How to do the Barbell Good Morning Exercise: Form, Benefits, and Alternatives


The good morning is a barbell exercise that primarily trains your hamstrings and lower back.

It’s so effective because it allows you to lift heavy weights safely and trains your hamstrings in a stretched position, which is uniquely beneficial for muscle growth.

In this article you will learn what the barbell good morning is, its benefits, the muscles it works, how to perform it with proper form, the best good morning exercise alternativesand more.

What Is the Good Morning Exercise?

The good morning exercise—or “barbell good morning“—is a compound exercise that trains your entire body posterior chain (the muscles on the back of your body), primarily the hamstrings, glutesand lower back.

It’s similar to the Romanian deadlift as far as it involves “hinging” at the hips, then standing back upright. The difference is that you perform the barbell good morning with a barbell across your traps and rear deltswhereas in the Romanian deadlift, you hold the barbell in your hands.

Find the Perfect Supplements for You in Just 60 Seconds

You don’t need supplements to build muscle, lose fat, and get healthy. But the right ones can help. Take this quiz to learn which ones are best for you.

Take the Quiz

Good Morning Exercise: Benefits

1. It trains your posterior chain (but is easier on your body than conventional deadlifting).

The main reason people do the barbell good morning is to train their hamstrings, glutes, and back without beating themselves up too much with the conventional deadlift.

Research shows the conventional deadlift is still an outstanding exercise for developing and strengthening your posterior chain, although it’s taxing on the body and you can only do so much per week (once a week is generally plenty).

The barbell good morning is a good compromise that allows you to train many of the same muscles without risking injury or overreaching.

2. It trains your hamstrings eccentrically and in a stretched position.

There are two types of muscle action during most resistance exercises: concentric and eccentric.

Concentric action involves shortening a muscle, like during the lifting portion of a bicep curland eccentric action involves lengthening a muscle, like in the lowering portion of a biceps curl.

Research shows that exercises that train your muscles in a stretched position and emphasize eccentric action, like the barbell good morning, are highly effective for building muscle.

While scientists aren’t exactly sure why this is, their current best guess is that emphasizing eccentric action and placing your muscles under load when stretched directly stimulates muscle protein synthesis and greatly increases anabolic (muscle-building) hormones.

3. It allows you to train your hamstring with heavy weights.

As a rule of thumb, the more weight you lift, the more strength and muscle you gain.

Aside from the conventional deadlift, most hamstring exercises don’t allow you to handle heavy weights.

For example, exercises such as the hamstring curlhyperextension, and kettlebell swing are great exercises for training your hamstrings but become awkward when you use heavy weights.

The barbell good morning, on the other hand, allows you to handle heavy weights safely and progress regularly, which is ideal for gaining muscle and strength.

Find the Best Diet for You in Just 60 Seconds

How many calories should you eat? What about “macros?” What foods should you eat? Take our 60-second quiz to get science-based answers to these questions and more.

Take the Quiz

Good Morning Exercise: Muscles Worked

The main muscles worked by the barbell good morning are the . . .

  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Erector spinae

Here’s how they look on your body:

good morning exercise form

Good Morning Exercise: Form

The best way to learn how to do the barbell good morning is to split it into three parts: set up, hinge, and ascend.

1. Set up

Adjust the hooks in a power rack or squat rack so the bar is at the height of your midchest.

If your squat rack has safety arms or bars, set them to about the height of your midthigh. Load the bar with your desired amount of weight (or not, if the bar alone is enough).

Face the bar so you can walk it out backwards. Don’t ever walk the bar out forward, as trying to rerack it by walking backwards is dangerous. Get under the bar and position the bar across your mid-traps and rear delts, so it rests right above the little ridges on the back of your shoulder blades.

Grip the bar with either a thumbless (your thumbs resting on top of the bar next to your fingers) or a full grip (your thumbs wrapped around the bar), depending on which is most secure and comfortable for you.

Keeping your upper back tight, unrack the bar, step back from the squat rack, and position your feet about shoulder-width apart.

2. Hinge

Take a deep breath into your stomach, brace your absand with slightly bent knees, move yours butt backward so your torso can “hinge” forward and lower the bar towards the ground in a straight line.

A helpful cue is to imagine pulling the bar into the top of your feet as your hinge.

3. Ascend

Once you can’t lower the bar any further without bending your back (usually when your back is at about a 20-degree angle to the floor), push your butt forward and lift the bar with your back simultaneously. This is a mirror image of what you did during the hinge.

A good cue for getting this right is to imagine throwing the bar off your back during the ascent.

The Best Good Morning Exercise Alternatives

1. Dumbbell Good Morning Exercise

You can perform the good morning with dumbbells by placing a dumbbell at the top of your back, across the base of your neck, and holding it in position with both hands. This is an excellent good morning variation when you don’t have access to a barbell or when you’re new to weightliftingand a barbell is still too heavy.

2. Band Good Morning Exercise

In the banded good morning, you use a resistance band instead of a barbell. This makes it a good variation if you train at home or while traveling and have limited space and equipment.

However, because a resistance band offers almost no resistance when it’s slack, there’s little tension on your hamstrings and glutes when stretched. This makes the banded good morning less effective for building muscle than the barbell or dumbbell version, so you should only use it when you don’t have access to gym equipment.

3. Seated Good Morning Exercise

As the name implies, you perform the seated good morning while sitting on a bench. Performing the exercise while seated emphasizes your lower back more than your hamstrings, which is why many weightlifters use the seated good morning to strengthen their lower back so that it isn’t the “weak link” during exercises such as the deadlift and squat.

Some Nutritionists Charge Hundreds of Dollars for This Diet “Hack”. . .

. . . and it’s yours for free. Take our 60-second quiz and learn exactly how many calories you should eat, what your “macros” should be, what foods are best for you, and more.

Take the Quiz

FAQ #1: Is the good morning a leg exercise or a back exercise?


The barbell good morning trains all of the muscles in your posterior chain. That said, it emphasizes the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back, and is less effective at training the other back muscles.

Thus, if developing your latrhomboids, and traps is a priority, you’ll also want to include exercises like the pull-up, chin-up, lat pulldownand barbell, dumbbelland cable row in your program.

FAQ #2: Can you do the good morning exercise at home?


If you prefer to train at home, the best good morning variations are the dumbbell good morning and the band good morning because they require the least equipment and space.

FAQ #3: Are good mornings effective?


In fact, research shows that the good morning is about as effective at training the hamstring as the deadlift and as good at training the lower back as exercises like the clean, snatch, Romanian deadlift, and row.

+ Scientific References


Source link

Leave a Reply