The Good Morning, A Powerful Exercise for Spinal Health, Core Strength, and Postural Correction

The good morning, also known as the straight leg dead lift, is an exercise I frequently discuss. I give this exercise to practically every single person I work with. It will help you avoid disc herniation, minimize low back discomfort, improve the function and safety of your pelvic or core, reduce hamstring tension, and improve your overall quality of life and function, which is why I like it so much. The reason we need to start with so many people is that this is also the solution to sitting too much. When you sit, all of the flexor groups in your lower body are excessively short or tight, especially if your heels are behind your knees.

The hamstrings, hip flexors, and lower abdominals are all included. You're stretching and elongating the quadriceps, glute med, piriformis, glute max, all of the muscles in your lower back, and everything in your chest and shoulders while shortening these groups and thereby increasing their tone or tightness. This is why, after sitting for a long period, you feel tight and stiff when you rise up and walk around. As a result, this exercise has the potential to resolve all of those concerns.

Bending over and touching your toes, then standing back up and looking at the ceiling immediately behind you, straight up slowly but without halting, will stretch all of the muscles that you are holding short by sitting and activate the joints that need to move. You will strengthen your back while increasing flexibility in your hamstrings and hip flexors. This will assist you in avoiding injuries such as a disc herniation or a low back strain. As you progress, it is a good idea to start holding weights to further strengthen your back, but it usually comes later on.

However, DO NOT USE A BAR, which I know I say a lot, but it is crucial to get the true full range. Use dumbbells and push your chest out while you stand up and look up at the ceiling, rolling your hands around such your pinky fingers contact the back of your buttocks. This can truly free up the chest so you can breathe better while also helping to cure shoulder difficulties caused by a tight pec. I perform these every day as part of my core function when I work out, but I also do them without weights all the time if I have to stand or sit for an extended period of time.

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Dr. Matt Chalmers

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