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The Landmine Chest Press: Technique, Benefits, and Programming

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The landmine chest press is a landmine exercise that targets the chest and shoulder muscles and mimics the angles of an incline bench press.

 

You set up the exercise first by setting up the landmine. All you’ll need is a barbell and a safe corner to put one end into. However, if you have a landmine attachment, that will make the setup a bit smoother, although not essential.

Landmine Chest Press Step-by-Step

1) Set up the landmine and load one end of the barbell.

2) Bend your hips down to clean up the barbell so you’re holding it in front of you.

3) Interlock your hands and grip them together.

4) Keeping your hands where they are, shove your hands in. As you do this, you should feel your pec muscles contract. Maintain this throughout the movement.

5) Engage your core and glutes to stabilize your position.

6) Press out until your elbows lock.

7) Descend back down to the starting position.

8) Repeat for however many reps are in your set.

Common Mistakes

This is a relatively simple exercise, but I still see some mistakes.

Leaning Into the Press

The way many people do this exercise, they turn it into mostly a shoulder movement. That’s fine, but if you want to train the shoulders, I’d recommend the standard landmine press using one arm at a time. Since this is a chest exercise, you want to keep your upper body at the same angle as you press.

The landmine chest press is NOT the same as the landmine press. The latter targets the shoulders, here we’re targeting the upper chest.

Arching the Lower Back

If you arch your back as you press, the angle of your body will change and you will take tension off of the chest and shoulder muscles and just crank on your shoulder joints. And you’ll place unnecessary strain on your lower back. To solve this, make sure your ab and glute muscles are engaged throughout the movement.

Going Too Heavy

Here’s the deal, this exercise looks cool. Which is great, for looking cool anyway. But that also means the meathead in us will want to do more weight than we should, leading to more of the other two problems mentioned above.

Uneven Grip

Locking your hands together works best.

Benefits of the Landmine Chest Press

Think of it like a safer version of an incline bench press. The grip is a little more comfortable, you can get true humeral adduction, increasing chest activation, and it looks cool.

From a practical standpoint, you can target the chest without needing an actual bench. For example, if you train at home and have nothing but a barbell, this can be one of your go-to chest exercises along with a landmine floor press.

Programming Considerations

If you have access to a full gym, I recommend using the landmine chest press as an accessory exercise. It does not need to be your main chest exercise, but it contains a few unique benefits that make it suitable to throw into your program for a few phases.

If you don’t have access to a gym, and all you have is a barbell, then this can be one of your main upper body pressing exercises. In my landmine-only exercise program (coming in early 2022), I feature this exercise once a week as a main pressing movement in the 4-day/week program.

About the Author

David is a writer and strength coach and co-owner of Roman Fitness Systems. In addition to helping run RFS, he's also the head editor for prohockeystrength.com., the official website of the Strength and Conditioning Association of Professional Hockey. You can also check out his Instagram, he's pretty easy on the eyes.