4 Landmine Moves for a Strong Trunk - Muscle & Performance
Develop a strong core with these four landmine exercises.

The muscles of the core are your “powerhouse.” They are responsible for transferring forces through the body and stabilizing the spine from unwanted outside forces. But you already knew that. We can do hanging leg raises, planks and get-ups all day to hit the abs and obliques hard, but it’s useful to know that the body adapts to stimulus quite quickly. Whether your goal is increased strength or fat loss, the truth of the matter is this: If you’ve been practicing a lift long enough to become good at it, you’re probably closer to a plateau in your gains. Even a minor change can create a new stimulus and demand for your neuromuscular coordination and trigger more results. And switching to a landmine setup to target the abs is a great way.

Half-Kneeling Press: Assume a half-kneeling position on a mat, and hold one end of the landmine bar, resting it on your shoulder opposite your leading leg. Lean your hips in slightly so the front knee tracks over the toes, and squeeze the glute on the trailing leg to emphasize an open, stable hip position. Avoid bringing your free hand in to “help,” and keep it away from your body. Next, without moving the rest of your body, press the bar away from your shoulder, straight upward. Lower the weight slowly and repeat.

Tall-Kneeling Press: Kneel on both knees with your legs positioned about shoulder-width apart. (To make things a bit harder, narrow your stance to hip width or completely together.) Hold the bar on one end, with interlaced fingers. Be sure to squeeze your glutes to ensure that your hips stay open and that your abs get the chance to engage. At the start point, the bar should be at upper-chest level, high on the sternum. Press the weight away, remaining rigid the entire time. Lower the weight slowly and repeat.

Landmine Windshield Wiper: Stand tall with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Hold the landmine bar with both hands (fingers interlaced) and your arms fully extended in front of you. In a large, arcing motion, pivot the bar over to the left side of your body, keeping your right arm straight and letting your left elbow bend as the bar reaches waist level. Be sure to follow the bar with your head and chest. (You should be twisting from the thoracic region.) In one motion, rotate the bar all the way to the other side, replicating the same position on the right. That’s one rep. Repeat for reps.

Landmine Hand-to-Hand Pass: Sit flat on the floor with your legs extended out straight in front of you. Split your legs so they’re at least shoulder-width apart. Maintain good posture; try to sit on your hamstrings, not on your butt. Hold the landmine bar with one hand and, staying tall, transfer the bar to the other hand, and make the bar cover some distance from one side to the other. (Shoulder to shoulder is a good cue to start.) It’s OK if your arms bend at the elbow, as long as your posture stays tall and avoids movement. Passing from one hand to the other and back equals one rep. Repeat for reps. 

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