Muscular strength relates to your ability to move and lift objects. It’s measured by how much force you can exert and how much weight you can lift for a short period of time.

Examples of exercises that develop muscular strength and power include resistance training, such as weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, and resistance band exercises. Running, cycling, and climbing hills are also options.

Read on to learn more about the difference between muscular strength and muscular endurance, as well as muscular strength benefits, cautions, and exercises.

While muscular strength and muscular endurance are similar in some ways, they have some key differences. Muscular strength is determined by how much force you can exert or how much weight you can lift. Building muscular strength uses heavier weights for fewer repetitions.

Muscular endurance refers to the ability of a muscle to sustain repeated contractions against resistance for an extended period of time.

Activities that build muscular endurance include long-distance running, cycling, or swimming, along with circuit training and bodyweight exercises. You can improve muscular strength and endurance by doing repetitive movements until the point of exhaustion.

Muscular strength enhances overall health and boosts athletic activity.

  • A strong body allows you to perform movements and activities that require power without getting tired.
  • Muscular strength helps you maintain a healthy body weight by burning calories and enhancing your body composition, which is the ratio between fat and muscle.
  • Building strength may also boost mood and energy levels while promoting healthy sleep patterns. This may boost confidence, provide a sense of accomplishment, and allow you to add more difficult or strenuous activities to your fitness routine.
  • Developing muscular strengths helps to build strong, healthier muscles and bones. This helps to develop good posture and relieve back pain.
  • You’ll have more stability, balance, and flexibility, making injuries and falls less likely.

To build muscular strength, size, and power, do exercises and activities that make you work your muscles harder than normal.

Since you’re focusing on getting stronger, you may want to try to intensify the exercises by using heavier weights and increasing your body resistance, even if it means that you do fewer repetitions.

Do these exercises at least two times per week. If you don’t have time for a longer session, squeeze in a few sets throughout your day.

Watch this video for a demonstration of some of the following exercises.

Squats

Sit into a chair as you squat to make this exercise easier. To increase the intensity, hold dumbbells or a bar at chest level.

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To do it

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip distance.
  2. Slowly bend your knees to squat down.
  3. Pause in this position before returning to the starting position.
  4. Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.

Biceps curl

For this exercise, you’ll need dumbbells or a barbell.

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To do it

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  2. Place your arms alongside your body with your palms facing up.
  3. Draw your elbows in toward your body as you slowly lift the weight.
  4. Pause and then slowly lower your hands back down to original position.
  5. Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.

Modified pushup

Once you’ve mastered the form of this exercise, try doing standard pushups with your knees raised and your feet extended behind you.

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To do it

  1. From tabletop position, lift your feet off the floor.
  2. Keep your head, neck, and spine in line as you slowly lower your body down toward the floor.
  3. Slowly return to the starting position.
  4. Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.

Forearm plank

This plank variation is a good option if you have concerns with your wrists.

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To do it

  1. From tabletop position, extend your feet and legs.
  2. Come onto your forearms with your elbows underneath your shoulders and your hands extended.
  3. Align your neck, spine, and hips to make a straight line with your body.
  4. Hold this position for up to 1 minute.
  5. Do it 2 to 3 times.

Abdominal crunch

This exercise targets your back and core to promote stability and good posture.

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To do it

  1. Lie on your back with your fingers interlaced at the base of your skull.
  2. Bend your knees to bring your feet in toward your low back.
  3. Slowly raise your head and shoulder blades off the floor.
  4. Pause for a few counts before lowering back down to the starting position.
  5. Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.

Jumping jacks

This cardio exercise will help to get your heart rate going and your blood pumping while also building strength in your lower body.

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To do it

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms alongside your body.
  2. Jump up and spread your feet as far as they’ll go.
  3. At the same time, raise your arms overhead to clap your hands together.
  4. Jump back to the starting position.
  5. Do 2 to 3 sets of 15 to 30 jumps.

Use caution when starting a strengthening exercise program if you’re new to exercise or have any injuries or medical concerns. Here are a few tips to help you avoid injury:

  • Start slowly and gradually build up the intensity and duration of your workouts over a few weeks.
  • Listen to your body and stop if you need a break or start to feel any pain.
  • Allow for 1 day of recovery between working different muscle groups.
  • Always use proper form and technique to make sure you’re getting the most benefits from your workouts.
  • Use steady, controlled movements, especially if you’re doing heavy lifting.
  • Give yourself time to rest in between sets.
  • Use caution when working out any area of your body that’s prone to pain or injury. This may include your neck, shoulders, and back and joints, such as your wrists, knees, and ankles.
  • Avoid being short of breath or holding your breath, which can cause your blood pressure to rise. For each movement, exhale as you lift and inhale as you lower.

If it’s an option, talk to a personal trainer to set up an exercise program if you’re new to fitness or simply want an expert opinion. Your trainer will help you build and maintain the motivation that it takes to stick to your exercise routine and get the results you want.

Working with a professional ensures that you’re doing the exercises correctly and efficiently. They’ll help you stay on track, make sure you’re using proper technique, and advance the exercises when you improve.

If it’s not possible to work with a professional, find a training partner. You can help each other stay motivated and make sure you’re both using proper technique.

Challenging your muscles to work harder than usual on a regular basic can help you build muscular strength.

To stay on target and meet your fitness goals, it’s essential that you develop a routine that you enjoy. Change it up as often as you like to prevent yourself from getting bored and to target different muscle groups.

Along with weight and resistance exercises, amp up your usual activities, such as climbing stairs or carrying heavy bags, to build muscular strength and endurance.

Make a point to incorporate more of these everyday tasks into your daily routine so you can enjoy the benefits of a strong body.