Landmine Row Tips & Variations

Rowing movements are some of the best exercises for building your back muscles. But regular barbell and cable rows only go so far.

Landmine rows can help you take your back workouts to the next level. With multiple variations to shock your back into new gains.

In this article, I show you how to do landmine rows. As well as different handle variations and alternatives you can do without special equipment.

Landmine Row

What Is A Landmine Row?

In weight lifting, a landmine is a pivoting base that attaches to one end of a barbell. And a landmine row is a type of barbell row using this apparatus.

There are several variations of landmine rows that use different handles and body positions, which I’ll explain below. But first, let’s look at the muscles activated by this exercise.

Landmine Row Muscles Worked

Like all rowing movements, the landmine row targets the muscles of the back. The largest and most active muscle group used during this exercise is the latissimus dorsi or lats.

In addition, the landmine row recruits the smaller muscles of the upper back. Such as the rhomboids, teres major, teres minor, and rear delts.

The bent-over position also activates the spinal erector muscles of the mid-back. And pulling with the arms involves some biceps.

Landmine Row Muscles Worked

Landmine Row Benefits & Drawbacks

The landmine row has some advantages over other rowing movements like cable rows. But it’s not without its downsides either.

Pros

  • Free weight movement results in maximum muscle activation
  • Landmine pivot point creates a partially fixed movement pattern which overloads the lats
  • Can work up to some very heavy weights for strength and size gains
  • Multiple attachments, hand positions, and variations to suit your needs

Cons

  • Not all variations can be done without special equipment or handles
  • Limited range of motion with larger plates (35s, 45s) and certain attachments
  • Easy to cheat by using legs and body momentum

With that being said, you can reduce the drawbacks of landmine rows by doing them properly. Next, let’s look at how to execute this exercise.

How To Do A Landmine Row

  1. Start by securing the handle near the end of the barbell and grasping the handles
  2. Place your toes near the first plate with feet about shoulder-width apart
  3. Stand up with the weight, then bend over with your back flat at about 45 degrees
  4. Bend your knees slightly and let the bar hang just in front of your knees
  5. Pull the bar up and back towards your navel by squeezing your lats
  6. Lower the bar back to the starting point and repeat for the desired number of reps

Landmine Row Form

Here are some additional tips for using good form during the exercise:

  • Think about pulling back through your elbows instead of your hands
  • Try to maintain a flat back throughout the movement
  • Keep your knees bent but do not bounce or push through the legs
  • Use smaller diameter plates (like 25s) to allow for a full range of motion
  • Squeeze your lats at the top and feel them stretch at the bottom
Landmine Row Form

Landmine Row Attachments & Handles

In the video, you can see that I’m using a couple of different devices on the barbell. One of them is the base and the other is the handle. So let’s look at these attachments in more detail.

Landmine Base

A landmine base provides a sturdy grounding point with a pivoting joint attached to a tube. One end of the barbell slides into the tube so that it can rotate around the base.

Essentially, the bar becomes a big lever that you can use for multiple exercises including landmine rows. And you can increase the resistance by adding weight plates to the free end of the barbell.

Some landmine bases are designed to be bolted down. While others can be secured with weight plates. Personally, I like the home-plate-shaped landmine attachment that fits in a corner or can be held down by a dumbbell.

Landmine Row Attachment Base

T-Bar Handle

A T-bar is a handle that crosses the barbell like a “T”. With this handle you can use an overhand or underhand grip. Also known as pronation and supination respectively.

One type of T-bar is designed to fit over the 2″ diameter end of the barbell before adding the weight plates. The downside to this attachment is that you may need to stand on a raised platform to get the full range of motion.

Landmine Row Attachment T Bar

If you don’t have this type of T-bar attachment, that’s okay. You can also use handles normally designed to be cable attachments. In this case, the barbell simply rests in the central curve of the handle.

The handle pictured below is what I used in the demonstration video.

Landmine Row Attachment T Bar

V-Bar Handle

Another type of landmine row attachment is called a V-bar. This type of handle generally places your hands closer together in a neutral grip.

There are V-bar attachments that slide over the end of the barbell. But in this case, the handle significantly reduces the amount of space you have to add weight plates.

Landmine Row Attachment V Bar

Again, you can improvise by using the V-bar attachment normally used on the cable apparatus. Such as the handle you would use for the close grip lat pulldown as pictured below.

Landmine Row Attachment V Bar

To illustrate, here is a demonstration of V-bar close grip landmine rows. In this video, Dylan also uses a technique called drop sets to make the exercise extra challenging. Or as he puts it, drop sets of death! 💀

Landmine Row Variations & Alternatives

Next, I’m going to show you how you can do landmine rows even if you don’t have any of the attachments listed above. Including a couple of alternative exercises that don’t use the landmine at all.

Landmine Row Without Base

First of all, if you don’t have a landmine base, don’t sweat it. You can still do landmine rows as long as you have a barbell. All you have to do is put one end of the bar in a corner so that it’s secure as you move the free end.

Landmine Row Without Handle

You can also do landmine rows with no handle attachments. For this variation, all you need to do is grab the bar with one hand in front of the other. As if you were holding a baseball bat or golf club.

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Single Arm Landmine Row

Another way to do this exercise with no handle is with arm landmine rows. There are a couple of different ways to do this single arm variation.

For the first version, you stand just off to one side of the barbell. Then grab the bar with the nearest hand perform the exercise as you would a single dumbbell row.

The second single arm landmine row variation is performed by standing perpendicular to the end of the bar. Then you grab the end of the barbell and perform the rowing motion from that position.

Bent Over Barbell Row

If you just can’t do the landmine set up for whatever reason, the next closest exercise is a bent over barbell row.

With this exercise, the movement path is essentially the same as a landmine row. The only real differences are the barbell loading and weight distribution. And the fact that you’re limited in hand position and grip width.

Conclusion

The landmine row is a perfect exercise for overloading your lats and adding mass to your back. And it also allows you to change it up with different handles and attachements.

So if you’re serious about building a strong and sculpted back, add this exercise to your next workout. Also, be sure to check out my related articles below for more back exercises and workout tips.

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