Stop Butchering the Renegade Row

Stop Butchering the Renegade Row

Happy Fourth of July!

Without going into a long lesson on America, I’ll say this: if I could live through one decade in our country’s history, I would choose the 1980s.

With guys like ACDC, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, and Billy Idol running the show, life would be full of glitter, rock n’ roll, no bullshit, parties, and head banging.

And I’d argue all of these guys could beat Trump in a fist fight. And debate on international policy.

Alas, I can’t help but wonder “what if” this were our scenario today. Sigh.

Anyway, I hope you’re enjoying the holiday and our freedom. It sure is easy to get caught up in the bs going on in the news, but life could be far worse. We could have no access to clean water. We could be banned from protests and have no freedom of speech. We could be abducted by aliens or orcs.

Okay, I’m sensationalizing. But it’s all true. Always, always remember to look on the bright side.

Now I digress. Today’s post is all about the renegade row, one of the most butchered exercises in strength and conditioning.

Some common mistakes I notice:

– Too much shifting of the hips
– Feet not maintaining contact with ground
– Too much rotation in the torso
– Performing too fast
– Hands not in alignment with shoulders

Here is a video I took with correct form:

The first thing that pops out may be my wider stance. Normally, I make my stance wider when I’m using heavier loads. This way, I’m able to maintain core and hip stability, while also being a hero. ;-O

But sometimes, this isn’t an exercise when you need to be a hero and lift as much as possible.

Lighter to moderate loads are a great way to own each rep. If you’re not feeling this movement in your core (resisting rotation), then you’re not performing it correctly.

Another thing: this movement is not meant to be rushed. It is a core stability exercise that focuses on anti-rotation and anti-extension of the lumbar spine. Take your time, don’t pull out your back, and listen to Mozart.

Some coaching cues for clients/athletes:

“Glue your feet into the ground.”
“Keep your hips locked or frozen.”
“Point your belly button to the floor.”

If you need to go beyond verbal cues, I’d be remiss not to mention there is power through touch.

If any athlete is having a hard time with keeping their hips still, I’ll either hold their hips, or have a them find a partner to do it. This is great for ensuring they truly feel the correct position.

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