Muscle Strength & Endurance Exercises

Muscle Strength & Endurance Exercises
You need strength and endurance to conquer trails. However, one particular exercise usually cannot provide both. Muscles strengthen by contracting. Endurance increases when you raise your heart rate for an extended time period. You need to focus on both. Alternate muscle strength with endurance exercises, every other day (adding more endurance when you can), and you will be on your way to overtake that mountain.

Muscle Strength Exercise: Push-Ups

You need no special equipment to strengthen your muscles. Push-ups exercise a number of muscle groups using the weight of your own body. They strengthen the back, shoulders, triceps and forearms. Your muscles take a couple of days to recover, but when they do, they will be stronger.

Muscle Strength Exercise: Planks

Planks are another exercise that uses your body weight to strengthen muscles. Like push-ups, planks exercise a number of muscle groups. They strengthen the muscles in your abdomen, back, arms and legs.

Muscle Strength Exercise: Weight Lifting

Unlike planks or push-ups, lifting weights allows you the opportunity to concentrate on strengthening one particular muscle group at a time. You can, for example, lift weights in a manner to strengthen just your quadriceps or hamstrings.

Endurance Exercise: Walking

You may find it surprising that walking increases endurance. Endurance exercises are aerobic exercises that you find "somewhat difficult" as described in the Borg Scale of Perceived Exertion (Level 13). Walking briskly for at least 30 minutes undoubtedly can increase your heart rate to that level you find "somewhat difficult."

Endurance Exercise: Running

Running increases your heart rate to a greater level than walking, therefore it increases your endurance quicker. No need to run "all out." As with all endurance exercises, you will achieve some level of breathlessness. You should, however, be able to talk during these exercises. But if you can sing, you are not working hard enough.

Endurance Exercise: Cycling

Cycling can raise your heart rate to the "somewhat difficult" level as well. Cycling increases your endurance whether you cycle on the road, trail or the stationary bike at the gym. As with all endurance exercises, gradually increasing the amount of time you do the activities increases the benefit. So, cycle until your heart's content.

Article Written By Lauren D. H. Miertschin

Lauren Miertschin earned her B.A. in liberal studies at California State University, Fullerton. Abandoning the corporate world for teaching, 11 years later she’s still at it, earning Teacher of the Year three times. She’s currently pursuing novel publications, and writes her own trail running and short story blogs.

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