Skater Squats with a Twist

Posted on by Ben Bruno

Wow, two blog posts in two days. I think that’s a record for me the past six months or so.

Can a brotha get a “Yeah Buddy!”?


Today’s post is going to be short, but I wanted to share a little twist I’ve been doing with skater squats that I really like, which I’ve not-so-creatively called Perpendicular Landmine Skater Squats.

Rather than try to describe them—which would probably just confuse you anyway—I’ll just show you what they look like.

I’ve done skater squats with the landmine for quite some time, and I even wrote them on my blog HERE, but I’ve just recently started setting up perpendicular to the landmine rather than in line with it and I have to say I think it’s better.

The landmine is cool because it lets you get the benefits on offset contralateral loading while still allowing you to load it up heavy, which you can’t do as well using dumbbells. And actually, the landmine helps provide a little stability to make it easier to balance, but not so much stability that it becomes a crutch and takes the balance aspect out of the exercise. It’s still really tough.

When you set up perpendicular to the landmine unit, it creates a cross-body reaching effect due to the arc of the barbell, which increases glute recruitment and again helps with balance to a small degree. Using a cross body reach is actually a great teaching tool for learning skater squats, but I’m wary of using an aggressive reach with heavier loads because I think that twisting under load could be problematic for the lower back if you’re not careful. With the landmine though, the cross-body effect is slight: just enough to notice and get the benefits, but not so severe that it puts the lower back at risk.

I find it’s actually easier to keep good form with these, and it also feels really solid when I load it up, so I think it could potentially be a good choice as either a teaching tool or for more advanced lifters looking for ways to increase the challenge and load it up if you don’t have a bunch of weighted vests.

I haven’t used it with any clients yet so at this point the sample size is one (i.e. me), so I’ll be curious to hear what you think. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes!

For more exercise demos, you can always subscribe to my You Tube page.



  • Colin

    Seems like a great move Ben. It appeals to me as I don’t have access to heavy dumbells. I think you’ve got a winner here. Placing the front foot on a small platform (2-4ins) would allow the front thigh to approach parallel and may improve the move. I’m going to experiment. Thanks again.


  • DanielAipa

    You my friend are a frickin genius. I enjoy all your videos because you are affraid to experiment with different things. solid stuff bru

  • Ross

    You inspired me to buy a landmine several months ago, but here in Australia they’re called a Torsonator. I ended up getting what is called a Torsonator Sleeve, instead of being on the ground it’s mounted on a pin which fits into the holes on a power rack. By mounting it off the ground you can alter the arc the bar travels in. I think you’d like it.

    I always jump on T-Nation at the end of the week to read all the articles, and anything written by you gets read first. Keep up the good work man

  • Michael

    Ben, I’m curious if you’d recommend switching other single leg exercises like reverse lunge and single leg deadlift to this perpendicular orientation, or if this is only for skater squats? Seems like this would give a bit more lateral stability?

  • Fredrik

    Working lateral movements with weights are hard so check this out. Flywheel.