Leg day is the easiest session to skip in the gym. Leg training is tough -- no doubt about it -- and it can be tempting to forget your leg workouts in favor of easier training sessions or missing the gym altogether. Many guys and girls prefer to focus on the showier muscles -- arms, abs, shoulders and chest -- but leg training has many benefits that go beyond aesthetics.
Hey There, Chicken Legs
No matter how big your upper body is, having small legs will make your physique look odd at the least, if not ridiculous. In bodybuilding contests, judges don't look at muscle mass in one area -- they look at your whole package. This includes proportion and symmetry criteria, so if your legs are lacking, you won't get far in the bodybuilding game. Even if you're not looking to compete, small legs don't look good when you're at the beach or strutting your stuff in shorts.
Bigger, Faster, Stronger
For sport and athletic performance, working out your legs is vital, according to a 2013 article written by personal trainer Michael Mahony. A bigger squat, dead lift and power clean will translate to running faster on the sports field and jumping higher on the basketball court. Even endurance athletes can benefit from stronger legs. You'll also build strong knee, hip and ankle joints leg training, reducing your risk of injury.
Blast Your Legs, Burn Fat
Think you need cardio workouts to burn fat? Think again. Training your legs, particularly with multi-joint compound exercises, burns a higher number of calories than easier upper-body moves such as biceps curls or lateral raises. This leads to increased fat loss, which is also partly caused by the release of hormones you get when training legs. Your leg muscles are so large that this hormonal response can even help you build upper-body muscle mass, reports the "Men's Fitness" website in 2013.
Build Those Bones
Weight-bearing exercises and resistance training are crucial components in the prevention and management of osteoporosis and arthritis. If you're using weight training purely to keep bones and joints healthy later in life, do front squats, stiff-legged dead lifts, calf raises, leg presses and any other challenging leg moves that take your fancy. If you've been diagnosed with a bone or joint condition, however, and are looking to training to manage your condition, consult with your doctor and a fully qualified trainer before starting a routine.