Friends Don’t Let Friends Skip Leg Day

Squat

Hey Healthy Panthers!

This week’s health tip is all about the dreaded “Leg Day”.

Why It’s Bad

For many people, Leg Day is the hardest day of the week to find motivation to go to the gym. For this reason, it is also the most “skipped” workout day of the week.

What guy wants to waste a day focusing on his quadriceps when he could be pumping up his biceps from a set of hammer curls?

What girl wants to lift in the weight room and feel outnumbered by the lopsided male-to-female ratio?

Though these are common excuses to blow off leg exercises, Leg Day is surprisingly the most important day of the week!

Why It’s Good

According to Health Magazine, there are five reasons why you should work out your legs:

  • Not only does Leg Day increase muscle in your lower body, your upper body benefits as well.
    • While performing squats and deadlifts, your arms clench when you squeeze the bar.
    • As you squat, your abs work hard in stabilizing the weight you are holding.
    • In deadlifts, your chest muscles tense up as you increase the amount of weight.
Proper Deadlift

Proper Deadlift

  • You develop more “all-around” strength from lifting legs
    • Having stronger legs and a stronger core increases strength in upper body lifts.
      • With a stronger leg drive, your numbers on bench will increase.
      • Squats and deadlifts strengthen your lower back, helping you stay strong when you perform overhead presses.
  • Symmetry
    • Every gym member has seen the guy with a Hulk-sized upper body and then legs that look like Spongebob’s. By lifting legs, you will be able to balance out your muscle mass and compose a body with legs proportional to your upper torso.
Disproportional

Disproportional

  • Along with your muscles, your mental strength will also grow
    • Lifting legs is both physically and mentally taxing on the body.
    • By not skipping your leg workout, you will build mental endurance and character that you cannot get from any other exercise.
  • Bone Health
    • As you lift and exert pressure on your bones, you achieve a higher bone density. This decreases the chance of suffering from arthritis and osteoporosis as you age.

These five reasons support why I am a firm believer in not skipping Leg Day! Even if you are not looking to gain muscle from lifting lower body, you can still seek the benefits of having a symmetrical appearance, mental strength, and healthy bones!

Being at Chapman allows us students to have access to the Fitness Center I have mentioned before. Here’s a workout that I designed for the Chapman student that wants to lift lower body but does not know what exercises to perform. Before beginning this routine, please confirm with your doctor that you are cleared to engage in weight-bearing exercises.

Lower Body Workout

  • 3 sets of 10 barbell squats (squat racks found in the back of the weight room)
    • load weight to where you can complete 10 reps with proper form
    • squat to 90 degrees and stand straight up, keeping your back arched
  • 3 sets of 10 deadlifts (can be performed at squat racks)
    • lift with your legs, not with your back
    • look up and straight ahead, not down
    • arch your back and pop your chest out as you stand up
  • 3 sets of 12 lunges with short barbell (barbells found on rack next to squat racks)
    • let your knee softly touch the ground
    • alternate legs until each leg has completed 12 reps
Barbell Lung

Barbell Lung

  • 3 sets of 12 leg presses on leg press machine (found next to the squat rack by the wall)
    • lay back and look at the ceiling as you press the weight up
    • keep your legs just wider than shoulder width
Leg Press Machine

Leg Press Machine

Your Turn!

Because the Fitness Center provides us with the equipment needed for all of our lower body lifting workouts, Panthers have no more excuses on why we can’t lift legs. I hope this information guides you to embrace Leg Day and to seek the benefits that come with it!

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8 responses to “Friends Don’t Let Friends Skip Leg Day

  1. This is a really informative post; it gives a lot good tips and advice about working out. If I ever become really into fitness (hopefully soon) I will definitely look at this blog for tips.

  2. I have always done leg work outs in the past but never have know how important it is. I personally read health blogs on my spare time and I think yours is just is as helpful or more then most. I really enjoy reading your blog and looking forward for more healthy tips.

  3. Pingback: Adding 30 Pounds To Squat | The Road to the Future·

  4. Pingback: Opposing Muscle Groups: How to Do Weights Properly | Oliviahm's Blog·

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