Pressing without Pain: The Landmine Press.

I don’t know about you, but I’m confident when I say I don’t know a whole lot.

But I’m also confident when I say I also know a few things, like the following.


1. My pup is the cutest pup in the world. Fight me about it.

(Just kidding there is room for your pup too atop the cuteness supremacy)

2. Star Wars Episode 5 is the best out of the series.

3. And Overhead pressing can be a pain in the neck. Literally.

There aren’t very many things that give me more anxiety than seeing someone who has the overhead flexibility of a dinosaur try and press overhead. That’s a shoulder injury waiting to happen.

This poses as a problem though, because a healthy shoulder is one that is able to push and pull in a variety of directions.


Just as an example, How many times do you have to push something heavy onto a shelf above your head? Or pull something down off the top shelf of your closet?

But if you don’t have the range of motion in your shoulder to press overhead, what do you do?

Do you risk injury and do it because you’re told you have to?

That would be dumb. Don’t do that.

This is where your solution comes into play!

Enter the landmine press.

This bad boy is one of the best exercises for beginners and advanced athletes a like. What makes this so appealing are a few reasons:

1. It’s simple to set up. If you don’t have the right attachment, jam a barbell in the corner somewhere. As long as you don’t break anything, you’re good to go.

2. You can use micro improvements with the barbell. 2.5 and 5lb plates for the win!

3. These have limitless scaling ability. You’ll see a little about what I mean lower down.

With these benefits and much more, they act as my introduction to overhead pressing. While working on upper back mobility, this serves as a primary pressing movement. Once we get past Dinosaur arm flexibility, we start incorporating other variations.



First we have to start in the right position.

You’ll want to be straight from your knee to your shoulder. Don’t let your lower back arch, and don’t lean too far forward in the movement.

With the barbell pressed into the corner, bring it up to your shoulder so that your thumb a couple inches out from your collar bone. DON’T LET THE BARBELL DROP BELOW THIS POINT.

This is the crucial part. When we are doing this, your hand will cradle the end of the barbell. When doing this, your hand will either look like a C or a U, like the pictures below.

We don’t want a C when we do this. If your hand makes a C, that stands for “Crappy form”.

You don’t want Crappy form. 


INSTEAD, Make your hand into a U shape, because it stands for “U Look Like a champion”!

This makes sure your shoulder, elbow, and hand are all in alignment, keeping the shoulder happy as a clam.

A lot of us have really, really tight necks and upper shoulders, manifesting in tension headaches that could knock out a Rhino.

Keeping this position makes sure you don’t feed into that tightness.

By keeping the U shape, you use more shoulder, less neck, making your body happy again.


ANYWAYS, From here, press the weight away from you, keeping your core, and glutes tight. Control it back down to your shoulder. That’s it!


Performing the standing version of this exercise is our baseline.


If the bar is too much for you to handle for now, here’s what you’ll do. Press it up with one hand, and let it back down and controlled like the video below. You’re now using eccentric motion (controlled lengthening of the muscle) to build your shoulders.


If you find that the standing version is too easy, then you can move onto one knee. This will allow your core the challenge of trying to balance, while using less of your chest and more of your shoulder.


This works in the 4-6 rep range for building strength as it does in the 8-12 range for improving muscle size. Use both in your program for the best benefit. This is an exercise where it’s easy to cheat and lose your good form. Keep your glutes and core tight, and remember to not have the C for Crappy form.


If it hurts, stop risking injury with the overhead press. Press without pain with this landmine press.