August 21, 2021 9 min read
If you are lucky, then you have a T-bar row machine at your gym. Also known as the landmine row, t-bar rows are one of the most beneficial rowing exercises.
However, if you are like many other people, you don't have a t-bar at your disposal. While this is unfortunate, there are plenty of t-bar row alternative exercises that you can do!
These exercises target the same muscles the t-bar row, including the:
Even better, some of these alternative exercises target even more muscle groups than the T-bar row!No T-bar? No problem! Here are our top ten best t-bar row alternative exercises:
First off, bent-over barbell rows are perhaps the most popular t-bar alternative. Not only that, but they are also probably the most popular back muscle rowing exercise!
What makes barbell bent-over rows so popular?
Here are some of the top reasons:
It makes sense why barbell rows are so popular and why we think you should add them to your workout routine!Here is how to do barbell rows with proper form:
Why would we have dumbbell rows on this list when we already have barbell rows? Simple! While barbell and dumbbell rows are the same movement, the two types of equipment have different benefits.
These benefits are different from those of barbells. Therefore, we highly suggest doing both barbell and dumbbell bent-over rows! If you don't have dumbbells, you can also use kettlebells.
Here is how to do the dumbbell bent-over row with proper form:
The single-arm dumbbell row has all the same benefits as the conventional dumbbell row. However, it allows you to isolate your back into two halves. That way, you can focus on smaller parts of your back at a time rather than the entire muscle group at once. This technique helps you maximize muscle growth! Here is how to do the single-arm dumbbell row with proper form:
Inverted rows are a bodyweight t-bar alternative exercise. While bodyweight exercises might seem ineffective for muscle growth, they can actually be equally effective as heavy weightlifting!Not only are bodyweight exercises beneficial for muscle growth, but they have several other benefits, including:
If you don't have a smith machine, you can also do inverted rows with a TRX! Also, you can do them with an underhand grip if you want to target your biceps.
Here is how to do the inverted row with proper form:
If you have a cable machine at your gym, then you must try the seated cable row! Cable exercises are the perfect hybrid of free weight and machine exercises. Free weight exercises have the benefit of targeting both primary mover and stabilizer muscles. On the other hand, machine exercises allow you to isolate hypertrophy in a specific primary mover muscle. Moreover, you get this double benefit when doing the seated cable row exercise!
Here is how to do the seated cable row with proper form:
Are you a home workout kind of person? If so, then the resistance band bent-over row is perfect for you! Resistance bands are an often underestimated piece of workout equipment. At first glance, they don't necessarily look like the kind of equipment that would help you build muscle mass.
However, as long as you pick one with high tension, you can get just as good a workout as you would with free weights! Even better, but you can do resistance band exercises from anywhere. Your home gym, hotel room, or even office all work! Don't have any resistance bands? You can buy an affordable set off of Amazon for less than your monthly phone bill.
Here is how to do the resistance band row with proper form:
Pendlay rows are an alternative to the bent-over barbell row. They are almost the exact same exercise, with the exception of one tiny detail. Instead of hovering the bar above the floor between repetitions, you drop it flat on the floor. This strategy helps you build stronger upper back muscles. Instead of targeting your entire back, it isolates your upper back.
Here is how to do the pendlay row with proper form:
Lateral pulldowns are a great exercise for cross-training your lat muscles. They target the whole of your lats, including the hard-to-reach lower lats. The stronger your lat muscles become, the easier all of the other rowing exercises become!
Here is how to do lat pulldowns with proper form:
You may be asking yourself why deadlifts are included on this list, since they are technically not a rowing exercise. However, deadlifts simulate the same pulling movement required for t-bar rows and target many of the same muscles
Deadlifts have countless benefits, including:
We love deadlifts so much that we might have put them on this list even if they weren't a T-bar alternative! Here is how to do deadlifts with proper form:
Last but not least, pull-ups double as a t-bar row alternative and cross-training exercise. Also, if you have lower back pain, then we highly recommend doing pull-ups!
As a bodyweight exercise, they take pressure off of your erector spinae. With less pressure, your spine lengthens and pain reduces. If any of the other t-bar alternatives cause you back pain, then stick to pull-ups!
Here is how to do pull-ups with proper form:
Regardless of who you are or what your fitness goals are, we highly suggest trying these t-bar row alternatives! The t-bar row is an excellent compound exercise. Just because you don't have a t-bar doesn't mean you can't get the same benefits from other rowing exercises!
No t-bar, no problem! Don't miss out on these fantastic back exercises to get your best back ever. No t-bar required!
Bonus tip: The shoulders are a supplementary muscle in many back exercises. Therefore, you can improve your performance in each of these t-bar alternatives by strengthening your shoulder muscles! With that said, give our top shoulder exercises a try!