Top 10 Landmine Leg Exercises

By: Jeremy Fox, CNC, CPTUpdated: March 29, 2024

Are you looking to up your lower body workout game? Well, look no further than landmine leg exercises!

These versatile moves will not only help you target and tone those legs, but they are also incredibly effective in increasing your strength and stability. Best of all, most gyms have the equipment necessary to perform these exercises – so get ready for an intense yet rewarding burn!

In this post, we’ll discuss ten of the best landmine leg exercises that every fitness buff should be doing as part of their routine for maximum results.

Landmine Leg Exercises

What Are Landmine Leg Exercises?

Landmine leg exercises are a great way to add variety to your lower body workout routine. These exercises involve using a barbell anchored to the ground or a landmine attachment, providing a fixed movement path that changes the look and feel of traditional exercises.

You can use landmine leg exercises to work the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Some common examples of landmine exercises for legs are squats, lunges, and Romanian deadlifts.

Each exercise works the legs differently, as I’ll explain below. But first, let’s talk about the benefits of using the landmine on leg day.

Benefits of Landmine Leg Exercises

There are several benefits to incorporating landmine leg exercises into your routine. First, they add variety and challenge your muscles in new ways.

Also, landmine leg exercises typically require more balance than other free-weight or machine variations. So not only do they help develop lower body strength, but they also improve stability and balance.

Therefore, landmine leg exercises are ideal for athletes or anyone looking to enhance their athleticism. But they’re also great for bodybuilders trying to sculpt specific muscle groups.

Of course, any exercise variation has pros and cons, and the landmine is no exception. For example, these exercises are ideal for powerlifters because you can’t go as heavy.

In addition, the barbell isn’t the best equipment for doing single-joint isolation movements. And it’s best to use a landmine attachment to avoid damaging your barbell sleeves.

Pros

  • Add more variety to workouts.
  • Challenges muscles in new ways.
  • Unique range of motion.
  • Increases balance and stability.

Cons

  • Can’t go as heavy as traditional barbell exercises.
  • Not the best for isolating single muscle groups.
  • Requires a landmine attachment.

Muscles Worked by Landmine Leg Exercises

Before getting into the specific landmine leg exercises, it’s vital to understand leg muscle anatomy. This way, you’ll know which exercises to use to target specific areas of your lower body.

For example, squat movements primarily work the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and hip flexors. But you can emphasize a particular muscle group using different squat variations.

Similarly, lunge movements generally work the quads, glutes, hamstrings, hips, and calves. However, body and foot placement can significantly affect which muscles get used more.

Finally, hip hinge movements like Romanian deadlifts are best for working the hamstrings and glutes. And the landmine offers a few variations for changing the range of motion and loading.

landmine leg exercises muscle worked

10 Landmine Leg Exercises

In this section, I’ll cover each exercise in detail, including the benefits, the muscles worked, and how to do the movement correctly. Here is a list of the nine landmine leg exercises:

  1. Landmine Squat
  2. Landmine Sumo Squat
  3. Landmine Hack Squat
  4. Landmine Lunge
  5. Landmine Reverse Lunge
  6. Landmine Side Lunge
  7. Landmine RDL
  8. Alternate Landmine RDL
  9. Single Leg Landmine RDL
  10. Landmine Calf Raise

As you can see from the list, you can do a few types of movements with the landmine, including squat, lunge, and RDL variations. And the bonus exercise is one for working your calves directly.

The sections below are segmented by exercise type to help you find variations that work with your training plan. So let’s look at each landmine leg exercise in more detail.

Squat Variation Landmine Leg Exercises

Next up are landmine leg exercises that involve some form of squatting movement. You could use these exercises as a substitute for barbell or machine squats.

1. Landmine Squat

The landmine squat is a compound exercise that targets the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core muscles. However, it’s not exactly the same as a traditional barbell squat.

For one reason, the landmine squat involves holding the end of the bar in front of your body like a goblet squat. And this position shifts your center of gravity forward, similar to a barbell front squat.

While slightly different in mechanics compared to the back squat, the landmine squat is beneficial for targeting the quads in particular.

Here are the steps to perform the landmine squat:

  1. Stand facing the landmine with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing slightly outward.
  2. Grab the other end of the barbell with both hands, keeping your elbows close to your body.
  3. With your back straight, squat down by pushing your hips back and bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  4. Push through your heels and return to the starting position, extending your hips and knees.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Landmine Leg Exercises Front Squat

2. Landmine Sumo Squat

The landmine sumo squat is another exercise variation where you hold the bar in front of you. However, this time you hold the bar between your legs with your arms hanging straight down, similar to a sumo deadlift.

In addition, the sumo squat variation uses a wider stance that emphasizes the inner thighs and glutes.

Related: Wide vs. Narrow Stance Squat Muscles Worked

Here are the steps to perform the landmine sumo squat:

  1. Stand facing the landmine with the free end of the barbell between your legs and your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointing out at a 45-degree angle.
  2. Grab the end of the barbell between both hands and let it hang between your thighs with your arms straight.
  3. Squat down by pushing your hips back and bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground while keeping your back straight.
  4. Push through your heels and return to the starting position, extending your hips and knees.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Landmine Leg Exercises Sumo Squat

3. Landmine Hack Squat

Next, the landmine hack squat variation replicates the upright body position and more significant knee bend of the hack squat machine. This exercise helps you target your quads to a greater extent.

Here are the steps to perform the landmine hack squat:

  1. Place a weight plate on the free end of the barbell.
  2. Lift the barbell onto one shoulder with your back against the weight plate.
  3. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, heels under your hips, and toes pointed straight forward.
  4. Squat down by bending your knees and hips while keeping your back straight.
  5. Push through your heels to return to the starting position, extending your knees and hips.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Related: 15 Hack Squat Alternatives

Landmine Leg Exercises Hack Squat

Lunge Variation Landmine Leg Exercises

The lunge is a split squat variation that works each leg independently, similar to an isolateral movement.

One advantage of single-leg exercises is that they help prevent imbalances. In addition, they are better for building balance and stability.

So let’s look at some of the best landmine lunge variations.

4. Landmine Lunge (Side Loaded)

For this landmine leg exercise, you will hold the bar perpendicular to your body instead of in front of it. This side loading lets you step forward like a regular dumbbell or bodyweight lunge.

Here are the steps to perform the side-loaded landmine lunge:

  1. Stand with your feet perpendicular to the free end of the barbell.
  2. Grab the barbell sleeve with an overhand grip and hold it near the side of your thigh with your arm straight.
  3. Start with your feet together, then step forward with one foot and simultaneously lower your body into a lunge position until your back knee grazes the floor.
  4. Push back up to the starting position, and repeat the movement on the other side.
  5. Continue alternating lunges for the desired number of reps.

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5. Landmine Reverse Lunge

For the landmine reverse lunge, you will again stand facing the end of the barbell. But instead of stepping forward into the lunge, you will step back, away from the bar.

Here are the steps to perform the landmine reverse lunge:

  1. Stand with your feet facing the free end of the barbell.
  2. Grab the barbell sleeve between both hands and hold it in front of your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body.
  3. Start with your feet together, then step back with one foot and simultaneously lower your body into a lunge position until your back knee grazes the floor.
  4. Push back up to the starting position, and repeat the movement on the other side.
  5. Continue alternating lunges for the desired number of reps.

6. Landmine Side Lunge

The landmine side lunge involves stepping to either side instead of stepping forward or back, like in the other lunge variations. Again, the lateral movement helps target the inner thighs, hip flexors, and glutes.

Here are the steps to perform the landmine side lunge:

  1. Stand with your feet facing the free end of the barbell.
  2. Grab the barbell sleeve between both hands and hold it in front of your chest while keeping your elbows close to your body.
  3. Start with your feet together, then step sideways with one foot and simultaneously lower your body into a side lunge position until your bent thigh is about parallel to the floor.
  4. Push back up to the starting position, and repeat the movement on the other side.
  5. Continue alternating lunges for the desired number of reps.

Deadlift Variation Landmine Leg Exercises

Deadlift variations can include several types of hip hinge movements for working the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. In this case, we will look at Romanian deadlift variations using the landmine apparatus.

7. Landmine RDL

The landmine RDL is a variation of the traditional Romanian deadlift that uses a landmine attachment instead of a barbell. And the main difference is how you hold the bar.

With this variation of the landmine RDL, you hold the bar between your legs instead of across the front of them. In addition, you hold the bar with clasped hands or with a handle attachment.

Here’s how to perform the exercise:

  1. Stand with your back to the landmine, straddling the barbell with your feet hip-width apart. Grasp the shaft of the barbell with both hands or using a handle attachment.
  2. Hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back straight and your core engaged. Allow your hands to travel down your thighs as you lower the bar toward the ground. Keep your knees slightly bent throughout the movement.
  3. Once you feel a stretch in your hamstrings, pause and squeeze your glutes to pull yourself back up to a standing position. Keep your shoulders back and your core engaged throughout the movement.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

8. Alternate Landmine RDL

You can also perform a landmine RDL facing the opposite direction. In other words, you hold the sleeve end of the bar and face the landmine.

With this alternate landmine RDL body position, the arcing path moves the bar closer to your legs at the bottom of the range of motion. So it will feel a bit more like a regular free-weight RDL.

Also, this variation is easier if you don’t have a handle because the sleeve has a larger diameter than the barbell shaft. That means it won’t dig into your hands as much when using a fingers-clasped grip.

Here’s how to do this variation of the landmine RDL:

  1. Stand facing the landmine with your feet hip-width apart. Grasp the sleeve of the barbell with both hands clasped.
  2. Hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back straight and your core engaged. Allow your hands to travel down your thighs as you lower the bar toward the ground. Keep your knees slightly bent throughout the movement.
  3. Once you feel a stretch in your hamstrings, pause and squeeze your glutes to pull yourself back up to a standing position. Keep your shoulders back and your core engaged throughout the movement.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Alternate RDL Landmine Leg Exercises

9. Single Leg Landmine RDL

The single-leg landmine RDL is a variation where you stand perpendicular to the end of the bar. So with this stance, you can easily hold the free end of the bar with the hand closest to it.

Next, lift one foot off the floor slightly so you’re standing on one leg. Then lean forward at the hip while bending your knee slightly and keeping your back flat.

With this variation, you must control the front-to-back movement of the bar. So ensure your hand stays close to the front of your leg and ends up over your toes at the bottom.

Here are the steps to perform the single-leg landmine RDL:

  1. Stand perpendicular to the end of the barbell with your feet together. Grasp the end of the barbell in one hand with an overhand grip.
  2. Lift your inside foot off the ground and hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back straight. Allow your hand to travel down your thighs as you lower the bar toward the ground. Keep both knees slightly bent throughout the movement.
  3. Once you feel a stretch in your hamstring, pause and squeeze your glute to pull yourself back up to a standing position. Keep your shoulders back and your core engaged throughout the movement.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Single Leg RDL Landmine Leg Exercises

Bonus Exercise

Of course, you know that no leg day would be complete without training your calves! So here is a calf exercise you can do using the landmine and barbell.

10. Landmine Calf Raise

Standing calf raises are the ideal exercise for hitting the gastrocnemius or the upper portion of your lower leg. And you can use the landmine to add resistance to this exercise while getting a good stretch in your calves.

Here are the steps to do a landmine standing calf raise:

  1. Stand with your feet facing the free end of the barbell.
  2. Grab the barbell sleeve between both hands and hold it in front of your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body.
  3. Stand with your feet slightly behind your shoulders and lean into the barbell so you feel a stretch in your calves.
  4. Now lift your heels and stand on the balls of your feet while keeping your legs relatively straight.
  5. Lower your heels back to the starting position, and repeat for the desired number of reps.

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Landmine Leg Workout

Now that you have a good idea of the best landmine exercises for working your lower body, you might be confused about how to combine them into a productive leg day workout.

So here is an example leg session using some of the landmine exercises above.

Landmine Leg Workout:

  • Landmine Squat
    • 4 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Landmine RDL
    • 3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Landmine Sumo Squat
    • 3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Landmine Lunge
    • 3 sets, 12-15 reps
  • Landmine Calf Raises
    • 5 sets, as many reps as possible

This landmine leg workout includes exercises for working the quads, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, and calves. In the short video below, I demonstrate how to perform these exercises and workout.

More Exercises & Workouts

The landmine leg exercises you just learned will help you build size and strength. But, if possible, you should include some regular barbell, dumbbell, cable, and machine exercises to get a more complete lower-body workout.

So here are some additional resources for planning your training sessions.

7 Smith Machine Squat Variations

Should You Do Heel Elevated Squats?

12 Dumbbell Exercises for Quads

Best Barbell Hamstring Exercises

Hip Thrust Alternatives For Glutes

REP Fitness Landmine Review

9 Best Landmine Shoulder Exercises

If you feel you’ve got a good handle on exercises, check out some of my other fitness-related content below. These articles include topics covering all things bodybuilding, nutrition, and supplements.

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By |April 16, 2023|Workouts|0 Comments
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