by Shawn Bellon
Ok before you flip the page I am not talking about some perky person in the morning. A person that in spite of how tired you are and wish NOT to speak to mankind is jovial and in fact excited to be awake. Don’t get me wrong I love being awake…after about 10 am with a few good cups of coffee and a Dren.
I am obviously referring to a lift. Hey that is why I am here to share information to get you stronger. Good mornings happen to be one of my favorite movements that works the posterior chain (glutes, hams, errectors and soleus) while really improving a lifters strength and efficiency in the squat and deadlift.
Good mornings can have some variations to them but for our purposes we will go with the standard movement.
• You will rest the bar on your shoulders similar to a power squat meaning the bar will be on the rear delts.
• Keep the back engaged and the abs tight. Think of sucking in your belly button to support the spine.
• Lean forward at the hips to lower the upper body until you are about parallel to the floor. Many times I have clients go until the see the bar on the top of their traps at the bottom position of the lift for good depth.
• As you lean forward bend the knees slightly to keep your balance and support your back. Do not attempt to do the movement with your legs locked. Locked knees will be too much on the joint, lower back and overall balance.
• Raise your torso while keeping the head up and driving the hips forward to the start position.
Good mornings can be used as assistance work for squats and deadlifts. I have a few athletes that alternate weeks with deadlifts to go heavy with good mornings as their core lift. There are many options but keep it sensible especially to start out. It is always far better to undertrain especially with a new movement than to overcompensate and fry your CNS.
Squat – power scheme
Good mornings – 3 x 10 80% max
Deads or Good mornings – power scheme
**If doing deads that session for the core exercise feel free to use the good mornings as a simple 5×5 scheme while keep reps in the 60-75% range.**
***If doing good mornings as the core exercise hit some romanian deadlifts or straight leg deadlifts for a simple 5×5 scheme with 60-75% range.***
****The 60-75% range can be cycled for week to week for you can add 5% until you cap at 75% at the fourth session and then start over at 60% again.****
Safety is something I preach with clients. Strong means nothing if you are hurt so we always try to be smart and intelligent in our programming. Here are a few points to consider when adding good mornings to your own training:
Warm up the body with 5-10 minutes on a treadmill, exercise bike or rower. Use whatever cardio you like but use the time to warm up the body literally.
Once done warming up with cardio take some time to foam roll, pvc roll and use a lacross ball for trigger points. Using these movements for self myofasical release will not only improve your strength as a lifter but prevent many injuries. These activities can break up adhesions and relax overactive muscle fibers.
Stretch! The muscles are warm and relaxed from the previous steps so use that to work on stretching properly. Nice passive stretching with no bouncing for 20-30 seconds will work nicely. If you need more time then by all means stretch more.
Use your warm upsets with some intelligence. Warm ups shouldn’t make you tired. Warm ups should be a gradual increase to get your body ready for heavier weights. Warm ups are also a great time to actively assess your training. If your second warm up feels like a ton then take some time to ask yourself if what you are doing is correct. Look back at your journal. (soon to be the next step mentioned) If the warm ups are off then adjust. I had a client that struggled in her warm ups while deadlifting. She was just having an off day. She finished her last warm up and decided to call it a day. I am not saying to ditch training sessions. I am saying that your workout programming is written on paper and many times has no understanding or regard to how you feel at the moment so adjust when needed.
Write this stuff down. How is this a safety concern? Really? Come one people! Keeping track of your numbers is a key safety issue to avoid using too much weight etc. Look around your gym. See how many people just guess and fail with their weights. Guessing leads to injuries. When we train we are not in the business of guessing. We are in the business of success with proven methodologies that transcend a coin flip.
Source: Great Good Mornings