One of the best exercises to train the posterior chain is the good morning. Made up of all the muscles on the back of the body, especially the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles, the posterior chain is important for strength and performance.
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 works the entire posterior chain and is 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.
Learn Proper Technique For 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.
Protect Your Back During The Good Morning
One concern about using the good morning for strength is that it could injure the lower back. The key is to have a well rounded training program that progressively strengthens the lower back. This will allow you to safely perform the good morning, focusing on these technique cues:
Keep your knees slightly bent and pivot from the hips.
When training the good morning, avoid rounding your lower back because this puts unnecessary stress on your lumbar vertebrea.
How To Load The Good Morning
Should the good morning be performed for high reps or low reps? The answer is "Both!”
The posterior chain muscles contain both slow and fast-twitch muscles, making loading with both heavy and light weights essential when programming the good morning. For example, the erector spinae muscles of the lower back contain both powerful type II and endurance-suited type I muscle fibers. For complete development, perform workouts that emphasize both high reps with relatively light weights and low reps with relatively heavy weights.
The good morning exercise optimally trains the posterior chain and is a valuable addition to any physical fitness or athletic fitness training program. It’s a big bang for your buck exercise that can help you achieve your goals.