The shoulder is a one of the most freely mobile joints in the body. Because of this, there can be a myriad of injuries that plague this so called ball and socket. There are a lot of moving pieces and more importantly, those pieces have to move together in a specific manner to maintain proper shoulder health. Thankfully, there are enough smart people out there that are creative enough to come up with variations of movements that can help us through troubled times for our body. One day I’d like to meet these people!
Enter landmine press. The landmine press is an “overhead pressing” variation that uses a standard barbell. There are countless versions of this movement but its good to start with a basic standing variation. This movement is featured on our instagram account and will be accompanied by plenty of other variations as well over the coming weeks. The reason this variation is beneficial for injured shoulders or for someone who may have shoulder restrictions is because it still targets the deltoid muscle while challenging stability but minimizing the extreme overhead position required by most other overhead pushing movements. The standard “military press” requires a strict vertical motion for your hand to end up over your head while the landmine press offers a more friendly overhead position out in front of your body. If you haven’t seen the video yet, then in order to conceptualize this motion, simply lay a barbell on the floor and pick it up by one end and face it longways. Grab the end of the barbell and while standing (for this version) straighten your arm to push the barbell forward and up. If you’re still not getting it, imagine your flipping a big lever seen in cartoons from bottom to top.
And if you’re still not getting it…please refer to my video because I’m not doing a good enough job with the quill and ink!
Now that we’ve got the movement down, I can talk a bit more about why its so good. Not only is it a friendly motion if you lack pure overhead mobility, but it also offers a bit more stability because the bar is locked into the ground, but not so much stability that your rotator cuff isn’t challenged. Perhaps the best reason this press is so good is because it requires so much work from your rotator cuff muscles and from your serratus muscle. If you’re not familiar with the serratus anterior muscle, just know that it helps protract your arm or push it forward and should be involved in most shoulder health routines. It helps properly position and stabilize your shoulder blade during pushing motions and is often not talked about in shoulder routines.
So this little variation to shoulder pressing actually packs a big punch. Pun intended because this motion would actually help make your punch stronger. If you have cranky shoulders like me, or if you’re simply looking for a new exercise, give these guys a try. There are so many challenging variations that can get the whole body involved, and we’ll make sure to throw them up on our social media pages for you. Happy Pressing!