The Good Morning Exercise

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Exercise Details:

  1. Force: Pull
  2. Important stabilizers: Erector Spinae
  3. Synergists: Hamstrings, Adductor Magnus, Quadriceps
  4. Target muscle: Gluteus Maximus
  5. Mechanics: Isolation

How To Do The Good Morning Exercise?

  1. Position the safety pins just below waist height to allow for a full range of motion while preventing the bar from falling.
  2. Lock the Smith machine bar at shoulder height.
  3. Get under the bar so that the bar rests on the back of your shoulders and grasp the bar at each side.
  4. Standing with your feet hip-width apart.
  5. Rotate the bar to detach it from the rail.


  1. Keeping your back straight.
  2. Inhale as you flex your hips and your knees slightly and lower your torso forward until it is parallel with the floor.
  3. Exhale as you raise your torso by extending your hips and knees until your hips and knees are fully extended.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.
  5. When you have finished.
  6. Rotate the bar to latch it back onto the rail.

Some Tips:

  1. Keep your back and neck straight.
  2. Do not keep looking forward as you lower your torso.
  3. To allow your lower back to adapt, start light and add weight gradually.
  4. The less hamstring flexibility you have, the more you will have to flex your knees to lower your torso to the desired level.
  5. The Smith machine bent-knee good morning can be classified as an isolation exercise even though there is movement in both the hips and knees because the movement in the knees is (or should be) minimal.
  6. You can keep your knees flexed throughout the movement
  7. However, in this case, your quadriceps will act as important stabilizers instead of synergists.
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