Good morning exercise is a special workout posture that aims to improve the hamstrings, glutes and lower back. It can be performed with or without extra weight.

The compound nature of this exercise helps to stimulate multiple muscle groups simultaneously which makes them an efficient choice for a full-body workout. Here we will delve into the different variations and benefits of adding this to your workout routine.

What Is Good Morning Exercise?

This exercise is a dynamic strength-training action that focuses on the lower back, hamstrings and glutes. Incorporating this exercise into your workout program will assist in increasing your hip flexibility, posterior chain strength and general functional fitness. 

To do this, you need to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands behind your head or crossing over your chest. It requires to maintain a modest bend in your knees while keeping your back straight and core engaged, hingeing at your hips and lowering your upper body forward.

How To Do A Good Morning Exercise

Sometimes the most beneficial work you can do for your health is the simplest and what is more ideal than the Good Morning exercise? The hip-hinge motion involved in this wakes up every muscle along your posterior chain including the hamstrings, glutes, and even your transverse abdominals.

As the name suggests, this exercise wakes up your body and prepares you for the day's job. However, you have to make sure that you get the steps right so, here they are:

Step 1: Starting Position

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Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and rack a pair of dumbbells at the base of your neck, resting it comfortably across your traps. Keep your back straight and your core engaged throughout the movement.

Step 2: Body Alignment

If you are using a barbell, make sure to grip it with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Put your feet pointing forward or slightly turned outward.

Step 3: The Movement

Begin by hinging at your hips and pushing them backward as you lower your upper body toward the ground. Keep a slight bend in your knees but keep in mind that most of the movement should come from your hips.

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Step 4: Lower Until Parallel

Maintain a straight back throughout the movement and continue to lower your upper body until it is parallel to the ground. Engage the hamstrings and you should feel the stretch as you go low.

Step 5: Repeat

Slowly return to the upright position by driving through your hips. Perform the desired number of repetitions by keeping control of the movement.

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Variations of Good Morning Exercise

The goal of this exercise is to train the lower back but you have to make sure that you start with lighter weights. First, focus on proper form before progressing to more challenging variations.

You can bring flair to your workout routine by adjusting the stance from wide to narrow or by incorporating different equipment such as barbells and dumbbells. Here is a comprehensive list of the variations of the exercise good morning.

1. Traditional Good Morning

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This is a basic version of the strength-training technique which you begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hands are kept behind your head or crossed over your chest for this good mornings workout.

Maintain a tiny bend in your knees as you hinge at your hips and lower your upper body forward while keeping your back straight. To avoid unneeded effort, engage your core and maintain your back straight return to the upright posture by squeezing your glutes.

2. Barbell Good Morning

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This is a dynamic variation that requires you to place a barbell across your upper back, just below the shoulders. Unlike other workouts, this good morning barbell exercise involves a hinging motion at the hips with a slight bend in the knees.

This exercise is performed by a barbell across your upper back similar to a back squat position. With a straight back and engaged core, hinge at the hips by lowering your torso toward the ground while keeping your legs relatively straight.

  • The use of a barbell distributes the load across your shoulders.
  • The heavier resistance makes it suitable for strength training.
  • It allows variations like wide stance or sumo stance.

3. Dumbbell Good Morning

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This variation adds an extra dimension to your regular exercise routine. Instead of placing the barbell across the shoulder, good morning exercise dumbbell requires you to hold the weights in each hand.

Holding the additional weights in your hands while lowering your upper body forward provides you with an increased range of motion and also engages stabilizing muscles. You will experience a greater freedom of movement compared to a barbell, making it a versatile option.

  • Dumbbells allow for independent loading of each side.
  • It requires greater stability and balance.
  • This offers options such as a neutral grip or a pronated grip.

4. Seated Good Morning

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This is a unique variation of the original workout routine that adds an element of stability and places less strain on the lower back. Good Morning exercise Seated requires you to sit on a bench or chair with your feet firmly planted on the ground.

The seated position reduces the load on the spine compared to the standing version and allows for a more controlled and focused movement. This emphasizes proper form and alignment and offers you a less intense workout routine.

  • It tends to isolate and target the lower back muscles more directly.
  • This exercise is generally considered more joint-friendly.
  • The comfortable posture makes it accessible to beginners.

5. Banded Good Morning

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This variation of the popular good mornings exercise is performed by adding an extra layer of resistance to the traditional routine. A resistance band is looped around the shoulders and anchored to a stable point such as a squat rack or a sturdy structure.

The use of a band creates increased tension throughout the entire range of motion that challenges your muscles in both the concentric and eccentric phases. It helps improve hip hinge mechanics and enhances overall posterior chain strength.

  • This practice adds variable resistance throughout the movement.
  • It requires additional stabilization from your core and lower back muscles.
  • The varying resistance levels allow for progressive overload and adaptation.

6. Romanian Deadlift (RDL)

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This is a dynamic and compound exercise that combines the elements of deadlift and good morning exercise. This results in a unique and effective good morning lifting variation.

The practice is similar to a Romanian deadlift but as you ascend you need to incorporate the hip hinge into an upright position, mimicking the good morning. This practice places emphasis on the spinal muscles and acts as a valuable addition to a comprehensive strength training routine.

7. Single-Leg Good Morning

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This is a challenging variation of the traditional exercise that adds an element of instability and requires greater balance and coordination. Here, you are required to lift one leg instead of performing the regular movement with both feet planted firmly on the ground.

This process forces the supporting leg and core muscles to work harder to maintain stability as you hinge at the hips and lower your torso forward. It is a fantastic exercise for individuals looking to enhance strength, stability and muscular development.

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The Benefits Of The Good Morning Exercise

The Good Morning exercises are a wonderful addition to any workout routine that offers a myriad of benefits for almost everyone. This helps to tone and strengthen the key muscle groups and contributes to improving posture and stability.

Engaging core muscles promotes a strong and well-supported spine and enhances overall balance and reduces the risk of injuries. A brief list of the benefits are listed below:

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  • It strengthens the lower back and improves stability.
  • This improves your posture by engaging the muscles in your back and core.
  • The exercise stretches and strengthens the hamstrings.
  • It contributes to enhanced hip mobility via hinging movements.
  • The activation of core muscles leads to a more resilient midsection.
  • It helps to tone and strengthen the glutes.

What Muscles Are Worked Out?

  • Back Spine that runs along your spine.
  • Hamstrings located at the back of your thighs.
  • Gluteus Maximus, the powerhouse of the glutes.
  • Adductors that are inside of your tighs.
  • Quadriceps located at the front of your thighs.