Exercises for Improving Muscular Endurance

Written by jennifer uhl
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Exercises for Improving Muscular Endurance
Muscular endurance exercises strengthen core muscles. (dumbbell bars 2 image by JCVStock from Fotolia.com)

Muscular endurance training exercises allow the muscles to perform more repetitions of strength training exercises over a prolonged time period. These exercises are beneficial for athletes that want to improve overall endurance, including runners, cyclists, swimmers and rowers. Muscular endurance training exercises can also benefit soccer players, hockey players and other athletes.

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Squat Exercises

Squats are effective at improving muscular endurance, especially when you practice them using different types of equipment. A muscular endurance program involving squats may incorporate squat throws using a medicine ball or basic squats using dumbbells or a single weighted barbell. With a barbell, alternate between shallow and deep squats with the barbell braced against the back or in front of the chest. The deadlift is a similar muscular endurance-building exercise which involves lifting a weighed barbell from the ground, beginning in a squatting position and ending in a standing position with the barbell hanging from straightened arms. The deadlift builds muscular endurance because of the muscles and strength required to lift the deadweight directly from the ground.


Crunches build abdominal strength and core strength, which leads to improved muscular endurance. Alternate between different types of crunches including standard crunches, oblique crunches and reverse crunches. The goal here is to build core strength to improve overall muscle endurance, as a strong core is vital for overall endurance. Alternate between 20 and 30 crunches per set in each training day, as alternating different quantities can improve the effectiveness of the workout.


Although a traditional lunge is effective at building strength in the legs and back, dumbbell lunges and barbell lunges can improve the ability of these exercises to build core strength and muscular endurance. With dumbbells in each hand, or a barbell braced across your back or chest, extend one foot forward and bend at the knee until the opposite knee is nearly touching the ground. The forward leg should be parallel to the floor at the thigh, with a right angle forming at the knee. Repeat this process for between 15 and 20 repetitions or for between 30 and 45 seconds. Do not extend your knees beyond your toes and do not drop your hips too low, or you will likely hurt your knees. If you cannot perform the lunge correctly, seek professional assistance or try other exercises.


Push ups help to improve muscular endurance in the arms, shoulders and back. Push ups are a modifiable exercise depending on which muscles you want to improve endurance in. Experiment with different push up styles, including "diamond push ups," and traditional push ups, and take note of which muscles you feel doing the work as you lower and raise your body up from the floor. In a diamond push up, the hands touch at the thumb and forefinger rather than being shoulder-width apart. For a muscular endurance program, repeat push ups at a quick pace for between 30 and 60 seconds, alternating between different push up styles.

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