Endurance of the muscles forms an extremely important constituent of overall physical fitness. It is defined as the ability of a group of muscles to contract over a long period of time. In other words, it is the capability to perform strenuous tasks, repeat a particular movement continuously, remain in one position, or carry a heavy object for longer periods, without developing fatigue. Developing an ability to withstand stress, by means of specific workouts, enables the muscles to adapt to the changes in slow twitch fibers that have an elevated capacity to utilize oxygen.
As such, they slowly become stronger and more resistant to prolonged physical activity. There are generally two types of muscle fibers in the body: slow twitch and fast twitch. Slow twitch fibers can sustain an effort over a much longer period of time, but cannot exert as much force as fast twitch. On the other hand, fast twitch fibers can exert a huge amount of force but for a stipulated amount of time. Therefore, slow twitch is synonymous with endurance, while fast twitch equals strength.
Benefits of Developing Muscular Potency
- The metabolism of the body increases. The increased metabolism enables calorie burning hours after you have performed an activity, or when you are in a resting state.
- It helps in toning the muscles and giving the body a defined contour. All the excess fat and flab gets eliminated when performing such drills.
- Depending on the kind of exercises you perform, they also help in improving your posture.
- These workouts help in toughening the bones, tendons, and ligaments. This improves the ability to perform strenuous activities for longer hours.
- You become less prone to developing injuries, such as muscle pulls and tears because of the resistance developed.
- It also decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and helps in improving body composition.
There are numerous exercises you can perform depending on the body parts you wish to work on. Ideally, you should perform a combination of lower body and upper body drills that will help in developing overall strength.
For the Lower Body
Walking and Running
Whether it is on the treadmill or at a park, a daily jog or run will not only work on your legs but develop your overall stamina and enduringness. Start with brisk walking for half an hour, and over a period of time, increase the length of time and convert the walk to a jog and then to a run. This routine really works wonders when followed on a regular basis.
Contrary to normal belief, cycling is not a physical activity that solely involves the legs. It helps build enduringness in a holistic manner, greatly improves the stamina, and tones your thighs, legs, and hips. Though there are stationary bikes available at the gym, but the best way is to take your bike and cycle on some rough terrain for a real lower body workout.
Squats can easily be performed at home. Stand with your legs moved apart at shoulder's width. Slightly bend your knees so that they are in line with your ankles. Your knees should not jut out. Lower your hips while keeping your back straight, as though sitting on a chair. Come back up and repeat the same movements. Do this at least 15 times to begin with. Slowly increase the number of sets. For better results, as you squat, remain in the same position for 15 seconds and then come back up. This will further strengthen the hind limb muscles.
To perform this drill, stand with your feet together and your hands by your sides. Step ahead with your left foot, as far out as you can. As you do so, bend both your legs so that your left knee is perpendicular to the floor, and the right knee is almost touching the floor. Stand back up and perform the same movement with your right leg. For an effective outcome, you can hold weights in both the hands while executing. Take at least 30 steps to begin with, and slowly increase the number over time.
For the Upper Body
Push-ups help in toughening the forearms as well as the chest. They also work on the abdominal muscles along with those of the back and legs, thereby providing an overall workout. To perform this exercise, take a mat and lie down on your stomach . Place your hands next to your chest, at shoulder's width. Your toes should be able to bear the weight of your body. Slowly lift your body up using the entire strength of your back and arms. Your hips, back, and shoulders should be in a straight line. Next, slowly lower your body close enough to the floor, but don't touch it. Then again lift your body back up. Perform this at least 5 to 10 times to begin with. You may perform modified push-ups with bent knees if you are unable to do the regular ones.
Stand with your legs spread apart at shoulder's width. Place your arms by your side such that your elbow is near your waist. Next, take a pair of weights, or a pair of heavy books, or bottles in both hands, and lift your forearm towards your chest. Alternate these movements between your right and left hand. Perform this exercise slowly, at least 10 times for each arm to begin with.
Stand with your feet spread apart at shoulder's width. Place your hands by your side, and hold some weight in both hands. Slowly lift both your hands from the side and bring them up to shoulder level. Lower these back to their original position and repeat it. Do this exercise slowly, at least 10 times for each arm to begin with.
Take a mat and lie down on your stomach. Lower your forearms to the ground such that your elbows and fists are flat to the ground. The palms should be balled up and placed directly underneath your shoulders. Slowly lift your hips and your upper body so that they are in a straight line, while resting on your forearms and keeping your abdominal muscles as tight as possible. Your back should not be arched. Hold this position for five seconds and lower your body. Repeat these movements at least ten times, and try to increase the holding time with each movement. In a full plank, you balance on both your arms, and in a side plank you balance on only one arm.
Now that you know the importance of developing muscular endurance, start working out at the earliest to build a strong and healthy body.
Disclaimer: This FitnessVigil article is for informative purposes only. Always consult a physician before starting any physical fitness program in order to reduce the risk of injury.