Exercises You Should Be Doing: 1-Arm (Perpendicular) Landmine Row

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I don’t know about you, but if I looked down at my program and saw that one of the exercises listed was called a 1-arm perpendicular landmine row I’d probably take said program, ball it up, dip it in cement, let it dry, and then find whoever wrote the program, wind-up and unleash a fastball square into the middle of their grill

While it’s the name of the exercise in the literal sense – it’s just not a cool name for an exercise. It’s lame in fact.  So it’s only appropriate that I give today’s exercise its due diligence and call it by its real name. In meathead circles it’s also known as the Meadows Row – named appropriately after professional bodybuilder, fellow T-Nation contributor, and absolute BEAST, John Meadows.

^^^^^^^That Guy.

By the way:  you know you’re kind of a big deal when an exercise is named after you. I remember reading about this row variation a while ago HERE. but for some reason never really gave it a go because, well, I forgot about it. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when I was training with my buddy, strength coach Dave Rak, at Boston University that I gave it my first test-drive. Needless to day:  me likey.

1-Arm Perpendicular Landmine Row Meadows Row

Who Did I Steal It From:  Technically John Meadows, but I’ll also give credit to Dave Rak and Ben Bruno (who, coincidentally, wrote about it here, along with some other cool landmine variations).

What Does It Do:  This is an awesome alternative for those who train at lame gyms that don’t carry heavy dumbbells, or for those who have “out-grown” their gyms and need to up the ante a bit. You can load these fairly heavy, and you’d be hard pressed to find another rowing exercise that will add significant meat to your backside like this one. What’s more, because the end of the barbell is much thicker than a standard dumbbell, you’ll also get a grip-training effect.

Key Coaching Cues:  Even if you don’t have a standard “landmine,” you can just as easily set-up a barbell in the corner and do just fine.  I’d advise that you load up the barbell with 25 lb plates (or lower) – as anything larger tends to get in the way and make the exercise a bit cumbersome. I like to use a staggered stance on these, but you could use a squared stance as well.

A word of caution however:  these will also fry your lower back, so if you have a history of lower back shenanigans going on, I’d probably lean more towards using a bench to prop yourself on (which Ben demonstrates in the link above).

While I’m fine with using a bit more “body english” on these, try your best to maintain as much of an arch in your back as you can and to prevent too much forward head posture.

In addition, since these are designed to go heavy on, I like to use a 6-10 rep scheme, but if you’re feeling a bit more like He-Man or She-Ra (don’t want to dis any ladies who may be reading), feel free to go higher. While I can’t promise your back will end up looking like John’s, I can say that these will give your upper back an unparalleled pump.  Try them today and let me know what you think!

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  • Jake

    I’ve found the limiting factor on these to be grip, rather than the upper back. Unfortunately straps aren’t really a possibility either. Is it just me?

    • TonyGentilcore

      Well, if grip is the limiting factor for you I’d be inclined to say you’d be better off with DBs.

  • Ed

    Tony, if you rest the non-working hand on your thigh (as I’ve seen Meadows do) then it also takes a lot of the stress off your lower back; a half-supported row, if you will.

    • TonyGentilcore

      Thanks Ed – appreciate the feedback.

  • PJ Striet

    I’ve been using this for a few months-and several variations-and no other rowing variation comes close. It’s awesome.

  • PJ Striet

    Also, using the squared stance and simply supporting the non working arm on a bench takes a lot of the stress off the low back (similar to a 3 point DB Row setup).

    • TonyGentilcore

      Right on PJ – thanks for chiming in!

  • Scott

    I have a handle that slides over the sleeve of the barbell which makes this exercise so money. The handle also moves your hand off of and away from the plates. So grip isn’t a limiting fact and the awkwardness of the plates being there isn’t a limiting factor. I think EliteFTS actually calls it a “Meadows Handle”

    • TonyGentilcore

      Oh nice. I didn’t realize Elitefts made that device. Thanks for sharing Scott.

  • chuck

    Just today I saw a true old school guy doing these in the gym! iI’ll definitely be adding them into my rotation

  • rees

    nice tunes

    • Jay

      I’ve done these in the past using the chest supported row machine. The only part that I always felt was a little awkward was how the bar row out away from your body a little as it doesn’t move on a completely vertical track.

  • Here is why this blog sucks. You show all these cool and most importantly effective exercises, and yet at Globo Gym I can’t do them because they would rather shove the gym full of leg press machines and other ridiculous nonsense (You know things aren’t going so well when I might have to start bringing my own foam roller…and med balls for my clients). I think I need a change of venues so I can like this blog again 🙂

    • TonyGentilcore

      Yeah, that would be problematic. I’ve worked at my fair share of commercial gyms in the past where the same problem arose.

      Unfortunately, in the commercial setting, what sells memberships is equipment. I’m all for a more minimalist approach, but that won’t attract memberships.

      • yeah, I almost think it should be a requirement of every certifying org. out there that trainers must work in a shitty commercial gym atmosphere for at least 6 months. It makes you be very creative, and you also quickly realize how shitty everyone moves, and by extension how far one must go to be a great trainer (and of course how 99% of trainers out there are less than stellar). Athletes can hide their compensations pretty well, gen. pop, not so well. Makes it easy and hard at the same time to train fo sho!

  • ronellsmith


    These are my new fave rows. Tried them for the last four weeks, and they work perfectly for what I need, a great prone row option. Might try them this month in supine.


    • TonyGentilcore

      Glad you liked them Ronell. I’m having a hard time picturing these done supine – do you mean just doing landmine presses?

      • ronellsmith

        Proof that you are a brother-from-another-mother: Over-thinking it. I was referring to supine grip. Works fine, by the way.

  • Nick

    I can’t help but think, if grip is the limiting factor, then DO THEM to improve your grip!

    I love row variations that use the plate arbor. It’s like a set of Fat Gripz for free.

    • TonyGentilcore

      My sentiments exactly…..but I didn’t want to be a meanie head…..;o)

  • Looks like fun, count me in!

  • daniel

    To give him a little of the credit. Paul Chek has been using and plugging this exercise for years.

    • TonyGentilcore

      Thanks for that Daniel. I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who have been incorporating this exercise.

  • Shane Mclean

    Love this. Does look badass. Tony, you bring badass to the gym. Well done.