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Fitness & Wellness

Why Is Leg Day So Exhausting

Whether you live in Alexandria, VA or any other part of the country, having a specific leg day can be exhausting, especially if you work those legs hard, to the point of failure. There’s a reason for that. The legs involve large muscle groups, particularly if you compare them to the arm, which often gets the same attention and often its own day. You won’t feel nearly as tired if you’ve worked a smaller group of muscles. It just makes sense.

Consider functional fitness workouts rather than isolating specific body parts and working only those on specific days.

Functional fitness works the whole body, not just one area, like the legs. While you’ll still get tired, you won’t be as tired as if you’ve worked that large group of muscles to exhaustion. You’ll also get more bang for your exercise time by doing full body workouts and are likely to see better gains and more energy after each workout. People often use leg day to do high-intensity, concentrated strength training that can cause the ultimate in soreness where even getting out of bed, off the toilet or down the stairs causes misery. That’s not a benefit.

Isolating muscle groups like the legs may not improve your overall fitness.

Sure, you want to address problems like muscle balance or inadequate development of large muscle groups causing smaller ones to do the job, but stressing just one body part isn’t necessary if the goal is to be fit. Cardio days provide both cardiovascular improvement and often involve building the muscle strength in the legs. Strength building days also work on the entire body. HIIT and kickboxing give overall strength building and helps all the muscles and joints of the body to work in synergy.

If you’re under stress, you’ll get tired.

Stress comes in many forms and the brain never differentiates. It can come in the form of an attack or an angry boss screaming. Both of these elicit the fight or flight response that prepares your body for either. If you’re focusing on your legs and working them too hard, because these are large muscles, it can bring on stress. That’s one reason overtraining can be so harmful. Following a program of total body training that works you hard, but doesn’t focus on just one area, can bring better results and leave you feeling great instead of exhausted.

  • Even though you may break up your days with one day for heavy chest and back work, one day for heavy ab workouts and one day for heavy leg work, you’re stressing your body every day. That will stress you and leave you tired, which is a symptom of overtraining.
  • While some aches and pains are expected, working too hard can set you back. There’s a difference between a “good” sore and one where you can’t walk. If you’re experiencing the second, you need to adjust your workout.
  • Leg workouts should be part of your overall fitness program, but combined with other types of exercise, too. It allows the muscle tissue to build without stressing the area too much at once.
  • There are other ways to exercise your legs that aren’t as dreaded or tiring. An overall strength day will exhaust you less, be as good and keep you coming back to the gym rather than avoiding it.

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