Single-Arm Landmine Press Exercise Guide – How To, Benefits, & Alternatives

single-arm landmine press

The single-arm landmine press helps improve shoulder stability. 

While numerous shoulder press variations with free weights effectively enhance upper body strength, the landmine press offers added stability during workouts, making your training safer and minimizing injury risks. The single-arm landmine press, a unilateral variation, efficiently builds upper body muscles and provides increased stability. Experts often hail this routine as a joint-friendly alternative that uniquely engages muscles thanks to its distinctive range of motion. Research indicates that unilateral exercises employ a broader range of motion, which makes them so effective (1)

This article delves deep into the nuances of the single-arm landmine press, emphasizing the specific muscles it targets. It offers detailed, step-by-step guidance on executing this exercise in the correct form. Additionally, we spotlight the key benefits and introduce compelling alternative exercises that athletes can integrate into their training regimes to amplify their gains.

Techniques & Muscles Worked

The single-arm landmine press is a unilateral exercise that primarily works the delts (anterior and medial deltoids) and strengthens the shoulder blades (the scapular). It recruits secondary muscles like the chest, triceps, and upper back. During this exercise, the abs and obliques are also activated and contribute to stability, preventing the torso from moving.

This exercise requires using an angled barbell attached to a landmine device, or you can just fit it into the corner of a room to hold the bar angled in place. Ensure the setup is correct. If trying this exercise for the first time, you can do a couple of movements using light weights to get familiar with it first. You can also do it standing, sitting, or kneeling. Below are steps highlighting how to perform the single-arm landmine press standing.

  1. To set up the barbell landmine press, insert the barbell into the landmine and load the other end of the barbell with your desired weight.
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and keep your spine neutral.
  3. Shoulder the barbell with your right hand and place your left hand on your ribcage to help keep you stable during this exercise. Brace your core and keep your back straight. This is your starting position.
  4. Next, take a deep breath, slightly bend your knees, and press the bar up by extending your elbows and flexing your shoulders. Pause for one to two seconds.
  5. Slowly and in a controlled manner, return the barbell to the starting position on your shoulder, making it one rep.
  6. Switch the barbell to the left shoulder, place your right hand on your ribcage, and repeat, mirroring the movement to complete the exercise.

Benefits

The single-arm landmine press is a compound exercise that works your upper body muscles. Below are some benefits of this exercise.

Builds & Strengthens the Upper Body Muscles

The single-arm landmine press primarily targets the shoulders and other secondary muscles, like the traps, pecs, and arms. This reinforces and strengthens the upper body and improves form, posture, and mobility

Addresses Muscle Imbalances

This unilateral exercise means you can train each part of your body individually. This can help address strength and muscle imbalances by making it easier to identify and attend to your weaker side, resulting in better body development.

Activates Core Muscles

The single-arm landmine press requires balance and stability to execute correctly. During this exercise, the core muscles activate to prevent the torso from twisting to its sides. This helps keep a stable shoulder and targets the muscles better. Activating the core muscles also helps with posture and reduces the chance of injuries.

Better Range of Motion

This unique exercise targets the deltoids and shoulder joints. It also helps reinforce proper scapular stabilization and increases its range of motion. As a result, you’ll be able to lift heavier objects while better controlling and protecting the shoulders

Better Mind-Muscle Connection

The single-arm landmine press is a unilateral exercise, which means you train each side individually. This helps you focus on the target muscles, building a better mind-muscle connection, which is beneficial for inducing muscle growth.

Improves Your Form for Other Workouts

This exercise works the upper body muscles, focusing primarily on the shoulders. A strong shoulder improves lifting, posture, and form for other exercises, including bench presses, pull-ups, deadlifts, and weighted shrug workouts.

Single-Arm Landmine Press Alternatives

The single-arm landmine press is primarily a shoulder-strengthening exercise but builds other upper body muscles, including the abdominals. However, research shows that mixing in other alternative exercises to build similar muscles can help prevent a training plateau (2). Below is a list of exercises you could integrate into your training regimen that work similar muscles.

Close-Grip Push-Up

The close grip push-up is a bodyweight exercise that targets your shoulders, triceps, and chest muscles. It also requires great stability, as it recruits your core muscles. If you want more resistance to increase muscle and strength gains, you can add weight vests and resistance bands.

Banded Shoulder Pass Through

The banded shoulder pass-through is an exercise that helps with shoulder strength and mobility. It targets all three heads of the shoulder muscles (front, middle, and rear deltoids), the upper back, and the shoulder joints. This exercise uses resistance bands to build strength in those areas.

Barbell Shrug

The barbell shrug is a free-weight exercise that works your traps and shoulders. It uses a barbell and adopts an isolation movement that solely works on the delts and upper back. You can also use other free weights like dumbbells, EZ bars, or a trap bar for this exercise.

FAQs

What is the landmine press good for?

The landmine press is a compound exercise that builds upper body muscles from an angle. If you’re an athlete struggling with stability when using free weights, this is the exercise for you.

What muscles do the single-arm landmine press work?

The single-arm landmine press is a unilateral exercise that works the shoulders while engaging your triceps and chest. It also activates the core muscles, which help with stabilization.

Is the landmine press for the shoulders or chest?

The single-arm landmine press primarily works the shoulders and stabilizer muscles. However, it also recruits other muscle groups, including the chest, as secondary muscle groups. 

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References

  1. Patterson, J. M., Vigotsky, A. D., Oppenheimer, N. E., & Feser, E. H. (2015). Differences in unilateral chest press muscle activation and kinematics on a stable versus unstable surface while holding one versus two dumbbells. PeerJ, 3, e1365. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1365 
  2. 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
Terry Ramos
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.