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July 29, 2021 6 min read

Incorporating different movement patterns into your strength training routines forces your body to accommodate to the changes, and banded good mornings are an easy way to accomplish that goal.

Banded good mornings are an incredible movement with numerous health benefits including increasing range of motion, improving strength, and reducing injuries.

Good mornings are extremely effective, and in addition to using the bands by themselves, you can attach the band to a bar and then add weight to the bar for an even more effective workout. But it is crucial that you perform the exercise properly to efficiently train your hamstrings, increase your lower back strength, and work your entire posterior chain.

What Muscles Do Banded Good Mornings Target?

When you extend your back against your band, it activates different muscle groups including your glutes, hamstrings, and back muscles. 

Labeled Anatomy Chart of Male Leg Muscles on Black Background

It works the posterior chain muscles which are responsible for the back of your body such as your erector spinae, your core, gluteus maximus, hamstrings all the way down to your calves. The exercise focuses on your quadratus lumborum which is the deepest abdominal muscle which is extremely important for maintaining good posture and helps you keep a neutral spine which is crucial to prevent injuries.

Keep in mind that resistance exercises like banded good mornings cause micro-tears in the muscle fibers, and after your workout your body works hard to repair those damaged muscle fibers in order to allow them to grow. Therefore, it is extremely important that you replenish the protein that has been broken down by providing your body with the amount of protein and essential amino acids to help repair the broken down muscle fibers.

Check out our new hot cocoa supplement for a quick and delicious way to replenish your protein stores. It's 100% plant-based and contains all the essential amino acids your muscles need to grow.

Before your good mornings

​Make sure you perform a warm-up! Good choices for a quick warm-up could be jumping rope, jumping jacks, squat jumps, or simply walking on a treadmill. Anything that sends the signal to your muscles and brain that your body needs to prepare for the challenges it is about to face.

How To Do a Banded Good Morning

As a good morning variation, banded good mornings are great if you're looking to further strengthen your glute muscles and posterior chain. You can get a good set of bands to keep at home relatively cheap, and the constant tension the band provides the resistance you need to get stronger and condition these crucial muscles for more serious punishment when you hit the gym and grab a barbell to do squats or deadlift.

Ok, let's get started!

  1. Set up like a squat and make sure your legs are shoulder-width apart.
  2. Place the band under your feet then wrap the other end of it around your shoulders by your neck.
  3. Using your hands, grab the band by your shoulders and begin the movement.
  4. Keep your knees slightly bent and engage in a hip hinge to move your hips backward while making sure you maintain a neutral spine until your torso reaches as close to parallel to the floor as you can comfortably get. 
  5. With the weight distributed evenly throughout your feet, extend your hips back up and squeeze your glutes to maximize engagement.
  6. Continue to repeat the hinge movements for your desired number of reps and sets.

It is extremely important to focus on maintaining a neutral spine to prevent injury and strain on your back. To do this, keep your core engaged throughout the entire range of motion.

While performing the exercise, try to be mindful that you keep the weight distributed equally through your feet avoiding shifting the weight to your heels while you hinge.

Master the technique and form

This exercise done with a loaded barbell can leave you at a higher risk of back injury if done incorrectly. However, the band is an incredible way to not only learn how to do this exercise safely but also condition and strengthen the muscles being worked in a safe and controlled manner.

Banded Good Morning Benefits

Not only are banded good mornings an impressive exercise that can be performed almost anywhere, but they also provide your body with numerous benefits.

1. Enhance Strength in the Posterior Chain. 

The posterior chain includes your glutes, hamstrings, erector spinae and more which provide the driving force for the movement. The more you strengthen these muscles, the stronger you will get performing exercises such as squats or deadlifts.

Low back pain is extremely common amongst individuals of all ages, and exercise has been proven to effectively prevent and treat lower back pain to improve quality of life and reduce pain. The optimization of the posterior chain is extremely important to prevent and treat pain in the lower back.


2. Strengthen Your Back 

Many people assume their leg muscles are weak when they struggle to perform squats or deadlifts, but it actually can be a weakness in the lower or upper back. The banded good morning forces you to contract and tighten all of the muscle in your back to keep optimal form and this contributes to strengthening your back.

These muscles make up the thoracic and lumbar spine  are often underworked and banded good morning are an effective to increase the amount of work they do without risk of injury.

According to De Ridder et al., the recruitment and engagement of these muscles can prevent and treat lower back pain.

3. Challenge Your Balance

Sometimes people underestimate the importance of incorporating balance training in their workouts. Although banded good mornings are not a direct method of balance training, this exercise requires you to be aware of where you are placing the weight in your feet. 

Since it is a hip hinge exercise, you must focus on keeping the right amount of weight throughout your feet in order to make sure you are activating the correct muscles preventing incorrect muscle synergy. Incorrect muscle synergy can lead to movement dysfunction causing overactive and underactive muscles.

4. Improve Form in Other Lower Body Exercises

Not only do banded good mornings have a positive impact on your posterior chain, but they also can enhance your form in other lower body workouts such as squats, deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, and more by strengthening all of the muscles required to perform them. 


Banded Good Morning Variations

Banded good mornings are actually a variation of normal good mornings but there are still numerous options out there for you as you are trying to progress.

By changing it up and incorporating variety, you avoid the risk of adaptive resistance. Adaptive resistance occurs when your body is continuously exposed to a specific exercise and load causing the exercise to have a lower impact on your muscles. 

Below, you will find many banded good morning variation exercises you can do if you have access to a gym to enhance your workout and keep things exciting.

How to Perform a Dumbbell Good Morning

  1. Set up like a squat and keep your legs shoulder-width apart while engaging your back as well as your core. 
  2. Place the dumbbell in front of your chest.
  3. Slowly push your hips back. Inhale and lean forward until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings but keep your chest lifted.
  4. Exhale that breath out and slowly move to stand up straight.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for your desired number of reps and sets.

Tip: If you prefer, you can also use a kettlebell instead of a dumbbell.

How to Perform a Seated Good Morning

  1. Sit down on a bench.
  2. Place your legs on either side of the bench.
  3. Place the barbell on the back of your shoulders and slowly lean forward toward the bench. Your goal should be to lower the abs to the bench.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 for your desired number of reps and sets.

Note: Make sure you are bending from the hips and never the lower back.

How to Perform a Barbell Good Morning

  1. Place your feet shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Place a barbell of your desired weight on your shoulders. Start off with a lighter weight to make sure you have the proper form then you can slowly increase.
  3. Engage your core and inhale then slowly hinge at your hips and exhale. 
  4. Focus on maintaining a straight back and keep your eyes forward. 
  5. Slowly lift back up and return to your starting position.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 for your desired number of reps and sets. If you feel like you're getting the hang of things, try increasing the weight of the barbell.

The Takeaway

Banded good mornings are a great, low-risk alternative to traditional good mornings to improve your lower back, leg, and core strength.

Whether you choose to incorporate this exercise into your warm-up or your strength-training routine, it's an effective exercise who's benefits will transfer to all of your strength training including barbell complex workouts and more.