Some say you can’t go wrong with your leg day as long as you squat. We’re just going to say it: there’s more to leg day than just showing up and doing squats!! It’s just not that simple. You need to make sure you get the most out of your training, otherwise the leg day changes nothing for you.
We made a list of the most common mistakes happening on leg day. Pay attention – you might be doing some of these mistakes at the cost of a strong pair of legs!
#1. Not training legs at all
A lot of people completely avoid training their legs. One of the reasons they do so is because of the misconception that their legs are already developed beyond what they should be, and another being the weight of training them. It’s true that leg day can be hard and painful and it will leave sore, but avoiding leg training is a critical mistake. It’s like building a house with no foundation.
#2. Allowing your knees to stray inwards
This is the most common mistake generally made while performing squats and leg presses. The moment your knees fall inward during one of these movements, you are opened to all kinds of injuries, especially the dreaded ACL sprain or tear (anterior cruciate ligament). The tendency of the knees to drift inwards most often happens with the upward portion of the squat. If this happens to you, it should be taken seriously. The way to avoid this is to look for some exercises that help you stretch and strengthen the abductors.
#3. Neglecting hamstrings
Because the hamstrings tend to go a little unnoticed, people don’t take them as serious and believe that training them is optional. We say it’s very important that you invest in training them just as you do with your quads muscles, because the injuries of the hamstring muscles as just as real and common as any other. Squat exercises are good for training hamstring muscles, but not sufficient. When you’re at the bottom of a squat, you have the quads stretched and the hamstrings contracted. The deeper you go, the more your hamstrings are being stressed and used. One exercise that would be a perfect addition to your leg day for strengthening the hamstrings would be the Romanian deadlift.
#4. Squatting with incorrect form
Leaning too far forward and pushing your hips too far backwards, you’re doing it wrong and you’re working your back, hips and butt more than your legs. Also, the chances of straining your spinal erectors are very high. If you know you’re doing your squats wrong, it is better if you don’t do it anymore and take the time to practice the correct form until you get it right. Here is a complete guide on how to squat the proper way.
#5. Not doing squats at all
If you decide sticking to machine movements and avoid squats, you will be neglecting the one way that can offer your legs their best workout. Squats are the king of all leg exercises, and everyone should know that!
#6. Mixing cardio with leg workouts
When performing an intense leg workout, the fuel you are using is the glycogen stored in the muscles. The same goes for cardio. With the exercise you perform first, the glycogen quickly drains, leaving you with minimal energy to finish the rest of the exercises. It’s better if you choose to go with leg day or cardio, so you get to finish the entire workout session.
Training legs isn’t easy, that’s for sure, but leg workouts release the most testosterone in your body. This means that all of your other workouts will benefit from a leg day. Choose to build a rounded physique and stop skipping your leg day!