Overhead presses are one of the most significant moves to develop shoulder strength and mass. It builds up the muscles that support the scapula, strengthening the shoulder through a wide range of motion and improving performance both in and out of the gym. But they are not the single best shoulder exercise for men. That title of the best shoulders’ exercises for men belongs to the landmine shoulder press.
This is because even when you are careful to crank out overhead presses with picture-perfect form still something is usually off. And even slight form flaws can eventually lead to pain or injury.
What is the Landmine Shoulder Press?
A landmine is a unique strength-training tool created by securing one end of a barbell into a metal sleeve attached to the floor or wedging the term in a corner with towels or between two weights. The free end is then loaded with weight plates, and it is used for resistance.
The thing that truly separates the landmine shoulder press from other overhead shoulder press variations is the weight and shoulders movement path. With traditional shoulder presses, the weight travels straight up hanging with the ears, whereas the landmine demands an arched movement path. As you press the weight, it also moves forward in front of you in a curved trajectory.
Why Landmine Shoulder Press is so effective?
The landmine shoulder press movement is important because it builds shoulders without the risks associated with most straight overhead lifts.
The risks, which include shoulder and low-back pain and wear and tear to shoulder cartilage, all stem from common shoulder mobility restrictions. These risks are typically due to a combination of sitting, hunching over phones and computers, muscular imbalances between the anterior and posterior chain, and simply not training mobility.
It is also worth considering grip. The landmine shoulder press is performed with a neutral grip, positioning the humerus or the upper arm bone within the shoulder socket in a joint-friendly way. A pronated grip during shoulder exercises tends to carry a higher risk of impingement and joint discomfort.
How to Do the Landmine Shoulder Press with Perfect Form
Following are some steps for you to follow if you want to perform the landmine shoulder press with perfect form:
- Attach the barbell to the landmine with an appropriate weight plate and secure the load with a weight clip. If you do not have a dedicated landmine available, you can place the end of a barbell in a corner or two high, heavy, and rubber weight plates.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, with the loaded end of the barbell between the balls of your feet.
- With both hands, clean the barbell close to your chest with your elbows pointed straight down toward the floor.
- Keeping your core and lats braced, press the weight up until your arms are fully extended. To match the weight arched movement path, lean slightly forward from your ankles.
- Pause, slowly lower the weight back to your chest and repeat this movement.
The landmine shoulder press can fit seamlessly into your workout routine. Depending on your programming schedule, you can add it to a total-body, upper-body, push, and shoulder-specific workouts.
If the shoulder press is one of many overhead pressing movements in your arsenal, consider performing it two to three times per week. However, if you also perform various shoulder presses with free weights or machines, integrating it into your workouts even once a week can be highly beneficial.
You can also use moderate or light weights and higher reps to prioritize muscular endurance or to keep your risk of injury at a minimum level if you have cranky joints or a history of shoulder problems. Consider everything from 3 sets of 12 or 15 reps to 4 or 5 sets of 8 to 12 repeats. The heavier you go, the earlier in your workout you should hit the move.
And even though, the landmine press does not demand the utmost shoulder mobility, it never hurts to train it. Perform a few minutes of drills such as wall slides, serratus anterior slides with a foam roller, or shoulder rotations before taking hold of the landmine.