A trend that has been around for years and will most likely be around for many years to come is neglecting proper lower body training. Many fitness enthusiasts and beginners hit their lower body once a week or every other week because leg day sucks or the assumption that big arms, chest, back and washboard abs are more important. Yet, this notion is not only detrimental for a solid physique, but also for living a healthy life.
The lower body bears the brunt of daily movement stress and plays an essential role in keeping the body going forward. Furthermore, everything from picking up something off the floor to tippy-toeing to reach something out of the cupboard all requires some posterior or anterior lower body engagement. Since the legs play a significant role in overall body stability, they need the additional work aside from everyday tasks to stay sturdy as well as grow to make life easier which comes from a session or two a week of exercise.
For those unfamiliar with the words posterior and anterior chain, these describe the front and back of the lower body. The posterior chain consists of the glutes, hamstrings, calves amongst other hip muscles. The anterior chain is the quads, front of the calves in addition to other hip muscles similar to the posterior chain.
That said building the lower body allows for many benefits such as stability, agility and overall functionality. Notions that have previously come up in this post, but deserve another iteration because they are highly important. For those who prefer cardio over lifting, studies show that by doing hip, glute, hamstring, quad and calve exercises, you will not only be faster but also improve endurance. Furthermore, be more agile during daily activities.
Moreover, exercising the lower body will reduce pain and the reoccurrence of muscle tissue knots because the tissue won’t be weak and easily knotted. A by-product of this is better posture as the lower body stabilizes the abdominals, which are one of the muscle groups responsible for keeping the body upright.
As the body ages, bones begin to deteriorate as well as become brittle/ weak. When this happens, people start to suffer from a lot of pain, especially in the knees and hips since they are always in use. Incorporating lower body exercises will not just keep bones sturdy during the ageing process, they will aid in keeping joints moving smoothly rather than rough or painful.
That said when done incorrectly, lower body exercises could do more harm than good. However, this is usually due to form, prior injuries or trying to lift heavy too quickly. All of which can be avoided by remembering not to ego lift, but rather trust the growth process and stay consistent. Notions that carry over to the upper body as well as other forms of compound exercises. Trusting the process and staying consistent with any goal in life is one of the keys to moving forward instead of staying still spinning your tires.