Muscular strength is the largest amount of force one can put forth through the recruitment of muscle fibers to overcome a resistance. An example of muscular strength is one's ability to lift a pile of very heavy books. A person's strength determines how many pounds of books he can lift in just one time.
Muscular endurance is the ability to use the muscles repeatedly. An example of muscular endurance is not only how many pounds of books can be lifted, but can be carried all the way home. One's level of muscular endurance determines how long his muscles will continue to work.
The way to develop and maintain strong muscles is to use them. The muscles that are not used become weak. When muscles become loose from not being used, it is called atrophy. People who wear a cast for several weeks will notice, upon removing the cast that the muscles have atrophied from lack of use.
Many people have weak muscles in the arm and shoulder girdle region. Modified and regular push-ups are examples of exercises which will improve the strength and endurance of the muscles of the arm and shoulder girdle region. Modified and regular push-ups also improve the strength and endurance of the muscles of this region. Strong muscles make it easier to walk, run, jump, hop, skip, slide, gallop and leap.
There are two major kinds of muscular strength and endurance exercises, isotonic and isometric. In an isotonic contraction, the weight (resistance) moves, in an isometric contraction, the weight remains still. A sit-up is an isotonic exercise; the weight of the upper body is moved by the muscles of the abdomen, hips and legs. Pressing hands against each other, without moving, is and example of isometric exercise.
Here are some examples of strength and endurance exercises.
1. Measuring worm. Start in the push-up position. Keep the legs fairly straight and inch the feet as close to the hands as possible. Return to the push-up position by walking the hands forward. This can be done in 2 sets of 3 to 5 repetitions.
2. Wall push-ups. Place the hands against a wall, shoulder width apart. Keeping the body straight, bend the elbows to bring the chest close to the wall. This can be done in 2 sets of 5 to 10 repetitions.
3. Sit backs. In a seated position, knees bent. The heels are placed 12 to 18 inches from the gluteous maximus. The hands are placed on opposite shoulders, arms in contact with the chest. Slowly lean backward until the mid-back touches the ground. If assistance is needed to return to the starting position, hands maybe placed on the ground. This can be done in 2 sets of 5 to 10 repetitions.
4. Puppy dog walk. Begin by placing the hands on the grounds with the arms and legs slightly bent. Keep the head up and move in all directions. Move continuously for 10 to 30 seconds.
5. Bicycle pedaling. Begin by sitting with knees bent flat on the floor. Lean backward and rest the elbows on the ground. Raise the feet; point the toes and alternate pushing each foot forward. Two sets of 10 to 20 repetitions. Count one repetition each time the right foot is forward.
6. Rowing. Begin in a supine position, knees bent, with hands in fist (as in holding on to an oar) at the side of the body. While tightening the abdominal muscles, lift the legs (bent knees) and the back off the ground at the same time. Slowly lean backward, straighten the legs out slightly as the back comes in contact with the ground. Do this in 2 sets of 2 to 20 repetitions.
Challenge yourself on these muscular strength and endurance exercises. But before doing so, always observe the proper safety measure in performing these exercises.
note: originally posted at Bukisa.com under the same author.
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