Andrew is back today with an Ask Andrew post that everyone needs to read. One of the great mysteries of fitness is why some people routinely skip legs. Whatever the reason, it’s a mistake. Here are seven reasons never to skip leg day – and why squats are your body’s best friend.
1. Enhanced Core Strength
During a leg exercise like squats, your core works double time to prevent injury and maintain upright posture since squats are loaded top to bottom.
Bonus tip: front squats give an increased core demand and build impressive midsection strength.
2. Increased Hormone Release
Potent stimulators like testosterone and growth hormone are released when you exercise big muscle groups in your legs. These hormones can be found in every muscle of the body, and they help stimulate growth.
3. Improved Flexibility
Deep squats help to increase the range of motion in the hips. A greater range of motion here means reduced back pain and A benefit would be decreased back pain and an easier time with activities of daily living (ADLs).
4. Decreased Chance of Injury
Squats build the glutes, hamstrings and quad muscles – the big muscle groups of the lower body. They also build the smaller muscles that surround the knees and hips, and when those muscles are strong, you’re reducing chances of injury.
5. Stronger Lower Body
Squats use every lower body muscle in unison to build strength. You’ll also use muscles in your trunk to stabilize your torso and maintain that neutral spine. All together, this is an exercise that uses many parts of the body to work and grow stronger as a unit.
6. Increased vertical jump
Squats build hip extension strength, which helps which build your ability to explode and decelerate quickly. In a nutshell – squats make you faster and able to jump higher. Tip: if you’re going for a higher vertical leap, incorporate lots of deep squats in your leg day.
7. Improved workout efficiency
Include heavy squats to routine see the change. Produces increased heart rate and your legs will be burning in no time. You will have more time to hit your core stretch and even foam roll.
8. Bonus point – Improved bone mineral density (no matter how old you are)
An interesting study found that supervised weighted squats aided postmenopausal women dealing with osteoporosis improved their bone mineral density in the spine (2.9%) and neck (4.9%), as well as boosting their strength levels for more than 150%. Impressive, right? Now consider the bone strength of someone who’s been squatting for years!
The key to a killer leg day is the squat, and if you’d like to be sure you’re performing it correctly and getting the most out of this exercise, we’re happy to help. Schedule a free consultation now, and find out if working with a personal trainer is a good choice for you in 2016.