7 Best Landmine Press Alternatives [Rapid Chest Gains]

Looking to level up your workout routine and build a strong chest, shoulders, and triceps? The landmine press is an effective exercise, but sometimes it may not be the best fit for everyone.]

Don’t worry! There are several fantastic alternatives that can give you similar results without the drawbacks.

The landmine press is excellent for targeting specific muscles like the deltoids and triceps while also improving torso stability and elbow extension biomechanics. However, it might not be suitable for everyone due to various reasons like individual preferences or specific training requirements.

Luckily, you can easily switch up your routine by trying out other pec exercises with similar muscle activation and mechanics. For instance, the Z press, cable press, or the Arnold press are all great options that can deliver fantastic results without the limitations of the landmine press.

So, let’s explore these 9 best landmine press alternatives with step-by-step instructions and videos to help you find the perfect fit for your workout routine!

How to Find the Perfect Landmine Press Alternative for You?

Before we explore the alternatives to a landmine press, let’s first grasp what makes an ideal replacement for this exercise.

You can’t just select any ‘shoulder’ or ‘tricep’ workout and assume it will be a suitable substitute for the landmine press, even if it involves using a ‘single arm’ motion.

A great alternative to the landmine press should possess these crucial features:

  • Target the Same Muscle Groups: It should engage the same muscles as the landmine press does.
  • Strengthen Muscles Unilaterally: The exercise should work one arm at a time, just like the landmine press, to bring balance to your muscles and posture.

A vital aspect of the landmine press is its unilateral nature, targeting one side at a time. This is beneficial for various reasons:

  • Correcting Asymmetry: If one shoulder is higher than the other, a unilateral exercise can help address this imbalance.
  • Balancing Muscular Strength: It allows you to work each side independently, ensuring both sides receive equal training.
  • Enhancing Core Engagement: The single-arm motion challenges your core muscles more effectively.

Muscles Worked During a Landmine Press Include:

  • Triceps: Responsible for extending your elbow joint.
  • Deltoids (Front & Side Deltoids): Responsible for lifting your arm upward and forward.

There are also secondary muscles involved, such as:

  • Serratus Anterior: Helps stabilize your shoulder joint and shoulder blades.
  • Obliques, Back Extensors, and Abdominals: Aid in stabilizing your ribcage and spine during the single-arm pressing motion.
  • Rotator Cuff: Assists in shoulder joint stabilization.

So, an effective alternative should mirror similar muscle groups by employing comparable movement patterns, like raising the arm above the head and extending the elbow.

Top Landmine Press Alternatives To Grow Your Upper Pec

1. Half-Kneeling Single-Arm Dumbbell Press

One of the best alternatives to the landmine press is the ‘Half-Kneeling Single-Arm Dumbbell Press.’

This exercise not only targets the same muscle groups but also enhances stability, balance, and unilateral strength.

How to Perform:

  1. Begin in a half-kneeling position with your right knee on the ground and your left foot forward, forming a 90-degree angle.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand at shoulder height, palm facing inward.
  3. Engage your core and glutes for stability.
  4. Press the dumbbell upward until your arm is fully extended, directly above your shoulder.
  5. Lower the dumbbell in a controlled manner.
  6. Complete the desired reps on one side, then switch to the other side.

Key Tips:

  • Keep your back straight and avoid arching.
  • Maintain a steady and controlled movement throughout.
  • Focus on engaging the targeted muscles and avoid using momentum.
  • Incorporate the Half-Kneeling Single-Arm Dumbbell Press into your workout routine to replace the landmine press effectively.

Remember to use an appropriate weight that challenges you while maintaining proper form.

With this exercise, you can continue building strength, symmetry, and stability in your upper body, making it an excellent addition to your fitness repertoire.

2. Half-Kneeling Cable Chest Press

The half-kneeling cable press is an excellent alternative to the landmine press, requiring a cable machine.

It offers a more advanced progression due to increased instability compared to the landmine press.

One key advantage of this alternative is the flexibility to choose the cable’s angle, allowing you to adjust the pressing motion’s orientation.

When pressing the cable upright, the focus is on the deltoids, while a more horizontal press engages the pectoral muscles.

To perform the half-kneeling cable press:

  1. Start in a half-kneeling position, with one knee on the ground and the other foot forward.
  2. Face away from the cable column and grab the single hand cable attachment at its lowest position.
  3. Hold the cable with the arm opposite to the front leg, ensuring it rests on the outside of your arm.
  4. Keep the other hand by your side near the hips, take a deep breath, and brace your core.
  5. Press the cable handle upward with a slight forward trajectory, exhaling as you extend your arm fully.
  6. Inhale as you return your arm to the starting position and then repeat the movement.

Key Tips:

  • To emphasize the serratus anterior, focus on reaching far and allowing a slight torso rotation during the press.
  • Incorporate variations like alternating arms or single-arm presses for added challenge and symmetry.
  • For improved balance, try performing opposite actions with your empty arm, keeping the elbow bent and down when pressing the active arm up, and vice versa.

3. Dumbbell Z Press

The dumbbell Z press is a type of exercise that can help you build muscle and strength in your upper body, especially for your shoulders and triceps. It’s a good alternative to other overhead exercises like the landmine press.

The landmine press and the dumbbell Z press both target the same primary muscles and auxiliary muscles. During the workout, your lower back and core muscles also aid in stabilizing your body.

Since the dumbbell Z press and landmine press work similar muscles, you can switch between them in your workout routine without any worries. Both exercises are great for building strength and size in your shoulders and triceps.

Here’s how to do the Dumbbell Z Press:

  1. Sit on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you. You can keep your legs close together or slightly angled outward, whichever feels comfortable.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in one hand, with your elbow slightly flared out to the side.
  3. Take a deep breath in through your nose and brace your core muscles by tightening them.
  4. Press the dumbbell vertically upwards until your arm is straight and aligned with your ear. Exhale as you push the weight up.
  5. Slowly lower the dumbbell back down to your shoulder, returning to the starting position.

Tips for doing the Dumbbell Z Press:

  • If you have difficulty sitting in the Z press position due to poor lower body mobility, you can slightly bend your knees or sit on a small elevation like a bumper plate.
  • The Dumbbell Z Press is great for improving core stability and shoulder mobility, as it forces your serratus anterior muscle to work more.
  • It can be used as an alternative to the landmine press, helping you avoid overextending your lower back during shoulder presses when you have limited shoulder mobility.
  • For a more challenging variation, you can also perform the Z Press with a barbell, which will provide a bilateral training stimulus.

The Dumbbell Z Press targets your triceps and deltoid muscles primarily, with some engagement from your core and erector spinae muscles for stability.

4. Half-Kneeling Arnold Press

The half-kneeling Arnold press is an excellent exercise for strengthening your shoulder muscles, with a particular focus on the side deltoids. It’s a variation of the half-kneeling dumbbell press and shares similarities with the landmine press.

The name “Arnold press” pays homage to the legendary bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger, who popularized this movement. If it’s good enough for Arnold, it’s undoubtedly worth including in your workout routine.

Let’s learn how to do the half-kneeling Arnold press:

  1. Begin by assuming a half-kneeling position. Kneel on one knee while extending the other leg forward at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Grasp a dumbbell in the hand opposite to the front leg. Hold it in front of your shoulders, with your palms facing backward.
  3. Take a deep breath to engage your core muscles. This will provide stability and support throughout the exercise.
  4. Now, press the dumbbell upwards while simultaneously rotating your arm outwards. Continue the movement until your arm is fully extended beside your ear. As you lift the weight, exhale to maintain control.
  5. Lower the dumbbell back down to your shoulder in a controlled manner, following the same path as the upward motion.

Exercise Tips:

  • Imagine you’re showcasing your bicep like a bodybuilder during the outward rotation. This mental cue helps enhance the activation of your side deltoids, giving you a more pronounced shoulder workout.
  • opt for a weight that allows you to execute the exercise smoothly because this exercise demands more control and precision due to the rotation.

5. Unilateral Arnold Press (Standing / Seated)

The unilateral Arnold press is a variation of the Arnold press exercise, focusing on one arm at a time. It serves as an effective alternative to the landmine press, activating various muscle groups to build strength and improve mobility.

The rotation involved in the exercise increases the time your muscles spend under tension, enhancing muscle engagement and promoting growth.

To perform the unilateral Arnold press:

  1. Hold a dumbbell in front of your shoulders, with your palms facing backward.
  2. Engage your core muscles by taking a deep breath.
  3. Press the dumbbell upward and rotate your arm outwards until it’s fully extended by your ear.
  4. Lower the dumbbell back down to your shoulder in a controlled manner, following the same path as the upward motion. Maintain control of your breathing throughout the exercise.


  • Opt for a lighter weight to avoid overextending and relying on your chest muscles (pecs) to lift the weight. This ensures that the focus remains on your shoulder muscles.
  • For an added challenge, you can try performing the single-arm Arnold press while seated straight-legged on the floor. This requires greater core stabilization and balance.

Compared to the landmine press, the unilateral Arnold press involves a more upward pressing movement, targeting the deltoid muscles, particularly the side deltoids, while minimizing activation in the chest.

6. Dumbbell Seesaw Press

The Dumbbell Seesaw Press is a fantastic alternative to the landmine press, yet it remains a lesser-known exercise. It involves a two-handed shoulder press using either two dumbbells or two kettlebells.

It offers the convenience of requiring minimal equipment, making it a versatile exercise that you can perform almost anywhere.

Here’s how to perform the Dumbbell Seesaw Press:

  1. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the dumbbells or kettlebells at shoulder height with your palms facing forward. Engage your core muscles and draw your shoulders down and back.
  2. Press one weight straight up overhead, fully extending your arm. This starting position sets the foundation for each repetition.
  3. Lower the raised weight with controlled movement back to shoulder height. Simultaneously, press the other weight straight up to full arm extension, similar to how you did it with the first weight.
  4. Continue the exercise, alternating the pressing of the two weights in a seesaw-like motion. Complete one repetition when you have pressed both weights once.

Pro Tip:

  • If you find that the movement is causing discomfort or strain in your neck, you can modify the exercise by avoiding any movement of your head and instead, slightly lean your torso to the side

Although less popular in the gym, the Dumbbell Seesaw Press is a valuable addition to your routine, offering an effective way to challenge your shoulder and upper body strength while enhancing stability and coordination.

7. Military Press (Barbell)

The military press is a compound exercise that primarily targets the deltoid muscle group in the shoulders while also engaging the triceps and pectorals. It can be performed while standing or seated, but beginners are recommended to start with the seated option to avoid cheating using the lower body (push press).

How to perform the military press:


  1. Place a barbell at clavicle height on a squat rack or power cage and load it with an appropriate amount of weight for your strength level.
  2. Stand or sit in front of the barbell, with your feet shoulder-width apart if standing. For a seated military press, make sure your back is supported by a bench with a vertical backrest.
  3. Place your hands approximately shoulder-width apart beneath the barbell, and ensure your palms are facing upwards (supine grip).
  4. Inhale and engage your core. Press the barbell upwards by extending your elbows and shoulders. This is the upward or concentric phase of the exercise.
  5. Extend your arms fully overhead, making sure to keep your core tight and shoulders stable.

Exercise Tips:

  • Control the movement as you lower the barbell back to the starting position. Exhale as you do this. This is the downward or eccentric phase of the exercise.
  • If you’re a beginner, I recommend starting with the seated option to prevent cheating with your lower body. Always use a spotter when attempting heavier weights to ensure safety.
Hassane Sghir
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