Benefits of lower body exercise
Lower body exercise is extremely important however, leg day is possibly the most dreaded day at the gym. Although muscles like your arms, back, shoulders and core are more noticeable when you train them regularly, to those who are missing leg days- you are making a big mistake. Setting aside training sessions to work on your lower body, will help you develop and maintain strong quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves- some of the biggest muscles in the body.
Plus- who wants big arms and chest muscles on top of skinny legs? Not only will you start to look better physically; but you will start to feel the effects of the many other benefits to training and partaking in lower body exercises can have. Here we have given you some top reasons below.
Top reasons to do lower body exercises
You will improve your overall fitness
If you are partaking in regular physical activity, particularly if you are an athlete, working your lower body often will help improve muscle performance and your overall performance. Most sports, for example, football, basketball, rugby and running, rely heavily on the power generated from your lower body, therefore, the strength provided from your legs is extremely important. So dedicate one or two days a week to really working on your lower body exercises.
You will run better
If you are keen on cardio or want to improve your ability to run for longer or faster, lower body strength training can help. Lower-body exercises such as deadlifts and squats can help develop and strengthen your hips, which are primarily the main source of injury for runners. Strength-based leg exercises will also help improve your physical endurance levels and keep the muscles you didn’t even know you had worked to optimal performance.
You can boost your metabolism
In addition, to help improve your cardiovascular training, exercising your lower body regularly will help boost and increase your metabolism. Strength training will help you build and maintain muscle mass and when your body composition has greater muscle strength, your body’s muscles will start to work harder and faster. Lower body training session requires your body to work harder. This is more effective than any cardiovascular exercising, so start picking up some weights to rev up your metabolic rate and get those muscles working hard.
Improve bone health
Bone joints, particularly in your legs, start to deteriorate as we get older therefore, regular strength training will help maintain strong bones and aid in preventing conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis. Leg presses, calf raises and deadlifts are all great for building bone strength. However, if you already suffer from these conditions, consult your GP or a qualified trainer to get the most out of your training sessions and prevent any further damage to your bones and muscles.
The importance of leg training
Like all areas of training such as upper-body and core, leg day is just as important. Despite the fact that well-developed legs look good, a strong, muscular lower body will assist your body’s endurance levels, and support the rest of your body’s strength in a very powerful way. Additionally, huge arms, muscular chest and back and skinny legs… is not a good look.
For a complete and well-balanced body, males and females should be training their lower body regularly. You may hate the thought of the sickening pain induced by leg days- but that just means the exercises are working! Exercises such as deadlifts, squats and leg presses will call on other areas of your body such as your core, and engaging other muscles.
Lower body exercises will enhance your body strength ability and will help to maintain healthy bones and joints. However, to get the most out of your lower body workouts you should always remember to stretch your legs out properly after an intense training session.
Top tips for leg day
Here are our best ‘top tips’ and ‘need to knows’ for getting the best out of your lower-body workout session.
- What kind of strength training you do will depend on your fitness goals- It is best to mix up your workouts and rotate the number of sets and weights you do so your body does not adapt to the same old workouts. This way you will see better results.
- The most efficient and effective leg exercises are deadlifts, lunges and squats. Lower-body machine exercises will not engage other muscles as much. To challenge yourself more, try single-leg variations.
- Master the basics! Do not compromise your body’s form in order to try and do more. Fewer exercises that are mastered correctly will provide greater benefit. This will maximise results and help prevent injury. Check and double-check your knee alignment and overall posture. Try working out with a friend so you can help monitor each other’s form.
- Always make sure you stretch after intense leg sessions!