Is It Really Bad To Skip Leg Day?

Bigger muscles, smaller waists, improved athletics performance, cardiovascular health, and injury recovery are just some goals of gym-goers. But whatever your goals, health professionals agree: You shouldn't skip leg day.

While leg day is essential for most athletes, you don't have to play soccer to reap the benefits of squats and lunges (via Daily Burn). The legs are essential to performing many daily activities from walking and lifting to bending and sitting, so keeping the legs strong and healthy is essential for the entire body to work optimally (via Medicine Net).

The legs hold some of the largest muscles in the body, including the hamstrings, quads, and glutes — so training these muscles requires more energy, which burns more calories. This makes leg day optimal for those wanting to lose weight and add muscle, or what some call creating tone. According to Healthline, working the legs can also be helpful for managing chronic conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes, as well as decreasing the risk for injury.

Skipping leg day may yield negative results

Legs might be your least favorite body part to train, but if you exercise regularly and often skip leg day, you are allowing your foundation to weaken. According to Healthline, this can decrease stability, mobility, range of motion, and leave you feeling off-balance. Single-leg exercises, like the step-up, are especially helpful as they engage and strengthen the core muscles, promote better balance, and help to minimize injuries.

As we age, we lose muscle mass, bones can become weaker, and tendons and ligaments tend to lose their elasticity, which causes stiffness (via OrthoInfo). Exercise can help combat these effects, and leg day is no exception as you will increase joint strength, improve functional movement, lose fat, and even decrease the risk of developing osteoporosis (per Medicine Net).

The next time you feel like skipping leg day, remind yourself to push through. Even if you squirm while thinking of squats, remember there are a variety of other ways to train the legs — and your entire body will thank you!