The landmine is basically a short tube mounted on a swivel joint, and can be found in the corner of some gyms, and is one of the most effective and versatile pieces of equipment for boosting strength and improving athletic performance.

The landmine squat is a special move because it targets many muscles. To get the most out of it, use a weight that is challenging but not too heavy.  As always, it’s important to keep strict form and focus on squatting down low.

Here is a guide to mastering the leg exercise known as the landmine squat, which can lead to increased strength and improved form in the entire body.

Landmine squat

The landmine squat is a lower-body exercise that is typically performed with the help of 2 angled barbells that are each anchor in a landmine device on a floor level.

The landmine squat is a squat variation that primarily targets the quads, glutes, upper back, and core muscles. because it doesn’t put as much stress on the joints, it’s a much safer squat alternative.

The purpose of landmine squats is to improve your squatting technique, increase muscle mass, and prepare you for Olympic weightlifting.

You can do traditional landmine exercises by loading an Olympic barbell with weight plates on one end, and attaching the other end to a landmine attachment. If you don’t have an Olympic bar, you can use any other barbell you have.

Landmine squat variations

For instance, many people like to perform the shoulder press with the landmine as it mirrors a seated shoulder press. The landmine is a versatile exercise tool with many different applications. The shoulder press is a popular exercise with the landmine as it is similar to a seated shoulder press.

1. Classic landmine squat

The main variation is a great choice for a progression from goblet squats and when you’re not ready for front squats, trap bar DL, or heavy single-leg training.

Instead of using the same thing over and over again, you can try something different for a change. This will add some variety to your program.

2. Landmine split squat

The landmine split squat is a great exercise to improve your squatting strength, hip and leg stability, and single-leg strength. The landmine split squat is a squat done with one leg at a time, instead of both legs together. You get all the benefits of a regular squat, plus the benefits of working each leg separately. This exercise is great for improving your squatting strength, stability, and single-leg strength.

The Bulgarian split squat can be done with the landmine.

3. Landmine sumo squat

One of the limitations of the classic sumo deadlift is that the barbell must be positioned in front of the body, as it cannot pass through the body.

If you want to squat with a kettlebell, it’s best to have the weight in front of you to avoid putting strain on your lower back.

The landmine sumo squat solves this.

4. Side-loaded landmine split squat

If you do a Bulgarian split squat with the weight on the inside of your working leg, it will help you improve your posture. This is especially important if you have low back pain or if you can’t activate your glutes.

The landmine is a great solution to the problem of not having enough challenge with one kettlebell.

In this video, I am wearing a 60 pound vest to make the workout more challenging. I could have added more weight to the landmine, but I like this mix.

5. Side landmine reverse lunge

In life, we move in more than just one direction. We move up and down, and also forward and back. Athletes during their sport constantly have to change directions, and yet very little of our training reflects that.

I originally designed this technique for hockey players, who have to move quickly in the frontal plane, but I found that it works well for everyone.

It will target your leg muscles from different angles, working them in new ways while improving your athleticism and addressing movement weaknesses.

6. Landmine lateral lunge

The landmine lateral lunge is a move that emphasizes side-to-side movement.

Lateral lunges with a dumbbell or kettlebell are difficult to load up with a challenging weight. One heavy dumbbell is not enough for advanced lifters. Even some of the strongest athletes I know find this challenge difficult.

7. Landmine cossack squat

A Cossack squat is similar to a lateral lunge, but its purpose is quite different. Its main goal is to improve your mobility on the side you squat to.

The goal is to control your range of motion while sinking as deep as you can maintain proper alignment.

The landmine helps to improve mobility and strength.

This is not for beginners. If mobility is an issue for you, cossack squats with a kettlebell may help. After you have practiced for a minimum of 4 weeks, you can try the landmine version.

8. Arm landmine squat and press

This exercise, which John calls “Dynamic Training,” combines two major movements into one.

This type of training not only allows you to accomplish more work in less time, but also increases your body’s sensitivity to insulin.

If you make your body more sensitive to insulin, it will be better at using energy, making it easier to burn fat. Hormones are great.

This is a great, quick workout that will make you sweat and also work on your stability.

When squatting, the weight will stay in one hand, requiring core muscles to resist shifting to one side.

Landmine squat benefits

Landmine squats help you maintain proper squat form

This variation of the squat is one of the best exercises to help develop proper form when lifting. With a fixed range of motion, many strength coaches rely on the landmine squat to teach lifters how to do other types of squats with weights.

This exercise is a great way to learn how to do front squats, barbell split squats, and back squats correctly.

Landmine squats are easier on your joints

Although free-standing barbell squats with the right amount of knee flexion can be challenging, landmine squats can be helpful as they don’t allow your knees to cave in and make it easier to keep them aligned with your toes.

In other words, by strengthening your muscles, you are also protecting your joints.

Landmine squats build strength in your entire body

If you perform landmine squats correctly, you will develop lower and upper body strength quickly.

This excellent squat variation targets a lot of different muscles, resulting in better legs endurance and overall body strength.

Other landmine squat benefits

  • Helps build muscle mass and muscular endurance and eliminates muscle imbalance
  • It’s the ideal low-impact exercise for people working around injuries
  • The landmine squat is a joint-friendly squat form
  • It is the perfect squat variation for improving your quads, core and overall aesthetic

Common landmine squat mistakes

Knees caving in

If you let your knees cave in when you squat, it’s usually because your quads are weak or your hip external rotators are weak.

If your knees cave in when you walk or run, it puts extra pressure on your knee joints, ligaments, and connective tissue. This can lead to an injury.

When squatting, ensure your feet are hip to shoulder-width apart and that they are turned slightly out (10-15 degrees). Then concentrate on driving your knees out and inline with your second toe.

Coming up onto your toes

This is a common problem among beginners who are learning how to squat. They may have added too much weight to their bar and are struggling to get up. As they try to stand up, they shift their weight towards the front of their foot, which causes their heels to come off the ground.

If you put more pressure on your knee joint, it will be more likely to get injured. To squat properly, you should put more pressure on your midfoot. To keep your balance, use your toes and heels.

Not squatting

The squat is a basic human movement that we do on a daily basis. In other words, some of the most rudimentary movements we make throughout the day involve squatting.

However, many people in the gym avoid doing squats and squat variations, usually because they are unsure of how to properly do them or because they don’t have a strong enough work ethic when it comes to training.

Although not everyone can master squatting with a bar across their back, there are many other ways to incorporate squats into your training routine.

Squats are a great exercise because they can be done in many different ways, and there are endless strength training squat variation types. These include the goblet squat, front squat, back squat, landmine squats, hack squats, kettlebell squats, and split squats.

Landmine squat alternatives

There are many alternative squat exercises that can help you increase lower body strength and improve your athletic performance. Some of the most popular ones are listed below.

Barbell squat

This exercise is enjoyed by both genders, with men often finding more benefits due to the leg and core strengthening helping with testosterone release, muscle gains and strength building.

The barbell squat is a great leg exercise for both men and women. It helps tone the glutes and thighs, which are two areas that many people struggle to tone.

Muscle groups targeted

Primary muscles: quadriceps and glutes.

Secondary muscles: Hamstrings, adductors, spinal erectors, abdominals.

Get on the rack and put the barbell on your shoulders. If you’re using free weights, pick up the barbell and walk away from the rack.

Slowly lower your body by bending your knees while keeping your back straight and head up. Go down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. When raising your body back up, use only the power of your thighs while keeping your back straight and legs almost locked out.

You can squat as many times as you want to in order to reach your fitness goals and perfect your squatting technique.

Tips for proper form

  • For perfect squats, keep your torso upright, back straight head up, and feet flat on the ground.
  • Depending on your fitness level, start with light weights and add more plates gradually. This will help your lower back and legs to adapt and prevent any injuries.
  • Focus on having a correct squat form;
  • If you want to lift heavy, to prevent unwanted injuries, use a squat rack, a power rack or have a spotter ready to help you out.

Dumbbell lunges

When you combine dumbbell lunges with squats, you are able to create an excellent exercise to help build strong muscles in your thighs and glutes. This exercise requires good balance, however, when done correctly can create admirable results.

If you’re not good at keeping your balance, start by doing lunges without any weights. That way, you can learn how to do the exercise properly.

Don’t let your forward leg’s knee extend past your toes as you step forward and bend your leg; this could result in knee joint injuries if done excessively.

Muscle groups targeted

Primary: quadriceps.

Secondary: glutes, hamstrings, adductors.

Take a dumbbell in each hand and keep your arms at your sides. Step forward while keeping your back straight and bending your knees as close as possible to the ground.

Get back to the starting position and repeat with your other foot.

Tips for proper form

  • Bend as far and low as you can while maintaining proper form.
  • Keep your torso upright and while your head is facing forward.
  • If you don’t have good balance, it’s best to avoid performing this exercise or use your own bodyweight instead of dumbbells.


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Rhoda is an award-winning dietitian, mature age model, and CEO of Sayvana Women.  

She is the creator of the Elegant Eating Solution, an affordable program that helps women avoid weight regain and feel great about themselves, without restrictive eating.

Elegant Eating is based on the science of protein leverage and follows the unique R.E.M.A.P approach to successful aging.

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