We all know that one person that has an enormous torso and twigs for legs. A person who skips leg day is easy to spot. Many people focus on their so-called “mirror muscles.” These muscles may look the best in your reflection but if you are only working out the upper half of your body, you’re making a mistake. Leg day helps you not only build muscle but offers many other health benefits. A leg workout can be difficult, but that is no reason to skip leg day. When it comes to fitness, you only get out what you are willing to put in. If you are serious about getting fit than a leg day is a must. Today we are going to look at the nine reasons that you should not skip your leg workout.
Reduced Risk of Injury
Functional exercises such as squats and lunges promote stability in the knee. According to the American Council on Exercise increased stability is the best way to avoid an ACL tear. Having strong legs means you are much less likely to seriously injure yourself. Reduced risk of injury is one of the biggest benefits of a leg workout.
Increased Athletic Preformance
Any sport requires leg strength. Whether you play basketball, soccer or baseball, leg strength can increase your performance. Increased leg strength allows you to run faster, jump higher, and generate explosive power when you need it most. So if your goal is to become a professional athlete or simply want to school your friends in a pickup basketball game, leg day is the way to do it.
Higher Calorie Burn
Whether or not your goal is weight loss, a leg workout offers you the most bang for your buck. Bigger muscles produce more significant returns in regards to increased heart rate and fat burn. Your legs have some of the largest muscles in your body. Because of this fact, a leg workout requires the greatest amount of work from your heart and brain. This increases your metabolism, therefore increasing your caloric burn both during and after the workout. So skipping leg day means you won’t get the returns you are looking for from your gym routine.
Run Faster and Longer
You may think that running is the only way to increase speed and endurance, but you would be wrong. Integrating strength training into to you endurance routine can help make you a better runner. Typically runners suffer injuries to their hips. Deadlifts have been shown to reduce the risk of hip injury. There is also the benefit of increasing your ability to sprint to the finish line. Studies show that runners that include strength training into their routines have more left in the tank for the final sprint.
Large upper body muscles are no match for a patch of ice or a balance beam. Paired with strong core muscles(abs and lower back) strong leg muscles increase balance significantly. Not skipping leg days gives you the stability and balance you need for anything life throws at you.
Increased Range of Motion
You may think that weight training and larger muscles wouldn’t help with flexibility. Think again. Mobile joints are required for nearly all disciplines of pro athletics. Olympic weightlifters and elite Crossfit athletes need mobile joints to maximize the power that they produce. Even if you’re not a pro athlete, exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and lunges will improve your range of motion. Once you have safely mastered the movements, increasing the weight will improve flexibility and your muscle gains.
Reduce Lower Back Pain
Let’s face it, most American’s sit at a desk all day. Sitting at a desk has serious negative health effects. One common side effect of an office job is lower back pain. Increasing strength in your legs, hips, abs, and back can reduce the risk of back pain. Many people think that stretching alone will solve this problem. Unfortunately, while stretching helps, it isn’t the answer to your problems. Leg day can help you both in and out of the office, in regards to reduced back pain.
Extra Stregth for Everyday Tasks
If you are not a pro athlete or avid sports enthusiast you can still benefit from not skipping leg day. Everyday tasks such as moving furniture, picking up boxes, and carrying in the groceries become easier with increased strength in your legs. If you want to feel like a superhero while accomplishing your everyday tasks, then a strong leg routine is the way to go.
A Leg Workout is Complex
A beginner may want to see help from a personal trainer to help them start their leg workouts. Leg exercises such as squats and deadlifts are difficult maneuvers to master. Having someone to guide you can be the difference between getting stronger and getting injured. Look for a local personal trainer to help guide you in the right direction.