Dumbbell Exercises: Renegade Rows

Dumbbell renegade rows can help you sculpt toned abs and build core body strength, in addition to providing a number of other strength benefits. The exercise requires balance and strength in your arms and you must be able to hold yourself in the upper push-up position. In order to ensure that you’re safely getting the most benefit from the exercise, familiarize yourself with the basics of the procedure.

The Targeted Muscles

Dumbbell renegade rows target all of your core muscles. Your abdomen and back muscles form the majority of support during the exercise and your upper arm, chest and grip strength are given a workout, too. If you perform this exercise on a consistent basis, the strength of your core, grip and arm muscles will improve and you will get harder, more toned abdomen muscles.

The Basics of the Exercise

You will need two dumbbells for this exercise. You can perform the exercise with virtually any weight dumbbell under 100 pounds, but you must make sure that it’s appropriate to your current strength. If you’re just starting out, you should use 5- to 10-pound weights.

  1. Get into position as if you were on the “push up” movement of a push up, only gripping a dumbbell in each hand with the dumbbells resting on the floor. The dumbbells should be about the width of your shoulders apart.
  2. In order to better hold this position and maximize the benefits of the renegade rows exercise, squeeze your buttock muscles together with maximum force.
  3. Begin by lifting one of the dumbbells up to chest height. You should shift support of your body to the leg opposite of the arm that you’re currently lifting. Do not shift the core of your body (a common mistake). Keep your abdomen and chest facing the ground. You should feel the burn in your back more than in your abdomen. Lower the hand and dumbbell back down to the ground.
  4. Repeat the lift with the opposite hand, making sure to shift your weight to the opposite leg as well.
  5. Lift your dumbbells off the ground for a total of five to ten reps in three to five sets.

Safety Tips

You want to make sure that you don’t twist or strain your muscles during this exercise. Do not move too quickly, because this increases the likelihood of you straining a muscle. Make sure to start with a low weight and a small amount of reps and sets, until you build endurance for the process. Remembering not to twist your core during the exercise can also help you avoid straining your muscles.

Adding More Challenge

The easiest way to increase the challenge with renegade rows is to gradually add more sets to your workout and more weight to your dumbbells. However, you should only do this when you’ve performed the exercise on a consistent basis and have allowed yourself to get used to an increase in sets and/or weight over a period of weeks. You can also add an additional challenge by holding each weight up to your chest for a few beats before lowering it to the ground.


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