Fit and Fun
Good Morning Workout: How To, Alternatives, and Progressions
You want to strengthen your lower back muscles, glutes and hamstrings, as well as prevent lower back pain. You may have heard that a good morning can be a good exercise for this, but you’re not sure how to do it.
In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know about how to do a proper good morning workout, including:
- What is a good morning?
- Benefits of the good morning exercise
- How to do a good morning: proper technique/good form tips
- Avoiding injury
- How to incorporate good mornings into your workouts
- How many sets and reps?
- How much weight should you use?
- Alternatives to good mornings
- What if you don’t have enough mobility to perform good mornings?
Before we jump in, you’re probably wondering what qualifies me to talk about good mornings and exercise tips, so I’d like to introduce myself. Hi.
I am a 7-time author on fitness and nutrition, including the book Run Faster, Jump Higher, Go Farther. I am also a personal trainer and have been selected as one of the top 5 personal trainers in Toronto, Ontario.
Now that you know a bit more about me, let’s jump in.
WHAT IS A GOOD MORNING?
A good morning is an exercise for your lower back, hamstrings and glutes. In a good morning, a bar is placed on your upper back. With it on your back, you push your hips back to bend forward (as close to 90 degrees as you can), and then return to your starting position. Simple.
BENEFITS OF THE GOOD MORNING EXERCISE
Good mornings are a great exercise because they work a lot of important muscles all over your body. Basically, the more muscles they work, the more benefits it has such as:
- Strengthening your lower back muscles, as well as your glutes and hamstrings. In other words, it will help you develop a strong posterior chain.
- It’s a compound movement/exercise (compound movements/exercises are exercises that work
multiple muscle groups at once). This means it is a great use of time (since you are working several muscles at once) and is also very effective, as it works muscle groups throughout your whole body.
- Preventing lower back pain by learning the difference between spinal motion and hip motion
- Act as a good carryover to deadlifts(great if you like to deadlift)
- Improves your hip mobility as well as your hamstring flexibility. Great for overall hamstring development.
HOW TO DO A GOOD MORNING: PROPER TECHNIQUE/GOOD FORM TIPS
There are a few ways that you can approach the good morning exercise, but here are the steps for how to do the most common and proper form (and avoid poor positioning):
- Set up the bar to be about mid-upper chest height
- Set up the pins in the squat rack to be about waist height
- Before getting under the bar, squeeze the shoulder blades together, to create a “shelf” of muscle.
- While maintaining this upper back “shelf”, get under the bar, and place it on the upper back (make sure you don’t place it on your neck).
- With the feet shoulder-width apart, bend forward by moving your hips backward until the bar touches the pins (make sure to maintain a straight/neutral spine, not to put all your weight on one leg, and keep your core engaged).
- Return to starting position
Many people often ask themselves: “are good mornings bad for me?” or “are good mornings dangerous?” The answer is no, if you do them right. Thus, when it comes to a strength training exercise like a good morning, it’s really important for you to know how to avoid getting injured, since the risk can be relatively high if you do it wrong (and low if you do it right). Here are a few easy tips you should use to prevent/avoid injury:
If you want to read the rest of this article, visit: GOOD MORNING WORKOUT: HOW-TO, ALTERNATIVES, AND PROGRESSIONS
About the Author
Igor Klibanov is the author of 7 books on exercise and nutrition, and the CEO and founder of Fitness Solutions Plus. He is a sought-after wellness speaker, having delivered over 400 presentations to some of Canada's largest corporations. Get a free PDF version of his book, STOP EXERCISING! The Way You Are Doing it Now - http://www.fitnesssolutionsplus.ca/stopexercising