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I am trying to lose weight and someone told me that working out legs is the best way to lose fat (obviously along with a balanced diet, cardio and good amount of sleep). Is there any truth to this statement? I have lost some weight over the last 2 months of working out but then cannot seem to go down anymore.

The reason that the person gave me was that leg muscles are some of the biggest muscles in the body and hence working them out burns more calories.

Thanks

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4 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Well that 'someone' is correct in some way. Your legs hold the biggest muscles (bigger than your back or chest) and it's a fact that muscles need a lot of energy. This means that big muscles burn more energy, so the bigger they are... you get it right.

If you work your whole body though, you will burn fat much faster (obviously)

Have a great time losing weight ;-)

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Thanks boss. Do you have any good leg workout routines? –  Gabbar Apr 12 '13 at 19:33
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Yeah he is totally right. WorkoutChallenger gave a good explanation why; its the largest muscle group in your body, and stimulating it does not only increase your base energy consumption, but is also beneficial for your hormone production.

The most important exercise for legs is the squat. Be sure to use the right technique: watch some videos ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbxxs1PErLQ ) to understand it, but have a trainer look at it to be sure. If you do it wrong, it can be dangerous, but if you do it right, its a wonderful exercise.

I recommend you add a Leg-day into your plan (assuming you are already experienced with weight lifting, and do so for your upper body). A day could look like this:

  • squats

  • leg press

  • leg curls

  • calf press

This is how I have my leg day, additionally I do a upper body push-pull split, i.e. three days in total.

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While that person is technically right (kind of), working out a single part of your body like that is generally a bad idea. If you are adding leg training exercises to your normal routine it is probably fine, but working out only an isolated muscle group does not maximize your fat burn. In fact, it is quite the opposite - the more muscle groups you can hit with sustained intensity the better your burn will be.

If you're going to focus on just your legs (which I suggest you don't for the reasons stated above), at least add in some upper body and other exercises to achieve better balance and burn. For example, if you're doing side lunges you can throw in a tricep kickback with some dumbells, or add an overhead press to your squats. There are tons of combinations you can do that will boost your fat burning potential and help you build muscle.

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I am going to be adding legs routine to my workout. I won't give up one for another. Going for a balanced approach. –  Gabbar Apr 16 '13 at 2:29
    
Glad to hear that - balance is definitely the way to go. –  user1205577 Apr 16 '13 at 10:42
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If there is ONE exercise to do, it's SQUATS!!

The best full body workout and, yes, it's a great leg workout. Start with body squats to get form down, add a bar THEN start adding weight. You will notice a total body transformation after doing squats for a month (and yes, those precious abs get targeted big time)

Make SURE your form is correct or you can hurt yourself...

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