What’s up True Northers? We’re back (pun intended) with the latest entry in our What the Fundamentals (aka WTF) series and this time we’re breaking down a bang-for-your-buck exercise, the Dumbbell Renegade Row.

What makes this exercise so great? You get all the benefits of a Long Plank (core strength) combined with the Dumbbell Row (stronger back) along with core stability because as you row, your core must help your body resist rotation. This is extra awesome when you consider how many everyday and athletic activities require this, we see you golfing, running, and trying to hold all your groceries in one hand while unlocking the door to name a few. And if all that isn’t enough, mastering the Dumbbell Renegade Row opens a whole new world of exercises for you to try like the Dumbbell Renegade Row with Push-Up, Dumbbell Rotational Renegade Row with Push Up, Devil Press, and Widowmakers (more fun than the name implies) to name a few.

So, how does one get ready to row? We thought you’d never ask. Here’s a progression we like to use:

Front Plank – Lie prone on an exercise mat, or with a towel under the forearms. Elbows should be under the shoulders. Place your legs together with your forefeet on the floor. Raise your body upward pulling it into a straight line, engaging your core muscles, glutes and quadriceps – keep the hips neutral (not pushed towards the ceiling or sagging to the floor), and be sure that you’re breathing. Hold the position as long as possible, up to a maximum of 60 seconds for 2 to 3 sets.

Front Plank

Long Front Plank – Go into the top of a push-up, staying engaged through the shoulders, trunk, glutes, and quadriceps. Hold the position as long as possible, up to a maximum of 60 seconds for 2 to 3 sets.

Long Front Plank

Alternating Three-Point Long Front Plank – Get into a push-up position. Keeping the hips stable, perform an alternating three-point plank by bringing one hand up and tapping the opposite shoulder – try to keep the hips still – moving only the arms. The head should stay neutral. Aim for 5-10 repetitions on each side for 2 to 3 sets.

Alternating Three-Point Long Plank

Dumbbell Renegade Row – Set up in a push-up position with each hand on a dumbbell. Maintaining a “quiet” trunk (little movement), perform a row in alternating hands – concentrate on rowing up with control and lowering with control. Repeat as directed, or until the form is lost. Aim for 5-10 repetitions on each side for 2 to 3 sets.

Dumbbell Renegade Row

Coaching Cues: Start with a lighter weight than you would normally use for a Dumbbell Row. Maintain neutral wrists on the dumbbells, and position feet slightly wider than hip-width.

If you’d like to see us break down this bang-for-your-buck exercise further, you can check out our mini tutorial on the Dumbbell Renegade Row here. Happy rowing!