The kneeling variation of the landmine press activates your shoulder muscles more since it takes your legs out of the equation.
Presses are a resistance exercise that pushes weight away from your body to engage your chest, shoulders, and triceps. Various vertical and horizontal pressing workouts exist, such as the barbell bench press, kettlebell press, and dumbbell Arnold press. This post will focus on a hybrid vertical and horizontal pressing movement, the kneeling landmine press – how to do them, the benefits, and alternative shoulder movements.
The landmine press is an effective pressing variation that you can use to spice up your routine. It involves using barbells fixed at one end of a landmine and then pressed overhead to build the deltoid muscles. Athletes with shoulder mobility issues prefer this exercise to the overhead press and use it as a substitute as it is easier on the joints. In addition, it allows you to work the shoulders unilaterally to correct imbalances. Moreover, since it forces you into a neutral grip position, it places less strain on your shoulders.
You can do the landmine press, standing up, kneeling, or lying on the floor. Each of these variations has advantages and builds your muscles from different angles. This exercise guide will examine the kneeling landmine press, its benefits, and some alternatives to this routine.
Techniques and Muscles Worked
The kneeling landmine press primarily targets your shoulders. It builds your delts, emphasizing the front delt, and uses the glutes to keep you upright. This exercise also recruits your triceps while pressing and uses your traps to support your upper back and abs and obliques to stabilize your midsection.
The kneeling landmine press is a routine for experienced lifters. This is because this variation takes out the use of your legs for support, forcing you only to use your shoulder muscles to lift the load. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to do this routine with proper form.
- Assume a tall kneeling position in front of the barbell and landmine setup.
- Hold the end of the barbell with a neutral grip, keeping it a few inches from your shoulders.
- Brace your core, lats, and glutes to engage them. This is your starting position.
- Keeping your spine neutral, press the weight upwards with one hand until your elbow is nearly at lockout and your arm is extended.
- Pause at the stop and slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position to complete the rep.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
The kneeling landmine press is an excellent exercise for building upper body strength. It’s more joint-friendly than exercises like the overhead press, allowing those with shoulder mobility issues a better option. Below are the benefits of this routine.
Fixes Strength Imbalances
The kneeling landmine press is a unilateral exercise that enables you to find and fix any strength imbalances between both arms and sides of your body. Research also shows that unilateral training of one arm also trains the muscles in the other (1).
Joint Friendly & Less Shoulder Discomfort
Doing a barbell bench press or overhead press can be brutal on your upper body joints. The kneeling landmine press places less pressure on your joints due to the fixed end of the mechanism. It’s also done with a neutral grip, which places less strain on your shoulders.
The kneeling landmine press’s kneeling position isolates your shoulder muscles entirely. When doing this exercise, you can also keep constant pressure on your delts by not locking out your elbows at the upper part of the movement. Constant tension is crucial to build bigger delts.
Carryover to Sports
Athletes can use pressing movements to strengthen their muscles and improve their performance. However, the kneeling landmine press offers the advantage of letting you train in a more sport-specific direction than a lying down pressing movement like the bench press. Research shows that considering the force vector can improve performance (2).
Stronger Core, Hip, & Glute Stability
During the kneeling landmine press, your core and hips are activated to keep your upper body stable as you press the weight. Your glutes also come into play as your lower legs are removed from the equation.
Kneeling Landmine Press Alternatives
The kneeling landmine press is an effective pressing variation you can add to your routine for delotid gains. Research shows that varying your exercises can help prevent training monotony, so you can always try other alternatives (3). Below are some kneeling landmine press alternatives you can include in your workout.
Dumbbell Front Raise
The dumbbell front raise is a routine that targets your front delts. Hold dumbbells in both hands and raise them while engaging your core to do this exercise. However, using proper form when doing them is essential to avoid injury.
Resistance Band Shoulder Press
The resistance band shoulder press is an exercise that targets your shoulder muscles. They also work on your stability and involve standing on the band while pressing your arms straight. Due to resistance bands, it’s a versatile routine you can do anywhere and on the go.
Kneeling Kettlebell Press
The kneeling kettlebell press is an exercise that follows a similar movement pattern as the landing press, however, it’s more vertical. Using kettlebells for this press offers a more natural movement for your arms, which puts less stress on your shoulders, wrists, and elbows. At that same time, due to the kettlebell’s makeup, the press will challenge your wrist and general stability more.
What does kneeling landmine press work?
The kneeling landmine press works on your upper body muscles and strength. This routine also recruits your core, hips, and glutes to keep you upright in the kneeling position. Check the guide above for more details on the muscles that this exercise targets.
Is kneeling landmine press effective?
The kneeling landmine press is an effective way to train your upper body muscles. Using weight with the barbell in a landmine setup leads to effective muscle growth since barbells allow you to load heavier weights than dumbbells or bands.
What are the benefits of kneeling press?
The kneeling press focuses on and builds your shoulder muscles, specifically targeting your front delts. Kneeling also increases the difficulty of this routine by not allowing you to engage your lower body while pressing the weight upwards.
- Andrushko, J. W., Lanovaz, J. L., Björkman, K. M., Kontulainen, S. A., & Farthing, J. P. (2018). Unilateral strength training leads to muscle-specific sparing effects during opposite homologous limb immobilization. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 124(4), 866–876. https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00971.2017
- Loturco, I., Contreras, B., Kobal, R., Fernandes, V., Moura, N., Siqueira, F., Winckler, C., Suchomel, T., & Pereira, L. A. (2018). Vertically and horizontally directed muscle power exercises: Relationships with top-level sprint performance. PloS one, 13(7), e0201475. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0201475
- Krzysztofik, M., Wilk, M., Wojdała, G., & Gołaś, A. (2019). Maximizing Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review of Advanced Resistance Training Techniques and Methods. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(24), 4897. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16244897