7 Small “Mistakes” You May Be Making On Leg Day At The Gym
Ah, leg day… Such a love-hate relationship.
Yesterday, I embarked on leg day for the first time in awhile. I thought I could start right where I left off months ago.
Considering the fact that my left hamstring currently feels identical to the consistency of Jell-O, I can't help but wonder if I'm making any other mistakes on my journey to toned thighs.
Here are seven mistakes you're probably making when leg day rolls around.
Make these small adjustments, and you'll be on your way to becoming a squatting superstar.
1. Your Knees Are Straying Inward
Letting your knees stray inward during squats probably doesn't seem like a big deal in the moment, but it highly increases your risk for injury — especially ACL tears.
To avoid this, add strength bands to your squats as a little reminder to outwardly rotate your knees.
Strengthening your hip abductors can also help your form, according to BodyBuilding.com.
2. You Neglect Your Hammies
Out of sight out of mind, amirite?
Not when it comes to leg day.
Yeah, technically you can't see your hamstrings, so you might feel compelled to leave them out of your routine.
But this can cause pesky muscle strains and more serious knee problems down the line.
Here's an at-home hamstring workout you can do to round out your leg routine — no equipment required.
I'm so down.
3. You Round Your Back
Quality over quantity — especially when it comes to your quads.
Sometimes, it can be tempting to speed through reps just to “get it over with.” But neglecting your form — particularly rounding your back — is a direct road injuring your spine.
If available, ask a friend to spot you and check up on your form. An extra set of eyes is always helpful when it comes to heavier weights.
4. You Look Up
Don't look now… But science says that shifting your gaze during a squat sesh could compromise your spinal alignment.
Rounding your cervical spine puts a good amount of pressure on your neck disks. This is a serious leg day no-no.
Try to keep your gaze neutral, and just look straight at yourself in the mirror.
Piece of cake, you sexy beast.
5. You Add Cardio
Trust me, I know the feeling when you don't break a sweat during a lift and just really want to add in a nice run to get that rush of endorphins.
But getting too caught up in cardio could be stopping you from seeing progress in all your hard leg-day work.
Oh, and hopping on the StairMaster before doing some split-squats is also a wise choice. Intense cardio prior to weight training will just tire you out, leading you to be less likely to complete all your reps.
6. You Plan Leg Day For Friday
This isn't scientifically proven or anything, but I'm just looking out for you, fam.
There's no denying that you'll be super sore post-leg-day, and dedicating your Friday to the booty gains might totally ruin your weekend plans.
I've been there. A friend asks if I want to go out to a dance-y club on Saturday night, and I have to make up some excuse about how busy I am, when in reality, I'm cancelling because I'm sore AF.
Leg Day: one. Georgina: zero.
Dead lifts earlier in the week make room for more dancing on the weekend.
7. You Avoid The Squat
Squatting is hard — but it's so worth it.
You really won't want to avoid this move for a well-rounded leg day.
According to Mercola.com, the squat targets every single muscle in your legs. Exercise efficiency at its finest, my friends.
Incorporating this classic leg-burner into your routine will let you jump higher, run quicker, it'll make your butt perkier, and it'll help you avoid injuries.
BRB, heading to the squat rack.
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