Perform the Landmine Chest Press to Build Strength and Save Your Shoulders

Landmine Chest Press can be an effective alternative for athletes looking to build upper-body strength.

Most strength training programs borrow heavily from powerlifting and understandably so since powerlifting is a sport where increased strength is the end goal. Strength is measured from performances of the three main lifts—Squat, Deadlift and Bench Press. All three lifts are effective exercises for increasing maximal strength levels.

However, many strength coaches alter these exercises to better enhance sports performance. A common example of such alterations is using trap bars instead of barbells for the Deadlift. The Landmine Chest Press can be another variant that coaches and athletes can use as an alternative to the Barbell Bench Press.

The Barbell Bench Press is effective for building mass and strength: It involves many muscle groups and is one of the upper body exercises that can most efficiently be externally loaded. Both of these aspects are key reasons why it's a beneficial exercise—progressive overload and muscle recruitment are two key tenants for size and strength. It's also a great predictor of overall upper-body strength. Building a strong baseline of upper-body strength can serve as an important foundation for the ability to transfer force throughout the upper body. But as previously mentioned it's common for successful strength coaches to alter exercises for a variety of reasons including increased athletic transfer, more safety, anthropometric accommodations and a shorter learning curve. It's for all of these reasons why the Landmine Chest Press can be an effective alternative for athletes.

Landmine Chest Presses allow for free movement of the scapula, place less pressure on the elbows, and the angle in which they're pressed places less overall stress on the joints. Landmine Presses are also performed with a neutral grip making them easier on the shoulders and wrists. This makes them a safe alternative upper-body strength exercise for athletes that might have upper-body injury history or anthropometric features that make bench pressing more difficult for them.

Landmine Chest Presses can be performed standing up which is a position that athletes are more likely to encounter in a sports setting compared to lying on their backs. Because this exercise is performed standing up, torso rigidity and lower-body stabilization become a major limiting factor which results in the development of total body synchronization. While the Barbell Bench Press also requires core and lower-body recruitment for increased strength, this effect is usually felt to a greater degree in exercises performed upright. As previously mentioned the angle at which they're pressed is also more inclined than the Bench Press and is similar to the type of movement that an athlete might use in football or wrestling when pushing against an opponent. Research has shown that by training movements in the force-vector in which they're performed on the sporting field results in increased performance.


  • Stand in a comfortable athletic stance with your feet firmly rooted to the floor.
  • Attachment implements can be utilized for experimenting with different grips, but a neutral grip is likely the easiest and safest method for most people.
  • Leg stabilization and strong core activation are keys for greater pressing strength.
  • Using a plyo box allows for greater external loading of the landmine.
  • Toward the top of this lift, the weight becomes easier because of increased momentum, so using bands can be beneficial for increased resistance throughout the lift.