Kettlebells lined up on deck from smallest to biggest

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The Renegade Row

The Kettlebell Renegade Row goes by several different names Commando Row, Alternating Renegade Rows, Row from Plank, Push-Up Position Plank Alternating Row.

The Kettlebell Renegade Row is an intermediate to advanced exercise. It has been developed and named by its creator coach John Davies. It is a quite hard and very effective abdominal exercise.

We will cover how you are to perform this lift with the correct form including image and video demonstrations. Alternate variations to make the exercise easier or harder depending on your needs. The basics on how you can include it into your CrossFit training routine and the muscles of your body worked by the Renegade Row.

Only people who are at the intermediate level or higher should attempt performing this movement.

Reaching an intermediary level usually takes anywhere from 6 months to 2 years of proper training.

This exercise is perfect for helping you to develop your back, arms and core strength. Your core will be under isometric tension for the duration of the training.

You need to have a solid understanding of the plank exercise before you attempt this movement.

So if you have not been performing planks for a while or ever start practicing and ensure you have the correct form down before moving to this exercise.

If you find that you do not have enough core strength yet, use our isometric exercise to help develop your core strength for a few weeks and then come back and attempt the Renegade Row.

The lift is a combination of two different activities, the plank and row exercise. You can use either kettlebells or dumbells to do Renegade Rows.

When you perform this exercise make sure to keep your core tight, and glutes flexed since you are in a plank position for this exercise.

It is best to have your feet in line with your shoulders but if you find it too difficult to balance yourself slightly widen your legs to make balancing your body easier.


  • 1. Do not allow your back to arch. An arching back is usually caused by your pelvis tilting down in the front and up in the back. Ensuring to engage your core and glutes will help to limit this from happening.
  • 2. Do not allow your hips to twist. Rotating at the hips makes the movement less efficient. Keep your body parallel to the ground the entire time to create the greatest isometric contraction you can.

Image Kettlebell Renegade Row How To

Step 1

Kettlebell Renegade Row step one man getting into starting position

Step 2

Kettlebell Renegade Row step two man rowing with his right arm

Step 3

Kettlebell Renegade Row step three right arm lowerd and back in the starting position

Step 4

Kettlebell Renegade Row step two man rowing with his left arm

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Image Dumbell Renegade Row How To

Dumbell Renegade Row demenstration being performed by a woman

Renegade Row How To Description

  • Start with two kettlebells (or dumbells) on the floor shoulder width apart.
  • Move into a plank/push-up position (your body should be straight and extended).
  • Grab the kettlebell handles to help support yourself use a wider stance if you are finding it difficult to balance.
  • Push into the floor with one of the kettlebells while pulling the other towards the side of your body in a rowing motion in a slow controlled manner. Your weight gets supported by the arm and leg that are still on the ground.
  • To perform the rowing motion retract your shoulder of the arm you are pulling towards your body as you flex the elbow.
  • Make sure that you are using your back muscles to row the weight towards you and not the biceps.

  • Use a slow and controlled motion to Lower the kettlebell back to the floor.
  • Repeat the movement with the opposite arm.
  • You have now completed one repetition.
  • Repeat for the number of repetitions you aim to achieve.

Video Renegade Row How To

The Renegade Row is a compound exercise requiring great strength and balance. You should begin using this exercise without weights at first and slowly use progressive overload.

Renegade Rows Muscles Worked

  • Primary Muscle Worked

  • Middle Back
  • Abdominals
  • Secondary Muscle Worked

  • Biceps
  • Chest
  • Lats
  • Rear Deltoids
  • Triceps

Renegade Rows CrossFit

The Renegade Row is a great exercise to add into your CrossFit routine.

As you may know, CrossFit exercises get separated into three different categories. The categories are gymnastics, metabolic conditioning, and Weightlifting.

If you are designing your routine and want to include the Renegade Row exercise, the Renegade Row will go under the Weightlifting category.

The exercise works very well with either a set number of repetitions or for a specific duration of time. With either method, make sure your form does not deteriorate.

Once your form begins breaking down you should stop performing this exercise.

Performing the exercise with proper form will help to reduce your chances of receiving an injury.

When using a set number of repetitions use a challenging weight. You should be aiming to increase your strength.

When using the Renegade Row for a time duration, you should select a lighter weight or no weight at all. Doing this will help you to increase your metabolic conditioning.

Easier Variation

1. Instead of holding a kettlebell/dumbells for balance you can place your stabilizing hand directly onto the floor. You then complete the desired number of repetitions for the one arm.

Then switch arms and repeat for the same number of repetitions with the other arm.

2. Instead of using the Plank/Push-Up position stabilize your lower body by resting on your knees instead of your feet. Resting on your knees will make supporting yourself easier and require less work to be done by your core.

Harder Variation

1. Other than increasing the weight you can use a step for your feet. Putting your feet on a step will place your body a more inclined position.

Being in a more inclined position will make stabilizing yourself much harder and will recruit more of your core muscles to ensure your body stays secured. It will also increase the stretch at the bottom of this movement.

2. Renegade Row Pushup Combo. The move is just what it sounds like and will require greater strength from your chest and triceps. You will complete one rep of the Renegade Row with each arm and then will perform a Push-Up. Completing these three movements will count as one repetition for the Renegade Row Pushup Combo.


Remember to keep your core and glutes engaged throughout the entire movement. If you do not keep these muscles contracted while performing the action, you are at a higher risk of causing a muscular injury to your body.

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