Leg day: much-maligned and lightly-lampooned for being a waste of time. But is committing an entire day to your leg muscles actually worth it? We rounded up five of the most popular and frequently-heard claims around leg day, and then put them to one of the top independent fitness brands in Britain: LDNM.
"Leg day: much-maligned and lightly-lampooned..."
Formed by two sets of brothers in 2013, this online platform was created to post information and answer questions beyond the limitations of the your local leisure centre or gym’s knowledge. So who better to bust some leg day myths than LDNM co-founder Max Bridger? And which did you believe?
1. You have to squat to get great legs
“This isn’t true. There is no denying a proper squat is a great leg exercise, but if it results in you getting injured whenever you use the movement it can easily be subbed for another exercise. For instance, full depth leg press will be a great sub that doesn’t stress the lower back and won’t detract from your progress.”
2. You should lift heavy with low reps for muscle gain
“Not exclusively. Training through a combination of rep ranges, with a focus on hypertrophy and strength work, is key for consistent muscle gain. You need to build strength to lift heavier, and to lift heavier larger muscles are helpful, so 1-6 and 7-12 rep ranges are essential to use in combination.”
3. The deadlift isn’t for leg day. It’s a back exercise
“Wrong! The deadlift is a great movement for the whole body, particularly the legs and the rear of the body! This movement and its variations are fantastic for working the hamstrings and glutes, and to a lesser degree the quads. The back is of course part of the movement too, but this is an underrated leg movement for sure.”
4. Glute bridges are a feminine exercise
“Absolutely not! This may be a movement championed by the fitness ladies of Instagram, but having powerful glutes – and hamstrings – are key to developing leg strength and moving big weights on full body movements. This may be an awkward exercise, but it is relatively easy to master and simple to perform, even if you have to ensure you don’t make eye contact with any other gym members!”
5. You should be doing high reps for definition
“Not exclusively. Light weight and high reps isn’t ideal for increased definition. Ensuring you continue to lift heavy regularly, whilst controlling your calorie and adding progressive cardio, and varying rep ranges utilised is far more beneficial for short term definition goals, and overriding long term aims.”
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