For our Move of the Week today, here’s a great rowing variation you can do with the landmine, with a few secondary benefits!
THE MOVE: Landmine Meadows Row
MOVEMENT PATTERN AND MUSCLES WORKED: Horizontal pull: lats, upper and mid back.
WHY DO IT: Remember when I spoke at length about the importance of horizontal pulling here? That time, we discussed the barbell row, and today it’s time to add another horizontal pulling variation to your library. The Landmine Meadows Row, popularized by bodybuilder John Meadows, is something we recently began using with our SureFit members.
In addition to bulletproofing the back and balancing push with pull, we like the Landmine Meadows Row for a few other reasons. With the landmine out to the side like this, the arc of the barbell creates a large range of motion for the row. There is a huge stretch of the lat at the bottom of the rep, and allowing the elbow to go out to the side with the arc of the bar during the row “opens up” room at the top for a powerful contraction of the lats, upper, and mid back. You can see this from the front when Dan is performing the exercise in the video.
The split-stance position adds another challenge here. The front leg will bear most of the weight during this exercise, so it has to be stable and strong in order to maintain this position throughout the set. The core has to be strong as well. Not only does it have to support a unilateral load, which builds anti-rotation strength; it also has to maintain neutral spine so that the row hits all the right places, and not the lower back. In essence the Meadows Row will also build single-leg and core stability.
Finally, using the thicker bar-ends will be a challenge for grip strength, especially for those who are used to doing more conventional barbell exercises.
HOW TO DO IT: Set up a barbell in a landmine (or in a corner if you don’t have a special landmine attachment). Set up in a split-stance position that allows you to deeply hinge your hips back while keeping your back straight. The positioning is important here, and you might have to play with it a little bit to find out what’s most comfortable and balanced for you. The more inclined your torso is, the better; you don’t want to be so upright that you’re just rowing the bar to your neck! Playing with how far your feet are from front to back could help as well. In the video you can see that both Dan’s shin and his arm are basically perpendicular to the ground. This is ideal.
With your rowing arm hanging straight down, grab the bar and brace your core. Row the bar by pulling your elbow to your back pocket, focusing on bringing your shoulder blade to the spine. Let the weight back down in a controlled manner and allow the lat to stretch at the bottom of the rep.
Simple enough, right? I find this row great for building both strength and size, and it could fit right in as the second main exercise in a training session. Thus I would use this for 3-4 sets of 8 reps/side. You can really load this row up too; although at that point you may want to use straps so that your grip is not a limiting factor as you build your rowing strength.
If your looking for a challenging row variation that’s a little different with some secondary benefits, look no further. Try this out for yourself and let us know what you think on Twitter or Instagram @halevylife !
by Jeremy Lau
Jeremy Lau is a Senior Staff Coach at Halevy Life.
Jeremy graduated cum laude from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a BSc. in Biomedical Engineering and is currently pursuing his M.Ed. in Exercise Physiology at Columbia University. In addition to his academic accolades, Jeremy is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).
Prior to joining the team at Halevy Life, Jeremy completed a coaching internship at Cressey Sports Performance, where he coached both amateur and professional athletes, among whom were many professional MLB baseball players.
As an athlete, Jeremy has played baseball competitively for most of his life.