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The Ultimate Guide to Landmine Row: Variations & Benefits

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

You might have gone to the gym and seen a landmine in the corner. But you don’t really understand what it is. Generally, most people may be unfamiliar with landline row training. So, what does landmine row work? 

In this article, we are going to tell you about the landmine row, how to do it, alternatives, and variations. Also, we want to go through some of the benefits of the landline row exercise. Let’s get started.

A determined woman performing landmine rows at the gym
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What Is a Landmine Row?

A landmine row is an exercise with a barbell anchored to the floor. This piece of exercise equipment allows you to apply force horizontally and vertically. You use a controlled and steady speed to move the barbell in a natural arc, not in a straight line. 

Muscles Worked by the Landmine Row

The landmine row is a compound exercise. What does landmine row work? The landmine row targets your upper and lower body. Generally, it’s a back exercise, but other muscles are also involved. T-bar rows work the following muscles: trapezius, deltoids, erector spinae, glutes, and latissimus dorsi.

A schema of the latissimus dorsi muscles
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Source: kenhub

Benefits of Landmine Rows

1. Very Efficient

You’re working on power, strength, hypertrophy, and endurance doing this exercise. In addition, there are a lot of variations of landmine row. If you’ve just got one barbell and that landmine row attachment, you can transition from different variations. The landmine is also the perfect bridge between strength and mobility training.

2. Minimal Equipment Required

All you need is just one barbell. So, you can do an entire landmine row program with just one piece of equipment even at home. 

3. Friendly

It is friendly for beginners and developing lifters. If you’re a bit worried about doing barbell rows, it’s much easier to perform with a landmine.

A man preparing his barbell to do landmine rows at the gym
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4. Fundamental Movement

This exercise will replicate the basic movement patterns. The fundamental movements are the movement patterns that one uses almost every day.

5. Simple

Most beginners go into the gym and look at other lifters that are throwing weights around. You can start doing a landmine row and then you can easily progress doing this.

So, here is an additional benefit: it’s really simple and easy to do this exercise with the correct form. You’re going to perform the landline row to get the power and then once you are good at doing that you can transition on to doing a barbell row. 

6. Injury Recovery

If you have injuries with hips or knees or ankles, in some cases, you can still do landline row training. You can work around an injury and you’re not going to have to give up all your exercise. You can scale it down and still work out the same muscles.

How to Do the Landmine Row

The landmine row can be done on a landmine device or by putting a barbell in a corner.

The starting position: With feet shoulder width, place a barbell between your legs. Place toes about even with the first plate. 

Here is the correct landmine row form:

  1. Grab the bar with both hands.
  2. Maintain a flat lower back at about a 45-degree angle. Knees slightly bent.
  3. Hinge at your hips, pressing hips backward.
  4. Pull your elbows up and back towards your navel until the barbell reaches the top of your abs. 
  5. Try to initiate the movement with your lats, not momentum. Squeeze your lats at the top. Feel your back stretch at the bottom.
  6. Return to straight hands and the starting position to complete a rep.

Grip Options

There are multiple grip positions. When you’re training your lats, the general rule is a neutral grip. And the rule for your rhomboids, your lower traps, and even some rear delts is a pronated grip.

A an doing landmine rows at the gym
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How to Perform Landmine T-Bar Rows at Home

There are different ways you can set this up. A lot of times you’ll see individuals who try to set this up by putting a barbell fixed into the corner. That’s not inherently a bad thing. But it can be an issue if you don’t want to damage the walls. 

When you’re going to set aside the barbell, it is going to be pressing and can damage the walls. You can mitigate this by putting a towel around the barbell and letting it sit in the corner. 

Secondly, if you’ve got a decent amount of weight, you’ll either need a training partner to hold that weight down in the corner or throw some plates on top of it so it doesn’t flip up. But the best solution is having a landmine row attachment.

Common Mistakes

1. You Move Your Back

Firstly, you should use your legs to pick up a barbell, not your back. Then use your elbows to pull the barbell up.

2. You Are Rounded Out

Flatten your back, and engage your glutes and your hamstrings to pull the bar up. Keep the chest up. 

3. Curved Neck

Another mistake you can make is looking up too much. You’re causing too much curve in your neck. Keep a neutral spine and a flat back.

4. You Are Not Squeeze

Engage your lats at the top. Also, if you want to have a strong back and good posture muscles, squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top.

Variations of the Landmine Row

Here are common landmine row variations:

1. VBar Landmine Row

This classic exercise has been very popular for a long time. Grip V-Bar attachment and pull that underneath the landmine.  

There are a lot of other ways we can also perform a landmine row, such as doing a one-arm row where we come off to the side and hold it with one arm.

2. Single-Arm Landmine Row

Set-up: with feet shoulder width, grab the bar and hold that in one hand to start the movement. Maintain a flat lower back.

You can perform the single-arm landmine row by supporting yourself with a bench.

A challenge with this for a lot of individuals is that if you have plates on the end, you can have your range of motion limited. And that’s where we can go over the perpendicular row.

3. Side Single-Arm Landmine Row

In a perpendicular row, you’re set up and you’re able to work on having the end of the barbell come up towards your side and not have the plate hit you.

This can be a way to work the upper back to a higher degree as that arcing motion comes out to the side challenging your posterior delt and your scapular muscles to a good degree.

4. Using a Landmine Machine

You can use the landmine t-bar row machine to perform this exercise. Here is how to do that properly:

Alternatives of the Landmine Row

1. Dumbbell Row

A landmine row is a similar exercise to a dumbbell row. You can use one or two dumbbells. Here is how to perform these exercises:

2. Barbell Row

Feet are slightly wider than hip-width and slightly rotated outwards. A landmine bar is over midfoot to the toe area. Keep your back flat. Hinge hips back. Slightly bend your knees. Hold overhand grip. Drive your elbows up and back. Raise the bar to your chest. Retract your shoulder blades at the top. Your elbows are tucked at an about 45-degree angle. Contract your triceps at the bottom. Then return to the starting position.

How to Avoid Injuries 

1. Start Without Weight Plates

You need to warm up before lifting weights. A correct pre-lifting warm-up is about priming your mind, your nervous system, and your muscles to train.

2. Keep Your Back in a Neutral Position

To avoid injury during landmine training, you need to perform the proper landmine row form. Hold your back neutral. Your torso should be at a 45-degree angle from the horizontal. Slightly bend your knees.

Landmine Row: FAQs

What muscles does a landmine row work?

The landmine row is primarily for your upper body: your rhomboid thickness, your lower trap thickness, which a lot of people are really missing, and even some rear delts. And it does hit your lats too. Your core strength will also increase.

Is the landmine row effective?

It’s effective and variable loading to build muscle mass and muscular strength. Also, it allows for movement freedom.

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