The execution of the good morning exercise appears to be rather simple, but in fact, it is a challenging exercise that requires a good deal of strength in your lower back, abs, glutes and hamstrings. This exercise is most often performed with a barbell, but you can use dumbbells instead. Using dumbbells will increase the muscle activation in your shoulders and arms. Do not do this exercise if you suffer back or neck pain.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and pointing straight ahead while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Draw your navel in toward your spine, and contract your abdomen to stabilize your spine.
Bend your arms and draw the dumbbells up to rest on your shoulders. Keep your elbows wide and your palms facing forward. Increase the intensity of this exercise by extending your arms over your shoulders while holding the dumbbells. Lessen the intensity of the exercise by resting a barbell on the back of your shoulders instead of the dumbbells.
Keep your legs straight and your back flat as you hinge forward at your hips, and lower your torso parallel to the floor while keeping the dumbbells glued to your shoulders. Pause for one count.
Return to the starting position without releasing your abdominals. Pause briefly and repeat 10 to 12 times.
- “Stronger Abs and Back”; Dean Brittenham, et al.; 1997
- “You Are Your Own Gym”; Mark Lauren, et al.; 2010
- “101 Workouts for Women”; Muscle & Fitness Editors; 2007