The landmine press is a great dynamic, and power-building upper body strength exercise. I like to program this for my athletes as a variation of vertical press, especially for football players building that umph on their offensive play. Here’s how to train it:

Athlete Performs Landmine Press


The landmine press tends to be a bit more controlled and “safe” when it comes to vertical pressing. This is because one end of the barbell remains locked on the ground as your anchor point, whereas a vertical push press is just you and the bar overhead. Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice on the load since you can stack a few plates on the landmine press.

Another reason I recommend all athletes work on the landmine press for upper body training is the positioning of your hips. To be efficient at this movement, your hips need to stay behind the ribcage putting you into a back-chain dominant position. This is the same spinal positioning you’d be aiming for in a sprint, squat, or vertical jump set-up. The movement of the bar is also a lot more sport-specific than an overhead press.

For example, the path in which the bar travels directly translates to a 3-point shot, a 2nd base pitch, or an end-zone pass. In football you’ll block guys in front who may be taller than you, etc. Rarely in a game setting do you push both hands directly overhead…

This is a great one for newer, younger athletes to master vertical pressing or more advanced athletes to safely load weight without compromising their spine and shoulders.

Read this post on mobility for shoulder health.

How to do a landmine press?

Set up your barbell in a landmine post so that it’s safely secure and there’s no movement at the base.

You can do this standing or in a half kneeling position but for today we’ll describe standing: set your feet just below your hips with the toes pointing forward. Push the hips back a bit so you’re in a slight hinge position. Reach down to grab one end of the barbell and clean it up to your shoulder. From here set the feet firmly to “screw them into the floor” and create torque.

Press the barbell until the arm is straight. It should end in front and slightly above your head, but not straight overhead.

Common Mistakes

Don’t load the bar up so much that you struggle to get it up to it’s final position. Instead choose a challenging, but manageable resistance that you can rep out for power. Also note any strength imbalances you feel between both shoulders.


The landmine press is almost the sweet spot between a vertical and horizontal press movement. It would make a great supplemental drill to any upper body strength training – or you could even use this as your main strength drill in place of overhead press. Try adding it into a chest workout like this one. 

Complete 3 sets of 8-10 reps on each arm.


Want more sessions like the best chest workout for athletes?

As an athlete you know that it take more than just one workout for elite strength, power, and speed. You need a scientifically backed, and athlete proven training. The workout I’ve shared with you is just one of many my from Athlete Built Brick program.

This program was designed off a three phase approach to build lean mass:

  1. Train athleticism and explosive movement

  2. Increase absolute strength

  3. Stimulate hypertrophy or muscle growth

Since launching Brick, there have been over 10,000 athletes and non-athletes who have made the decision to follow develop a stronger, and more muscular athletic physique. 
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