Why is this here? Looking your best is in part finding clothes that fit. The other part is truly being fit. Living a healthy lifestyle plus dressing well is the ultimate combination. More about our trainer at the end of the post.
As a personal trainer, I tend to notice people’s physiques. Not always, but probably more so and differently than the average person. I notice when people have nicely built triceps or lack thereof. I notice when people have sculpted abdominals or lack thereof. You get the idea.
It’s especially difficult not to notice when a guy’s physique is enormously unbalanced. You’ve seen them, the guys who walk around with a massive upper half, yet they have sticks for legs. It’s like someone wearing a pair of shorts with a suit jacket or a blazer. It’s hard NOT to notice.
Don’t fall victim to the ARMergency! (nsfw)
I see so many men who are fitness fanatics and truly dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle totally ignore their lower half. I get it, working the glamour muscles seems to have more rewards. Or because of your genetics you have smaller legs naturally. But be honest with yourself. If you’re achieving noticeable size in your biceps, triceps, pectorals and trapezoids, yet you have super skinny legs, are you really working your lower body?
It seems my thoughts are in line with the Austrian Oak.
Leg days are hard for everyone, but they have serious benefits, including not looking like you are going to topple over from disproportionate upper body mass. The main benefit, aside from symmetry, is injury prevention. Orthoinfo.aaos.org states:
“Strengthening the muscles that support your knee will reduce stress on your knee joint. Strong muscles in the front of your thigh (quadriceps) and back of your thigh (hamstrings) help your knee joint absorb shock. The less strain on your knee, the better the chances are for pain relief and preventing further injury.”
Working your hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes can help prevent knee injury. “Glutes? I thought we were just talking about legs?” When your butt muscles are weak, it causes your pelvis to drop putting undo pressure on your knees. That and your Bonobos, even with their magic fit, won’t look nearly as good. Which is why I encourage a total lower body workout.
Tips for working out your lower half
- Know how to protect your knees while training.
- Work your legs out more often. How about 1-2 days a week to start with?
- Do exercises that work multiple muscles at the same times, such as lunges, step-ups and squats.
- If you can’t find the motivation to work your legs out on your own, pair up with a buddy or hire a personal trainer.
Random fact: the strongest muscle in your body is the….. masseter, or the jaw muscle. (You thought I was going to say quadriceps or some other muscle in your lower half, didn’t you?) Your heart is the hardest working. (So please keep up with your cardio!) However, your leg muscles hold the titles for largest and longest. The largest muscle is your gluteus maximus and the longest muscles are the sartorius. I’m sure you know what your gluteus maximus is. The sartorius are long thin muscles that help stabilize your knee. Remember that point about preventing knee injury?
Granted, it is still important to work those glamour muscles, but it’s just as important to work on your ENTIRE body. (It’s also important to focus on your core, but that is not what this particular article is about.) Neglecting to do so makes you more susceptible to injury, visually looks odd, and might even project to others that you’re more concerned about taking selfies and flexing at the beach, than taking care of and making the most out the one body you’ve got.
So add a leg day or two, okay?
About the author: Kelly Sturdy is a Certified Personal Trainer and Specialist in Fitness Nutrition. While not training her clients or competing in Bikini Class body building competitions, Kelly can be found in her organic garden, possibly talking to a chicken or two. For more of her articles, click here.