Good Mornings are an alternative to deadlifts and focus more on lower back while deadlifts have more focus on your hamstrings. This doesn’t mean that Good Mornings are not activating your hamstrings or glutes, but they are a more go-to exercise if you want to strengthen your lower back.
In the first part of this article I will show you how to perform the Good Mornings right and what you have to pay attention to. Then I will show you several alternative ways to perform this exercise and at the end you will find some tips how you can add more resistance to get progress.
Good Mornings With Resistance Band
Let’s jump right into how you do the basic Good Mornings with resistance bands.
Doing your Good Mornings with a resistance band gives you several advantages over doing them with your free weights or a cable machine:
- Optimal Direction! With a barbell you will have to stabilize the weight on your shoulders and the direction of the force is vertical. With a resistance band you can use your arms to point the resistance forward to get the perfect direction of force for this exercise
- Natural Strength Curve! The resistance of a band will always increase the more you stretch it and that’s also the natural strength curve of your muscle, having the most power in the full contraction. With a cable machine or on a pull-up bar, you often fatigue in the expanded part of your muscle without fully fatiguing the whole muscle.
There are also more reasons to favor resistance bands over traditional free weights, like reducing the stress on your joints, getting more peak contraction, and many more. But we’re talking here about doing a standing row, so if you’re interested in background info about what benefits resistance bands give you in strength training and bodybuilding, check it out here.
How To Do Good Mornings The Right Way
Get into an upright position and grab the bans and put it behind your neck. Now grab the band with your hands at about the height of your belly button and put your elbows at the side of your body.
With resistance bands it’s easier to maintain a good back position when keeping your elbows close to your body all the time.
Now bend your knees slightly to get the hamstring and glute activation and lean forward with your upper body and keep your back straight, no rounding of the back here.
When you now get up, do that without focusing on using your shoulders, focus on your glutes, hamstrings and your lower back and keep your hands at the side of your body, this will put the band forward a little bit and give you a good resistance direction during the Good Mornings.
Important Dos & Don’ts!!!
⓵ Rounded Back – probably the most common mistake with Good Mornings is rounding the back. I really suggest using a mirror when you start doing this exercise until you know how to get your back straight.
Common mistakes that promote a rounded back are either not hinge your hip enough or that you don’t have your elbows parallel to your upper body. If you mind both of these, you normally get into a straight back position automatically.
⓶ Hip Hinge – the back of your body should be behind your feet when you push up, otherwise you won’t get much glute and hamstring activation during this exercise.
Some people say this will work the lower back more, but the truth is it will promote rounding the back more unless you have a lot of flexibility.
Alternative Ways To Do Good Mornings With Resistance Bands
I know that some people want to work with the resistance band attached to something rather than stepping on it and fixate it with the own body.
Good Morning With A Door Anchor – In this case you might want to try this variation here where you attach the band on ground level, e.g. at a door with a door anchor, and wrap it around your neck.
This variation will also work your lower back more, if that’s what you’re looking for.
But also here, take close attention to keeping your back straight and don’t flare your shoulders while doing the movement.
Stiffed Leg Deadlift – If you don’t feel comfortable with the band around your neck, you can also try the stiff leg deadlift. It puts some more emphasis on the hamstrings but is as good as a good morning then it comes to your lower back. Simply grab the band (double it up like in the picture or simply step on a single strap) with both hands and bent over with your upper body. Keep in mind this is not a regular deadlift. The legs stay almost straight. Only a slight bend is allowed.
Get The Right Resistance
With the band around your neck when doing Good Mornings with a resistance band, you are pretty much limited to the “standard” resistance that the band offers, means you can’t really increase the resistance step by step as you progress – and jumping to the next stronger resistance band can be too much.
Here are some tips how you can increase the resistance in little steps.
Normally you can easily create more resistance by wrapping the band more than once, grabbing closer or doing a wider stance, but with Good Mornings you can’t wrap the band around your neck a few times (unless you want to choke yourself), or use a wider stance (this will limit hip flexion and glute activation).
An easy tip to get a slightly higher resistance is to get a very light band and add this to the movement in addition to the other band you’re using. With this method you can increase the resistance step by step and work up to the next heavier band.
With the stiff leg deadlift it is easier. Slip through the lash with your hand and grab the band, this let you adjust your grip to create as much resistance as you need.
Take close attention to still lean forward and on your back position. With your hands now forward, you can potentially start doing deadlifts or start rounding your back!
Full Leg Workout
Simply doing Good Mornings is not a full leg workout as there are multiple muscles working in your lower body – we have here a full leg workout with different exercises that will give you the strongest pump you can ever think of – check it out here.