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


Glutes Muscle Anatomy Diagram

Single Leg Good Morning Overview

The single leg good morning is a good morning variation and an exercise used to target the muscles of the entire posterior chain.

The main difference between single leg good mornings and other good morning variations is it’s a unilateral exercise. This allows you to target each side of the body at a time to build a more aesthetic physique as well as balanced strength.

Single Leg Good Morning 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. Stand up tall and take two steps back from the rack.
  4. Begin the movement by unlocking your knees, lifting one foot, and hinging back into the hips while keeping your spine neutral.
  5. Drive through the whole foot as you extend the hip back to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions on both sides.

Single Leg Good Morning 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.
  5. If you find one glute has less contractility than another, perform the movement unilaterally and then incorporate the bilateral version after you have accumulated sufficient volume on the side with poor contractility.