Landmine Press: Muscles Worked, Variations & How To Do

If you want to add some freshness and variety to your workouts and give yourself a new challenge, give this landmine press a try.

The landmine exercises are extremely versatile and effective for building functional strength through all planes of motion and packing on some serious muscle mass.

I found this exercise while trying to get rid of persistent shoulder pain while doing a barbell shoulder press. Not only was it easier on my joints, but it also helped to build muscle.

This post covers everything you need to know.

  • What are landmine press exercises?
  • Muscle worked
  • Benefits of using a landmine
  • How to do it properly

What Is A Landmine Press?

The landmine press is a dynamic exercise that uses a weighted barbell anchored to the floor at one end (often with a landmine attachment).

The exercise primarily targets the shoulders, chest, and triceps muscles, and also engages the core, back, and legs to provide stability throughout the movement.

The angled pressing path reduces stress on the shoulder joint compared to the traditional overhead press.

With the landmine press, you can focus on muscle growth (hypertrophy) or utilize compound movements to boost strength, hormones, and fat loss.

Landmine Press Muscles Worked

The Landmine Press is a compound exercise that works for multiple muscle groups in the upper body, including the

It also engages the core, back, and legs to provide stability and balance throughout the movement.

Muscles Worked During Landmine Press

Landmine Press Variations

The landmine press can be performed with different variations to challenge different muscle groups.

We highly recommend you try the landmine press variations for an intense workout that will work your upper body harder and recruit your core more.

Here are five variations of the Landmine Press that coaches and athletes can incorporate into their workouts to enhance muscle mass and functional fitness.

  • Landmine Chest Press
  • Landmine Shoulder Press
  • One Arm Floor Landmine Press
  • Shoulder-to-Shoulder (Rotational Press) Landmine Press
  • Landmine Squat to Press

1. Landmine Chest Press

The Landmine chest Press is not a popular exercise, yet it offers a unique angle for targeting your inner and upper chest, along with your triceps and deltoids (shoulders)

It can be performed in a kneeling position, which increases core involvement and can improve core stability and strength.

Landmine Chest Press

How To Do Landmine Chest Press

  1. Place a barbell in a landmine holder or set up a barbell in a corner.
  2. Then, add weight plates to the free end of the barbell.
  3. Take a half kneeling position with the knee under your hip, toes tucked, and rib cage down.
  4. Hold the barbell up straight in front of you until your arms are fully extended. Don’t stretch your elbows too much.
  5. Hold the weight for a second and focus on contracting your chest muscles.
  6. Slowly lower the weight back towards your chest, and then repeat for the recommended reps.


  • To secure the barbell, you can interlock your hands around the bar.
  • Lean your body forward slightly and engage your core muscles to help with stabilization.
  • Exhale on pushing movement, and inhale when returning to the starting position.
  • Contract the chest muscle at the top of the movement.

2. Landmine Shoulder Press

The Landmine Shoulder Press is a variation of the traditional shoulder press that involves using a barbell and a landmine attachment.

In this exercise, the barbell is positioned in the landmine attachment, anchored to the ground, and lifted overhead using one or both arms simultaneously.

It also helps to fix any strength imbalances between the left and right sides of the body.

Landmine Shoulder Press

How To Do Landmine Shoulder Press

  1. Stand holding the weighted end of the barbell with one hand.
  2. Clean that bar up to shoulder height and tuck your elbow into your side.
  3. Make sure the barbell is wedged securely in a landmine device or corner.
  4. Your feet should be level and shoulder-width apart.
  5. Keep your core braced and your knees soft and press the bar up and away from you, fully extending your arm at the top.
  6. Press the weight up with one hand until your arm is extended, then bring it back down slowly.
  7. With control, lower the bar back down to the starting position.


  • Hold a neutral spine throughout the movement to prevent injury.
  • Keep your elbows close to your body.
  • Exhale on pushing movement, and inhale when returning to the starting position.
  • Lean your body forward slightly and engage your core muscles to help with stabilization.

3. One Arm Floor Landmine Press

The single-arm floor landmine press is a unilateral exercise that targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps muscles.

The angled barbell still lets you press with the same range of motion as a regular floor press (i.e., until your triceps touch the floor).

Moreover, some folks will find that the thicker handle helps to relieve stress on the elbows, which is an added bonus.

However, focusing on one arm at a time lets you really concentrate on feeling the target muscles.

One Arm Floor Landmine Press

How To Do One Arm Floor Landmine Press

  1. Lie flat on the floor, bend your knees, and keep your feet on the floor for better balance.
  2. Take the grip of one side of the landmine by one arm above your chest.
  3. Lift one side of the landmine off the chest and hold it at arm’s length above you.
  4. Now lower the landmine under controlled motion.
  5. Now, raise it until your arms are nearly locked out.


  • Keep a controlled motion and avoid jerky movements.
  • Do not bounce the weights off the chest.
  • Avoid too much arching of the back.
  • Control the weight during the lowering phase of the exercise to avoid sudden drops or jerks.

4. Side To Side Landmine Press

The side to side landmine press aka alternate landmine press is a fantastic exercise for your chest, but it is also going to work your front delts and triceps too.

It’s similar to an incline press in that regard, since you’re pressing upwards at an angle.

To make this exercise even more effective for your chest, be sure to really squeeze your hands together like you are trying to crush the bar.

How To Do Side-to-Side Landmine Press

  1. Take a kneeling position in front of the landmine and hold the barbell collar with your palms on each side.
  2. Ensure the bottom of your palm is slightly on the underside of the barbell’s collar.
  3. Squeeze your hands together, then press the barbell upwards, focusing on contracting your pecs to power the movement.
  4. Go to full lockout, then slowly bring the barbell back down while maintaining the squeeze on the collar.
  5. When your elbows are at your side, Keep alternating the sides and focus on your pecs at all times during the exercise.


  1. Maintain a neutral posture throughout the movement to prevent injury.
  2. Keep your core tight and engage your glutes.

5. Landmine Squat to Press (aka Thruster)

The landmine squat to press is a multijoint exercise that targets almost every muscle in your body.

The main movers of this exercise are your quads, glutes, core, triceps, shoulders, chest, serratus anterior, and even lats, but all your other muscles will also be involved to help stabilize.

This is one of the best exercises that will help burn a lot of calories, build total-body strength, and get those good muscle-building hormones flowing.

Landmine Squat Press

How To Do Landmine Squat to Press

  1. Hold the bar with both hands at about mid-chest level and with your elbows tucked to your sides for support and stability.
  2. From a squat stance, lower your hips down as deep as you can go.
  3. When you reach the bottom of your squat, explode up.
  4. As you come up, simultaneously press the bar until your arms are fully extended.
  5. Lower the bar back down to your chest slowly and control, then repeat. 


  • Keep a controlled motion and avoid jerky movements.
  • Not rounding your back.
  • Don’t let your knees push out in front of your toes, and keep weight on your heels.
Know More: 20 Best Landmine Exercises For Building Muscle And Strength

Landmine Press Form and Pro-Tips

Although Landmine Press is relatively safe in terms of free weight equipment, you still need to take certain precautions.

Follow these tips when using a landmine:

1. Proper Set Up

Ensure your set-up is secure before each exercise, especially if you use a corner wall setup. Sometimes, the bar can move out of position when loading it.

Make sure the barbell is securely placed in the landmine attachment or corner of the room

2. Foot Placement

For standing landmine press exercises, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and keep your weight evenly distributed between both feet.

For kneeling variations, ensure that your feet are firmly planted on the ground.

3. Grip

Avoid gripping too tightly, as this can stress your wrists unnecessarily.

4. Start Light

Focus on good, proper form before using heavy loads. Once you are comfortable with the movement, add weight, and since it’s plate-loadable, you can do so in smaller increments.

5. Remember How Landmine Works

Understand that it’s harder to move with the loaded end (the working side) of the barbell closer to the ground due to the unique arc-shaped bar path.

This means lying, kneeling, and half-kneeling exercises will feel heavier and harder than standing exercises.

6. Controlled Movement

Move the barbell in a controlled manner throughout the exercise. Avoid sudden drops or jerks, especially on the lowering phase of the movement.

7. Range of Motion

Use a full range of motion, bringing the barbell all the way down to your chest or shoulder before pressing it up overhead.

8. Focus On Sets, Reps, and Intensity

Below are recommendations for the landmine press sets, reps, and weight (intensity). The below guidelines are simply recommendations and can be altered to fit your specific goals.

GoalSets and RepsRest Between SetsWeight
To Gain Muscle3–5 sets of 8–12 reps45–90 secondsModerate
To Gain Strength3–5 sets of 3–5 repsAs neededHeavy
To Improve Muscle Endurance2–4 sets of 15–20+ reps45–60 secondsLight to moderate

Landmine Press Benefits

1. Hypertrophy

When setting up the landmine press, there’s potential to stack weight plates high.

If you’re up to the challenge, this exercise has a high loading potential, and with increased resistance comes increased hypertrophy.

2. Shoulder-Friendly

The landmine press is a killer for building your upper body and also a shoulder-friendly exercise.

It is a little easier on the joints without compromising strength and muscle size benefits.

3. Strengthen the Core

During the movement, the core has to work hard to keep the body stable and balanced. For that reason, the landmine chest press benefits the core, mainly the strength of the obliques.

4. Upper-Body Strength

Wait! There are more to the landmine benefits for building chest muscle than aesthetics. This exercise is also great for building strength, mainly in the chest and the muscles that work alongside – the triceps and the deltoids.

5. Corrects Imbalances in Strength and Movement

A unilateral exercise, the landmine press, allows lifters to easily identify areas of weakness and strength.

Additionally, the exercise can improve mobility by highlighting any restrictions during the range of motion.

6. Builds Motor Control

The landmine press requires a controlled movement during both the press and the eccentric (lowering) portion of the lift.

This helps to strengthen the mind-muscle connection and enhance the activation of muscles like the scapular and triceps.

7. Reduce the Injury

In general, the stronger you are, the less likely it is that you’ll get injured easily. You’ll feel happier, healthier, and more motivated to keep up the hard work.

8. Variations

We love variety in a workout, so any exercise with many variations is right up our street.


What does the Landmine Press Work?

Landmine Presses develop upper body strength uniquely with slightly different angles and ranges of motion.

They work the shoulders, arms, core, back and glutes.

Are Landmine Presses Effective?

Yes. They are a great exercise for burning fat, building muscle and protecting your shoulders against injury.

Does Landmine Press Work Upper Chest?

Yes, the Landmine chest press exercise works the upper chest, arms, shoulders, back, core, and glutes.

The curving bar path and neutral grip do the exercise a little easier on your shoulders than the Strict Press.

Are landmine presses good for athletes?

Yes, these are great for overhead athletes, throwers, and athletes who need to generate force with their upper body. The landmine press builds shoulder strength and size, but also scapular control.


The landmine press is an incredibly versatile tool for building a strong, sculpted chest and shoulders.

With numerous variations, you can target your upper body, break through plateaus, and add variety to your workouts.

Don’t be afraid to experiment! Start with one or two variations that fit your goals, and gradually add more to your routine.

Share your experiences and favorite variations in the comments below.


  • Krzysztofik M, Wilk M, Wojdała G, Gołaś A. Maximizing Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review of Advanced Resistance Training Techniques and Methods. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Dec 4;16(24):4897. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16244897. PMID: 31817252; PMCID: PMC6950543.
  • Collins KS, Klawitter LA, Waldera RW, Mahoney SJ, Christensen BK. Differences in Muscle Activity and Kinetics Between the Goblet Squat and Landmine Squat in Men and Women. J Strength Cond Res. 2021 Oct 1;35(10):2661-2668. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000004094. PMID: 34341315.

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