People often ask what is the best exercise is for fat loss or what exercise burns the most calories. Whilst we all know there’s so much more to health and fat loss, your gym sessions can still have a huge impact on your body composition if approached effectively.
When I work with clients my goal is to get the best results possible in the easiest way possible, which makes sense of course. A simple yet highly effective change I introduce to clients when they start training with me is getting them to train their legs more often. By legs I’m referring to quads, hamstrings and glutes. Here’s why:
1) Training Legs Burns More Calories
Training your legs using movements such as squat variations, split squats, lunges, plyometrics, deadlift variations, glute bridge variations and sprints or other forms of HIIT helps to ensure all areas of the lower body get the attention they deserve. Your glutes are the biggest muscles in the body, the bigger the muscle the more calories required to use them, so imagine working them alongside the quads and hamstrings and the amount of calories you will burn. Exactly!
One of my favourite leg exercises is the Bulgarian split squat. The reason being it’s a fantastic way to target the quads, hamstring and the glutes in one movement. Also the nature of the exercise means that you can’t go as heavy as you would on a back squat, so you could say it’s a safer way to target the legs but also complement your standard squats too. I like to vary the distance between my front and back foot as the closer the stance the more I can recruit my quads, the further the feet are away from each other the more the hamstrings and glutes will come into play. I use dumbbells or a barbell, if I’m doing higher reps a barbell is preferable otherwise my grip tends to fatigue before my legs.
2) It Builds A Strong Foundation
Imagine a big tree that’s rotting and weak at the bottom, or a lovely house with poor foundations, it’s only a matter of time before things will go wrong and something collapses. It’s the same with our bodies. Our legs provide the foundation for movement so weak legs and glutes will mean the upper body starts to compensate and over time this may lead to imbalances and back pain. I’ve helped many clients eradicate back pain by simply improving the quality of their movement patterns and strengthening their foundation.
3) You Burn More Calories At Rest
Due to the energy required to train legs and the intensity it involves, it’s bound to ramp up your metabolism which means once the session is over (during which you will have already burnt a good chunk of calories) you will continue to burn even more calories at rest. It’s a win win, so just another reason why you should never skip leg day. Also adding more quality muscle to your legs and bum means you will use more energy (calories) just for that muscle to be there in all its awesome glory. Now don’t panic ladies, I am not saying you need to turn into quadzilla to become a calorie-burning machine, just a little extra lean muscle on the lower body will boost metabolism and ensure you look smoking hot in a pair of leggings. Essentially more muscle means you can eat more too, so what are you waiting for, get squatting 🙂
4) Strong Legs Look Awesome
A set of strong looking, athletic, toned legs and glutes will always turn heads. I can appreciate a cracking set of buns on a woman or a man. It’s a great asset to have and a sign they have put their work in at the gym and don’t just train the beach muscles.
So there you have four legitimate reasons to train your legs more often but the question is….will you? Many people shy away from training their legs because its hard work but that’s not cool bro! Personally I like to train my legs at least twice a week, more often 3 times a week but I’m not saying it needs to be an absolute beasting as its important to allow plenty of time for recovery. I throw 1-2 leg exercises into 2-3 of my training sessions as at the moment I am doing a more full body approach each session. This means the big muscles get worked regularly but I have enough in the tank to train again a couple of days later.
Some days I train squats and split squats then deadlifts and front squats on another day and then some plyometric work such as jump squats plyo-lunges or HIIT using hill sprints or sprints on the rowing machine. It means my approach is varied and my metabolism is always fired.
So what are you waiting for…..squat, sprint, lunge and jump and ramp up your results.
When it comes to training consistency, progression and accountability are key. Which is why on www.fitter365.com we have an awesome selection of training plans, which are all progressive in nature, varied and enjoyable. Because lets face it, how will you stick to something if you don’t enjoy it? Check it out and treat yourself. I mean it’s only £1 for the first month and you can cancel at any time with no drama. Too good to miss if you ask me!