Tip: Master the Meadows Row

Build your stubborn back with this soon-to-be-classic mass builder.

I thought I invented this exercise, but I've since heard there are photos of Franco Columbo doing a variation back in the Muscle Beach heyday, but for now I'll take the credit. These are a modified version of a one-arm dumbbell row, using a T-bar instead.

Here's How It's Done

  1. Stand on the floor next to the business end of the bar, where you'd normally stand if you were adding another plate.
  2. Grab the handle with one hand and execute the row with it. Make sure you use straps – you don't want your grip to be the limiting factor. You'll be amazed by how much weight your lats can move when your hands aren't a part of the equation.
  3. To perfect this exercise, you need to learn how to position your hips to maximize the stretch and involvement of the entire lat, especially the lower lat. Raise the hip closest to the bar up higher than the other hip. This helps pre-stretch the lower lat.
  4. As you row, don't twist your body. Keep your body position locked in and just drive your elbows up hard. When you do it right, you'll know.

Unlike some exercise variations that can be best described as "change for the sake of change," this one delivers big time. The fact is, this exercise is more responsible for the mass and detail I've put on my lats than any other, and is my go-to exercise for anybody that comes to me for help with a stubborn back.

Shoot for 4 sets of 10. Use 25-pound plates to get a better stretch.