Great Dumbbell Row Alternative: Perpendicular Landmine Rows

Posted on by Ben Bruno

Today I want to share a rowing exercise using the landmine that serves as a great alternative to dumbbell rows if your gym doesn’t have heavy dumbbells or if you’re a complete beast and have maxed them out. I didn’t come up with these, but I use them quite a bit and really like them.

To do them, put a barbell in a landmine unit (or securely in a corner if you don’t have a landmine) perpendicular to a bench and row just as you would with a regular dumbbell row. Once you’ve finished on one set, leave the bar right where it is and just turn around to the other side of the bench to do the other arm.

Like so:

The idea here is very similar to an exercise I learned from John Meadows—which is aptly referred to as Meadows Rows—which you can read more about here.

If you’re too lazy to click on the link, it’s the same thing as I showed above, just without the bench—so you’re free standing. I like John’s exercise a lot, but given my lower back issues, I’d rather have the bench for support because I feel it a lot less in my lower back and more in my upper back.

Back in college I bought a little portable landmine unit that I’d carry in my gym bag so I could do heavy rows since my dumbbells didn’t go up heavy enough, but back then I did them with the bar between my legs (with way worse form too, I might add) like this.

And I’ve also done them like this without the knee on the bench.

This version works well too, but it’s a bit awkward with the bar between the legs. Not because it hits the boys because that’s not a problem, but as you can see in the video, the outside leg has a tendency to want to move around on you. So I like John’s way of setting perpendicular to the landmine better, both in terms of comfort of setup and it terms of how the row feels.

It becomes more of an “elbows out” row that really smokes the upper back in a great way.

When you go heavy you’ll need to use straps, but that’s totally fine and acceptable.

Give them a shot; I think you’ll like em’.

Please also remember to subscribe to my You Tube page if you don’t already.

You should also check out John’s page, which is full of great exercises to try. You can find that here.


  • Santi

    What is the portable landmine unit? My gym doesn’t have one and I could DEFINITELY use one for T-bar rows and other such variation and presses, etc! Let me know

  • Ines Subashka

    Great idea! I will definitely try this! It allows for heavier loads to be used, when there aren’t heavy dumbbells! Thank you! :))

  • Mitch Nutrition

    Looks like that variation would be ideal for taller guys (I’m 6’3) as you don’t have to hunch down to begin the movement. Great stuff!

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  • cmarza

    Nice exercise. I did them today because I just hate dumbbell rows. They hit the back really well. Thanks!