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It's not for everyone, but the good morning can pack on lower back musculature better than any other movement; better, in fact, than the granddaddy of back work, the deadlift.

Last updated on October 08, 2019


It's not for everyone, but the good morning can pack on lower back musculature better than any other movement; better, in fact, than the granddaddy of back work, the deadlift. The good morning belongs in the repertoire of all great lifters, powerlifters and throwers. Probably the finest in this very technical movement all trained at the fabled West Side Barbell Club, that cherished Southern California weight pit of the 1960's. Even in that rarefied air of 640 lb. "touch and go" bench pressers, the gym would instantly screech to a halt at the sight of Pat Casey, George Frenn or Peanuts West pushing themselves through a session of 400 lb. good mornings.

Vaaili Alexeyev reportedly performed good mornings with 500 lbs., but like all weight room lore, that figure could be a gross exaggeration, although Alexeyev probably could train that heavy at any time.

The lilt is very big among Eastern European lifters, throwers and wrestlers but is hard to find in any American gym. It is nothing less than essential for the aspiring Olympic lifter. Powerlifters find the good morning not only improves their deadlift, it helps provide the back with a wider, stronger support for squatting. Even one's bench can be benefited.

Shot putters as well as discus, javelin, hammer and weight throwers require exceptional back strength and whip if they are ever to approach world class level; the good morning is tailor-made.

It seems as though nearly every great bodybuilder used good mornings at some point in their careers, usually at the novice stage and then again as they stepped up in competition and needed extra size and definition. It's not widely practiced at the major bodybuilding emporiums now day's because many posers feel it is too much a "power movement" and seems risky. Bodybuilders with a weightlifting or powerlifting base, however, invariably use it.

Most novices baby themselves when first attempting the good morning, using something like 30-50 lbs. for 8-10 reps. But why waste time and energy? Providing you've past puberty and train somewhere with at least the bare necessities, start by loading the Olympic bar with two 45's and good morning off the squat rack (as in the (photos.) Stretch before your first set; If you have a Roman hyper extension, use It "back to the ceiling" fashion. If you really feel like burning your lower back, superset good mornings with high rep simply cannot do anything more for the erectus spinae and thoracolumbar fascial. Not to mention glutes and hamstrings.

Additionally, your neck muscle. (sternocleidomastiod, internohyoldeus and sternothyroldeus) will be rewarded with a fantastic Indirect stimulation pump. Even your legs get worked.

I can't Imagine why anyone would want to good morning without a barbell pad; since the bar rests directly on the back of the neck (not on the traps, as In squatting), a pad or towel must be used for comfort and control.

Most top Iron men work good mornings in with the remainder of their back work such as bent rows, deadlifts and back hyper extensions. If soreness develops, apply cold (never heat) and discontinue for a few weeks.

Tags: Conditioning Core

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