Muscular Endurance Defined
Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to sustain repeated contractions against a resistance for an extended period of time. It is one of the components of muscular fitness, along with muscular strength and power.
Types of Muscular Endurance
In strength training, muscular endurance refers to the number of repetitions of a single exercise you can do without needing to stop and rest. Examples include how many times you can do a full squat, a sit-up, or a bicep curl with a light-to-moderate weight before breaking form.
The specific type of muscular endurance used during cardiovascular fitness activities such as running, swimming, or cycling is usually called cardiovascular endurance or cardiorespiratory endurance and is different from the strength training definition. Endurance training for these types of physical activities builds the energy systems of the body, the muscle fibers, and capillaries that can sustain long periods of exercise, such as running a marathon or cycling a 100-miler.
Benefits of Muscular Endurance
- Increased metabolism as physical tasks can be completed for longer
- Reduced fatigue when exercising
- Good posture
- Fewer injuries
- Less chance of back problems due to endurance of trunk muscles
- Better sporting performance
- Refined training techniques for many exercises
Ways to Increase Muscular Endurance:
- Weight Training – This type of training aims to complete a movement for at least twelve (12) repetitions. If your muscles are exhausting sooner, then the weight is too heavy and you are building strength not endurance. You can use either machines or free-weights to improve your muscular endurance.
- Exercise Slowly and Controlled – For this type of training, you have to avoid jerky movements and throwing the weights about. Lower the resistance slowly when training through the complete range of motion. Many people make the mistake of thinking as they are trying to perform higher repetitions that they should just move faster.
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- Regular Exercise – If you want to improve endurance you need to train on a regular basis which ideally should be on a daily basis. Work on completing the minimum twelve (12) reps, taking a short rest and then repeating for at least three (3) sets on each major muscle group.
- Challenge the body – You need to ensure it does not become too easy. When comfortable performing repetitions of an exercise, do one of the following: increase weight used, number of reps, number of sets or reduce the length of the rest period.
- Move better – The more efficiently you are moving the easier it will be to increase your endurance. For beginners it is key to start with simple movements when performing resistance training and building this up. Starting on machines and progressing to free-weights is a great way to do this. If you think of your running technique, the more fluid this is the longer you will be able to perform as you will be working far more efficiently.
In conclusion, there are a lot of ways to increase muscular endurance. The bottom line is that you should have the right motivations and that is to be healthy. Consistency also plays a big factor in doing your regular exercise. Before committing to anything, be sure to check with your doctor for any health restrictions