The Deadlift is considered one of the best exercises, if not the best, by many strength coaches. It’s a compound exercise that engages muscles throughout the body and involves a powerful hip hinge, a fundamental movement in athletics used for a variety of movements like jumps, sprints and tackles.
Deadlifting is among the most efficient ways to develop brute strength and muscle. Unfortunately, it’s also a very technical lift that can have some negative consequences if not executed properly. The Landmine Deadlift is an underutilized variation for novice or experienced lifters to drill the proper technique.
Landmines offer a change from other traditional Deadlift variations like straight barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells and trap bars. “Landmine” refers to an angled barbell where one end of the barbell is either in a pivot joint or resting on the floor.
Here are some of the many benefits of the Landmine Deadlift.
- With dumbbells and kettlebells, in most gyms, a major limiting factor is the total amount of load you can use. With landmines, you can use significantly heavier loads because you are only limited by the number of plates you can add to the bar.
- The Landmine Deadlift is an acceptable variation to help novice lifters progress with their hip hinging mechanics and for more advanced lifters who want to go relatively heavy without taxing their lower back.
- For someone looking to improve his or her hip hinge and eventually progress to a traditional Barbell Deadlift, the landmine is an ideal tool, because the weight is placed in front of you—unlike a trap bar, which makes the exercise more like a hybrid between a Deadlift and Squat.
- Landmines also serve as user-friendly alternatives for a few other Deadlift variations. including: Romanian Deadlifts, Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts and One-Arm Deadlifts. Landmine variations drill proper hip hinge technique, since it’s difficult to perform these movements without smooth mechanics; place greater emphasis on the posterior chain; and allow you to use moderately heavier loads than with free weights.
Landmine Deadlift How-To
Step 1: Load one end of a barbell with plates (ideally 45-pound plates if you’re strong enough) and place the opposite end in a landmine machine.
Step 2: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and the end of the barbell between your feet. Sit your hips back and reach down to grasp the collar of the barbell with interlaced fingers.
Step 3: Keeping your back straight and core tight, stand up straight to pick up the bar. Flex your glutes at the top of the movement.
Step 4: Sit your hips back to lower the bar, then slightly bend your knees until the plate(s) rest on the ground. Repeat.
Watch the video above to see the exercise in action.