WSBB Blog: Good-Morning for a Good Total

WSBB Education
Tue Jan 12, 2021

Tags: Good-Mornings, Back Strength, Variations

Time to Read: 3min

The good-morning is an exercise that can be controversial depending on who you talk about them with. Many people falsely believe that any type of good-morning places an incredible amount of shearing force in the lumbar spine, which will almost certainly result in massive trauma and back surgery. This commonly held belief could not be further from the truth.

The good-morning, when executed correctly, is one of the best posterior chain strength developing exercises currently known. The good-morning can be performed as a main or accessory exercise, using a variety of different specialty barbells. At Westside Barbell, we prefer to use the safety squat bar, as well as the giant cambered squat bar for heavy good-morning exercises.

A bow bar or standard power bar are often used for accessory high bar good-mornings. Below, we will go over a few of our go to max effort lower good-morning exercises for both main and accessory lifts.

Suspended Cambered Bar Anderson Good-Morning

This exercise will require Spud straps, chains rated to catch the appropriate poundage, or other squat safety straps to suspend the bar. You will suspend the cambered bar at a height that is similar to the position you begin your conventional deadlift in. You will get under the bar, take in air to brace your trunk, create a slight hinge at the hip similar to a deadlift, and lift the bar.

You can use barbell weight only, or you can hook up bands or chains to the bar. This exercise is typically done for max effort singles and triples. If used as an accessory exercise, it is recommended to perform three to five sets of six to eight reps.

book of methods

Safety Squat Bar Good-Morning

The safety squat bar good-morning is one of the best ways to specifically target the mid and upper back. You will still have the muscle groups of the lumbar spine involved, however the safety squat bar places a larger demand on the mid and upper paraspinal muscles to maintain proper spinal posture throughout the lift. This exercise is typically done for max effort triples, and when used as an accessory exercise three to five sets of five to eight reps are performed.

To further target the mid and upper paraspinal muscles, this exercise can be done from the seated position.

Giant Cambered Bar Good-Morning

The king of all good-morning exercises, and one of the best ways to add pounds onto your squat or deadlift, the giant cambered bar good-morning is the most common way we perform good-mornings at Westside Barbell. This exercise is done for max effort singles, triples, and sets of five. Bands or chains can be hooked up to the barbell, bands are preferably connected to pull from the front.

When done as an accessory exercise, it is recommended to do three to five sets of five to eight reps, or three to four sets of ten to fifteen reps with light weight as a finishing exercise in place of kettlebell swings or reverse hypers.

Good-mornings are one of the best options for a max effort lower workout, and there are many variations to choose from to assist you in avoiding exercise accommodation. When form is kept strict and good judgement is exercised in weight selection, the good-morning becomes one of the most useful tools in the posterior chain strength training arsenal. Don’t fall victim to false teachings, learn the proper way to perform a good-morning, add them to your workouts, and unlock new levels of squat and deadlift strength.