How To Do Landmine Rotations Properly

If you are a fan of the Russian twist then you are going to love landmine rotations.

What is a landmine rotation you ask? It is a variation of the Russian twist that uses landmine training to specifically target your obliques as well as a few other abdominal muscles.

It uses a landmine attachment to keep the weight in a fixed motion path as you do the exercise.

Here’s how to do it properly:

  • Put the barbell in a landmine attachment and ensure it is secure. If you’d like to use weights, add the desired number of weight plates on the other end of the barbell.
  • Stand in front of the free end of the barbell with a stance wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend to pick the free end off the ground with both hands. You can choose to overlap the hands or interlace the fingers (however, interlacing offers a better grip).
  • Get back to the standing position and stretch out your arms overhead and in front of your body.
  • Tighten your core.
  • To initiate the rotation, rotate your body slowly towards one side, with your arms in front of your body.
  • Once you’ve completed the rotation towards one side, quickly get back to the starting position.
  • Repeat the rotation on the other side of your body.

WHAT MUSCLES DO LANDMINE ROTATIONS WORK?

Landmine rotations recruit the deep muscles of your core including your internal and external obliques, and the transverse abdominis muscles.

Other muscles involved are the scapular stabilizers in your upper back and deltoids on your shoulders.

BENEFITS OF LANDMINE ROTATIONS

WORKS THE OBLIQUES

Most core exercises tend to over-focus on the other abdominal muscles at the expense of the obliques.

Fortunately, this will not be one of your worries when you are working your core using landmine rotations, because the obliques are the main target muscles in this movement.

CORE STRENGTH

Landmine rotations help develop core strength by rotation resistance and lateral flexion which is achieved when you bend to your side.

ALTERNATIVES TO LANDMINE ROTATIONS

LANDMINE HANG CLEAN TO ROTARY PRESS

This exercise combines the barbell clean and press with landmine half-rotations.

Since it involves keeping the barbell a bit closer to your body compared to conventional landmine rotations, it allows you to use heavier loads.

Here are the instructions to its execution:

  • Place the barbell in a landmine attachment and load the free end with the desired amount of weight.
  • Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend down to pick the barbell from its weighted end using a mixed grip (use an underhand grip on your left hand and an overhand grip on your right hand).
  • Hinge forward at your hips slightly, with the bar resting against the back thigh.
  • Explode your hips into the barbell and use both arms to pull it to your left shoulder so that its end is at chest height. You elbows should be under it.
  • Once the bar gets to your chest, rotate your torso and hips toward the landmine attachment as you push it away by extending your arms.
  • Reverse the motions slowly to complete a single rep.
  • Perform all the reps on one side before switching to the other.

Do 3-5 sets of 2-6 reps on each side.

SIDE PLANK WITH REACH UNDER

This is a variation of the side plank where you use one of your hands to reach under your body as the other hand provides support on the ground.

This extra twisting motion targets your obliques more than the traditional side plank would.

Other major muscles it engages are your shoulder muscles and glutes.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Lie on the floor on your right side. You can use a mat if you want extra comfort.
  • Stack your feet together, one on top of the other, and use your forearm or hand to lift your body off the ground.
  • Bend both knees at 45 degrees.
  • With your feet still touching, pull your left hip upwards using your obliques.
  • Straighten your right arm over your head.
  • Breathe in, and reach the right hand down and under the right side of your body to add in that twist.
  • Return your arm over your head and repeat the last step.
  • Do all your sets on one side before switching to the other.

BICYCLE CRUNCH

The bicycle crunch also involves twisting your body to one side to engage the obliques on your side.

Steps:

  • Lie on the ground, your back pressed to the ground.
  • Get your legs into the tabletop position.
  • Bend both elbows.
  • Place your hands behind your head.
  • Using the core, lift your neck, head and shoulders off the floor.
  • Bring your left elbow to the right knee and straighten your left leg.
  • Release and twist your body to the other side, as you bend your left leg and straighten the right one.
  • Bring the right elbow to the left knee.
  • Repeat as many times as you desire, making sure to alternate between the two sides of your body within each rep.

LANDMINE ROTATIONS MISTAKES TO AVOID

MOVING YOUR HIPS

The goal is to keep your pelvic area/hips as still as you can for a maximum workout.

If you have a problem with pelvic rotation then you should consider widening your feet and gradually narrowing your stance as you gain more motor control.

ROTATING THROUGH THE LUMBAR SPINE

All rotation in this exercise should come from your upper back and not your lumbar spine. This is the only way you will manage to effectively target your oblique muscles.

KEEPING YOUR KNEES STRAIGHT

You should always keep a slight bend in the knees when performing landmine rotations to help take some tension off your lumbar spine and prevent injury.

WRAPPING UP

Landmine rotations are a fantastic way to recruit the often ignored oblique muscles on the side of your core.

If you are not in a position to do it for one reason or the other, the alternatives in here will help you achieve similar goals with the right form and consistency.