Do you get tired of training legs/lower body? Or do you hear the saying “Don’t skip leg day? Well there are plenty of valid reasons not to skip legs day. Do you ever use the excuse that your knees hurt when squatting or my legs are already big enough, whatever the story, not training your legs or “skipping leg day” is a big no, no. especially when it comes to weight loss. Why? Our legs are the largest muscle group so when we train our legs we are utilising larger muscle groups therefore our bodies become more efficient at burning fat, even after we finish training. Training our legs is also beneficial when it comes to core strengthening or a strong abdomen. So when we do train our largest muscle group we are actually incorporating the core muscles as well, abs here we come!!
Lower body exercise also increases bone density, improves your balance and stamina and decreases injuries to your knees and hips, as well as ensuring you become less likely to accidents and falls due to the improvement to your strength and coordination of the lower body. And no matter what age you are that is always important to be injury free, with how busy life gets we cannot afford to take time of work because of an injury nor can we afford to stop exercising due to the increase in lifestyle diseases and the rise of sedentary lives we lead. Children benefit by learning better balance, control and awareness of their bodies. Adults need to customise their training more so to suit their daily activities/lifestyle. Also, a strong lower body helps slow the physical weakness that is part of the aging process and maintains balance, endurance and confidence.
The major muscles of your lower body are the gluts, which move your upper leg to the side or back; the abductors of the lateral thigh, which help move your leg to the side; the abductors of the inner thigh, which move your leg back toward midline; the hamstrings of the posterior thigh, which lift your heels toward your buttocks; the quadriceps of the anterior thigh, which straighten your leg; and the calf muscles, which point your feet downward and help you stand on your toes. All of which most likely sounds like PT jargon to you however these are some seriously important muscle groups to take care of and if you have no idea how to train them you can that it would be easy to injure yourself. So do it safely and do it right the first time to avoid injury and the guess work. Our lower body being the largest muscle group of the body needs to be taken care of, utilising the muscles efficiently is important. If we are going to train this particular group of muscles more it means, we also need to take a little more self-care as well. Including a regular visit to the masseuse or chiro when necessary as well as a yoga class on a regular basis to help stretch them out correctly and strengthen them using body weight and effective poses instructed by a professional. Investing in a foam roller will pay off in dived ends, self-care protocols are so important when it comes to the human body because we only have one body to live in for the duration of our existence and if we don’t look after it well then it won’t look after us in return.
5 key takeaways as to why training the lower body is important:
- Basic function/movement: You might rely on long runs or walks to help build your endurance, but you’re missing a big part of the equation if you skip leg strength exercises.
- Muscle growth production: Many of the most common leg exercises are compound movements, which means they work multiple joints.
- Metabolic booster: Working more muscles with an exercise also makes it a bigger calorie-burner. A lower body workout consisting of squats, step-ups, leg extensions and lunges burns a serious number of calories.
- Power production: Strong legs are intrinsic to pushing more weight, whether flipping tires, moving furniture or pressing a barbell over your chest. You need the power from your lower body to propel weight forward. Neglect training your legs and you’re cheating yourself of a major source of power production.
- A balanced body: Neglect your legs, and you’ll never progress beyond the fundamental movements/exercises of your training program.As sedentary lifestyles further increase in our society, we are sitting more and more.
Excessive sitting leads to tightness in our hips and legs and loss of muscle mass (primarily in our Glutes). When you go to the gym you want to train to fight the effects of this lifestyle. So if your dealing with tight hips, knee injuries, lower back pains, the goal is to not avoid these areas in the gym but rather to attack them head on with proper strength training using free weights and calisthenics. if you are unsure of what that means it is a good idea to hire a personal trainer to point you in the right direction.
If you are in the Hills District area including Castle Hill, Kellyville, Bella Vista, Baulkham Hills, Glenhaven, West Pennant Hills, Dural, Rouse Hill and surrounding areas contact us to help you get started on your health and wellness journey.