How to do Renegade Rows


Chris Freytag demonstrating a Renegade Row

The Renegade Row is one of the hardest but most effective abdominal exercises out there because this exercise requires a lot of stabilization. You’re forced to keep your muscles rigid in order to maintain balance. In addition to the core muscles, this exercise also fires up the middle back muscles, as well as the chest, triceps and biceps. This is definitely an intermediate exercise designed to improve strength.

Learning how to do Renegade Rows is a total body exercise that will kick your butt but also help to improve your body’s overall strength and stabilization. Because Renegade Rows not only work your abdominal muscles but also your back muscles, this is a great exercise for improving posture as well as toning the whole body.

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How To Do A Renegade Row

  1. Begin in a full plank with dumbbells in hands, arms extended, and on toes. (kneeling variation is fine if you are not able to do a full plank) Engage your abdominals drawing the belly inward towards your spine.
  2. Pull right dumbbell up toward right hip bone keeping weight close to your side. Slowly return it to the floor and repeat with the left dumbbell.

Targets: triceps, core, back

Before you get started, here are some tips on how to perfect the Renegade Row: Contract your glutes and abs. Tighten your supporting leg. Keep your body parallel (don’t twist your hips). You will need dumbbells for this exercise. Because Renegade Rows are difficult, pick weights that will increase the resistance enough to challenge you but not enough that you have to sacrifice your form. Form is so crucial for this exercise to be effective.

In today’s world, with our laptops and smartphones, we are constantly in vulnerable positions for bad posture. Our backs really take a hit! Renegade Rows are a great way to help strengthen the back muscles, which are also vital muscles for functional core strength. If you’re looking for a way to incorporate this exercise into a more robust routine, check out our Build Your Best Back workout.

What Muscles Do Renegade Rows Work

Renegade row is a powerful move that strengthens your arms, back, shoulders and core. For a strong, beautiful upper body you should learn how to do renegade row!

Benefits of A Renegade Row

There are many reasons you should incorporate renegade row into your workouts. Here are just a few:

Strengthens Upper Body 

Renegade row is primarily an upper body strength move. The main goal is to strengthen your upper back, shoulders and arm muscles. It’s an amazing move that sculpts and shapes your upper body quickly.

Strengthens Core 

Renegade row flies under the radar for core work but this move will actually bring you quicker results for a strong core than all the crunches in the world! Your core muscles not hold you in a plank position, but they also force you to find stability and stay centered while the arm is rowing. It’s double duty for the six-pack!

Improves Cardio 

Renegade row is definitely a strength move, but because of the whole-body nature of the movement your heart rate goes up and you start breathing heavy. This is a sign that your cardiovascular system is working hard to burn calories for energy!

How Many Calories Does A Renegade Row Burn?

People often ask how many calories they are burning in their workouts. Most exercises will generally burn about 100 calories for every 10 minutes you are working at higher intensity. Bottom line – the harder you work, the more calories you burn. Renegade row is a tough move and sure to burn calories fast!

Other Exercises Similar to Renegade Row

If you like the renegade row and the results you get from it, here are a few more exercises you might want to try.

How To Do Plie’ V Raise

How To Do Straight Arm Press Back

How To Do Overhead Pull

Incorporating Renegade Rows Into Your Workouts 

Renegade row is a great pose to practice any time on its own. However, you could also incorporate it into other workouts to mix them up. Here are some ideas to make that happen.

Use Renegade Row In An Upper Body Challenge

Working your upper body muscles can be an intense training session. Use this series for your upper body day and you’ll feel it the next day.

Upper Body Day Workout 

Get a set of dumbbells and do each exercise for the number of repetitions listed with just a few seconds in between to rest.

10 Modified Push-ups

10 Dumbbell Chest Fly’s

10 Alternating Renegade Rows

10 Bicep Curls

10 Tricep Kickbacks

10 Reverse Grip Double Arm Row

10 Overhead Shoulder Press

Repeat one more time

Use Renegade Rows In Your Full Body Strength Workout

Leg Day is great. Upper body day is fantastic. But FULL BODY day is the best!  Take one workout and get it all done at once. This next workout gets it all done and includes the renegade row as well as a bunch of other basic strength moves you will love!  Grab a pair of dumbbells and try it!

Full Body Basic Move Strength Workout 

Warm up for about 2-3 minutes then:

Do between 10-15 of each of the following moves:

Basic Squat


Side Lunges

Tricep Dips

Alternating Forward Lunges

Renegade Row

Russian Twist (with or without a dumbbell)

Use Renegade Rows In A Core Workout

Renegade row is an awesome upper body move, but there is true magic in the way it works your core! Check out this dumbbell core workout and you’ll feel your abs on fire!

10-Minute Dumbbell Core Blast 

Get a medium pair of dumbbells and try each of these moves as listed. Go through the routine two times for maximum results!

Russian Twist

Renegade Row

Leg Loops

Overhead Pull

Side Plank with Arm Extension

Ab Reverse Curl


Here are 3 more workouts that incorporate renegade row:

15-Minute Sweating for the Wedding Workout

The Busy Woman’s Strength Workout

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