The good morning is an underrated and underutilized movement. Used correctly, they provide a strong, healthy posterior chain (PC), more importantly targeting the lower back. Many people have a stigma using the good mornings because they say it hurts their back, but that is probably from 1) lack of mobility or 2) too much weight – which is causing bad form. The good morning is a great variation of lower body exercises to utilize in strengthening one of the weakest and underdeveloped areas in most people – the posterior chain.
Here is how to effectively use the good morning is creating a stronger PC.
- Dealing with lack of mobility – if you suffer from a lack of mobility where you cannot keep the spine neutral and back flat during the movement, try by first pushing the hips back and lower yourself to a position where your back is not rounding. The back, core, and glutes should all be firing and engaged during the movement staying as tight as you can to maintain a good position. Imagine your entire body as a lever during the movement. Depth will come from mobilizing, but what is most important here, is staying in a position that will not compromise the movement itself.
- Too much weight – Dropping the ego at the door is one of the hardest things for us to do. We want to smash big weights, out lift the person next to us, or not lift what we think we should be doing. Good mornings need to be used to help develop the squat and deadlift; hence, using a weight that is heavy but good form can still be used. General rule of thumb is 50% of bodyweight for the load and 6-10 repetitions for 2-4 sets.
- Change up the stance – different stances can be used to target different muscles within the posterior chain. Try one week of close stance then another of wide or even sitting on a box. This can be done on a week by week basis or change it up for each set.
- How often should they be done – this will vary on how strong your PC is and how much benefit you get from the good morning. Generally, these should be done once every 2-3 weeks to help keep strength in this position. If you notice your PC is weak and are getting great benefits from the movement, this could be done once a week. The good morning should be used as an accessory movement and should be used after your main lift because of the stress it puts on the back and hips.