As an experienced fitness coach, numerous clients seek my guidance to address their shoulder injuries, each presenting different challenges.
Recognizing the effectiveness and, more importantly, the safety of the landmine press, I conducted thorough research and recently engaged in a discussion with a physical therapist.
This article compiles insights for the proper and safe execution of the landmine press, highlights its benefits, and introduces enjoyable variations for your workout routine.
- To perform a landmine press, start by attaching a barbell to the landmine, establishing a grip, and keeping your core tight and your feet firm.
- Some landmine press variations include banded landmine presses, single-arm landmine presses, banded landmine presses, and kneeling landmine presses.
- University of Washington research indicates that about 75 percent of individuals with spinal cord injuries suffer shoulder pain, impacting their quality of life, with exercises like landmine presses offering assistance in such situations.
- As a fitness trainer, both my clients and I find landmine presses beneficial, as they engage various muscle groups, strengthen the core, and boost pressing strength, especially when complemented with the right supplements.
How To Do the Landmine Press
For the landmine press, you'll need a 45-pound barbell, a landmine base (or use a wall corner), and 25 or 45-pound plates.
Our fitness coaches recommend the standing landmine press with the following steps:
Step 1: Starting Position and Grip:
In establishing your starting position and grip, follow these guidelines:
- Attach one end of the barbell to the landmine.
- Place your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Hold the free end with a neutral grip, keeping your elbows tucked in.
As a fitness trainer, I recommend ensuring that the barbell is positioned at chest/shoulder height. It's a crucial detail for effective training!
Step 2: Firm Feet and Tight Core
To keep your feet firm and core tight, follow these guidelines:
- Keep your entire feet on the floor, avoiding standing on toes or heels.
- Slightly bend your knees and lean forward.
- Engage your core, feeling tension in your arms, shoulders, back, and legs.
Here's a quick tip from my experience: If you're looking to generate full-body tension, really focus on driving your feet into the floor and pressing down on your toes.
Step 3: Press
To begin pressing and maintain proper form, follow these guidelines:
- Press the weight up.
- At the top, lock your elbow, brace your core, and engage other muscles.
- Lower the load slowly, feeling your shoulder blades gliding along your ribcage.
Here's a tip from my experience: Instead of just pushing up, really focus on moving your arms forward for perfect form.
What Is a Landmine Press?
A Landmine Press is a versatile upper-body exercise that can be done standing or half-kneeling, using a fixed barbell attachment on the floor.
Unlike the traditional overhead press, it falls between vertical and horizontal movements, providing a safer option for those with shoulder limitations or injuries.
In my experience working with clients, incorporating the landmine press into their routines has proven effective in targeting shoulders, chest, and triceps while minimizing strain on the spine and elbows.
4 Landmine Press Benefits
Landmine press exercises offer various benefits, engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously and aiding in shoulder rehabilitation.
Here's a concise look at the advantages:
1. Engages Various Muscle Groups
According to research from the National Institute of Health, this compound movement effectively improves muscular strength, involving the core, chest, scapular stabilizers, shoulders, and triceps .
2. Builds Core Stability and Strength
All variations require strong core engagement, enhancing core strength and stability, especially in single-arm or kneeling landmine presses. Furthermore, research from the same institute suggests that abdominal bracing during a lift is one of the best ways to engage and strengthen your core .
3. Increases Pressing Strength
Addressing instability and imbalance issues in the shoulder and scapular region contributes to enhanced pressing strength.
Unlike exercises like the bench press and military press, known for causing shoulder injuries, the landmine press is safer due to its diagonal pressing angle, making it suitable for those with shoulder issues.
“When it comes to injury supplementation, athletes can use the landmine press in place of a traditional barbell press. If they have a nagging injury (such as shoulder impingement), they can use the landmine to maintain strength and movement patterns.”
- Nicole Foley, Assistant Coach, East Coast Gold Weightlifting
Landmine Press Variations
Here are some variations of the landmine press you can use to increase muscle mass and overall fitness.
Single-Arm Landmine Press
To perform the single-arm landmine press, follow the standard landmine press instructions, but use one arm while standing in a split stance.
This variation is effective for addressing muscle imbalances in the upper body, with the split stance engaging the hip muscles.
I've observed that clients with shoulder issues favor the single-arm landmine press due to the significant hip engagement, which eases pressure on healing shoulder muscles, making it a top choice for those seeking a shoulder-friendly workout.
Banded Landmine Press
For the banded landmine press, place a resistance band under your foot and loop the other end around the barbell shaft, creating tension throughout the movement.
In my experience as a fitness trainer, this variation comes in handy when weight plates feel too heavy or if you're working out without readily available weights.
Kneeling Landmine Press
This variation, suitable for taller individuals, follows the standard landmine press instructions. However, kneel on the floor with knees shoulder-width apart while pressing.
Alternatively, try the half-kneeling landmine press for a more vertical push by getting on one knee and pressing with the arm on the same side of the knee, then repeating on the other side.
Also Read: Kneeling Squat: Benefits, Form & How To
Landmine Squat to Press
Combine squatting and pressing in this variation. Hold the bar's end with both hands, squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor, and then stand up, pressing the bar overhead in a fluid motion.
In my opinion, combining squatting and pressing in a workout provides a full-body exercise that promotes strength and efficient calorie burning.
Who Should Do the Landmine Press?
Recovering strength athletes and beginner lifters should do the landmine press. It helps increase strength and stability in your core and shoulders.
Does the Landmine Press Work the Upper Chest?
Yes, the landmine press works the upper chest muscles, especially the double-arm variation. It engages the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor muscles.
Are Landmine Presses Better Than the Overhead Press?
No, landmine presses are not better than the overhead press. The overhead shoulder press is one of the best upper body strength and muscle-building exercises for building raw strength.
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