Landmine squats are a seriously underrated and underutilized strength training squat variation. Similar to the load of a front squat, landmine squats can add more variation and flexibility into your training program, enabling you to work on form and glute activation. With one end the weight affixed to the ground, you aren’t shifting a loaded barbell, which provides less impact on your joints and a fixed range of motion for better execution and form.
What Are Landmine Squats
Landmine squat is a strength training squat variation that affixes one end of a barbell to the floor, with the other end attached to a landmine grip. This movement is a very beneficial accessory leg exercise, providing less impact on your joints, and placing more emphasis on form to help build strength in your quads, glutes, and hamstrings.
Landmine Squat Muscles Worked
Landmine squats are an anteriorly (front) loaded movement which will place more emphasis on your quads, upper back, glutes, and core. What’s great about the landmine squat is that it emphasizes proper form, specifically glute activation, which is crucial for performing heavy loaded back or front squats to build more strength and mass.
Squats are a compound exercise, meaning that you target several muscle groups and joints in one fluid motion. The muscles that are most targeted are those in your lower body including the
- Gluteus maximus, minimus, and medius
- Hip flexors
Landmine Squat Benefits
1. Landmine Squats Build More Strength
Just like a traditional back or front squat, landmine squat is an extremely effective exercise to build more strength and power in your legs and muscles in the posterior chain. The landmine squat stimulates and activates the glutes, quads, and hamstrings, increasing more lean muscle mass and building more total body strength. With more strength, comes better athletic performance, in terms of speed, power, and force.
Landmine squats also focus on proper form, which can help improve range of motion. This also helps engage and activate key muscle groups such as your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and core. With better muscle activation and range of motion, you’ll be able to increase strength and build more muscle.
RELATED ARTICLE Best Bodyweight Exercises To Build Stronger Glutes
2. Landmine Squats Improve Mobility
Mobility is crucial to build a stronger foundation for functional movements.The mechanical demand of the landmine squat focuses on the hip, ankle, and knee flexors. Strengthening your mobility through accessory exercises like the landmine will generate more power and force, to effectively improve bigger and heavier loaded strength movements such as the squat, snatch, and clean. Athletes demand more hip, knee, and ankle mobility to perform advanced strength movements in exercise modalities such as Crossfit and High-intensity functional training. By adding accessory movements to your training program you can effectively enhance athletic performance outcomes.
RELATED ARTICLE 4 Accessory Strength Movements To Build A Stronger Squat
3. Landmine Squats Are Low Impact
Landmine squats provide less physical demand and stress on your joints, as opposed to a conventional back or front squat. Since the weight is affixed to the ground, the barbell moves in a fixed range of motion, which acts as a guide when performing the movement throughout the extension and flexion.
In a study published in The Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research, 15 healthy participants were assessed to compare the effects and differences between front squat vs back squat. The results indicated statistically significant differences between compressive knee force, with the back squat resulting in higher average maximum compressive forces on the knee than front squat [R]. Keep in mind, knee stress was also reduced to a lighter load and less sheer force than back squats. Since landmine squats are front loaded, it will place a lighter load and force to your knees and joints.
How To Perform A Landmine Squat
- Place one end of the barbell into the landmine device and stand facing the other end of the barbell.
- Stand with your feet hip or shoulder width apart, with a tall stance and slight bend in your knees with a neutral spine and neck.
- Evenly distribute your weight and grip the floor with your feet to create a stable foot position.
- Using a full grip, clasp the end of the bar with both hands. Your elbows should be close to your ribcage.
- Engage your core and slightly tuck your pelvis. All repetitions should begin from this starting position.
- Begin the downward or shortening motion by bending your hips, knees, and ankles. Lower until your legs are parallel or slightly below parallel to the ground. The weight on your feet should be evenly distributed. Pause at the bottom position, activating your glutes.
- To begin the eccentric or upward movement, push your feet into the ground to initiate standing. Place emphasis on pushing through your mid-foot and heel while keeping your toes and glutes engaged.
- Keep your chest high, squeeze your glutes, and allow your knees to straighten and your hips to travel forward. As you finish the movement, squeeze your glutes and quadriceps while maintaining a neutral spine.
- Repeat the landmine squat for your desired number of repetitions.
Landmine Squat: Takeaway
Landmine squat is an effective squat variation, that can help build more functional strength and better form for heavier loaded barbell movements, such as the conventional front or back squat. Landmine squat is a lower impact strength movement, and places more emphasis on glute activation and optimal squat form, helping improve your mobility, strength, and muscle growth.
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