Want a move that will make you feel stronger, fast?

Meet the renegade row.

They’re one of my top all-time faves, and my in-person clients love to hate them (and sometimes they actually request them).


Because they work your body’s powerhouse – the entire posterior chain of your back, core, glutes and hips. These are the muscles that give you real power and strength … and they’re also the ones we tend to ignore because we don’t see them when we look in the mirror.

I especially love renegade rows because they require minimal equipment. Most back exercises require a machine, pullup bar or heavy weights. Not renegade rows! All you need is a pair of dumbbells and you’re in business.

How to do the Renegade Row

I’ve got a video below for a visual, but here are the basics:

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells and align them under your shoulders. (Note: Beginners, this alignment is REALLY important as it will keep the dumbbells from rolling out from your wrists and potentially causing injury! If you have difficulties holding a plank position, master that before attempting this move.)
  • Get into plank position, feet about hip-width apart. Square your body to the floor and “row” one dumbbell up by your side and then control the weight back to the floor. Repeat on the other side.
  • The first few times you do this the weight will likely want to crash to the floor, or your opposite leg is gonna wanna pop up off the floor. When that happens, lock down that core, control the weight and BREATHE.

You can do this with lighter weights to work on endurance and core/stabilization, or you can go heavy to focus on strength. You’ll be shocked at how heavy weights force those glutes to engage.

If doing this movement from full plank is too much, get into a plank from your knees and try it that way, being very careful to hold your torso steady. 

Note: my form is a little iffy on one side of these — you’ll note that I roll/twist my hip up slightly on one side, a really common error. That’s because I was being a show-off and trying this move with the 40-lb. dumbbells. Fight that inclination and keep your hips square.


40 pound renegade rows. Not pretty but who cares.

Posted by Wendy Watkins on Thursday, March 6, 2014

Try this and let me know how you do!

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