There are a variety of ways to work the many leg muscles. Find out how you can use a landmine to do leg exercises and why you can do it.
In some of the movements, you may simply prefer the barbell anchored to one side, in others, the unique upward angle can be helpful for your training goals.
1. Landmine front squat
This first exercise is basically the most popular way to do a squat with a landmine. Take the following steps to do this exercise:
- Set up the landmine, add the desired number of weight plates, and stand in front of the end of the barbell with your face toward the anchor.
- Put your hands on the barbell, lift it up explosively while keeping your spine more or less straight, and get the barbell sleeve to chest height. In the other exercise walkthroughs, this movement will be known as the clean movement.
- With your hands under the barbell sleeve, slowly lower your hips as far as comfortable while keeping your spine more or less straight. Ideally, your hips would go at least to knee height. Keep your knees above your feet.
- Raise yourself back into the position of step 2 in a controlled motion.
You can also describe this variation as a landmine goblet squat due to the position of the barbell sleeve.
Because of the somewhat more unique angle of the landmine, this type of squat focuses a bit more on your quadriceps and less on leg muscles like your glutes, hamstrings, and erector spinae.
If you find back squats uncomfortable on your back and regular front squats too technically difficult, the landmine front squat could be for you.
One downside to keep in mind is that it can be challenging to get and keep enough weight at chest height. This may interfere with getting a good workout with your leg muscles.
2. Landmine single-leg Romanian deadlift
Take the following steps to do a landmine single-leg Romanian deadlift:
- Set up the landmine and add the desired number of weight plates. Stand in front of the barbell sleeve with one side toward it.
- Hold the barbell sleeve in one hand, lift it off the ground with 2 legs and a straight spine, and stand up straight.
- Lift the leg closest to the landmine off the ground and shift your weight so this leg has room to move. Slightly bend the knee of the other leg.
- Slowly tilt your upper body forward as far as comfortable or until your hand is at about the middle of your shin while keeping your spine straight. The leg in the air can move back while you do this.
- Move your body back into the position of step 3 in a controlled motion.
- Repeat the same number of repetitions on the other side.
Single-leg Romanian deadlifts are a landmine exercise that really focuses on the glute and hamstring muscles.
By doing it on one leg, aka unilaterally, it becomes more challenging to train one leg harder than the other. In turn, this can help you avoid or resolve muscle imbalances.
With the landmine anchor, you have to worry less about balance during the single-leg Romanian deadlift.
One potential downside is that the barbell sleeve is thicker than the bar itself. This can fatigue your forearm grip muscles faster.
3. Landmine calf raises
For this next exercise, you preferably have a platform to do calf raises or something similar on top of the regular landmine setup. That being said, you could also do the movement on a flat floor.
Take the following steps to do a landmine calf raise:
- Set up the landmine, add the desired weight plates, and stand in front of the barbell sleeve with your face toward the anchor.
- Pick up the barbell sleeve from the ground and stand up straight. If you have a calf raise platform or block, stand on its edge with your heels in the air. Let your ankles hang down as much as possible without slipping off the edge.
- Raise your heels and body as far as comfortable in a controlled motion.
- Slowly lower your heels and body back into the position of step 2.
As the name implies, landmine calf raises mainly isolate the calf muscles.
If you don’t like to engage your forearm grip muscles as much, you can also do single-leg weighted calf raises. These require fewer weight plates because a bigger percentage of the weight rests on your calves.
A benefit of doing this leg exercise with a landmine setup is that it becomes less challenging in terms of balance. This can sometimes be an issue with regular weighted calf raises on an elevated platform.
4. Landmine squat press
This next movement will make you think of the first landmine leg exercise but it definitely has a different focus. Take the following steps to do a landmine squat press:
- Set up the landmine with the desired number of weight plates. You will need less weight than a “regular” landmine front squat. Stand in front of the barbell sleeve with your face toward the anchor.
- Clean the barbell sleeve to chest height.
- Slowly lower your hips as far as comfortable.
- Push yourself up by extending your legs. Your speed depends on your training goals but most people will want to go relatively quickly.
- Instead of stopping when your legs are stretched, push up the landmine with your arms until these are slightly less than stretched.
- Slowly lower the barbell sleeve back to chest height.
As you can expect, landmine squat presses do not only work leg muscles like your quads. You also work your front deltoids and triceps a lot more.
Additionally, this landmine exercise works you core just a bit more but likely not enough for actual muscle growth and strength progress.
By doing the leg movement of landmine squat presses more explosively, you can still use a nice amount of weight which is needed to train the strong quadriceps.
If not, the weaker shoulder and tricep muscles would not be able to lift much weight.
5. Landmine goblet reverse lunge
Take the following steps to do a landmine goblet reverse lunge:
- Put the landmine in position with the desired number of weight plates. Stand in front of it with your face toward the anchor.
- Clean the barbell sleeve up to chest height and stand up straight.
- Step back with one leg and lower your upper body as far as comfortable in a controlled motion. Put your back foot with its front on the ground. This back leg is mostly there for balance. Most of your body weight should rest on your front leg.
- Slowly raise your body back into the position of step 2.
Doing weighted reverse lunges with a landmine instead of other weight options has three main potential benefits.
First of all, with the weight in front of you, you can keep your body more upright for more quadricep focus.
Secondly, with one side of the barbell attached to the ground, the reverse lunges become slightly easier in terms of balance. This allows you to focus more on your leg workout.
Thirdly, the landmine setup allows you to move your back leg farther back without losing balance.
This allows you to lower your hips more and in turn, work your quadriceps in a bigger range of motion which tends to be beneficial for results.
6. Landmine single-leg hip thrust
For this next leg movement, you need something comfortable to put your shoulders against. Ideally, a good flat weight bench. Potentially something like a soft plyo box.
Additionally, you likely want something soft for hip comfort and the more standard landmine gear. Once you have the required gear, take the following steps to do a landmine single-leg hip thrust:
- Put the landmine in position and set the shoulder support object right next to the barbell sleeve. You will lean against it with one side toward the landmine anchor.
- Sit in front of the object with your shoulders right above the edge and the barbell sleeve resting on one hip (potentially with something soft in between for comfort).
- Raise the leg farthest away from the landmine anchor in the air. Keep it there throughout the rest of the movement.
- Slowly raise your hips until your body is in a straight line from your knee to your shoulders.
- Lower your hips again in a controlled motion until you are back in the position of step 3.
- Complete your set on one side and then repeat the same number of repetitions with your other leg.
The landmine single-leg hip thrust is basically the best example of a landmine exercise for your glutes and hamstrings for both beginners and advanced lifters.
By only using one leg you reduce the risk of muscle imbalances and you have to load the landmine with fewer plates to get in a good glute workout.
More standard hip thrusts with weights like a two-legged barbell version are still great but you may have a personal preference for the landmine version anyway.
7. Reverse landmine squat
Take the following steps to do a reverse landmine squat:
- Put weight plates on a landmine setup and stand in front of it with your face toward the barbell.
- Clean up the barbell sleeve to shoulder height and turn around so that the end of the landmine more or less rests on one shoulder.
- Slowly lower your hips as far as comfortable while keeping your spine straight.
- Raise yourself back into the position of step 2 in a controlled motion.
- Preferably repeat the same number of sets/repetitions with the barbell resting on the other shoulder to avoid muscle imbalance.
The reverse landmine squat allows you to keep yourself upright even more than the front version. This allows you to focus even more on your quadriceps.
A potential downside is that it takes a bit more effort to get into position for this landmine leg exercise. Additionally, you work the obliques on one side a bit more than the other to keep your body upright.
8. Landmine side lunge
Take the following steps to do a landmine side lunge:
- Stand up straight in front of a loaded landmine setup with your front toward it.
- Clean the barbell to chest height and keep it there throughout the movement.
- Take a big step sideways with one leg while keeping the other leg in place. Slowly lower your body as far as comfortable by folding the leg that took the step.
- Raise your body back into the position of step 2.
- Repeat the same number of repetitions with the other leg stepping first.
Landmine side lunges focus more on the outer thigh muscles than some of the other lunge variations. Additionally, they still work your quadriceps a lot.
By doing weighted side lunges with a landmine setup instead of other weights, you have to focus slightly less on balance. This can benefit the resistance training part of the movement.
9. Landmine sumo squat
Take the following steps to do a landmine sumo squat:
- Set up the landmine with weight plates and stand in front of it with your feet wider than shoulder width apart and pointing slightly outward.
- Lift the barbell off the ground with a straight spine but keep it at hip height.
- Lower your hips as far as comfortable in a controlled motion. Keep your spine straight and knees above your feet.
- Slowly raise your body again until you are back in the position of step 2.
Sumo squats will focus slightly more on your inner and outer thigh muscles. Besides that, your front thighs (aka quads) still have to do most of the work.
This landmine exercise is one of the more beginner-friendly leg movements on the list in terms of balance.
The main potential downside is that your forearm grip muscles have to work a lot harder. These could potentially fatigue before your leg muscles had a good workout.
10. Regular landmine deadlift
Take the following steps to do a regular landmine deadlift:
- Put the weight plates on a landmine setup and stand in front of it with your face toward the anchor.
- Lift the barbell sleeve off the ground by stretching your legs and tilting your upper body backward in one fluid motion until you stand up straight. Keep your spine straight throughout the movement.
- Slowly tilt your upper body forward and fold your knees until the weight plates at the end of the barbell are back on the ground.
The landmine version of the regular deadlift will focus slightly more on your quadriceps because you don’t have to lean forward as much and slightly more on your forearm grip muscles with the thicker “handle”.
Unless regular deadlifts are too challenging on your lower back, these changes make regular landmine deadlift a leg exercise that is not that popular.
Especially, the extra challenge for your forearm grip muscles will make it so you can lift less weight.
This is often needed to grow and strengthen the strong glutes and hamstrings which are typically the main targets of the exercise.
How do you use a landmine for your legs?
You can use a landmine for your legs by holding it while doing resistance training exercises like squats, lunges, and calf raises.
How effective are landmine exercises?
In some cases, the unique trajectories allow you to work your muscles in a way that is more effective for your training goals. In other exercises, the landmine could actually be less effective than other equipment options.