The Half Kneeling Landmine Press 101 | How To Build Strong Shoulders!

By
Mike Kenler
October 4, 2021

The Half Kneeling Landmine Press

The half kneeling landmine press is one of the best exercises to strengthen your shoulders. 

This exercise is simple to learn and can boost your functional strength in no time.

In this article, we cover all you need to know about how to do the half kneeling landmine press.

Muscles Worked By The Half Kneeling Landmine Press

Primary Muscle Groups:

The half kneeling landmine press primarily targets the deltoids. 

The deltoid muscle in your shoulder is separated into three main fibers: the anterior (front), lateral (middle) and posterior (rear) deltoids.

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All three heads of the deltoid work together to stabilize the shoulder joint and move the arms in many directions.

That being said, most of the tension falls on the front deltoid during the half kneeling landmine press.

Secondary Muscle Groups:

While the shoulders are the primary movers of the landmine press, your core and oblique muscles will activate to stabilize your midsection. 

Your traps and triceps also play a secondary role in supporting your upper back and pressing the barbell upwards.

Half Kneeling Landmine Press Benefits

1. Strength And Size Gains

The half kneeling landmine press is one of the best exercises to strengthen and grow your deltoids. Consistent training that incorporates this exercise will absolutely increase hypertrophy of the shoulders.

Stronger shoulders allow you to push heavier objects, perform better in athletics, and boost your overall confidence. 

Not only that, but with a stronger upper body, you will improve in other exercises as well.

2. Reduced Risk Of Injury

Your shoulders are one of the most precarious joints in the body. Because they can move freely in different directions, they tend to be more injury prone than other more stable joints.

Therefore, the half kneeling landmine press can help you build up strong muscles around your shoulders to prevent injuries that can sideline you for weeks. 

3. Fixing Muscle Imbalances

The half kneeling landmine press is a unilateral exercise. This means that you can focus on each individual shoulder in your training.

If one side of your body is stronger and/or bigger than the other, you can use the landmine press to correct for these muscle imbalances that develop over time.

How To Do The Half Kneeling Landmine Press

Equipment:

For the half kneeling landmine press, you will need a barbell and some weights.

Setup:

a) Secure the barbell in a landmine attachment, in a corner, or however you can stabilize the end of one side of the bar on the ground in front of you.

b) Assume a half kneeling position with your back straight in front of the barbell. Your lead foot should be opposite to the shoulder you are training. 

c) Grab the bottom of the barbell with your palm facing away from you and bring it just over your shoulder.

Action:

a) Contract your front deltoid to press the barbell upwards.

b) Squeeze your deltoid hard at the top and slowly return to the starting position.

c) Maintain tightness in your shoulder and repeat this motion.

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Recommendation:

To start, choose a relatively light weight. Aim to complete 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps at a lighter weight. 

Once you master the form, you can try experimenting with different rep ranges and weight amounts to further challenge your muscles.

Half Kneeling Landmine Press Mistakes

1. Hyperextending The Lower Back

One of the most common half kneeling landmine press mistakes is leaning back as you press forwards. 

This causes a hyperextension of the lower back, which can easily lead to injury. 

If you have any lateral motion during the landmine shoulder exercise, it should be going forwards as you press up.

This fix will maximize your safety and your results. 

2. Locking Out Your Elbows

While you should press all the way up, you want to avoid completely locking out your elbows during the half kneeling landmine press.

This mistake removes tension and stability from your shoulder at the top of the rep. 

Instead, keep your arm slightly bent at the top to keep tension on your shoulder throughout the motion. 

3. Rushing The Motion

Another common half kneeling landmine press mistake is rushing through the motion. Far too often, weightlifters will explode upwards and then quickly let the barbell fall to their shoulder.

Not only does this mistake risk injury, but it also eliminates any gains that can be made during the eccentric portion of the exercise. 

The landmine press is designed to be completed in a slow, controlled fashion. Take your time to get the most out of this landmine shoulder exercise.

Half Kneeling Landmine Press Variations

1. Standing 1-Arm Press

The standing landmine press is a bit more explosive of a motion than the half kneeling landmine press.

To begin, keep the barbell secured in a landmine position.

Assume a sturdy standing position and grab the top of the barbell with your right hand. 

Bring the barbell towards your shoulder and then contract your chest and deltoid to press the barbell upwards and forward to the starting position.

Continue this motion doing 1 side at a time or you can alternate arms to work both sides of your body at the same time.  

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2. Standing Two Arm Landmine Press

The two arm landmine press works your chest a bit more than the one arm variation. To begin, keep the barbell secured in a landmine set up and assume a sturdy standing position.

Grab the top of the barbell with both hands and your arms relatively straight.

Bend your elbows to bring the top of the barbell towards your chest.

Contract your inner chest and your front delts to press the barbell to the starting position.

Repeat!

 

 

 

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Half Kneeling Landmine Press Alternatives

If you enjoyed the half kneeling landmine press, check out these other shoulder exercises to improve your upper body training!

1. Barbell Overhead Press

Grab the barbell with a double overhand grip and your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Carefully lift the barbell up and let it rest on your front delts. Engage your core.

Keeping your lower body still, contract your deltoids to press upwards until your arms are locked and the barbell is above your shoulders.

Slowly return the barbell to the starting position. Maintain tightness in your core and repeat!

 

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2. Resistance Band Slicers

Assume a sturdy standing position on the resistance band. Bring the handles out in front of you with your palms facing down.

Bring the handles apart until they are in line with your shoulders out to the side.

Slowly return to the starting position and repeat this motion!

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3. Dumbbell Front Raise

Assume a comfortable stance in a standing position with your back straight. Grab the dumbbells with your palms facing towards you.

Contract your front deltoids to raise the dumbbells in front of you stopping just above forehead level. Slowly bring the weights down to the starting position and repeat!

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Looking For A Full Shoulder Workout?

If you enjoyed these shoulder exercises, check out this intense 5-minute barbell shoulder workout:

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Mike Kenler
Director of Writing | Certified in Plant Based Nutrition at T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies