T Nation

Good Mornings

I’m going to start training WESTSIDE on monday and have a question about my low back safety (at the risk of sounding like a pussy). I think i corrected my box squat-low back problem my elevating my chest more and staying tight with an arched back. However I’m a little concerned that heavy good mornings might bring the pain back. I’m not sure if this is a technique problem or a hip flexibility prob. The pain is more when I lean back and not so bad as I lean forward. I was hoping to get advice from you experienced lifters out there, is this just a beginner prob that will go away with training or should I incorporate any special flexibility work pre-WESTSIDE to avoid the prob? Thanks in advance for any advice.

**I will soon post a pick and my week1 tr log for some critique/advice.

i decided to start out light with my westside stuff when it came to GM’s, didn’t use it as a max effort exercise for several months because i had never done them previously. when i first started training, i was very afraid of this move. but i must admit as i got the hang of it, i feel more comfortable now doing a max GM than a max squat. respect this move, don’t fear it. it can still screw you up just like any other exercise if something goes wrong, but there is no other exercise that will help you develop the entire “posterior chain” as it’s termed.

most likely your poundages will go up in a hurry most likely, mine did.

maintain a tight arch, push your butt backward. You should primarily feel a good stretch in your hammies, not feel it in your back. If your hammies are stretched well then you are most likely doin it right. Also start light and work technique for a while. Maybe include it as a warm up exercise with light weights stressing form for a few weeks. Build up in sets and weight then when you are comfortable and ready place it in the main workout as a supplemental movement, and finally as a ME movement

For max effort good mornings start out with 5x5 at 75% of your best gm…do this until you feel you built up your post-chain enough for more heavy work…at that time begin to work up to max triples…there is really no need ot do max singles in the gm…also if you want to build up your lower back get some bands from elite fitness the light and medium bands and start doing band good morning for 100 reps twice a day…once as a gpp warm up before your squat work outs and once when you take a shower at night before bed do 3x33 in the shower with HOT water hitting your lower back…your lower back strength and conditioning and rehab will go through the roof …also if you really want to build up your lower back save some money and get a safety squat bar and a camberd squat bar…THEY WORK BETTER THAN ANYTHING ELSE AT BUILDING THE POST-CHAIN…bm

just to clarify, use the safety squat bar to perform the good mornings. My Gym has one and that sounds like a great idea. What about iceing after workouts(back/squat work)? Thanks All.

Start out with 5x5 @ 75% 1RM, heh Big Martin? Then he’s gonna be very sore! I honestly don’t remember how i started GM which was a couple months ago. I worked up to 225lbs 1 rep max last month but I remember I got very sore from the first ME GM workout. I can say it defintely helped me do 295lbs ME low box squat (before that manager banned the use of step aerobic for box squat. He didn’t have the balls to tell me upfront so he posted the sign next to the power rack. I guess i’m stuck hauling 45s around and stacking them up). It’s probably nothing compared to what I used to squat 7 years ago (405lbs for 4-6reps @ 172lbs bodyweight. shit its been that long??) but i was impressed with the strength improvement that I made while on fatloss program. Now I’m eating more carbs… we shall see how much more improvement…

Contrary to what squattin600 said, in my gym we do both arched back GM’s and rounded back GM’s. We usually do arched with a str8 bar and rounded back with a SSB.

Let me tell you firsthand, the rouned back SSB GM’s (where you deliberately round your lower and upper back theu the concentric) will get your back strong as fuck. Also, sore as fuck. We usually do these suspended from chains and start with the concentric. As long as you move up with common sense and small jumps you should be fine. I’ve never heard of anyone fucking their back up wit them.

The GM is my favorite lowerbody exercise.

If your gym has the saftey squat bar do good mornings with it suspended either from chains or off pins 36-40inches off the ground…do sets of 3 or 5 's and make sure you rest the bar on the chains or pins atleast a half second before you do the next rep…also if your looking for a great a low back movement do very close stance safety squat bar low box squats 10-13 inches in work boots this will pound the lower back as you have to fight to keep a arch and really fight to keep from getting folded over…if you have a safety squat bar there is no need to use a staright bar on max effort day at all…save it for your dyanmic squat day…you will become much stronger in the post-chain doing this…just cycle safety squat bar gm’s, safety squat bar low bx squats with a close stance, and a deadlift movement rack pulls, rverse band dl, pulls off boxes ect every 3rd week…big m

well also you could add in good morning-squats but you would have to use the straight bar as these do not work well with the ssbar…the gm-squat i feel is the best post-chain movement there is …it is even ampliphied with the cambed squat bar…bigm

I’m just coming to the end of my first Westside cycle. I did the 9 week basic program included in the 8 keys article.

I’d never done Good Mornings before. I checked my form at Westside UK and away I went.

I’m up to about 140Kg/308lbs for one now, which I’m quite pleased with considering I’d never done them before.

Since starting Westside my posterior chain is so much stronger. My neck, back-lower and upper, glutes, abs, hams are so much stroner and bigger now…

Looking forward to the next cycle.