You’ve probably seen people using landmines at the gym, and wondered if that odd-looking workout method would help your fitness goals.
What is a landmine?
In its simplest format, the landmine consists of a rotating base into which an Olympic or standard size weight lifting bar (typically a 7-foot bar) is inserted, allowing the bar to move in any direction up and down and around the base. It’s essentially a large lever mechanism. At the other end of the bar, opposite the base, weight plates and various attachments are added to provide resistance and unique hand-grip options for completing various exercises. The base is generally clamped on to a power rack or other piece of equipment or bolted to the floor for stability.
What’s so good about it?
Landmine exercises complement any training regimen due to their versatility, safety, and ease of use. The exercises work in multiple planes – proven to have greater benefit than fixed motion exercises – and can target a number of muscle groups. The exercises tend to focus on squatting, pulling, and pressing motions familiar to many free weight routines, but avoid some of the safety concerns associated with true free weights. When completing these exercises, the user needs to control the momentum of the weight as it moves through arcs and circular movements providing resistance that hits not only the targeted muscle group but the associated muscles in the core required to complete the twists, rotations, and turns.
How should I use it?
Many aren’t sure how to use a landmine setup properly, since it’s not a typical workout device in the eyes of many gym-goers. To get a feel for the power of a typical landmine exercise, try the Squat with Press and Catch exercise. While holding the end of the bar with one hand (this exercise is much improved by using a club grip attachment for ease of grip on the bar) perform a squat. At the top of the squat press the bar up and away from you catching it with your other hand. Do not actually throw the bar, transfer hands at the top of the press. Once the other hand safely controls the bar, perform the squat again and repeat. For more complexity and greater core action, incorporate some twists or turns into your squat and press motion as well. Hopefully you get the idea!
Some other movements to try:
Reverse Lunge: Hold the end of the landmine bar in one hand by your side, with your arm fully extended. Step backward with one foot into a lunge position. Repeat the movement, alternating the foot you step back with.
Standing Rotation: Stand straight up, with the bar pointing at your chest, and both hands on the bar. Extend your arms away from your body, and move the bar right and left slowly. Engage your core, move slowly, and start with light weight.
Bent Rows: Stand with your toes perpendicular to the bar, near the end of the bar. With knees slightly bent, grasp the bar with one arm and bring it toward your chest, completing a one-arm row. Alternate sides.
Using Land Mine Attachments
There are many widely available, versatile attachments to spice up your landmine workout (pictured).
- Lat bar
- Multi-grip attachment
- Club grip attachment, ball grip (easy to grip with palm)
- Base attachments that work with different bars
Body Solid is a well-known manufacturer of landmines and attachments.