A Simple Squat Variation To Kick Up Your Workout
Today, I’m going to show you a squat variation. The landmine squat. It is significantly more joint friendly than barbell squats. So if you’re someone that suffers with either knee pain or low back pain, maybe you feel like your mobility is restricted and you struggle to get into a good position, this squat type is going to be a lot better for you.
It’s called the landmine squat. Even if you don’t suffer with pain or mobility restrictions, it’s a very, very good exercise for you to learn. It’s always good to incorporate different squat variations into our workouts.
The landmine squat in particular, again, super joint friendly, very demanding on the core. And also just excellent for building leg strength and muscle mass, if that’s your goal. So let’s get to it. This is how it is done.
Okay, landmine squats. So the landmine refers to the attachment point that you slot a barbell into. This gym has one, most gyms around the world have one now, but if yours doesn’t, it’s okay. You can just wedge the bar into any gap or any corner of a room, for example. And you’re good to go.
Next, you’re going to see that I’ve stacked the barbell up onto a bench and the plate. Now, this is super important. A lot of people will just landmine off the floor, landmine squat off the floor. They’ll just clean the weight up. Now, if you’re handling a lightweight, that’s okay.
But if you want to actually challenge yourself with this squat exercise, then it’s not going to be very good, not going to be very safe. You’re not going to be able to handle heavy loads. So I want you to stack the barbell up onto a bench and possibly a plate too, depending on how tall you are. We just want it to be enough that you can get into position before lifting that way up with a nice neutral spine.
So next thing I want to talk about is the grip. So we’re going to take the hands, right at the end of the barbell. Hills of the hand directly under the bar, and then fingers stacked over like this. We’re going to keep the bar glued to our chest. So it’s going to be down here, glued to the chest, elbows tucked. We’re not out here. We’re here, strong, stable position.
Now, in terms of how far away from the barbell you should be, if you’re new to the exercise, it’s going to take a bit figuring out. We obviously want to be behind the bar. Because of that arcing nature of the bar, we have to be slightly back behind it.
If you’re quite tall, you’re probably going to be further back because your hips are going to need to shift further backwards. So once you’ve set up in this position, we’re going to play around with it.
Start with a lightweight, get under the bar, into a nice position here, flat back, drive the bar up. And from here now, we can play around a little bit with our feet position.
So you can play around with going closer or further away. Go for a few reps, and you’ll find where you feel really strong and stable, where it’s really effectively loading the hips.
So, as I said, if you’re on the shorter side, you can go a little bit closer to the bar. If you’re on the taller side and you have long femurs, you want to be a little bit further back to allow for your hips to shift backwards like this.
So next up, I’m just going to run through a set of eight. I’m going to load it up, so you can watch what it looks like in action. In terms of squat depth, I recommend that you go to around parallel.
We never want to go into a topped pelvis, that butt wink. We want to make sure we’re in a solid position throughout. I like to go down to roughly 90 degree angle at the hip. That’s a good mechanically advantageous position. I feel strong and stable there. So that’s why I recommend that you go to.
Now breathing. I recommend breathing at the top. Deep breath in, brace the abs, and then go and then breathe out at the top. Rebreathe in and go again.
So we treat each rep with a new breath. That’s the strongest position. That intra-abdominal pressure is going to keep your spine super stable and in a good position there.
So as I said, in the beginning, super demanding on the core and very, very friendly on the low back and the knees. Really effective at loading those hips. They’re great for building strength or muscle mass, if that’s your goal. And that’s the landmine squat.
So in terms of applications, again, treat it like any other squat. We can go low reps to build strength. We can go high reps for hypertrophy, to build muscle mass.
It’s really versatile in that way. And yeah, while you’re figuring out the right position for you, again, a little bit tweaking with the legs and the distance from the barbell, start light. Go through some reps and ramp the weight up gradually. So that is how to perform the landmine squat.
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