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Muscular Strength & Endurance Exercises

By Ma Wen Jie

There are a number of ways to engage in exercises to increase muscle strength and endurance. Which one is appropriate will depend on the facilities you have available and your fitness goals. For people who simply want to increase strength and endurance without bulking up, swimming, circuit training or free weights can be appropriate. People wanting to increase muscle bulk will want to focus on circuit training or free weights.


Swimming is a good way to increase muscle strength and endurance. Because swimming is a low-impact exercise that works almost all muscle groups in the body gently, there is very little increase in muscle size. By working up to between 1,000 and 2,000 meters per session and varying the swimming strokes, different muscle groups can be emphasized. The nature of swimming as exercise means that both red muscle tissue and white muscle tissue are exercised. Results from swimming can seem slower, but once they appear, they are longer lasting than other forms of exercise.

Fitness Machine Circuit Training

For strength and endurance training, your desired results will define how you perform circuit training. If you are more interested in muscle endurance and strength, but do not want to bulk up, exercises in the machine circuit should be done using lower resistances with either more repetitions per machine or, if the machine supports this, much slower repetitions. Slowing the repetitions is a good way to increase muscle strength while minimizing mass increase.

If you are looking for both strength and endurance along with body building, using heavier weights with fewer repetitions will give you good results.

Free Weight Training

Free weights are probably the most flexible workout system available. Like fitness machine circuit training, how you work out on free weights will depend on what results you desire. Working with light weights, but performing the repetitions very slowly, will give you the best strength and endurance training routine while minimizing muscle size increase. Another good way to achieve similar results is with light weights but with more repetitions that are performed faster.

Body building with increases in strength and endurance is, like with machine circuit training, done with heavier weights and fewer repetitions.

Home Exercises without Equipment

Home exercises can also be good for strength and endurance training. Simple exercises that require no equipment can include sit-ups, crunches, push-ups and pull-ups. The trick to increasing strength and endurance is to do these exercises slowly to allow the burning sensations in your muscles to build up. By performing these exercises slowly, you allow strength and endurance to increase while minimizing increases in muscle bulk.

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