T Nation

Tried Good Mornings, Questions


So I hit my DL goal of 455 a while back and then switched to squatting ATG and focused on this for a while. Now that Im about to hit my goal weight on that Ive been incorporating DLs again (deciding whether my next lower body goal will be DL or Front Squat) and have sucked hard, with low back being the weak spot. I figured a lot of other big compound movements (various squats, rows, push presses) would keep it strong but apparently I need to hit it directly.

Today I did GMs. I started with the bar and ramped to 135 in 10 and 20 lb increments, sets of 6 or so. I felt it in my glutes till about 95lbs, then it felt like almost 100% my low back straining to do the exercise till 135. It was always under control and even did some explosive sets to play around.

Anyway, how are GMs supposed to feel? I imagined it was an isometric hold for the spinal erectors and basically move the load from the glutes. I do want my back to get stronger from it, but I think the load that challenged my back shut off my glutes.

Does anybody get what Im talking about?

any other low back suggestions are welcome as well. I am adding in hyperextensions holding plates keeping the pads low and dont have a reverse hyper machine. I want my low back to be like the pecs of the guys that do 20 sets of bench and then move on to flys. These low back pumps suck.

Thanks in advance for any help...


I tried doing GM's in the past and they never felt too effective to me. I was recently able to use a SS bar and it made a world of difference, part of it was just having the barbell locked in and not rolling around on my back, the other part I think is the different angles on the SS bar.

In lieu of GM's, I've always done alot of stiff legged deadlifts and I do them off of boxes too. Someone was talking about this on Dr. Squats site the other day and they quoted some writeup from the early 80's and I guess back then, SLDL's were a big exercise for increasing the deadlift, but not many people seem to do them anymore. For me, I feel like they are a shitload less awkward than using a regular barbell for GM's, I can effectively hit the hamstrings and lower back like nothing else...but to each his own.

As far as hyperextensions go, you can do them with a bar on your shoulder. I've done them using bands as well. Something that someone recently taught me was keeping the lower back tight just like when you're squatting, with the arch, glutes out when you do the hyperextensions...it makes a difference.

Hope that helps you.


Both the GM and the SLDL (AKA RDL) are great for hammies. Although I find that SO many people tend to round their back when doing the RDL. Personally, I use both during my dynamic stretch/WU, but prefer the GM for working sets when I want to work on "firin' my glutes" and the RDL when I want to really 'stretch 'em out.' Either way, may sure you pinch and tuck your scaps and push your hips back rather than just bend at the waist the way so many of this newer generation's doing!! Thay can both really tear up your lower lumbar area if you're not focused!

Semper Fi


If it's just your lower back that you want to target, you could do seated GMs.

You can do rounded back (not rounding erectors) kind of good morning, or a tight arch like your supposed to be in a squat goodmorning. You can go from high bar to low bar. You can do SSB GM. There's the GM squat.


Good luck with these, I badly strained my lower back and was unable to walk properly for 3 days, and the pain took 2 weeks to go away.

I'm sure GM is a great exercise when done correctly, but since I don't know good form for them, I don't want to do them again.
I don't really feel like I need to do them, my deadlift is nearing 500 just fine.


Yep, sometimes a certain exercise just doesn't agree with someone's body. That's how traditional deads from any height are for me.


just an FYI (not an invitation for a pissing match) RDL's and SLDL's are different exercises entirely. I personally find the SLDL more effective


this program Thibaudeau created when squatting numbers stalled.

A. Power clean from the hang 2" from the floor
Ramping sets of 3 reps

B. power barbell row from the floor
Ramping sets of 5 reps

C. Standing Face Pull
Ramping sets of 5 reps

D. Two arms DB swing
3 x 15-20 reps

A. Deadlift
Ramping sets of 3 reps
B. Deadlift 85% of A
5 sets of 5
C. Deadlift 85% of B
1 set of 10

A. Romanian deadlift 1st pull (from 1" above floor to knee level)
Ramping sets of 5 reps

B. Seated goodmorning
Ramping sets of 5 reps

C. Heavy back extension
Ramping sets of 5 reps

D. Back extension - no weight
3 x max reps


thx for the suggestions all. GMs seemed to agree with me biomechanically, but I was using not much weight so... I have a longer torso for my height I think, should have been a swimmer.

I appreciate the advice on hypers - thats how I do them and its good to know I have company - focusing on squeezing the glutes and keeping the back as tight as possible with the pads all the way down. I thin I am pretending I have a glute ham raise.

Anyways, going to play with these Ideas and hammer my back till Im square. Thx.