What Is Good Morning Exercise: The “good morning exercise” is a fundamental strength-training movement that has been a staple in fitness routines for many years. Its unique name might evoke images of a polite greeting, but this exercise has nothing to do with saying hello. Instead, it is a powerful compound movement that targets several key muscle groups, primarily the lower back, hamstrings, and glutes. Its effectiveness lies in its ability to develop strength, stability, and flexibility in these areas, making it a valuable addition to a well-rounded workout regimen.

The good morning exercise involves a controlled forward bend at the hips while keeping the back straight, mimicking the movement of bending forward to pick something up off the ground. Whether performed with body weight, dumbbells, a barbell, or resistance bands, it challenges the muscles responsible for hip extension and spinal stabilization. This exercise can be customized to suit various fitness levels and goals, making it accessible to both beginners and advanced fitness enthusiasts.

In this exploration, we will delve deeper into the good morning exercise, uncovering its benefits, proper form, variations, and safety considerations. Whether you’re looking to strengthen your lower back, increase hamstring flexibility, or enhance overall fitness, the good morning exercise has much to offer.

What Is Good Morning Exercise

What does the good morning exercise work?

The good morning exercise works muscle groups along the backside of your body, including your hamstrings, gluteus maximus, erector spinae, and lower back muscles. With proper form, good morning exercises can increase your leg and back strength. 2.

The good morning exercise is a versatile strength-training movement primarily targeting the muscles in your lower back, hamstrings, glutes, and core. It’s an effective exercise for developing posterior chain strength and stability. Here’s a breakdown of which muscle groups it works:

  • Erector Spinae: This group of muscles runs along your spine and plays a crucial role in maintaining an upright posture. Good mornings engage these muscles, promoting lower back strength and stability.
  • Hamstrings: As you hinge at the hips and lower your upper body forward, your hamstrings are stretched and then contract to bring you back up to a standing position. This exercise helps improve hamstring flexibility and strength.
  • Gluteus Maximus: The glutes are heavily involved in the hip extension phase of the good morning exercise. Strengthening the glutes can enhance your overall lower body power.
  • Core Muscles: Your core is engaged to stabilize your spine and protect your lower back during the exercise. This helps develop core strength and endurance.
  • Hip Muscles: The movement also recruits the hip muscles, contributing to hip mobility and strength.

It’s important to perform the good morning exercise with proper form and a suitable weight to avoid injury. Including it in your workout routine can lead to improved posture, reduced lower back pain, and enhanced athletic performance, making it a valuable addition to leg and lower back workouts.

Why is it called a good morning exercise?

Its name is believed to have arisen for two reasons: for one, the way you bend your waist in a bowing motion is similar to how a person might bow to someone to say, “Good morning.” Another reason for the name is because the move resembles the stretch that occurs when you rise out of bed in the morning.

The exercise known as the “good morning” derives its name from the common greeting “Good morning.” The name is believed to have originated due to the posture and movement associated with the exercise, which somewhat resembles the action of bowing or nodding one’s head in a polite manner, as if saying “good morning” to someone. When performing a good morning exercise, you bend at the hips, hinge forward, and then return to an upright position, creating a motion that resembles the act of politely acknowledging someone.

The name is also fitting because it’s a stretch and strength exercise typically performed in the morning as part of a warm-up routine to wake up the muscles and increase flexibility. Additionally, starting your day with a good morning exercise can help improve posture and reduce stiffness after a night’s rest.

It’s worth noting that while the name might be light-hearted, the exercise itself is a serious and effective strength-training movement used by athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts to target various muscle groups, particularly the lower back, hamstrings, and glutes. So, despite its friendly name, it’s a valuable addition to a workout routine for improving strength and flexibility.

Why morning exercise is better than evening?

May improve your sleep cycle: Waking up early might be difficult at first, but research suggests that a morning exercise habit can shift your circadian rhythm so that your body is naturally more alert in the morning and more tired in the evening, so you fall asleep earlier and can exercise in the morning again.

Morning exercise and evening exercise each have their unique advantages, and the choice between the two largely depends on individual preferences and schedules. Morning workouts offer the benefit of consistency, as they can become part of a daily routine with fewer distractions. They can also give your metabolism a boost, potentially aiding in weight management and providing sustained energy throughout the day. Aligning with our natural circadian rhythms, morning exercise may promote better sleep patterns and enhance mood through the release of endorphins, setting a positive tone for the day. Additionally, the increased alertness and productivity that often follow morning workouts can lead to greater efficiency in work or personal tasks. Some individuals also prefer morning exercise on an empty stomach, which can enhance fat burning.

On the other hand, evening workouts come with their own merits, such as increased body temperature and muscle flexibility, which can reduce the risk of injury. Furthermore, many people find it easier to fit evening workouts into their schedules due to work or family commitments. The key to choosing between morning and evening exercise lies in finding a time that suits your lifestyle and allows for consistency, as regularity in your exercise routine is often the most critical factor in achieving long-term fitness goals. Ultimately, the best time to exercise is the one that you can stick with consistently.

How much weight should you use for good morning exercise?

Good mornings aren’t the exercise to attempt lifting as much as you can. The optimal level is about half of your one-rep max squat weight. Some lifters use even less, often around 40% of their one-rep max. Beginners can start with bodyweight good mornings or by using just the bar until they master the proper form.

Choosing the right weight for good morning exercises is crucial for a safe and effective workout. If you’re new to this exercise or strength training in general, it’s advisable to start with a light weight or even just your body weight. This approach allows you to focus on mastering the correct form and technique before adding more resistance. Prioritizing proper form is essential to prevent strain or injury, so maintain a flat back, hinge at the hips, and keep your knees slightly bent while engaging your core for stability.

As you become more experienced and confident in your form, you can gradually increase the weight. A good rule of thumb is to select a weight that enables you to complete 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions with proper form. If you find the exercise too easy, it may be time to challenge yourself by increasing the weight. However, always listen to your body, and if you experience any pain or discomfort, reduce the weight or seek guidance from a fitness professional.

It’s important to understand that everyone’s strength levels and goals are different, so there’s no universal weight recommendation. Your weight selection should provide a challenge without compromising your form or risking injury. Remember to warm up before your workout and consider consulting a qualified fitness trainer for personalized guidance to ensure a safe and effective good morning exercise routine.

Is a good morning a push or pull exercise?

If you want to do good mornings as a proper lift, and you do push/pull days, do good mornings as part of your pull routine. Otherwise, if you split your days by muscle groups, you can add them to back days or leg days, or simply as an all-round exercise to lump on to and kind of routine.

The good morning exercise is primarily considered a “pull” exercise. It falls under the category of hip hinge movements, which involve bending at the hips to work the muscles responsible for extending the hip joint. While it does engage some push-related muscles for stability and control, the primary action involves the “pulling” or “lifting” of the upper body from a bent-over position.

In a good morning exercise, you typically begin in an upright position with a barbell or other weight across your shoulders, holding it behind your neck. From there, you bend at the hips, lowering your upper body forward while keeping your back straight, creating a hinge-like motion. This action activates the muscles in your lower back, hamstrings, and glutes, which are responsible for pulling your upper body back up to an upright position.

It’s important to note that while good mornings emphasize “pull” movements, they also require a degree of “push” engagement, particularly from the core muscles to stabilize the spine and maintain proper form. However, the primary force generation in the exercise comes from the muscles responsible for hip extension, making it predominantly a “pull” exercise within the realm of strength training.

Can you recommend some variations of good morning exercises to target different muscle groups?

  • Barbell Good Morning: The traditional barbell good morning is a staple in strength training. It primarily targets the lower back, hamstrings, and glutes. You perform it by placing a barbell across your shoulders, then bending at the hips while keeping your back straight, and returning to an upright position. Adjusting the weight on the barbell allows for progression in strength training.
  • Dumbbell Good Morning: The dumbbell good morning offers a versatile alternative. Holding dumbbells at your sides or across your shoulders shifts the weight distribution and challenges your muscles differently. This variation can help address muscle imbalances and provide a new training stimulus.
  • Sumo Stance Good Morning: By adopting a wide sumo stance with toes pointed outward, you place greater emphasis on the inner thighs and adductors. Alongside the lower back and hamstrings, this variation strengthens the muscles involved in hip abduction and adduction, offering a comprehensive lower body workout.
  • Single-Leg Good Morning: The single-leg good morning introduces a balance component to the exercise. Balancing on one leg while hinging forward engages the glutes and hamstrings of the standing leg, enhancing stability and unilateral strength.
  • Romanian Deadlift: While not a true good morning exercise, the Romanian deadlift shares similarities. It involves holding a barbell in front of your thighs and hinging at the hips to work the hamstrings and lower back. This variation provides a greater range of motion compared to traditional good mornings.
  • Kettlebell Swing: The kettlebell swing is a dynamic movement that targets the hips, glutes, and lower back. It’s characterized by a swinging motion with a kettlebell and is excellent for developing explosive power, improving posture, and enhancing cardiovascular conditioning.
  • Resistance Band Good Morning: Using resistance bands adds variable resistance to the good morning exercise. By attaching a band to a stable anchor point and pulling it across your back or shoulders, you can adjust the resistance level and target specific muscle groups effectively, making it a versatile option for home workouts or when limited by equipment access.

How does a good morning exercise contribute to overall fitness and flexibility?

The good morning exercise not only strengthens the muscles in the posterior chain but also promotes improved muscle balance throughout the body. By targeting the lower back, hamstrings, and glutes, it helps address potential muscle imbalances, reducing the risk of injury and enhancing overall physical harmony.

Furthermore, as the good morning involves a deep hip hinge and stretching of the hamstrings and lower back, it gradually increases flexibility in these areas. This improved flexibility can translate into better range of motion in daily activities and sports, reducing the likelihood of strains and muscle tightness.

Incorporating good mornings into your fitness routine can lead to a heightened awareness of your body’s posture and alignment. This awareness can extend to your daily life, encouraging you to maintain better posture in various settings, ultimately promoting spinal health and decreasing the discomfort associated with poor posture.

Good morning exercise is a versatile and effective addition to your fitness regimen that strengthens key muscle groups, enhances core stability, improves flexibility, and fosters better posture and overall functional fitness. These combined benefits can contribute significantly to your physical well-being and quality of life.

What’s the ideal time or frequency to include good morning exercises in a workout routine for maximum effectiveness?

The ideal timing and frequency for incorporating good morning exercises into your workout routine depend on your specific fitness goals, schedule, and overall training program. Typically, aiming to include good morning exercises 2-3 times a week can be effective for most individuals. This frequency allows for proper muscle recovery between sessions and minimizes the risk of overtraining. However, the exact frequency may vary based on factors such as your fitness level and recovery capacity. 

Regarding timing, it largely depends on personal preference and schedule convenience. Some individuals prefer morning workouts to kickstart their day, while others find evening sessions more suitable. The key is to choose a time that aligns with your daily routine and allows you to perform the exercise with proper form and focus. 

In terms of placement within your workout, good mornings can be included in either lower body or full-body workout routines. You can position them based on your training priorities and goals, ensuring that they complement other exercises in your program and contribute to your overall fitness objectives.

What Is Good Morning Exercise


The “good morning exercise” is a versatile and effective strength-training movement that targets multiple muscle groups, primarily the lower back, hamstrings, and glutes. Despite its name, which may evoke a friendly greeting, this exercise is a powerful tool for improving fitness and flexibility.

Throughout our exploration, we have uncovered the various benefits of the good morning exercise. It strengthens the posterior chain, enhancing overall strength and power, while also contributing to core stability, which is vital for maintaining proper posture and balance. Furthermore, this exercise fosters flexibility by stretching and lengthening the hamstrings and lower back, reducing the risk of injury and improving the range of motion.

The good morning exercise can be adapted to suit different fitness levels and goals, making it accessible to individuals of all backgrounds. Whether you’re a beginner looking to build foundational strength or an experienced athlete aiming to fine-tune your training regimen, Good Morning has something to offer.

As with any exercise, safety is paramount. It’s essential to prioritize proper form and technique, start with an appropriate weight or resistance level, and listen to your body. By incorporating good morning exercise into your fitness routine while following these guidelines, you can unlock its full potential and reap the numerous benefits it has to offer for your overall health and well-being.

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