand at your shoulder with your elbow bent. Your feet can be turned out slightly, opposite arm at your side.
Move: Shuffle one step toward the landmine (back foot, then front foot) and extend your arm quickly, “jabbing” the bar forward and upward. Then shuffle one step back and away from the landmine (front foot, then rear foot) and lower the bar back to shoulder height. Do all reps on one side before switching.
Really Blow It Up: Step farther away from the landmine to make the move more challenging and place more emphasis on the shoulders because you have to “jab” upward as well as forward.
Tip: Make sure you stand ¾ toward the landmine and not perpendicular. This is a stronger position for your shoulder and better mimics a boxing jab.
One-Arm Floor Press
Setup: Lie faceup underneath and perpendicular to the barbell so it’s over your chest. Hold the bar in your outside hand (the hand farther away from the landmine) just before the sleeve, elbow close to your rib cage. Bend your outside knee and place your foot flat on the floor, inside leg extended along the floor.
Move: Extend your arm to press the bar upward. Lower slowly back to the start. Do all reps on one side before switching.
Really Blow It Up: Extend your arm to press the bar upward while simultaneously bridging on the outside leg, lifting your hips and rotating your body toward the landmine. Lower slowly back to the start.
Tip: The temptation here is to press the bar up over your face, but that puts your shoulder in a weak position, and if — heaven forbid — your grip slips … yikes! Glue your shoulder blade to the floor and press the bar up over your chest for best results.