Exercises You Should Be Doing: 1-Arm Landmine Row

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Things have been cranking the past few days, and it’s been hard for me to keep up with the blog.  I posted one up late on Monday, skimped yesterday, and am posting a short one today. I’m slacking, I know.

If it’s any consolation I’m really sorry everyone, but I promise I’ll make it up to you soon.

(Bambi Eyes)

I actually do have a lot on my plate right now:

1.  Within the next week or so, strength coach Dan Trink and I will be exposing to the world a project we’ve been working on in collaboration with Greatist.com.  It’s thiiiiiiiiiiiiis close to being complete – everyone’s busy putting the finishing touches into place – and we’re pretty certain it’s going to help out a lot of people, if not win us a Nobel Prize.

Stay tuned.  News to come shortly.

2. I’m cranking away on my next T-Nation article, which discusses some of more common exercises that trainees tend to butcher.

3.  And yesterday I actually spent the afternoon hanging out with JC Deen, lifting heavy(ish) things and eating some dead animals. We met up in the city, headed over to Boston University to get a quick lift in and then spent the afternoon talking about training, marketing, writing, and even read some poetry to orphans.

Okay, we didn’t really do that……..but we did spend a fair amount of time shooting the shit and talking about the industry.

All I have to say about JC is that he’s a great dude, and my man has a very, very bright future a head of him.  You might even say I officially have a little man-crush.

I know some of you reading may already be familiar with his work, but if not, I’d highly encourage you to check out his website HERE.

So anyways, enough with the small talk.  Lets get to today’s Exercise You Should Be Doing

1-Arm Landmine Row

Who Did I Steal If From:  I know Ben Bruno has been posting a lot of new exercises as of late with the landmine, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he’s already highlighted this one. However, in my defense I looked at the date from when I actually filmed this video and it was November 23, 2008 (hence the winter skully on my head).  HA – take that Bruno!

What Does It Do:  Actually, a lot. As with any row variation we’re hitting the upper back, lats, and biceps pretty hard, so this should be a popular “go to” exercise for all the meat heads out there reading – especially for those who train in a gym who’s dumbbell selection is limited.

You could foreseeably load this sucker up pretty heavy.

A little less known is that this exercise is an absolute beast when it comes to anti-rotation (or, rotary) training.  Because it’s done in a two-point stance – only two points of contact – there’s a strong demand on the torso to resist rotation, which I feel makes this exercise pretty key.

Key Coaching Cues:  Maintaining a “neutral” spinal position throughout is paramount.  If we’re going to keep ourselves honest, if one were to place a long PVC stick down the backside, there should be three points of contact – back of the head, between the shoulder blades, as well as the sacrum.

This is just a point of reference, of course, I don’t expect you to really place a PVC pipe on your back while performing this exercise. But it might not be a bad idea for those struggling with proper positioning.

Moreover, it’s important to refrain from using too much “body english” on these.  While it’s inevitable there’s going to be “some” movement in the torso, the key objective here is to not look as if you’re having an epileptic seizure and stay as still as possible while performing the movement.

To that end:  you’ll want to push your hips back, keep your knees “soft” (don’t lock them), brace your abs, and focus on pulling “through the elbow.”  Ideally, I like to tell trainees to pull their elbow towards their hip……..and to NOT go past that point.

Another thing to consider is the size of the plates used.  It’s actually less cumbersome to use the smaller 10 lb plates and just load the bar up with as many of those as you need.

Using the larger plates – while they look waaaaaaaay cooler – will just get in the way of everything.

I like to perform these for sets of 6-10/side.  Try them out today and let me know what you think.

NOTE:  For those who don’t have access to a landmine apparatus (the thingamajig on the floor that the bar goes into), you can just as easily place barbell in the corner between two walls and do the exact same thing.  You might have to place a towel around the bar so that it doesn’t mark up the wall, but that shouldn’t be too much of a hassel.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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