What Sport Uses Muscular Strength & Endurance of the Chest?

Young female swimmer training in the pool
(Image: Jacob Ammentorp Lund/iStock/GettyImages)

Having strong chest muscles can help you push away from the competition in all types of sports. But strength isn't all you need; muscular endurance -- the ability of your muscles to perform repetitive movements for longer periods of time -- is also important. Football, baseball, swimming and rowing are sports in which your chest strength and endurance is repeatedly put to the test.

Football

The constant pushing, blocking and jockeying for position in football requires you to have strong chest muscles. Football players use their chest muscles when blocking or pushing their opponent, and defensive players do the same when they try to get away or get off a block.

In addition, defensive players also use the chest muscles heavily when they make tackles; not only do they push and grab, but defenders also wrap up the offensive player to tackle. The chest is also involved in the throwing motion of the quarterback and with ball carriers.

Baseball

Baseball players need strength and endurance in the chest to complete the tasks of hitting and throwing the ball. The chest muscle is a supporting muscle, but it is involved in the overhand throwing motion in baseball. The motion, especially for pitchers, is more endurance related, but strength certainly helps a player throw the ball harder.

Chest strength is vital for hitters in baseball, because hitters must forcefully extend their arms to hit the ball hard and far. The chest is the largest muscle involved in the swing and, to an extent, chest muscle endurance is important during the swing -- especially toward the end of a game or extended practice.

Swimming

All swimming strokes involve the chest muscles, which help to extend the arms. Strokes like the freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke are all fueled by the chest muscles. Strength in the chest is important to help an athlete swim faster, but chest muscle endurance is even more important. Swim races can last 30 minutes or more at a time, so the strongest athlete might start out in front, but endurance becomes the key in order to win the race.

Rowing

Women in sculling race
Rowing (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Any rowing sport such as kayaking, canoeing or competitive rowing requires chest strength and endurance. The chest muscles are heavily involved in the second and third phases of the rowing stroke. Over short rowing distances, chest strength can definitely help you row faster. However over a longer distance, strength will wear out and endurance in the chest muscles will enable you to row for miles at a time.

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