It took me long enough to tackle this subject. I can think of a couple of my fellas who are going to laugh that I am finally addressing this hilarious topic. Why is it funny? Well, MOST men hate training legs!
My boys don't so much, I find ways around it. They've heard me make this rant many times before. Because if you want to be fit, you've gotta train your legs, too!
You've seen them; we've all seen them. The men walking around mega top-heavy, like English Bulldogs. Skinny little legs, and a massive, puffed out chest and rippled back. A lot of them justify it that their legs are still very strong from having played sports as a lad, but I think the predominant problem is that many men don't really strive for aesthetically pleasing legs (or feel they already have them), and therefore aren't motivated. But legs do have to push through resistance in order to stay strong and in tact. Not only are the muscles themselves dependent on sound training, but so are the tendons around the joints. If you turn your back (literally?) on your legs, you will be one of those older men one day with big problems - sharp knee pain if not knee replacements, balance issues, many falls and then potentially a broken hip. Is THAT hot?
I have seen men doing some great functional training exercises for their legs - and this makes me very happy. I do have to observe, however, that they are the minority. Many are either doing massive heavy lifting, or nothing at all.
Every single person is different, and has different training requirements for lower body training. That said, it is important that men are training their legs both for strength and for functional mobility. Here is the important word: mobility. A lot of men have flexibility and mobility issues in their lower body (I feel I will be crushed for generalizing so much in this article, but it's true!). They are typically more prone to overly tight hip flexors and hamstrings. This is why my clients do a combination of balance, strength-building, plyometrics, agility exercises and STRETCHING for their lower body.
My point is, you must be training the lower body functionally, boys, and not just heavy-heavy or nothing. You must add in some power exercises like jump squats, some lateral movements like ice skaters and some glute-building moves like a one-legged deadlift.
You want to be able to run up stairs, run after a bus, fish a child out of a pool quickly without throwing out your back, and even to be challenged to a game of pick-up football at Thanksgiving without blowing out your knee. Life is meant to be full of activity, right until we die. Train smart so that your joints will last you a lifetime.
Please, please - don't overtrain OR skip the all-important, movement-driving lower half. Suck it up and move through it!
*Women - same applies to you, but I had to single out the men for a minute. Most women tend to remain motivated to train their lower bodies because of shape and fat loss, and we do lose the men to this motivation more often. Again, generally speaking.