Anyone who wants to target their back is well advised to perform some type of row, since the pulling motion involved is great for strengthening those muscles. The one-arm dumbbell row and bent-over barbell row are the most common forms you’ll see in the gym, but here we present the landmine row as a seriously effective variation that’s well worth considering.
To do the landmine row you secure one end of a barbell on the floor – the easiest way is simply to wedge it in a corner of the room – and then row the other end.
Having one end of the bar fixed in place means the whole movement is more stable, which makes the landmine row easier for beginners to perform, since there’s not as much core involvement. It also allows more experienced gym-goers to load up the bar with more weight than the bent-over row and really go to town on their back muscles.
The downside is that core involvement is generally a major additional benefit to the bent-over row, since you have to stabilise yourself as you row the bar up and down. But if you’re happy to lose those core benefits in favour of a safer, more stable rowing experience, here’s how to perform the landmine row.
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How To Do The Landmine Row
The landmine row is also known as the T-bar row, and if you have a T-bar machine in your gym you can use that to perform the exercise. If not, then grab a barbell and secure one end in a corner – or in a landmine attachment, which your gym might also have.
Face away from the anchor point and straddle the bar. Bend your knees slightly and hinge forwards at the hips, keeping your back straight, and grasp the end of it in both hands below your chest, with your arms extended. Pull the barbell up to your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body and squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top of the move. Lower the bar slowly back to the start.
You can also perform the landmine row using one arm, in which case, begin by standing to one side of the bar. This unilateral form of the move allows you to focus on one side of the body at a time, so you can spot and then work on any strength imbalances.
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.