Renegade Rows

I took a couple of months off from running in order to give my knees a rest. This has worked out well from a knee-related point of view, and I look forward to resuming my running now that the weather is nicer.

Nice-er. Nice-ish. It’s 33 F right now, but that’s warm enough for snow to melt.

During my running break, my time at the Y was spent doing more swimming. On days I swam, I did not also lift weights. So my weight-lifting took a bit of a break this year as well. But I’m getting back to it, and am pleased with the results.

(For those recently joining the party:

I lift weights. I love lifting weights. It makes me feel like a total badass. I used to focus on the Big Three barbell lifts, but they totally bork up my wrists and elbows. These days I lift with dumbbells, kettlebells, and body weight.)

Because I am fat, there are weird irregularities in my lifting. I can bench press a pair of 35 lb dumbbells, but cannot do a single pushup, not even on my knees. I can do lat pulldowns at 110 lbs, for reps, but cannot do even one pull-up, not even a negative, not even assisted. I cannot do split squats, not even at body weight, without leaning on a bench or wall. But I can do renegade rows, and I am REALLY DAMN PLEASED about this.

A renegade row begins with you holding a plank — toes on the floor, arms extended like you are about to do a push-up, body perfectly straight — with your hands not on the floor, but each holding a dumbbell. So you are doing the plank on the dumbbells. Then, one at a time, you pick the dumbbells up off the floor and pull them up to your shoulder. While holding a plank on one arm. Doing each arm once is considered one renegade row.

I can now do three of these with the 10 lb dumbbells.

I expect I rather look like a beached walrus doing pushups in the sand. I am absolutely okay with this. I love being strong enough to hold a one-arm plank, to lift weights while doing so. Regardless of how I look, I feel like an utter badass.

Renegade rows. I do love them.

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