Barbell Good Mornings

Exercise Summary
Primary Muscle(s) Lower Back
Secondary Muscle(s) Glutes, HamstringsAbdominalsMiddle Back
Equipment Barbell
Emphasis Compound
Type Push

Barbell Good Mornings Instruction

  • Maintain a slight knee bend and tight core with a braced neutral spine. You do not want an overly arched back.
  • To actively brace your core:
    • Keep your rib cage over your pelivs.
    • Activate your glutes by "screwing" your feet into the floor.
    • Shoulders are pulled back.
    • Eyes fixed straight ahead, neck in a neutral position.
  • Set the barbell across your lower traps. Keep your chest up and shoulders pinned back.
  • Have your hands outside shoulder-width in a position where you can create torque in your shoulders. You want to keep your shoulders pinned back. The equates to a strong upper back position.
    • Imagine pulling your elbows under the bar with your chest up and shoulders back.
    • The bar is not sitting loosely on your back
  • Unrack the bar and step out of the rack/stand.
    • Feet are just at or just outside shoulder width.
  • Take a deep breath and fill your stomach with air to create more core stability.
  • Initiate the movement by hinging forward at the hips while maintaining a strong core and knee flex. You want to maintain a neutral back & neck.
  • You will continue to lower yourself down until you cannot maintain a neutral spine.
    • Another reason to practice with the bar first, to find your end range-of-motion.
  • Engage the hamstrings and glutes to reverse the movement. Keep your core braced and knees slightly flexed.
  • Your upper back tightness is CRUCIAL.


  • Begin with just the bar before adding on weight to practice and fully understand the motion.
  • NEVER overload this exercise, there is a high injury risk with this movement if performed incorrectly. 
  • Program this exercise as an accessory movement or within your warmup to activate your posterior chain.
Previous article Chin-up