Renegade row is a full body exercise that smokes the core, biceps AND shoulders too

Do renegade rows for a strong upper back, big shoulders and monster biceps

how to do renegade rows
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The renegade row exercise effectively works the upper back, the core, the shoulders and the arms too and you should definitely include it in the best home workout routine. It’s also a quiet exercise that’s ideal for shared living spaces and, of course, gyms. You can perform renegade rows as a bodyweight only exercise but for added resistance, feel free to use the best dumbbells or the best kettlebells too.

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Many of the best back exercises require the use of the best barbells (deadlifts), the best multi-gym/cable machine (lat pulldowns), great strength and the best pull up bar (pull ups) or the best weight bench (dumbbell rows). If you haven't got the best home gym setups including all the above equipment, you might want to get comfortable learning how to do renegade rows.

How to do renegade rows

To perform a renegade row, drop to the ground and take up a high plank position: it's the same as the starting position for push ups. Hands under the shoulders, arms extended, body straight with the core engaged. Legs are slightly apart, this will help keep the body stabilised when you lift your hands up.

Keep the core engaged all the way through the movement and don't let the hips sag. If you find it too difficult to keep your body straight, drop your knees down on the floor.

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From the starting position, lift one hand up towards your shoulder and squeeze the shoulder blades together. Keep the movement slow and controlled and focus on the upper back muscles contracting. The more squeezed/engaged they are, the better. This is especially true for doing bodyweight only renegade rows.

Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

If you are following a push-pull workout routine, you should include renegade rows on pull days.

Renegade row alternatives

Bent over dumbbell row

Bent over row is an amazing exercise to strengthen the back and the biceps but it also works your grip too.

Rear delt fly/Reverse fly

This renegade row variety works the back of the shoulders, hence the 'delt' bit in the name and you can perform it bent over like in the video above or on an incline weight bench.

YTW raises

This bodyweight variation improves the shoulder mobility and strengthens the back of the shoulders too.

Superman waves

This move strengthens your lower as well as the upper back.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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  • How to do barbell rows the right way: why bent over rows are great to build big back and strong arms
  • How to do thrusters: this squat variant is a leg day staple AND a one-move full body exercise
  • How to do push ups plus all the best variations on this classic exercise for bigger arms
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  • Chin up vs pull up: what's the difference, muscles worked and WHAT IS THE BEST ONE?
  • How to do ab crunches for beginners: the best stomach exercises to tone up
  • How to bench press effectively and safely: this classic exercise will build a massive chest and big arms and shoulders too
Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.