Landmine Squat: How To Do, Muscles Worked & Variations

Bored with your squats? Feeling like your leg day gains have plateaued? The landmine squat might be the best leg workout you can do.

I used to think nothing could beat the classic barbell squat. But then I tried the landmine squat – and wow.

It targets your thighs in an entirely new way and your core.

In this article, I’ll break down everything you need to know about this awesome exercise:

  • What the landmine squat is
  • Why it’s so effective
  • The muscles you’ll be blasting
  • How to do landmine squats
  • its variations

What is Landmine Squat

The landmine squat is a modified squat where one end of a barbell is anchored in a landmine device (either a floor-mounted pivot or a weight used as an anchor). The lifter then positions themselves at the opposite end of the barbell.

The barbell angle allows for a deeper range of motion and less stress on the lower back than traditional squats do.

It is extremely versatile and effective for building functional strength through all planes of motion.

The Landmine squat works the lower body, especially the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.

Landmine Squat

Landmine Squat Muscles Worked

When you perform landmine squats, you target various muscles in your core and lower body.

The main muscles used during landmine squats, known as primary muscles, are the quadriceps and glutes.

Other muscles worked while doing the squat, known as Secondary Muscle, are:

Landmine Squat Muscles Worked

Benefits Of Landmine Squat

The benefits of landmine squats are impressive. You can achieve significant strength gains when performed correctly and consistently over time.

Some benefits include:

  • Increased muscular strength in the lower body muscle and core.
  • The angled path can be easier on your knees and lower back than traditional squats.
  • Enhanced athletic performance and functional movement.
  • We love variety in a workout, and the landmine squat has many variations.
  • Increased range of motion, allowing for deeper squats and greater muscle activation.
  • Engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.
  • It has a high metabolic demand.
  • Due to the fixed position of one end of the barbell and the more stable and predictable bar path, landmine exercises can be an extremely valuable tool to reduce the chance of injury.
  • If you are considering building a home gym but do not want to spend money on costly machines, purchasing one barbell will leave you with multiple training options.
Know More: 20 Best Landmine Exercises For Building Muscle And Strength

How To Do Landmine Squats

  1. Position the barbell up at your chest with your hands at the end of the barbell collar, palms in and slightly under.
  2. From a standing position, with your core tight and elbows tucked to maintain the barbell position firmly.
  3. Maintain the natural arch in your lower back and keep your head directed forward.
  4. Bend your knees and drive your hips back to lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  5. When you reach the bottom of your squat, drive force from the heels of your feet back to a standing position.
  6. The barbell will remain at the center of your upper chest throughout the movement, similar to a goblet squat.

Proper Form And Tips

It can appear as a simple squatting movement. However, mistakes are common when you do not have the correct landmine squat form.

To have the proper form, make sure you:

  • Maintain a neutral position with the spine
  • Begin with a lightweight if new to the landmine squat
  • Inhale on the way up, exhale when lowering the barbell
  • Do not bend the neck. Keep a neutral gaze. 
  • Warm up before doing the squat.
  • Ensure your set-up is secure before each exercise, especially if you use a corner wall setup.
  • Start light and add weight gradually, allowing your legs and lower back time to adapt.
  • The barbell will remain at the center of your upper chest throughout the movement, similar to a goblet squat.
Read More: 15 Best Leg Exercises And Workout For Muscle & Strength

Landmine Squat Variations

Adding variation to your landmine squat workout routine can prevent boredom and plateauing, keeping your body challenged and adapting to new stimuli.

Some people find landmine squat variations more comfortable and less taxing on their lower backs than traditional squats, making them a good alternative for people with mobility issues or back pain.

1. Landmine Squat Press (aka Thruster)

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

The muscles worked during this squat press 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.

All in all, if you want a squat press exercise that will burn a lot of calories, build total-body strength, and get those good muscle-building hormones flowing, this is the one.

Landmine Squat Press

How To Do Landmine Squat 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 as deep as you can.
  3. Don’t let your knees push out in front of your toes, and keep weight on your heels.
  4. When you reach the bottom of your squat, explode up.
  5. As you come up, simultaneously press the bar until your arms are fully extended.
  6. 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.

2. Landmine Single Leg Squat

The single-leg landmine squat is a challenging variation of the standard landmine squat, specifically designed to isolate and strengthen each leg individually.

This exercise targets your lower body muscles – quads, glutes, hamstrings – while demanding serious core engagement and balance.

Single Leg Landmine Squat

How To Do Single-Leg Landmine Squat

  1. Hold the barbell with one hand at the end furthest away from the landmine.
  2. Place your free hand on your hip or extend it out in front of you for balance.
  3. Step back with one foot, keeping your toes pointed forward and your heel raised.
  4. Bend your standing leg and lower your body down into a squat.
  5. Pause at the bottom of the squat, then push back up to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of reps, then switch sides and repeat on the other leg.


  1. Keep your core engaged to keep you balanced and stable.
  2. Keep your knee aligned with your toes, and avoid letting it cave inward.
  3. Focus on keeping a good posture, with your chest up and your shoulders back.

3. Landmine Hack Squat

The landmine hack squat, also known as landmine reverse squat, is a hybrid of the hack squat and landmine squat, which primarily targets the leg muscles while minimizing strain on the lower back.

It’s an excellent alternative if you’re looking to prioritize your quadriceps muscles in a relatively stable exercise and lack access to a hack squat machine.

Landmine hack Squat

How To Do Reverse Landmine Squat

  1. Start by loading a barbell with an appropriate amount of weight.
  2. Place one end of the barbell into a landmine station or anchor.
  3. Facing away from the bar, place the other end on one of your shoulders.
  4. Lower your body down into a squat, keeping your back straight and your chest up.
  5. Pause at the bottom of the squat, then push back up to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of reps.


  1. Keep your core engaged.
  2. Keep your knees aligned with your toes, and avoid letting them cave inward.
  3. Focus on maintaining good posture, with your chest up and your shoulders back.
  4. Avoid leaning forward or arching your back during the exercise.

4. Landmine Sumo Squat

The landmine sumo squat is a type of squat where you position your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, typically twice as wide. This simple change significantly impacts the exercise mechanics and targeted muscles.

Some people find this squat more stable and comfortable than using a dumbbell, which requires balance and coordination to keep from swinging.

Landmine Sumo Squat

How To Do Landmine Sumo Squat

  1. Place your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing outwards at an angle.
  2. Hold the other end of the barbell with both hands.
  3. Keep your back straight and squat down until your legs are parallel to the ground or slightly lower.
  4. Pause for a second at the bottom, then press up through your heels to return to the starting position.

Landmine Squat Alternatives

There are many squatting exercises that you can perform as alternatives to the landmine squat.

Before we dive deep into the best landmine squat alternatives, We must remember a good alternative will be able to satisfy the following criteria:

  • Activate the leg muscle groups, which are trained in the Landmine Squat.
  • Train the leg muscles through a longer range of motion.

Here are some alternative exercises that can target similar muscle groups:

  1. Barbell Squat
  2. Goblet squat
  3. Bulgarian split squat
  4. Lunges
  5. Step-ups
  6. Leg press
  7. Box squat
  8. Landmine Deadlift
  9. Hack squat machine
  10. Zercher squat


Landmine squat vs hack squat

FeatureLandmine SquatHack Squat
EquipmentBarbell and landmine attachmentSpecialized hack squat machine
Muscle ActivationQuads, glutes, core (high core engagement)Primarily quads and glutes
Range of MotionGreater range of motionLimited by machine path
Balance & StabilityRequires more balance and core stabilityThis can be done with basic gym equipment
AccessibilityCan be done with basic gym equipmentRequires a specific machine, less common in home gyms

Are landmine squats good for beginners?

Yes, landmine squats can be a good exercise for beginners because they help beginners build strength and improve their squat form.


The landmine squat isn’t just another squat variation – it’s a tool to customize your workouts for specific goals.

Depending on your form and stance variations, it can shift focus to specific muscle groups (quads, glutes, hamstrings).

Experiment with different stances and grips to find what works best for you.

I’d love to hear how your first landmine squat session goes.


  • Collins, Kyle S.; Klawitter, Lukus A.; Waldera, Roman W.; Mahoney, Sean J.; Christensen, Bryan K.. Differences in Muscle Activity and Kinetics Between the Goblet Squat and Landmine Squat in Men and Women. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 35(10):p 2661-2668, October 2021.
  • Ribeiro, Alex S. PhD1,2; Santos, Erick D. MSc1,2; Nunes, João Pedro MSc2; Nascimento, Matheus A. PhD2,3; Graça, Ágatha MSc3; Bezerra, Ewertton S. PhD4; Mayhew, Jerry L. PhD5. A Brief Review on the Effects of the Squat Exercise on Lower-Limb Muscle Hypertrophy. Strength and Conditioning Journal 45(1):p 58-66, February 2023.
  • Myer, G. D., Kushner, A. M., Brent, J. L., Schoenfeld, B. J., Hugentobler, J., Lloyd, R. S., Vermeil, A., Chu, D. A., Harbin, J., & McGill, S. M. (2014). The back squat: A proposed assessment of functional deficits and technical factors that limit performance. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 36(6), 4.

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