The Crucial Muscular Endurance Exercises You Should Do After 60
When you think about weightlifting, you likely associate it with building strength and muscle. But, according to Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM, the Director of Medical Content & Education at Ro, a certified nutrition coach, certified personal trainer, and a member of our Medical Expert Board, there's another key aspect of weightlifting that's pretty underrated, and it's muscular endurance. Your body experiences many natural changes as you age, so it's extremely important to stay on top of your physical fitness. It's time to give your workout routine a necessary update, and Dr. Bohl shares the most crucial muscular endurance exercises you should do after 60.
"Muscular endurance has to do with the muscle's ability to do work over a period of time without getting tired," Dr. Bohl explains. "It might not be about lifting the heaviest weight possible, but it is about being able to perform tasks for a longer period of time, which can help with everything from playing sports to doing everyday tasks like gardening. Having muscular endurance of the core muscles—especially after 60—is also beneficial for postural stability and can help decrease the risk of falls."
Keep reading to learn the steps you need to take to ensure your muscular endurance is what it should be at 60 years of age and beyond. Dr. Bohl's exercises for muscular endurance will help you accomplish just that!
Increase your muscular endurance by boosting the time your muscles are "under stress."
In order to build up your muscular endurance, you'll need to boost how much time your muscles are "under stress." According to Dr. Bohl, there are two ways you can go about this. The first way is to perform more reps within each set you do. He explains, "While you may only do six to 12 repetitions to build strength, to build endurance, you should do 12 to 20+ repetitions."
Typically, this can only be accomplished if you work out with less weight. For example, you build strength by using heavier weights and performing lower reps. Endurance, however, is achieved by using lower weights and doing more reps.
The second way to boost your muscular endurance is by lowering your rest time in between each set. Dr. Bohl stresses, "Again, to be successful while doing this, you may need to use a lower weight."
Pushups, sit-ups, planks, lunges, and squats are some of the best muscular endurance exercises.
One big benefit of performing muscular endurance exercises is that you don't need any fancy equipment. The moves are actually pretty simple, and you've likely done them before without even realizing the benefits!
Dr. Bohl shares, "Some of the best exercises for muscular endurance include pushups, sit-ups, planks, lunges, and squats. These exercises are good for muscular endurance because they recruit many muscles in the body at the same time, the only weight they require to be effective is your own body weight, and—as your endurance improves—it's easy to add on more repetitions (or, in the case of planks, more seconds)."
Switching things up with your muscular endurance routine is simple. Instead of only sticking to the five moves Dr. Bohl recommends, consider building each one into a superset that targets similar groups of muscles. What's a superset? It's performing two exercises, one after the other, without taking a break. If your goal is to enhance the muscular endurance of the muscles in your chest, for instance, a superset can begin with a set of bench presses, then instantly move into a set of pushups.