Difference Between Aerobic and Muscular Endurance

By: | Updated: Feb-19, 2022
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In sports, we know the terms aerobic and muscular endurance. Both have their own distinctions and purposes.

In this article, we take a look at the two types of endurance and explain what they are. We also look at how they are related and how they differ.

Aerobic Muscular
The ability of the body to use oxygen to produce energy. The ability of the muscles to resist fatigue and continue to function over time.
Important for cycling, swimming, and other sports that require sustained muscle contractions over a long period of time. Important for sports that require short, powerful bursts of energy, such as football, rugby, and weightlifting.
Considered more important. Considered less important.
Increased by doing endurance exercises. Increased by doing strength training exercises.
Low aerobic endurance symptoms include feeling out of breath after light exercise, getting tired easily, and having a hard time completing a long workout. Low muscular endurance symptoms include difficulty completing a set number of repetitions, tiring quickly, and inabilityto lift the same weight for multiple sets.

Difference Between Aerobic and Muscular Endurance

The main difference between aerobic and muscular endurance is that aerobic endurance is the ability of the body to use oxygen to produce energy, while muscular endurance is the ability of the muscles to resist fatigue and continue to function over time.

Aerobic endurance is what allows athletes to run long distances or participate in endurance sports, while muscular endurance allows them to lift heavy weights or participate in high-intensity sports.

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Aside for running, aerobic endurance is also important for cycling, swimming, and other sports that require sustained muscle contractions over a long period of time.

Muscular endurance, on the other hand, is important for sports that require short, powerful bursts of energy, such as football, rugby, and weightlifting.

Aerobic endurance and muscular endurance are related in that both are important for overall fitness and performance. However, they are not the same thing, and aerobic endurance is more important than muscular endurance for most athletes.

To increase your aerobic endurance, you need to do endurance exercises such as running, cycling, and swimming. These exercises will improve your body’s ability to use oxygen to produce energy, which will allow you to run or participate in other endurance sports for a longer period of time.

To increase your muscular endurance, you need to do strength training exercises that target the muscles you use in your sport. These exercises will help your muscles to resist fatigue and continue to function over time.

Low aerobic endurance symptoms:

  • Feeling out of breath after light exercise
  • Getting tired easily
  • Having a hard time completing a long workout

Low muscular endurance symptoms:

  • Difficulty completing a set number of repetitions
  • Tiring quickly
  • Inability to lift the same weight for multiple sets

Sports trainers, coaches, and athletes use both aerobic and muscular endurance to achieve peak performance.

Depending on the sport, one type of endurance may be more important than the other. However, it is important to have both types of endurance to be a successful athlete.

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