HomeFitnessFunctional Fitness: 5 Reasons to Never Skip Leg Day

Functional Fitness: 5 Reasons to Never Skip Leg Day

Is there anything more crushing than leg day? These two words can send two different signals to different two types of people. One of them could get shivers down their spine because they hate it, and the other gets very excited to train that day.

Undoubtedly, squats are tough, and among the reasons why many skip leg day are psychological reasons. For example, they are overlooked in favor of upper-body workouts such as chest and arms as these muscles are inclined to be more visible, while big glutes, quads, and hamstrings aren’t as visible under a pair of jeans or trousers.

Training your lower body muscles is an essential part of any successful training program. This will support a balanced body which would provide a solid and stable groundwork. Read on to find out a couple of reasons why you shouldn’t skip leg day.

Top Reasons Why You Should Never Skip Leg Day

1. Stimulates Testosterone and Growth Hormone

Anytime you’re working out a muscle, your body releases some testosterone. According to Harvard Health, this hormone plays an important role in muscle size, bone growth, and strength for males, as well as improves ovarian function and bone strength for females.

When you’re working out legs, because your legs are large muscles, you tend to work them out in compound movements, it releases more testosterone than your other muscles do, which is why the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests that everyone should become a great friend of leg day, especially squats and free weight exercises.

2. Burn More Fat Easily

Since your lower body holds the biggest muscles in your body, you can launch your metabolism and burn more calories by working the quads, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and calves. You will discover that leg workouts have a cardio element in them because you’re sweating so much.

If you hate cardio, then the solution could be to do more lower body training as more energy is required to function the largest muscles in your body, therefore, you’ll be most likely to increase the number of calories you burn in a workout. This is why a leg workout boosts the heart rate more than the chest and arms

3. Body Symmetry

A big upper body with toothpick legs looks ridiculous. Small legs already look bad on their own, but when paired with a built upper body, they will stand out more and look even worse. This creates a disproportionate body (think chicken legs).

Not only appearance wise you will look worse if you skip leg days, but it will also affect your functionality. An imbalance in the body like this creates a weak frame and other negative factors such as lack of balance, decrease in mobility, increased risk of injuries, and reduced athletic performance.

4. Works Your Core

When doing a squat or lunge, in addition to the lower body, these exercises also target your core muscles. This includes the rectus abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominis, and erector spinae. Combining this with the suggestions from Harvard Health that your core is the robust central link in a chain that connects your upper and lower body, and having a strong core will enhance your balance, and stability, which can help to prevent falls and injuries during any physical activities.

Your core provides you stability and is the driving force to the moves you make every day. Whether it’s bending to pick up your groceries, swinging a tennis racquet, or reaching for a plate from the top cabinet. A strong and versatile core helps your movements to become more fluid, efficient, and firm.

5. You’re Lucky To Have Legs

If you have legs that work properly, consider yourself blessed. There are many people out there that might have to use crutches, a wheelchair, or might not be able to maneuver around at all! Out of respect to them – Because we know that their life is harder than our life is, therefore, let’s not neglect it anymore. Your legs are precious, so work on them to keep them strong.

Need Motivation? Here Are Some Leg Workouts

Here is a list of 5 must-do bodyweight leg exercises if you want to strengthen and grow bigger legs. This will develop your functional strength which will help improve movements that you make in everyday activities. Do this twice a week for 4 sets for each workout. Focus on good form and rest for 2 minutes in between sets.


  1. Stand tall with your feet spread hip-width apart and toes slightly turned out. Keep your spine neutral, chest open, shoulders back, and hands down by your sides.
  2. Inhale as you squat down by sending the hips back as if you’re sitting back into a chair. Bend your knees to lower down until your thighs are at least parallel to the ground. Keep your core tight and your lower back neutral.
  3. Exhale as you extend your legs to return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat this between 10-20 reps.


  1. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart with your hands down by your sides and core engaged.
  2. Take a big step forward with your right leg into a long stride to descend into a lunge, bending both knees until they’re at 90 degrees. Keep your torso upright and ensure that your front knee doesn’t go past your front toes.
  3. Drive through your right heel to return to the starting position.
  4. Do this movement on the left side going into a stride.
  5. Repeat this alternating lunges motion between 10 reps on each leg.

Sumo Squats

  1. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and your feet pointing slightly outwards
  2. Inhale as you drop into a squat by bending your hips and knees to sit back. Keeping your torso upright you can clasp your hands in front to help balance. Lower down until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  3. Exhale as you return to the starting position by extending your legs.
  4. Repeat this between 10-20 reps.

Bulgarian Split Squats

  1. Stand 2-3 feet in front on a platform that is around knee height. Extend your leg back to rest toes on the platform, your toes can be tucked or flat. Keep your hips and shoulders squared.
  2. Inhale as you slowly bend your right knee to lower it until it’s at 90 degrees. Keep your core tight and your torso upright.
  3. Exhale as you reverse the movement by pushing through your front heel and return to the starting position, squeezing your rear glute at the top position.
  4. Repeat this for 8-12 reps followed by switching sides.

Calf Raises

  1. Stand on top of a step or an elevated platform on the balls of your feet and toes, whilst holding onto a stable surface for balance.
  2. Slowly lower your heels as low as possible, keeping your knees extended. Pause at the bottom position for a second to feel the stretch on your calves
  3. Push through the balls of your feet to raise your heels as high as you can. Pause at the top for a second to feel the contraction.
  4. Repeat this between 10-20 reps.

Functional Strength Training

When it comes to functional leg training – It means training that makes our body more developed so we can function better in everyday life. The exercises below replicate movements that we do every day. It will help us to develop balance, stability, and mobility. Practice leg day supersets with this workout for 4 sets, and rest 2 minutes in between sets.

  • Glute Bridges (10-12 reps)
  • Step-Ups (5-8 reps on each leg)
  • Farmers walk (10-20 steps)
  • Lateral Lunges (10 reps of each leg)

Leg Day Stretches

Stretching before and after an exercise is important, but when it’s mentioned, what comes with it is a big groan about the confusion of where to start and the effort it takes to do. But, stretching is important as it keeps our muscles strong, healthy, and flexible. We need our flexibility to sustain a range of motion in the joints.

An empirical study has found that pre-activity and post-activity stretching can decrease the level of muscle soreness by less than 2 millimeters on a 100-millimeter scale during 72 hours after exercise, and it reduces the risk of injury by 5%. Check out our top 5 stretches to do on your leg day to alleviate soreness and get back in the groove. Hold each pose for 20 seconds!

Standing Toe Touch

  1. Stand tall with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Reach your hands down towards your toes as far as you comfortably can. You can bend your knees slightly.
  3. Hold for 20 seconds then return to the starting position.

Quadricep Stretch

  1. Stand tall beside a wall, placing one hand on it for balance and support.
  2. Grab your outside foot with your outside hand and lift your heel towards your glute, drawing your hamstrings and calves together. You should feel a moderate stretch on your quadriceps.
  3. Hold for 20 seconds then switch sides.

Seated Glute Stretch

  1. Sit on the ground with your legs extended and feet together.
  2. Keeping your torso upright, lift your right leg and place your right ankle next to the left side of your left knee. Pull your knee with your hands towards your midsection to increase the stretch.
  3. Hold for 20 seconds then switch sides.

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

  1. Begin in a kneeling position with your right leg forward and your left knee on the ground. Adjust your front leg so that your right thigh is parallel to the ground, and the left knee is aligned to your left hip.
  2. Place your hands on your hips and lean gently forward while keeping your back straight, until you feel a stretch in your right groin and inner thigh area.
  3. Hold for 20 seconds then switch sides.

Child’s Pose

  1. Begin on all fours with your hips stacked on top of your knees, and your shoulders stacked on top of your wrists.
  2. Sit back by bringing your belly to rest on your thighs. Your arms should be extended overhead with your forehead touching the ground. You should feel a nice stretch along the sides of your body, hips, and ankles.
  3. Hold for 20 seconds then return to the starting position.

The Key Takeaways

Avoiding leg day can be one of the biggest mistakes you can make, you might think that they look fine the way they are, but over time you’ll notice a big difference in body symmetry if you neglect the,

It can be initially tough, but as soon as it becomes a part of your routine you actually learn to love it. Here are plenty of reasons why you should train them!

  • Toned legs are sexy – You’d look better!
  • Stimulate growth hormones
  • Burns higher calories
  • Increase functional strength
  • Develop your core strength (imagine getting abs without training directly for them)

Make sure to train your legs at least twice a week, you can start at a moderate intensity and then apply progressive overload over time.


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