Good mornings are one of the best posterior chain exercises, but they demand respect. This isn't an exercise you should be doing if you're not an experienced lifter, or someone who can't already do squats and deadlifts with optimal technique.
But if you've got those down and you already know how to do a standard good morning, here are some variations to try:
1. Banded Barbell Good Morning
Using bands in this set-up actually teaches proper hinging mechanics by pulling you forward. The accommodating resistance as you extend your hips forward adds extra tension as well.
2. Zercher Good Morning
Got shoulder issues and can't get into a back-rack position? This might work instead. Front-loaded lifts like Zercher variations take the stress out of the shoulders and put more demand on the core while giving your upper body a great workout.
3. Banded Seated Good Mornings
The seated good morning puts way more emphasis on the lower back. You have little to no support from the legs, so all of that tension is in the lower back pillars.
4. Front-Loaded Dumbbell Good Morning
Shoulder issues? No barbell? Dumbbell good mornings might be a good idea for you. If you're just learning how to do good mornings, try this variation before moving on to the barbell.
5. Safety-Bar Good Morning
Mucked-up shoulders are common. Safety-bar exercises are an effective way to load weight on your posterior chain without having to put the shoulders in a vulnerable position. Here you don't need to sacrifice load to compensate for your shitty shoulders.
6. Banded Good Morning
One of my go-to warm-up drills before squats and deadlifts to get the posterior chain going.
- Use one of these variations as a main compound lift on your lower-body training days ONLY if you're an experienced lifter. Do 4-6 reps for 3-4 sets.
- Or use it as an accessory lift on your lower-body training days. Do 8-10 reps for 2-4 sets.