“Why would I ever want to workout my legs if I am trying to build a big back or chest? How do squats help my shoulders look bigger? I’ll just skip leg day so that can spend more time on my upper body.” Is this going on in your head?
Let’s put that mental battle to rest with a few reasons to absolutely never skip leg day. There are many scientific studies out there that prove leg day to be beneficial for more than just our legs. Releasing muscle building hormones, building athleticism, increasing overall strength and decreasing risk of injury are some of the benefits of training your legs.
The master male hormone, testosterone, and growth hormone are responsible for building muscle in us men. These hormones are released more when we put stress on our muscles, for instance during weightlifting. The more muscle we tear and stress during training, the more testosterone and growth hormone our body releases. The largest muscles in our body are found in our legs. On leg day, growth hormone and testosterone have a party; they are flowing all over the place, thus immensely benefitting our upper body too.
Greater athleticism is another benefit of leg training. Our legs are our bodies’ best option for generating maximal power output. As mentioned before, our legs are made up of the largest muscles in our body. When we develop power and strength in our legs, we significantly increase our overall athleticism.
With the above reasons already mentioned its no wonder why lifting with our legs increases our overall strength, but lets go just a bit deeper. When bench pressing, we have our feet firmly place on the floor. If we lift our feet off of the floor it makes it harder to bench press. Our legs help to stabilize our body when we do some upper body lifts. So if we increase the strength of our base, our legs, we will be able to lift heavier with our upper body, thus increasing our overall strength.
Injury prevention is a big deal and not just for athletes, but for all of us. When we perform compound lifts like deadlifts and squats, our entire body is forced to stabilize the weight. Having better stabilization throughout our entire body will help us reduce our risk of injury.
Some other benefits from training our legs are increased resting metabolism, increased flexibility and obviously better looking legs. So next time you think about skipping leg day, think about all the extra hormones, athleticism, strength and injury prevention you are skipping out on. Then go train your legs. Your body will thank you.