Strength & Conditioning

Landmine Press : Muscles Worked Plus Best Variations

landmine press muscles worked

Training your shoulders shouldn’t be limited to just the bodybuilding community and other such athletes.  Anybody who undertakes exercises specifically to target the shoulders, such as the landmine press, will see benefits which far exceed just an improved body aesthetic. 

Whilst there are a number of exercises that activate the shoulder muscles, this article will focus on the landmine press muscles worked as well as the best landmine alternatives. 

The minimal amount of equipment required, means it can easily be done at both the gym and at home.  For home training, all you need is a barbell and a few weight plates.  At the gym, the same could be used although some facilities will offer access to a landmine attachment.

A landmine attachment is an adaptor that can be fitted to a power rack or directly into the floor.  They allow you to slot your barbell into the attachment leaving the opposite end free for your pressing exercises.

Landmine Press Muscles Worked

The landmine press is a compound exercise, meaning that it targets a number of muscles in the deltoids.  The muscles worked during this exercise include:

  • Deltoids
  • Scapular Stabilizers
  • Triceps
  • Upper Back Muscles
  • Chest Muscles
  • Abs

Is Landmine Press Good For The Shoulders

A landmine press is considerably easier on the shoulder joints when compared to other pressing exercises, such as the barbell overhead press.  This is because when pressing with a barbell, your shoulders follow a fixed plane of motion, so the movement doesn’t feel as natural.

As the landmine press allows for more rotation, there is much less stress on the joints making for a safer and more comfortable pressing exercise.  This in turn improves shoulder mobility and strength and having strong shoulder muscles offers great carryover to everyday tasks and can improve your posture.

The different variations of the landmine press allow you to engage all muscles that make up the shoulder; the anterior, lateral and posterior deltoids making this exercise perfect for overall shoulder health.

How To Do A Landmine Press

There are a number of different ways in which to execute the landmine press exercise with the most common being the standing version, with either one or both hands gripping the end of the barbell.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold the end of the barbell with both hands at chest height.
  2. Ensure you are leaning in slightly towards the barbell with your chest out.
  3. Keep your elbows tucked in and your back straight.
  4. Press up and forwards until your elbows lock out.
  5. Bring the end of the barbell back to your chest and keep your elbows tucked in throughout.

What Are The Benefits Of A Landmine Press?

Depending on the way in which you undertake the landmine press, there are a number of benefits to incorporating this exercise into your workout regime.

  • You will build lean muscle mass to the shoulders and upper body. An increase in lean muscle will help to increase bone density and strength.
  • You can increase strength to upper body and core muscles. This is good for improving co-ordination for such activities as walking and running.
  • You can improve shoulder stability which can make you less in jury prone.
  • You will see an improvement to rotational core strength. This will help with overall core stability and total body coordination.

5 Landmine Press Alternatives

Whilst the landmine press is very much an upper body exercise, that’s not to say this is the only exercise achievable with this very easy set-up.

There are a number of variations of this exercise which can help to better isolate other muscles making it very versatile.

Below we have given examples of what else can be accomplished with your landmine set-up and how you can achieve an all over body workout.

Landmine Squat

The landmine squat is an excellent squat variation that is going to be targeting your posterior chain and your abdominal muscles.  It’s a great choice for those of you with mobility issues and is very joint friendly due to the stance taken during squatting.

If you plan on adding a few plates to the end of the barbell, it’s a good idea to prop it up onto something such as a bench, this will give you a better and safer starting position instead of having it on the ground.

Landmine Lateral Raise

A landmine lateral raise is an exercise which will target the shoulders with a more fixed plane of motion when compared with a landmine press.

During the exercise, your arm will move in both an outwards and upwards circular plane across the body, making it a somewhat cross between a lateral raise and front raise.

Meadows Row

A meadows row exercise, as developed by John Meadows (IFBB Pro), is a take on the single arm row but with a landmine set up.  It’s a unilateral movement, meaning that only one side of your body is performing the exercise and will effectively target the rear delts, lats and traps.

Landmine Romanian Deadlift

The landmine Romanian deadlift is a take on the traditional deadlift and will primarily target your hamstrings and glutes but will also work the upper and lower back muscles.  It’s a great alternative to a barbell deadlift if you’d prefer to keep some stress off of your lower back.  This works by keeping the weight very close to your body during the exercise thus helping to alleviate stress on your lumbar spine.

Landmine T Bar Row

The landmine T Bar Row is an exercise which will build strength and mass to the upper back muscles.  To a lesser degree it will also work the biceps and upper chest muscles.  The movement is very similar to the bent over row with a couple of differences.

The bent over row typically requires a wider stance hand placement on a barbell, this in turn helps to build a wider back. In comparison, the landmine t bar row is a movement with hands positioned very close together with the emphasis on building thicker back muscles.


The landmine press is a highly effective exercise that requires a simple and minimal set-up.  Thanks to the mobility of the barbell when in position, it allows for a shoulder friendly exercise that can be undertaken by anyone.

The varying angles of movement in this exercise mean you can adjust the bar as necessary to find the most comfortable position without adding any undue stress to the joints.

Furthermore, it’s great for improving overall core strength.  A strong core is vitally important for better posture and stability and can even help to reduce and prevent certain body pains.

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