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T-bar rows are one of the best back exercises out there.
In fact, if I could only do one, horizontal row movement, I would go with various t-bar variations over any dumbbell or traditional barbell row.
As I wrote about in this article on t-bar rows, I think they’re superior for a few reasons.
First, the t-bar row matches the strength curve of the back muscles, so you can strengthen the back throughout the entire range of motion.
Second, it’s generally safer and easier to load, while keeping tension off the lower back.
Third, because of the ease of attachments, you can do rows with various grips.
Today we’re talking about the best t-bar row attachments out there so you can get the most out of t-bar rows.
(Note: we’re talking about attachments within the context of landmine t-bar rows specifically. If your gym has a t-bar row machine, then hopefully it will have several grip options.)
The good news is if you don’t have a t-bar row machine, you can do the same exercise with just a barbell and simple attachments.
We are NOT talking about ground landmine attachments in this article. I have written a whole article about the best landmine attachments. We’re talking specifically about attachments for landmine t-bar rows here.
You don’t need to use an attachment to do t-bar rows. However, you will be limited to a very narrow grip, even more narrow than a typical seated close-grip cable row. If you have NO attachment at your disposable, I recommend trying the single-arm landmine row, because this is a more neutral grip, whil still tapping into the benefits of t-bar rows.
Here’s a video, as featured in my program on landmine exercises, The Landmine Workout.
With that said, to do the bilateral version, you’ll need some kind of attachment to get the most out of it. So here are the 4 categories of options and our top recommendations for each.
If you’re working out at a gym, the best way to do t-bar rows in a pinch is to grab the rope that’s usually used for exercises like tricep extensions.
Simply wrap the rope around the bar, and row with a neutral grip.
There are a few downsides to the rope.
First, the metal piece in the middle that attaches to cables you have to push to one side, so it feels a little lopsided.
Second, gripping the rope vertically can be awkward on the wrists.
Personally, I don’t find these to be a significant problem. When I go to the gym, I’m happy to use a tricep rope rather than lugging around my own attachment.
If I were starting a home gym from scratch, and I didn’t use the rope for other exercises, like cable exercises, then I would pick up a more specialized attachment.
If I were building my home gym and had a cable set up, then the rope will get the job done. It costs less and is more versatile.
When it comes specifically to t-bar rows, I prefer this tricep rope from Rogue because it solves both of the problems of the regular tricep rope.
First, the metal piece is much smaller, so it won’t affect the exercise.
Secod, you can grab the handles perfectly horizontal, so your wrists don’t have to bend awkwardly. This product from Rogue only costs $35, which is cheaper than many traditional tricep ropes, while maintaining Rogue’s consistently high quality.
It’s also easy to throw into your gym bag.
The only downside is some people swear by the regular rope for other exercises, or they love the other attachments. I also love the other attachments, but you can’t beat the versatility of this one, and it’s about half the price of the others, so that’s why it’s my top choice.
For a solid, inexpensive tricep rope, Fitness Gear’s rope gets the job done, and only $35. This will work for home gym use, but I wouldn’t pick it up if you’re looking to get a commercial use-quality rope. But it’s a great option if you prefer the traditional tricep rope style.
The most heavy-duty and serious option is the parallel t-bar landmine attachment from Rogue.
In general, the back muscles contract best when using a neutral grip, and this attachment provides the most comfortable version of that.
The handles are quite thick. They’re not Fat Grip-thick, but they are thicker than a typical dumbbell. This will help you strengthen your grip and forearms, but it might take the focus away from training the back.
The other downside is you really can’t use this attachment for anything besides t-bar rows. It’s a big hunk of metal for just one exercise, so if you’re going for space economy or ease of transport, this isn’t your best option.
This angled t-bar attachment has a lot of the benefits of the neutral grip attachment and the rope put together. You can grab it with a neutral grip but you also don’t have to worry about the small annoyances of the tricep rope.
I also love this product because I use it for various landmine exercises. In particular, it’s a staple for all variations of landmine antirotations.
Here’s its multi-faceted use in action.
The wide grip version helps you use, well, a wide grip. It’s not my first choice, because as I mentioned the back muscles don’t thrive off of a wide grip. However, it does target muscles like the rear-delts more.
My recommendation would be to make this your second t-bar row attachment if you’re trying to mix it up. None of the other attachments allow you to get that wide-grip. So if you’d like that to be in your programming, pick this one up.
Of course, your attachment doesn’t really matter if you’re not doing the exercise right to begin with. So check out my t-bar row masterclass for exercise execution, common mistakes, variations, and more.
And if you like landmine training, and are looking for a barbell-only program to build muscle, burn fat, and bolster your strength, you can check out The Landmine Workout.