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4 reasons not to skip leg day
A solid upper body makes for a graceful posture and beautiful physique. You work hard for your well-toned "mirror muscles". Your strong arms and shoulders, solid core and sweet smile prepare you for a stellar selfie – why not boast about your dedication to fitness? So what about your bottom half? Are you giving your legs the love they need to match your tough upper body? Do you love or loathe leg exercises? Working your largest muscle group may not be the most fun, but it provides several benefits you need. There is a reason why you feel the burn during the Warrior yoga pose series or why you shake like a leaf during plié squat pulses at the barre. Challenging your legs to a great workout is key to a strong body. Whether it’s leg day at the gym or leg series in your favorite yoga or barre class, remember why this muscle group should never be forgotten.
- Burn more calories. Working out these larger muscles requires more energy and therefore you will burn more calories. It’s time to get squatting.
- Better balance. By strengthening your lower half, especially with functional movement resistance training, you are engaging many muscles in the leg and even down to your five toes. This engagement provides more strength and stability for everything you do, like running, jumping and standing. Strong arms can’t do that.
- Move better. Having strong legs and feet allow you to exert more force in less time. Essentially, you have more power.
- Better for your back. Sometimes the best workout for your legs comes in the form of good ol’ mat stretching. Back pain often stems from tight hip flexors and hamstrings. So spend time stretching as well as strengthening the hamstrings, quads and calves.