Muscular endurance is your muscles' ability to perform repetitive motions -- lengthening and contracting -- over long periods of time without getting tired. Many of your daily activities require muscular endurance, as do most sport and exercise activities. By improving your muscular endurance, you improve your muscles' capabilities to support your daily activities, as well as your performance in sports and exercise.
Importance In Daily Life
Increasing your muscular endurance will make everyday chores and tasks easier. Training muscular endurance will increase your stamina -- you'll have more energy to go from your job to playing with your kids, for example. You will find that performing repetitious physical activity -- such as gardening, raking leaves and washing your car -- will become less fatiguing, too. Improved muscular endurance will also limit injuries sustained from physical exertion and from the overuse of active muscles throughout the day.
Importance In Sports and Exercise
Muscular endurance will benefit your athletic and recreational activities. Developing muscular endurance will allow you to perform activities for longer before fatigue sets in. If you ever wanted to run a little farther, hike an incline a little longer or jump for that rebound in the last minutes of a basketball game but could not due to muscular fatigue, boosting your muscular endurance will help. After muscular endurance training, your muscles will be able to sustain a load -- such as your body weight or a back pack -- for longer periods, and they will do so more efficiently.
How to Train Muscular Endurance
There is a particular way to train your muscles to go the distance rather than training them to exert short-term brute force. Resistance exercises -- such as body weight exercises, weightlifting or plyometrics -- should be performed for higher repetitions -- typically 12 or more per exercise -- and with light to moderate weight. Take shorter rest breaks in between sets to get your muscles used to prolonged stress.
Benefits of Training Muscular Endurance
Muscular endurance goes further than just improving the health of your muscles. Muscular endurance training has beneficial effects on bone and joint health, too. These effects may decrease the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
Additionally, when your muscles can perform tasks without becoming easily fatigued, you're less likely to injure yourself. Muscular fatigue is a major factor in accidents that cause muscle strains and bone fractures.
Training muscular endurance also has beneficial effects on your metabolism, helping you burn calories to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight.