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The good morning exercise can be a great movement but you may not have a barbell at home. Luckily there are a few other equipment options too.
This article will assume you don’t have a barbell with a rack at home. If you do, you can just do the regular version of the good morning exercise.
1. Resistance band good morning
Resistance bands are basically elastic bands that can be used to add resistance in a variety of exercises including the good morning.
Some of the benefits of resistance bands include that they are relatively budget-friendly, compact, and versatile. At the same time, they still offer a lot of resistance for both beginners and more experienced lifters.
This is not just great for the good morning exercise but also for at-home strength training in general.
One downside of this option to keep in mind is that some people don’t like the resistance “trajectory” in resistance band good mornings.
The more you stretch out bands, the harder they pull. That means the top of the good morning movement will generally feel more challenging than the bottom part.
Additionally, while barbells are not the most comfortable pieces of equipment either, some people don’t like the way resistance bands feel on their upper back.
Lastly, even quality resistance bands need to be replaced every once in a while due to wear and tear.
2. Bodyweight good morning exercise
While many people do need extra resistance, you may be one of the people who can get most of the benefits of the good morning exercise with just your body weight.
If you can’t do more than 12 to 15 repetitions per set of good mornings, you can likely build some glute and hamstring muscle with the bodyweight version (for now).
The benefits of this variation are relatively straightforward.
You don’t need any equipment which means no investment required, no storage space required, and you can not only do the exercise at home but basically anywhere.
The main downside is that the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles are relatively strong. Most people will need at least some type of extra resistance to actually grow their muscles with the good morning exercise.
You could still be able to improve muscle endurance with the bodyweight version but many people like to see some growth and strength increases.
3. Workout sandbag good morning
There are sandbags that are made specifically for working out. These often have multiple extra handles which makes them easier to use for exercises like the good morning.
Some benefits of sandbags are that they are relatively budget-friendly, compact, and versatile.
Work sandbags are especially great to do the good morning exercise at home since they can hold a lot of weight and because it is relatively easy to hold a lot of weight in the right position.
To make this difference compared to other options clearer, you can also use dumbbells for the good morning but it is a lot less convenient to keep heavy dumbbells in the right position at shoulder height.
These things are important for the good morning exercise since the main muscles worked are relatively strong.
That being said, there are also some small downsides to choosing a workout sandbag for this movement.
First of all, most workout sandbag brands require you to get the sand yourself. This could require an extra trip to a local store.
Secondly, some people don’t like that you have to clean (explosive deadlift movement) the workout sandbag to get it up to shoulder height.
4. Weighted vest good morning
Another non-barbell piece of fitness equipment you can use to do good mornings is a weighted vest. As the name implies, this is simply a vest with extra weights attached to it.
You can wear one of these while doing the good morning to make the movement harder on your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles and in turn, hopefully build more muscle faster.
Weighted vests are relatively compact and versatile. Many brands allow you to adjust the weights which can be helpful if you plan to improve a lot in terms of strength and/or want to do different weighted vest exercises.
One potential downside is that weighted vests are somewhat pricier than some of the other options on this list. Additionally, some people don’t like how they feel during both the good morning and other exercises.
Whether the weighted vest is a good choice depends on whether you already have one at home or what other exercises you plan to implement in your workout routine.
5. Good morning exercise with dumbbells
Doing the good morning exercise with dumbbells is a popular alternative to the barbell version because of how common dumbbells are.
However, the dumbbell version is somewhat lower on the list because it is not that great in terms of functionality.
The initial clean movement to get the weights to shoulder height is not that convenient but generally not the main issue of the dumbbell good morning.
It is typically harder to keep the heavy dumbbells in place during the movement. Your shoulder and forearm grip muscles can fatigue before your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back had a good workout.
Dumbbells are still great pieces of equipment in terms of their durability and versatility. If these are the only type of resistance you can get your hands on, you can also definitely use them for the good morning exercise.
However, you will likely prefer some of the other options on this list for doing weighted good mornings at home.
6. Kettlebell good morning exercise
Kettlebells are basically weighted balls with a handle. Their unique designs make kettlebells great for certain specific exercises like the kettlebell swing.
However, while they can be used for the good morning exercise, they are another example of a piece of fitness equipment that is not that convenient.
The main challenge is again keeping enough weight at shoulder height to make the good morning exercise challenging enough.
You can hold one kettlebell in the same position as a barbell but kettlebells are typically not that heavy. In turn, the movement may be too easy for your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back muscles.
Besides that, you could consider holding two kettlebells. However, depending on how you hold them, your grip, bicep, and/or shoulder muscles may fatigue too soon.
If you already have kettlebells at home or really like typical kettlebell exercises, you could consider kettlebell good mornings.
That being said, most people will prefer one of the other equipment options in this article or some of the good morning exercise alternatives.
7. Tight weighted backpack
When trying to create enough resistance for certain movements at home, you are not necessarily limited to pieces of fitness equipment. More creative solutions like a weighted backpack can be effective too.
One thing to keep in mind is that you want a weighted backpack with a waist strap. This is to avoid the backpack falling over your head at the bottom of the good morning movement.
You can fill a backpack like this with objects like books, water bottles, or packages of food.
An upside of this variation is that you may already have a backpack like this.
Even if you don’t have one, they are relatively budget-friendly and can be used for other purposes, including exercises like pull-ups, pushups, and walking.
One potential downside of weighted backpack good mornings is that people who are more experienced with strength training may find it challenging to create enough resistance with at-home objects.