Leg day is crucial if you are wanting to build muscle mass and develop strength, but many people pose the question of whether you should also do cardio on leg day as it’s an good one to answer. Among other important exercises, cardio aids the blood flow to areas of your muscles where it’s needed and in turn fast-tracks the healing process of muscles. When working and developing your body, it’s important to work every muscle group, otherwise, you run the risk of injuries. If you’re on the fence on whether you should be incorporating cardio into your leg day workout, we’ve put together some information to help you decide.
Should You Do Cardio on Leg Day?
Cardiovascular exercises work on the heart and associated muscles, helping to increase the rate at which the heart pumps blood to all parts of the body. Cardio exercises have also been found to help people lose weight and sleep better. Leg day is an essential part of a gym schedule, as your legs perform major supporting functions for the upper body. So, determining whether you should do cardio on leg day depends on the result you are hoping to achieve.
If you’re a heavy trainer who’s focused on a bulgy, muscular body, doing cardio on your leg day may not be the right choice. One of the main reasons for this is that if you work your legs hard before doing cardio, you may not be able to perform the cardio exercises afterwards as effectively (since, y’know, you’re tired and so are your legs). Because of this, cardio is often better left for a different day.
If you are a light trainer, cardio exercises on leg day may benefit you if you allow some time for your legs to rest. For example, if you trained your legs during a morning workout, it might be best to wait to perform any cardio exercises until that evening.
What Cardio Should I Do on Leg Day?
While cardio exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle, it doesn’t mean that you have to add cardio to your leg days. This is especially the case if you are a heavy trainer who focuses on lifting heavy weights during your workouts. If you do plan on incorporating some cardio into your workout routine as a heavy trainer, here are some cardio exercises to try:
- Butt Kicks
- Jumping jacks
If you are more of a light trainer, then some of the following cardio exercises might be good options to work into your workout schedule on leg day:
- Squat jumps
- Standing alternating toe touches
- Lunge jumps
- Mountain climbers
Another thing to keep in mind if you are planning on working some cardio into your workout routine is how much cardio you should be doing. If your goal is to build muscles, doing too much cardio could work against that goal.
Every person’s fitness goals are different, so there is no clear-cut answer on whether you should do cardio on leg day. It is important to listen to your body and only incorporate exercises that you are comfortable with to help avoid any injuries.