Legs are the body part often neglected and overlooked by many a fitness enthusiast (even those on the right track), bodybuilders, weightlifters etc alike.
Cardinal mistake, and not just because of the reason you might have heard which is that (obviously) the hips and legs make up the largest muscle groups in the body.
Train the large muscles groups hard enough – and by that I mean work up a sweat and get HUFFING and PUFFING – and your body will generate enough HGH (human growth hormone) that the other body parts will grow even without you “directly” targeting them and even more so if you work those intensely as well.
Key thing to remember though is that as with any other exercise, you train the body as a WHOLE.
You do NOT “train thighs” one day and “focus on the calves” the next – not unless you want to become a “sum of disconnected parts” (as most serious bodybuilders tend to up becoming whether they actively want it or not).
You train the hips, legs and calves – along with the associated ligaments and tendons – and FEET as well (yes, I know that sounds strange, but it’s vitally important to ensure that your “support structures” remain strong) – and you do so at one shot.
In other words, you do exercises that a) get you huffing and puffing like you were about to blow the Leaning Tower of Pisa down, and b) focus upon the lower body as a WHOLE.
a) … well, you’ve heard me repeat THAT many a times, so I’m not going to get into again here.
b) … well, I just explained why.
Not only that though, train the legs right, and it’ll set you up perfectly for the rest of your workout. Though I continuously and unashamedly keep saying that pushups are the best thing you can do in terms of your fitness (especially my “favorite exercise” which you keep hearing me refer to as well), I’ll say this – leg training can give you a similar, but some how “different buzz” – but only if you do the right things.
My own training is pretty much squats for legs. Bodyweight squats, and they’re done “wrestler style”. I do them in high reps, and they’ve done MORE for my legs and also to “get that engine going” than anything else bar pushups, of course.
But although squats are the best thing you can do in my opinion, there are other great things you can do as well.
Ditch the “calf extensions”, for instance, and climb a steep hill a couple of times at a rapid pace and tell me how you feel afterwards.
Forget about “isolating the outer shoulder of the benign area of the quads”, and jump rope for a while and tell me how you feel afterwards – and believe you me, I could write a manual on jumping rope itself – there are just so many different variations, some advanced, some easy, some “intermediate”, but ALL useful.
And so forth. Point being don’t neglect leg training regardless of what else you do or don’t.
Trust me – your body will thank you for it.
Last, but not least, though a lot of you reading this will “pooh pooh” at the suggestion , WALKING is one of the OLDEST – and also one of the most beneficial exercises there is for the legs, and for your overall health and fitness for that matter. And YES, there are ways to turn that leisurely walk into a tough workout, but I’m not going to get into that here.
Bottom line – as with all the other stuff I teach – no excuses.