DON SALADINO/MEN’S HEALTH
To build a super strong core, you don’t necessarily need to get down on the ground to crunch up on your spine. A heroic six-pack is just as attainable on your feet, fighting off gravity to stave off rotation.
Men’s Health advisor and coach Don Saladino, trainer to actors Ryan Reynolds and Sebastian Stan for their comic book hero movie roles, uses smart, functional exercises to build up his clients’ core strength. He programs exercises like the barbell landmine to carve out the superhero abs audiences expect.
Don’t confuse this landmine exercise with any other landmine-based exercises you might’ve seen—particularly the landmine 180 or “twister”—because the whole point is keeping a strong, solid torso facing forward without shifting to either side with the weight.
“I like the landmine because it’s an anti-rotation movement, which is an incredibly challenging and safe way to train the abs and core,” says Saladino.
To perform the move, you’ll need a barbell and landmine base. If your gym doesn’t have a spot for landmine exercises, prop one end of the barbell in the corner of the room, using a towel to protect the wall’s paint job.
- Set up the barbell in the landmine base and load it with a medium amount of weight.
- Grab the end of the bar and lift it up with both hands in an overhand grip, propping the bar up by the very end of its collar at head height. Stand in an athletic stance with your knees slightly bent and your feet just further than shoulder width apart.
- Using only your arms, move the weight first to your right side, then to your left—but make sure that your hips and feet stay in place. Squeeze your glutes and core to keep a strong torso.
You can add the landmine to your workout as a killer ab finisher for either sets or time. Try 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps in each direction with as much weight as you can handle while maintaining good form, or go light and try 3 30-second burnout sets.
By Brett Williams