Memes about skipping leg day have been running rampant for years, and for good reason.
Whether you’re a bodybuilder or powerlifter, ensuring you work all the major muscle groups is the difference between looking strong and looking “toned” or imbalanced.
So, while the main motivator for not skipping leg day may be that you want to look good, there are real reasons why you should hit the squat rack.
Susceptibility to Injury
By neglecting your lower extremities on a regular basis, you will be more prone to injury when you finally give in and decide to do a leg day.
This is especially true if you do other sports outside of the gym that incorporate running.
Running tends to make a person quad-dominant, without giving attention to the hamstrings.
This creates an imbalance that can result in an injury, such as the all-too-common ACL tear.
Incorporating leg exercises that strengthen all the muscles in your legs is the best way to prevent injuries from taking place.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (aka DOMS) is that feeling you get a day or two after leg day that prevents you from crouching down to pick up something you’ve dropped and has you walking like Dr.Frankenstein’s assistant.
In most cases, this happens because the muscles aren’t used to the effort you have put them through.
The best remedy? Putting them through the work more often.
Your muscles are built by the micro-tearing and healing that take place during and after exercise. Sometimes, even if you’re used to the hard work, you’ll experience acute muscle soreness or DOMS anyway.
However, through the repeated bout effect, you can avoid the DOMS effect.
That is, if you work those areas more frequently, they become conditioned and less likely to have you walking like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz.
Improves Your Other Lifts
The gym equipment Brisbane experts at Atomic Mass often tout that putting in the effort is the difference between being a serious lifter and a fitness enthusiast.
Despite the main target areas of the big three lifts, the whole body is often engaged at some point throughout the range of motion.
While the bench press is the quintessential upper body movement, your lower body can provide the drive you need to get a heavy bar off your chest and moving upward.
When you leg drive, you’re using the muscles in your legs, hips, and core to supplement the strength of your upper body and create some momentum.
With the right foot placement and lower body strength, you can drastically improve your bench with this method.
If you skip leg day all the time, don’t count on it.
Neglecting Other Lifts
Speaking of the big three lifts, if you’re skipping leg day you’re skipping two of these important strength building barbell exercises.
Not to mention, you’re neglecting one of the biggest muscle groups in your body.
Deadlifts and the many variations not only work the legs but target the hips and back as well.
Squats are great for the glutes and the core– should you use the squat rack– due to the stability required to complete the lift.
When you skip leg day, you are neglecting a major portion of your body and leaving a lot of potential on the table.
You will find that you reach your limit a lot sooner than you would if you worked your entire body.
You Don’t Want to be a Meme
While the other reasons are quite serious, this one is, perhaps, less so.
Don’t skip leg day because you don’t want to be a meme.
You don’t want to be self-conscious about having a great looking upper body and tiny legs.
So get to the gym, work your legs, and enjoy a meme-free existence.