Published: September 25, 2020
Muscular endurance is a key component of physical fitness.
It is determined by a person's level of cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition.
Muscular endurance is associated with improved quality of life, and with many health benefits, especially those associated with stronger muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments.
Muscular endurance refers to the ability of skeletal muscle to repeatedly (dynamically) or statically contract, or exert a submaximal force, over an extended period of time.
Endurance physical activities are activities which can be sustained for a long period of time.
Since muscular endurance is closely related to cardiovascular endurance many cardiovascular endurance activities can double as muscle endurance activities.
Improved muscular endurance as well as benefitting athletes in their chosen sport can benefit non athletes by:
- making work and every day activities easier
- decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease
- improve body composition by increasing lean body tissue
- decrease the risk of physical injury.
Muscular endurance strengthens muscles
Muscular endurance is closely associated with muscular strength.
Performance of muscular endurance activities will improve muscular strength although muscle strength gains may not be as great as that which can be obtained by performing muscular strength activities.
Muscular endurance differs from muscular strength in that muscular endurance activities preferentially develop slow twitch muscle fibres, rather than fast twitch muscle fibres, and is more dependent on aerobic metabolism.
Training protocols for muscular endurance and muscular strength also differ with respect to repetition, load and duration.
Muscular endurance strengthens bones, tendons, and ligaments
Activities which increase muscular endurance also increase the strength of tendons, ligaments and bones.
Tendons, which attach muscles to bones, and ligaments which attach bone to bone, are involved in muscle movements and will respond to muscular endurance activities by becoming stronger.
Muscular endurance activities, especially if they are weight bearing, also increase bone strength and bone density and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis...link to the full article to learn more.
Corbin, C.B. & Lindsey, R. (1994). Concepts of Physical Fitness. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown Communications Inc.
CSEP (2003).The Canadian Physical Activity, Fitness & Appraisal. Health Canada
CSEP (2013) Physical Activity Training for Health Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology