Good Morning Dips

Here’s an illustration of the “Good Morning Dip” by John McKean, a student of Dr. Len Schwartz and advocate of “Longstrength” training for weight lifters.

Good Morning Dip courtesy John McKean


The “Good Morning” is another name for the “forward bend”… like that done when “touching your toes”.

A “Dip” is a “pushup” or “press up” on two parallel bars that allow the body to be suspended in mid air and lowered, then raised.

Most of us cannot do the “Dip” exercise aerobically! Even if we could, it would not mean Dr. Schwartz’ criteria of engaging multiple muscle groups at the same time to reduce the effort expended by any SINGLE group!

So Dr. Schwartz combined these two exercises into one… so that it would activate the chest, shoulders, arms, and lower back with each of these muscle groups offering support so the movement could be done for a long time!

The exercise is so are… nobody has made a video even!

If dipping bars are not available, people have been known to use home made dipping bars

Home made dipping bars courtesy “Back To Primal”


You could also use the backs of two sturdy chairs. Others use “walkers” that people who are not stable enough to walk use to get around! You could even use the surface of a washing machine or kitchen counter or other elevated surface.  Adjusting the handles on a suspension trainer should work as well!

Whatever you choose to work out with, bend forward while letting your arms guide you down while under control. Using your back and arms, come erect again.  This exercise should allow your arms to do many more “pushups” (“press ups”) or “dips” than could otherwise be done because of the back involvement. At the same time, your lower back is getting the assistance of the arms. While this movement may not seem too taxing, done in sufficient number, it can quickly elevate the heart rate to gain or maintain the heart rate in one’s “training range” (see note below).

To add difficulty to the move, it can be done “on the toes” throughout the movement or end in a calf raise. More or less weight can be shifted to the chest and arms if one feels those body parts are being cheated and more shifted to the back later. One should always be conscious of involving the lower back in this movement, however, to help the back muscles remain strong and enduring in their own right!

Combined with the “Squat Pull” or “Squat Row”, “Good Morning Dips” may be the only two exercises needed for a complete “Longstrength” or “Panaerobic” workout… but we’ll discuss more exercises soon!



Note: Training range is determined by this formula : [220 – (# of years)] * (50%-80% depending on relative fitness). A very fit 40 year old might seek to maintain a heart rate of 144 during an extended training period. That is derived from the formula of (220-40)*80%. See your physician for guidance in exercising and determining a proper “training rate” or “training range” for your particular condition!



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  1. Pingback: Panaerobic Walking | Strength Endurance, Panaerobics, Isotonometrics, and LongStrength

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