When it comes to exercise, I’m always trying to find things that are outside the traditional realm. I don’t switch things up for the sake of switching up, but rather look to find ways I can add another component to the arsenal while adding variety and still producing fitness gains.
Let’s face it: Staying motivated with the same exercise routine can get boring — fast. The human body and mind only have a certain threshold when it comes to doing the same thing over and over again. And exercise is no exception. So I feel it’s my obligation to share with you all that I discover and use both personally and with clients. Besides, we’re all here to get results, right?
This month’s “outside of the box” training tool is the “landmine.” Essentially, it’s a sleeve designed for one end of an Olympic bar to go in, while the opposite site can be loaded for a variety of total body movements that include pressing, pulling, squatting, lunging. A rotational component helps hit your core musculature as well. From a fitness standpoint this is great because it allows us variety and versatility, helping improve our cardiovascular endurance, strength and power while burning fat in the process.
Here are five of my favorites to use with the landmine. As always, start lighter with your weight when first introducing new exercises into the mix, focusing on form and adapting to the new movement for the first few weeks. From there feel free to add more load as you become used to the exercises.
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Alternating Chest Press
Begin by picking up the bar to chest level, fully extending your arm with your body slightly angled, facing the landmine, holding the top of the bar. Descend into a 1/4 squat position while simultaneously lowering the bar toward your shoulder. Drive back to the starting position by extending both your legs and arm while passing the bar to the opposite arm then repeating the same movement. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps per side.
Alternating Torso Rotations
Using both arms, begin by picking up the bar, fully extending your arms with your body slightly angled, facing the landmine, holding the top of the bar with one hand right above the other at chest level. Simultaneously rotate the bar toward your right side using your arm and hips while pivoting your feet. Once the bar reaches hip level, drive and rotate the bar all the way to the left side of your body in the same manner. Repeat for 10-15 reps per side.
Reverse Lunge with Press
Using both arms, begin by picking up the bar, fully extending your arms with your body slightly angled, facing the landmine, holding the bar with one hand right above the other at chest level. Step back with your right leg and descend into a reverse lunge by bending your left leg to a 90-degree angle while simultaneously lowering the bar toward your chest. Extend both your left leg and arms back to the starting position and repeat on the opposite leg. Perform 10 reps per leg.
Single Leg Deadlift
Begin by picking up the bar with your right arm using an underhand grip, keeping the bar below waist level with your arm hanging naturally. Balance on your right leg and slowly hinge at the hips as if you are trying to lower the bar toward the ground, keeping your back straight, hips square and left leg straight and extended behind you until your upper body is about parallel to the floor. Unhinge to return to the starting position while trying to maintain balance on your right leg. Repeat for 10 repetitions, then switch sides.
Single Arm Row
Begin with your back facing the landmine in a split-stance position with the leg closest to the bar behind you. Pick up the bar with an underhand grip with the arm closest to the bar, gripping just below the weights. Bend your front leg slightly and angle your upper body to about 45 degrees. Pull the bar just toward the outside of your body until your elbow is past your torso. Slowly return the bar to the starting position and repeat for 10 repetitions, then switch sides.
Jason Wanlass, the owner of Champion Fitness Training in Meridian, has more than 15 years' experience in the fitness industry. Contact him at email@example.com or championfit.net.