Since the pandemic hit, staying physically active was out of the question due to the lockdown. However, now that everything is returning to the new normal (following the safety rules, of course!), it’s more than necessary to indulge in physical exercises than ever before. There’s significant importance for muscular endurance and strength since they determine the body’s ability to not feel tired and also maintain a healthy body weight. Read on to understand why it is important to build muscle endurance and strength and improve them to stay as fit as a fiddle!
Components of Fitness
Before you start learning how to improve muscular strength and endurance and the difference between muscle strength and muscle endurance, let’s look at the essential fitness components.
The basic structure to develop a healthy fitness routine consists of five fitness components in a human body.
1. Muscular Strength
Muscular strength is the “energy” that helps you lift and carry heavyweights.
2. Muscular Endurance
Muscular Endurance is the ability to expend force by a muscle over a period of time.
3. Cardiovascular Endurance
Cardiovascular endurance is the body’s ability to withstand physical exercises like running, jogging, etc., that kick starts your cardiovascular system to function for a period of time.
Flexibility is one of the most crucial fitness components, as, without flexibility, the muscles and joints would become stiff, and difficult to move them smoothly.
5. Body Composition
Body composition is the proportion of fat and non-fat mass (bone, water, and muscle) in your body.
Muscular endurance and muscular strength are the two significant parts of these 5 fitness components. Let us see what the differences between these two components are.
Muscular Endurance Vs. Muscular Strength
What Is Muscle Endurance?
Muscular endurance is when the muscle is efficient in sustaining a repeated number of contractions against a resistance for a prolonged time without getting tired.
In other words, muscle endurance is when a muscle or muscle group can do a higher number of repetitions for a specific exercise.
How Important Is Muscular Endurance?
Muscular endurance is essential for humans. Most sports like running and cycling require good muscular endurance so that the legs become efficient in handling prolonged activity without rest.
And can sustain continuous long-distance running or cycling. Having a stronger upper body also adds an edge to the participating athlete.
Muscle strength and muscle endurance go hand in hand, complementing each other.
There are many professions where people need to do a specific job repeatedly, and at some places, they need to lift heavy objects, so here, both the components of fitness help. Muscular endurance is also beneficial in increasing bone density making the joints healthy.
Even the tendons and ligaments get stronger with functional muscle endurance exercises like:
- bodyweight lunges
By improving muscular endurance, people who belong to such professions can perform their job with ease and be more productive in their workplaces.
Gone are the days when only athletes build muscle for their sport. Now even a common man gets benefits by having stronger muscles, making his daily living more comfortable.
Ways to Improve Muscular Endurance
The exercise frequency should be higher at least 3 to 4 times a week to improve muscular endurance. Improvement in muscular endurance happens when the weight you lift is less to moderate, while the number of repetitions is more.
To excel in any sport, one needs to practice their sport-specific skill. The same principle applies to strength training exercises as well. The more you practice, the better you become at improving muscular endurance.
The workouts for improving muscular endurance are:
- Bodyweight squats
- Bodyweight walking lunges
Muscular endurance can be enhanced for almost all strength training exercises, but the thing to keep in mind is the repetition range, which should be between 15 to 20. So if the number of repetitions is higher, it translates to better endurance.
- Perform push-ups as many as 20 to 30 repetitions.
- Do a bicep curl exercise for at least 15 to 20 repetitions with a light to moderate weight.
But you must perform repetitions only according to your capabilities. It is essential to listen to the body’s signals when doing a higher number of repetitions.
Muscular Endurance Exercises Examples
Here some top exercise examples to improve your muscular endurance.
- On a flat surface, lay on your stomach first.
- Now hold up your body on your toes and with your hands.
- Slowly lower your body down so that your chest touches the ground.
- Raise your body on your all fours again.
- Do at least five sets of 15 repetitions.
- Similar to pushups, get on your fours first.
- Make sure you are supporting your body on your toes and forearms.
- Raise your hips off the ground and tighten your lower back and shoulder.
- Remain in the position for 35-40 seconds.
3. Body Weight Squats
- Stand straight up with your feet placed slightly wider than your feet apart, with your toes pointing straight.
- Now, bring your buttocks down to your knee level so that your legs are at a 90-degree angle.
- Raise your buttocks upright while squeezing your buttocks muscle.
- Do five sets of 25 repetitions and gradually increase the rep number if you feel like you can do more.
4. Body Weight Walking Lunges
- Stand upright with your feet together.
- Make sure your core is tight.
- Put your right leg forward and lower your hips by bending both knees at 90 degrees.
- Ensure that the back knee shouldn’t touch the ground.
- Do this for three sets of 20 reps each.
What Is Muscle Strength?
Muscular strength means when a muscle or muscle group can generate maximum force with a single effort. The size of the muscle fibers also determines how much power one possesses.
After the age of 40, testosterone levels start to decline gradually, which is a natural process. And with the help of strength training, you can maintain the testosterone levels, improving overall muscle strength.
Some people take supplements to enhance their testosterone levels, as testosterone is directly related to muscular strength.
When you perform exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench press, and push press with the right form and technique, it benefits by increasing the testosterone levels naturally. But it is possible only when nutrition is optimum.
Even the weight used should be on the heavier side to reap the maximum benefits. When training to develop muscular strength, the repetition range should be between 4 to 6 as a precautionary measure since we use heavyweights.
The improvement in muscle strength will lead to growth in HGH levels (human growth hormone, released by the pituitary gland. HGH plays a crucial role in muscle building and gradually increases once muscle strength improves.
There is a technique called the 1 RM test (repetition maximum). It is used to measure one’s strength and power in strength training exercises. And the compound exercises are designed based on the 1 RM test.
Since more than one joint is involved, the effort required to perform the workouts is high. This helps the muscles grow and make them look prominent.
Importance of Muscular Strength
Improving muscular strength is also very important as it helps even a typical office person and an athlete. A 9 to 5 job person must start lifting moderate to heavy objects from the floor. If you gradually develop muscular strength, lifting such heavy items will be effortless.
Moreover, if you develop muscles around the back, legs, hips (glutes) hamstrings well, these muscles will effectively handle the weight lifting the load. This is because muscles are more superior and can handle the load effectively than any joints.
Thus the weight will not shift to the sensitive body parts like the neck or lower back.
To improve muscular strength, one needs to lift a little more poundage than the last time, irrespective of how much progress. This rule applies even if a 2 to 3 pounds heavier weight is used than the previous exercise.
This technique is more than enough to build on the strength, making it a more natural way of building muscular strength, scientifically known as the progressive overload principle.
Almost all athletes try to improve their muscular endurance and muscular strength in the present generation. It helps them to do better in their respective sport.
How To Improve Muscular Strength?
Since muscle strength is all about letting your muscles work hard than usual, using heavyweight helps a lot.
Also, you don’t have to indulge in strength training to build muscle strength compulsorily. Instead, you can try out simple bodyweight exercises in the comfort of your home.
It’s imperative to sleep properly for your muscles to recover fully from exercises. When you do strength training, your muscles get stressed, and it’s critical to healing the muscle tissues.
Ensure you’re resting enough for 8-9 hours to replenish your muscles and avoid strength training on the same muscles the consecutive days.
Muscular Strength Exercise Examples
You can follow the same exercises used for muscular endurance to strengthen your muscles. Apart from that, these are some more exercise examples for muscle strengthening.
1. Biceps Curl
- Stand upright with dumbells in each hand.
- Make sure your feet and hip are wide apart.
- Relax your arms at the sides and face your palms towards you.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed and bring your arms towards your body by gradually lifting the weight.
- Do this 2-3 sets of 12 repetitions.
2. Abdominal Crunch
- Lie on your back and interlock your fingers with each other at the back of your head.
- Bend your knees to bring them toward your buttocks and keep them a width apart.
- Now, slowly raise your shoulder blades off from the floor towards your knees.
- Before lowering your body to the surface again, pause for a moment.
- Continue doing this for 2-3 sets of 12 repetitions.
3. Jumping Jacks
- Stand straight with your feet width apart from each other.
- Now, jump and extend your feet as far as you can.
- Simultaneously, raise your hands to clap them together.
- Now come back to the first position before the next jump.
- Do three sets of 15-25 jumps.
A Word From AlignThoughts,
So while improving muscular endurance and muscular strength, we also need to focus on the other fitness components like cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and body composition. The reason being all of them work in sync and complement each other.
To improve muscle endurance and muscle strength, one needs to practice all five fitness components. And also try to master them.
Nowadays, where stress is at an all-time high in people’s lives, keeping oneself fit and healthy is the only way to combat these stressful situations. When you train for both endurance and strength, there is a minimal chance of muscle loss.
After the age of 30, a person loses half a pound of muscle every year. Hence the best way to preserve muscles is to weight train and improve muscle endurance and muscle strength before you grow too old.
Key Takeaways On How To Improve Muscular Endurance & Strength
- Muscle endurance is when a muscle or muscle group can do a higher number of repetitions for a specific exercise.
- Muscular endurance is essential for humans as it is also beneficial in increasing bone density making the joints healthy.
- The size of the muscle fibers also determines how much power one possesses.
- Some people take supplements to enhance their testosterone levels, as testosterone is directly related to muscular strength.
- When training to develop muscular strength, the repetition range should be between 4 to 6 as a precautionary measure since we use heavyweights.
- The exercise frequency should be higher at least 3 to 4 times a week to improve muscular endurance.
- The more you practice, the better you become at improving muscular endurance.
- It is essential to listen to the body’s signals when doing a higher number of repetitions.
- Muscle strength is necessary for all fields and professions.
- While improving muscular endurance and muscular strength, we also need to focus on fitness like cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and body composition.
What’s the primary difference between muscle strength and endurance?
Muscular strength is the “energy” that helps you lift and carry heavyweights, whereas endurance is the capacity to expend force by a muscle over a period of time.
What are the five components of fitness?
- Muscle strength.
- Muscle endurance.
- Cardiovascular endurance.
- Body composition.
What exercises can I do at home to build my muscle strength?
- Walking lunges
- Bicep curls
- Abdominal crunch
- Jumping jacks
What are your thoughts on this article? Please share them in the comment section below. You can also follow us on our social media channels for daily updates.