15 Landmine Workout Variations for a Ripped Upper Body

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

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If you want a chiseled upper body, this article is for you! Landmine workouts are an excellent way to boost your upper body strength, strengthen your shoulder joints, improve your range of motion, better your grip strength, and more.

If you want to add landmines and landmine variations to your workout routine, follow along. We’ll explore all the ins and outs of the landmine workout to help you get your upper body ripped fast. Let’s dive in and take a closer look!

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What Is a Landmine Workout?

The landmine workout refers to a piece of equipment generally used in a gym but would be easy to set up at home too. The landmine workout began with weight lifters pushing one end of the barbell into a corner of the gym or room while holding the opposite end up in the air close to the body.

Holding the barbell in this position allows you to have a greater range of motion and move the bar in a 360-degree arc-like rotation. It’s a compound movement that allows you to work your muscles in various ways.

Eventually, someone developed an anchor, known as the landmine attachment, that helps safely secure the barbell into place using weight plates. People have developed DIY attachments, but the actual landmine attachment is the safest and easiest tool. You can usually find it at landmine stations in any gym. 

15 Landmine Workout Variations You Should Try

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Once the landmine attachment became a part of the gym experience, so did the variety of workouts you could do with it. We’ve picked out 15 of our favorite landmine exercises to help you grow everything from your upper chest muscles to your shoulders and lats. 

1. Basic Barbell Landmine

You can build your upper body and work your glutes, quads, and core muscles by incorporating the simple barbell landmine press into your workout routine. You can do this basic move by setting up the barbell into a landmine attachment.

Your feet should be hip-width apart and your core muscles engaged. Grip the end of the barbell with one hand and press forward until your elbow reaches lockout. Bring the barbell back into your chest and repeat.

2. Landmine Squats

These primarily target your quads and glutes but some secondary muscles are being used as you move through each rep. After you’ve anchored the opposite end of the barbell into the landmine attachment or corner of the room, grip the bar with both hands.

Check that your core is engaged, elbows are tucked in close to the rib cage, feet are hip-width apart, and you inhale as you lower down. Your glutes go behind you like you’re sitting down on a chair and your spine and neck remain in an upright position throughout the entire movement.

Pause at the bottom of the movement for a breath and slowly rise back up to starting position. Repeat as many times as recommended.

For an added challenge, try a landmine sumo squat or landmine goblet squat. 

3. Landmine 180s

The landmine 180 is an incredible workout for your midsection and your upper body. It targets all of your core muscles in a single rotational core strength move that surprisingly does not require much movement from the abs themselves.

Start with a lighter weight and secure the barbell into the landmine attachment. With your feet just over shoulder width apart, grip the barbell with both hands and press it overhead. Maintain a slight bend in the knees and elbows. Begin your 180-degree rotation from side to side by slowly lowering down and then using explosive strength to bring it back to the top of the movement.

4. Landmine T-bar Row

For this move, you’ll be using a t-bar to grip the barbell in a seated upright row position. The t-bar attaches to the barbell just below the weight plates if you are using those and you grip it on either side with both hands.

Your hips and knees should be soft with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Drive your hips back into an almost seated position and engage your core while lifting and opening the chest. Keep your shoulders back as you begin to lift the bar into your chest and lower back down. Continue this movement until you’ve completed all the t-bar rows in the set. 

5. Hack Squat

The landmine hack squat is a great landmine squat variation that works your legs and backside. Secure the barbell with the desired weight into the landmine attachment and lift the barbell behind you onto your shoulder. Set your feet shoulder-width apart and press your back to the weight plate. 

Slowly lower into a seated squat position and lift back up. You can either alternate the weight from side to side with each movement or you can opt to do an even amount of reps per side at a time. It’s important to work each side evenly to keep your muscle growth equal with this move.

6. Delt Fly

To do this landmine fly, position the barbell into the landmine attachment. Consider going with a lighter weight to start with possibly just using the bar alone without weights. With the bar behind you, get into a bent-over row position and keep your back upright with your core muscles engaged.

Grip the bar with one hand and raise it laterally until it’s in line with your midline. Lower back down and repeat, keeping your glutes and core engaged throughout the entire set.

7. Landmine Lateral Raise

The landmine lateral raise works the shoulders and targets the rear delts a little more than other moves. You’ll begin by attaching the barbell to the landmine just as you would with every other landmine exercise.

Once you’ve secured the barbell and checked to ensure your stance is a neutral spine with feet planted to the floor you are ready to begin. Grip the bar in front of your body with an overhand grip. Raise the bar up and out away from the body with one hand and exhale as you lift. Inhale as you lower back down and repeat.

8. Angled Landmine Reverse Lunge

You set up for this movement by placing the top of the barbell into the crook of your elbows and holding it tightly to your chest while still maintaining an upright position. Lean into the weight plate as you pick up the knee closest to the barbell and bring it forward and then backward into a split lunge. Raise and lower the barbell with you throughout the entire lunging motion.

The angled movement of the angled landmine reverse lunge works your quads, glutes, and hamstrings from a different perspective, which adds variety. The angle of movement also strengthens other muscles. This is a great way to step up your game and see some dramatic gains in your lower body muscle mass.

9. Single-Arm Y Press

You can do the single-arm Y press from a kneeling position, although we recommend using a mat to support your knees if you need it. This is a great workout for shoulder strength, including your shoulder stabilizing muscles, biceps, chest, and triceps.

Begin this move by kneeling on the floor. Bring the barbell to your side and press it up to a Y position with your arm. Before you start lifting, always check your posture and grip. Your grip should be underhand, knees hip-width apart, core engaged, and your spine upright with your eyes forward.

Inhale as you lift and exhale as you bring the bar back to shoulder height. Repeat as recommended.

10. Half-Kneeling Press

The half-kneeling landmine press is a great way to work your shoulders and change things up a bit with your workout. Start by getting into a half-kneeling position and ensure that your ribcage is tucked in. Your upper body should be upright with your knee under your hip and your toes tucked underneath.

Place the barbell on your shoulder in front of you and inhale as you lift the weight straight up until your elbow reaches lockout. Exhale as you slowly lower back down. Repeat the desired number of repetitions and then rest the bar onto your shoulder when you’re finished.

The landmine half-kneeling press is an excellent way to work your core alongside your arms and shoulders.

11. Landmine Pivot Press

The landmine pivot press requires a little more coordination than some of the other moves we’ve discussed. You’ll want to make sure you have a good understanding of the flow of movement before going too heavy on the weights.

Pick up the landmine bar like you’re doing a single arm press and then turn your whole body towards the arm that you’re working. Your feet should take on a staggered stance and be a little wider than shoulder-width apart.

In a single rotational movement, press up and pivot into a split stance. Your back foot should pivot on the ball of the foot as it turns your whole body forward. At this point in the movement, you should be holding the bar straight in front of you with your elbow in lockout and one foot behind you.

From this position, you should be ready to pivot back to the starting position. Lower the bar as you rotate back to the bar across your body and parallel to your midline.

12. Landmine Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

This variation of a single-leg deadlift is a great way to work that booty and every muscle along your posterior chain. It also gives you a little variety from the standard RDL. You have two options to choose from when doing this exercise: side-facing or front-facing.

With the side-facing option, you’ll stand with the barbell parallel to your body and grip the very end of the barbell. The leg closest to the barbell goes up as you lower the weight almost to the floor. As the leg comes back down the weight comes back up. Repeat.

For the front-facing option, get in front of the barbell and grip it with the opposite hand from the leg that will be lifting behind you. Grip the barbell at the end just as you did when you were side-facing and align your posture by engaging your core and opening up that chest.

Send the weight in your hand down as you bring your back leg up and your whole body becomes parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat.

13. Landmine Single-Leg Hip Thrust

This landmine thruster move allows you to add more weight to build incredible strength to the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. You set it up by resting your upper back on the weight bench and putting the end of the barbell onto the hip of the leg you’re working.

The opposite leg stays bent off the ground while the working leg lowers the weight up and down. Switch sides and repeat.

You can also work both legs at the same time in a double landmine thruster move using two bars. You’ll need an actual landmine station to perform this move to keep the bars secure while you lift. 

14. Landmine Single-Arm Row

This simple move is an incredibly effective way to work your upper back and core all in one. To set up, get into a squat position with knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Your body should hinge forward with your chest open and shoulders back.

Grip the weight with the hand closest to the bar and row towards your body, squeezing the shoulder blades as you go. Lower back down and remember to breathe. Inhale as you contract up and exhale as you lower back down.

15. Full Contact Twist

An excellent move for improving your rotational strength is an exercise known as the landmine full contact twist, sometimes called the landmine twist. It’s simple yet effective especially when you incorporate explosive strength at just the right moment.

Bring the barbell overhead directly in front of you with a firm grip on the end and maintain a slight bend in the knees. Rotate the barbell to one side while pivoting the opposite foot onto the ball of the foot towards the side you’re rotating to.

Next, use your explosive strength to bring the barbell back to the starting position while pivoting your foot back to feet facing forward. Alternate sides and repeat.

This advanced movement improves your muscle coordination and muscle engagement. It can also help build your posterior chain muscles. 

What Muscles Does a Typical Landmine Exercise Work?

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Landmine exercises can work a single muscle or every muscle in your body because of their versatility. There are so many variations you can add with the landmine attachment which makes it a great tool for any workout. If you have access to a landmine exercise station, it gives you an even broader range of exercises to improve your strength, range of motion, and versatility.

The basic landmine exercises typically work all of the main large muscle groups in your body like, abdominal muscles, shoulders, back, chest, arms, glutes, quads, and hamstring muscles. You’ll notice that’s quite a long list! This makes it a great option for anyone seeking weight moves for overall functional strength gains.

What Are the Benefits of a Landmine Workout?

Along with the total-body strength we’ve discussed, there are so many great benefits to using the landmine in your workout routine. We’ve already covered all the major muscles it can work and there are many more things it does for your body.

It gives you greater scapular stability and core stability and reduces injuries by building up all the major muscles you use to support other exercises. Weight training of any kind has been shown to improve bone density and muscle memory.

Your increased rotational strength is a major benefit you get when using the landmine attachment. Those who have had shoulder mobility limitations in the past even use modified landmine exercises to improve their range of motion.

The landmine attachment has made it possible to take on a heavier weight load in your workout routine without the added strain on supporting muscles like the lower back and shoulders. It lets you target some of your larger muscles safely with support from the landmine attachment.

A Few Tips for Performing Landmine Workouts

Always check with your doctor before beginning any new workout routine. If you have any kind of shoulder or back injury you might consider consulting a physical therapist or a personal trainer before attempting landmine exercises or landmine variations.

Strive for proper form and technique when performing all landmine exercises. It’s worth investing in a personal trainer who can check your form for you and help you avoid injury. It also helps to use a landmine exercise station when you’re first learning the moves to help prevent injury and ensure your form is correct.

Regular squats are great on their own, and you can get in great shape doing only those forever. However, if you’re like most people, you might want to add some variety and make it more challenging. You could add more weight with the landmine squat, which helps you build more muscle mass.

So, depending on your goals, landmine squats could be the better option for you. There are also many landmine squat variations to add variety to your routine and gains.

You’re bound to have a few questions after reading through our overview of landmine workouts. Hopefully, we can answer a few more for you below.

Are Landmine Workouts Good for Strength Training?

The answer to this question is yes! The versatility you have when training this way allows you to work every major muscle group. It’s also a lot easier to load heavier weights safely into most of the moves we’ve outlined.

Are Landmine Squats Better Than Regular Squats?

Regular squats are great on their own, and you can get in great shape doing only those forever. However, if you’re like most people, you might want to add some variety and make it more challenging. You could add more weight with the landmine squat, which helps you build more muscle mass.
So, depending on your goals, landmine squats could be the better option for you. There are also many landmine squat variations to add variety to your routine and gains.

Do Landmine Exercises Grow Your Ab Muscles?

Your ab muscles get a great workout in all of the aforementioned movements. In every single move, your ab muscles are engaged either as a primary or secondary muscle group. You’ll naturally see more definition and greater strength in your core muscles from using the landmine exercises.

Are Landmine Exercises Good for Hypertrophy?

You achieve hypertrophy when you see growth in your muscle cells and an increase in muscle size. So, you’ll definitely notice muscle growth, or hypertrophy, when using the landmine workouts.
You can add more weight than you normally would by using the simple landmine attachment, which in turn gives you a greater chance at building bigger and stronger muscles.
It can take a few weeks for you to notice a major difference in your body, so be consistent. Incorporate landmine exercises regularly, and enjoy the benefits thereof.

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About

Julien Raby is the owner of BoxLife. He owns a bachelor in literature and a certificate in marketing from Concordia. He's Crossfit Level 1 certified and has been involved in Crossfit since 2010. In 2023 he finally made it to Crossfit Open Quarterfinals for the first time. LinkedIn Instagram Facebook

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