What are renegade rows?

Renegade rows, also known as dumbbell plank rows or DB renegade rows, are an advanced variation of the dumbbell row exercise. It requires you to hold your body in a plank position with one hand and lift a dumbbell with the other. Since it combines the benefits of both a row and a plank, the renegade row exercise targets both your core and the upper back. 

It is an advanced exercise that needs some amount of core strength. 

The dumbbell renegade row targets the following muscles:

  • Obliques
  • Rectus abdominis
  • Anterior deltoids
  • Rhomboids
  • Serratus
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Triceps
  • Forearms

How are renegade rows done?

Merely doing the renegade row workout will do nothing for your back and core. You need to know the technique of renegade rows correctly to gain its benefits. Here is a detailed explanation of the steps involved in dumbbell renegade rows. The traditional form of this exercise is known as the alternating renegade row:

  1. To start the alternating renegade row, place two dumbbells on the floor. They should be positioned so that when you get onto all fours, the weights should be shoulder-width apart.
  1. Now get into a tabletop position and grip one dumbbell with each hand. Your hands should be lined under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  1. Get into a complete plank position while forming a straight line with your body. Engage your core muscles and keep your feet hip-width apart.
  1. Squeeze your right shoulder blade towards your spine and raise the dumbbell in your right hand all the way towards your chest. Bend your elbow as you do so and make it point to the back of the room. Ensure that your hips and shoulders are stable.
  1. Lower the dumbbell slowly to the floor.
  1. Now repeat this exercise with your left hand. This completes one rep.

Sets and reps of dumbbell plank rows: You can start with 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps on each side. Gradually increase your practice. 

Which are some variations of renegade rows?

Once you have perfected the technique of the plank renegade row exercise, it’s time to make your workout more challenging by trying out some variations. 

Here are some of the most effective DB renegade row variations:

  1. Renegade row push up: As the name suggests, the renegade row push up exercise includes a push-up between the dumbbell raises. Here is how you can do a dumbbell renegade row with push-ups:
  • Get into a push-up position with your hands placed shoulder-width apart while you grip two dumbbells. Keep your body in a straight line.¬†
  • Brace your core and tuck in your elbows. Do a push-up.
  • When you return to the straight arm position, raise the dumbbell in your left hand to your body‚Äôs left side.¬†
  • Lower the dumbbell back and repeat this movement on the right side.¬†
  • Return to the starting position of the dumbbell renegade row with push-ups.
  1. Kneeling renegade rows: As the name suggests, instead of the plank renegade row, this variation is done by placing your knees on the ground with the rest of the movement remaining the same. The benefit of this variation is that it reduces the pressure on your upper body and core.
  1. Kettleball renegade rows: In this renegade rows variation, you use kettlebells instead of dumbbells. This exercise is done to challenge and strengthen the core using the unstable base of the kettlebells.

What are the benefits of renegade rows?

Renegade rows have more benefits for your overall health and fitness than you can think of. Here are some of the most important reasons to include this exercise in your workout routine:

  1. The renegade row workout is an excellent way to challenge the stability and control of your abdominal muscles and strengthen them in the long run. A strong core not just improves your workout performance but also enhances your functionality and makes doing daily activities easier.
  1. One of the most important renegade row benefits is for people who drive for long durations or lead a sedentary lifestyle and suffer from lower back pain and tension as a result. By strengthening your core, renegade rows reduce and prevent postural problems.
  1. One of the best renegade rows benefits is that this exercise improves your balance and stability. This is as important for athletes and sportspeople as it is for reducing age-related balance problems. 
  1. Variations of this exercise such as push up renegade rows are great calorie burners. Acting as good weight loss exercises, they give you a toned appearance and prevent obesity-related health concerns such as diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension, etc.
  1. Push up renegade rows and other variations of this exercise improve your anti-rotational strength. This helps in strengthening your spine and keeping it in alignment, especially during rotational movements. 
  1. This exercise requires minimal set-up and no gym memberships. All you need is a yoga mat and a set of dumbbells. This exercise can be practically done anywhere and is a great addition to your workout at home.

How to do renegade rows safely and avoid injuries?

Here are some safety tips for doing the renegade row exercise safely:

  • To maintain the correct form, always keep your body in a straight line.¬†
  • Never allow your back to sway while doing the renegade rows.
  • Always keep your neck aligned with your spine.¬†
  • Learn the techniques of the renegade rows from an experienced trainer before you start doing them. This is essential for preventing injuries.
  • Don‚Äôt lift heavy weights that make you lose control of your movements. Start with lighter weights and gradually build up your practice.
  • Always do a warm-up and cool-down session before and after your renegade rows workout.
  • Listen to your body. If you feel pain or dizziness anytime during the exercise, stop immediately.¬†


 The possibilities of making renegade rows challenging is endless. Once you have perfected the traditional version of this exercise and its variations, you can add jumps, burpees, and other dynamic movements to keep yourself engaged and motivated. 

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