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How to Improve Muscular Endurance

As we transition to the new normal of hybrid work setups, it’s only apt that you start preparing your body to be active again. But admittedly, it can be challenging to adjust from years of inactivity to an energetic lifestyle, especially if you’ve lost some of your strength. 

Recent studies from the UK revealed that nearly a third of people believe their overall strength has declined over recent years. And this loss in muscle mass could lead to longer-term health issues with mobility and balance. 

To help yourself prepare for your return to the office, we highly recommend improving your muscular endurance. This blog will discuss what muscular endurance is and how you can improve it through different workout routines.

What is muscular endurance?

Muscular endurance (or muscle endurance) describes the ability of a muscle or muscle group to exert force repetitively and consistently over a given period. Greater muscular endurance translates to more reps when performing a specific exercise. For example, a person with good muscle endurance may last longer when running, swimming, or rowing.  

What is the difference between muscular strength & muscular endurance?

Even though people use the terms interchangeably, they are two completely different things. While both are related to fitness, they define two separate roles in your muscular system.

Muscular endurance is similar to stamina, and it plays a significant role in almost any athletic activity and will tell you how many reps of an exercise you can do. You can assess your muscular endurance by doing push-ups or sit-ups. Additionally, you can test your muscle endurance by counting the maximum number of push-ups you can do until you cannot go any further.

Muscular strength measures your ability to lift a certain amount of weight. You can evaluate your muscular strength by measuring the maximum weight you can lift over a given period. The maximum effort is called a repetition maximum (RM) which you can measure directly by doing 1 RM. You can also estimate your RM by doing multiple repetitions with a lighter weight.

Building your muscular endurance will allow you to perform your exercises for longer. Meanwhile, increasing your muscular strength will enable you to lift heavier weights.

Why is muscular endurance necessary?

Improving muscle strength is essential for sports like weight lifting, football, and wrestling. However, muscular endurance is more beneficial for everyday activities. For example, endurance training helps you carry heavy grocery bags over several stairs.

On that note, improving your muscular endurance can also increase your energy level and mood and make your sleep better at night. Researchers share that maintaining a steady endurance level can help regulate blood sugar and insulin levels. In turn, you can avoid diabetes and maintain healthy body weight.  

Endurance training can also help you avoid the risk of osteoporosis.

Which activities help develop muscular endurance?

Before deciding on a suitable activity, you must choose your loading and volume, rest period, and workout frequency. Also, consider if your muscular endurance workout is fit for a person of beginner, intermediate, or advanced level.

Since muscular endurance is all about repetitions, you should take note of the proper load management or weight you will be using over an extended period. And if you’re thinking of improving muscle endurance, here are some workout routines to include in your activities:

Cardio training

Want to know an effective way to improve your endurance without using complex equipment? Try cardio training.

Basic fitness activities like running and cycling help your muscles gear up for endurance and help develop your cardiovascular endurance.

Strength training

Weight training is another excellent option. Weight or resistance-based exercises give the muscles the right amount of stress to help them get stronger over time. 

Practice weight training and use low to moderate weights. Gradually increase the number of reps to improve your endurance. You can perform weight training with free weights such as barbells or dumbbells. You may also use a weight machine.

Circuit training

Another type of exercise you can get into is circuit training. Apart from improving your endurance, it also builds strength, flexibility, coordination, and muscle tone.

Circuit training increases your body’s ability to exert force consistently over time, with little to no rest time. If you’re just a beginner at circuit training, we’ve listed some easy, at-home exercises you can try to improve muscle endurance:

Planks: Position yourself face down on the floor with your forearms and toes. Relax your head and keep your eyes on the floor. Engage your abdominal muscles and draw your navel toward your spine. Hold this form for 10 seconds.

Body Weight Squats: Standing upright with your hands on the back of your head and your feet shoulder-width apart on the floor. Bend your legs until your buttocks are parallel to your knees, hold for a few seconds, then return to your starting position.

Walking Lunges: Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step forward with your right leg and place your weight on your heel. Bend your right knee and slowly drop your left leg at the back until it almost touches the ground. Hold the position for a beat, then perform it on the other leg.

Push-ups: Get down on all fours and start with a planking position. Keep your palms flat and your hands shoulder-width apart. Lower your body toward your hands until your chest almost touches the floor. Pause for a beat, then push yourself back up again. Repeat. 

Sit-ups: Lie on your back while keeping your legs bent and your feet flat on the ground. Position your hands where it’s lightly touching your head by the ears. Lift your upper body and reach up until your hands reach the top of your knees. Return to your starting position. 

Partner with LifeClinic to Boost Your Muscular Endurance

Challenge your body by performing tough workouts for muscle endurance. With proper knowledge and awareness, starting and continuing your journey toward improved fitness will be easier. 

To learn more about fitness, explore the LifeClinic blog.

Dr. Reza Alizadeh

Dr. Reza is the visionary behind LifeClinic. His leadership is the foundation for the patient and team member experience, and overall direction of the LifeClinic. As the creator of IMJT, Dr. Reza continues to be the primary teacher on this technique.

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