Vastus lateralis. Rectus femoris. Biceps femoris. Semimembranosus. Semitendinosus. Gastrocnemius. Soleus. Plantaris. These are the leg muscles. While weight lifters and exercise enthusiasts may be more familiar with terms like biceps and pectoralis major referring to upper-body muscles, the leg muscles equally deserve as much attention - maybe more so - as other muscle groups.
Leg workouts and lower-body workouts are invaluable for building overall fitness and, when incorporated into exercise regimens, actually produce some astounding results.
Squats and Deadlifts
Let's talk about the basics. Trainers point to squats and deadlifts as two of the best and most effective exercises for building raw strength. Studies show that these two exercises help increase the release of testosterone and growth hormones.
You might think squats and deadlifts only strengthen the back and legs, but both exercises also directly benefit the upper-body muscle groups. Your arms, for example, must hold and keep steady the heavy weight of the barbell. Most upper-body workouts tax the arms, chest and back with relatively moderate weight loads. The arms and shoulders work naturally to keep the heavy weight of a barbell, used in a squat or deadlift, in the best and most balanced position.
Your abdominal muscles - part of your body's core - have to keep the heavy weight steady during squats. The abdominal muscles work naturally with your other upper-body muscles to keep the load in the proper position.
Your chest muscles - the pectoralis major - provide the balance and symmetry necessary for those heavy deadlifts and work with the back muscles.
Stronger legs and a more powerful core boost your ability to do upper-body workouts. Strong legs give stability and the added strength for the bench press, for example. Strong upper thighs and a strong lower back stabilize and create a sturdier foundation for the overhead press. The curls also require stability from the legs and back.
A well-developed upper body on Popsicle-stick legs just doesn't look right. It's not healthy either and can lead to injuries. It also limits further growth in strength and muscular development. Regular lower-body workouts help transform your exercise routine and leads to some amazing personal records.
The squat, the deadlift and other exercises in a leg workout build confidence and raw strength. All the upper-body exercises require setting goals and pushing through the strain of the last few repetitions of a set. But when the amount of weight for a deadlift is more than your body weight - or even twice your body weight - you're doing something impressive. It's the same with squats. How about squatting more than twice your body weight? Now that's reason for confidence.
Iron Company Provides Power
Iron Company's portable squat stands and modular weight training racks are major space-saving exercise equipment with customizable features. A squat stand is a fixture in most home and commercial gyms. Iron Company's customized equipment can be tailored to suit the layout of your gym. Our adjustable squat stands are affordable and suitable for both home and commercial gym use.
Squats, Deadlifts, and even some of the more advanced leg workouts often require a good strong set of bumper plates. Our Iron Company Premium Rubber bumper plates -made of a virgin rubber compound- offer unmatched durability, a low bounce and are the perfect tool for the job.
About the Author
Jayson Operio’s certifications include: NASM CPT - National Academy of Sports Medicine - Certified Personal Trainer, ACIM CPT - American College of Integrative Medicine - Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and PEX CPT - APEX Fitness Group - 24/5 Complete Personal Trainer. Jayson previously was a personal trainer with 24 Hour Fitness, guiding clients to achieve their fitness and sport performance goals. He has almost twenty years of combined fitness industry sales experience with previous companies Busy Body Home Fitness, Precor Home Fitness, Polar Electro, and currently IRON COMPANY. His passion for fitness was set as a foundation at an early age. With his father in the military, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and running a couple of miles were the norm. It was cross training for physical fitness. Fast forward, and now with over fifteen years in the fitness industry, he has gained experience and knowledge about various products and training techniques, and how they can be utilized to better one's fitness level and/or sport performance. His personal performance goals to run faster, jump higher, cycle longer, and press heavier have influenced his commitment to find fitness solutions. Knowing how the right equipment with proper technique can lead to results first hand, he’s here to share my knowledge with others to find the right products at a great price. Contact Jayson here.