One of my favorite pulling movements is the chest-supported T-bar row. When I was still a gym patron, my upper-body pull days would almost always feature this lift, along with pull-ups or chin-ups, cable rows, pulldowns, and dumbbell rows.
In garage gym life, the T-bar setup is more challenging: Not only is it a prohibitively expensive piece of equipment for most individuals’ home or garage gyms, but it also takes up a good amount of space considering it is a one-trick pony. As many with garage gyms know, this is an ideal use for a land mine. I bought this one.
It’s called the “Yes4All Deluxe T-Bar Row Platform,” and it does a couple of things that made me decide to buy it.
- First, it has three 3/8 holes to allow you to bolt it into your floor if you so desire. I had it for almost a year before I finally decided to do that, and I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner. If you don’t mind drilling into your garage slab, I highly recommend it.
- Second, it also has a bracket that will allow you to fasten it to your weight rack, which is a really convenient option if you don’t want to do any drilling. It has a hand-tightened knob that allows you to do this. The one thing I didn’t love about this option is that it’s too easy to pick up the rack with you if you don’t have ample weight loaded on the rack. Some home gyms will have enough plates to have your working weight in use while hundreds more pounds go unused, but most home setups won’t.
- Default 2″ width lets Olympic bars slide right in. I use one of my used older ones, since the sleeve does have another screw-in knob that could mar the bar, not something you probably want to do with an expensive Rogue, if you have one. But for my purposes, it’s great.
- And, lastly, it definitely is an inexpensive option. There are land mines out there that cost upward of $100, including some that don’t even fasten into the ground. For the price, I’m super happy with this piece of equipment.
Once it’s set up, it’s just a matter of sliding the bar in, loading it up with plates, and using a handle (I like the narrow grip one, as pictured) to lift the bar and simulate the T-bar row experience. Is it a perfect analog? No, because the chest isn’t supported, and obviously the core will come into play as you brace yourself over the weight.
I really appreciate the very small space impact this land mine has in my garage. Attached to both the floor and my rack, it adds a layer of stability to the rack as well. When it’s not in use, it’s quite inconspicuous and it doesn’t feel like another piece of equipment that’s lying out in the open or in the way. And at a quarter of the cost of some more popular brand names out there, it’s held up over a year of regular use. My only regret is not bolting into the concrete the day I got it.
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