What is muscular endurance?
Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to perform repetitive contractions against a force for an extended period of time. The greater your muscular endurance the higher number of repetitions you could complete.
Do you need muscular endurance?
By building muscular endurance you will be able to perform physical tasks for a longer period. Whilst strength allows you to lift a force, endurance allows you to continue doing this over time.
Benefits to endurance training:
- 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 built endurance of trunk muscles
- Better sporting performance
- Refined training techniques for many exercises
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How to increase muscular endurance?
Weight training – aim to complete a movement for at least 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 – 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.
Regular exercise – if you want to improve endurance you need to train on a regular basis. Ideally on a daily basis. Work on completing the minimum 12 reps, taking a short rest and then repeating for at least 3 sets on each major muscle group.
Challenge the body – you need to ensure it doesn’t 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. Start 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.