Muscular Endurance Exercises (8 Workouts to Improve Stamina)

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers | Senior Coach
Last updated: January 27, 2024
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As a professional coach, I've had clients asking about the benefits of muscular endurance training and the exercises that boost endurance.

My research found that muscular endurance training program can help you gain overall strength, enhance your posture, and lower the risk of injury.

In this article, I will provide my findings and experiences on the best exercises for endurance, the benefits of performing these exercises, and tips to improve your muscular endurance.

Quick Summary

  • Eight effective workouts to improve stamina include push-ups, planks, lunges, jump rope, jumping jacks, crunches, running, and burpees.
  • These exercises focus on enhancing endurance in different muscle groups, with specific emphasis on core stability, leg strength, and overall stamina.
  • A study in Frontiers in Physiology supports that gradually increasing the duration of muscle contractions in exercises, like increasing reps, effectively boosts muscular endurance.
  • In my opinion, consistently practicing these diverse exercises is an excellent strategy for anyone looking to significantly enhance their muscular endurance and overall fitness.

Best Exercises for Endurance

Doing push ups on grass

1. Push-ups

Bodyweight workouts such as push-ups are excellent for endurance. One push-up is simple, but 50 and 100 push-ups are challenging, which is where muscular endurance gets into play.

Maintain a firm core throughout the push-up. Also, keep your torso straight without sinking in the midsection or arching your back.

You May Like: Push-Up Alternatives for Your Next Workout

2. Plank

Planks are one of the most fundamental muscular endurance workouts. They train your core endurance and your legs and arms to a lesser extent.

In my coaching experience, I've found that incorporating planks regularly significantly enhances core stability and overall endurance.

Increase the time spent in the plank to push yourself toward improvement - start with 45 seconds to 1 minute if you're a novice.

3. Lunges

Lunges are another type of muscular endurance exercise that focuses on the legs.

At the same time, they aid in improving balance and mobility, in addition to the minor stabilizing muscles in the hips, ankles, and knees, which are sometimes overlooked.

Also Read: Enhance Your Fitness Routine With Side Lunge Stretch

4. Jump Rope

Woman using jump rope

Jump rope is an effective and versatile exercise for muscular endurance. It's low-impact yet improves stamina, requiring proper form and landing.

Start with 10-minute sessions, gradually increasing duration and complexity as you progress.

As a coach, I've seen jump rope transform clients' endurance and coordination, making it a staple in our training routines.

5. Jumping Jacks

Jumping Jacks are great exercises to build muscular endurance. They are full-body workouts targeting the lower, upper, and core muscles.

Jumping jacks are categorized as cardiovascular exercise since they raise your heart rate.

You can also assume a squat position and perform a squat jump.

"Jumping jacks can particularly enhance aerobic capacity, lower resting heart rate, and blood pressure, lower the risk of heart attacks, improve metabolism, and aid in weight maintenance."

- Clara Baini, Doctor of Physical Therapy & Pilates Instructor

6. Crunches

A guy doing crunches on a yellow background

Crunches effectively strengthen abdominal muscles and endurance. Regular practice, even by beginners, improves muscular endurance.

Gradually increasing reps helps in progressive overload for better endurance building.

From my experience, incorporating crunches in daily workouts has been pivotal in building core endurance among my clients, especially beginners.

7. Running

Running is a type of cardio that also serves as an endurance workout.

It's mostly for your legs, and to reap the advantages of endurance, you should run at a slower speed over a greater distance (rather than quick sprints and interval work).


8. Burpees

A woman performing burpees indoors

Burpees, combining squats, planks, and push-ups, are a versatile full-body exercise. They effectively target major muscle groups like calves, hamstrings, triceps, quads, and abs.

Ideal for high-intensity workouts, burpees enhance both strength and cardio fitness by integrating multiple movements into one fluid exercise.

In my training sessions, I've seen clients dramatically improve their overall fitness and endurance with regular burpee routines.

How To Improve Muscular Endurance

Man doing push ups

Through my years of coaching, I've observed that gradually increasing the contraction duration during exercises significantly boosts muscular endurance. This might include increasing your reps for a particular activity or muscle group, according to the Frontiers in Physiology [1].

To enhance muscular endurance, consider high-volume sets with lighter weights. For example, instead of three sets of 8-10 reps in bench press, try two sets of 25-30 reps.

Also, incorporating isometric exercises, where you hold a position for longer periods, can effectively build endurance in muscle groups, based on the study published in PubMed [2].

This may be done with a plank. This exercise will primarily target the abdominal and other core muscle groups.

Research indicated that exercising the plank five or more times weekly resulted in the greatest increases in ab endurance [3].

The essential goal, regardless of approach, is to consistently push your muscles as you grow, whether by attempting to accomplish more repetitions or holding a position for a prolonged period.

Adequate nutrition and hydration play a crucial role in developing and sustaining muscular endurance. Incorporating a balanced diet rich in proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, along with proper hydration, can significantly enhance your endurance training results.

Benefits of Endurance Exercises

Couple running outdoors for endurance

The benefits of exercising and boosting your physical endurance using the abovementioned exercises are listed below.

From my coaching experience, the most notable benefits of endurance exercises are enhanced athletic performance and reduced injury risk, which I've seen consistently in my clients.

  • Reduced injury risk: When muscles perform better, for longer, before hitting a level of exhaustion, you're less likely to incur joint or muscle injuries.
  • Cardiovascular health: Several endurance activities can also be used as cardio workouts, providing extra advantages for heart health and general fitness.
  • Weight loss: As previously stated, the nature of many endurance workouts helps you burn more calories than you and lose weight fast.
  • Athleticism and functional strength: Having the endurance to sustain power output beyond a few reps makes it simpler to adapt your strength gains outside of the gym, whether for everyday tasks, sports, boxing, or anything else.

In addition to its physical benefits, engaging in regular muscular endurance exercises has been linked to improved mental health outcomes, including reduced stress levels, enhanced mood, and cognitive benefits, highlighting the mind-body connection in fitness.


What Is the Fastest Way To Build Endurance?

The fastest way to build endurance is by regularly performing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and aerobic endurance training that challenge your heart and lungs.

What Are 5 Muscular Endurance Exercises?

The 5 muscular endurance exercises are the burpee, push-up, squat, plank, and sit-up.

How Do You Train for Maximum Endurance?

You train for maximum endurance by carrying out interval training workouts (for instance, 5 x 4 minutes) or one long session of 15 minutes. Each interval should last at least 3 minutes to guarantee enough aerobic exercise.

Supplementing Your Endurance Exercises

Endurance takes longer to develop than in other areas. That is the nature of the energy system. It all comes down to gradually boosting your capacity through longer exercises with higher repetition ranges.

Stick with your endurance exercises and attempt to have a consistent workout plan, just like any other training type.

And for the energy and pump required to put your muscles into more tension and be active for longer, incorporate these best pre-workout supplements into your workout routine.

Upon testing, we found that they boosted athletic performance, and we could complete our sets and repetitions without much muscle fatigue.


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About The Author

Senior Coach
Connor Sellers holds a degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science from Rutgers University He is an author and personal trainer with the mission to inspire people to relentlessly pursue their fitness and lifestyle goals. He mantra is that staying fit has an overall positive effect on one’s body, mind, and spirit.
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James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
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Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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