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The Definition and Importance of Muscular Endurance

written by: Precious Silva • edited by: Stephanie Mojica • updated: 7/5/2011

Muscle endurance is very important in physical fitness. This article will help people understand the definition of muscle endurance and why it is beneficial to both athletes and the average individual.

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    In order for a person’s body to function optimally, it’s important for the individual to understand the value of investing in one’s physical fitness. There are several components in physical fitness that people need to develop to make sure that they have a reliable and fully functioning body. One of these components is muscle endurance. Understanding the definition of muscle endurance will help explain why successful results of many recreational activities and sports programs depend on it.

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    What is Muscle Endurance?

    Muscular endurance refers to the muscle’s capacity to carry out repeated contractions for a certain period of time without tiring out or feeling any fatigue. There are several components crucial to muscle endurance such as slow twitch muscle fibers. In muscle endurance, optimal performance is achieved when slow twitch muscles are at their ideal and developed condition.

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    Slow Twitch and Fast Twitch

    Usually, a person’s level of muscle endurance relies on how developed their slow twitch muscles are. Slow twitch muscle fibers along with fast twitch are the two general types of muscle fibers in the body. Unlike fast twitch muscle fibers, slow twitch muscle cannot apply that much force power. Instead, they are more reliable in terms of sustaining force over a period of time. Fast twitch fibers can greatly apply force but are only capable of sustaining it for a limited duration. While fast twitch governs strength, slow twitch are concerned with endurance. Without slow twitch fibers it’s impossible for a person to sustain force and carry out prolonged activities.

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    Importance of Muscle Endurance

    Muscular endurance plays an important role in physical fitness and health. Whereas the importance of muscle strength lies in its ability to apply force and fight resistance, muscular endurance is crucial because it allows a person to perform repeated actions with certain force over a period of time. Muscle endurance is what allows people to carry loads of weight at a given distance. It also allows the body to sustain a specific position for certain duration. Muscle endurance helps enhance productivity and prevents stress from easily settling in. This is beneficial for athletes, working professionals and generally for people who need to perform daily activities. Athletes need to develop their muscle endurance to sustain and be able to play for long periods of time where the average individual needs to have endurance to go through daily tasks.

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    Other Benefits of Muscle Endurance

    Muscle endurance is also beneficial to people who want to lose weight and tone down measurements. Muscle endurance drills and exercises can speed up metabolism. These exercises do not directly reduce weight but they help in toning body parts and enhancing bodily functions. A typical muscle endurance program includes working out with equipment such as: treadmill, rowing machine, cardio bike and step-up machine. Drills include doing push-ups, chin-ups, and skipping rope. For beginners, the following workout combinations are recommended:

    • Combination 1: 15-20 minutes of treadmill, 15-20 minutes of cardio bike and 15-20 minutes of treadmill again.
    • Combination 2: 15-20 minutes in the rowing machine, 3 sets of chin-ups and 10-15 minutes of skipping rope.

    Knowing the definition of muscle endurance will help a person devise the necessary fitness workout program. In most cases, it is necessary to consult with a fitness expert on which program is the most ideal.