While it’s true that upper body muscles are more eye-catching – perhaps because it’s not polite to stare at someone below the waist – you should not neglect to train your lower body. Lower body muscles are most visible from behind, and guess what? Your “behind” is what people tend to notice when they’re behind you. More importantly, lower body exercises are also highly functional.
Major Lower Body Muscles
Lower body exercises strengthen and build up your glutes and hamstrings. Nearly all lower body exercises, including the traditional squats, also make use of your thigh and calf muscles – this is true even though your thighs and calves usually get more workouts from running and leg exercises.
Glutes is the common term used to describe the gluteal muscles of gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus. It is these muscles that give your buttocks their desirable and appealing definitions. If you’ve been working hard on your upper body, you definitely want well-defined behind, thighs and calves to go with it.
As mentioned from the outset, there are functional reasons beyond aesthetics to compel you to train your lower body. For one, having a strong lower body can significantly reduce the risk of back injury, especially during weight training and strenuous sporting activities.
Besides weight training, you can improve your performance in any workouts or sports that utilize the power of your lower body. These include running, many types of resistance exercises, and popular team and individual sports such as football, soccer, basketball, tennis, and more.
For older men, having a strong lower body can improve joint health and help prevent a hernia and spine injuries. This is true even in daily activities such as getting out of the lazy chair or squatting to pick something up.
In addition, lower body exercises can be even better at promoting healthy body weight than upper body exercises. Research shows that high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) of the lower body can yield higher metabolic rates than HIIE of the upper body.