The DB Renegade Row is a back exercise that will also light your core and your shoulders on fire.
In this guide I’m going to teach you how to do a DB Renegade Row, explain what muscles it works and give you a few alternatives in case you need them.
Table of Contents
DB Renegade Row Technique
- Grab one dumbbell in each hand and assume a pushup position with feet about shoulder width apart.
- Make sure core is braced and row one dumbbell up.
- Lower the dumbbell under control and return to the starting pushup position.
- Alternate rowing each arm until all reps are completed.
Try to limit rotating the torso as much as possible. It’s natural to want to open the torso toward the side of the arm your rowing with – try to fight against this and stay as square as possible.
The wider your feet, the easier it is to stay balanced while you perform the movement. Try to keep feet about shoulder width apart.
The DB Renegade Row works almost every muscle of the upper body (especially when paired with a pushup). The muscles of the back are the primary movers, but the core and shoulders are also taxed by maintaining body position during the movement.
DB Renegade Row Variations
Renegade Row + Pushup
The most popular (and most hated by many athletes) variation is to pair the Renegade Row with a Pushup.
To perform this variation, do one row with each arm followed by one pushup. Continue this pattern until all reps are completed. A set of 8 to 10 reps is absolutely brutal on the chest and shoulders. Highly recommended.
DB Renegade Row Alternatives
If you can’t (or don’t want to) do DB Renegade Rows for whatever reason – equipment, injury – here are a few alternatives you might be able to try.
Prone DB Row
Prone DB Rows are very similar to Renegade Rows, but instead of holding a pushup position while you row use a bench set at a 30 degree angle.
Grab dumbbells, lay on the bench with head just above the top edge of the bench. Alternate rows just like with Renegade Rows.
Bent Over Row
Don’t have dumbbells? Substitute Barbell Bent Over Rows instead.
Stand tall with a barbell, brace the core, slight bend in the knee and then hinge at the hip until bar lowers down to mid-shin.
Make sure to maintain a flat back and row the barbell to the top of the stomach.