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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