Squats are a great all-round exercise for the entire body, and the fact that there are so many variations of it means there’s no reason why you can’t incorporate some form of squatting into your fitness regimen. Back, front, goblet and split squats are some of the more common examples of this in action, but you’d be remiss not to try this uncommon variation: the landmine hip squat.
The hip squat is a movement that came into the limelight during a time when barbell squats reigned supreme, and was popularised by Randall J. Strossen and John McCallum. While the effectiveness of the barbell squat could not be denied, they were considerably taxing on the lumbar spine, much to the chagrin of those with lower back issues.
Using a retrofitted weight belt which allowed plates to be secured directly beneath the hips, the hip squat allowed lifters to squat heavy without triggering any discomfort in the lower back. And while it was a great tool to have, this hip belt was (and still is) quite the novelty item with the price tag to match.
A common workaround is to use your standard dip belt or a weight belt with a chain attachment to secure a weight plate and mimic the function of the hip belt, but this comes with limitations where squat depth is concerned. However, incorporating the use of a barbell in a landmine configuration will allow you to address this sufficiently.
Location and equipment courtesy of TripleFit
Note that this exercise tends to work best when used with smaller sized plates. If your gym uses plates of standard height, you might have to start your squat from a deficit as shown above.
By using a barbell, the load is placed closer to your body and allows you to squat deeper. You’ll find that you’re also able to sit farther back and keep a more upright torso. If your back still feels a bit beat up from your previous deadlift session but you feel the need to squat heavy, try loading the barbell up in this manner instead!
The landmine hip squat can be programmed the same way as regular barbell squats – lower repetitions for relative strength and higher repetitions for more time under tension. Want a real ball-buster? Try doing 20-rep squats with this!