Skipping leg day is a common weightlifting vice as many weight lifters pay very little attention to their lower body as they build their strength and muscles. Hugh Jackman has been accused of skipping leg days because of a few pictures making the rounds on the internet.
What does skipping leg day mean?
Skipping leg day refers to neglecting your lower body during general workout programs, including glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, and other lower body muscles. Skipping leg day is often associated with a disproportionately small lower half relative to your upper body. Many internet users have referred to this phenomenon as chicken legs.
There are various reasons people skip leg days, and the most common is simply a failure to appreciate the size of muscles in the lower body. The gluteus maximus and quadriceps femoris are two of the largest muscles in the body, and neglecting them deprives them of considerable gains.
Another common reason for skipping leg days is chasing the aesthetic value of a buff upper body. This causes such persons to focus on building the upper body because. This logic is aided by the fact that it is much easier to show off your upper body than your lower body. These persons typically are not particularly interested in the functional benefits of weight training.
The phrase goes back to a 2004 post in the Cycle Forums by one of its members – texmex – who urged others to avoid skipping leg workouts, discussing the importance of lower body workouts. The phrase continued to spread from here on out as various bodybuilding forums used it to segue the significance of leg workouts.
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Does Hugh Jackman skip leg day?
Hugh Jackman played the comic character Wolverine in the X-Men franchise, and to bring faithfully replicate the character, he had to bulk up and remain bulked. Nevertheless, like most action heroes, most of his parts involved him displaying his ripped upper body. This may be why most fans did not notice his legs prior.
However, when the picture surfaced, it seemed as though Hugh Jackman sported a disproportionate lower body relative to his upper body. This led to widespread observations that perhaps Hugh Jackman skipped leg day.
Nevertheless, there have since been several pictures posted by Hugh Jackman himself, showing that he does not, in fact, miss leg day. His pictures have shown him training his legs with various exercises and instruments. In these pictures (and videos), he is seen deadlifting, squatting, leg pressing, and pushing a sled.
Benefits of not skipping leg day
Here are some essential benefits you will enjoy if you do not skip leg day
Leg workouts can assist in stimulating the release of significant amounts of hormones into your body. For example, exercising your legs aids in the production of testosterone, cortisol, and human growth hormone (HGH).
Cortisol stimulates the increase of fat metabolism in the body and helps it respond to stress. On the other hand, testosterone assists your body in developing skeletal muscles and fixing damaged muscle proteins. Likewise, HGH boosts immunity, enables muscle growth, and improves fat metabolism.
Exercising each of your legs individually can help correct muscular imbalances and align your body. This is because they require you to equally utilize both sides of your body. As a result, it ensures your dominant leg does not overcompensate for your non-dominant leg with regard to mobility, strength, or flexibility.
Single-leg exercises can also aid in engaging your core muscles, preventing injury, and developing better balance. Likewise, they help in rehabilitation as working a side of the body can stimulate the equivalent muscles on the other leg. This indirect stimulation can help strengthen a damaged area on the other side of the leg you’re targeting. You should always begin with your non-dominant side when doing unilateral exercises.
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Examples of leg exercises for leg day
Here are some leg exercises that you can perform to develop your legs:
Lunges are excellent for targeting several different muscle groups in your lower body at once. It is a common leg-strengthening exercise with several variations to add variety to your workout. The exercise typically works your glutes, hamstring, quadriceps, calves, and obliques.
Lunges have several benefits, one of which is that they exercise several muscle groups of the lower body simultaneously. As a result, they are essential in many injury prevention and leg strengthening programs. An example is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury prevention.
Squatting is a common exercise that works the lower back, legs, and core muscles. It can also help people strengthen their muscles and burn fat. Various experts have also regarded the squat as an effective exercise for improving athletic performance. You can typically perform the squats with your body weight, a barbell, or a pair of dumbells.
Leg presses are seated exercises that you perform on a leg press machine. It is the machine equivalent of squats and allows you to focus on your leg muscles as the machine supports your back and hands.
Leg presses target muscle groups across your lower body, including your hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes. Naturally, using the leg press machine means your stabilizer muscles are limited as the machine supports you.
Leg extensions are isolation exercises commonly done with a cable or weighted lever machine. The exercise generally works your quadriceps and is essential to developing a bigger lower body.
Tips for developing your lower body
Consistent, proper, and specific workout programs will see you develop your lower body proportionally to your upper body.
Ensure you eat a lot so that your exercises have enough resources to build on when the body develops new muscle fibers. Similarly, ensure you get sufficient rest between workouts to ensure your body recovers and has time to develop those muscles.
Likewise, ensure you use proper weightlifting equipment to ensure you remain injury-free. Ensure your gym is well-furnished with standard facilities and equipment. Alternatively, you may set up your home gym to give you more control over your workout circumstances.
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