Landmine Press vs Overhead Press

The landmine and overhead presses are both excellent ways of building an amazing upper body.

They are great for building muscle fast. If you are looking to get buffed in the upper body, both the presses should be staples in your daily routine. 

  • Landmine press improves the overall shoulder health and is great for chest improvements. Multiple variations exist that combine the thighs, hips and more.
  • The overhead press by itself works a wider variety of muscles including the chest (pectoral), shoulders (deltoids), triceps and upper back.

In this article we are going to try and understand the differences between the two techniques, to help you pick better the right routine as per your requirements. 

A man doing the overhead press.

What is the Landmine Press? And What’s The Overhead Press?

These names can be confusing, especially in the gym. So, let’s define them before we get into comparing them both.

Landmine Press

A landmine press can be performed with a barbell easily.

If you’re looking to spend a bit of extra, get a landmine base to lock the barbell into a fixed place, if not, you are perfectly fine with any corner.

Just toss a few plates or a sandbag on the far end to fix it into place. Your grip should be firm. Keep the barbell in the middle of the chest. Make sure to not be standing completely straight. You want to stand back a bit and lean into the barbell slightly, to help balance the weight. 

The landmine press is an excellent exercise. It is a diagonal pushing exercise that can boost your workout routine. If you are looking to improve upper body strength, landmine will definitely give you results.

It doesn’t get boring or monotonous either.

There are multiple variations of landline press, including a knee variation and a shoulder variation. But, we’ll discuss that later.

Overhead Press

The overhead press is one of the most commonly practiced shoulder-building exercises. It just requires a barbell or a pair of dumbbells. The overhead press is great for improving upper body strength.

It can be done in either a sitting or standing position.

Overhead press targets specifically the shoulders. That is why it is widely (and obviously) recommended for shoulder workouts.

It is much more effective when done in a standing position because that helps engage the core as well. The overhead press is also known as military press in some circles. The exercise is perfect for the shoulders in particular but also in part for the abs, triceps and upper chest.

Landmine Press vs Overhead Press – The Benefits

So, which one is better? Let’s compare the two.

Landmine Press

  • It develops the shoulders, upper chest and triceps really well. The whole point of the exercise is to focus on a select few muscles for incisive development. This helps make proper gains in those specific body areas.
  • It is a natural movement of the human body. Unlike many other exercises that require movements that go in haywire directions, the landmine press is a simple lift up movement that does not strain any tendons in weird motions.
  • It, unfortunately (or fortunately), does not work the lower back. Many exercises that work the upper body and chest also engage the lower back in some form. With the landmine, that goes completely out the window as ladmine requires one to lean to the front, eliminating lower back engagement.

Overhead Press

  • The most direct benefit of the overhead press is bigger shoulders. The exercise selectively focuses on shoulders and related arm muscles, but especially the shoulders. Regularly pressing overhead is guaranteed to result in stronger, well built shoulders.
  • The overhead does engage the core too. In the longer run, it contributes significantly to core strength and helps build endurance.
  • When speaking of shoulders, the overhead press is good not just for your shoulder muscles. But also for the shoulder joints. It keeps those joints moving regularly and helps with improved shoulder mobility. 

Landmine Press vs Overhead Press – Targeted Muscles

While we obviously both know that these work out the shoulders, each exercise works a variety of smaller muscles throughout the body.

Landmine Press

The landmine press engages a variety of muscles. Firstly, it works the shoulder blades. These are the muscles that help move the shoulders.

Naturally, they get worked throughout the exercise. Next, we have the triceps. The triceps are used in any kind of retracting motion. So they get employed in the landmine press too. Albeit, triceps aren’t the main muscles targeted by this exercise.

The shoulders are the main muscles targeted by the landmine press. They are engaged fully and get good working throughout the exercise.

Lastly, we have the chest. The chest muscles of either side also get a thorough workout. As is evident, the exercise engages a variety of muscles. 

Overhead Press

The overhead press also captures a variety of muscles. It works more muscles when done in a standing position.

The pectoral muscles or the chest muscles come first and foremost. The exercise directly engages these muscles and provides a clear-cut look in the long run.

The deltoids or the shoulders are the next most heavily worked muscle group. After all, it is the shoulders that bear all the weight be it a barbell or dumbbell.

Like any contracting motion, the triceps are engaged too. Last but not the least, the upper back or trapezius also gets a good working.

Overall the triceps are the least engaged muscle group.

Landmine Press vs Overhead press – Possible Variations

Landmine Press

The single-arm landmine is an excellent exercise, but here are some variations on the standard to keep things interesting and keep all muscle groups working.

  • Squat press: this involves landmining in a squat position. It works the lower back as well as the hips in addition to the standard muscle group.
  • Single handed press: if the central press gets too boring or you’re looking for more incisive results, go for single handed presses that focus more on chest development and work the shoulders harder.
  • Kneeling press: another great position for the landmine press is the kneeling press. You alternatively get on each knee and press the barbell. 

Overhead Press

Here are some variations on the standard standing overhead press:

  • Seated press: This is pretty much the same exercise but in the seated position. It is suited better for beginners. It engages fewer muscle groups than the standing press but might be easier for beginners.
  • Dumbbell press: the standard is with the barbell, but some people prefer dumbbells over barbells. One just has to use two dumbbells simultaneously at the same time so as to mimic a barbell.
  • Kettlebell press: This variation involves the use of kettlebells. The kettlebells help exercise the wrists. Make sure to push up straight into the air.


Both landmine press and overhead press are popular exercises. While the former focuses better on chest, shoulders, triceps and upper chest, the latter focuses heavily on the shoulders and abs.

Both exercises contribute somewhat to the core strength and the triceps. Plenty of variations exist for both to keep things spiced up and break a monotonous routine. Be sure to have proper sets and reps for best results.

Leave a Reply