If you’re like most gym-goers, you probably don’t train your legs as often as your abs. In most cases, only the power rack is probably used for squats. Many individuals have bigger upper bodies but thin legs.
The reason: we all have an excuse to skip a proper leg routine or maybe we have an excuse which we presume is a good reason to avoid leg exercises.
Running for your legs, or not wanting big, bulky legs or assuming that squats are bad for your knees often cause most trainers to make one of the biggest sins in the fitness world and that is, not working the legs enough.
To bust all myths associated with leg workouts, we have compiled the top six reasons why you shouldn’t avoid them:
With strong legs, you can perform your daily life activities better. Also, run faster, lift heavier, jump higher and improve your overall fitness level and ability.
Whether or not you’re an athlete or a competitor, strengthening your muscle will only do you a lot of good. Anything from moving heavy furniture to carrying your baby or even climbing the stairs becomes much easier with a pair of strong and stable legs.
Increase mental strength
The deal with not doing enough leg exercises is that they are marginally harder compared to ab exercises or arm exercises. Leg exercises need mental strength and doing squats and deadlifts will help you discover and build it.
Doing bench presses and curls may help you build some strength but they are incomparable to squats, lunges, and deadlifts. These exercises use almost every muscle in your body and thus need a lot of energy and strength.
To execute them perfectly, you don’t only need physical strength but mental strength and concentration too. Your legs constitute some of the biggest muscles in your body, working them is only going to help you boost your metabolism and burn more calories.
If you think you need to engage in cardio workouts every day to burn maximum fat, you may want to think again. While cardio is crucial in every workout regimen, so is a leg training routine.
Training your legs, especially with multi-joint compound movements will help you burn more calories at greater ease as compared to upper body exercises such as lateral raises and bicep curls.
This results in increases fat loss which is partly associated with the release of hormones while training your legs. Your leg muscles are large enough to induce a hormonal response to help you burn more fat and build upper body mass at the same time. It’s a win-win.
Increase testosterone and growth hormones
Many scientific studies prove that squats and deadlifts are surefire ways of increases the release of testosterone and growth hormone in most individuals.
Ideally, you should focus on gaining strength and muscle mass through natural methods, therefore, say no to the overpriced and overhyped testosterone or growth hormone booster – you don’t need it.
Strengthen your bones
Front squats, calf raises, deadlifts, lunges, leg presses, weighted squats, and other challenging leg exercises are excellent for increasing muscle mass and strength in your legs and improving the health of your bones and joints. Weight-bearing workouts and resistance exercises are critical for the prevention of arthritis and osteoporosis.
However, if you have been diagnosed with a joint or bone condition, seeing a doctor and seeking advice from your physiotherapist may be the best way to go prior to starting a strength routine.
But don’t just work your legs…
When it comes to fitness, creating balance in your routine is just as important as finishing a workout, or perhaps more. Carrying a massive pounder on your back and doing a squat will benefit your body immensely but you need to balance it out by working your upper body as well.
Breaking down your upper body fibers by performing upper body strength workouts will help bring about change in your body. Remember that squats and deadlifts can’t replace rows and presses, they simply contribute to the awesomeness of the entire package.
Make sure you work all aspects of your body and couple your exercise routine with a healthy and nutritious diet packed with quality calories, enough rest, adequate sleep and a lot of happy hormones coming from all of the above.