Don’t Skip These Leg Day Workouts!
You know leg day workouts are important. You’ve heard everyone say it: “Don’t skip leg day!” But you put it off anyway to focus more on your upper body gains. You wonder, Does it really matter if I do leg workouts? They are so tough!
This can be pretty common in the fitness community, especially among men who finding upper body lifting to be much more fulfilling and attractive. But the truth is that working your lower body is about way more than aesthetics. It’s your secret sauce to delivering total body results and maintaining balance in the body.
Why Leg Day Workouts are Important
The legs are a major muscle group, which means you’ll literally be moving all of your body when you do leg workouts. This makes you super efficient at burning more calories. And did you know that since leg workouts are so intense, they rev up your metabolism for over 24 hours afterwards? That means you’re basically a fat burning machine for a whole day without any extra effort!
Plus, working out your legs is crucial for every day strength and balance. Just to get from one place to another in our homes or at work, we have to walk. Wouldn’t you want to keep your easiest mode of transportation as strong and efficient as possible?
You’ll also be reducing the risk of lower back injury when picking things up or lowering things to the ground, which requires mostly leg strength.
And let’s face it: toned legs look great. Solely training your upper body leads to an unbalanced look. Training consistently will produce beautiful definition and tone that looks great on everyone. Even women who don’t want to look “bulky” can experience a slimming effect from regularly training their leg muscles.
Best Leg Day Workouts
So you’re going to start celebrating leg day now, right? Here are some basic (but very effective!) exercises to get you going.
1. Squats: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your back straight. As you inhale, bend your knees and begin to sit back onto your heels. As you exhale, use the backs of your legs and your glutes to push back up into a standing position.
Note: Don’t let your knees go far past your toes when you squat, and remember to keep your back straight to protect it at all times!
2. Lunges: Stand with your feet together. As you inhale, step one foot forward and bend your knees into a lunge so each leg makes a 90-degree angle. As you exhale, step back again and into a standing position. Then do the same on the other leg.
Note: Make sure you do the same number of reps on each leg to keep them balanced.
3. Dead Lifts: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and the barbell on the floor in front of you. Have your shins as close as possible to the bar. Hold the bar with either an alternated grip (one palm facing away from you, one facing towards you) or with both palms facing in. Bend down with bent legs and a straight back, leaning forward at the waist. As you exhale, lift the bar back up as you straighten your legs. Keep your arms straight at all time. As you inhale, return to the starting position slowly.
The best thing about these workouts is that there are TONS of variations you can do.
And don’t be surprised if you find yourself enjoying them after a while! Sometimes the hardest part of exercise is building up initial strength. Once you’re stronger, the workout isn’t as uncomfortable and you start to embrace it. For even more motivation, use one of these music stations to get you pumped up.