Landmine Row

Landmine Rows (How To, Muscles Worked, Benefits)

Landmine Rows are an excellent horizontal rowing exercise that can add some variety to your workouts. If you’re getting bored with Barbell Bent Rows and Dumbbell One Arm Rows, this is definitely a movement worth putting in your program.

In this guide, I’ll teach you how to do Landmine Rows including some alternatives that can work in their place. (Before you immediately head to the alternatives, check out how you can DIY a Landmine Attachment setup with only a tennis ball.)

How To Do Landmine Rows

Equipment Needed

  • Barbell
  • Weight Plates
  • Landmine Attachment

Muscles Worked

  • Lats
  • Upper and lower back
  • Biceps
  • Abdominal muscles (Stabilizing the horizontal lifting position)

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Setup your landmine attachment.
  • Load the open end of the barbell with the desired amount of plates.
  • Grab the barbell toward the plate side using your hands or a cable attachment.
  • Use a shoulder-width stance, bend the knees, braced core and flat back.
  • Pull the plates up off the floor and begin rowing by pulling the bar toward you.
  • Most often you will be able to row until the weight plates touch your chest.
  • Control the eccentric portion of the lift back to arms extended and repeat.

Coaching Points

Using a cable machine attachment on the bar (like a V Bar) for Landmine Rows has its pro and cons. It makes the setup more comfortable and convenient to row, but if you place metal straight on your barbell it can scratch it up. Keep that in mind if you’re planning on using one.

How Many Reps of Landmine Row Should I Do?

When it comes to the number of reps for Landmine Rows, it depends on your goals and current fitness level. For strength and muscle building, aim for 8-12 reps per set. If you’re focusing on muscular endurance, aim for 15-20 reps. 

Start with a weight that challenges you but still allows you to maintain proper form. Always listen to your body and adjust the reps and weight accordingly.

Benefits of Landmine Rows

Landmine Rows have many of the same strength gain benefits you’ll find in other rowing variations like Bent Over Barbell Rows and Dumbbell One Arm Rows.

However, Landmine Rows really shine in their versatility. You can do Landmine Rows with both hands, one arm at a time or with numerous attachments like a V Bar or even by looping a towel around the bar.

Combine that with the fact that they’re already an ‘out-of-the-box’ exercise for many people and Landmine Rows can do a great job of simply adding variety to a strength program and keep your workouts from getting stale.

Landmine Row Alternatives

Have Landmine Rows on your workout sheet, but don’t have the equipment needed? Here are a few alternatives you can sub in their place. Want even more options? Here are my 10 favorite Landmine Row Alternatives.

Barbell Bent Over Row

Bent Over Barbell Row Side View

My first recommendation to replace Landmine Rows is the Barbell Bent Over Row. Not only is it one of the best rowing exercises to build size and strength, but all that you need is a barbell with some weight plates – two things most garage gym owners have.

Dumbbell One Arm Row

If you don’t have a barbell, but you do have dumbbells – DB One Arm Rows may be an option.

With this dumbbell alternative, you can use one arm to brace your upper body, taking stress off of the low back from the rowing position.

Landmine Row FAQ

What Muscles Does a Landmine Row Work?

Landmine rows are a fantastic exercise for targeting a bunch of muscles in your upper body. Primarily, they work your back muscles, especially the lats (latissimus dorsi) and the traps (trapezius). They also engage your rear deltoids, which are part of your shoulders, as well as your rhomboids, which help with retracting your shoulder blades.

But it’s not just your back getting a workout. Your biceps get in on the action too, since they help with the pulling motion. And, don’t forget about your core muscles – they play a supporting role in stabilizing your body during the exercise.

So, in a nutshell, landmine rows are a great way to work a variety of muscles in your upper body, making them a solid choice for your strength training routine.

Is Landmine Row Effective?

Absolutely, landmine rows are super effective for a few key reasons:

  1. Compound Movement: They’re a compound exercise, meaning they work multiple muscle groups at once. This makes them efficient for building strength and muscle in your back, shoulders, and arms.
  2. Lower Back Friendly: Compared to traditional bent-over rows, landmine rows put less stress on your lower back. This is because the angle of the barbell during the exercise naturally encourages a more upright position, reducing the strain on your lower back.
  3. Versatility: You can adjust your grip, stance, and the angle of your body to target different muscle groups. This versatility means you can keep challenging your muscles in new ways as you progress.
  4. Suitable for All Levels: Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned athlete, landmine rows can be a great addition to your routine. They’re relatively easy to learn and you can adjust the weight to suit your strength level.
  5. Safe to Load Heavy: Since the setup is more stable compared to free weight rows, you can typically load the landmine row with more weight. This is great for building strength.

Incorporating landmine rows into your workout routine can definitely help in developing a strong and balanced upper body. Just remember, as with any exercise, proper form is key to getting the most benefit and avoiding injury.

What is the Difference Between a Landmine Row and a Bent Over Row?

The landmine row and the bent-over row are both great exercises for your back, but they have some key differences: 

  1. Equipment: Landmine rows use a barbell anchored at one end, while bent-over rows use a free barbell or dumbbells.
  2. Back Position: Landmine rows allow for a more upright position, easier on the lower back. Bent-over rows require a horizontal torso, demanding more lower back stability.
  3. Muscle Activation: Landmine rows focus more on the upper back and shoulders. Bent-over rows engage a broader range of back muscles, including the lats and mid-back.
  4. Range of Motion: Landmine rows follow an arc-like path, while bent-over rows have a vertical lifting motion.
  5. Suitability: Landmine rows are often safer and more beginner-friendly. Bent-over rows require good form and core strength for safe execution.
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Looking for more upper-body movements? The Upper Body Lifts Section of our Exercise Library has dozens of exercises focused on lifts for the chest, back and shoulders.

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