WHAT IS A LANDMINE PRESS?
A landmine press is a variation of the the barbell military press, usually completed with one arm rather than two and completed at a 45 degree vertical angle compared to a strict overhead barbell press where the shoulder is required to push the bar directly above, requiring greater shoulder and thoracic mobility. The landmine press is a fantastic variation for the shoulders, particularly for those who are new to lifting or possible lack the mobility to complete a strict overhead press. By completing a landmine press with one arm rather than two it also allows us to develop unilateral strength, address any muscular imbalances that we may have and develop greater trunk stability. In this article we are going to look at five progressions of the landmine press you can start using in your training.
1. As part of a shoulder superset
2. At the beginning of a workout to work on stability and activation⠀ ⠀
3. As part of a well rounded strength program to develop overhead pressing
1. Anyone wanting to improve shoulder strength and stability
2. Fighters want to develop punching movement with resistance
3. Those who struggle with straight overhead pressing due to mobility
For Beginners: 3 Sets of 8-12 reps at 55-65% of max effort and controlled speed
For Strength: 5 Sets of 4-6 at 85-90% max effort
For Power: 5 sets of 4-6 at 50% of max effort at maximum speed
#1 KNEELING LANDMINE PRESS
This is the foundation for learning to press! By being on the knees rather than the foot it creates more stability as the Landmine is a shorter distance away from the floor. By being on two knees it also provides a greater surface area for us to balance off.
#2 KNEELING SPLIT STANCE LANDMINE PRESS
The first progression would be to go from a double kneeling stance to a half-kneeling split stance, creating a more offset contralateral position, requiring us to think more about creating stiffness in our glutes and trunk to prevent rotation as we drive the load, and also on its return to the shoulder position. Secure one end of a barbell in a landmine and load the opposite end. Assume a half-kneeling split stance in front of the loaded end and hold the bar at shoulder level with the hand opposite the forward knee. Brace your core and push the weight to a full extension above. Lower slowly and repeat.
Tip: Squeeze the glutes of your opposite leg to achieve a deep stretch in the hip flexors and encourage the abs to engage.
#3: NEUTRAL STANDING LANDMINE PRESS
In our third progression we are going to come up to a standing position. By standing up we are increasing the distance of the barbell from the floor and therefore increasing the need for trunk stability and proprioception to control the trajectory of the bar. Your start position should be similar to that of the top position of your squat with feet shoulder width apart and neutral in position. The barbell should be tight in to the shoulder, elbow kept close to the body!
Tip: Keep your weight through the middle of your foot and maintain a slight forward lean towards the barbell.
#4 SPLIT STANCE LANDMINE PRESS
By standing in a split stance rather than a neutral stance we are going to once again make the positioning a little more specific to a lot of sporting movements such as throwing and punching. By taking a split stance it is going to challenge our trunk stability and show any imbalances we may have. With the single-arm landmine press it’s best to adopt a split stance, with the opposite leg to the arm you are lifting with forwards. Press the weight up with one arm, keeping it in line with your shoulder rather than moving it towards the middle of your body. Single-arm landmine presses work the shoulder harder than two-handed presses, which are more focused on the chest.
Tip: To improve power development you can use a split stance push press, dipping at the ankle and hip before driving out
#5 REVERSE LUNGE & PRESS
We are now taking this exercise to a new level by incorporating lower body movement. By adding in a reverse lunge we are creating a more dynamic movement requiring a greater level of kinaesthetic awareness, core stability and coordination. The reverse lunge and press is an excellent movement for athletes competing in sport which involves punching or throwing of some sort. The reverse lunge and press allows us to develop a similar movement pattern to throwing or punching but with an external resistance.
Start with both feet together and the barbell close to the shoulder
Keeping the barbell close to the shoulder lunge backwards
On the drive phase coming back up snap the back leg in whilst driving the shoulder through
Return to the start position.
Tip: Keep your knee over your ankle when lunging backwards to maintain an optimal drive position and reduce compression forces at the knee.