A Landmine is a modification on the use of an Olympic bar. The bar is anchored onto the floor at one end with a Landmine device and you lift the free end of the bar with a load of your choosing. At FFAC, we have five landmine set ups that can be used with either a standard 45 pound Olympic bar or a 15 pound training bar. These are the reasons to use a Landmine.
Hip to Opposite Shoulder Motor Control
Your shoulder girdle works together with your opposite side hip through an interwoven series of muscle and fascia known as your core. The power in a punch and the speed in a fastball are generated from the hips and travel through your torso to your shoulder girdle. Training activities that enhances this hip-torso-opposite shoulder connection will help you function better during daily activities and athletics.
The force created by the load on the landmine decreases as you raise the bar off the floor. At a forty-five degree angle, the force drops by 15% and as you push the bar upward to a sixty degree angle it falls by 30%. One hundred pounds becomes 85 pounds at 45 degrees and then 70 pounds at 60 degrees. This gradual reduction in force is helpful when training clients who have limited overhead shoulder girdle stability and less than optimal core strength.
For many fitness clients, balance deficits are the limiting factor in their performance of squats, lunges, and single leg deadlifts. The landmine is anchored to the floor and acts as “training wheels” during these closed chain strengthening activities. The stability provided by the landmine is just enough support to make them confident about moving further into various movement patterns.
Landmine training helps identify performance asymmetries. Many Landmine exercises load one side of the body and quickly reveal right versus left performance deficits. If you notice six repetitions are easy with the right arm but you are barely able to perform four with the left, you need to work on resolving that asymmetry.
The anterior loading of many Landmine exercises reduces compression and shear stress on the spine. Many fitness clients who are unable to squat, lunge, or press with a barbell or kettlebell can use a landmine and remain pain-free. I have found six weeks of landmine squats produces the lower lumbar strength necessary to progress to squatting with free weights.
-Michael S. O’Hara, PT, OCS, CSCS.