One of the things you hear said the most in gyms is “don’t skip leg day bro”, yet a lot of recreational lifters or bodybuilders still lack development in their lower body compared to their upper body. There are a few reasons for this but the main one is probably simply that people notice the upper body gains faster than the leg gains, so we have extra motivation to get a bigger chest or biceps in order to get more compliments. The other main reason is probably just that training legs is so damn hard!
Still, if you want more results in the long run, along with being more functional and looking more balanced, you should train your legs just as much as your upper body. Here are my top reasons why:
- If your goal is to get lean or to gain muscle, training your legs will help you reach your goals faster. Yes, I know your fat is mostly stored on your stomach and that you want to do more sit-ups to get rid of it, but unfortunately that’s not how it works. If you want to burn that fat on your stomach, you need to burn fat on your entire body. Training legs more will make sure that your leg muscles (the biggest in your body) are burning more calories during (and after!) your workout. This will raise your metabolism and help you get into an energy (caloric) deficit, which is one of the ways your body will burn fat. On top of this, training your lower body and the biggest muscles will help raise your growth hormone and testosterone levels. These anabolic hormones play a vital role in human cell reproduction of muscle tissue and help you burn more fat.
- If you want to look good, you need to try and look proportional. Bottom line, your legs need to be bigger than your arms. When you train your legs, you actually also work your upper body and even your abs! Deadlifts and heavy squats require you to contract your core with a lot of strength which will actually help you have abs, but they will also force you to contract your entire back (trapezius, rhomboids, delts, even forearms) to make sure you keep a good form and push in the right direction. If you remember my last article, I discussed how important training your back was compared to your chest, and training legs will help you reach that balance and that athletic/functional look.
- My third reason why you should train your legs more is to reverse the effects of sitting. When you spend your days sitting at a desk, your lower body muscles get weaker and your hips and legs get tighter. This will lead to loss of muscle mass and to the appearance of injuries but it can be prevented by doing the correct exercises and stretches. When you start getting pain in your knees and hips from sitting too long and being sedentary, the worst thing to do is to avoid training those areas. Instead, attack them head on with proper strength training using free weights, preferably.
If you’re not sure how to train legs, get in touch below and we will get back to you with more information on how to help you reach your goals. It’s important to train legs but it’s also very important to do it properly to optimize your results and to prevent injuries. If you’re not in Dubai, don’t forget to check out our online training with videos on how to do each exercise safely.