When it comes to shoulder exercises, it’s tough to find a bigger bang for your buck than the Landmine Shoulder Press. It’s got it all. Landmine Presses offer full shoulder strength and stability all wrapped up in one safe lift that doesn’t quite go overhead or drive compensation throughout the kinetic chain.
The problem? A lot of people aren’t getting the full benefits that the lift has to offer. With pristine execution, you can take this exercise from good to great—and it’s really simple to fix.
Let’s Fix It
Let’s fix up your Landmine Press. The major issue I see is the tendency for lifters to simply press the bar up and away from their body. At glance, it may seem like the right thing to do. After all, it looks completely fine that way.
But there’s a missing component to the lift that I’ll detail later.
For now, let’s focus on this way of execution and break down why it’s not the most optimal way.
Most people set up with their feet hip-width apart, stand upright and press the bar up and away. There is no movement at the feet or torso, and there is a definite stopping point on range of motion dictated by arm length.
The problem with this approach is that it solves none of the reasons we program the lift. Most of the time, this exercise is to replace or enhance our athletes’ overhead lifting capabilities, shoulder strength or stability—if not all three. When you execute the lift as detailed above, this is essentially taking your Single-Arm Bench Press and turning it into a standing exercise. You will recruit more pec and front delt than anything, neglecting the posterior chain completely.
With that said, if you want to work the front side of the shoulder and chest, there are way better ways. On the other hand, if you are looking for more of a full shoulder care movement, the fix is below.
Follow Your Hand with Your Head
“Follow your hand with your head”—this is the cue I use to initiate a slight torso lean forward to maximize ROM during the Landmine Press. As your hand raises the weight, a slight lean in will allow your head to follow your hand in that direction.
Instead of stopping the lift at arm’s length, you’re able to lean 1-2 inches forward and create a more “overhead” effect from the lift with upward rotation of the scapula. This makes a world of difference thanks to that slight increase of range. You can now recruit all the stabilizing muscles of the shoulder and core while working the shoulder as a whole unit.
During your slight lean in, make sure you activate your midsection by locking down your ribcage, squeezing your abs and glutes to keep tension through your entire body. This will help you stay in a proper position while the shoulder goes into flexion. Imagine yourself in a plank position from the shoulder down. Let the arm move, but keep everything else nice and stiff.
Below is a quick demo of the tip highlighted here. I hope this helps you and makes a major impact on your shoulder health, as well as your overall training.