Landmine setups can be used to train a variety of muscles. Find out what landmine exercises work your chest muscles.
Something to note first is that the landmine is generally not the most ideal for chest workouts.
If you have a good weight bench and a barbell + rack or dumbbells, other exercises may offer more size and strength gains.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you generally do not want to train only chest muscles. You likely want to implement landmine back exercises too to avoid things like hunched shoulders.
1. Standing landmine chest press
For this first exercise, you simply need a good landmine setup and enough weight plates to make the movement challenging enough for your chest muscles.
Once you have the required gear, take the following steps to do the exercise:
- Anchor the barbell on one side and put the desired amount of weight on the other side. Stand in front of the landmine with your face toward the anchor and your hands on the barbell sleeve.
- Lift the barbell off the ground in an explosive movement with the help of your leg muscles while keeping your spine straight. Don’t stop at hip height and raise the barbell sleeve all the way to chest height. In the rest of the article, this movement will be known as the clean. If needed you can put one foot slightly forward for balance.
- Slowly push the barbell forward until your arms are slightly less than stretched. Keep your upper arms at angles of 45 degrees or less to your sides.
- Return your hands back to the position of step 2 in a controlled motion.
The landmine chest press mainly works your chest, triceps, and front deltoid muscles.
At first, this movement may look just as effective as a regular bench press but there are a few details that make this landmine chest exercise less optimal.
First of all, you have to be able to clean enough weight up to chest height to work the strong muscles involved enough.
Next, your ab and oblique muscles will have to work really hard to keep your body upright. This is not always bad but they could fatigue before you had a good chest workout.
Thirdly, because you have to hold the barbell sleeve with both hands, you are doing more of a close-grip chest press. This will generally focus more on your triceps and front deltoids.
Lastly, for smaller individuals, the landmine chest press may also be more of a front deltoid than a chest exercise.
2. Landmine chest fly
In theory, you could do the landmine chest fly while lying down on a soft surface like a thick exercise mat.
That being said, for shoulder safety and gains, the standing landmine chest fly will be preferred. Take the following steps to do the movement:
- Load the landmine with the desired amount of weight
- Raise the barbell sleeve to about chest height or lower. Stand with one side toward the anchor or slightly less sideways. Hold the barbell sleeve in the hand farthest away from the anchor and at about chest height.
- Slowly move the arm with the landmine sideways and up to the opposite side while keeping your arm more or less straight.
- Return the arm to the position of step 2 in a controlled motion.
- Complete your set and repeat the same number of repetitions on the other side.
The landmine chest fly is an example of a chest isolation exercise.
If you only have a barbell and don’t want to invest in any one-handed resistance options, the landmine still allows you to do the chest fly.
The increased core engagement and getting the weight up to chest height is less of an issue because the chest fly is less of a heavy lift than the chest press.
One difference with the regular chest fly is that the landmine version generally focuses a bit more on the upper part of your chest muscles due to the unique trajectory of the barbell.
3. Single-arm landmine floor chest press
To do this next landmine chest exercise you want a floor or mat that is at least somewhat comfortable to lie down on.
After that, take the following steps to do a single-arm landmine floor chest press:
- Put the desired amount of weight on the landmine and lie down at the end of the barbell sleeve (on a mat) with one side to the anchor and the barbell at chest height.
- Pull your shoulder blades back and down and put the hand closest to the anchor on the barbell sleeve.
- Push the landmine up in a controlled motion until your arm is slightly less than stretched. Keep your upper arm at 45-degree or smaller angles to your side.
- Slowly lower the landmine again.
- Complete your set(s) and repeat the same number of repetitions with your other arm.
Bench press movements like this are typically done on a weight bench because they are more comfortable, make it easier to put your shoulders in a safe position, and allow your muscles to go through a bigger range of motion.
That being said, this landmine floor chest press can still offer a few benefits over the standing version.
First of all, due to the position of the landmine, you can really do a press that works your chest muscles (and triceps and front deltoids).
Secondly, you don’t have to worry about getting enough weight up since the landmine rests on the floor.
The unilateral (single-arm) aspect can be good or bad. On the one hand, it allows you to avoid muscle imbalances that come from using one side more than the other.
On the other hand, having to work each side separately makes it so your landmine chest workout will take longer to complete.
4. Single-arm landmine chest press
Take the following steps to do a single-arm landmine chest press:
- Set up the landmine with enough weight plates. Standing at the end of the barbell sleeve with both of your hands on the bar.
- Clean the barbell up to chest height. Lean slightly forward or put one foot forward for balance. Move the barbell sleeve to one side so that one hand holds it.
- Slowly push the landmine forward until your arm is slightly less than stretched. You still want to make sure your upper arm is at about a 45-degree or smaller angle to your side.
- Return your hand to the position in step 2 in a controlled motion.
- Complete your set and repeat the same number of repetitions with your other arm.
By doing the landmine chest press with one arm you change a few things positively and negatively.
First of all, the core muscle engagement and getting enough weight up to chest height become less of an issue because you have to use only half the amount of weight plates.
Secondly, you can hold the barbell sleeve in a position where you actually work your chest muscles a lot instead of focusing more on the tricep and front deltoid muscles.
Thirdly, by working one side at a time, you can avoid muscle imbalances that come from using one side more than the other.
The main downside of single-arm landmine chest presses is that they require more time. You have to do sets for each side separately.
Additionally, this may still be more of a landmine shoulder exercise for smaller individuals.
5. Landmine pullover
You will again lie down in this next landmine chest exercise so a soft surface like a thick workout mat can be helpful.
Take the following steps to do a landmine pullover:
- Set up the landmine and put on the desired amount of weight. Lie down next to the barbell sleeve with the bar at about chest height and one side toward the anchor. Put the hand closest to the anchor on the landmine sleeve.
- Pull your shoulder blades back and down and push up the barbell sleeve until your arm is slightly less than stretched and pointing up.
- Slowly move your arm with the barbell back and down until the weight plate(s) just don’t hit the ground. To really work your lower chest you want to keep your elbow close to the center.
- Move your arm back to the position in step 2 in a controlled motion.
- Complete your set and repeat the same number of repetitions with your other arm.
Pullovers are typically done with a dumbbell and a weight bench but if you don’t have these available, a landmine pullover could work too.
Something to keep in mind is that depending on how you do them, pullovers can be mainly a lower chest or latissimus dorsi exercise.
If you feel your upper back working hard, you likely need to keep your elbow closer to the center to really make this a landmine lower chest exercise.
6. Resistance band landmine chest press
As the name implies, this next movement requires you to have good loop resistance bands on top of the regular landmine setup.
Once you have these things, take the following steps to do a resistance band landmine chest press:
- Set up the landmine like you normally would and stand in front of the barbell sleeve with your face toward the anchor. Then, loop a resistance band around the sleeve and below your feet.
- Clean the landmine up to chest height. Lean forward for balance if needed.
- Slowly push the barbell forward until your arms are slightly less than stretched. Keep your upper arms at 45-degree angles or less to your sides.
- Return your hands to the position of step 2 in a controlled motion.
Resistance bands are unique in that they offer more resistance as you stretch them out.
This is not necessarily better or worse for everyone but does make the final part of the landmine chest press push harder.
If you want to get stronger in this part of the movement or simply like doing this landmine chest exercise, you can consider doing the resistance band version.
Similar to the regular landmine chest press, you can also do the movement with one arm at a time if this aligns more with your training goals and preferences.
Do landmines work chest?
Landmines are typically used to work core and shoulder muscles but with the right exercises, you can also work your chest.
What muscles do landmine exercises work?
Landmine exercises can work basically all of the main muscles depending on what specific exercises you do.