13 Landmine Press Benefits (2016)

On your quest to getting the body of your dreams there are going to be exercises that you discard right away while there will be others that are like love at first site. Today I am going to talk to you about the Landmine Press (along with its variations) and why it is an exercise that should be a staple in most of your programs.

I first found out about this exercise when I was watching a lot of strongman competitions online and I saw the competitors doing viking presses. The viking press is obviously a staple among strongman circles, but the problem is that most gyms don’t have a viking press station. I didn’t know what to do so I started looking for alternatives and before I knew it I found a Kalle Beck video where he talks about alternatives. His alternative was to put a barbel or two in a rack and press from there, but I found a more ghetto way where all you have to do is put a barbel in a corner and although it may not be a solid Viking Press alternative because of the bar angle, it was still more than good enough for me.

Today I am going to give you 13 reasons as to why you should make the landmine press a staple in your program.

 

1. IT LOOKS BADASS AND IT IS A FUN EXERCISE

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First things first, lets just start by talking about how badass the exercise looks in the first place. Anytime you do anything standing it will ALWAYS look cooler than if you were sitting or lying down. All of the coolest looking exercises such as OHP’s, squats, deadlifts, bent over rows, snatch grip high pulls and lifts of that nature all look alpha and are all done standing.

This is actually an important factor when training because if you are really in love with the exercise itself then it just motivates you to want to push harder because you are just in love with the movement. Although this exercise doesn’t only look cool, it will deliver results and I will elaborate more on that below.

 

2. IT HITS THE SHOULDERS, UPPER CHEST AND TRICEPS EXTREMELY HARD

The landmine press hits a lot of the similar muscles that get hit in the overhead press except they just get hit from a different angle for the most part. Although I do think that the side delts may get a bit less stimulation and the upper chest might get a bit more along with other factors that I will discuss below.

I argue that the landmine press is one of the best front delt builder in existence and anybody who has lagging front delts should make this lift a staple!

 

3. ITS A NEUTRAL GRIP PRESS WHICH MAKES IT EASIER ON YOUR SHOULDERS AND WRISTS

The fact that the landmine press is a neutral grip pressing movement makes the exercise worth having in your program because too much pronation during presses is never a good thing. So in other words if you have really tender shoulders then this could be the movement for you. Another reason why landmine presses are shoulder friendly is because your upper back isn’t on a bench so it allows the scapula to move freely.

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4. ITS AN OVERHEAD LIFT, BUT IT DOESN’T COMPRESS THE SPINE LIKE AN OHP SO ITS VERY LOW-BACK FRIENDLY

Some people have back problems or just weak cores in general so these people will usually complain about lower back pain during overhead lifts, but when doing landmine presses those problems get eliminated because the lift is like a super high standing incline press.

 

5. ITS A FAT HANDLED PRESS SO IT TRAINS YOUR GRIP AS WELL

The fact that this movement is done with a fat handle makes a world of difference because the fat handle opens up the hand more and relieves a bit of the stress on the shoulder(s). On top of that, getting used to the fat handle will make you a stronger overhead presser when you get back to the regular skinny handles. I have discussed the importance of fat handled presses in previous articles and it is something that shouldn’t be underestimated.

 

6. IT IMPROVES YOUR OVERHEAD PRESSING NUMBERS SO ITS A GREAT ASSISTANCE LIFT

The landmine and viking press have been staples in the programs of strongman competitors for years for building their overhead presses so that’s already a good reason as to why you should be Incorporating them. When trying to get a strong overhead press you need high exercise selection to maximize results and this is a great variation to have around.

 

7. THE LOADING POTENTIAL IS HIGH

Anybody who has done landmine presses a lot in the past knows about how high the loading potential could possibly be. You could stack up a bunch of 45lb plates to the point where it looks like you are about to do a set of T-bar rows.

8. IT BUILDS YOUR CORE STRENGTH MORE THAN AN INCLINE PRESS

Lets face it, lying down on an incline bench is not going to build your core up as much as this movement because of the simple fact that landmine presses are done standing. The landmine press requires a balancing aspect so if you relax your upper body too much then it could potentially be dangerous because the bar could fall to the left or right side so it teaches full body tightness in a unique way.

 

9. YOUR UPPER BACK GETS SOME STIMULATION AS WELL

Your upper back and lats have to work hard to stabilize this heavy weight that is trying to weigh you down so don’t be surprised if you wake up with DOMS in your upper back. Will you get a huge back from doing landmine press? Of course not, but you can’t neglect the fact that it is getting some indirect stimulation through this lift which is always great.

 

10. ITS SOMETHING NEW IN CASE YOU’VE NEVER TRIED IT BEFORE

The fact that it is something new and that it is a movement that you have never tried before is already another reason as to why you would want to try it in the first place. I am constantly stating that high exercise selection is important and its a lift that offers so many benefits so you really don’t have anything to lose with this movement.

 

11. YOU DON’T NEED ANY FANCY EQUIPMENT TO DO THIS MOVEMENT

Another thing that I love about this exercise is that it doesn’t require any fancy equipment such as a special apparatus or machine, all you need is a bar and a corner of a room with some plates. This is great because 99.9% of gyms have this so if you are reading this then you can most likely give this exercise a shot in your next training session.

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12. THERE ARE COUNTLESS VARIATIONS OF THIS EXERCISE TO CHOOSE FROM

One of the most important factors to an exercise is if you are able to do a lot of variations because if you are then you could include the exercise in more of your programs with slight tweaks.

My favorite landmine pressing variations are:

-Two-Arm Landmine Press

-One-Arm Landmine Press

-Half Kneeling One-Arm Landmine Press

-Landmine Z Press (1 or 2 arms)

-Landmine Push Presses

-Landmine Presses (sitting on two knees)

…etc

I know that there are some variations that I may have forgotten to mention, but the ones above are the ones that I incorporate in my programs along with the ones of my clients.

 

13. ITS GOOD FOR FIGHTERS WHO NEED PUNCHING POWER

The landmine press mimics some of the movements of a punch which makes the landmine press a great movement for certain fighters and this is why a lot of punchers incorporate these into their programs. In case you are curious too, I know that a lot of fighters also incorporate landmine oblique twists into their programs in order to target their oblique muscles.

 

BONUS

HOW DO I LIKE TO PERFORM THIS MOVEMENT?

I personally like to use this movement as an assistance lift for the overhead press for higher reps of 8-30. I also like to alternate between two hands and one hands so some days I might do them with one hand and another day I might just use both. I also like to do paused reps on this movement so I don’t like doing touch and go reps because I feel like I get better carryover to my overhead presses when I execute these with paused form. I also find that when you are going over 4 plates I think that a little dip in the knees is okay to get the set started, but I don’t like to turn the whole movement into a squat press if I am trying to execute the movement in a strict manner. Last but not least, I also like to try to stand pretty upright when doing this movement because I feel like the more upright I am then the more carryover I have to my overhead pressing strength and this is especially true when I do the movement on my knees.

 

HEIGHT AFFECTS YOUR LANDMINE PRESS

One thing that you have to understand about the landmine press is that if you are short then it will resemble more of a vertical press, but if you are on the taller side (6’1+) then it may resemble more of a flat or incline press done standing. There is nothing wrong with this situation because most lifts are different for different people because of training experience, limb length, height, injuries and the list goes on.

This means that if you are trying to improve your shoulder pressing numbers but you are 6’4 then chances are that you would benefit more from doing your landmine presses in a kneeling, half kneeling or even a seated position because then you can press the bar more upwards (which will have more carryover to overhead lifts) as opposed to horizontally.

 

STANDARDS

As far as my standards are concerned, I think that 4-6 plates for 10 reps is a very strong goal to shoot for on the two-handed version. Some of you may reach the 6 plate mark and some might only reach the 5 plate mark, but both are considered strong and anything above that is insane as well.

As far as my standards are for one arm landmine presses, I think that 3-4 plates is very realistic as well for 10 reps for most people.

If you think that these standards are way too high then you’d might want to consider reading somebody else’s articles. My standards are VERY realistic and these are very attainable lifts for a drug-free lifter.

 

CONCLUSION

So there you have it, the Landmine press along with all of its variations are amazing for all of the numerous reasons that I mentioned above and many more! Give the landmine press a shot and tell me what you think about it in the comment section below!

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