Move of the Week: Landmine Push Press

Isn’t the weather such a tease? Well, you can always rely on Move of the Week! No tease here.

THE MOVE: Landmine Push Press

MOVEMENT PATTERN AND MUSCLES WORKED: Vertical push: shoulders, posterior chain.

WHY DO IT: We’ve featured the landmine on this blog more than once before, and that’s because it really is quite versatile. It is essentially a ball-and-socket joint (think of your shoulder and hip joints here) that allows the barbell to move freely in all 3 planes of motion. Usually, there is a circular arc of motion inherent to any exercise that is done on the landmine.

This circular arc is incredibly useful when it comes to overhead pressing movements. We’ve spoken before about how many people do not have full overhead mobility of their shoulders. This leads to compensations elsewhere in the body in order to “make up” for this lack of overhead mobility in shoulder presses.

It is common to see people hyperextend at their lumbar spine to finish reps, compromising the integrity of their core. Ideally, overhead movement of the arms should come from the shoulder blades moving on the ribcage and taking the arms with them; not from the lumbar spine hyperextending.

The push press is an explosive version of the shoulder press wherein the trainee uses his/her lower half to drive the weight up initially. This allows trainees to get accustomed to using more weight than in a static overhead press. As such, the landmine push press allows those who do not have full overhead mobility to do this safely and effectively. Thus, if you don’t have good shoulder mobility but still want to press heavy, the Landmine Push Press might be your answer.

In this exercise, proper movement of the shoulder blades should be emphasized. Specifically, the scapula must elevate, upwardly rotate, and protract in order to go overhead. One simple coaching cue that works for most people is to reach forward at the top of the push press. The landmine makes these concepts easy to comprehend and feel, and that’s why it is today’s move of the week.

HOW TO DO IT: Set up a landmine, and wrap your hands around the end of the loaded barbell. Set up with your elbows at your sides and the bar close to your chest, leaning into the bar slightly.

Like in a normal push press, initiate the movement by bending slightly at the hips and knees. Fully extend your lower body to drive the barbell upward and forward, and finish the rep by reaching forward at the top through the shoulder blades. Return the bar to your chest, and repeat for reps.

Done correctly, you should feel some activation in your upper back during the exercise–that’s your shoulder blades moving. Because of it’s explosive component, this exercise works best towards the beginning of a workout when fatigue has yet to set in. I’d recommend using it for 3-4 sets of 5-8 reps. Done correctly, you can use the landmine push press to encourage proper overhead shoulder mechanics and build some explosiveness as well. Try it out and let us know what you think on Twitter or Instagram @halevylife !

by Jeremy Lau

Jeremy Lau

Jeremy Lau Halevy Life Staff CoachJeremy Lau is a Senior Staff Coach at Halevy Life.

Jeremy graduated cum laude from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a BSc. in Biomedical Engineering and received his Master’s in Exercise Physiology at Columbia University. In addition to his academic accolades, Jeremy is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).

Prior to joining the team at Halevy Life, Jeremy completed a coaching internship at Cressey Sports Performance, where he coached both amateur and professional athletes, among whom were many professional MLB baseball players.

As an athlete, Jeremy has played baseball competitively for most of his life.