Seated Good Morning Exercise: An Essential Breakdown

The Good Morning exercise is a classic movement in the world of strength and conditioning, known for its ability to target the posterior chain – the group of muscles running along the back of the body. But did you know there’s a seated version that can isolate and target specific muscle groups even more effectively? This article will delve into the Seated Good Morning exercise, covering its benefits, how to perform it correctly, and modifications to suit various fitness levels.

Understanding the Seated Good Morning Exercise

Traditionally, the Good Morning exercise involves a hinge movement performed in a standing position with a barbell across your shoulders. However, the seated variation switches things up. In the Seated Good Morning exercise, you’re sitting on a bench with your feet planted firmly on the ground. This variant tends to place greater emphasis on the lower back, making it a powerful tool for enhancing strength in this area.

The Benefits of Seated Good Morning Exercise

Here are several key benefits of incorporating the Seated Good Morning exercise into your workout regimen:

1. Enhanced Lower Back Strength

The seated version of the Good Morning exercise places more emphasis on the lower back muscles, specifically the erector spinae, than the traditional standing version. This can lead to enhanced lower back strength, providing a strong foundation for other lifts and athletic movements.

2. Improved Posture

The strengthening of the lower back muscles can contribute to improved posture. With a stronger lower back, you’re less likely to slouch or hunch, leading to better overall alignment.

3. Increased Hamstring Flexibility

While the emphasis is on the lower back, Seated Good Mornings still engage the hamstrings. The stretch during the exercise can help increase hamstring flexibility over time, reducing the risk of injury during physical activity.

4. Versatility

With minimal equipment requirements – only a barbell and a bench – Seated Good Mornings can be done in most gym environments and can be included in various workout routines.

Performing the Seated Good Morning Exercise Correctly

Step-by-step guide:

  • Sit on a flat bench with your feet planted firmly on the floor. Place a barbell on your upper back, similar to the positioning for a back squat.
  • Keep your chest up and back straight. This is your starting position.
  • Bend forward from your hips, lowering your torso towards your thighs. Ensure you maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement.
  • Lower as far as your flexibility allows while maintaining form, then return to the starting position by engaging your lower back and glutes.
  • Remember, the focus should be on the quality of the movement rather than the quantity of the weight used.

Variations and Modifications

The Seated Good Morning exercise can be adapted to suit various fitness levels and goals:

1. Resistance Band Seated Good Morning

Using a resistance band instead of a barbell can make the exercise more accessible for beginners.

2. Seated Good Morning with Dumbbells

For those uncomfortable with a barbell or seeking to engage the core more, dumbbells can be a suitable alternative.

3. Wide-Stance Seated Good Morning

A wider stance while performing the exercise can help engage the adductors (inner thigh muscles) more.


The Seated Good Morning exercise is a versatile and effective workout for strengthening the posterior chain, particularly the lower back. Whether you’re looking to improve your lifting foundation, enhance your athletic performance, or just improve your overall posture and flexibility, this exercise can be a valuable addition to your training routine. As always, consult with a fitness professional when adding new exercises to your regimen to ensure you’re performing them safely and effectively.