With summer just around the corner and holidays on the horizon, we're all looking to trim down a little (or #shredding), in readiness to show off our beach bodies and athletic frames.
As well as swapping KFC for kale, this process also involves swapping the jeans or joggers for a pair of your best shorts – you know, the ones that haven’t been seen for the best part of 9 months..?
We all know that guy who has a jacked, herculean upper body, but legs that wouldn’t look out of place supporting a flamingo; You know, upper torso like Tarzan, legs like Jane!
Skipping Leg day: it’s the biggest mistake you can make, not only when trying to get beach ready, but also with general gym programming.
Granted, a muscular chest, vein popping arms, upper back definition and a chiselled 6 pack looks great whilst basking under the summer sun, but when this is being supported by a couple of stilts, you’ll be turning heads for all the wrong reasons!
Strong defined legs are more than a great accessory to be shown off in your shorts this summer. They are a status symbol and a key part of a well-rounded physique.
So why do people consistently neglect training the 50% of their body located below their waist? The 50% that just so happens to provide solid foundations for their entire body?
The answer is simple; leg training is extremely demanding and bloody hard work! The muscular soreness experienced from such sessions can be beyond unpleasant and knowing that they will be hidden away for most of the year makes it easy for people to justify their excuses.
Luckily, for us Rugby players, hard work, blood, sweat and tears is part of our make-up and so skipping legs day is not even entertained.
Leg training is a vital component that should be prioritised if wanting to meet your goal of fat loss and building a toned athletic physique.
The lower body consists of the largest muscles in your body, which require the most energy to function. Therefore, working your legs increases the amount of calories you burn in a workout. And I’m sure we are all well aware by now that ‘spot reduction’ is a myth, meaning by training your legs not only will you reduce fat in your lower body, it will also get torched from the more stubborn areas such as lower abs and hips.
Similarly, training these larger muscle groups causes a huge release of growth hormone and testosterone, the key elements for building muscle. As well as building Tuilagi-like legs you will also create an anabolic environment in your entire body, thus improving the muscle building effects of your upper body also. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more metabolically active tissue you have, ultimately resulting in less body fat.
The result – A beautifully sculpted, well proportioned Adonis like frame.
So there you have it...Skipping legs day is not optional.
Put the following leg workout into your routine and turn heads for the right reasons this summer!
Suns out...Thighs out
A1 Back Squat (8 Reps 4 Sets)
A2 Walking DB Lunge (20 lunges 4 Sets)
B1 Barbell Hip Thrust from floor (8 Reps 3 sets)
B2 Seated Hamstring Curl (15 Reps 3 Sets)
C1 DB Sumo Squat (15 Reps 3 Sets)
C2 Seated Leg Extension (15 Reps 3 Sets)
(Ensure a 4 second controlled lower on all exercises. Rest 60 seconds between each superset. Aim to increase your weights by 2.5kg each week to ensure progression).
Please remember that technique is extremely important; if you're looking for advice on exercises then check out this link from friend of E4R, Kyran Doyle. Great explanation about some key leg exercises!