One of the best exercises to strengthen your back is the good morning. A fantastic lift that trains the posterior chain muscles, the good morning is a hip hinge that translates to everyday movements and sports. If you're in the market to run faster or jump higher, good mornings should be part of your routine. Likewise, the good morning will help strengthen your core and lower back for a pain-free existence.
The Most Important Exercise You're Not Doing
In recent years many strength coaches are rediscovering relatively old exercises such as kettlebell swings, muscle ups, and squat thrusters. One exercise that hasn’t been rediscovered, but should be, is the good morning.
Muscles Worked By The Good Morning
The good morning is a fantastic total body exercise that strengthens the back, hamstrings, and glutes as prime movers. It's also a great core exercise that requires stabilization throughout the muscles of your abs and lower back.
Getting technical, the good morning is considered a class 3 lever: The barbell is the load, the spine is the lever arm and the hips are the fulcrum. A fishing rod and a broom are examples of class 3 levers.
In contrast to the deadlift, which begins from a position of disadvantageous leverage, the good morning begins from a position of advantageous leverage. Whereas the deadlift begins with a concentric contraction, the good morning begins with an eccentric contraction. This means that the good morning is great for overcoming weak links and helping you increase PRs in other exercises like the squat and deadlift.
How To Train The Good Morning
The good morning can be done standing or sitting, but the standing version is more common and will be covered here.
Start by bracing your core and making your torso rock solid. Maintain a slight bend in the knees and the natural curve in the lower back. Perform the exercise by hinging at the hip so your torso moves forward toward the floor. Go until your chest is nearly parallel with the floor and your hamstrings feel fully engaged. Keep your shin angle vertical and do not allow your knees to bend too much.
Return to standing by maintaining a rigid back and slowly thrusting your hips forward. Flex the glutes when you are upright but don't hyperextend your back.
Focus On Good Morning Technique To Protect The Lower Back
One concern about using the good morning for strength is that it could injure the lower back. The key to safely performing this exercise is to keep your knees slightly bent and to pivot from the hips. In fact, the lift is best be described as a “hip hinge” exercise. When training the good morning, avoid rounding your lower back because this puts unnecessary stress on your lumbar vertebrea.
The good morning exercise is a valuable addition to strengthen the back and posterior chain. It's a must-do exercise if you are serious about getting stronger, more powerful, and staying injury-free. Rediscover this great exercise and find a place for it in your workouts.