Health/Fitness » Fitness

Nothing Beats a Great Set of ’Leggs’ (Or Legs!)

by Ken Hunt
Contributor
Monday Oct 8, 2012
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Some of you might remember that catchy advertising slogan (for a panty hose brand) from many years ago. Although the saying might be old, the message is spot on. Legs are an important part of any workout routine. While we all know that doing legs is good for us, many people just ignore them. Here are a few facts you should know about working out your legs.

Think of your legs as your power stations. They provide the impetus for activity from the moment you get out of bed until you go to sleep at night. They are fundamental to your mobility.

Working out your legs is beneficial to many aspects of life. And working legs has a big effect on upper body muscle growth. It doesn’t exactly pump testosterone upward, but with legs being the body’s biggest muscle, and considering all the other muscles it takes to do heavy squats, it causes the biggest release of testosterone and HGH. These anabolic hormones travel throughout the body and rebuild the chest and triceps muscles you worked out yesterday as well as your legs. Anyone who has done heavy squats knows they work way more muscles than just the legs.

Another reason to work out your legs is that increased muscular strength and endurance will help you go about daily life with more energy. The greater your endurance, the longer you can work without feeling fatigue. Strong legs allow you to get through your chores, fitness program and social life more enjoyably and efficiently. Simple choices like taking stairs instead of elevators can quickly boost your leg power.

One of the key reasons you get injured is because your muscles or tendons are weak. If you work out your legs, you help avoid the risk of sprained ankles, twisted knees and muscle soreness that results from inactivity.

"Athletic Training and Sports Medicine" notes that it is important to work out your whole lower body together, including core, pelvic region and legs. Keeping your base strong with regular exercise gives you more mobility and reduces the risk of injury.

Strong legs are vital to sport-specific fitness, as they provide the impetus and power for running, jumping and turning. Robert Price, author of "The Ultimate Guide to Weight Training for Running," recommends strength training for building stamina, explosive power and strength. By using exercises like squats, lunges, step-ups and plyometric jumps, you condition your calves, quads and hip flexors, giving you a strong base for athletic activity. Cardio exercise like running and biking increases muscular endurance too.

Your muscles weaken as you age, which means you feel more tired performing everyday activities. Working out your legs helps fight fatigue, enabling you to maintain a normal routine. Another important benefit of working out your legs, according to "Bending the Aging Curve," is that it reduces the risk of falls. Not only does it improve endurance, making you less likely to stumble from tiredness, but it sharpens your reflexes and helps you keep your balance.

Ken Hunt is the owner of New York and Miami’s Steel Gym, an AFI-certified trainer and a fitness expert with expert advice featured in the New York Times, Compete, Horizon Barcelona, La Cosmopolatina, Men’s Fitness, DailyBurn, SiriusXM and LA Talk Radio, Edge, Ethan Says, IDEA Fitness Journal, Latin Trends and many other health blogs and sites. He travels the US and Europe lecturing on physical fitness and is currently finishing his new book, The Hunt for Fitness. Under Ken’s management, Steel Gym has been named three years in a row the Number 1 gym in New York by the American Fitness Institute; three years in a row awarded the New York Award for Physical Fitness Facilities; has been named one of the Top 5 gyms in the U.S. by Muscle & Fitness Magazine; and has been given the Talk of the Town Award four years in a row for Outstanding Customer Service. Steel Gym is located at 146 W. 23rd St. in Manhattan. Call (212) 352-9876, In Florida, Steel Gym is located at5556 NE 4th CT. Miami. Call (305) 751-7591. You can e-mail Ken at SteelGymInfo@aol.com or log onto www.SteelGym.com for more information. You can also follow Steel Gym on Facebook.com/SteelGymNYC and Twitter.com/SteelGym

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