Wake up your glutes and hamstrings with this good morning variation

Welcome to our weekly Move of the Week series. Every Monday, we’ll be sharing with you one of our favourite exercises – how to do them, what muscles they work and why they should be a regular part of your workout regime. This week: kneeling good mornings. 

Your posterior chain — the muscles and joints that run down the back of the body — often get neglected. Not only do we spend the whole day sat on them when we’re at our desk, many of our workouts also favour our front: running works the quads and lunges in the gym or yoga can recruit the front of the legs, too.

As your glutes and hamstrings stabilise your hips and pelvis, there are big benefits to showing them some attention. The best way is by starting the day with mobility and activation exercises that can help reduce the likelihood of pain and discomfort in the area. Our favourite? Kneeling good mornings. 

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What are kneeling good mornings?

Traditional good mornings are a hip-hinge exercise performed when standing, pushing the hips back behind you. The kneeling variation is great because it: 

Is great for beginners: you have a more stable base when kneeling over standing, which means you can work through the movement while feeling stable. 

Strengthens the posterior chain: you’ll be loading up the glutes and hamstrings with your bodyweight while you perform the hip-hinge movement. 

Improves mobility: you should perform the exercise through your full range of motion to build strength at your end range. 

What muscles do kneeling good mornings work?

The lower-body movement will target: 

  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Lower back

How to do a kneeling good morning

  1. Start in a tall kneeling position with your feet tucked under and interlock your hands behind your head.
  2. Push your hips back behind you — the aim isn’t to lower your hips to your feet but hinge the hips as though you are trying to press your glutes towards a wall. 
  3. Maintain an active core by squeezing your abs the whole way through. 
  4. When you feel a stretch through your glutes and hamstrings, squeeze back to the starting position. 

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Images: Stylist

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