renegade-row
October 5, 2021

Renegade Row, Straight From a Trainer

Exercises that target multiple muscle groups simultaneously are key for anyone who is looking to get a great workout. The renegade row is a combination of a dumbbell and plank row. It’s a variant of a dumbbell rows from a high plank. Ali Johnson, trainer at RumbleBoxing, says that this push-and-pull exercise combines strength and core stability and trains anti-extension and anti-rotation as well as unilateral balance. This exercise is full-body engaging. Johnson explains how to do a renegade row and how to modify it.

MEET THE EXPERT

Ali Johnson is a trainer at RumbleBoxing and a CPT.

How Do You Perform a Renegade Row?

ALI JOHNSON / DESIGN TIANA CRISPINO

The equipment required for Renegade Rows is minimal: dumbbells, a mat and some space on the floor.

  • Press-up or high-plank. Your shoulders, elbows and wrists should align with your armpits. You can grab the weights using your hands.
  • Your feet should be approximately hip-width apart.
  • To tighten your body, lift your lower abdominals and engage your glutes. Finally, ensure that you have a neutral spine.
  • Start on one side and move the dumbbell towards your hips/rib cage. Then, turn your elbow to the upward direction.
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  • You can return to your original position.
  • Repeat the process on the opposite side.

Johnson suggests that there are some things you should remember when performing renegade row. Keep your spine and back in neutral positions. Your low back shouldn’t lift. Keep your shoulders straight and square so you don’t hyperextension.

Johnson warns against twisting your hips while rowing to make it easier. Johnson suggests that you keep your hips facing down as you lift the dumbbells towards your rib cage. This will ensure your hips engage your obliques, and your body doesn’t rotate open.

What Muscles Do Renegade Rows Work?

Renegade rows, like any multitasker, work multiple muscle groups simultaneously, including the shoulders, lats and triceps.

Modifications and Variations

There are many ways to increase or decrease the intensity of renegade row depending on your fitness level.

Renegade Row Regression

Johnson says that you can use lighter weights, resistance bands, or none at all to make the exercise easier. A bench, a plyometric container, or a sturdy seat can all be used as an elevated surface. She says that the steeper the inclines, the more fluid the movement is. However, you can lighten your weight or use a higher surface to ensure the movement is the same as a regular renegade row.

Renegade Row Progression

You can add an extra challenge to the row by adding a push-up, or two mountain climbers, at the end.

  • Press-up or high-plank. You should align your shoulders, shoulders and elbows with your wrists. The latter should be directly below you armpits. Take your weights with you.
  • Your feet should be approximately hip-width apart.
  • To tighten your body, lift your lower abdominals and engage your glutes. Finally, ensure that you have a neutral spine.
  • Start on one side and move the dumbbell towards your hips/rib cage. Then, turn your elbow to the upward direction.
  •  
  • You can return to your original position.
  • You can add a push-up or two mountain climbers to your workout
  • Repeat the process on the opposite side.

How Can You Add Renegade Rows to Your Routine?

Johnson says that a renegade-row can be done at any time, provided your body is trained to do it. To see how it feels, add a renegade rowed with light or no weights to your routine if you are able to do a dumbbell row. You can get more comfortable as you gain strength and move up to a standard and then a progression renegade rows. Renegade rows can be performed as a strength move.

Who Should Avoid Doing Renegade Rows?

Johnson says that a standard renegade row is not the best choice for people with weak backs, core stability issues, or inability to maintain neutral spines. There are many variations that you can use to get to a standard row or just a plank. Consult a doctor if you have any concerns or injuries.

The Takeaway

Renegade rows combine the benefits of dumbbell row and planks into one exercise that is great for all ages. They don’t require any heavy weights, or even any weight at all, if you are a beginner. Additionally, they work your core and arms, making them a great addition for your fitness routine. You must follow proper form to perform the move correctly and avoid injury. If you are struggling to get to the standard renegade row, try other variations.