In this post we’ll take a look at 10 of the best exercises for muscular endurance using resistance bands.
If you’re training for endurance and stamina, it’s important to tax your muscles enough to stimulate adaptation but not so much that you exhaust them too quickly. Endurance exercises should elevate your heart rate and keep it elevated throughout the workout so that you’re improving cardio stamina as well as muscular strength.
Heavy weightlifting with a barbell is great for increasing strength and mass but can wipe you out after just a few sets. So these exercises are not ideal for improving muscular endurance. After all, you don’t see many bodybuilders or strongmen competing in endurance sports.
If you’re using weights to increase stamina, it’s best to use lighter weights and do higher reps – at least 20 per set. Using resistance bands for endurance training is even better because they are low-impact, low-intensity, and effective for doing compound exercises that target multiple muscle groups together.
The endurance exercises in the below workout are done using a resistance loop band, although you can do the same movements using weights or machines if you prefer.
What are the best exercises for muscular endurance?
Compound exercises, in which several large muscle groups work together, are highly effective for endurance training. Doing these movements under resistance will fire up your cardio system, raising your heart rate and leaving you short of breath.
These kind of exercises are also much more functional than doing isolation movements (for example, tricep extensions). This is because the real and most common movements you do in daily life, especially in sports, all require many muscle groups to work together as a unit.
Best resistance bands for muscular endurance training
Resistance loop bands (pictured below) are the best for doing exercises for muscular endurance, because they can be easily used to add resistance to any movement, especially compound strength exercises.
Here’s a video from our YouTube channel showing you some of the exercises you can do using this kind of resistance band:
10 Resistance Band Exercises for Muscular Endurance
If you’re training for endurance you should aim to do all the exercises in the order they’re shown, with as little rest as possible between sets.
They should be done in this order because each exercise is followed by one that targets a different set of muscle groups. This allows you to rest one group of muscles while you work another group and maintain an elevated heart rate throughout the workout.
Try to do at least 3 rounds of all the exercises, but if you can do more – perfect.
Hold one end of the band in front of your shoulders and step on the other end, inside the loop, with feet shoulder-width apart. Now you can perform squats with the added resistance from the band. Make sure you pay close attention to correct squat form.
#2 Bent Over Row
Stand on the middle of the band and hold each end of the loop while bending at the waist and knees. Keep your lower back slightly arched throughout the movement – don’t let your spine bend forward. Now stretch the band by pulling it upwards, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.
#3 Shoulder Press
Stand inside one end of the loop and hold the other end in front of your shoulders. Keep your body straight and push the band up above your head until your arms are fully extended. Always perform the shoulder press with the band moving in front of your face, not behind your head.
#4 Banded Deadlift
Step into either end of the loop and stand with feet wide apart. Bending at the waist and knees, hold onto the band in the middle and pull it upwards. For this exercise, it’s especially important to maintain correct deadlift form to avoid injury. Pay attention to keeping your back straight (or slightly arched) and bending only at the waist and knees.
#5 Resisted Push Up
Sling the band around your back and hold each end of the loop under your palms while you do push ups. If you’re not used to doing this exercise, start without the band, or you can try some easy push up variations.
#6 Standing Row
Secure the band to an anchor point at chest height and hold the other end of the loop with arms straight in front of you. Pull the band in towards the center of your chest. To make the exercise more difficult, you can stand further away from the anchor point.
#7 Squat + Shoulder Press
Stand inside one end of the loop with feet shoulder-width apart and hold the other end in front of your shoulders. Now squat down and, as you rise, push the band upwards in a shoulder press movement.
#8 Stiff-Legged Deadlift
Stand on the middle of the band, holding onto each end of the loop. Bend forward at the waist and bend your knees only slightly. Pull the band up, using mainly your lower back and hamstring muscles. Be sure to keep your lower back slightly arched throughout the exercise
#9 Single-Arm Chest Press
Anchor the band at chest height and stretch it by pushing it forward with one arm. Stand further from the anchor point to make the exercise more difficult. You can turn your hips as you push the band but don’t twist your spine. Keep your upper body in a straight line.
#10 Single-Arm Row
Step into each end of the loop in a wide forward stance and hold onto the center of the band. Lean forward slightly with your back straight and rest your other hand on your knee. Now pull the band up without raising your body – you should only be using your arm and upper back muscles to pull the band.