Man, I hate leg day!
If I had a nickel for every time I saw this statement posted on Facebook or spoken aloud. I’d be filthy, filthy rich.
So why should you include legs? Here are a few reasons for you because friends don’t let friends skip leg day!
TOTAL BODY DEVELOPMENT
Have you ever seen the gym ‘lunk’ who can bench press a mid-sized sedan, but his legs can be used to clean in-between teeth?
Reason number one to never skip legs is you’ll look like Johnny Bravo from Cartoon Network.
While you may be focusing more on your “show muscles” like core, arms, and chest, keep in mind your legs are the source of all your power. Stability, balance, endurance, and range of motion are all dependent on legs.
Where do soccer players get the energy to sprint for the ball? Where do baseball players get their power behind their swing?
Simple tasks such as lifting boxes, climbing stairs, or moving furniture are all accomplished through leg strength.
The only way to properly succeed in your fitness journey is to shoot for total body development. “Show muscles” look good, but working in the legs is a sure way to feel better and live healthier. According to bodybuilding.com –
“…all of us need good leg development for a complete body, no matter who you are. Aside from looking good, well developed legs will help you in just about any sport since they are an integral source of power. I mean, if you don’t have decent leg development it makes you look like you are too lazy to put in the work for legs.” – Joe Corleone
If you can’t fit a solid leg day into your routine, then sprinkle leg exercises into your circuit training routines. Every day is leg day. That’s why Koko includes leg presses, leg lifts, and squats into your programs. We believe in well-rounded fitness and overall body development.
BIG MUSCLES NEED BIG ATTENTION
Your legs are comprised of 3 major muscles: hamstrings, quadriceps, and gluteus maximus. They are some of the biggest muscles in your body. They need to be big to endure the constant muscle strain that comes with basic daily movements.
Think about all the times you call upon your legs during the day: walking from place to place, up and down stairs, driving, lifting groceries, getting out of bed, and more.
Now ask yourself, why wouldn’t you want to improve the muscles that make all of this possible?
Gym-goers – on average – do not realize the benefits of building leg muscles. Or they just don’t want to waste the time they could otherwise spend curling or bench pressing.
Because we use our legs so much they are outfitted with a higher proportion of endurance muscle fibers than the chest or biceps. Therefore, in laymen’s terms, your big muscles need the most attention when working out.
Ignoring these muscles causes decreased endurance, lower stability, slow reflexes, and actually reduces the amount of hormones released during your workouts!
You need to treat your legs as you treat your chest or arms: hit ‘em hard and hit ‘em often.
INCREASE CORE STRENGTH AND MUSCLE GROWTH
Legs not only help you stabilize and lift even more weight, they help define the rest of your body (especially your core).
If you’re struggling to chisel out that 6 pack with countless sit-ups, planks, and Russian twists… Stop and squat.
When you tighten your core muscles to stabilize during a squat, you’re building definition and exhausting your leg muscles at the same time. If you remember from the stretching article, the best path to muscle growth is to exhaust it to where is stretches out your muscle fascia.
Exercises that focus on your quads, hammies, and butt typically involve full body control and deliberate movements. Achieving these movements is only possible by engaging the rest of your body, specifically your abdominals and obliques. So rack up the heavy weights and push your body. The more legs you do, the better your abs will look, which is another reason why they fit so well with circuit routines.
Long story short, if you want to improve your body tone, overall endurance and strength, then you need to include legs in your routine.
Whether you set aside one day a week or if you follow our recommendation and fit them into your circuits or HIIT…Never skip leg day.
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About Michael Wood, Chief Fitness Officer