Never skip leg day!
This week’s Tutorial Thursday is dedicated to the leg muscles. From our point of view it is one of the most important muscle groups that we have. The leg muscles consist of 21 individual muscles that interact in a very sophisticated manner. They not only enable us to stand upright but also enable us to walk, run, sprint in different directions.
But there seems to be a tendency for most of the average male gym-goers to skip leg day more regularly than they actually have a leg day. Often times this can be attributed to the feeling that the results don’t show as much. Main focus often lies on the so-called glamour muscles, like the pectorals and biceps, which you can see more clearly.
Result of several skipped leg days. Picture may be modified slightly and may not represent reality.
Training your leg muscles is essential for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the leg muscles are very important for our daily performance. As mentioned before, we stand on and move around with them each and every single day.
Secondly, they make up the biggest muscle group of our body. So when you train such a great number of muscles you also train your metabolism. You will burn a lot of energy which has the potential to reduce body fat and produces a range of hormones that favor muscle growth in other body parts.
And finally, training your legs is pretty simple: squats, lunges, sprints, jumps, lateral movements etc. don’t require a lot of equipment or time. Depending on your goals they can be complemented by equipment like sand bags, dumbbells or medicine balls. To introduce trainees to a certain exercise a aeroSling sling trainer is a great tool:
Using the aeroSling when squatting makes it easier. The trainees can use their arm and back muscles when pulling themselves up.
Rotational lunges can also be made easier with a sling trainer. When the trainee holds part of their weight with the aeroSling they can make the upward movement much easier.
The sling trainer, however, can also be used to intensify certain exercises, e.g. the lunge. Here the back leg is placed in the handles of the sling trainer (use single handle mode with the aeroSling ELITE by connecting both handle carabiners). This makes the exercise more challenging because the sling trainer doesn’t give a steady hold like the floor and you have to invest additional balance and coordination in order to maintain perfect form. Also, the front leg is automatically more involved because you will put more bodyweight on it.
As you can see, with a sling trainer or other equipment you almost have no excuses to skip leg day. I have also given you good reasons why leg training has great benefits for your overall fitness, and with it your overall training efficiency.
And since Functional Movement involves the whole body anyways it is naturally out of the question to skip leg day!