If a bent-over row and the plank had a baby, it would be The Renegade Row. This is a powerful compound exercise that requires intense core stability, balance and coordination. It’s a “big bang for your buck” exercise that strengthens several muscle groups at once, making it especially efficient and effective. Do it to shape your arms, build muscle in your back and develop a tight, toned core.
All of your abdominals and back muscles will feel it, in addition to your deltoid deltoids and biceps. And when I say feel it, I mean burn and quiver in the best way.
This exercise can be done at the gym, or at home with minimal equipment…. All you need are a few pairs different sized dumbbells.
The good part about doing a new exercise at a gym is that you can ask employed personal trainers or other gym staff to help you perfect your form, by having them watch you perform the exercise and give you feedback. It sounds uncomfortable if you’re not used to it, but people who are into fitness usually love talking to and supporting other people who are into fitness.
Try it and see! It’s one of the best ways to learn, especially for more complex exercises like the renegade row, and good form means a lower risk of injury and faster, better results.
How it’s done
- Start with a light pair of dumbbells, think 3 – 5 lbs, and move up from there. With a dumbbell in each hand, get into a high push up position. Engage your core by drawing your belly button to your spine and pressing the balls of your feet down into the ground.
- Inhale and engage your left arm, shifting weight into your left hand on the dumbbell.
- Exhale and lift the dumbbell in your right hand straight up off the ground, hold it close to your body and leading with the elbow leading with the elbow. Your elbow will point straight up to the ceiling, not out the sides.
- Hold for a count of 1 at the top of the motion, then inhale and slowly return to the starting position.
- Repeat on the other side, alternating arms until you’ve completed your reps.
Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions each side. You can alternate arms until you’ve done 15, or if you wanted to you could do 15 on one side and then the other. If you can easily do 20 reps per side, move up to a higher weight.
I recommend incorporating renegade rows into your workout after you’ve developed good form when doing bent over rows and planks.
Combine the renegade row with a squat exercise and a pushing exercise for your chest, and you have an A-grade workout quickie for when you’re crunched for time.
Try incorporating this into your cross-training.