How to Use a Landmine to Raise the Bar on Your Strength Workouts

Typically, barbells travel in two directions: up and down. But using a landmine—a hefty base

Typically, barbells travel in two directions: up and down. But using a landmine—a hefty base on the ground with a sleeve to fit the end of a barbell—the heavy metal can move in more directions. “A landmine is more complex, allowing the barbell to move rotationally and around a person,” says Ryan Hopkins, founder of Soho Strength Lab in New York City. The base offers stability, streamlining movement patterns and allowing for safer high-intensity training.

So Hopkins invited us to his gym to show us how familiar moves can be done using a landmine to make them more dynamic. The first time, start with an empty bar—it already weighs 45 pounds. As you get more comfortable, increase the weight in increments of five to 10 pounds.


The Best Athlete-Inspired Medicine Ball Circuit for Strength and Power

The Workout

Pick 5 moves and do 10 to 12 reps of each, catching your breath between sets. Rest 1 or 2 minutes, and repeat twice. Can be done for time, performing each of 5 moves for 1 minute. Do twice a week, changing up moves.

Expert Tip: Stabilize the Shoulder Blade

Trainers are cautious when it comes to overhead shoulder exercise. That’s because moves like the overhead press are high risk for injury. But avoiding them erodes the shoulder’s biomechanics in terms of strength and neuromuscular performance—the joint’s ability to move in safe patterns when asked to—according to research in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. The landmine is the answer, since the platform provides some assistance. For every workout, include the snatch (3), standing reach (4), or bilateral overhead press (7). Start conservatively on the weight; when you can perform 3 rounds of 15 reps with ease, begin adding pounds.


Why Every Runner Should Master Split-Stance Box Jumps

1. Cross-body Row

Stand with landmine on left, feet slightly staggered, right leg forward. Grab barbell in left hand, hinge torso forward, and extend both arms down to start. Keeping right fingertips pointed to floor, row left arm so elbow points to back wall. Return to start for 1 rep. Do all reps on left side, then switch sides.

Justin Steele for Men's Journal

2. Deadlift

Stand facing landmine, end of barbell between feet, legs slightly wider than hip-width apart, to start. Grab barbell, and, with soft knees, rise until back is flat and arms hang straight down to start. Press hips forward and rise to standing, then return to start for 1 rep. (Note that this is one move to which you can add weight more quickly. Do the first set with an empty bar to get used to the movement pattern, then work up to a weight where you feel like you can do 12 reps max and then do sets of 8.)

Justin Steele for Men's Journal

3. Snatch

Stand with feet staggered, right foot forward, barbell perpendicular to body and holding it in left hand close to the floor, to start. In one fluid movement, explosively spring up, pulling left elbow back, then swing body 90 degrees to face landmine, pushing hips back and extending barbell overhead for 1 rep. Do all reps on left side, then switch sides.

Justin Steele for Men's Journal

4. Standing Reach

Stand facing landmine, feet staggered slightly, right foot in front, landmine in left hand close to shoulder. Press left arm forward and overhead, and pull right elbow back, to start. In a swift motion, drop barbell to shoulder and thrust left hand up at a 45-degree angle, then quickly return to start for 1 rep. Do all reps on left side, then switch sides.

Justin Steele for Men's Journal

5. Reverse Lunge

Stand facing landmine, barbell in right hand, both arms along torso, to start. Step right foot behind you and drop knee so it hovers above floor, left knee tracking over foot, then reverse to start for 1 rep. Do all reps on right side, then switch sides.

Justin Steele for Men's Journal

6. Traditional Squat

Stand facing landmine, holding barbell fist-over-fist so thumbs are on top. Step back so body leans forward, placing some bodyweight into barbell, to start. Drop down into a squat so barbell is just under chin, then reverse for 1 rep.

Justin Steele for Men's Journal

7. Bilateral Overhead Press

Stand facing landmine, holding barbell fist-over-fist, thumbs on top, end of barbell near top of chest. Step back so body leans forward and creates a straight line, placing some body weight into barbell, chin gently tucked, to start. In a swift movement, engage hips and press hands overhead, so arms are alongside face. Return to start for 1 rep.

Justin Steele for Men's Journal

The post How to Use a Landmine to Raise the Bar on Your Strength Workouts appeared first on Men's Journal.