Muscular endurance refers to how long muscles can sustain exercise. Improving muscular endurance can help enhance overall health and fitness.
This article explores the benefits of muscular endurance, the best training routines to enhance it, and how people can adapt these techniques into common exercises.
We will also look at tips to prevent injury during training and how to design an exercise program that could lead to long-term performance and health benefits.
What is muscular endurance?
Muscular endurance is the ability to continue contracting a muscle, or group of muscles, against resistance, such as weights or body weight, over a period of time.
Increasing the performance of these muscles means they can continue to contract and work against these forces.
Greater muscular endurance allows a person to complete more repetitions of an exercise, for example, pushups or squats.
Benefits of muscular endurance training
According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the benefits of muscle endurance include:
helping maintain good posture and stability for longer periods
improving the aerobic capacity of muscles
improving the ability to carry out daily functional activities, such as lifting heavy items
Hncreasing athletic performance in endurance-based sports
How to measure muscular endurance
Muscular endurance tests measure how many repetitions of a movement people can do before the muscles reach a state of fatigue and cannot continue the exercise.
Many tests focus on measuring upper and lower body muscle endurance by measuring how many pushups, squats, or situps people can achieve.
A person can work with fitness instructors to measure muscular endurance or record how many repetitions of a particular exercise they can perform before reaching the fatigue state.
How to improve endurance
To increase muscular endurance, ACE recommend a combination of lower and upper body exercises, with strengthening exercises to target the whole body.
Moderate resistance training, with short intervals in between for rest, creates short bursts of tension to build strength.
Circuit or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be a suitable way to combine cardio and strength training into one workout.
Unless a person’s fitness goals involve training for a particular endurance-based sport, training for muscular endurance alone may not be the most appropriate strategy.