Leg DAY???….Comparing the Squat vs. Bench Press

Leg day. Most of us hate it until we learn to love it. Each week we pick a day to be our obligatory Leg workout. Then the rest of week is split into various upper-body workouts (back/ bi’s, chest, shoulders/ triceps, etc) mixed in with some cardio. Sound familiar?

One day assigned to trainĀ HALF our body!!! Ever think of it like that? Attempt to designate workouts based on the amount of muscle you are training, not the amount of exercises you’ll perform per workout. “Arm Day” should not get the same attention as training larger muscle groups. Period.

Take a look at the examples below. This shows the muscle recruited to perform two different major compound exercises, one upper-body and one lower-body. Compare and learn.

Bench Press

Primary Mover

  • Pectoralis major


  • Anterior Deltoid
  • Triceps


  • Rotator cuff
  • Biceps



Prime Mover

  • Quadriceps
  • Gluteus maximus


  • Hamstrings complex
  • Adductor magnus
  • Gastrocnemius/ soleus complex
  • Posterior tibialis


  • Flexor hallucis longus
  • Posterior tibialis
  • Anterior tibialis
  • Soleus
  • Gastrocnemius
  • Adductor longus
  • Adductor brevis
  • Tranverse adbominus
  • Gluteus medius
  • Trapezius
  • Rhomboids
  • Cervical stabilizers


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