Landmine Sumo Squat: How To, Alternatives,…

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There are many ways to do squats. Find out what is different in the landmine sumo squat and whether this variation is for you.

Similar to regular sumo squats, the landmine version focuses more on your inner and outer thigh muscles than the regular landmine squat.

That aside, the exercise still mainly works your quadriceps and to some extent your glutes, hamstrings, lower back, and calves.

Using a landmine instead of doing a weighted sumo squat with a barbell on your back allows you to keep your body more upright.

This can be more comfortable on your lower back and focuses more on your quadricep muscles.

The main downside of landmine sumo squats is that you may not be able to do it with enough weight to work the strong leg muscles involved enough.

This is because both the goblet and low holding positions engage weaker muscles that could fatigue too soon.

How to do a landmine sumo squat

As the name implies, you need a landmine setup and a few weight plates to do the landmine sumo squat. Once you have these, take the following steps to do the exercise:

  1. Anchor the barbell and put on the desired number of weight plates. Standing in front of the landmine with your face toward the anchor and put your hands on the barbell sleeve.
  2. Explosively lift the barbell off the ground by stretching your legs and tilting your upper body backward while keeping your spine straight. Keep moving the barbell sleeve up until it is at about chest height. Tilt forward for balance if needed.
  3. Put your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and point them outward at about 45-degree angles.
  4. Slowly lower your hips by folding your knees as far as comfortable. Preferably to at least hip height. Keep your spine straight and knees above your feet.
  5. Raise your body back into the position of step 3 in a controlled motion.

You can describe the version above as a landmine goblet sumo squat due to the position of the barbell sleeve.

Another way to do the landmine sumo squat is by holding the barbell between your legs with your arms hanging down.

However, in this version, the weight plates will hit the ground before you can go through a full range of motion. This is generally not helpful for muscle growth and strength progress.

Additionally, your grip muscles could fatigue too soon due to the relatively thick barbell sleeve.

Landmine sumo squat muscles worked

Landmine sumo squats will mainly work your quadriceps and inner thigh muscles. Additionally, you engage your glutes, hamstrings, outer thigh muscles, and lower back muscles to a good extent.

Besides that, the goblet hold where you keep the end of the barbell in front of your chest engages your shoulder, trapezius, biceps, and chest muscles more.

When holding the barbell between your legs, this extra engagement will mostly be on your forearm grip muscles and trapezius.

Compared to a regular landmine squat, the goblet sumo version is mostly different in its increased focus on your inner thigh and outer thigh muscles.

The landmine sumo squat variation where you hold the barbell between your legs will also focus a bit more on your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles.

Potential downsides

Similar to the regular version and other landmine leg exercises, there is a potential downside to the landmine sumo squat.

To grow and strengthen muscles you need to pressure them with enough resistance.

However, it is hard to get and keep enough weight in position to challenge the strong leg muscles in both of the landmine sumo squat variations.

In the goblet version, it can be hard to get enough weight to chest height and keep it there. In the low version, your forearm grip muscles may fatigue too soon.

Especially considering that the barbell sleeve is thicker than the middle part.

Since challenging your muscles is so important to see results with resistance training exercises, the landmine sumo squat may not be a good choice for you.

You can find out whether this is the case by trying out the exercise and really paying attention to whether you are working your leg muscles enough.

Another downside of the low barbell version of the landmine sumo squat is that the weight plates may hit the ground before your leg muscles went through the full range of motion.

This is generally suboptimal for muscle growth and strength progress.

Landmine sumo squat benefits

The landmine sumo squat is not the most effective choice for everyone but there are still a few reasons why you could consider this exercise.

Some of the potential benefits include:

  1. Can feel more comfortable on your lower back: In landmine sumo squats you can keep your upper body a bit more upright. This could feel more comfortable.
  2. Allows you to do weighted squats without a rack: To do regular barbell back sumo squats you need a rack. You may not have this or any other squat equipment.
  3. Focuses a bit more on your quadriceps: The more upright position of your upper body generally leads to more quadricep focus. This could align with your training goals.
  4. You may like it more: Exercise is not only about the movements themselves. You may simply enjoy landmine sumo squats more.
  5. Less balancing needed: By being connected to the ground with more than just your feet, you will generally have to focus less on balance. This could help you focus on working your muscles as much as possible.
  6. It could still grow and strengthen muscles: If your other muscles don’t fatigue too soon, landmine sumo squats can help you grow and strengthen important leg muscles. In turn, this offers a variety of benefits

These benefits of landmine sumo squats are not always unique but they could be reason enough to do this variation.

In the end, you have to weigh the upsides and downsides of this exercise against each other and decide whether landmine sumo squats are right for your situation.

Landmine sumo squat alternative

From the benefits and downsides above you may conclude that you do like certain aspects of the landmine sumo squat but that it is not entirely the best choice for your situation.

In that case, you may prefer some of the following landmine sumo squat alternatives:

  • Front barbell sumo squat and other sumo squats with weights
  • Regular landmine squats
  • Leg adductions and abductions
  • Bulgarian split squats
  • Landmine deadlifts

Similar to landmine sumo squats, doing these alternatives with the right weights, repetition ranges, nutrition, and rest time can offer great results.

What does landmine sumo squat work?

Landmine sumo squats mainly work the quadriceps and inner thigh muscles. If you hold the barbell between your legs, your forearm grip muscles may need to work hard too. Besides these, your glutes, hamstrings, lower back muscles, and outer thigh muscles have to work a nice amount too.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.