Leg day – it’s something that all guys need to do, but not enough men actually stick with. One of the biggest complaints that men have about working out with their legs is that they tend to chafe and get rashes once they start squatting. Fair enough; chafing on leg day is a big problem. Let’s take a closer look at this critical part of our leg workouts and see what the best solution is.
How Often Should Leg Day Be?
It’s common knowledge that we guys tend to forget about our legs when we’re so focused on bulking up our guns and checking out our ripped arms in the mirror (okay, maybe only some of us do that…). But any guy who’s been going to the gym regularly for a few years should already know that skipping leg day is a big mistake. Not only does it ignore the pair of limbs responsible for your everyday movement, but it also makes you look like an over-sized chicken if you only focus on your arms.
Leg day is critical. You can’t skip it, which means you might experience some workout chafing as you’re switching things up. Your legs are actually some of the largest muscle groups in your body, featuring some of the strongest muscles you have even if you regularly ignore them.
Because of this, you should train your legs twice per week at minimum, performing workouts that both bolster their strength and build new muscle and that maintain what you’ve already got. At the same time, you don’t want to train your legs more than four times a week, and especially not with consecutive days. Remember, your legs get a minor workout every day just from walking around; don’t overdo it or you’ll injure yourself.
Keeping Your Routine Fresh
There’s no need to worry about heading to the gym and getting in a good leg workout. If you’re one of those guys that just hates to do exercises with his legs, try not to focus on how much you want to get back to your arms and instead think about how leg day keeps your routine fresh. One of the best ways we can maintain healthy bodies as men is to keep our muscles guessing and adaptable. Doing the exact same routine every day at the gym is complacent and doesn’t get you the body you want.
A truly healthy body is one that is well-rounded. That means leg day, whether you like it or not.
When training your legs, there are four main muscle areas you need to be aware of: the calves, glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. Ideally, your twice-weekly leg days will hit all four of these muscle groups. Fortunately for you, some of the best leg exercises are compound – that means they target multiple muscle groups at the same time.
But don’t think that means that every muscle is trained equally with every exercise. Some exercises are better for certain muscles and vice versa. So you’ll need to learn to do a few excellent leg workouts in order to properly stimulate all the muscles of your legs.
3 Key Leg Workouts to Boost Gains and Strength
Let’s go over three excellent workouts you can use every leg day to hit every major fitness milestone and make your legs as ripped and toned as your arms.
By far, squats should be the staple of every leg day you complete. These simple exercises are not only easy to do at any weight level, but they can also be modified or customized to work even more muscles and accommodate your personal fitness goals. As an example, you can always do squats with dumbbells or kettle bells if you want to bolster your upper back and lower back strength at the same time.
The basic squat will have you bend at the knees while keeping your back straight and your arms out to the side or front. Squat until your hips are at the same level as your knees, and keep your feet pointed slightly outward at an angle to avoid putting too much pressure on those joints. Rise slowly, keeping your form correct all the while. Done correctly, this exercise will stimulate all of your leg muscles, especially your glutes. Guys who want a rear that’s checked out at the gym won’t want to forget squats!
Deadlifts are another staple for leg day. As a bonus, those guys who want to sneak in a little upper body workout on their leg day will get their wish. It targets your back and quadriceps, plus the hamstrings on the back of your thighs. The glutes are engaged as well, at the same time as your upper and lower body. This exercise is comprehensive and engages basically your whole body.
You can do these with barbells or dumbbells depending on your strength level and experience. Either way, throw some of these into your leg day for a more holistic workout, or save deadlifts for “combo days” where you do leg and upper body exercises in the same session.
Finally, this customized exercise will have you do motions similar to a regular squat. It’s essentially a lunch while you carry dumbbells at your sides. Alternate your legs as you lunge to engage your quadriceps, calves, and hamstrings. Dip low to make things really burn.
Leg Day Chafing
All this talk of leg exercise is well and good, but it usually comes with an uncomfortable experience of chafing. Women suffer from this too, but guys have a unique body shape and a set of genitals in a rather awkward place that makes us vulnerable to severe chafing if we’re not careful. This is especially true when you remember that lots of guys “forget” to do their leg day exercises and aren’t experienced in dealing with this condition.
Chafing for your legs is pretty much the same as it is anywhere else. When your thighs rub together and your groin gets tight from repeated motions, the skin between your thighs and around your groin can become irritated or inflamed. Lots of people get chafing when they work out because it involves a lot of repeated movements, which rubs skin segments against each other and wears it down over time. Ouch!
For guys especially, the groin is a very sensitive area and the skin there doesn’t take very kindly to being rubbed away or irritated. Any man who wants to take leg day seriously and be even moderately comfortable during his exercises will need a chafing solution.
Body Powder – What it Does and How It Works
Fortunately for that guy (we know it’s you, don’t worry), the perfect leg day chafing solution has already been found! Body powder is the modern chafing solution that can effectively neutralize the effects of chafing without coming with lots of old side effects.
You see, back in the day, men got rid of chafing and moderated the sweat and stench of their underarms and groins using body powders made from talc, a mineral made of hydrated magnesium silicate. This body powder with soak up moisture and reduce the incidence of rashes. If you saw some today, it would look a lot like baby powder. Unfortunately, older versions of body powder came with a host of complications.
These days, there are modern body powder products, like Chassis Premium Body Powder to use before your leg workout. This body powder uses powdered rice hulls and medical-grade cornstarch as its base ingredients, which are both natural and don’t come with the possibly carcinogenic side effects of regular mined talc. It’s additionally bolstered with witch hazel, which provides many of the same moisture soaking and astringent properties other body powders have had in the past. To make things even better, this formula is made with baking soda to get rid of body odor – something all men have to deal with when they work up a sweat down there. Finally, a selection of hops is mixed in to reduce the number of bacteria that crop up as you work up a sweat. As these bacteria are responsible for much of the “sweaty” odor we all know, it’ll do a great job of stopping you from smelling.
Body odors like the above product are extremely easy to apply and are far superior to wetter gels and deodorants, which can feel slippery or nasty in your pants. Rub a little body powder onto your crotch and the highest skin of your thighs, and you’ll find that chafing will be drastically reduced not only for your workout for the entirety of the day. It’s an even better choice for male runners for that reason; one coat in the morning, and you’ll be set for however long you want to run.
All in all, modern body powder is the best solution to tackle workout chafing on leg day or when you go for a run. It's easy to apply and provides its beneficial effects all day long without any of the negative possibilities of gels, deodorants, or old-fashioned powders. We’d highly recommend picking up a bottle for yourself so you can enjoy leg day and feel comfortable squatting to your limit.