6 Unconventional Barbell Exercises

Six unconventional barbell moves to get you strong from head to toe.

anti-rotation with landmine

Barbells are most often used for squats and deadlifts, but their potential extends beyond these traditional moves. Landmine exercises offer a multidimensional twist.

Landmine training — which involves anchoring one end of a barbell to the floor and holding the other end to perform strength exercises — combines the effects of barbell and free-weight training. “This allows you to create some unique movements that you can’t do otherwise,” notes personal trainer Cliff Edberg, RD/LD, director of strategic growth initiatives at Life Time.

And because the barbell is anchored at one end, you can position yourself to safely accommodate any pain or limitations in your range of motion. “You can move around the bar instead of forcing yourself into a fixed point,” Edberg explains.

Edberg’s full-body circuit workout features several key movements that recruit multiple muscle groups at once. You can also incorporate the individual moves into your existing routine. Do an anchored offset reverse lunge instead of a walking lunge, for instance, or an anchored squat instead of a barbell back squat.

Before you begin, set up the barbell in a landmine anchor, an attachment now found in most health clubs and gyms. You can also use a corner wall to secure the barbell in place if you don’t have the right equipment.

When you’re ready, start with the first circuit and move from one exercise to the next, stopping only as long as it takes to adjust the weight, as needed. (Do this by adding and removing weight plates from the free end of the barbell.) Rest for one minute at the bottom of the circuit before repeating. Once you’ve finished three rounds of the first circuit, rest for two minutes, then move on to the second circuit. Focus on completing every rep with good form.

is a Twin Cities–based health-and-fitness writer.

Photos by: Kelly Loverud; Styling: Pam Brand; Fitness Model: Jennifer Blake

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Newsletter Signup
Weekly Newsletter
Special Promotions