Leg Training – Good Mornings

Good mornings are a handy back exercise for your workout routine. Because of the load this exercise places on your lower back muscles, performing it with proper technique is crucial.

Muscles Exercised

Good mornings are primarily used to strengthen your lower back, glutes and hamstrings.

Exercise Technique

You can use good mornings to increase your lower back strength. You should be aware, however, that while performing the good morning exercise your lower back will be in a vulnerable position. For this reason, it is very important that you use a light to moderate weight, perform the exercise with strict form, and maintain complete control of the weight throughout the exercise.
  • Good mornings should be performed in a squat rack to allow you to easily set up with the weight.
  • Step under the bar, letting it rest across the back of your delts. Make sure the barbell is centered. If it is resting on your neck and traps, it is too high.
  • Step back with the bar resting on your delts. Position your feet at about shoulder width or slightly wider.
  • Take a deep breath into your chest and hold it. Contract your abs to tighten your core.
  • Force your hips back and bend your knees slightly as if starting to sit into a chair.
  • Lower your torso forward rotating at your hips until your upper body is parallel or nearly parallel with the floor.
  • Raise your torso back up until fully erect, bringing your hips forward and straightening your legs as you do, to finish the repetition.
  • Exhale your breath as you lock your upper body out.
  • Keep your back straight, not rounded, and your head up throughout the exercise.
  • Select a weight that you can perform all of your repetitions using strict technique.

Common Mistakes

  • Allowing your back to round: keep your back straight throughout the exercise. This can be done by keeping your chest filled with air, your abs contracted, and your head up throughout the lift.
  • Not using the full range of motion: to be effective, you should lower your torso until it is at, or near parallel.

Exercise Safety

  • Keep your back flat. Don’t let your lower back round
  • Do not use a weight that you cannot control with strict form
  • Perform each repetition relatively slowly, keeping both the eccentric and concentric movements smooth and controlled


  • Straight leg: keeping your legs straight throughout the exercise will increase the emphasis on your hamstrings
  • Seated: performing good mornings while seated on a bench will increase the emphasis on your lower back
  • Pin Good Mornings: set the safety pins in the power cage; lower the bar until it rests on the pins; start the concentric portion of the lift from a dead stop

Additional Back and Leg Exercises

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