I see it all the time – guys in the gym who have colossally sculpted upper bodies and miniature chicken-legs. Not only does this look absolutely ridiculous (no symmetry whatsoever), but failing to train your legs is a physiological mistake. Yes it’s true that the glutes are the largest muscle in the body, but being the largest muscle group in the body, skipping over your legs just won’t do! I’m not going to talk about the muscles you train in this post, rather my reasons for training them in the first place:
1) Aside from the cosmetic reason of creating body-symmetry, legs are worth keeping conditioned (something your body will thank you for as it matures). Strength training of the legs stimulates bone re-calcification, enhances tendon and ligament durability and improves overall joint strengthening.
2) Larger muscles boost the metabolism and burn more calories, so legs therefore can potentially burn the highest number of calories at rest. Most serious bodybuilders seem to believe that a 30min leg session will burn anywhere from 500-1000 calories depending on intensity (that’s 25-50% of your recommended daily calorie intake!). Also, a lot of cardiovascular exercise involves using your legs so by increasing strength and/or size, you’ll help fuel your workouts while burning more calories too!!
3) Being the largest muscle group in the body, training your legs encourages the release of natural testosterone and other growth hormones, promoting overall strength and mass throughout your whole body, not just the legs.
4) And finally it’s good to keep your body guessing. By training your legs, it’ll add yet another important variation to your regime, stimulating optimal muscle adaptation and growth.
Click here for photos and descriptions for part of the leg session I did earlier today… Faya x
A) Barbell Squats targets not only your legs but also your abs as they have to stabilise the weight during the squat. 10 reps, 4 sets.
B) Dead lifts especially work your lower back, hamstrings and glutes. Arm strength is required to grip and lift the heavy weight. Form is as per pictures below. 10 reps, 4 sets.
C) Calf raises – try the smith machine, as per my picture below. 10 reps, 4 sets.
D) Floored Leg Press – again, using the Smith Machine, as below… 10 reps, 4 sets.
Keep the intensity up (as below 🙂 ) !!