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Anaerobic Exercises

Kanika Khara Feb 6, 2019
Anaerobic exercises help build lean muscle mass. Here are some of these exercises for weight loss and fitness.
The term anaerobic means 'without air' or 'without oxygen'. Hence, anaerobic exercises are short-lasting and high-intensity, wherein the body's demand for oxygen exceeds the available oxygen supply.
These exercises are based on energy sources that are stored in the muscles, and unlike aerobic exercises, they are not dependent on oxygen acquired from breathing or the atmosphere.


These exercises utilize the muscles at a high rate in a short span of time, which increase the muscle strength. They make the body exert itself to a point, where the lungs are no longer capable of supplying sufficient amounts of oxygen to the muscles. In this condition, you have to rely on the body's limited capability to perform without oxygen.
Since inadequate amounts of oxygen is delivered to the cells to burn fats, the body starts burning carbohydrates, which leads to the burning of more calories.
Another unique feature of these exercises is that they produce lactic acid in the body as a by-product. Lactic acid leads to muscle fatigue, and should be burned up by the body during a recovery period i.e., the time before another set of exercises can be attempted.
Basically, the recovery period allows the muscles to use oxygen to replenish the energy utilized during the high-intensity exercise. The list primarily includes weightlifting, jumping, sprinting, javelin throw, long jump, high jump, shot put, hammer throw, push ups, and pull ups. Following are some of the basic yet effective anaerobic exercises:


Weightlifting is a body-strengthening exercise that not only helps build muscles, but also helps lose weight.
Bench press, one arm dumbbell row, lateral raise, bicep curls, and squats are some basic weightlifting exercises. These exercises focus on the chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, and the back.


Sprinting or running is another exercise that helps in weight loss, and increases the body's metabolic rate. As a beginner, one may sprint for 50-100 m on a 400 m track, and then walk at a brisk pace for the rest of the distance.


Jumping rope benefits the body by helping lose those extra pounds. Besides this, a long or high jump, which is a combination of speed, strength, and agility to leap as far as possible helps tone up the body muscles by exerting high pressure on them.

Push Ups

Push ups are another muscle-strengthening exercises that are performed in a 'prone' position, lying horizontal and face down, and then raising and lowering the body using the arms.
Whether it is a knee, knuckle, bench or wall push up, it works by improving your strength, fitness, and overall health.

Pull Ups

Pull ups and chin ups are the exercises where you have to lift your body weight.
These are difficult to perform strength-training workouts, where you have to hang on a pull-up bar with straight arms and then pull yourself upwards until your chin passes the bar. These exercises are mainly performed for upper body strength and muscle mass.
Although the aforementioned exercises burn fewer calories than the aerobic exercises, they are the best for building strength and muscle mass.
Before and after doing these exercises, stretch yourself since specific areas of the body are targeted during the workout. It is recommended that a person should perform these exercises at home for about 10-20 minutes, twice or thrice a week along with some aerobic exercises.
Disclaimer: Always consult a physician before starting any physical fitness program in order to reduce the risk of injury.