Why not to skip legs

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Why not to skip legs

A guide to the benefits of legs

One thing that many people are guilty of is skipping leg day. For some reason everyone can relate to not having the desire to train legs and skip it for arms or chest. Although one of the most hated muscle group to train, there are many benefits to not skipping legs. So, if you are one of the many people that must be reminded to do legs then this is the article for you. In this post we are going to be going over the many reasons why to train legs and the benefits they could be doing for you. 

Aesthetics

One pretty obvious reason to train legs is for the looks. If you want to look ripped, then its pretty weird to only train half your body …right? Quite a common sight in gyms nowadays its many people with well developed upper bodies but they have sticks for legs. We all know this is not a good look and really, we are just doing ourselves wrong by not training legs. So, doing more legs will improve your symmetry and make you look bigger. 

Will increase your gains for other muscles

As well as building muscles in your legs, training legs can also help gain more muscle in other areas. This can be due to many leg workouts being compound movements that work many muscles. For example, a deadlift incorporates your back and core as well as leg muscles like glutes, quads and hamstrings. Compound exercises are very important as they train many muscles at one time and increase muscle hypertrophy (increase of muscle cell size). If you would like to find out more about compound movements then check out this article by Jane Chertoff
Its well known that testosterone production is directly linked to muscle growth, and to increase your overall muscle mass a higher testosterone level will be ideal. As many leg workouts are compound movements and usually involve lifting heavy weight, this encourages the release of testosterone, therefore increasing testosterone levels. Also, heavy lifting promotes testosterone release and as your legs contain the strongest muscles in your body then I am pretty sure you are going to be lifting some serious weight. 

Less injury prone 

Training your lower body will also make you less prone to injury and can help with recovery. Your legs are constantly being used and are supporting our torso all day, every day. If you where to just train upper body this will make your legs more injury prone and less developed, this means they will be under constant pressure and can lead to back problems. Many leg workouts can also strengthen your lower back which is a common injury among athletes. Having a stronger lower back will make it less prone to injury.
As well as strengthening muscles, training legs will also strengthen joints. This is key for injury prevention as you can strengthen vulnerable joints and smaller muscles that otherwise don’t get a chance to be trained. Also, many movements allow for a wide range of motion that stretch your muscles out and make them feel looser. For example, going deeper when squatting stretches out your glutes and strengthens ligaments. If you would like to check out more workouts that will strengthen you joints check out this post by Men’s Journal

Help your burn fat 

As well as gaining muscle you will also be burning fat by training legs regularly. This can be due to the increased muscle mass which increases your metabolic rate and helps burn fat faster. The exercises usually done when training legs also utilise many muscle groups. This means that the exercises are more demanding, meaning more fat is burned when doing them. One common misconception when trying to burn fat is that by training a certain muscle group you reduce the fat in this area. This is not true and reducing fat on a certain spot is pretty much impossible, so you will have to lose overall body fat to reduce the fat stored on a certain place.
As well as increasing your afterburn affect (calories burned after a workout), training legs like many other forms of resistance training burns calories while doing the workout. The number of calories burned immediately is slightly higher when training legs as many movements are demanding and incorporate many muscles. So, if your looking to lose some fat then hitting the squat rack is something to consider. 

Mental benefits 

One benefit of resistance training that does not seem to be the most obvious are the mental ones. Training legs can improve our will and mental strength as we muster up the courage to go to the gym and train legs. Like many other muscle groups, legs for many people is a favourite. This is the session that you would look forward to every week and instantly improves your mood from the first set. This give the person a chance to get away from everyday life and have their little escape. If you would like to find out more about the mental health benefits of resistance training, then check out this article. 

Helps you with other sports 

Another benefit of training leg’s is that it can improve your performance in other activities. If you engage in a sport, then training legs is likely going to benefit you in some way. An example could include a rugby player or a cyclist training their legs, this will improve their performance as the strength of their legs will increase which is needed in both of these sports. Other than strength, training legs also improves balance. This is key in basically any sport, whether you need improved balance when running or are a dancer, all athletes will benefit from improved balance. To see many more benefits of balance training check out this article published on Harvard health. 
So, what you should have taken away from this post is that training legs is equally as important as any other muscle group and should not be skipped. If anything, legs are one of the most important muscles to train from a aesthetic and performance point of view. An uneven physique does not look great and more developed legs are likely to increase many other lifts and stimulate muscle growth in other parts of your body. So, whatever your fitness or aesthetic goals, training legs will definitely benefit you and is not worth skipping.