If you’re finding yourself a little short of breath when you walk up the stairs or feel especially winded as you try to complete your workouts, you might need to work on your endurance -- the ability to exert yourself and remain active for a long period of time. Improving your endurance levels will also boost your ability to resist and withstand fatigue as well as injury.
Not sure where to start? We can help! Read on for the best full-body exercises to build your endurance.
But First, What Exactly Is Muscular Endurance Anyway?
Simply put, muscular endurance refers to the ability of a given muscle to exert force, repetitively and consistently, over a period of time. It plays a pretty significant role in almost every athletic endeavor. You might think of muscular endurance as stamina.
A sport that relies quite a bit on muscular endurance is long-distance running. During a race, a marathon runner’s body performs the same movement and stride, over and over again. This requires their muscles to have an advanced level of endurance to avoid extreme fatigue or injury. But you don’t necessarily need to train for a marathon to improve your muscular endurance. For the average Joe, it can be as easy as doing push-ups until failure. This means doing one movement repetitively -- with good form -- until you simply can’t perform it anymore.
According to the experts over at the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the top benefits of muscle endurance include:
Improving the aerobic capacity of your muscles
Helping to maintain posture and stability for longer periods
Increasing athletic performance in endurance-based sports
Improving the ability to carry out daily functional activities -- such as lifting heavy items
Reduce the risk of injury
Ready to build your muscular endurance? Here are some of the best full-body exercises that can help.
Burpees are an excellent full-body exercise. Not only do they require nothing but your own bodyweight -- meaning you have no real excuse not to do them -- they’re an awesome overall body strengthener and will condition you like no other exercise can.
How to do them: Stand up straight. Then, simply get into a squat position with your hands on the floor in front of you. Kick both of your feet back into a push-up position and lower your body so that your chest touches the floor. Jump and return your feet to the squat position as fast as you can and then immediately jump up into the air as high as you can. Add a little clap for pizazz!
Gear 1 Alternative:
Slap on the ankle straps and connect to a low anchor. Add a prone tuck hop to your burpee to really build core strength with the benefits of the added resistance.
2. Gear 1 Lat Pull-Downs
When compared to the traditional cable pulldown, the band pulldown targets your lats the most at the bottom of each rep. Simply put, this means you have to work much harder throughout the exercise, which will help your muscles to grow faster and stronger.
How to do them: Anchor your Gear 1 to a sturdy point above you. Stand with your feet loosely apart and your back straight. Grab the handles and firmly pull them down until your arms are by your sides. Hold for a moment, then raise and repeat. Alternatively, you can choose to work one arm at a time.
Not only will squats give you an undeniably strong, powerful lower body, but they will also work your core, strengthen your back and work your shoulders as well. Plus, you can do squats using just your body weight for an awesome, do-anywhere exercise. Add Gear 1 to make them even more challenging!
How to do them: Stand with your feet about hip-width apart while pulling your shoulders back and engaging your core. Push your hips and butt back as if you were sitting in a chair. While keeping your weight on your heels, lower down slowly until your thighs are parallel or lower to the ground. Raise back up to your starting position, squeezing your butt and pushing your knees outward as you straighten.
Next-Level Squats with Gear 1:
Stand with your back to a low anchor, holding the Gear 1 handles at your shoulders. Perform the squat as described above. Having that added resistance makes the muscles work harder for even faster results.
4. Push Ups
Forget the fancy weight machines, do push-ups instead. Push-ups are amazing -- they work your arms, chest, core, back, butt, and even your leg muscles. And the best thing about push-ups? You can literally do them anywhere.
How to do them: Begin in a plank position, with your shoulders directly over your hands. Tighten your core, thighs, and glutes, then lower yourself down so that your chest touches the floor while keeping your elbows as close to your body as possible. Then, push yourself back up into the starting plank position and repeat.
Push-up modifications for newbies:
Push-ups from your knees: Begin in a standard push-up position with both of your knees on the floor. Tighten your core, thighs, and glutes, then lower yourself down so that your chest touches the floor while keeping your elbows as close to your body as possible. Finally, push yourself back up into the starting push-up position and repeat.
Incline push-ups: Find a table, bench, or a similar sturdy raised surface and assume a plank position with both of your feet on the floor and both of your hands on the raised surface. Do a push-up from this position. As you get stronger, move to lower surfaces to do them on.
Push-up modifications for the pros with Gear 1:
Connect Gear 1 to a low anchor and attach them to the ankle straps. Assume a standard plank position with your hands on the floor so that they’re slightly wider than your shoulders. Perform a standard push-up, tightening your core, thighs and glutes as you lower yourself to the floor, keeping your elbows close to the body. Push back up and add four Mountain Climbers, driving the knees in towards the chest.
5. Band Seated Row
If you haven’t down a seated row with a band, you’re missing out. This effective exercise will sculpt your body from head to toe and promotes good posture. HYGEAR's set for resistance training is perfect for this exercise.
How to do them: Sit down on the floor, facing Gear 1 with a low anchor. Take the handles in either hand and hold them at your sides. Pull the bands towards you until the handles reach your chest. Your elbows should be pointing behind your back as you complete a row. Release to the center and repeat.
Alternative: Perform seated propeller rows, keeping one arm close to the body and the other open at a 90º angle. Switch arms with each row.
A Final Word
Muscular endurance exercises are essential for improving your overall strength and fitness -- not just for weightlifting or sports but also for everyday activities and tasks. Improving your muscular endurance can help you to avoid injuries, become more fit and mobile while also contributing to your other cardio or strength training goals.
You don’t need to go to the gym to get in a full workout -- you can improve your muscular endurance anywhere with HYGEAR!
The Gear 1 is a smart gym system designed for your home. It comes with two high-performance bands with adjusters, two ergonomic handles, two sets of wrist and ankle bands with smart sensors, a door anchor, a carrying bag, and a getting started guide -- everything you need to perform tons of full-body exercises from the comfort of your own home.
Whether your goal is to build muscle, burn fat, or get stronger -- HYGEAR can get you there.