If you think the Good-morning sounds like a gentle entry into your day, you’ve clearly never tried one.

A challenging strength training exercise, Good-mornings are popular with serious fitness buffs, especially those in the powerlifting community. However, they can be learned by anyone and they provide a great lower-back workout when done with proper form.

Just What Is The Good-Morning?

In this challenging strength training exercise, you hold a weighted barbell on your shoulders, then bend at the waist until your torso is nearly parallel with the floor. Like any lift, increased weight makes for a more challenging maneuver. The Good-morning gets its name from mimicking the movement of rising out of bed in the morning.

Historical Derivation

Good-mornings were a common exercise in the 1920s and 1930s, and they are generally attributed to strongman Hermann Goerner. Though they lost some popularity through the middle of the twentieth century, Bruce Lee brought them back into the mainstream – though he once seriously injured himself by performing them with too much weight. Today, Good-mornings are typically relegated to gyms where powerlifters and best athletes train.  

Understanding More About The Good-Morning

The Good-morning is a hinge-pattern lift, meaning it involves hamstring movement coupled with hip extension, all while supporting a barbell at the shoulders. Similar in some ways to kettlebell swings and barbell hip thrusts, the one significant difference is the location of the body’s lever action for this lift.

Preparing Your Body For This Lift

Stretch your entire body before attempting this lift.

Load the barbell with your desired weight, and lift it onto your shoulders. Keep your feet shoulder width apart for traditional Good-mornings.

Four Steps To A Proper Good-Morning

Although this exercise is completed in just four steps, close attention to proper body form is integral throughout in order to prevent serious injury and to achieve the desired workout. Here are the four steps:

  1. Extend your hips backward, pushing your backside outward and leaning your torso forward.
  2. Keep your core locked tight, but arch your back slightly.
  3. Expand your chest and belly-breathe, feeling your lungs fill with air and distending your belly.
  4. When you reach your maximum hip extension, contract your glutes and bring your hips forward again, slowly returning your upper body to a standing position.

The Benefits Of This Challenging Exercise

More than anything else, Good-mornings work the lower back muscles. However, they can also work the:

  • Core muscles along your erector spinae
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings

One Notable Variation of the Traditional Good-Morning

When you are first learning the Good-morning, it may help to stand with your feel greater than shoulder width apart, as is done with a traditional Good-morning. This is known as a Good-morning in Sumo Stance, and it offers extra lower body support as you learn this challenging lift.

The Good-morning is not an intuitive lifting movement, and it requires coaching and proper form to reap the benefits. However, when performed consistently over time, it benefits multiple large muscle groups across the body. This makes it ideal for professional weight lifters and best athletes – but it’s also an attractive exercise for anyone looking to challenge their typical lifting routine.

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