If you’re looking for an effective weightlifting exercise to strengthen your back, legs, or the entire back of your body (aka your back chain), look no further than Good Mornings (also known as “hip hinges”). Good mornings in training are completely underrated. The Move is ideal as a bodyweight exercise to warm up before compound lifts such as squats, deadlifts and bendover rounds. Alternatively, load a barbell with a few plates and give your back or leg day good morning.
Whenever you decide to include good mornings in your workout routine, it is important to first understand what they are, what benefits they have and how you can perform them in the right form to avoid injuries. Thankfully, we’ve covered you below. We also offer a few variations of Good Morning to keep the workout fresh and exciting until they become an integral part of your workout.
What are good mornings
Good morning is a strength exercise that is similar to something between a deadlift and a squat. They activate multiple muscle groups, including the hamstrings, glutes, calves, upper back, lower back, and trunk. While you can use good mornings to build strength and muscle, they’re not necessarily a strength exercise like traditional muscle-building exercises because they improve hip mobility and flexibility. In addition, too much weight on a good morning can put a strain on your lower back. So don’t expect to put a lot of weight on the bar while doing so.
How to train good morning
First, place a barbell with the appropriate weight over your upper back/shoulders, as you would with a back squat. Consider using an empty barbell until you’ve perfected the movement with the right shape, then add weight as needed. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Breathe in as you tense your trunk and then move your hips by moving your butt back and leaning your upper body forward until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Then exhale and reverse the movement to return to the standing position. It’s a repeat. Remember to keep your back straight throughout the movement and keep your trunk tight.
Do 3 x 10—12 repetitions with a 1-minute break between sets. Be sure to use a weight that allows you to maintain good technique with each repetition.
Vorteile von Good Mornings
Once you’ve heard about the many benefits of a good morning, it’s a no-brainer to incorporate them into your weight training regimen. Since different muscle groups are used on a good morning, they are a great way to improve leg, hip and back strength as well as hip mobility. Good mornings, for example, primarily target your hamstrings, but they also train your glutes and the Magnus adductor (inner side of the thigh) by involving them as synergists (meaning they provide movement). Other muscles that are activated on a good morning include your back muscle (which runs the entire length of your spine), lower back muscles, and abs. As a result, a good morning can increase your overall back and leg strength if you finish with the right technique.
Good mornings can also improve your hip shape by improving hip stretch and mobility, so you can improve performance with other hip joint lifts, such as deadlifts, squats, barbell snaps, and kettlebell swings. Additionally, a good morning can improve your posture by strengthening the muscles along your spine. Good posture minimizes stress on your body, improves balance, helps you breathe better, and improves your ability to perform everyday activities.
Variations on Good Morning
Unlike other traditional weightlifting exercises, there are different variants of Good Morning, so people of all abilities and fitness levels can do them. Once you’ve mastered the basics of a good morning with a barbell, consider changing things up and trying out the following variants. Aim for 8 to 12 reps.
1. Dumbbell Good morning: This is a nice option for beginners or people with back or shoulder problems, as there is less stress on the lower back and there is no barbell over your shoulders. Instead of a barbell, use lightweight dumbbells and do the exercise as described above while holding them in front of you so your arms can sag.
2. Good morning resistance band: Another excellent option for beginners, as no weights are required. Stand with both feet on one end of a resistance band and then wrap the other end around the base of the neck. Go through the entire range of motion to counteract the resistance of the band to strengthen your back and legs. Use a lower-resistance band to prevent excessive stress and injuries and maintain good technique.
3. Good morning with a one-legged barbell: This variant is aimed at advanced athletes who want to make the traditional good morning more demanding. Perform the movement as described above, except with one leg. This requires more strength, balance, stability, and focus. If you try, be sure to lower the weight so you can maintain proper shape and reduce the risk of injury.
4. Good morning, chest-loaded kettlebell (see image above): This tells the body to use the core muscles and maintain a neutral spine while being hinged to the hips. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a kettlebell against your sternum. Maintain a high, neutral spine, shoulders back and soft knees, hinge on hips, shoulders above hips. Reverse the movement by activating your hamstrings and pushing your hips forward, fully extending your hips and squeezing your glutes together to complete the repetition.
5. Change your posture: It may sound minor, but small improvements such as changing your posture can provide a good variety of exercises. If you add a good morning to your workout, put your feet in a tight position to work your hamstrings on some days, or take a wider stance to work your glutes more.
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