Exercise of the Week: Single-Arm Landmine Squat-to-Press

Learn how to perform the Single-Arm Landmine Squat-to-Press, and incorporate it into your training to build full-body strength.

Every week, STACK brings you a new Exercise of the Week to challenge your strength, speed, conditioning or flexibility—or all of the above.

The Exercise

The Single-Arm Landmine Squat-to-Press is an upper-body strengthening movement that adds the athletic benefits of performing an exercise while standing up.

The pressing motion strengthens your chest and shoulders similar to a dumbbell or barbell Incline Press, since you press the bar at an upward angle. However, each rep starts from a quarter-squat position, so your glutes and quads are also engaged.

In addition to building upper- and lower-body strength, the exercise also improves:

Core Strength. Holding the bar with one of your hands naturally causes your trunk to rotate. To counteract the rotation, your core muscles must engage, strengthening critical core stabilizers.

Muscle Symmetry. Performing the exercise with one arm at a time eliminates muscle imbalances on the left and right sides of your body.

Shoulder Stability. The bar has a tendency to sway from side to side when your arm is extended. Your small shoulder stabilizers must fire to keep it under control, strengthening these muscles and increasing your joint durability.

How To 

Setup: Place one end of the barbell in a landmine machine, or anchor it on the ground with a heavy dumbbell. 

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the free end of the bar with one hand positioned at your shoulder.
  2. Bend your hips and knees to lower into a quarter Squat.Landmine Press
  3. Drive out of the Squat and push the barbell up and in front of your chest.Landmine Press
  4. Lower the barbell to your shoulder in control and immediately repeat.
  5. Perform a set with your opposite arm.

Common Mistakes and Fixes

Mistake: Lowering into a quarter Squat and performing the Press after you stand up, breaking the single fluid movement into two, distinct movements.

Fix: Simultaneously drive out of the quarter Squat and press the bar up.

Mistake: Flaring your elbow out to your side in the start position, which places stress on your shoulder.

Fix: Make sure your elbow is always at a 45-degree angle in relation to your side.

Mistake: Rotating your trunk to the side as you press the bar, which means your core isn't engaged.

Fix: Tighten your abs throughout the movement. If this doesn't correct the problem, you may need to reduce the weight.

Applying It to Your Workout

The Single-Arm Landmine Squat-to-Press is a compound exercise, but it shouldn't be considered a primary lift, like a Deadlift, Squat or Bench Press. So it's best to perform it in the middle of your workouts.

If you're performing Incline Presses as a secondary movement, try replacing it with this exercise to get your entire body involved.

Strength: Sets/Reps: 3-4x6-8

Power: Sets/Reps: 4-5x3-5


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: CHEST | EXERCISE OF THE WEEK | WORKOUTS | EXERCISE | PRESS | BARBELL | LANDMINE