How to Do a Good Morning

A Good Morning is an intermediate compound exercise that requires some previous knowledge of the fundamentals of weight training before attempting. This exercise works multiples muscle groups including the hamstrings of the upper legs, erector spinae of the lower back, the glutes and the abdominals. It shares some features of the deadlift.

The muscles targeted by this exercise are known as the posterior chain, and strengthening them will help to combat the long hours most people spend sitting at work and at home.

How To

  • To begin, stand in front of the bar on the racking system and take hold of it with a grip that’s just wider than your shoulders. Slip under the bar and pull the bar into your back at about the shoulders. Think about pulling the bar into your back the entire time instead of just letting it sit there.
  • Engage your core and back, and stand with your feet planted firmly on the floor at about shoulder width apart.
  • Now exhale as you slowly hinge forward at the hips, and think about driving the hips back as if you are shutting a door with your backside. Allow your knees to bend slightly as you hinge forward. Your torso should be just above parallel at the bottom of the movement.
  • At this point, take a breath and check in with your form. Your back should be straight with your core engaged, and your head and chest should be up and forward so that you can see the wall or equipment ahead of you.
  • To complete the motion, inhale as you slowly and smoothly lift back up to standing upright.


A good goal for a beginner would be three sets of 3–5 repetitions. This is not an exercise where you want to overdo it. Light weights and low reps will be more beneficial than you may think.


Seated good mornings: If you’re unable to stand or simply need to rest your lower body, this exercise can be performed from a seated position. Your hamstrings won’t receive the same benefit, but it is a great way to isolate and work the core. As with standing, make sure to maintain a straight back throughout the movement.

No added weight: If you are just starting out with this maneuver, working with the bar only is a good way to get comfortable with the movement and still provides a good amount of weight to work with. As you gain strength and confidence you can slowly add weight to the bar.

One leg: This should only be attempted if you are an advanced lifter. Performing a good morning on one leg requires a great level of focus. Always use a spotter and make sure you are wearing adequate footwear. A lower amount of weight is recommended until you get used to the extra balance required.

Cautionary Notes

Make sure you have warmed up properly before working on good mornings. This is an exercise that not only uses weight but also includes a good stretch, so being warm is very important to avoiding injury.

Be very careful not to round your back, especially at the bottom of the movement. Having weight loaded on your back and being nearly parallel to the ground requires proper form to be safe.

Do not allow your torso to sink down to parallel or lower, as this adds unnecessary strain onto the back.

More Good Morning Related Resources

How To Do The Good Morning Exercise | Coach
Good Morning | Exercise Videos & Guides |
How To Do The Good Morning Exercise – Good Morning Workout, Form, Tips
Why You Should Do Good Mornings to Strengthen Your Glutes, Hamstrings and Lower Back | STACK
How to Do the Good Morning Exercise With a Barbell
Good Morning Exercise: How to Do It Properly | Openfit
How to Do a Good Morning Exercise | POPSUGAR Fitness Australia
Good Morning Exercise Guide – BarBend

Related Videos