Yes, you HAVE TO WORK OUT YOUR LEGS! Gentlemen, do not be the guy with the huge upper body and chicken legs. Ladies, having a little “junk in the trunk” is a good thing! We as a people have to come together and realize that it may be the most stressful body part to work, but it’s totally worth it!
Here are just some of the benefits to working out your lower body:
- Legs use the most energy: AKA they burn the most calories! (yes… that means they burn the most fat too!)
- Most leg exercises use the whole body: everything becomes stronger
- Glutes and Hamstrings take pressure off of you lower back and help strengthen your core*
- Proper form and strengthening your legs can decrease, prevent and fix knee, hip and ankle pain
Are you sold yet? I lost you at calories huh? Well, just these alone should be enough to make you want to do some squats and climb some stairs, but if not, we will go into more detail!
The glutes are the largest muscle in your body. Working these along with the rest of the muscles in your legs consume the most energy and can potentially burn the most fat! Integrating squats, lunges or any type of lower body movements can increase your heart rate and burn more energy (calories).
Full Body Movement
Squats and dead lifts use the entire body. Weighted squats use everything from your back, core, shoulders and legs. Full body workout = full body strength.
Lower Back and Core
The stronger your booty and hamstrings are, the less your back has to take on a load*. Now this has an * because it only helps if in the process, you learn how to move with proper form. Once you learn how to activate and move properly, there is less back strain, less pressure, and more smiling faces! So what I am trying to say is that proper form and strength in the hip region (glutes and hammys) will help with any core work in the future and will help prevent any future back injuries! This is a great area of your body to strengthen due to the many benefits so ask your local trainer to help you with these compound movements!
Prevent and Fix Muscle Imbalances
Have any knee issues? Ever looked down while you walk? If your feet are turned out or in, then you might have some imbalances and tightness! Your feet should be straight when you walk and working on aligning your feet alone can greatly prevent any pain down the road! Something as small as doing step ups or lunges with your feet in proper alignment can help rebuild a good habit of walking properly!
Breaking it Down:
Leg work = Happy life! Just do it! It is one of the more strenuous muscles to work out, but worth every bit of hard work!
For Men Only:
Want a rush? Working legs increases the release of growth hormones and testosterone. This builds muscle faster and stronger! Sorry ladies, you don’t have enough testosterone to produce the same effect and this is a good thing! In addition, ladies, this is the reason you will never get bulky like men. You do not have the right body parts!
So, back to the men: Working legs = stronger upper body! Now to the conclusion: Having chicken legs looks awkward… Period.