Exercise Profile
  • Target Muscle Group
  • Exercise TypeStrength
  • Equipment RequiredBarbell
  • MechanicsCompound
  • Force TypeHinge (Bilateral)
  • Experience LevelIntermediate
  • Secondary Muscles
    Abs, Hamstrings, Lower Back, Upper Back
Target Muscle Group

Glutes

Glutes Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Good Mornings Overview

The good morning is a variation of the hip hinge and an exercise used to target the glutes.

Some may choose to utilize this exercise to target their lower back. However, for optimal health and maximum benefits, it is best to think of this exercise as a glute exercise.

Good mornings can be included in your leg workouts and full body workouts.

Good Mornings Instructions

  1. Set a bar just below shoulder height in a rack and adjust the safeties to just above hip height.
  2. Set your hands equidistant apart, step underneath, and position the bar on your traps (or slightly below if you prefer a low bar version).
  3. Begin the movement by unlocking your knees and hinging back into the hips while keeping your spine neutral.
  4. Drive through the whole foot as you extend the hip back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Good Mornings Tips

  1. Range of motion in the lift will largely be determined by an individual’s mobility as well as their ability to maintain a neutral spine.
  2. Experiment with a “false” (i.e. thumbless) grip as this helps to eliminate elbow and wrist issues in some folks.
  3. Neck position is highly individual - Some prefer a neutral neck position (i.e. keeping the chin tucked throughout the lift) while others do well with looking slightly up. Here’s some factors to consider:
    • If you’re someone who is more globally extended (i.e. athletic background), then you will likely be able to keep a neutral position more effectively by packing the chin.
    • On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you tend to be more flexion dominant (especially in your thoracic spine - upper back) then it would behoove you to look up slightly as this will drive more extension.
    • Experiment with each and see which one works best for your individual anatomy and biomechanics.
  4. Your weight will naturally shift to your heels as you hinge; however, it’s important that you keep the weight distributed over your whole foot and don’t allow the toes to rise. To combat this, you should focus on maintaining 3 points of contact: big toe, little toe, and heel.
12 Comments
Tyler
Posted on: Fri, 07/18/2014 - 12:07

You can also do them one legged where you raise one leg
As parallel as you can get it with your back with a lot lighter weight and it's very beneficial and
With not only hamstrings and backs but with core and balance .

Doug
Posted on: Sat, 04/26/2014 - 20:53

wouldn't it be better to do hyper extensions? Just wondering.

Andy
Posted on: Wed, 02/05/2014 - 14:54

Just trying out exercise. Is it normal for the legs to be so incredibly static? This guy is bending purely at the waist, where other videos show the form more like a squat, where your butt juts out. Tried both forms (just the bar) and having a hard time getting comfortable. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks

Ty
Posted on: Wed, 02/17/2016 - 15:24

I bend my knees a little bit, but not far enough for it to become a squad. Just enough to have my back parallel with the ground. Hope this helps

Rob
Posted on: Thu, 02/21/2013 - 14:22

I can't stress enough how dangerous and unneeded this exercise is. Ergonomically, it puts an excessive amount of strain on the cervical, thoracic, AND lumbar disks because of the weight being localized directly on the upper spine. I strongly recommend other lower back/hamstring exercises as there are plenty out there that are much more beneficial than this one.

james
Posted on: Sat, 03/30/2013 - 20:37

This exercise is not very dangerous if you know what you are doing. If you just throw some heavy weight on the bar and start repping out with bad form you will get injured. This is an exercise designed for people looking for serious strength gains not for beginners without any experience in lifting heavy weights. This exercise is very beneficial if done right but is not for want to be power lifters.

eddie
Posted on: Fri, 01/03/2014 - 12:23

dude, you're not putting 100 pounds on the bar you only need a barbell with 5 pounds on it for this exercise to be effective try it and you will have a different outlook stop trying to read into something that is not needed

Dee
Posted on: Mon, 12/03/2012 - 14:13

Is there a slight bend in the knee? Also is it possible to do this with dumbbells?

M&S Team Badge
Joey
Posted on: Tue, 12/04/2012 - 12:33

Yes - a slight bend is recommended. You could use a dumbbell by holding it close to your chest. 

corey
Posted on: Mon, 07/30/2012 - 19:28

is it possible to do this with a smith machine?

IV
Posted on: Fri, 08/24/2012 - 23:59

Its most likely possibly but i wouldnt recommend it. Smith machine limits your movement. Its an easy workout. Start off with lighter weight to get the form down.

Javi
Posted on: Tue, 02/26/2013 - 05:08

Hell... NO! take a look at video and ask yourself why not.

Free Workouts & Expert Advice

Get a weekly email with the latest workouts, tools, expert guides and deals from M&S.