The landmine squat is a unique exercise that builds serious strength in your legs while protecting your lower back. By changing the path of the resistance it allows you to squat deeper than a traditional back squat.
Set Up the Landmine Squat
- Load one end of a barbell into a landmine unit or wedge it securely into a corner.
- Grasp the other end of the barbell and stand facing the landmine with your feet shoulder-width apart. Engage your core.
Perform the Movement
- Inhale and bend your hips back like you’re sitting in a chair, pushing your knees outward as you descend. Keep your chest up.
- Squat as deep as you can while keeping your lower back flat. Pause briefly at the bottom.
- Drive through your heels back to the start position, fully extending your hips and knees at the top.
- Go as low as you can without rounding your lower back. Most people can squat deeper with a landmine squat versus a back squat.
- Maintaining an upright torso reduces shear stress on the spine compared to a back squat. One study found landmine squats produce 84% less spinal compression.
- Push your knees outward to keep them aligned over your feet. This activates your glutes and protects the knees.
- If holding the barbell, use an overhand, shoulder-width grip. You can also put your hands behind your head or cross your arms over your chest.
- Builds quad, glute, and hamstring strength due to the deep range of motion.
- Hits the adductors and abductors to strengthen the inner and outer thighs.
- Engages the core and upper back muscles for stability.
- Safer on the lower back than a traditional squat for many people.
- A 2017 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that landmine squats were just as effective as barbell squats for increasing lower body strength and power in college-aged athletes.
- A 2018 study published in the Journal of Applied Biomechanics found that landmine squats were more effective than traditional squats for activating the gluteus medius muscle, which plays a crucial role in hip stability and injury prevention.
- A 2019 study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine found that landmine squats were a safe and effective exercise for individuals with lower back pain.