Your muscles need strength and endurance to support your movement and daily activities. You need both muscle strength and muscle endurance in your exercise routines and physical activities performed throughout the day. They are equally important and have several overlaps, although they have differences too.
Here’s an example of strength and endurance combined. Think of what you can lift at home. You can probably lift a pound of potatoes without any effort, and lift them quite a few times repetitively.
Only after many lifts will your muscles begin to tire. However, you may not be able to lift your bedside table at all, and if you can, you may only be able to lift it a couple of times without your muscles feeling fatigued. Let’s take a look more closely.
Muscular strength refers to the amount of force your muscles can put out in a short time. It is about how hard your muscles can perform during one maximal effort. You measure muscular strength by weight.
When doing muscular strength training, you only do limited repetitions to build your muscles. You can increase the amount of weight you lift, but you probably can’t do a lot of reps when lifting something heavy.
Some examples of muscular strength workouts include:
- Biceps curl
- Triceps press-down exercise
- Dumbbell chest press
- Forearm plank
- Abdominal crunch
Muscular endurance refers to your ability to do as many reps as you can in an extended time without tiring out. If you measure muscular strength by weight, muscle endurance is measured by time.
So, in the example above, how long could your muscles endure lifting that pound of potatoes up and down before you felt like you were going to collapse?
Some examples of training that develop muscular endurance are:
- Circuit training
- Kettlebell Swing
You can think of muscular endurance as a marathon and muscular strength as a sprint. Strength refers to the power you need to exert, while endurance refers to how long you can hold on and keep doing the movement.
Muscular Strength vs. Muscular Endurance
Muscular strength and muscular endurance may have different definitions, but they overlap and happen together. As you strengthen your muscles by lifting weights, you also build your endurance and vice versa.
Both of them are important because, in life, you can’t really tell when you’re going to need strength or endurance. Most likely, you will need both. The key is to incorporate exercises that build strength and endurance into your routine. It’s not ideal to just focus on one.
Also, you can do strength and endurance training anywhere and you don’t need much equipment either. Some training routines don’t need any equipment, like push-ups, squats, running, planks, and crunches.
Benefits of Muscular Strength and Muscle Endurance
Developing muscular strength and muscle endurance can benefit you in many ways. Primarily, they prevent muscle mass loss, which naturally happens if you don’t use your muscles.
Here are more benefits of muscular strength and endurance:
- They improve your ability to perform your day-to-day activities, like climbing stairs, and carrying bags of groceries, all without getting tired.
- They prevent you from getting injured while doing your tasks.
- They help you lose weight and maintain it.
- They strengthen your bones and joints.
- They improve your quality of life.
- They can allow you to remain physically active when you grow older.
- They improve your quality of sleep.
- They put you in a good mood.
- They increase your energy levels.
- They help develop flexibility, balance, and stability.
Overall, muscular strength and endurance make you stronger and healthier, making you feel good about yourself and your body. Consequently, that brings out your confidence and helps you become happier.
Physical activities are essential for a healthy mind and body. If you have been exercising, that’s great! Now, it’s time to add some muscle training movements to help you strengthen your muscles and build your endurance. When you do, your health can benefit in many ways – physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Doing muscle strength and muscle endurance training doesn’t have to feel like a chore. You can incorporate strength and endurance routines into your life, and make them become a healthy habit.
For example, when you bend to reach something in your kitchen cupboard, don’t bend at the waist and reach in, do a squat nice and slowly and squeeze your butt and legs as you push yourself up! Soon you will be exercising in the kitchen while you cook and clean!
Any change in routine may be challenging at first, but if you keep going you will soon see that it was worth the time spent creating your new healthy habit.