What l found that was quite interesting in the gym today that not many people were actually doing anything for their lower body. l think there was maybe one chap near me on he squat bar and everyone else seemed to be training their upper half! This may have obviously been a coincidence or do are you the type of person that ignores leg training?
There are major benefits not only for body builders but for people who actually want to lose weight and shape up there body!
Here are the reasons why if you don’t lift weights with your legs you may be missing out on better results in the gym!
1) The biggest muscle groups are in your legs
Well at least they should be your biggest muscles. If trained correctly your largest pieces of muscle mass are in your legs. The Glutes (backside) themselves are the thickest piece of muscle in the human body, then you have the Quads and on the back of the legs your hamstrings. The lower half you have your calves. The two most common fitness goals in the world are to get stronger and to lose weight. When doing workouts focus around your legs you can place more load because they are bigger muscles. More load equals more strength and it also equals more calories being used which spikes up your metabolism to intense fat burning levels.
2) Increased growth hormone and testosterone
Studies have shown that not only does working your legs increase your caloric burn but it also forces your glands to produce the muscle developing hormones. These are called the growth hormone from the pituitary and testosterone organs. These hormones play vital roles in human cell reproduction of muscle tissue, bone tissue and for guys reproduction tissue. So you get better muscles, bones and a sex life from working out your legs too!
3) Become better at sport
Almost every athletic move’s come from generation of strength through opening and closing of the hip. Jumping, running, throwing, kicking, flipping, punching all of these and more rely on being able to generate strong hip hinge and rotation. You can only strength this mechanism through working your legs.
4) Training legs gives you great abs
Your ab muscles tie directly into your pelvic floor and also many of the muscles in your upper legs originate in the same area of your lower abdomen. So when your training legs your midsection gets tighter and tighter. Many professional athletes don’t do any “Ab” exercises, lunges, squats and Deadlifts do all the “Ab” work they need.
5) Be more in proportion
There is nothing worse than having great muscular tone and development on your top half and then a weak bottom half holding you up. First it just doesn’t look good but more importantly its super dangerous to have this unnatural disproportion. The lower body in my opinion should be twice as strong as your upper body, think about your everyday function, which muscles are doing most of the work? So if this imbalance exist you are prone to some serious injury.
6) Have a great butt
The number one fear in life is to have your butt sag, especially after giving birth and the second fear is to lose your butt altogether. But when your doing heavy lifting with those glutes (Backside) you’ll start putting on some tight muscle mass and your butt will keep lifting as the years progress.
7) Reverse the effects of sitting
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 backside). 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.
8) Improve your cardio conditioning
First off let me start off by saying, doing cardio like running, spinning, x-trainer ect will not give you the legs that you want! How can this be? Well cardio or endurance exercises challenge only a certain part of your leg muscle tissue, what we call slow-twitch muscles fibers. These muscle fibers are lean, thin and made to last for long periods of time. But the other muscles fiber type we want to train are those fast-twitch muscle fibers. These are bigger and take on good shape, they also are the ones that let us generate immediate strength, like for sprinting or lifting a heavy weight. So cardio is great but its not going to give us all the benefits on this list here. You have to strength train your legs.
Finally the real reasons that most people don’t train their legs is cause its hard. I mean your using a lot of muscle, your burning tons of calories, it’s exhausting. Your using muscles that are super undeveloped due to bad lifestyles. Your battling injuries due to this same cycle of neglect and bad habit. But this doesn’t mean to avoid it still as this is the best way in dealing with those issues head on. So get squatting!