“Can we not train our legs please?” This is one of the most common requests I get. The very thought of having to do a lower body workout is enough to send shivers down the spine. To be honest, I don’t blame them. In fact, I perfectly understand why most guys (and some women) choose to skip the lower body routine.
When they see people doing squats, lunges or hamstring curls, they just shake their heads and often walk in the opposite direction…to train their chest, lats, deltoids or arms instead.
I have observed that the lower body is the most neglected body part for a large majority of people for three main reasons. Firstly, the muscle soreness that kicks in the next day often lasts for a few days. Unlike the soreness felt for the other muscle groups such as the lats, pecs, delts, biceps or triceps, the soreness for the lower body is multiplied several times. According to the feedback from some of my clients, one mentioned that he felt as though he had lost all sensations in his lower limbs as he walked daintily like a lady for several days. Another texted me to send her a wheelchair. A third asked for recommendation for a good massage place to get some relief for his soreness.
Secondly, many believe that it makes perfect sense to skip the lower body routine completely as it is not as instantly visible as the pectoralis muscles or deltoids or arms. So long as the upper body looks good, nothing else matters. To further self-delude themselves, they justify that they can cover up their legs by wearing jeans or pants.
Thirdly, cardio enthusiasts point to the fact that since they are already working out their legs on the treadmills, elliptical trainers or bikes, there is really no need to do any additional leg work.
On hindsight, it is interesting as all three hypotheses do seem to have their own merits. But a closer examination of them proves otherwise.
If we do not train our lower body, nothing will happen initially. But as time goes by, I’ve seen countless examples of people developing an unproportionate body frame with a heavy upper body and a pair of skinny or what is often dubbed ‘chicken’ legs. Besides being extremely unsightly, this is also very bad for the body as our legs need to be developed so as to be able to support our entire body frame. More importantly, our legs provide the much needed base upon which the rest of the exercises are dependent upon.
By choosing to train our lower body, we are in fact doing ourselves a great favour as our legs contain the largest muscles in the body. A developed lower body accentuates growth in the other muscle groups too. The best example is the squat. Not only does it work the quads, hamstrings and glute, but it also targets the upper back, lower back, abs and shoulders. In fact, the squat works the entire body.
As a result, you stimulate a greater release of growth hormone which are anabolic in nature. The greatest benefit of it all is that you grow!
When you start a lower body workout routine, you perspire so much more as compared to an upper body routine. This increases your metabolism rate and helps you burn fat faster.
When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Nothing is too difficult or tough in this world. It is only because of how we perceive it to be. With a consistent weekly or twice weekly lower body workout programme, you will not only start looking forward to the next gym session but also blow away the competition with a pair of well toned killer legs.
For the ladies, this means kissing goodbye to lower body cellulite in the gluteus and fatty deposits in the hamstrings. Mini-skirts, once a dream, will never look anymore flattering than now.
For the guys, this means you are able to wear running shorts without feeling shy of your skinny legs. It’s no big secret that the sports giants like Nike and Adidas are producing running shorts that are getting shorter and skimpier with each new season introduced. Instead, you will be admired for your developed quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and gluteus muscles.
I’m off to training my legs now. I hope you will too feel inspired after reading this article. I would love to hear from you regarding your lower body routine.