Good Morning Exercise 101
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Ever heard of the good morning exercise? Learn more about its benefits, techniques, variations, and how you can do it at home.
Keywords: good morning exercise, good morning workout
Sounds more like a greeting on an email or a sweet text from a loved one.
But it is also an exercise that works on some of the major muscle groups in your body including your hamstring, abs, and lower back. And there are some good reasons why you should be doing the good morning exercise as part of your fitness routine.
If you are unaware of what good morning exercise is, this post is for you. Find out the benefits of this exercise, along with knowing more about the techniques, and some of the common mistakes. Moreover, since most people today practice social distancing and prefer to workout at home, learn how you can do this exercise while staying at home. Let’s get started.
The good morning exercise is a visual representation of the movement as you get out of the bed in the morning. You place your feet on the ground, then support your spine before you pull your hips to stand. And this is exactly the movement that the good morning exercise replicates. The hip hinge movement is one of the best ways to maintain a neutral spine as you bend your hips. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of this exercise before we get into the details of the technique.
Benefits of the Good Morning Exercise
The good-morning exercise can be a great addition to your workout routine. Below are some of the benefits that you can get as you incorporate good morning exercise is your fitness regime.
Strengthens Your Muscles
The good-morning exercise strengthens your glutes and hamstrings. At the same time, it helps in strengthening all the muscle groups along the spine including the calves, upper back muscles and the lats. Moreover, your glutes and adductors also work towards maintaining an erect spine. As a result, with good morning exercise, you get stronger legs, hips and back.
Simply put, the good morning exercise is the ultimate workout that significantly reduces the risk of injury. Since it strengthens your posterior muscles (that are most affected by prolonged sitting and inadequate posture) this exercise reduces the risk of workout-related muscle and bone injury.
Replication of Functional Movement Pattern
A functional movement pattern is just a way to describe the daily movements you perform to carry out some of the most basic everyday tasks. Technically these movements can be classified as squats, push-ups, deadlifts or lunges. But if you do not incorporate good morning exercises in your daily fitness routine, there is a good chance that you might end up injuring your spine as you perform these everyday tasks.
What Muscles Does the Good Morning Exercise Work?
As mentioned earlier, the good morning exercises target a variety of muscles including
- Rectus and
- All the other muscle groups along the spine.
With regular good morning exercise, you get a stronger back, hips, and legs.
How To Do The Good Morning Exercise
Now that you are already aware of the benefits of the good morning exercise and the muscle group it targets, it is the time to learn the technique. Here is a step-by-step guide that you can follow and get the desired results.
- Start by standing on your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Now place a barbell (with your desired weight) on your shoulders. If you are a beginner, go for light weights and gradually add on as your body gets used to this exercise. Make sure the bar of the barbell is resting on your trapezius muscles and not on your shoulders.
- Next, take a good breath in and engage your core muscles.
- Exhale as you bend at the hips and continue until your hamstring muscleslimit your movement. As soon as you feel a stretch in your hamstring, you may stretch further but do not overdo it as it may lead to pain and discomfort.
- Again inhale and focus on keeping your back straight.
- Exhale and ensure that your head and chest are pulled up and facing forward and are not curling towards your back.
- Now gradually return to the original position.
How many reps you can perform depends upon a number of factors including your general fitness, your stamina and your fitness goals.
Form is Key!
With a basic step-by-step guide on how to go about the good morning exercise, you will need a few form tips to ace it.
- Make sure your spine is straight and slightly arched with your shoulder blades strained together.
- Slightly bend your knees. You don’t have to bend your knees too much or too less or you might strain your back or change the exercise’s mode of action.
- Push your hips back rather than dropping your chest towards the front.
Modifications and Variations
There are endless variations of the good morning exercise. You cannot only adjust the weight, but you can also change the position of your feet and get completely different results. Let’s take a look at some of the variations of good morning exercises that you can try at the gym or at home. However, when you change your stance at the gym, make sure you do it with your trainers so you don’t end up injuring yourself.
Barbell Good Mornings
With a narrow stance, your feet are less than shoulder distance apart. In this position, your erector spinae workout more compared to the other stances. Moreover, it places a lot more emphasis on your glutes.
The wide stance works with your feet more than shoulder-distance apart and works more on your hamstrings and adductors.
Split stance focuses more on bringing balance and stability in your lower back and hips as you work out. Make sure you keep an eye on your pelvic region and warm up before you the exercise.
This stance can be quite challenging as you transfer the weight on a single leg. You need to focus more on stability and maintaining balance and ensure that the leg extended behind the body remains as straight as possible.
No Barbell Required - At-Home Good Mornings
With an increasing number of people avoiding gyms due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can try good morning exercise at home. You may not need a barbell, instead, you can try it using a resistance band or a dumbbell.
Good Morning with Band
This stance places minimal stress on your spine. All you have to do is to stand over the band and stretch it over your neck. Now repeat the hip hinge movement.
Good Morning with Dumbbells
Another stance without barbells is with dumbbells that you can try at home. All you have to do is to hold a dumbbell in your hand in front of your chest and repeat the hip hinge movement.
While there are some great benefits of this workout, there are a few common mistakes that can deprive you of all these advantages and may even cost you. Find out some of the common pitfalls that most people encounter as they perform the good morning exercise.
Lack of Proper Warm-Up
Perhaps the biggest mistake that you can make with weight training is not warming up properly. When your body isn’t properly warmed up, you might put yourself at the risk of injury. So make sure you warm yourself up before you get started with the good morning exercise.
Poor Squat Form
As you add weights to your good morning exercise, make sure your squats are in the perfect form. Adding weights to poor squats may put you at risk of injury.
Overdoing the Exercise
With practice, it is only natural to improve flexibility all across your body. So as you get started with your good morning exercise, make sure you add weights gradually and push yourself only when you have achieved a certain level of fitness.
Good morning may seem like a greeting but it is a great way to strengthen your legs, back, and hips. You can try the variation you desire and get one step closer to a stronger body.