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Build big and broad shoulders with the landmine shoulder press

Nothing screams a strong, athletic and impressive physique more than big and defined shoulders. Add the little known but big-impact landmine shoulder press to your upper-body workouts to hit your delts the smart way to sculpt the eye-turning torso you want, says New Body Plan’s Joe Warner

Broad, well-defined shoulders are the pinnacle of an athletic and muscular physique, performing a desirable dual role. They not only contribute to an appearance of wider, more powerful upper body, but also cleverly accentuate the illusion of a smaller waist, cultivating that coveted V-shape torso seen in top athletes.

And there’s few better moves for creating the toned torso you want than the landmine shoulder press. It’s a rarely-seen move in most gyms compared to the machine shoulder press, the barbell shoulder press, Smith machine shoulder press, dumbbell Arnold press, or the many cable machine shoulder moves. But those who don’t do it are missing out on not just building bigger shoulders, but also sculpting defined traps, triceps and abs too. Here’s all you need to know about the landmine shoulder press to build the athletic and powerful upper-body you want!

TL;DR The landmine shoulder press can unlock impressive shoulder size and strength – if you do it right. It targets your shoulders, trapezius, triceps and core, to transform your torso. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned lifter, doing this move will fast-track your progress towards an athletic and muscular physique.

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What is the landmine shoulder press?

The landmine shoulder press is a comprehensive compound exercise that targets not only your shoulders but also multiple muscle groups simultaneously. It’s performed by lifting a barbell, which is positioned in a landmine base or secured in a corner, from the shoulder height to an overhead position.

Much like similar moves the landmine press (targets the chest) and the landmine row (targets the back), the shoulder press landmine variation is a move that stands out for its impressive ability to build size, strength and stability in the upper body, including the abdominals (six-pack muscles) and core. But there’s more to this exercise than meets the eye – it also enhances functional fitness, ensuring that the strength you build in the gym translates to improved performance in your everyday sports and activities.

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What muscles does the landmine shoulder press work?

The landmine shoulder press is a true multi-tasker when it comes to muscle engagement. While its primary target is the deltoids in your shoulders, it’s far from being a one-trick pony. It’s a multi-joint exercise that also calls upon the trapezius, serratus anterior, and the entire collective of your core muscles for stability.

By doing so, it offers a robust upper-body workout that doesn’t just stop at muscle building. The landmine shoulder press also significantly improves overall stability, thanks to the activation of stabilising muscles, and contributes to a more balanced, injury-proof physique.

How do I perform the landmine shoulder press?

Performing the landmine shoulder press begins with standing perpendicular to the barbell, ensuring your feet are shoulder-width apart for optimal balance. With a firm grip and holding the bar in one hand, lift the end of the barbell to your shoulder level, press it overhead, then slowly lower the barbell back to the start. Do the desired number of reps, switch hands, and immediately do the same number of reps to complete a set. See below for a more detailed form guide with set and rep suggestions.

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Why should I do the landmine shoulder press?

The landmine shoulder press isn’t just another addition to your workout routine – it’s a game-changer. This exercise not only ramps up shoulder strength and stability but also markedly improves core power and functional fitness.

The landmine shoulder press elicits a high degree of muscle activation, particularly in the deltoids and trapezius, according to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. This activation contributes to the sculpting of a powerful upper body that’s not just visually impressive but also functionally efficient. By enhancing your functional fitness, it ensures that your gym strength translates into real-world benefits.

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What equipment do I need to do the landmine shoulder press?

To perform the landmine shoulder press, you’ll need a barbell and a landmine base or a secured corner where you can anchor one end of the barbell. The landmine base provides stability to the barbell and allows for smooth, controlled movements, making your workout both effective and safe. If you don’t have access to a landmine base, a secure corner will suffice. Just ensure the barbell is well-anchored and won’t slip during the set.

What other moves are similar to the landmine shoulder press?

The landmine shoulder press shares similarities with other upper body exercises, such as the overhead barbell press or the Cuban press. These exercises also target the shoulder muscles while also requiring a degree of core stability.

They are all compound movements, meaning they work multiple muscle groups simultaneously, leading to a more efficient and balanced workout. Incorporating such exercises into your routine ensures a well-rounded approach to fitness, boosting strength and stability across your body.

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Is the landmine shoulder press suitable for beginners?

Yes! Its ability to focus on form and stability makes it an excellent choice for those just starting their fitness journey. According to a study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, the landmine shoulder press enhances muscle coordination and functional strength, making it a worthy addition to the repertoire of any beginner.

Its versatility also means that as your strength and skill improve, the same exercise can continue to challenge you simply by adjusting the weight or changing your grip and stance.

What else do I need to know about the landmine shoulder press?

Beyond its evident physique and performance benefits, the landmine shoulder press stands out for its versatility. Small changes, like adjusting the grip and stance, can allow you to target different muscle groups, says a study in the International Journal of Sports Medicine.

This versatility makes it an adaptable tool in any workout routine, enabling you to tailor your workouts to your specific fitness goals. Whether you’re looking to build strength, enhance stability, or improve functional fitness, this shoulder press variation is a potent weapon to have in your arsenal.

How to do the landmine shoulder press

  • Position yourself perpendicular to the barbell with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Grasp the end of the barbell in one hand with a firm grip.
  • Lift the barbell to shoulder height.
  • Push the barbell overhead until your arm is fully extended.
  • Slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position.
  • Repeat the process for your desired number of reps.
  • Switch hands and do the same number of reps to complete the set.

How many reps should I do?
Aim to complete 8 to 12 reps per side per set, focusing on maintaining proper form throughout.

How many sets should I do?
Do 3 to 4 sets, resting between 1 and 3 minutes between sets, to build muscular size and strength. workout to achieve the most benefit from this exercise.

How much weight should I lift?
Start with a weight that you can lift for 8 to 12 reps with good form. As your strength improves, you can gradually increase the weight.

Landmine shoulder press progression exercise
Make it harder: Incorporate the landmine thruster into your routine. This exercise combines a squat with the shoulder press for an intense full-body move.

Landmine shoulder press regression exercise
Make it easier: Begin with the landmine press. This variation involves pressing the barbell from chest level, recruiting the powerful pec muscles for assistance, and allowing you to focus on mastering the basic movement safely.

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