Leg Day: 8 Reasons not to avoid it
Walkers, wheelchairs, canes… the aftermath from a good leg workout can warrant all of the above. While women tend to relish in their squats and deadlifts, men usually keep to the bench, focusing solely on their glamour muscles(chest, abs, and arms), often encouraging muscle imbalances that contribute to bad posture. So this one is for all the guys out there; here are eight (really good) reasons leg day needs to be a weekly occurrence:
Metabolism: The quads, glutes, and hammies account for a huge chunk of our body's musculature. By developing these muscles, we tap into the greater potential of our bodies to burn more calories at rest. Who wouldn't want that?
Balance: Few things might take you out of the gym, but injury is probably one of them. If your chesticles are the only thing you work on and your lower body is less nimble, a fall might be more likely to result in twisted ankles, sprains, and even broken bones.
Testosterone: Every time we workout, our bodies release testosterone. More testosterone means more muscle development. The bigger the muscle group, the more testosterone. Translation: leg day can lead to bigger pecs. (Ladies, no fear, we don't have nearly as much testosterone so we naturally don't get as big)
Symmetry: Let’s be honest, many lift and diet for aesthetics. Nothing goes better with killer pecs, six pack abs, and cannonball biceps than some seriously muscular legs.
Booty: A nice booty looks good on men AND women.
Sleepy muscles: If you don’t use it, you lose it. Most of us are seriously lacking in the glute and hamstring department. My passionate rant on the importance of the posterior chain(all the muscles on the back side of the body, yes they are there!) is best left for another article. If, however, you find that you’re flopping into your office chair and using your arms and some momentum to stand up from said chair, your muscles aren’t firing for you and that problem only gets worse as we age. As monotonous as at sounds, a squat is simply practicing sitting down and standing up, without the help of chair arms or and rails, so that you will never need them!
Your runs get easier: It’s said that during a run, we absorb about 3x our body weight every time we land. If you’re pistol (single leg) squats are not on point, you’re probably doing more damage to the soft tissue that you are benefitting your heart. No, dear, running is not a leg exercise.
- Burn more calories! Squats and Deadlifts burn more calories per rep than any other movement. (Mic drop)