Sports That Require Muscular Endurance

running image by Byron Moore from

Muscular endurance means a muscle's capacity to perform multiple contractions against resistance. While muscular strength is the maximum resistance possible for one contraction. Lifting a 100-pound weight once is muscular strength while lifting a 40-pound weight 15 times is muscular endurance.

According to Sports Fitness, there are three types of muscular endurance, including power, short-term and long-term. Most sports require some form of muscular endurance, but specific types definitely require long-term endurance.

Marathon Running

Marathon running requires sustained muscular movement for hours at a time. You are running long distances not just sprinting from one point to another. To train for marathon running endurance, you need to do very high repetitions (50 to 200) with light resistance. You also must train the lower body to perform successfully.


You need to have tremendous endurance to be successful at rowing. The longer the race, the more endurance required. Some events are several thousand miles or more. Extreme rowing events like ocean rowing across the Atlantic would take the greatest endurance to complete successfully. You need upper body muscular endurance to row effectively.


Long-distance swimming requires muscular endurance. If you are swimming only short distances than this requires more power and force than endurance. Events like the Lake Windermere long distance swim in the United Kingdom require 10 plus hours of swimming. You want to train muscles of both the upper and lower body to endure swimming for long distances.


Those who participate in triathlons are cycling 40 or 50 miles at one time. This takes excellent muscular endurance to sustain the amount of activity without overwhelming fatigue. If you participate in ultra-cycling, you could do 100 miles or even a 24-hour race requiring more endurance. To train for cycling, you need your legs to have good muscular endurance.

Speed Skating

If you are speed skater (ice skating) you might compete in events like a 3,000-meter event. This sport also needs incredible muscular endurance to sustain speed and stave off fatigue for events. There are also speed skating (roller skating) races that span hundreds of miles over days of competition. Having lower body muscular endurance is critical for success at speed skating.