Incline Press vs Landmine Press

by - 2:49 PM

At a glance...
  • The incline bench press is one of the most widely performed exercises in all of weight lifting and is considered a standard for building the upper chest and anterior delts.
  • This exercise is a known culprit in those experiencing shoulder pain due to lifting.
  • Proper scapular motion is a must for activities involving the shoulder, especially overhead activities.
  • The landmine press can be used to activate the same muscles (and more), yet allowing normal scapular motion to occur decreasing injury risk to the shoulder.

Nagging shoulder pain is a common problem in the majority of the population and especially common in bodybuilding.

Though the shoulder pain is often multifactorial, choosing the right lift and performing it correctly can greatly reduce its incidence. 

One large component of certain lifts that can lead to shoulder pain not allowing proper scapular motion to occur.

In order to bring the arm overhead, not only does the shoulder need to flex, but the scapula must also upwardly rotate to allow full motion.  If this upward rotation doesn't occur, impingement of important shoulder structures can occur leading to pain.

Pinning the shoulder to a bench and performing an overhead lift, as in the incline bench press can do just that.  It may not lead to pain during the lift, however, over time as impingement can lead to increase friction, inflammation, and degenerative changes within important tendons.

A simple way to remedy this is to free up the shoulder blades to allow for proper scapular motion.

One of my favorite lifts to do this is the landmine press. 

The landmine press elicits similar activation of muscles as well as other benefits such as increased recruitment of the core and scapular stabilizers.

How to perform:

1. Place barbell in landmine press platform (or in corner of wall if you don't have a landmine platform)
2. Set up in the 1/2 kneeling position with the trunk upright and hips perpendicular to bar
3. Squeeze on the glut on the down leg to get the pelvis in position
4. Keep the ribs down and contract the core for a stable base
5. Grip barbell in same arm as leg you have down
6. Keep chin tucked with cervical spine in neutral throughout movement
7. Pretension scapular stabilizers and press straight ahead with bar

If these tips are helpful, feel free to share via your favorite social media platform. If you are looking for help to move better, eat better, or perform better, contact me at to discuss how I can help you return to the things you enjoy!

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