T Nation

Good Morning Squats

Can anyone provide a good description of how to do these? The “Eight Keys” program calls for them, but the “Eight Keys” article doesn’t say how to do them.

Thanks in advance!

Good Morning squats a fucking great exerscice, do a traditional rounded back gm to parrallel with a close stance, then from the parrallel gm position go into a deep olympic style squat really get deep, I personally like to pause for a few seconds at the bottom, the heavier I get the less i pause, then when you reach he bottom explode as fast as you can out of the bottom. These are very hard but they kick the living fucking shit out of your Posterior chain, and they helped me get out of the bottom. I like to really take these ass to the grass they are a killer and I fell they helped my squat more than any max eff exersice I do, You just cant be a pussy, you have to hit parrallel with the gm and then go into a very deep squat,you will have to really fight to get a arch when you go back to the top, you will really arch out of the hole and open the hips ups this is why this is such a great exerscice and Contributes to your powerlifting squat…Big martin

Are you sure about that description?

“rounded back”? I’ve never heard anyone talk of doing Good Mornings with a “rounded back”…flat back maybe but not a rounded back. I would think you would put tremendous pressure on your spine doing good mornings that way. Then to go ass to grass in the “parallel” position (I’m assuming by parallel you refer to the upper body being parallel to the ground). I think it would be impossible to do such a thing. I’ve tried it with no weight and get into what might be called a “half” squat. I think this needs more clarification or else someone is going to get severely fucked up doing this exercise the way you say to.

Oh yea I must be wrong, it must have been taught to me wrong at the 2 westside seminars I have been to, or mabye Dave Tate who personally showed me how to do it must have taught me wrong, or maybe it was wrong on the westside videos I have watched they must have done it wrong to fuck up people spines.Or maybe my coach who happens to be the coach of Ron Palmer showed it to me wrong or maybe every time I do this exerscie a month with 500 pounds I am doing it wrong???, maybe there all wrong and you are right???

Dude thats the same description BM gave me (in fact I was going to cut and paste it like he did :wink: He knows what hes talking about, I started them this week and they rock. As far as rounded back gm’s are concerned, theres nothing wrong with them, Ian King uses them alot during his programs. Yes it puts stress on the back but youre also shooting your butt out and your legs are supporting you moreso than the back. Anyway check out an article here called “Bucking the Trends” and it explains a little on the bent back controversy.

How about the upper body position once you go into the squat portion of the lift? Are you supposed to keep it parallel to the ground, or do you lean back so that you can get lower to the ground?

Once you hit the bottom of the squat, the upper body will be slightly leaning forward like you are falling forward in a failed squat attempt, at this time you must arch very hard as you open up your hips to complete the lift, a good morning squat is what is called at westside as training for chaos…Big Martin

paul Oh sorry misread your question, yes as you begin the squat you will try to make the back straigth but the best you will get is about the same amount you would get when you fail in a squat, thats why its training for chaos, plus the movement pounds the hams low back and even some quads.

BM what bar position do you use for this? is it low ‘power squat’ style or higher?


Big Martin-
I wouldn’t go ass to grass, that might hurt your knees as much as rounded back gms hurt your back…lol.
I had never heard of gm squats, but they sound great, and I will give them a shot (especially since my lower back is still lacking a bit).

Thanks for the help, Big Martin! 500 pounds on these sounds like a bitch.

I always carry he bar in the same position no matter what exersice I carry the bar on rear delts fairly low on the back it is comfortable and I have a shelf to sit the bar on. But I use a very close stance with these it is no where near a power squat, It isa olympic squat.

**** Over at ELITEFITNESSSYSTEMS.COM, they have a picture and a description of how to perform te movement it is under there exerscice index section in the Q@A check it out…Big MArtin

Well I tried these today. Hmmmmm. I need a lot of work on the form before I am even remotely competent with them. I felt pretty comfortable at first, but when I got to my 1rm, my lower back just about died!! There was no problem with the squatting portion, so I can say with authority that my lower back needs work!! I do have a question though. Big Martin, you described the GM portion of the lift as being done with a rounded back, and explained that Dave demonstrated it that way, and that you had been coached that way. But when I checked the EFS site, the written description said to arch the back. Has there been a change in the way to do this exercise, and the site hasn’t caught up, or did you learn it one way, and they recently changed it? Either way, it’s a bitch of an exercise!

You can use either one arch or straight back gm, I find it much easier to get into a deep squat with the rounded back version it will take me down farther with the Gm and allows me to get depper with he squat, either way will work try both of them until you find one that fits you better, I just find my range of motion on arch back good mornings is very small because i have a large wasteline…Either way is fine Big Martin

Thanks for the reply. I think I might do better with an arched back. I’ve spent years doing RDLs, I think that an arched back is drummed into me now.

by the way Big Martin, an “arched back” and a “rounded back” are two different things. The arch in the back refers to the lumbar spine and maintains integrity in the area…a rounded back refers to the upper spine. That is where my questioning your description of the form came in. And when I checked the exercise link you suggested my beliefs were strengthened. The pic and description do not mention anything about rounding the back and the squat portion isn’t “ass to grass” as most people understand it to be (when I do ass to grass squats my hams are damn close to if not touching my calves).

Thank you for responding. I don’t doubt that you know what you are doing, I was just questioning your description of the exercise.

SRA- In the powerlifting community the term rounded back usually means flat back etc, and with rounded or arch back Gm powelifters determne them by the range of motion, If you are a light weight you can use a arch back gm and hit close to parrellel, but if you are anything above the 242’s then your wasteline is usually to big to have a good sized range of motion so it is called rounded back because you are not keeping a tight arch, this allows you get more range motion on your gm. Much of this was fixed with the introduction of chain suspended gm’s, this is why regular bar gms’ are not longer performed at westside, the chain suspended gm allow you to get into a arch position like the start of the deadlift and keep it because you can get your body in better position. So when I use the term rounded we mean any thing other than a very tight arch like we have when we squat. the god morning squat with a rounded back I fell works well because at the bottom position of the squat to go up you will have to fight to develop a arch, this is why this exerscice works as chaos training so well. THe exerscice descreption at elitefitness is correct but they no longer perform it because there waistlines are too big the GM squat actually has not been performed at westside since the late 90’s but I fell it is great for beginers and those powerlifters who are healthy enough to do it, so if I wanted to continue to do it with a close stance to work the full leg and post chain while my waist was too big I had to modify them, I like to add free squating in my program once a month and this exerscice helps me do that. My waist line is so big I cant do these with a arch back it looks much like a traditional power squat because I am a forward leaner anyways…I also fell doing them with out a arch rounded version is prectly safe if you are in shape, the reason people would ge hurt doing them is because there backs are not in shape, this is much like why pople hurt there backs when doing full rom sit ups, its not a bad movement the people performing it are out of shape, And if this is the case with the athlete he needs to spend more time doing GM’s with specialty bars, Chain suspended Gm, Band GM, reverse hypers, ghr,and pull throughs,sled dragging to began to get the back in shape to perform this type of movement, because If you plan to compete a chaos training movement like this is very important…Big MArtin