Written by Laura Isherwood
Improve Your Stamina
Regardless of what sport you play, whether you need to run around a pitch for 90 minutes, a tennis court for 3 sets or complete several practice dance routines, one thing is certain, you’ll need stamina. Stamina activities are usually referred to as aerobic activities; this is because your body uses oxygen to allow the working muscles to repeatedly contract. Therefore, increasing stamina is increasing the oxygen uptake and delivery to the working muscle.
Nutrition and hydration can improve stamina; however training enhances both the uptake and delivery of oxygen, thus is the most important aspect. The majority of people tend to focus on cardio based exercises when looking to improve their endurance and stamina. yet there are several other ways to help you continue exercising for longer. Here are some top tips to help you boost your stamina.
#1 Combine Strength and Cardio
Instead of focusing on just cardio or strength training, why not combine the two during your workouts? Increasing your muscle mass will not only make you stronger, but it will also increase your metabolism and therefore stamina. By becoming stronger, your body will feel lighter and you will be able to control your movement more efficiently, therefore using less oxygen. Including exercises such as squats and lunges will increase the strength in your legs and will make running a full 90 minutes less tiring and will leave you with more energy to complete fast-paced bursts or sprints.
#2 Choose Movements Using Lost of Muscles
Compound movements, such as squats, lunges, press-ups or pull-ups, all utilise more than one muscle group, therefore will enhance your endurance quicker than isolated movements, such as triceps dips or bicep curls. Hybrid exercises such as lunges with bicep curls also help to stimulate more muscles. The more muscles you can get working, the more it will challenge your cardiovascular system, which will, in turn, improve your stamina.
#3 Utilise Fast-Paced, Dynamic Activities
Fast-paced explosive-type exercises are brilliant to include in your workout as they take a lot of energy and really challenge your strength and stamina simultaneously. Therefore, start including exercises like box jumps, burpees or frog squat jumps to really challenge yourself and improve your endurance.
#4 Throw Out The Old Routine
After approximately two weeks, your body will start to become familiar with your usual workout routine, so remember to switch it up every once in a while. If you’re usually running around a football pitch for 90 minutes and base your workout routine solely on running, why not try switching to cycling or swimming to really challenge your muscles? This can also be used to motivate you as doing the same routines over and over again can become pretty boring!
#5 Reduce Your Rest Time
In a standard weight-training session, it is advised to allow between 30 and 90 seconds rest between each set, although if your goal is to improve your stamina, try reducing this to around 10-20 seconds. The shorter your breaks, the more it will challenge your cardiovascular system. Try completing a series of exercises such as pull-ups, press-ups, squats and sit ups back to back, taking as little time in between each exercise as possible.
#6 Progressively Increase
If your goal is to run or cycle a further distance or complete 90 minutes of football without feeling sluggish towards the end, it is important to continue increasing your workload during training. Running the same distance over and over again without increasing your pace will cause no additional benefits as you are not challenging your cardiovascular system.
You must continue increasing your workload (whether that be the volume of training, resistance or distance) to really stimulate your body and boost your stamina. For example, runners should continually increase the distance of their training runs (1 mile during Week 1, 2 miles during Week 2, etc) or their pace (11:00 minutes per mile during Week 1, 10:50 minutes per mile during Week 2, etc) each week to really see a difference in their stamina.
#7 Be Patient
Building your stamina takes time and it is important not to overload your body in the first few weeks. Training too much or pushing too hard can lead to injury. Make sure you start slowly and build your training up as you being to feel stronger. It is also important to give yourself some rest periods, give yourself a week or so of light training every now and again to allow your body to fully recover.