The Top Endurance Exercises
Athletes have become bigger and stronger and are in better shape nowadays, and the trend towards endurance training has only accelerated this phenomenon. Athletes are getting leaner and more ‘ripped’ than ever, in nearly every sport.
It used to be that a baseball player, for example, would focus on exercises specifically designed to improve the specific skill set that they needed to succeed on the baseball field. The same sport-specific training was true for every sport. But as people began to see the broad-spectrum benefits that came with endurance training for events like the triathlon, it became evident that an individual with greater strength and endurance in any sport could benefit from a more well-rounded circuit of exercises.
It didn’t take long before regular people started to realize that they could benefit from endurance training, too, and it quickly became more and more popular. Today, its appeal is at an all-time high. Even weekend athletes, as a result of endurance training, are becoming almost indefatigable.
Endurance training focuses on bringing one’s cardiovascular, pulmonary, and circulatory systems to their optimum level of function. As the heart becomes stronger and the lungs deliver more oxygen to the muscles, we tire less quickly. If we keep at it, our stamina is built up until we reach peak performance levels.
Want to bring your endurance levels up to speed? Here are some time-tested ways that anyone can try.
Running. It’s easy, it’s convenient, and it sure is cheap! Buy a good pair of shoes and you’ve got what it takes to begin getting into shape. Whether it’s on a track at the local high school or a treadmill at the local gym, running is the most common place to start building your endurance.
It was believed that the best way to gain endurance from running is to go for time and distance rather than speed. Your heart rate should be elevated, sure, but you want to keep a comfortable pace to encourage you to keep going.
Modern science has shown us something different. Nowadays it is believed that you can improve endurance and stamina with HIIT training, equal to or greater than what you can achieve with endurance training. Several studies have confirmed those beliefs.
Swimming. Also an excellent way to increase your endurance and lose weight. And, unlike running, which focuses primarily on the lower half of your body, swimming exercises all of your major muscle groups. Enthusiasts have long claimed swimming to be the very best form of exercise for getting in shape, as well as the least likely to get you injured. Of course, not everyone has access to a pool, but if you do, take advantage of it!
Rope Skipping. While this may be seen as “old school,” one should not underestimate the value of jumping rope. Even today, boxers and mixed martial arts fighters swear by this time-tested (and fun!) practice. And unlike running, injuries to the knees and ankles from jumping rope are rare. Why? Because the balls of the feet, and not the heels, are absorbing most of the impact.
Machines and Systems. Machines that simulate outdoor cycling, climbing stairs, and even skiing come into and go out of fashion all the time. Workouts such as TRX training are more recently on the scene, and offer a more holistic approach. TRX, or suspension training, involves elastic bands or suspension straps, that the user manipulates and, using gravitational resistance, enable the person to exercise a variety of muscle groups. This training is said to be lower impact than many standard aerobic exercises and is said to cause fewer injuries.
So, no matter your exercise preference, it’s time to get out there and get in shape!