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Improve Stamina: Exercises That Will Help You Gain Endurance

Fine Tuning: How To Improve Your Stamina
Runner with heart rate monitor sports watch. Man running looking at his pulse outside in nature on road.
Runner with heart rate monitor sports watch. Man running looking at his pulse outside in nature on road.

THE GOAL: To increase muscle strength, endurance, and anaerobic capacity

THE EXPERT: Lance Barrett, head trainer at Elite Performance in Vancouver

THE INFO: Stamina can mean the difference between a workout that lasts for an hour and one that lasts for 10 minutes — or even whether or not you can get up the stairs without losing your breath. It's also what will help you achieve further fitness goals. These five moves are designed to be performed at home or in the gym, and take approximately 30 minutes.


Pistol Squat with Suspension - 10 each

Pistol squats develop leg strength, flexibility, balance skills and increases your vertical jump. Stand facing the suspension trainer and hold the handles with a light neutral grip. Lift one leg off the floor, flex the heel, and squat down on the standing leg until the squat is parallel to the ground. Push up to the starting position and repeat 10 times, then switch legs. An eventual goal is to perform a pistol squat without the suspension trainer to assist you.

Push-Up on an Incline - 15 each

Putting hands on an incline allows you to maintain good posture throughout the exercise and perform a higher number of reps necessary for endurance. Stand facing a bench or sturdy elevated platform. Place hands slightly wider than shoulder width with legs straight out behind you. Keeping the body straight, lower your chest to the edge of the bench by bending the elbows. Push body up until arms are extended. Repeat.

Walking Lunge with High Knees - 15 each leg with dumbbells

Increase the intensity of walking lunges by adding dumbbells and high knee thrusts between each repetition. Stand with two dumbbells in your hands by your side. Step forward about two feet with your right leg, your left leg stationary. Lower your upper body down, keeping your torso upright and balanced. Using the heel of your foot, push up and go back to your starting position. Repeat this movement 15 times, then switch legs and repeat.

One Arm Dumbbell Row - 15 each

Done in a bent-over position using a bench or chair to support one hand, hold a dumbbell with your right hand and place your left hand on the bench for support. Pull your abdominals in, slightly bend your knees, and lower forward from the hips so your back is naturally arched and parallel to the floor. Pull your right arm up until your elbow is pointing to the ceiling and your hand comes to the outside of the rib cage. Lower weight slowly back down. Repeat 15 times, then switch sides.

Bear Crawl - Crawl for 1 minute

This exercise will rapidly elevate the heart rate for anaerobic conditioning and challenge the muscular endurance of the upper body and lower body. For proper technique, keep the spine parallel to the floor throughout the exercise, no hunching or rounding of the back. Start in a crawl position with knees elevated off the floor and your abs braced in tight. Step forward leading with the right foot and left hand, then the same with the left foot and right hand. Build your speed up until you are crawling forward quickly, and then reverse movement stepping backwards.

Repeat these five exercises four times with one minute rest in between.

Total workout time: 30 minutes

Have something that needs fine tuning? Let us know in the comments below.

The new year is the time to take on new challenges, so for the month of January and beyond, The Huffington Post Canada's Living team brings you Fine Tuning: daily workouts, with tips on how to tone up, get healthy and stay fit for the whole year. Each workout will focus on one fitness goal or body part, with our favourite trainers showing you simple ways to get stronger and healthier in less than 45 minutes.

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