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LAVERA STEWARTEditor-in-Chief of the Gym Expert
If you lift heavyweights, then you might have heard or even did good morning squats. Usually, people get into this position by accident, while others do it purposefully, thinking that it’ll help their goals. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that the good morning squat exercise is pretty delicate and may be detrimental to your health, if you perform them the wrong way.
Thus, to ensure that you stay not only fit but also healthy and safe, we’ve decided to take a closer look at the good morning squat and see – what risks it has, whether it has any benefits and how you can perform it the right way.
- 1 What is a Good Morning Squat?
- 2 Ways to Fix Good Morning Squats
- 3 In What Cases Can Good Morning Squat be Useful?
- 4 Final Word
What is a Good Morning Squat?
So the first thing we need to do is to determine what is a good morning squat, exactly. On one hand, this is an exercise that requires you to bend down from your waist with weight on your upper back. And while it does work on the muscles of your spine, hamstrings, and gluteus maximus, this is still not a necessary or recommended exercise, especially with dumbbells.
On the other hand, good mornings could also mean a technical deficiency, in which the hips rise fast out of this squat. This leans the torso forward which can be extremely bad for your posture.
Why is Good Morning Squat Bad?
The major downside of a good morning squat with weight is that when you perform it the wrong way it upsets your posture and can even injure your spine.
Moreover, good morning squats are mandatory to perform, since they neither help you lose weight or gain muscle mass.
What Causes Morning Squats?
The primary reason for it is that the quads, or what we call the knee extensors, fail to extend the knee. Thus, the hip has to substitute for it making the posture faulty.
Moreover, the spinal erectors must be strong enough to prevent a fall or collapse while the torso is leaning forward. Otherwise, you will get into a good morning position
Ways to Fix Good Morning Squats
With that said, you still can perform good morning squats to work on the muscles mentioned earlier. However, in that case – you have to make sure to fix your good mornings and perform them the right way:
Try New Cues
There are several cues that can be implemented to improve good morning squats at home. Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones:
- When doing barbell good mornings, pull the bar towards yourself. Doing this does not allow your chest to drop.
- Breaking at the hips and the knees can make a great difference. You can do this when you find your hips breaking first. It is okay to break your hip a little when doing good morning workout squats. While at it, try to pull your knee forward and hips backward at the same time.
- As a front squat alternative, put the bars on your shoulders.
Whenever you work out with weight, your body works differently under the acceleration and velocity of the object. You can use this motion to perfect your position.
Work on your tempo and pause if you wish to focus on positions. Similarly, layout your pauses in a way that will allow you to improve your position and not make you stagger with the weight.
In What Cases Can Good Morning Squat be Useful?
This good morning exercise can be really helpful for people who are looking to build a strong posterior chain. This is almost indispensable for athletes and bodybuilders. In that case, good morning squats can be really useful.
It also lets you achieve a more stable lower back and healthier glutes.
How to Do a Good Morning Squat Properly?
Before you begin with the actual exercise, make sure to warm up and stretch well. This will help “awaken” your muscles and reduce any potential injuries.
One of the best ways to do that would be hyperextension exercises since they promote a stronger lower back. So make sure to warm up well, and proceed to do proper good morning squats:
- Take your position with your legs shoulder-width apart.
- First warm up with weight no more than 20-30% of your own body weight.
- Place a proper weight on the shoulders. Following the similar pattern as previously, it must be less than 50% of how much you weigh.
- Then, make sure that the bar is resting on your trapezius muscles.
- Take a deep breath in and strengthen your abdominals.
- Hinge at your hips. Pretend like someone is pulling you backward at the hip.
- Make sure the lower back is tight and straight as you are lifting from the floor.
- Inhale and focus on maintaining a straight back. Keep the arch of your lower back tight as you would when lifting from the floor.
- Keep your chest and head forward and up and avoid curling your back at every cost.
- Slowly return back to your starting position.
Good Morning Squat Variations
Banded Good Morning
This variation puts minimum stress on your spine. It is a great way to build the strength of your glutes and hamstrings.
Dumbbell Good Morning
For this one, you need to hold the dumbbell in front of the chest and perform the movement.
Zercher Good Morning
The Zercher good morning requires you to hold the barbell in front of yourself. This takes away pressure from the spine and instead puts it on your front.
So overall, good morning squats are not the best position you can end up in. When you don’t know how to perform them correctly, this could take a toll on your health, and give more cons than pros. Moreover, good morning squat is not that much of an essential position anyway, since you get a lot more benefits with alternatives, like squats or deadlifts.
However, if you DO wish to perform the good morning squat, make sure you do them the right way. Plus, it’s best to do it under supervision of a trainer, especially if you’re a beginner and don’t have strong muscles yet.
So best of luck on your fitness journey! And remember that your health and well being should never be but at risk when you want to get to your goals!