How To Do The Landmine Hack Squat Properly

The landmine hack squat is not your ordinary, simple, easy-to-do squat.

It is a squat variation that uses landmine training to work your lower body muscles from an angle where your shins are perpendicular to the ground.

Now, you are probably wondering why on earth you would choose such a complex variation of the squat when there are so many others that could get the job done more easily.

This is a question most people ask themselves, and we will get to the answer pretty soon when discussing the benefits.

In the meantime, let’s talk about how to do it properly, shall we?

First, set up the barbell securely by putting it inside a landmine attachment. If you want to use weight, you can load it with the desired number of weight plates.

Then, follow these steps:

  • Clean up the weight and turn around so that you are facing away from the attachment.
  • Rest the free end of the barbell on one shoulder.
  • Step both feet out so that as you squat down comfortably while keeping your shins perpendicular to the floor.
  • Lower your body into a squat.
  • Do all your reps on that shoulder, then switch to the other.

WHAT MUSCLES DOES THE LANDMINE HACK SQUAT WORK?

This compound movement pretty much works every muscle in your lower body, including the hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, glutes and core muscles.

Like any other squat variation, this exercise mainly targets the muscles along your posterior chain.

During the squat, you engage the glutes and hamstrings to flex your hips, and the calves and core to keep your body stable.

BENEFITS OF THE LANDMINE HACK SQUAT

EASY ON YOUR KNEES

The landmine hack squat differs from the traditional squat in many ways, but the main difference is that in the hack squat, your shins are more perpendicular to the floor.

This means you don’t push your knees forward as much as you would in the traditional squat.

You’d particularly find it favorable if you have knee problems that make it difficult for you to push them forward during lower body exercises.

HELPS YOU MASTER SQUAT FORM

This exercise is one of the best squat variations you can use to help you master the correct squatting technique.

Its fixed range of motion makes sure you stick to the correct form from the time you place the free end of the bar on your shoulders to the time you get into the squat portion and come back up.

BUILDS MUSCLE AND STRENGTH

The landmine hack squat gives you the option of loading the free end of the barbell so that you are able to build strength and muscle mass during the squat.

Building muscle strength and mass with the landmine hack squat allows you to lift more, which improves your ability to perform other intense strength-training exercises like the deadlift.

LESS STRAIN ON THE SPINE AND LOWER BACK

This exercise distributes the weight load at an angle through your center of mass, which reduces stress on your spine and allows you to lift more weight without hurting your lower back.

ALTERNATIVES TO THE LANDMINE HACK SQUAT

LANDMINE SPLIT SQUAT

If you are confident that you have mastered the basics of the landmine split squat, you can increase the challenge by performing it with a split squat stance.

This is a unilateral variation that gives you the additional benefits of correcting muscle asymmetry and working your core.

To set up for it, place a barbell inside a landmine attachment as you would in the landmine hack squat.

Then, add weight plates to the other end of the barbell.

Execution:

  • Pick up the bar using both hands and hold it in front of your chest.
  • Get into a split stance, with one leg bent behind you slightly and the other stepped forward.
  • Lower your body down, using your back leg to drive the motion.
  • Squat down until the back knee comes close to touching the ground.
  • Push yourself back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of reps on that leg, before switching to the other leg in the next set.

LANDMINE THRUSTER

This is another variation of the landmine hack squat that combines the mechanics of the press and the squat to work multiple muscles in your body.

Incorporating the press into this exercise ensures your upper body gets just as engaged as your lower body.

In addition to the muscles worked by the landmine hack squat, this exercise also works your obliques, triceps and traps.

To do it, start by setting up the barbell in a landmine attachment and then loading its free end with weight plates.

Then, follow these steps for the execution part:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold the barbell in front of your chest with both hands.
  • Lower yourself into the squat position until your thighs are almost parallel to the ground.
  • Hold this position for a moment.
  • Drive into the ground through your heels to get yourself back up, keeping the barbell in front of your chest.
  • Once you get back to the starting position, don’t pause; continue the movement by pressing the weight in front of you using both hands until your arms reach full extension.
  • Then, bring the barbell to chest height.
  • Get back into the squat position and repeat the steps as many times as you desire.

LANDMINE HACK SQUAT MISTAKES TO AVOID

LIFTING HEAVY

Avoid using heavy weights, especially if you are a beginner.

Whatever weight you choose should allow you to focus on your form so that you get the most out of the movement without getting yourself hurt.

USING THE BALLS OF YOUR FEET

Never use the balls of your feet during a squat; this could result in serious knee injury especially if you are lifting heavy.

Instead, squat through your heels so that your bodyweight is evenly distributed between your feet.

CONCLUSION

If you came here asking yourself why you should choose this variation of the squat over the others, there is no doubt you’ve been satisfactorily answered.

Try it out the next time you are looking to work your posterior chain to experience these benefits firsthand!