We are always on the hunt for that next big thing that’ll take our athletes to the next level. That goal usually leads to coaches taking it upon themselves to create that next “big thing.”
That’s why inventions such as the Safety Squat Bar, Selectorized Machines, kettlebells, and the barbell have made such a huge impact.
But there’s another implement that has been making waves within the health, fitness, and performance industry for decades.
Enter the Landmine
In just about every gym, you will have a landmine exercise being done for myriad reasons. Though similar, I’m sure you’ve seen your favorite bodybuilder jam a bar in a corner, load up the end of it, attach a T-bar row attachment to it, and proceed to perform some rows. Some could argue that the bodybuilders of the ‘60s and ‘70s actually birthed the precursor to the Landmine.
But the Landmine is different and provides many benefits besides being a substitute for the T-bar row machine.
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Back in 1999, a world-class hammer thrower (a throwing event within the sport of track and field) needed something that could bridge the gap between the exercises he performed in the gym and the specificity of the movements within the hammer throw, which are rotational in nature.
He and his father got to work and created a universal rotary joint that had a metallic tube welded on the end that could not only fit the end of a barbell but also withstand the force of the exercises that would be performed with it.
Once the invention was perfected, he used it as the primer tool to help him prep for the 2000 Olympic Trials. From there, he marketed it as a tool that could benefit athletes around the world, and top coaches also created a slew of exercises that address everything from prehab/rehab to strength/hypertrophy to sports performance.
The rest is history.
What is a Landmine?
Long story short, it’s an adapter that attaches to a weightlifting rack (or heavy plates along the floor) that holds a barbell in one end, leaving the other end free for loading and moving. It provides a fixed yet adjustable position that allows for the athlete to perform just about any exercise they can think of.
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Why the Landmine? Why not a barbell?
The main reason one would use the Landmine is because it allows for an individual to perform exercises at various angles that barbell exercises can’t match.
What are some benefits to adding Landmine exercises to my workouts?
- Mimics more athletic positions than conventional movements
- Trains muscles at angles relevant to sport and lifestyle
- Reduces compressive loads to the spine
- Easy-to-learn movements and setup
- Great for those that have limited space
- Offers different exercise/workout options
- Could be used in place of something that’s causes injury or a substitute due to an injury
4 Different Landmine Exercises
1. Landmine Squat
Position the barbell up at your chest with your hands at the end of the barbell collar, palms in and slightly under.
From a standing position, keep your core tight and elbows tucked to maintain the barbell’s position firmly.
Maintain the natural arch in your lower back and keep your head directed forward.
Bend your knees and drive your hips back to lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
When you reach the bottom of your squat, drive the force from the heels of your feet back to a standing position.
The barbell will remain at the center of your upper chest throughout the movement, similar to a goblet squat.
2. Landmine Twist
Position a bar into a Landmine or securely anchor it in a corner. Load the bar to an appropriate weight.
Raise the bar from the floor, taking it to shoulder height with both hands, with your arms extended in front of you. Adopt a wide stance. This will be your starting position.
Perform the movement by rotating the trunk and hips as you swing the weight all the way down to one side. Keep your arms extended throughout the exercise.
Reverse the motion to swing the weight all the way to the opposite side.
Continue alternating the movement until the set is complete.
3. Landmine Thruster
Assume a standing position with your spine neutral and feet in your normal squat stance. Shoulder the barbell in both hands in front of your chest.
Once the barbell is in place, squat to parallel by simultaneously breaking at the knees and hips.
Drive your feet into the floor and extend the knees and hips. Transfer your momentum into the bar press to lockout by extending the elbows and flexing the shoulders.
Slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position in front of your chest and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
4. Landmine Rotational Clean & Press
Stand in front of the end of the barbell with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart. Hold the bar in your right hand.
Clean the barbell to shoulder height by pivoting your feet towards it. This will cause your body to rotate towards the other end of the barbell.
As soon as the barbell reaches shoulder height, continue pressing up until your arm is fully extended.
Lower back down to your starting position.
The clean and press should be one smooth, continual motion. Practice it with no weight on the barbell until you get the movement down.
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