You’ve gotten comfortable at the squat rack and kettlebells are your new BFF. But if you’ve bypassed the landmine, you’re missing out on one of the most underrated strength training tools.
Kira Stokes, celebrity trainer, creator of the Stoked Method and the Stoked Series, says, “The landmine can serve as an anchor and provides much more stability than dumbbells or kettlebells, which makes it a much safer workout for beginners.”
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The landmine is essentially a barbell that’s anchored into the ground on one side with a rotating base. It rides the line between free weights and fixed machines and forces you to get into proper form, making it a safe piece of fitness equipment to build stability, strength and power, says Stokes. Most major gyms have landmine attachments, but you can create one yourself by propping a barbell in a corner and securing the base with heavy plates (recommended only for more experienced lifters).
Ready to blow through your first circuit? Here are seven landmine exercises from Stokes — shot at NYSCLab — that will give you a total-body blast.
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7 Landmine Exercises to Build Total-Body Strength
This 30-minute circuit features seven landmine exercises that work your entire body, from your legs and glutes to your abs, arms and back. Newbies should start with a 35-pound barbell, and work their way up to a 45-pound barbell, Stokes says. Do 10-12 reps per exercise and repeat it for two rounds. If you need to rest, Stokes suggests taking a 30-second break, but it’s best to flow continuously through the movements to keep your heart rate up.
1. Bent-Over Row
How to: Stand behind the landmine with your feet hip-distance apart and your right hip facing the anchor. Hold the barbell with your right hand and keep your left hand on your hip or behind you. Slightly bend your knees and hinge forward with a flat back (a). Pull the barbell towards you chest until your upper arm is parallel to ground and elbow forms a 90-degree angle (b). Lower barbell to starting position. Be sure to keep your back flat and chest lifted the entire time (c). Do 10 reps before switching sides.
2. Squat Press
Targets: Legs, glutes, arms
How to: Stand facing the landmine with your feet a little wider than hip-distance apart. Hold the barbell with both hands so your arms are extended out in front of you (about shoulder height) (a). Sit into a squat with your weight on your heels as you bring the barbell down to chest height. Make sure your knees aren’t going past your feet. Holding onto the landmine should help keep your chest upright while squatting (b). Drive from your heels and pull your navel in as you press back up to standing and bring the barbell back up to shoulder height (c).
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How to: Lay the landmine flat on the ground and stand to the right of the barbell facing the anchor (a). Drop down into a squat and place your hands on the ground, then shoot your feet behind you. Be sure to keep your shoulders directly over your hands (b). Keeping your body in a straight line, do a push-up, then hop your feet forward so you land in a squat (c). Next, jump straight up, driving from your heels, and bring your hands up overhead (d). After you land, hop over the barbell and repeat the movement on the other side (e).
4. Single-Leg Deadlift
Targets: Hamstrings, glutes
How to: Stand behind the landmine, right hip pointing toward the anchor, and grasp the barbell with your right hand. With a slight bend in your left knee, lift your right leg behind you and extend your left arm parallel to the floor for balance (a). Balancing your weight on your left leg, hinge forward with a flat back as you lower the barbell down towards the floor, then lift it back up to about hip height as you squeeze your left glute while bringing your right leg back down (b). Do 10 reps on each side.
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5. Standing Rotation Twist
How to: Stand in front of the landmine with your feet shoulder-distance apart, holding the barbell with both hands with your arms extended (a). Engaging your obliques, bring the barbell across your chest and rotate your body 180 degrees to the left side so the barbell meets your left hip (b). Bring the barbell back up and repeat the same movement on the right side. Stokes recommends focusing on rotating hip to hip to make the most out of the movement (c).
Targets: Cardio, legs
How to: Lay the landmine flat on the ground and stand on the right side of the barbell, facing the anchor (a). Hop off your right leg to land on your left leg on the opposite side of the barbell (b). Immediately push off your left leg to land on your right leg and repeat the movement for 35-40 seconds. (c).
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7. Glute Bridge Press
Targets: Chest, shoulders, triceps, core and glutes
How to: Lie on the ground to the right of the landmine with your feet facing the anchor. Hold onto the barbell with your left hand. Bend both of your knees and bring your feet close to your hips. Extend your right leg straight up (a). Engaging your glutes, press your hips up into a bridge as you press the barbell up with your left arm. Be sure to squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement (c). After 10 reps, slowly lower your arm and your hips back down to the ground (d).