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What is Muscular Endurance and Why It Matters

A person jogs on a treadmill.

If your morning walk is more exhausting than energizing, working on your muscular endurance might be exactly what your body needs to gain stamina and level up! But what are the basics behind muscular endurance, why does it atter for your health, and what simple ways are there to improve it?

As a certified Pilates instructor, here’s everything you need to know about muscular endurance.

What Is Muscular Endurance?

Muscular endurance refers to the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to exert force repeatedly over an extended period. It involves performing repetitive contractions against resistance or maintaining a contraction for an extended duration.

Why Does Muscular Endurance Matter?

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Muscular endurance is a vital part of any fitness routine or goal. Improving your endurance means that you have the ability to enjoy your activity of choice for longer. Whether that means taking a longer morning jog around the neighborhood or being able to do 15 bicep curls instead of 12, muscular endurance gives you the ability to endure the exertion of a group of muscles for a longer period of time.

Muscular strength, on the other hand, refers to the maximum force that a muscle or muscle group can generate in a single effort. While muscular strength is important for tasks that require short bursts of intense force, muscular endurance allows you to sustain muscle contractions for longer durations, delaying the onset of fatigue.

Building your muscular endurance reaps all kinds of benefits. The following reflects just a few of the many benefits of focusing on this aspect of your health.

Increased Stamina

Taking that longer morning jog is a perfect example of your body’s ability to increase stamina over time. Muscular endurance training improves the capacity of muscles to perform work for an extended period without becoming fatigued. This increased stamina allows you to engage in prolonged aerobic activities, such as running, cycling, or swimming, without experiencing muscle exhaustion.

Increased stamina points directly to an enhanced cardiovascular system. This happens as a result of your body having the ability to move blood more rapidly so that more oxygen can fuel your cells. This same oxygen is used as a source of energy for your muscles and tissues.

Improved Posture and Stability

The American Council of Exercise shared that improving your muscular endurance targets the muscles responsible for maintaining proper posture and stability, such as your core muscles and your back muscles. Enhancing these muscles’ endurance helps promote better posture so that you can not only stand taller, but also reduce the risk of back pain, and improve your balance.

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Enhanced Functional Strength

Muscular endurance might be separate from muscular strength, but the two still go hand in hand, especially when viewed from an everyday, functional perspective.

Muscular endurance training improves the ability to perform everyday tasks that involve repetitive movements or sustained muscle contractions, such as lifting groceries, carrying a child, or mowing your lawn. In other words, improving your functional strength will help you to handle daily activities with greater ease and efficiency.

Prevents Chronic Conditions

Among other things, yes, muscular endurance training helps prevent chronic conditions such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Studies over many years have shown regular exercise as a preventative measure for the onset of some of these chronic diseases later in life.

To put it simply, exercising regularly to improve the endurance of your muscles goes hand in hand with keeping you healthy long-term in the face of long-term illnesses.

How to Improve Muscular Endurance


To improve muscular endurance, incorporating isometric exercises into your training routine can be highly effective. Isometric movements involve holding a muscle in a static contraction without changing its length.

We’ve selected the following isometric exercises because they target key muscles in your body, and you can do them anywhere, with no equipment.


Assume a push-up position with your forearms resting on the ground, your toes tucked, and your spine hovering in space. Hold this position for 20 seconds, or 5-6 full breaths. Rest, reset, and plank again 2-3 times. Gradually increase the time of your hold each time you reset. This exercise targets the core muscles, as well as the shoulders, arms, and legs.

Wall Sit

Stand with your back against a wall and slide down until your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Hold this position for 30 seconds, or 8-10 breaths. Again, Rest, reset, and plank again 2-3 times. Wall sits primarily work the muscles in the hamstrings and glutes.

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Static Lunge

Find a lunge position with one leg forward and the other leg extended backward. Make sure your front knee is stacked over your first two toes, as you keep your hips level. Hold this lunge for 30-60 seconds and then switch sides. Repeat up to 4 times on each side. Static lunges target the leg muscles, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Lunging also helps with balance.

Remember to start with a duration and intensity level that matches your current fitness level and gradually progresses over time. Listening to your body is always key!

It’s also essential to maintain proper form during these exercises to maximize their effectiveness and minimize the risk of injury. Consulting with a fitness professional or personal trainer can provide personalized guidance and help you to create a well-rounded training program over time.

As you can see, improving your muscular endurance will improve your overall quality of life. There’s no real reason not to throw a few planks into your next workout routine to reap the long-term benefits that come with increased muscular endurance.

Jenn Vigh Jenn Vigh
Jenn is a pilates and yoga instructor, an aerialist, and a travel blogger with 5 years of experience in nonprofit communications, and over 10 years of experience writing, teaching, training, performing and collaborating with creatives across the globe. For the last 6 years, her American home-base has been Austin, TX, where she’s worked with the aerial dance company, Blue Lapis Light, and enjoyed the sunshine with her world-traveling yorkipoo, Sheila. Read Full Bio »
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