You've probably heard it before: Friends don't let friends skip leg day. And it's true.
We all know at least one person in the gym who has big arms and a big torso but is all skin and bones when it comes to their legs. Besides the visually pleasing look of balancing out your frame, regardless of your gender, working on your legs also has a whole range of benefits when it comes to your health and even other workouts.
Leg day is never an easy day of the week in a balanced strength training routine, but the endorphin rush of getting that muscle pump and working out that muscle group is well worth it, and is an amazing help to keep you coming back to workout.
So let's get into it: why you shouldn't skip a leg day.
IMPROVED BALANCE AND STABILITY
Leg day workouts, especially when done one leg at a time, correct imbalances that you would have previously no doubt have been taking to other exercises. Leg workouts also often employ your lower back and core muscles, which altogether, really works to improve your posture. So on top of looking great, you'll hold yourself like a champ!
INCREASE YOUR METABOLISM
The afterburn of a leg day workout is amazing for your metabolism. As the largest muscle group, it's undeniable that training legs is more of a struggle at the weights. But you're rewarded with a longer-lasting calorie burn after you hit them. Building more muscle also burns more calories for maintenance, which makes it a great exercise for fat loss.
You heard us. We know it's been said before, but exercise makes you happy. But the amount of endorphins and dopamine that is released proportionately increases based on how heavy you lift and how hard you work out. Your legs make up the largest muscle group in your body and compound exercises like squats and deadlifts also tend to not just rely on your legs but on your back and core. For this reason, a leg day workout releases more endorphins than training any other muscle group, especially when you find that muscle pump.
These 'happy chemicals' also help regulate your movement, emotions, and memory.
STIMULATE GROWTH HORMONES
Anytime you are doing a heavy compound exercise like squats or workout heavy on a large muscle group, your body releases dopamine, testosterone, cortisol and human growth hormone (HGH). As the largest muscle group in your body, a leg day workout accomplishes the most potent release. Testosterone and HGH boost your ability and capacity to build muscles and burn fat. The latter hormone particularly is also attributed to anti-aging.
HG hormone stimulates collagen and elastin production, muscle growth and cell repair, which is why even though leg days are a heavy workout day those often well versed in them can mostly recover after a day.
REDUCE INJURY RISK
While everyone tends to have their favorite exercises or routines, the truth is it's good to cross-train to help ensure you cover your bases in fitness. So that your form or strengths aren't too lopsided, and that you get hurt from weaknesses in other areas.
PREVENT A SORE BACK
Leg day workouts target the big three when it comes to muscle weakness that can lead to back pain: legs, back and core. Working out your glutes especially has thus become one of the less intrusive routes many people are using to help aid or prevent back pain.
THE BOTTOM LINE
It's important to train your leg muscles, in addition with the other major muscle groups in your body to build up your overall strength and performance.
So don't forget leg day! In all seriousness, it's okay to take a break from a leg day when you're feeling sick, injured or overly tired. For the last instance, we may also suggest instead of taking a complete break moving onto a reload week instead.
While leg day may be hard at first, it really becomes a favorite training day for anyone strength training. Hold yourself accountable, knowing what you can push and do, so that you don't go back or lose progress.
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