Hi Friends of Oompf, it’s Alvan here. Today, we will talk about the next component of Physical Fitness: Muscular Endurance.
As I’ve mentioned last week, muscular endurance refers to the ability of a muscle to do repetitions against resistance for an extended period of time.
Importance of Muscular Endurance
In your everyday life, muscular endurance and strength work very closely with each other. Increasing muscular strength mostly allows you to lift heavier loads with more comfort. By increasing your muscular endurance, you will be able lift heavier loads multiple times. It will make chores and tasks easier. Thus, it will increase your stamina for doing manual chores like washing your vehicle, gardening, unloading and loading things in and out of your cupboard and even playing with your children. Thus, you will feel less tired and will be able to last longer. Emphasizing the importance of endurance in your training will also limit injuries sustained from physical exertion and from the overuse of active muscles throughout the day.
Furthermore, muscular endurance training has bone health benefits as well such as a decrease the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
How is it measured?
For lower body, the squat muscular endurance test is used to measure muscular endurance of the lower body.
- You start with standing on your feet shoulder width apart
- Extend your arms in front of you or place your hands behind your ears to ensure stability and good form. Gaze should be ahead, but slightly down to keep the spine neutral.
- Bend your knees and drop your hips down and back, shifting your weight into your heels.
- Once your knees reach approximately 90 degrees, return to the standing position.
- Perform and record as many reps as you can to fatigue and loss of proper form.
For upper body, the pushup test is one of the best ways to assess upper-body endurance.
To do the pushup test, you’ll need a stopwatch or a timer on your phone, and a ball, like a tennis ball. You may also want an exercise mat. If you cannot do the standard push up, you can perform the knee version instead.
1. Get in a high plank position with a ball under your chest.
2. Do one pushup by bending your elbows and touching your chest on the ball.
3. Make sure to straighten your arms all the way when you push back up to the high plank position.
4. Repeat this as many times as possible until your form is compromised or 60 seconds, whichever happens first.
5. Record the number of pushups properly performed.
How to improve?
The best way to build muscular endurance is resistance training. In comparison with training for muscular strength, the resistance you would be using is lighter load and you will be doing the movement with that lighter load for more repetitions. Resting period would be shorter as well.
A great example of such a program would be circuit training when the rest period is used for moving from one station to another.
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