Why are legs so difficult to train
Leg training: that's why Leg Day is worth it!
Leg Day - for many a black day in the calendar. Or worse: It doesn't even appear as a regular appointment! Proper leg training is sweaty. You not only need power to lift the heavy weights, but above all mental strength to really pull off the repetitions to the end. It is not uncommon for the will power in the head to die out faster than the power in the muscles.
Men often think that jogging and hobby kicking will strengthen their legs enough. Women, on the other hand, are ready for Leg Day, but underestimate themselves and train with weights that are far too light.
The rules for a good leg workout are simple.
The many advantages
Advantage 1: Thick upper arms through leg training
Your muscles grow when your body releases more testosterone and growth hormones due to an intense training stimulus. The bigger the muscles, the higher the amount of natural anabolic steroids released. Your largest muscle group is the buttocks and leg muscles. Accordingly, a leg day means enormous growth potential for all of your muscles! Because after intensive leg training, your body releases many anabolic hormones - more than you can use for your legs. So if you also train your arms on Leg Day, you can almost watch the muscles grow. Researchers at Lillehammer University in Norway confirm that this effect is particularly noticeable in the biceps when arm training immediately follows a heavy session for the legs and buttocks.
Advantage 2: calorie killer and fat burning turbo
The largest muscle group in your body burns the most calories - when it is challenged. Since the legs are furthest from the heart, your body has to work harder to supply oxygen to the muscles.
Not only do you increase your calorie consumption during training, but also when you are resting afterwards. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology shows that classic leg exercises like squats and deadlifts increase metabolism and keep it at extremely high burn levels for several hours. Well-trained leg muscles increase the basal metabolic rate and thus become a fat-burning furnace that burns energy around the clock. Increase potential included.
Advantage 3: Finally a six-pack
The fact is: you need a low percentage of body fat so that your abdominal muscles can be seen under the skin. I bet you already have a six-pack! The fat between the muscles and the skin only blocks the view.
It is a myth to believe that crunches can convert fat on the belly into muscle. The main building block of muscles is protein. Likewise, it is impossible to specifically burn fat in a specific place. The key to burning fat is getting the whole body into regular calorie deficit through proper levels of exercise and diet. Then it covers its energy needs through the fat cells.
Save yourself the 100 sit-ups and prefer to burn the calories while exercising your legs. Most exercises automatically activate the abdominal muscles to stabilize the core. So you are challenging several muscle groups. How pronounced and symmetrical your six pack will be despite hard training and a strict diet is genetically predisposed. The number and course of the intermediate tendons, which lie across your straight abdominal muscle and divide it into the "packs", are decisive. Most of us have two or three. There are also people who can even reach an eight or ten pack with four or five tendons.
Advantage 4: Hello Adonis!
Wide back, thin legs - this imbalance is often seen in men who prefer to bench press for an hour instead of 15 minutes of hard leg training.
With just one intensive leg day you can strengthen and shape your legs and thus also improve the strength of your upper body. The leg muscles form the foundation, which guarantees your upper body the necessary stability. With well-developed leg muscles, for example, you will be able to lift a lot more weight while deadlifting. This not only strengthens your legs, but you can also develop strong back muscles faster.
Full body check in the outdoor pool: athletic and symmetrical!
Advantage 5: good posture
A mismatch between the lower and upper body makes for poor posture. The gluteal muscles and the muscles of the back of the thighs stabilize the pelvis. If they are too weak, it tips forward. A hollow back and a protruding belly are the result.
Advantage 6: a strong will
Whether professional footballer or boxer - almost every competitive athlete trains regularly in the weight room in order to improve their performance. Exercises like squats are compulsory!
The whole body is under tension and becomes stronger overall. Thus, a trained bottom and strong legs make you better in other exercises and sports. You run faster, hit harder when boxing, and you can put on a few pounds more when you bench press. The necessary stability for the pelvis and back comes from the legs.
Another important aspect is the mental strength you get from doing hard leg training. Your will grows with your muscles and your body decides where your limit is.
Train your legs properly
So much for the theory, but what does a tough Leg Day look like in practice? Here is a small checklist:
The right preparation
Hard leg training uses a lot of energy. Therefore, provide your body with a high-carbohydrate meal about three hours before training. If you're in a hurry or if you work out in the morning, have a banana or carb shake. They are not heavy in the stomach and the energy is quickly available.
The same applies to leg training: warm up
There is a high risk of injury during leg training. With a ten-minute easy cardio session on the treadmill, bike or cross trainer, your muscle groups will be adequately supplied with blood. Before each exercise, do a warm-up set with little or no weight.
Exercises for the leg workout
You should give priority to complex exercises. Deadlifts, one-legged squats, squats and the like challenge several muscle groups at the same time and increase your calorie consumption. Your leg muscles are usually trained in isolation on machines. That's why you can install it as a finisher at the end to finally tire your muscles. To give the bottom an extra kick at the end, hip thrusts, pistol squats, jumped lunges or jumping squats are suitable.
Number of exercises for Leg Day
With a pure leg day or split, there can be up to eight exercises. If you're doing a full body workout, you should include at least four exercises for your legs and buttocks. Start your workout with them. At the beginning, the energy level, motivation and concentration are highest.
Sets, repetitions, and pauses
For leg training, there are traditionally three sets of eight to twelve repetitions per exercise. In between you take a break of 60 to 90 seconds. Stay focused until the end and do each exercise carefully, otherwise you risk injuries.
The right weight
After a warm-up set, choose the weight so that you can do the full number of repetitions in the first and second set, but not quite in the third. You increase the weight if you can do all the repetitions well in the third set as well. But not too quickly. Take small steps, otherwise execution will suffer.
Correct execution of the exercises
Always use the full range of motion of an exercise and pay attention to a clean execution in the mirror. For most exercises, the following applies: stomach firmly, sternum out, back stable and during this time do not come with your knees over the tips of your toes.
Shoes off! Whole muscle chains are activated, especially when doing squats. Direct contact with the ground is therefore important for optimal execution. Especially at the lowest point of the squat, a secure stance is necessary so that you can push the weight back up with maximum leg strength.
The feeling afterwards
After a good leg workout, your muscles will tremble and you will run like eggs. At the same time, you feel proud because you have shown willpower. By the next day at the latest, you will have severe muscle soreness, which will last longer at the beginning. After further training sessions, it disappears noticeably faster.
Regeneration after training
Hard leg workouts should take place once or twice a week. If the largest muscle group reaches its limits, the body also needs longer to regenerate. Therefore, there should be at least two days without leg training between the units.
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