Crunches, leg raises, and planks all have their place in an ab-building regime, but so do the more unconventional exercises like landmine 180s. Sure, we all want to have a shredded midriff for shirtless summer activities. But if you want a strong and functional core, then it’s important to train on your feet. Landmine 180s are a dynamic exercise that challenges your core muscles and entire body as it functions in the real world, which is why this movement is so effective.
Keep reading to learn more about landmine 180s.
In This Exercise:
- Target Muscle Group: Rectus abdominis, obliques
- Type: Hypertrophy, functional strength
- Mechanics: Compound
- Equipment: Barbell, landmine setup
- Difficulty: Intermediate
How To Do Landmine 180s
Below we’ve included step-by-step instructions and a comprehensive yet brief video tutorial for proper execution of landmine 180s.
Note: If you don’t have access to a landmine setup, there are a few other ways to secure one end of the bar as explained via the video below.
- Insert or secure one end of the barbell into the anchor point. Start with just the bar or load the desired amount of weight onto the free end of the barbell.
- Plant both feet on the floor about shoulder width and turn the toes slightly outward.
- Bend down and grab the other end of the bar with both hands, then stand up and extend your arms forward.
- Now lower the bar down to either side as shown in the video while keeping the top arm extended and bottom arm bent. Slightly rotate your torso in the direction of the bar as it’s pulled down.
- Explode the weight up overhead to the starting position and then lower it to the other side. Remember to keep the top arm straight and bottom arm extended. This changes each time the bar is lowered to either side.
Check out the video tutorial below…
Common Mistakes To Avoid
Landmine 180s are not a complex movement, however, you want to do them properly to ensure your core gets a thorough workout. Here are some things to remember for optimal gains.
Control the weight
One mistake that should be avoided is swinging the bar back and forth with very little control. Not only does this increase the risk for injuries but it makes the exercise much less effective.
Perform each rep at a slow pace and focus on the mind/muscle connection to engage your core muscles.
Keep your feet planted
At no point during the exercise should your lower body turn in either direction. Keep your feet planted and only allow the upper body to rotate into the movement as shown in the video example.
Benefits and Muscles Worked
Let’s talk about the benefits and muscles worked during landmine 180s.
Builds a stronger and more muscular core
While bodyweight ab exercises can build and strengthen the core muscles, weighted variations are typically the most challenging overall, especially if you’re continually increasing the resistance. Bodyweight movements can become too easy after a while and doing tons of reps is not as beneficial after a certain point.
You can load landmine 180s relatively heavy but be careful to not strain and only lift what you’re able to.
Unlike crunches and many ab isolation exercises, landmine 180s involve every muscle in your body, from deadlifting the weight up to pressing it overhead and resisting the rotational forces of a moving weighted bar during the exercise.
Training on your feet and involving your upper body helps to promote total-body stability, joint stability, neuromuscular coordination, and balance. It also has carryover to other lifts, athletic activities, and everyday physical tasks.
Landmine 180s are a great total-body movement, however, some muscles benefit more than others.
If you want to build strong an functional core muscles, the landmine 180s are the way to go. Here are short descriptions of the muscles involved.
- Rectus abdominis – trunk rotation and anti-rotation
- Transverse abdominis – spine stabilization and anti-rotation
- Internal and external obliques – trunk rotation and lateral flexion
- Erector spinae – trunk rotation and lateral flexion
Landmine 180s work all three heads of the deltoid or shoulder muscles (anterior, lateral, and posterior) from holding the barbell in place to lowering down to the side and lifting it back up. That’s because the ball and socket shoulder joint and surrounding muscles help to move the arm in various directions.
Landmine 180 Variations
While landmine 180s are as badass as it gets, we also like these landmine core exercise variations.
Landmine Russian twist
You can do a similar variation on your butt, with the landmine Russian twist. This exercise is challenging because you sit on the floor and swing the bar left and right while holding your legs up off the ground. In a way, it’s more difficult than landmine 180s because you don’t have a solid base with your feet on the floor. So the core muscles have to stabilize to maintain your balance.
Half kneeling landmine 180
Another challenging variation is the half kneeling landmine 180. It places the body in a different position changing some of how the demand is placed on your core. Simple get on one knee while the opposite foot is planted on the floor and execute the movement exactly the same.
Squat landmine 180
To really light your quads on fire, perform the exercise while in a squat position with the upper legs parallel to the floor.
How To Include Landmine 180s In Your Training
While there’s no picture perfect strategy for including landmine 180s in your ab workouts, we can recommend a few ways to make them work for you.
If you have the means to do so, landmine 180s can make a great addition to an abs circuit workout. You’ll choose several exercise and perform the back to back with little to no rest in between. It’s a great way to get your heart rate up, burn calories, and complete a workout in less time.
High-intensity interval training
The landmine 180 combines resistance training and cardio which makes it a great high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercise. Set a timer and do three rounds of landmine 180s at a moderate tempo for 30 seconds, and you’ll feel the burn!
One of the best ways to include landmine 180s in your workouts is after a training session when you’re core muscles are exhausted from compound lifts. Do two three sets until you cannot go anymore.
Now that you’re more familiar with landmine 180s, it’s time to include this underrated core-building exercise in your training. Remember to start light and get your body adjusted to the movement, then ramp up the intensity and take your ab gains to the next level.