Top 3 Landmine Exercises
‘What gets loaded first; gets loaded maximally’ Kelly Starrett
Something we teach our students is the importance of judging the suitable of an exercise on ‘rewards verses risk’, for example, single leg bosu squat – HIGH risk LOW reward versus TRX Inverted row – LOW risk HIGH reward.
This is a great tool in deciding your exercises selection for your clients. Another message we like to get across and which is just as important is ‘don’t fit the exercise into your client; but fit your client into the exercise’. And any good coach should be following this rule but we see it broken in many gyms.
An exercise should be selected on the clients ability to perform it correctly, without any compromise to spinal position and risk of injury. So for example if a client doesn’t have full shoulder flexion and thoracic extension and cannot get their arms overhead without 1) flaring their rib cage 2) Excessive lumbar extension 3) Massive forward head lean – it is probably safe to say they should not be pressing a barbell overhead. Enter the Landmine Series We love the landmine as with some intelligent coaching it will allow your clients to still get the benefits of certain exercises but without putting them at risk of injury. 1. Split Landmine Press
Overhead presses are a great way of building strong shoulders. But due to poor movement patterns overhead, as your clients will spend the majority of their time sat at a desk, the risk of injury increases.
The Split Stance landmine variation, however, puts much less stress on the shoulder joints and lower back and is a great pain-free way to strengthen shoulders and also core control and activation.
There are multiple ways to set your feet, but I prefer a split stance with the opposite leg of the pressing arm forward for the greatest stability. With Landmine Presses, the lift actually becomes easier as you reach the top of the movement. As you can see from the split stance, sheer force has been removed from the lower back and the client can now brace more effectively and press in a control movement. Low Risk High Reward
2. Landmine Goblet Squat
If you have read our previous blog you will know that we believe ‘The client has to EARN THE RIGHT to barbell back squat because if they cannot perform a bodyweight squat proficiently, and you are seeing breakdown of movement or position, then you have no right ADDING LOAD to a DYSFUNCTIONAL MOMEMENT PATTERN.’
Enter the landmine goblet squat
Using the unique landmine setup, this squat will be a staple for those who struggle with squatting deep with a neutral spine, sliding the hips back and targeting the glutes and hamstrings during the movement. As you can see, due to the position of the weight, it allows for better positon at the spine and almost drives the client into a better squat pattern. Low risk High Reward
3. Landmine RDL The is a great variation for the deadlift for people who generally do not have a the mobility to perform the classic deadlift. The path the bar follows in a landmine allows you to keep your spine more upright, so you don’t put shear forces on it that can cause injury—as in a classic barbell deadlift.
It’s a great way to teach your body to hinge at the hips, too, rather than bending at your lower back, so it prepares you for safer deadlifting should you choose to do conventional deadlift later on. Im also a big fan of single leg Landmine RDL’s as they seem to provide more stability than your standard dumbbell RDL which I find, with clients, there can be a longer learning curve due to the balance required to pull it off. If you're having trouble balancing during the single leg RDL, then this landmine variation will be perfect for you. Low Risk High Reward SO there are my top 3 landmine exercises and others that are just as great but did not make the list are:
Standing Landmine Press
Reverse Lunge Single Arm Row Landmine Rotation