The mythical Minotaur was a beast fashioned from the head of a bull and body of a man; likewise, a person who skips leg day at the gym appears to posses the torso of a beast and the legs of a pre-pubescent child.
Why is leg day so essential?
Serious bodybuilders consider physical symmetry a large component of physical development, but symmetry isn’t exclusively reserved for competitive lifters. All lifting enthusiasts can benefit from incorporating leg day into their routine.
Toothpick legs simply aren’t attractive, sure, but the science behind leg day proves a strong case against them on a more technical level.
In completing both rigorous and relaxed exercise plans, proper attention must be paid to the development of all muscles in order to support healthy growth and to avoid imbalance in a physical appearance.
Meanwhile, legs hold up the weight of the rest of the body, and therefore common sense illustrates why failing to build leg muscle will eventually result in issues in balance and posture.
While internal complications are less apparent, external signs of imbalance are obvious even to those who do not study physical fitness. From the gym to the grocery store, people who skip leg day aren’t difficult to spot.
Though leg-focused days are considered the most difficult of the week, developing the various muscles from calves to glutes plays a vitally important role in maintaining a balanced appearance.
The overall abhorrence of leg day stems from the association with heavy load weight lifting, as these muscles require more effort to build than those of the upper body.
Building stronger legs also necessitates the most commitment and effort of all the muscle groups. As legs are in constant use, in and outside of the gym, they therefore require lengthy resting periods.
Unfortunately, the need for longer resting periods only contributes to the common belief that leg day results in the most painful recovery time. Gym-goers often grow lazy in their routines, in fear of the pain that results from an effective day of lower-body exercise.
Ignoring all declarations of pain and suffering, however, the benefits of leg days outweigh the lazy attitude that prevents gym-goers from completing them.
Considering its importance, leg day can actually become an enjoyable element of a well-rounded fitness routine. With a positive attitude and the right motivation, building leg muscle doesn’t have to be such a chore.
Feature photo courtesy of Adrian Valenzuela.