5 Reasons Why You Should Train Your Legs

As everyone was packing up to leave after a rather intense bootcamp today, I asked the two remaining ladies, “If I were to blog about today’s workout, what type of picture would sum it up?  I knew I should have just figured it out on my own, because their responses, though highly amusing, were also a bit inappropriate for my G-rated audience…. I adore my bootcamp girls for many reasons, and this is one of them!!

We laughed for a few minutes, and then decided that any quad-glute exercise would be just the ticket, because this workout was very leg-heavy… on purpose!

Make sure your knees are behind your toes throughout your squat

Make sure your knees are behind your toes throughout your squat

Engage your abs at the top of your squat and squeeze your glutes & quads

Engage your abs at the top of your squat and squeeze your glutes & quads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why emphasise legs in a workout?  Well, not to neglect our upper bodies… you know I’m a big fan of upper body strength, especially for women.  That said, however, there are several excellent reasons to work your legs:

1. The large muscles in your legs & hips (quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and hip flexors) are responsible for most of your functional movements throughout your day: walking, sitting/standing, climbing stairs, etc.  Think about being able to get up out of a chair when you’re 80!!  If you’re 25, or even 45, that seems pretty far away to think about, but I believe functional fitness declines faster than we think, and at an increasing rate after age 40…

2. Strengthening your legs & hips with multi-joint, functional exercises (like squats and lunges) can reduce your risk of injury in everyday life.  The stronger and more stable you are, the less likely you are to take a misstep and turn your ankle, fall on the stairs, slip on the tennis court, etc.  Preventing an injury is much easier than recovering from one!

3. Working the large muscles of your legs with squats and lunges burns the most calories per minute of any strength-training exercise.  That means more total calories burned in your workout, people!

4. Increasing leg & hip muscle mass raises your resting metabolic rate because muscles are “calorically expensive”… i.e., they burn significantly more calories at rest than fat.  This means you can eat more food and still maintain your weight… and who can argue with that?

5. Aesthetics!! Strong legs are beautiful legs, no matter the size.  Enough said.

So, wanna try the workout?  There are 3 sections, each section has 3 exercises, and you do each section 3 times, resting 30 seconds to one minute between rounds.  There are some upper body exercises incorporated in this workout as well… but it definitely emphasises legs.  It should take you about 45 minutes to complete.

Keep your weight in your front heel, and don't let your knee shoot past your toe

Walking lunge: keep your weight in your front heel, and don’t let your knee shoot past your toe

 

LEG EMPHASIS BOOTCAMP

Warm-up: run/walk 5-7 minutes

SECTION 1 (do 3 times)

30 Walking lunges

Jump rope 1 minute

30 Straight-leg crunches

1-minute PLANK (do once)

SECTION 2 (do 3 times)

15 Pushups

20 Wide-grip Rows

50 Mountain Climbers

1-minute PLANK (do once)

SECTION 3 (do 3 times)

20 Dumbbell Squats

15 Burpees

30 Russian twist

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