In Weight Training, what is a Good-Morning?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 18 January 2020
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The "good-morning" in weight training is a specific exercise that helps users build strength in the entire body. In this kind of exercise, the weight is positioned behind the head, on the shoulders. The participant bends forward, and then pushes back against the weight while returning to his or her original position.

A good-morning exercise is generally done with a "good morning" dumbbell or barbell. A barbell is two balanced weights attached to one another by a bar. A dumbbell is a free weight that is held in one hand. Each of these can provide the tools for a good morning exercise.

The exercise known as a good morning relies on resistance. Resistance is the force that the body must counter while doing the exercise. In a good morning exercise, the dumbbell or barbell commonly provides this physical challenge. Some newer fitness tools can also help users add this kind of exercise to a fitness routine.

The good-morning exercise got its name from the kind of action involved in it. To some people, the bending forward action resembles a formal bow that was practiced in some historic cultures as a morning salutation. Today, trainers use this kind of imagery to show clients the value of challenging the body in this way.


The good-morning exercise works the hamstrings, which are important leg muscles. It also works the abs, part of the general muscle group type known as the “core.” Core muscles are muscles that support the body and stabilize the spine. These essential muscles really improve body capacity when they are worked and trained. Many trainers recognize a good-morning workout as part of a holistic core strengthening program that can help a wide range of fitness participants.

Doing a good-morning exercise successfully often requires attention to a few guidelines. One of these is about breathing. Those who are starting out with this kind of exercise should take care to breathe freely and normally, rather than holding in the breath in a reaction to the weight load.

Another guideline for this kind of exercise is to know how far forward to bend. This can depend on the amount of weight that the user is holding. Someone who is starting to do the good-morning should generally think about how far forward they move so that they start to feel heavy pressure on the involved muscle groups. Experimenting carefully with a range of motion can help users avoid bending too far forward, where the weight displacement can cause too much stress on the body. With the right care, a good-morning exercise can be a great addition to a fitness calendar.


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