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by UNC Campus Recreation

Three Ways to Sneak in Leg Day Everyday

Leg day, the most dreaded day of any weightlifting program, if you’re me, that is. I hear some people enjoy and look forward to leg day… I am not one of those people. If you’re anything like me when you walk into the Student Recreation Center and see all that all the squat racks are taken you take it as a sign from the universe that you should skip leg day, or by some miracle you actually get a squat rack and then you feel the need to get a little shoulder pump in so you do military presses instead. Whether your back hurts and you don’t want to bend down to dead lift or you’re afraid that you’ll get caught under the leg press or you think having muscular calves do nothing, it seems like there is no such thing as a bad reason to skip leg day. However, legs are vastly still important so I have compiled a list of three ways to sneak in leg day to your everyday life so you don’t feel as guilty next time you skip leg day or when you realize you haven’t worked out your legs in a month.

  1. Running

This is a no brainer, if you don’t want lift legs than there is no better way to exercise your legs than to run. You don’t even have to run a lot, running on the treadmill after every workout is perfect as long as you don’t make the excuse “I’m late to class” to skip it. Running longer distances around campus and doing track workouts are also great ways to work those legs.


  1. Take the Stairs

Yes, I know that nobody likes walking up all eight floors to get to a quiet study spot, but do it! No matter what floor my class is on it seems always so much easier and convenient to just take the elevator (except if my class is on the second floor… don’t be that guy who takes the elevator to second floor). However, taking the stairs wherever you’re going as an alternative to the elevator is a great way to work those legs, and if you want to go above and beyond, you can run stairs at Fetzer Field or Kenan Memorial Stadium.


  1. Cycling

Cycling is a great way to sneak in leg day because you get the same cardio as from running, but you can adjust the amount of resistance, too. Riding your bike instead of driving is a great way to not only save money, but also work your legs daily. If riding your bike in traffic gives you anxiety, you can always participate in the one of many cycling classes offered for FREE by Campus Rec (the schedule for cycling classes and other group fitness classes for summer session one can be found here).


Now, although running, taking the stairs, and cycling are great ways to sneak in leg exercise throughout the week and even make you feel better about skipping leg day for the third time in a row, there is no true alternative for leg day when you’re looking to build strength. There is no alternative to help you work up to squatting those three plates and feeling like a boss. There is no alternative for to help you nail your deadlift form, hit your goal, then tweet the video out for the world to see the progress you’ve made. The fact of the matter is that leg day is a lot like your dorm room cooking – it’s terrible, but the only way it’s going to get better is through practice.