Never Skip Leg Day: Lower Body Exercises That Do More Than You Think

Let’s look at how some of the most popular leg exercises make a major impact on a person’s overall health and fitness.More

Never Skip Leg Day: Lower Body Exercises That Do More Than You Think

Written By Lewis Robinson / Reviewed By Ray Spotts

If you travel in weightlifting circles or read any health and fitness magazines, you know that “never skip leg day” is such a cliché that it’s become a punchline. This is unfortunate because it reinforces some misconceptions that average people have about strength training.

A person who is just trying to develop muscle, tone up, or increase their overall strength might think that lower body exercises are only necessary or helpful for people who want chiseled calves or huge thighs. If these aren’t their goal, they may dismiss leg exercises. In truth, lower body exercises are essential to full body strength, weight loss, and power.

Let’s look at how some of the most popular leg exercises make a major impact on a person’s overall health and fitness.

Squats

Let’s start with perhaps the most misunderstood lower body exercise, the squat. To an untrained observer, the squat may seem like one of a series of designed for firming up the rear-end. It certainly is that (after all, who doesn’t want a tighter, higher butt?), but it is much more, too.

The squat is one of the most powerful strength training exercises, period. The reason is that it works an incredibly large muscle group that spans most of the body. Think about it: your claves, hamstrings, thighs, glutes, abs, and back muscles all must expand and contract when squatting. It increases flexibility as well as power. Don’t mistake the squat for a simple tush-toner.

Lunges

Lunges are another powerful “leg” exercise that work many of the same muscles as squats, with some added isolations that allow for different benefits. For people with lower back pain or problems, they serve as a good alternative to squats, but don’t mistake them for a mere substitute or variation.

Lunges are also great for balance and symmetry, supporting your core and lower body alike. Lunges are a key component to body weight exercises like yoga and Pilates, where they are often combined with twists to strengthen the upper body. When performed holding weights, they are a great strength builder as well!

Leg Press

When you think of “leg day” there’s a good chance that the leg press is the first exercise that comes to mind. The leg press is a powerful training machine that can be loaded up with weights. You lie on your back and brace yourself by holding onto handles.

The leg press is a very powerful exercise, capable of really strengthening all your leg muscles. It does have two , however. First, because you brace your upper body, you isolate and only work your legs. Second, because of your positioning, it can strain your lower back.

Deadlifting

Many trainers and bodybuilders consider the deadlift to be the ultimate full body exercise. It is similar in some ways to the squat, but it differs in that it is based around a “hinge” movement in the waist and hips. Deadlifts are performed by starting in a squat position with a weighted barbell in front of you. The goal is to carefully grab the barbell and lift it to waist height as you stand out of your squatted position as you “shoot” your hips forward.

to good (and safe) deadlifting, so it’s best to start on a very low weight. The deadlift and other hinge modifications like the trap bar or kettlebells work a huge group of muscles. When done properly, your entire lower body, core, shoulders, and biceps are all engaged.

Walking

It may seem a little low-impact, but never discount the benefits of walking at a brisk pace! Humans are designed to walk and keep your heart in the while walking both burns calories and strengthens your legs. For many, the cardio benefits are comparable to more intense cardio workouts, and walking allows more mindfulness and deep breathing.

As you can see, there are many options to work your legs, based on your body type, specific goals, and level of fitness. You can decide whichever works best for you, just understand that training your lower body will have massive benefits for you all around!

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Written By:

Lewis Robinson is a freelance writer and expert in health and fitness. When he isn’t writing he can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.

Reviewed By:

Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed , a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at .

Photo by Sergio Pedemonte on Unsplash

Source : Trusted Health Products More   

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How You Can Get Started On Your Fitness Journey

There's no reason you can't start a fitness journey gradually. These steps can help you start this new phase in your life at your own pace.More

How You Can Get Started On Your Fitness Journey

Written By Sierra Powell / Reviewed By Ray Spotts

If you've previously lived a sedentary lifestyle and have made the commitment to change, you may be feeling overwhelmed by everything this entails. After all, there are several factors that you'll have to consider in becoming a more fit and active individual.

Many people feel so intimidated by the process that they eventually give up, but there's no reason you can't start a fitness journey gradually. These steps can help you start this new phase in your life at your own pace.

Start With Changing Your Diet

The foods you eat will have a significant impact on your body's ability to lose weight and build lean muscle mass. You can change your diet gradually by reducing your sugar and fat intake. Replace white bread products and pasta with whole grain wheat. Instead of eating ice cream or pie for dessert, feed your sweet tooth with frozen strawberries or blueberries.

Eventually, three-quarters of each meal should be comprised of plant-based foods. You should also use a whey protein mix to create drinks throughout the day. Increasing your protein intake will help your body repair tissue and build lean muscle more efficiently.

Start With Moderate Workouts

While you may have more ambitious ideas for starting your fitness journey, it's better to start out slowly and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workouts. To begin, start with a 30-minute workout three to five days per week that involve moderate-intensity exercises. For the first four weeks, you should stick to this plan.

Afterwards, add another 30 minutes to your workout sessions and increase the intensity gradually. This is also an effective strategy for people who live busy lifestyles and want to add exercise to their schedules. Make appointments in your calendar just as you would schedule a meeting or doctor's appointment.

Engage in Enjoyable Activities

You should spend a minimum of three days per week at the gym, where you can use free weights and resistance training equipment to build muscle. For the remaining days of each week, look for activities that you enjoy doing and try to keep some variety in your workouts.

You can go bicycling, swimming, or golfing on different days of the week. Try running if you find that enjoyable. Other options to consider include team sports, such as tennis, basketball, and softball. Adding a broad range of activities to your fitness journey will keep your workouts from getting boring. Additionally, each activity will exercise a different group of muscles, helping you to keep the development of lean muscle consistent throughout your body.

Take Breaks

Especially as you begin to change your lifestyle, it's important to have realistic expectations of your body. After spending most of your time living an inactive life, your muscles and tissue won't be as elastic as they should be and your cardiovascular system won't adapt to changes in your body's need for energy as efficiently.

You should be willing to take breaks as frequently as you need them without chastising yourself for not doing better. Work more on consistency, and congratulate yourself for carrying through with each workout. Your body's resilience and agility will improve through regular exercise.

Hold Yourself Accountable

When people feel accountable to themselves or to others, they're less likely to give up on their goals. This is especially true of a fitness journey. You can hold yourself accountable by keeping a journal in which you write about your dietary changes and fitness achievements each day.

If you feel as though you need to be held accountable to someone other than yourself, there are several options available to you. One method people use is to partner up with someone else who is also invested in starting a fitness journey. You and a friend can motivate one another.

You can also start a blog or vlog online. By documenting your fitness journey to your followers, you'll feel obligated to continue pursuing your goals. Additionally, you'll inspire others to start pursuing their own fitness goals.

You should take your fitness journey at your own pace. After you have made one of these changes in your life, take the time to live with it. Once it feels like it has become a natural habit in your life, take it a step further. As long as you continue challenging yourself, you will make progress in your journey. Before long, you'll see the positive changes in your life that had seemed impossible just a short while ago.

Subscribe to our  newsletter for more information about . If you are looking for more health resources check out the  

Written By:

Sierra Powell graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a major in Mass Communications and a minor in Writing. When she's not writing, she loves to cook, sew, and go hiking with her dogs.

Reviewed By:

Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed , a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at .

Photo by  from 

Source : Trusted Health Products More   

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