Renegade Row | How is it done? Benefits and Common Mistakes

By the healthiergang writer , student in Physiotherapy.

Renegade row

La renegade row is an exercise that allows you to work different skills in one movement. In fact, for a correct execution it is necessary to have a good one core stability and at the same time a good strength in the lats.

Probably in order to perform the exercise you will be forced to use weights much lower than those usually used in a traditional rowing machine with a dumbbell.



Renegade Row | How is it done? Benefits and Common Mistakes

This is due to the lack of stability that is created in this exercise as soon as you pass from 4 to 3 points of support. The greater the stability that can be generated, the more the weight used is similar to that used in a rowing machine with handlebars.

 How is it done?

Scegliere two dumbbells whose weight is about half of that used in a classic rowing machine with handlebars.

Position yourself in a push-up position keeping your hands firmly on the dumbbells. In practice, the upper body rests on the dumbbells.

The legs can be spread apart or close together. The closer the legs are, the more unstable the position will be and consequently the more difficult the movement will be.

To contract abdominal, buttocks e quadriceps. If you choose to use circular dumbbells, the exercise will be even more difficult because they will tend to shift. In this case, the intervention of the pectoral muscles and shoulder stabilizers is also necessary. You can also opt for kettlebells to perform the exercise.


From this starting position, row with one arm, focusing on retracting the shoulder blades, contracting the lats and maintaining stability. As soon as you move to 3 points of support the whole body loses stability.


This forces the obliques to work hard to prevent torso rotation. Carry out the repetition in a controlled manner; the tendency is in fact to perform the movement in a rapid and uncontrolled way.

Renegade Row | How is it done? Benefits and Common Mistakes

This because the lack of stability represents a very difficult condition and one is therefore inclined to perform the movement quickly to get around the problem and make the exercise easier. However, this is not the purpose of the movement.

Rather it is better to reduce weight but have acorrect and controlled execution. After repetition on one side go to the next. This is a repeat. Continue with the movement until you perform the preset number of repetitions.

Common mistakes

Un quite common mistake is to lose the contraction in the abdominals and glutes thus losing an alignment of the spine. The body must always maintain complete alignment throughout the movement.

A rotation of the torso during the horizontal pulling movement is normal but should not turn into a complete imbalance on one side.

Another common mistake is to make the pulling motion using the arm muscles excessively. This happens because the scapula is not retracted and the dorsal is not used.


In this exercise it is even easier to make this mistake because precarious stability tends to make conservative movements which therefore do not vary much the position of the body.


It is necessary to keep one solid contraction throughout the core to allow proper execution. Sometimes it happens that you tend to use your entire body to perform the movement to generate momentum and make the exercise easier. This problem typically does not occur if you are maintaining controlled execution.


Variants and Advice

Exercise, especially if it's your first time doing it, forces you to use loads far less than the back muscles can move. This is not a problem. It makes sense to change the number of repetitions considering this variable.

It is more useful then to work with this exercise on high repetitions, such as 12 or 15 (per side) rather than keeping the number of repetitions low by attempting to employ weights that impair performance. Since the exercise does not require high levels of strength in the lats it is a good idea to include it towards the end of your workout or perhaps as part of a circuit.


If you can do the exercise correctly with loads close enough to those of the dumbbell rowing machine, you could try placing your feet in a raised position so that your body is parallel to the floor. This variant is even more difficult and requires even greater core stability.

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