Landmine Rows are a great horizontal rowing back exercise to build size and strength. They can also add some much-needed variety to a workout plan that has gotten stale.
However, you may find yourself needing an alternative for Landmine Rows.
The most obvious reason would be you don’t have access to a Landmine Row Attachment (here’s how to make your own with just a tennis ball). Or maybe Landmine Rows bother your low back.
Whatever the reason, in this guide I’m going to share with you 10 of my favorite Landmine Row alternatives that don’t need a Landmine Attachment.
This article contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links I may earn a commission.
Alternatives for Landmine Rows
I’ve tried to include as much variety in this list as possible. I’ve included exercises that use different equipment, different variations and a couple of out-of-the-box options that can add variety to your training program.
Hopefully, at least one of these Landmine Row alternatives fits exactly what you’re looking for.
Bent Over Barbell Row
The first alternative I would turn to if I wasn’t able to do Landmine Rows is Barbell Bent Over Rows. The barbell version of bent rows allows a good amount of weight to be used which is key for packing on mass.
The drawback to the Bent Over Barbell Row is, like a Landmine Row, you’re unable to brace yourself which means the low back has to work hard to maintain posture.
This can be utilized as a positive, it just makes having proper technique even more critical.
Also, you just have to make sure to manage how much posterior chain work is included in your program when including exercises that are going to tax the low back like a Bent Over Barbell Row.
DB One Arm Row
The other most popular alternative to Landmine Rows is probably the One Arm Row. Dumbbell One Arm Rows work as a great substitution for multiple situations.
If you have dumbbells, but not a barbell they are an obvious choice. Because you can brace with your off-hand they’re also much more forgiving to the low back. Finally, they’re simply a solid movement to add variety to your workout.
Inverted Rows are one of the best, and most overlooked, horizontal rows you can do in the weight room. They place zero stress on the low back and can be modified to be good for both beginners and challenging for advanced lifters.
The higher you place the bar on the rack, the easier the lift becomes. As you get stronger, set the bar lower.
To add even more challenge, you can elevate your feet on a bench or lay a weight plate on your chest.
Finally, you can add a stability component to your Inverted Row by placing your feet up on a stability ball instead of a bench. This will provide an additional challenge to both your core and upper body stabilizers.
One could make the argument that the T-Bar Row is actually the closest alternative in terms of directly mimicking a Landmine Row. T-Bar Row machines come in different shapes in sizes, most importantly, some are made with chest support and others are not.
If you have access to a T-Bar Row machine that has chest support then you’ve just hit the jackpot.
A Chest-Supported T-Bar Row really has the best of both worlds. You can load up as much weight as you can handle and have most of the strain taken off your low back. Win-Win.
If you’re T-Bar Row machine doesn’t have chest support, no worries, you’re basically in the same position you would be with Landmine Rows. Keep your back flat, core braced and stay in control of the movement.
TRX Rows, or Ring Rows if you have a set of gym rings, are very similar to the Inverted Row. It’s primarily a bodyweight exercise where you can increase or decrease the difficulty of the exercise by changing the angle in which you work.
If you take a TRX strap with you on road trips, this should be your go-to alternate for Landmine Rows. (If you don’t already have a TRX Strap, you can pick one up from Amazon here.)
Hex Bar Rows
If you have a Hex Bar (or Trap Bar as they are also called) and you’re not already doing Hex Bar Rows then you are missing out. Simply stand inside your hex bar, grab the handles and row exactly the same as you would for Barbell Bent Rows.
The same thing that makes a hex bar great for Trap Bar Deadlifts also makes them great for rows. Because the weight on the bar sits back closer to your midline it will take a little of the stress off the low back.
Plus, just a simple change of equipment can add some much-needed variety to a workout program.
Pro Tip: Hex Bars can vary quite a bit in weight. Take that into consideration when planning on how much to load onto the bar for rows.
Hammer Machine Rows
Ah, the Seated Hammer Row machine. I have zero machines in my garage gym, but the one machine I would buy if I ever find one at a decent price is a Hammer Iso Row Machine. It is hands down my favorite.
You can sit or stand, have your chest supported and row ridiculously heavy weight. What’s not to love? If you have access to one of these machines they can serve as an excellent sub for Landmine Rows.
Chest Supported Rows
Set up a bench at a 30-degree angle.
Grab two dumbbells and lay on the bench on your stomach with your head over the edge of the bench. You can use a bar for Chest Supported Rows as well, but the setup is a bit more awkward and works best if you have a partner.
Keep a good posture (don’t let your shoulders hang forward off the bench) and row.
Keeping the chest supported takes almost all of the strain off the low back and allows the lifter to focus solely on the row.
Band Rows aren’t going to replace Landmine Rows for developing strength, but they can work great in a pinch if you’re traveling.
Even if you don’t have something sturdy you can attach the resistance band to, you can always wrap them around your feet if need be.
The other place Band Rows can work well is at the end of a workout to get a good burnout set in to end the day.
Close Grip Lat Pulldowns
If you have access to a Lat Pulldown machine, Close Grip Lat Pulldowns can work as a solid horizontal row option.
For this exercise, you’ll need one of the close-grip attachments. If you don’t have a close grip attachment, use a tight underhand grip on the straight bar.
Lean back slightly more than you normally would for a Lat Pulldown and row. Focus on controlling the weight back to the top of the rep so you don’t end up rocking all over the place.
Pendlay Rows are essentially an explosive variation of Bent Over Barbell Rows. Instead of the slow, controlled movement associated with a Barbell Row, Pendlay Rows are an explosive, aggressive pull.
Start with the bar on the ground and then set yourself in a good starting position – feet shoulder width apart, back flat, core braced.
Now, grip the bar with an overhead grip and aggressively pull the bar to the chest. Set it back down on the ground and repeat.
Because of its explosive nature, Pendlay Rows (named after Weightlifting Coach Glenn Pendlay) is a favorite row variation among Olympic lifters.
Seated Cable Rows
If you have access to a cable machine then Seated Cable Rows can make a great Landmine Row alternative.
Like many of the other rows listed above, the key to Seated Cable Rows is to maintain good posture and a braced core while rowing.
A V-Bar attachment works best in my opinion, but I would encourage you to experiment with other cable handle attachments to see which ones you like best.
Finally, don’t be the person who just lets go of the handle and allows the weight stack to come crashing down at the end of your set. Respect the equipment you’re using and set the weight down under control.
The last exercise on the list isn’t a horizontal row like Landmine Rows, but it’s too good of an exercise to leave off. When in doubt, subbing Chin-Ups for pretty much any back exercise is never a bad idea.
I think Chin-Ups here are slightly over Pull-Ups just because the underhand grip gets the biceps more involved.
I love Landmine Rows as an exercise to develop upper body strength and muscle mass, but sometimes they are just not an option.
Whether you’re lacking proper equipment or are just looking for a different movement to add some variety to your program, I hope at least one of these Landmine Row alternatives I’ve listed here is a good fit for you.