“Good mornings.” The name of these workouts conjures up images of an exercise done to get the juices flowing as we wipe the sleep from our eyes immediately after stepping out of bed. Though it is true they may be done during this inaugural portion of the day, their name is derived from the distinct motion required to properly complete them.
Good morning exercises are done while a barbell rests on your shoulders. You will bend at the hips during this exercise, and you need to keep the back a slight arch in the back, being careful to keep your head facing forward and looking straight ahead during this exercise’s entirety. Bring the upper body back to the beginning position once your torso is parallel to the floor. If unable to bend this far, just lean forward as far as you can go; don’t worry, some additional hamstring work will help your flexibility. The lower back is worked as you lean forward, and your technique should consist of controlled movements without excessive bending at the knees.
The posture of your body during the initial phase of this workout will resemble the beginning of a squat workout: barbell resting on your upper back next to the shoulders, head up and facing forward, feet spaced shoulder width apart. If lifting it from the floor proves a hassle or strain on the back, you may even use a squat rack to assist in mounting the barbell onto the back. As with squats, start out with a lower weight until you have mastered the correct form for good mornings.
This exercise is designed to strengthen several muscles, with much of the work falling on the hamstrings; an increase in the strength and flexibility of hamstrings is a hallmark of good morning exercises. Good mornings recruit the Erector Spinae as a stabilizer, making this unconventional exercise a great option for those looking to strengthen the back. It is noted for providing a solid workout of the body’s posterior chain. Glutes and abs will also receive added toned courtesy of Good Morning workouts.
Interestingly, the name of this exercise actually stems from the resemblance it bears to acknowledging someone’s presence, essentially bowing to them as a way of wishing them “good morning.” If you would like to vary them up, seated good mornings may be done while sitting on a weight bench. It may also be performed using a Smith machine by leaning forward at the hips instead of squatting down; this could be beneficial while you work on perfecting form and learning this valuable exercise.