Why Trainers Love The Landmine

Personal training manager David Otey demonstrates the total-body prowess of this simple tool.

At first glance, the landmine seems like nothing more than a holding spot for a barbell. But the simple, rotating base transforms an ordinary plate and bar into a new workout tool. “The landmine’s design creates an environment that straddles the line between free weight and fixed movement,” says David Otey, personal training manager at Equinox Sports Club New York's Upper West Side location. “And the movement pattern is semi-circular, which aligns with squatting, pressing and pulling.” That versatility means you can crank out a full-body workout in one spot.

The benefits of this set-up go far beyond convenience. “The landmine utilizes torque,” says Otey. “Due to the space between your grip and the loaded plate, the intensity and muscular demand increases.” And as he explains, the design also ups the challenge on your core: “We often train our midsections to rotate, but the primary responsibility of the abs is resisting rotation; many of the exercises you can do with a landmine improve that skill.”

Otey proves his points with a challenging total-body workout (below). If it’s your first time using a landmine, he has one warning: “It’s deceptively difficult to keep the bar straight, so start conservatively.” (In other words, consider grabbing a lighter plate.)

For a strength-building session, perform 2 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps of each exercise in order, resting briefly between sets. To increase the calorie burn, complete the moves as a circuit.

 

(1) Front Squat: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold the end of the bar with both hands in front of your chest, fingers clasped and thumbs on tip of bar. Take a few steps back so your body is tilted forward slightly. Bend knees, squatting down low, then rise up to the starting position and repeat.


(2) Single-Leg Deadlift: Stand with feet together and hold the end of the bar with your right hand in front of your thigh, arm extended and palm facing left. Bend left knee slightly as you bend forward from your hips, extending right leg to hip height behind you as you lower bar toward the floor. Rise up to the starting position and repeat. Switch sides to complete set.


(3) Rear Lunge: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold the end of the bar with both hands in front of your chest, fingers clasped and thumbs on tip of bar. Take a few steps back so your body is tilted forward slightly. Take a big step back with your right foot and bend knees into a lunge. Step forward to starting position and repeat. Switch sides to complete set.


(4) Single-Arm Chest Press: Place the bar on the floor and lie to the left of it with right leg extended and left knee bent, foot on the floor. Grasp the end of the bar with right hand, palm facing left, and extend your left arm on the floor beside you, palm facing down. Extend right arm straight up, pushing bar toward the ceiling. Bend elbow to return to starting position and repeat. Switch sides to complete set.


(5) Kneeling Shoulder Press: Kneel on right knee with right foot on the floor in front of you. (Place a folded towel or yoga mat under your knee for comfort.) Hold the end of the bar with right hand in front of right shoulder, palm facing left. Extend right arm at a slight diagonal in front of you, then bend elbow and repeat. Switch sides to complete set.


(6) Landmine Anti-Rotation: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold the end of the bar with both hands, fingers clasped, at chest height in front of you. (Take a few steps back, if necessary, so arms are extended.) Keeping shoulders and hips squared forward, bring weight across your body to the right, then immediately bring it the left to complete 1 rep. Continue, rotating from side to side.


(7) Lunge to Standing Pivot Press: Stand facing the landmine with feet wide apart, toes pointing out, and hold the end of the bar with both hands in front of your chest, elbows bent. Bend knees and pivot right foot to the left as you rotate body and transfer bar to right hand; lunge to the left as you extend right arm. Reverse motion to return to starting position, then repeat sequence in the opposite direction (hold bar with left hand and lunge to the right) to complete 1 rep. Continue, pivoting from side to side.

Photographed by Mike Rosenthal; Art Direction + Styled by Ashley Martin Heckman 

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