Doing the same old barbell back squats over and over again can get boring. Plus, if you follow the same workout routine week after week and become stagnant … so can your progress!
If this is you, I have a solution for you. If you just want to switch things up on your leg days, I have a solution for you too. What’s the solution you ask? Landmine squats!
Not only will landmine squats challenge your strength, but they will also train your coordination and stability.
Landmine squats are a great exercise for anyone looking to build strength, become a better athlete, or even just switch up their exercises on leg day.
But, what exactly are landmine squats? Let’s talk about it.
What are Landmine Squats?
Landmine squats are a squat variation that is far different than your typical barbell back squat.
To perform a landmine squat, you need what’s called a landmine attachment. This is basically a place to anchor one end of a barbell to the ground. You can find this attachment in a lot of commercial gyms.
Now, if your gym doesn’t have one, a corner can work as well. Just place one end of the barbell in a corner to “anchor” it in place. Doing so allows one end to move freely while the other stays jammed into the corner.
Once the barbell is set, that’s when you can perform landmine squats. You’ll grab hold of the other end of the barbell, add some weight plates, and start squatting with the barbell in hand.
It’s important to note that there are also multiple variations of this type of squat. I’ll cover some of the most popular variations and exactly how to do them. First, let’s talk about which muscles you’ll be targeting in a landmine squat.
Which Muscles Do Landmine Squats Work?
So, which muscles are being targeted in a landmine squat? For the most part, you’ll be targeting the muscles in your legs and your core.
• Glutes (Gluteus maximus, minimus, and medius)
• Abdominal muscles
• Spinal erectors
As you can see, landmine squats work a lot of different muscles! Now, even though they’ll work all of these muscles, each variation can have a different emphasis. For example, a landmine goblet squat will place more emphasis on your glutes, hamstrings, and your core. On the other hand, a landmine hack squat will place more emphasis on your quads.
So, let’s get into each of the variations I recommend and exactly how to do them.
Landmine Squats: How To Do Them
Before you start squatting, you’ll want to make sure your barbell is anchored properly. Next, add some weight plates on the free end of the barbell until you find a comfortable weight.
There are 3 main variations that you can choose between from here:
1. Landmine Goblet Squats
This variation, as you may imagine, is a goblet squat in a landmine format.
You’ll begin by picking up the weighted side of the barbell and holding it with both hands at your chest. Make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart, and keep a slight bend in your knees.
Keep your elbows tucked into your body, brace your core, and keep your chest high throughout the movement. To begin, slowly bend your knees and push your hips back as you descend into a squat.
Once your thighs are parallel to the ground or past that point, hold for a second before pushing through your feet to a standing position. Squeeze your glutes as you reach the standing position to complete one rep.
2. Landmine Hack Squats
For landmine hack squats, you’ll actually be turning your back to the bar. Place the free end of the bar on one of your shoulders and support it with the same arm. Once again, make sure to space your feet shoulder-width apart and maintain a slight bend in your knees.
Keep your elbows close to your body and brace your core as you begin to descend into a squat. Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground, or past that point, then pause for a second.
Push through your feet until you reach a standing position, squeezing your glutes at the top. This is one rep.
For this variation, I also encourage you to switch the barbell to your opposite shoulder halfway through your repetitions or sets ... to make sure you're working both sides equally.
3. Landmine Single-Leg Zercher Squats
This variation is quite different from the other two we’ve covered so far. You’ll actually start out by standing perpendicular to the bar. Hold the free end of the bar in front of your chest, supporting it in the creases of your elbows.
Space your feet shoulder-width apart and lift your inside leg off the ground, away from the bar. Your body should also naturally lean slightly into the barbell for balance. From here, slowly sink into your outside leg until it is parallel to the ground. Pause for a second and push through your outside foot to return to a standing position.
Repeat this for reps before switching to the opposite side of the barbell to squat with your other leg.
Now, even though I only listed three variations, there are still quite a few more. You can switch things up quite a bit depending on how you choose to hold the bar, where you place your feet, and much more.
This is just one of the many reasons why landmine squats are so great. There are so many different ways you can customize them to accommodate your specific needs.
What are the Benefits of Landmine Squats?
I believe that landmine squats are one of the most underrated exercises. In fact, there are a lot of unique benefits to doing them.
• Good for beginners
• Good for athletes
• Strengthens lower body and core
• Easy on joints/Low impact
• Helps taller lifters target their quads more effectively
• Promotes proper form
• Improves mobility
Really, landmine squats can be beneficial for just about anyone.
Don't Skip Your Landmine Squats!
Landmine squats can be used in so many different ways and can benefit so many different people. As I said, I think they are easily underestimated and underutilized.
Whether you want to build muscle, burn fat, be more athletic, or just swap out traditional squats, try adding landmines to your routine!
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If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Our team of NASM Certified Personal Trainers and Nutrition Coaches are more than happy to help out. Just give us a call at 1-800-409-9732 or send us an email at CustomerService@1stPhorm.com anytime!ABOUT THE AUTHOR