Landmine Squats: A Great Alternative to Traditional Squats

Posted on by Ben Bruno

Goblet squats have been my go-to exercise for teaching the squat pattern for awhile, but more recently I’ve been using the landmine as way to teach the pattern and I really, really like it. I still like goblet squats and use them often, but they don’t work for everyone. Some people still tend to fold forward as they squat down, and people also struggle to hold heavier weights to where it’s tough to get a training effect for the legs because the upper body is such a limiting factor.

The landmine works really well as a teaching tool because the arc of the bar helps ingrain the idea of keeping an upright torso because if you lean too far forward the bar jams into your sternum. I especially like it for taller lifters who typically tend to struggle to squat to a good depth with turning it into a good morning. Using the landmine I find they can get deeper and do so with good body positioning.

Here’s a video of one of my clients Ryan, who is almost 6’3” squatting with great mechanics.

For some clients I’ll also have them squat to a box or a low bench to help serve as a depth gauge and remind them to sit back into the squat.

Here’s a video of UFC athlete Brendan Schaub doing landmine box squats to good depth at 6’4”.

In both videos you’ll notice that they squat pretty low without the knees coming too far forward over the toes. That’s due the angle of the bar forcing them to sit back. I’m don’t have too much of a problem with the knees coming forward in a squat if someone is using good form and they don’t have any knee issues, but for folks with knee issues, this is a good alternative. It’s also a way to train the squat pattern without putting a lot of undue stress on the lower back.

For women who struggle to hold kettlebells and dumbbells in the goblet hold, this is a good way to get a similar training effect, but you can rest the bar against your body so you don’t have to rely too heavily on your arms.

You can also add in a press, like Kevin Anderson does at the start of this video.

Give landmine squats a try either to help groove the squat pattern or as a way to train the squat pattern without stressing the joints as much. Or if you’ve just never felt right doing regular squats, this could help a lot.

P.S. Brendan Schaub is in the running for a World MMA Award for Personality of the Year, so if you could take a second and vote HERE, that’d be awesome.

 

  • Jacob Søholm

    They look great. I’m surprised you haven’t come up with a unilateral, banded variation yet

  • Tricky Fitness

    I watched the videos and I like the creativity to have an alternative to traditional squats.

  • Eric, CSCS

    The landmine is pushing back, the opposite idea of RNT which would push someone forward that has a forward lean… I wonder how this helps over time in changing someones squat pattern – Ben, is the end goal here to fix a pattern or to just more safely load the quads? Your feedback and time is much appreciated.