10 Best Landmine Press Alternatives (Substitutes For Home)

Landmine presses are simple, effective, efficient, and offer tons of variation. Unfortunately, this makes situations where they're unavailable frustrating. Many gyms lack landmine bases, and home gyms may lack the space, equipment, or both. Plus, repeating a single routine decreases its effectiveness over time. 

Fortunately, many landmine press alternative exercises exist, making the same benefits available in many situations. 

If you don't have access to a landmine stand, plenty of other exercises focus on the core, chest, and shoulder muscles while promoting joint mobility.  

Below you'll find 10 examples fitting a range of specifications and equipment requirements. 

1. Standing Upward Fly 

This 2 hand landmine press alternative only requires dumbbells, while giving you all the same benefits. In terms of muscles worked, your pectorals will benefit, as will your deltoids and triceps.

This routine also mimics the prized scapular retraction of landmine presses, improving posture and building shoulder strength. Additionally, they are great for opening the chest, reducing back pain, increasing your range of motion, and reducing upper-body muscular tightness.

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell held in each hand at waist level with palms facing outward. 
  • While only slightly bending the elbow, bring the dumbbells up and inward until they almost meet in front of your chest. Do not bring them higher than your shoulders, and keep your wrists straight. 
  • Return them with control to waist height. 

If new to this movement, start with small weights until your form is perfect to avoid injury.

Related Article - Best Dumbbell Chest Exercises Without Bench

Standing Upward Fly

2. Incline Chest Press Machine 

Another 2-handed landmine chest press alternative, this one uses a chest press machine set to an inclined position to replicate the upward motion of landmine presses. The increased stability provided by using a machine versus free weights makes this kinder on your body and easier for beginners.  

However, removing the need to focus on balance shifts more of the focus away from improving your stabilization and towards muscle-mass gains. These gains will come in your pectorals, deltoids, and triceps.

  • Load your desired weight, set the machine so your arms can sit at a 45-degree angle to your body, and sit with your back resting flat. 
  • Hold both handles with palms facing outward. 
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor and extend your arms, pushing the machine’s handles away from your body. 
  • Pause your arms at full extension, then return to your starting position with a controlled movement. 
Incline Chest Press Machine

3. Incline Dumbbell Chest Press 

Focusing on strength and mobility improvement, this 2-handed alternative exercise for landmine press routines is a relatively faithful all-arounder replacement. However, it does not work the core as hard as the original. 

Instead, the key muscles worked are the pectoralis major, shoulder muscles, and the triceps. It is comparable to landmine presses in terms of mobility and imbalance correction, as each arm will move independently of one another, so the strong side of your body cannot overcompensate.

Related Article - Dumbbell Vs Barbell Bench Press

  • Set your bench to an angle of 45-degrees. 
  • Hold one dumbbell in each hand, with your back flat against the bench and your feet flat on the ground. 
  • Hold your dumbbells at shoulder level and keep your palms pointing outward. 
  • Push the dumbbells up overhead by extending your elbows.
  • Once you reach full extension, bring your dumbbells back to the sides of your chest with a controlled movement. 
Incline Dumbbell Chest Press

4. Decline Push-Ups 

No equipment is required for this 2-handed landmine push press alternative – meaning you can do it absolutely anywhere! 

Like regular push-ups, these work the pectorals, deltoids, triceps, core, and the serratus anterior for a comprehensive exercise that ticks many of those all-important landmine boxes. The declined position puts extra emphasis on your shoulder muscles, which is a key feature of a good landmine replacement. The higher your legs, the harder the shoulders are worked.

Learn More - Push Ups Vs Bench Press For Building Muscle

  • Get in the push-up position with your legs elevated on a ledge or surface. Your whole body should be straight and in line, with your arms pointing straight down. 
  • Lower your body to the ground by bending your elbows until they reach 45-degrees. Depending on the level of your foot incline, your chest may not be able to touch the floor. 
  • Drive your body back upward to resume the position from step 1. 
Decline Push-Ups

5. Steep Incline Dumbbell Press 

While regular incline dumbbell presses are a reasonable substitute for landmine press routines using 2 hands, you will need to take things further to truly replicate the benefits to your pectoralis major, deltoids, and triceps. 

To bring the same upper-body engagement as a landmine, increase the incline further. If you would like to work the core in the same way, consider trying it with one dumbbell held centrally with two hands instead.

  • Set your bench to between a 60 to 70-degree angle. 
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand and lie with your back flat against the bench and both feet flat on the ground. 
  • Hold both dumbbells at shoulder level with palms pointing outward. 
  • Push both dumbbells overhead and up by extending the elbows. 
  • Once the full extension is reached, bring the dumbbells back to each side of the chest with control. 
Steep Incline Dumbbell Press

6. Military Press 

One incredible 2-handed landmine shoulder press alternative is the military press. These can use just a barbell or two dumbbells or kettlebells.

The standing position works your core just like a landmine. Your trapezius, triceps, pectoralis major, and the anterior, lateral, and posterior deltoids are all activated during this comprehensive replacement exercise. It’s also great for shoulder flexibility, especially if you use two weights rather than one. 

  • If using a barbell, grip at just over shoulder-width points. Then, rest your chosen weight(s) on your collarbones. 
  • Lean slightly back with your elbows under the weight. Use your knees and hips to assist unracking. 
  • Take a stance with feet hip-width apart and pointing outward slightly. 
  • Press the weight up until your arms are fully extended above your head. Keep your core and glutes engaged, your wrists straight, and your spine neutral. 
  • Lower the weight back to your collarbones with control. 
Military Press

7. Dumbbell Overhead Seesaw Press 

This 2-handed landmine shoulder press alternative is a useful replacement that can be done with either two dumbbells or two kettlebells. It hits many of the key landmine areas, such as all parts of the shoulders, the triceps, the trapezius in your upper back, and the core.

  • Hold the kettlebells or dumbbells at shoulder height. Your palms should face forward, your core should be engaged, and your shoulders should be pulled down and back. 
  • Begin with one weight pressed straight overhead by extending your arm. This will be the starting position for each rep. 
  • Lower the raised weight with control to shoulder height, while simultaneously pressing the other straight up to full arm extension as before. 
  • Each alternation of the two pressed weights is one rep. 

If you are struggling, this exercise can be performed while seated. However, you will sacrifice the all-important core engagement. 

Dumbbell Overhead Seesaw Press

8. Half-Kneeling Cable Press 

This single arm landmine press alternative may require a cable machine but requires greater stability control, progressing you further than landmines alone. 

You get a comprehensive landmine replacement muscle workout here, working the core intensely, as well as the hips, glutes, pectorals, triceps, and shoulders.

  • Set a single-hand cable at the lowest position and face away from the cable machine. 
  • Kneel with one knee directly below your body. The other leg should be out front with the knee at a 90-degree angle. 
  • Grab the cable with your kneeling-side hand, ensuring it rests on the outside of your arm. Brace yourself and keep the other arm firmly by your side. 
  • Press the cable forward to full arm extension.  
  • Return the cable to the initial position with control. 

To focus more on your deltoids, press the cable upward. To work the pecs harder, ensure it stays horizontal.

Half-Kneeling Cable Press

9. Half-Kneeling Dumbbell Press 

This single arm kneeling landmine press alternative boasts more vertical motion than traditional landmine presses, isolating and working all three parts of your deltoids to a greater extent and relying on the pectorals less. 

Due to the balance required, it works the hips and provides an intense core workout. Regularly practicing this alongside shoulder/bench presses will round out your shoulder routine with increased flexibility and athleticism. 

  • Kneel with a knee directly under your body and the other leg out in front of you with the knee bent at 90-degrees. 
  • Hold a dumbbell with the hand on your kneeling side and rest it upon your shoulder. 
  • Engage your core and press your dumbbell straight upward until your arm is fully extended by your ear. 
  • Return your dumbbell to shoulder height with a controlled movement. 

Avoid leaning forward during this exercise, as it risks overextending your back. 

Read Also - How To Make Home Dumbbells Heavier

Half-Kneeling Dumbbell Press

10. Half-Kneeling Arnold Press 

Similar to the half-kneeling dumbbell press, this landmine press substitute uses a single arm and increases the demand on your side deltoid as your arm rotates.   

It provides a greater range of movement and develops both stability and strength in your core and hips, thanks to the balance required to maintain good form while balancing on one knee. However, it will require a lighter weight than half-kneeling dumbbell presses. 

Related Article - Are Dumbbells Enough To Build Muscle?

  • Kneel with one knee directly below the body and the other leg out front with the knee bent at 90-degrees. 
  • Hold your dumbbell in front of the shoulder on your kneeling side, with palms facing backward. 
  • Engage your core and press your dumbbell upward while rotating the arm outward and then back in. Your arm should end up by your ear. 
  • Return the dumbbell to the position of step 2 by performing the previous movement in reverse.  
Half-Kneeling Arnold Press

Benefits Of These Exercises Over Regular Landmine Presses 

As we have listed many different alternative landmine press options, the specific benefits you will reap will depend on which routine you select. 

Many require less specific equipment, like the standing upward fly, dumbbell chest presses, overhead seesaw, and military press. These are often much more home gym friendly if you’re not fully kitted out. Others, like decline push-ups, can be done anywhere at all.

Others, like the half-kneeling exercises, take the challenge, athleticism, and mobility-boosting qualities of the landmine press even further by requiring additional balance, stability, and control.

Half-kneeling dumbbell presses are one of the rare exercises that work all three parts of the deltoids, which you won’t get with regular landmines. Whereas routines like the super-demanding military press work even more muscle groups than the landmines they aim to replace.

Overall, each new exercise you incorporate into your repertoire brings a new benefit, as each will target areas and provide improvements in a slightly different way. A varied workout regime best promotes balanced fitness while also keeping things as fresh as possible for you.


What Muscles Do Landmine Press Substitute Exercises Work?

Deltoids (Anterior & Lateral)

These are the primary muscles used when driving the landmine press or performing the equivalent action in an alternative exercise. As well as building shoulder strength, developing them aids joint mobility and can address pre-existing imbalances and asymmetries. 

Obliques, Abdominals & Back Extensors

Your core, and your obliques especially, create the foundation for landmine presses and their faithful equivalents. Keeping it engaged during the movement promotes stability and prevents over-rotation, as well as its associated injury risks. Similarly, your back extensors work to maintain good posture and prevent spinal overextension. 

Pectoralis Major & Minor 

The pecs are the main source of strength in your chest, and the area to focus on if you want to increase the size of your chest. They will be involved in any landmine equivalent where lifting power comes from your chest. Additionally, they control the movement of your arms and are integral to deep inhalation.

Serratus Anterior 

These muscles are found on your side, near your upper ribs. They help stabilize the shoulders, which is essential to maintaining good form and control in most landmine alternative exercises.

Triceps

Your triceps are not the main focus of a traditional landmine press. However, they are integral to elbow extension and in assisting your shoulders to achieve lockout in any landmine or equivalent exercise. 


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Where does the landmine press get its name? 

There’s not a lot of information out there on exactly why a landmine press is called what it is. Our guess would be that it relies on a base firmly planted into the ground, just like landmine weaponry. However, what we do know is that they’re a great versatile exercise routine.

Is a landmine press exercise for the shoulders or chest? 

Landmine presses actually work both the shoulders and the chest! 

The main focus is on the shoulders, especially the deltoids and the scapular stabilizers, which are improved in both strength and mobility. However, the pectorals still get a good bit of attention, especially with more weight-intensive variations.

Are landmine presses effective for building mass? 

Landmine presses are a multi-purpose exercise used to build muscle mass, endurance, shed fat, and increase mobility and athleticism. This is great for fitness fanatics looking for all-around exercises.

However, if you want to focus intensely on building mass in your chest, you may want to combine landmine presses with other more strength-intensive routines like chest presses.


Conclusion

As you’ve seen, it’s not the end of the world if your gym doesn’t have a landmine base, barbell, or any equipment at all – a true fitness fanatic can always find a routine that hits their target areas, especially with our help. 

We hope our guide has helped demonstrate the range of routines available to replace the traditional landmine.

Last Updated on May 20, 2022