The Best Exercise That You Aren’t Doing (Good Morning)

good morning alternative
Well..that’s one way to do a good morning.

The Best Exercise For Your Lower Back You Aren’t Doing (Good Morning)

The good morning exercise is a tricky one. Often times done improperly and leads to back pain. Today we are going to show you how to do it properly, some alternatives, and educate you so you can do what is best for your body.

What muscles does the Good Morning exercise work?

  • The Good Morning exercise works your hamstrings, lower back, and abs. The biggest benefit is the how well it prepares you for doing the romanian deadlift.

How To Do Barbell Good Morning

We have created instructional movement videos breaking down how to perform the alternatives to Good Morning exercise correctly in a variety of ways. Check them out below!

The Barbell Good Morning is the most advanced variation of good morning exercise. Awesome for creating strength in your hamstrings, upper back but they have to be done with good form.

Unlock your knees (soft bend), push your hips back like you are trying to close a car door with your bum, and do this while keeping the barbell tight on your upper back.

Master each position first.

The Banded Good Morning is another exercise we often put in the warm ups of our strength training programs before deadlifts. The band is awesome if you just aren’t comfortable barbell with the barbell yet. It’s so important to master good form on hinge movements to avoid hurting your back. Add this exercise to your toolbox for sure.

Grab a band and get to work

The Kettlebell Good Morning is still one of the best good morning exercises because you are still getting great recruitment from your hamstrings, glutes, and your lower back.

It’s a great alternative if you don’t have maybe the mobility to put a barbell behind your back or may not even have one. Either way the kettlebell is a great option for you and will help you learn movements like the one of our favorite exercises on the planet to strengthen your glutes and hamstrings…the kettlebell swing. Click here to learn all about the kettlebell swing.

Master the form, keep you back nice and tight. NO rounding.

This a great way to begin to learn the kettlebell swing properly.

Are Good Mornings Bad For Your Back?

Not when they’re performed correctly! Be sure to reference the videos above (they are only about two minutes) to master the proper form and learn how to do it correctly.

  • You want to keep your upper back engaged.
  • Unlock your knees (bend slightly)
  • Without letting your back round push your glutes back as if you were going to close a car door with your butt.

We like our clients to master the cat and cow first. It really teaches you how to move your spine properly. This way when ever you grab the barbell, kettlebell or band, you now know where your back should be as opposed to be rounded.

This teaches you how to move your spine properly.

Is The Good Morning Exercise Dangerous?

If performed correctly, then no! If you have pre existing back limitations and you are trying to strengthen your back you should do our FREE five day ab course.  

What can I do instead of Good Mornings?

We specialize in finding alternatives for every movement within our strength training programs using our K2 Level System. Check out the best good morning alternatives here:

  1. Banded Good Morning
  2. Kettlebell Good Morning
  3. Banded Pull Through

Have you mastered the “hinge” and want to start adding some strength? The good morning exercise has massive carry over and should act as an accessory exercise. Try out these top 3 strength based exercises one you have mastered the the Good Morning:

#1 Deficit Deadlift
#2 Romanian Deadlift
#3 Everyone should know how to properly swing a kettlebell.

How Can I Get My Back Flat During The Good Morning Exercise?

If you’re having trouble getting your back flat and your back is hurting. Stop and read this blog on why your mobility isn’t improving. You need to make sure you’re mastering the cat and cow stretch to learn how to move your spine properly.

If you are still having an issue you may have super tight hamstring like most of us do so try these..

Try These 5 Stretches To Help With Getting Your Back Flat:      

We program a good warm up and stretching before all workouts within our training programs because we know how important mobility is for establishing proper positioning.

For each of these stretches below hold them for 60 seconds – two minutes per stretch and focus on breathing.

1. Supine Hamstring Stretch

2. Banded Hamstring Series                    

3. Wall Straddle                            

4. Pigeon on Wall                          

5. Single Leg Forward Fold   

A lack of range of motion could have a lot to do with back pain. We recommend completing those stretches before you do any “hinge” movement to help free up some range of motion.


To master the good morning exercise you need to have good hamstring range of motion so you can get into a good position. Whether you are deadlifting, doing a kettlebell swing, or performing the good morning the tension should be in your hamstrings and not your back.

Let us know which alternative you found to be the most useful for you by commenting below!

good morning alternative
Your coaches Kevin & Katie


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