What are good mornings?
Good mornings are one of the most popular weight training exercises that activate and strengthen several muscle groups in your body, especially those in your posterior chain. Also known as the hip-hinges, the good morning exercise gets its name from the bending movement that is used to begin school day in some Asian countries.
The good-morning exercise works on these muscles:
- Gluteus maximus
- Erector spinae
- Lower back muscles
- Hip flexors
How to do good mornings?
Now that you know what are good mornings, it is time to perfect the form of this exercise.
Here is how to do good mornings in the correct way avoiding common mistakes and injuries. This is the classic standing good mornings. Follow these tips on good mornings exercise form:
- Set up the barbell to an appropriate height in the rack. It should be at a slightly lower height than your shoulders.
- Step underneath the barbell and place hold it with both hands.
- Your posture must be tall and feet hip-width apart. Your knees must be bent slightly and your shoulders should be over your hips. Keep your chin tucked in throughout the movement.
- Unrack the bar and position it on your upper back muscles.
- Rotate your shoulders outwards as you engage your upper back and lats.
- Now that you have pre-tensioned your shoulders and engaged your core, keep your ribs down and tuck in the pelvis slightly.
- Maintain a neutral spine and begin the hinging movement by pushing your hips backwards.
- Keep pushing your hips backwards till your upper body is at an angle of 45-degrees from the floor.
- Keep your knees bent and pause in this position for a couple of seconds.
- Keeping your spine neutral, start moving upwards by pushing your feet on the floor.
- Squeeze your glutes and travel your hips forward.
- Get to the starting position by engaging your core.
Sets and reps: Start by doing 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps of the good morning workout.
What are some of the best variations of good mornings?
- Good mornings with resistance band: One of the most common and effective variations of this exercise is good mornings with band. It targets the muscles in your back, abs, and glutes. As compared to the standard exercise, good mornings with resistance bands are low-intensity exercises. To do this exercise, place one side of the band beneath your feet and the other side over the back of your neck and along your shoulders. Grip your hands against your shoulders, straighten your shoulders and begin the hinging movement.
- Good mornings with dumbbells: As the name suggests, in this good mornings workout dumbbells are used. This is a great workout to challenge and strengthen your hamstrings. To do this, good mornings workout dumbbells are held at shoulder level with your palms facing towards you. The hinging movement remains the same as the traditional form of good mornings.
- Single leg good mornings: This is one of the best forms of standing good mornings that strengthen your stabiliser muscles and improve hip stability. To do the single leg good mornings, place the bar on your upper back and stand on one leg with your knee bent slightly. Push out your chest, hips back, lower your torso towards the ground. Go as low as you can without rounding your back. Pause for a second and return to the starting position.
- Seated good mornings: To do the seated good mornings, sit on a bench and with your feet flat on the floor. Place a barbell behind your neck and hinge from the hip. Bend forward as much as you can and hold the pose for a second before reversing the motion. Seated good mornings benefits the isometric position of the back arch stronger along with the glutes and hamstrings.
Why should you care about good mornings?
Here is a roundup of some of the most important good morning exercise benefits:
- The good morning workout is an excellent full-body exercise that activates and strengthens the muscles in your arms, shoulders, chest, back, calves, and posterior chain. When practised regularly, it improves your overall body strength.
- People who need to sit for long hours tend to have weak posterior chain muscles. This may lead to injuries such as plantar fasciitis, pulled hamstrings, knee injuries, etc. One of the most important benefits of good mornings is that it works on these very muscles, which are the largest and most powerful muscles in your body. This not just prevents injuries but also corrects your posture.
- An important benefit of good mornings is that it can be done by a variety of people. The good mornings alternatives and variations can be modified depending on your conditioning, age, and general health.
- One of the best good morning exercise benefits is since it requires a minimal set-up, it can be included in your home workouts. The best example of this is good mornings with band or its bodyweight variation.
- An important good morning exercise benefit is that it improves your functional strength and makes doing daily chores easier.
- One of the most important standing and seated good mornings benefit is that it burns serious calories and helps you get to your optimum weight.
How to do good mornings safely?
Though it’s a great exercise adding heavier weights than you can handle or not maintaining the right posture, may cause disc herniation or other injuries. Here is a list of how to do the good mornings workout safely:
- Never start doing good mornings workout on your own. Learn it from an experienced trainer to correct the good morning exercise form and to avoid injuries.
- Always do a warm-up and cool-down session before your good morning session.
- If you feel pain or dizziness while doing good mornings, stop immediately.
To gain the benefits of good mornings, it is important to keep your muscles challenged and avoid plateaus. The best way to do this is to cycle between good mornings alternatives and variations. And, be consistent with your workouts.
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