7 Reasons to Never Skip Leg Day Again
You could be making a huge mistake by skipping leg day.
7 Reasons to Never Skip Leg Day Again
Training legs should be a staple in your workout routine. If it’s not, you’re making a big mistake. And we’ll show you why.
Leg day isn’t just another workout for you; it’s more like a burden. You dread the unstable feeling of walking out of the gym on spaghetti noodle legs. But then again, you’ve seen all the funny memes, t-shirts, or maybe even the occasional bumper sticker—“Friends don’t let friends skip leg day.”
And since you have a friend in us here at Ironmaster, we’re going to run down 7 of the biggest reasons to never skip leg day again.
Why You Shouldn’t Skip Leg Day
1. You’ll Create an Uneven Physique
Training legs is a non-negotiable for building a well-rounded and proportionate physique. You don’t want your lower body and upper body to be mismatched. It looks funny. And not to mention, it’s not very functional.
Being excited about your workouts makes it a little easier to never skip leg day. If you’ve become a habitual leg day-skipper, try switching up your workouts to spice things up. Add in some unconventional exercises, like deficit deadlifts or a heels elevated goblet squat.
You can also throw some unilateral exercises (like Bulgarian split squats or single-leg RDL’s) into your training routine. The benefits of unilateral training are virtually endless. But one of the main benefits of unilateral training is that it can help you correct muscle imbalances.
2. You’ll Have a Harder Time Building Muscle
The benefits of leg day aren’t just exclusive to your lower body. It can actually help grow your upper body too, which is another reason why you should never skip leg days.
When you workout, you increase growth hormone and testosterone levels in your body. Both help to repair damaged muscle fibers and increase muscle growth. Since the lower half of your body contains the most muscles, a lot of growth hormone and testosterone gets released just by training your legs. But why is that important?
The hormones flow throughout your entire body (not just your legs). To put it another way: By working out your legs, you’re releasing more testosterone and growth hormone, which can help you build muscle in your upper body too.
3. Burning Fat Becomes Harder Too
When you skip leg days, you make it harder for yourself to burn fat.
Same thing as building muscle. Since your lower body makes up the most muscles in your body, you can burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time just by training your legs.
Compound exercises (i.e. exercises that work multiple muscle groups at once) give you the most bang for your workout buck. Put squats at the top of your leg day list, along with deadlifts. They not only work your legs but can strengthen your core and help improve your posture too.
Also, considering your legs are the largest muscle group, training legs can help you put on more muscle mass, which is key to raising your metabolic rate and helping you burn more fat.
4. You’ll Improve on the “Big 3” Lifts
It’s true what they say—that power comes from your legs. Having a sturdy foundation can boost workout performance and help you increase your numbers on the three big lifts:
Yes, even bench press. The benefits of having strong legs are pretty straightforward for squatting and deadlifting. But for bench press, strong legs can help you create a better leg drive and push more weight. And that’s just one of many things you can do to increase your bench press.
5. You’ll Increase Your Balance and Range of Motion
Your upper body won’t save you when you’re walking down the street and stepping on a patch of ice. Instead of falling flat on your face, one of the benefits of strong legs is having better balance.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a bodybuilder who’s been strength training for years or someone who’s just getting into weightlifting, balance and stability are important for performing your best in your workouts. With your leg day workouts, make sure you’re training in all three planes of motion.
Training your legs can also help with increasing your range of motion. A full range of motion with your lifts allows you to fully engage and activate your muscles, which can translate into more gains in the gym.
6. Training Legs Reduces Your Risk of Injury
You use your legs all the time without even thinking about it — whether you’re taking your dog for a walk or going up the stairs as you head into work. When you skip out on leg day, you could be setting yourself for a lower-body injury, and that risk only increases with age.
According to the American Council on Exercise, lower body exercises like squats or lunges can help build stability in your knee, which can prevent injuries like ACL tears. Not worried about tearing up your knee? Training legs also decreases the risk of injuries you might experience doing everyday life activities, such as going on a walk, jogging, or maybe even rock climbing if you’re feeling a little adventurous.
7. It Can Help With Lower Back Pain
If you have an office job, you’re probably hunched over your keyboard for the majority of the workday. And when you’re buried up to your neck in work, probably the last thing on your mind is why you should never skip leg day. But being in that position for hours on end, day after day can cause lower back pain.
Your first instinct might be to stretch it out. While stretching can help, focusing on developing your glutes and strengthening the muscles in your legs, hips, and core can be a better long-term solution for alleviating back pain.
Takeaways on Why You Should Never Skip Leg Day Again
You don’t want to end up as a meme, gif, or be the inspiration behind a quote for someone who skips leg day. Instead of running for the hills next time leg day pops up in your schedule, think about how much easier reaching your fitness goals can be if you never skip leg day.
Not only can it help you create a well-proportioned and symmetrical physique, but it can also help you build more muscle (even in your upper body), burn more fat, and reduce your risk of injury.
About the Author
Chad Richardson is a freelance writer from Cincinnati, OH. It’s actually been rumored that Chad came out of the womb doing bicep curls, so it should come as no surprise that he enjoys creating content to help others get in shape and live healthier lives. When he’s not in the gym impersonating Arnold Schwarzenegger, you can probably catch Chad at a local bar with some friends, frustrated with his hometown Red Legs’ inability to stay above 500 for a whole season. His philosophy on life? Take action starting TODAY on that thing you’ve been putting off...Not tomorrow, next week, or whenever you feel motivated...A small step might not seem like much right now, but even small steps add up to a mile eventually.