If you want to strengthen your back muscles and you are not sure where to start, Landmine Row is one of the best barbell row variations to start with.
The exercise targets majorly the back and upper arm muscles.
The landmine equipment is a barbell anchored in an attachment or in a corner of a wall with weights at the end of the barbell. It is a great strength workout tool that activates multiple muscles and easy to use for beginners.
Since this workout is designed to build muscle strength, it may seem like the top of the top weighted workout but it is actually a friendly workout that engages the back and upper arm muscles more than the core.
HOW TO DO LANDMINE ROW PROPERLY
If you are a beginner, use weights that best match your fitness ability and make sure to ask for assistance from your trainer/gym instructor.
How to do it:
- Make sure the barbell is well secured in a landmine attachment or on a corner of a wall.
- Stand with the landmine between your legs with feet shoulder width apart. Face the side that has weights attached to it.
- Hinge at the hips, bend over with a slight knees bend and with both hands, grasp the landmine bar a few inches below the weights with a tight grip.
- Straighten your back and push your chest out. Lift the barbell off the ground but maintain outstretched hands and a slight elbow bend. This is your starting position.
- Tighten your back and shoulder muscles then exhale as you pull the landmine bar towards your chest. Keep your elbows close to your sides and not flared out.
- Be cautious when bringing the weight towards you to avoid being hit by it.
- Hold the position then inhale as you return to your starting position. Repeat the movement in a row motion to maintain a fluid breathing pattern and movement.
- Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps.
WHAT MUSCLES DO LANDMINE ROW WORK
Best known as Lats, the muscle is the largest muscle in the upper body with several functions and responsibilities. The muscle helps keep your back straight while working out by tightening (contracting) to stabilize the spine and protect it from any movements that can cause injuries.
Rhomboid muscles are one of the many primary muscles targeted in this workout. The muscle attaches together the scapular to the spine and help to stabilize the scapular during upper body movements.
It may be small compared to other muscles but the rhomboid muscle elevates and retracts the scapula giving it an important role in the stabilization and movement of the scapula.
This rear deltoid muscle has an extensive function in the arm movements. When pulling the landmine bar, the muscle acts as a flexor and internal arm rotator.
The muscle stabilizes the shoulder joint when pulling or holding a heavy load and protects the joint from displacement or dislocation.
TERES MAJOR AND MINOR
Located at the back of the armpits, these two Teres muscles may have the same name but they have different functions, for instance, the Teres Major adducts the arms and helps rotate it towards the body whereas the Teres Minor stabilizes the humeral head in the shoulder joint.
Strengthening and developing the muscles helps with improving their functions, not forgetting defining, and toning them.
A number of muscles are targets on this workout and the Traps are one of them, mostly the lower and middle traps to be precise.
The muscle functions to move the neck and scapula in different directions when doing different kinds of upper body movements.
While doing the row motion, you will feel a pinch on the upper part of your back. That is the trapezius muscle contracting with each movement.
This is a group of 3 muscles that run vertically along the spine that helps you keep your back straight and extended.
Doing this workout, the spine should be neutral and back straight and that is where erector spinae comes in and helps keep the back erected.
UPPER ARM MUSCLES
As much as you may feel the effects of the row on your upper arm muscles, the muscles are not the main target but they work as synergic muscles and help lift the landmine bar to activate the targeted muscles.
Still, the triceps and biceps muscles are worked on and muscle contraction and development is bound to happen.
LOWER PECTORALIS MAJOR
Puffing your chest out mostly helps to reinforce a straight back and muscle activation. By doing this, the chest muscles contract and activate, which facilitates muscle development and definition of the lower chest muscle.
LANDMINE ROW BENEFITS
INCREASE MUSCULAR STRENGTH AND DEVELOPMENT
There is no doubt that Landmine Row is designed for muscle strength and development. The workout activates multiple upper body muscles, which increases muscle hypertrophy and strength. For body builders, building a toned and defined back is a must and Landmine Row majorly focuses on defining the back muscles.
The back muscle help stabilize the spine during movement and intense workout. The erector spinae functions help keep the spine upright and extended, strengthening the muscles gives you a healthy back and reduces back injuries.
Tightening the back muscles holds the spine in place and gives an all-round protection to the spine and organs inside.
REDUCES STRESS ON JOINTS
Being an all-back workout, the back muscles take all the tension from the weights and relieves the upper body joints from overworking and stressing.
Compared to other workouts that are strenuous, this workout has less shoulder joint engagement due to the synergist muscles at play.
ALTERNATIVES TO LANDMINE ROW
SINGLE-ARM DUMBBELL ROW
This workout helps maintain muscle symmetry since each arm gets to work out on its own and develop the muscles equally with the other arm.
If you have a weak side, single Arm Dumbbell Row helps you to work on it until strength and balance distributes well.
What you see in shows where lifters are doing the deadlifts and look like they can pass out anytime is definitely, what you will get. Obviously with less weight at first.
It activates the same muscles and more, which makes it a great alternative.
LANDMINE ROW MISTAKES TO AVOID
Since the workout majorly activates the back muscles, the muscles are subjected to a lot of tension from the weighted bar and curving or rounding your back will harm your spine and cause constant backaches or even injuring your spine.
Straighten your back to distribute the weight on your back equally to activate the right muscles and strengthen your back.
USING EXCESS WEIGHTS
Being a friendly and safe row workout for your back can trick you to stack up more weight. This can cause muscle strain and tear if you are not careful with the number of weights you stack up.
Keep it PG until your muscles have enough endurance and strength to progressively stack up more weight.
BENDING TOO LOW
Since we are not advocating for Landmine Squat, which is still okay, for now let us not go low as if doing a squat. From the guidelines above, you should maintain a slight knee bend.
After all, it will not make sense to go too low and at the same time lift the landmine bar towards you.
FLARING ELBOWS OUT
Form and technique mastering is very important because it helps you activate the right muscles the right way.
Keep your elbows by your side when pulling the weights towards you, this way muscle contraction is increased.
Landmine Row is a very engaging workout and guarantees muscle build up and definition within a short span of time. That is if you are consistent and using the right form and technique.
Incorporating it to your workouts will prove very beneficial and progressive addition of weights will be inevitable.