List Of 8 Best Anaerobic Exercises with Examples

If you want to increase strength, endurance, burn more calories and improve overall body composition in a short amount of time, consider anaerobic exercises. Anaerobic training isn’t for everyone but if you do, check out the best types of anaerobic exercises (list) with examples of workout routines.

What is Anaerobic Exercise?

The anaerobic exercise is short, done at higher-intensity or your maximum heart rate, and gives you almost the same benefits as other workouts program.

Anaerobic exercises don’t require the body to utilize oxygen as they break down glucose for energy without using oxygen.

Sprinting is a great example of anaerobic exercises. During the sprints, you don’t focus on breathing instead you try to run as fast as possible for a short duration.

Note: Any activity that breaks down glucose for energy without using oxygen is termed as anaerobic exercise.

A complete Anaerobic Exercises List and Types

1. Sprinting

When it comes to anaerobic exercises, spiriting always comes on the top. Sprinting is the best way to boost metabolism and enhance endurance. According to a study, it has several health benefits, such as sprinting:

Anaerobic Exercises List
  • Improves and maximizes your VO2 max,
  • Regulates blood pressure,
  • Lowers blood glucose levels,
  • Improves cardiovascular health,
  • Increases stamina and endurance,
  • Develops body composition.

Example of sprint interval routine

  • The span of one sprinting session: 35 Minutes
  • Duration of one round of sprinting: 30 seconds
  • Total Rounds: 8-10
  • Rest between each round: 4 minutes

2. Jumping rope

Jumping rope may be considered as both aerobic and anaerobic activity. It depends on the intensity of your training. And to make jumping rope an anaerobic workout, you should have to perform as fast as possible without focusing on breathing. It involves different muscles of the body at once such as arms, legs, and the core.

Anaerobic Exercises Types
Credit: Freepik

Various researches have proven the health benefits of Jumping rope. The benefits include better heart health, lower blood sugar, weight loss, better VO2 max, and much more.

Example of Jumping Rope Routine:

  • The span of one session: 30 Minutes
  • Duration of one set: 60 seconds (as quick as possible)
  • The number of sets: 8-10
  • Interval time between sets: 3 minutes

3. Rowing

Rowing is one of the highest calories burning exercises. And if you want to shed extra kilos while building muscles this may help you achieve your goal. It is a full-body workout with both aerobic and anaerobic components.

A study conducted in 2015 by the National Institute of Health had shown that indoor rowing exercise significantly decreases mass and total body fat percent.

Anaerobic Exercises List

Rowing increases upper body strength, especially your back strength as well as improves overall body composition.

Example of Rowing Workout Routine for Anaerobic purpose:

  • The timespan of one session: 30 minutes
  • One round of Rowing at full intensity: 60 seconds
  • Recovery Period between the rounds: 2 minutes
  • Total rounds: 10

4. Bicycling

Cycling isn’t only an aerobic exercise but it also has anaerobic components. For example, while cycling at 100 percent of your maximum heart rate, your body breaks down glucose for energy without using oxygen.

Bicycling is a great way to enhance cardiovascular functions and boost metabolism. A study demonstrated that cycling reduces the risk of cancer, increases strength and endurance, reduce weight, as well as increases life expectancy.

Example of Anaerobic Cycling Workout Routine

  • Duration of one cycling session: 45-60 minutes
  • Timespan of one cycling repetition: 2 minutes
  • Recovery period or less intense activity between each rep: 3-5 minutes
  • The total number of repetitions: 8-10

5. Heavy Weightlifting Anaerobic Exercises

Weightlifting is also one of the best types of anaerobic exercise that involves a short burst of intense movement.

You might be wondering how is weight training considered an anaerobic exercise, ain’t you? If yes, then let me tell you how weightlifting works.

During weightlifting exercises, your body uses carbohydrates (as an energy source) as well as converts glycogen to produce energy that allows you to perform intense burst weight training. And it does not require oxygen (for energy) like cardio exercises, which is why weightlifting considered an example of anaerobic exercise.

If your aim is to build muscle strength, enhance power, increase muscle mass and burn more calories then weightlifting may be the option for yourself.

Here are some examples of anaerobic weightlifting workouts (perform at your maximum heart rate):

  • Deadlifting
  • Squatting
  • DB and Barbell Rowing
  • T-Bar Rowing
  • Bench Press
  • Shoulder Press and more.

6. Swimming

Like rowing, swimming also has both aerobic and anaerobic components.

During anaerobic swimming, your body is unable to utilize oxygen as an energy source and fails to fulfill the muscles’ demand for oxygen.

The anaerobic type of swimming requires great effort and will only be sustained for two minutes or less.

This type of swimming helps you build your lactic threshold, increase muscle strength, boost metabolism and burn more calories than normal swimming.

You can do short distances anaerobic swimming for the desired timespan.


7. High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT isn’t particularly a workout, it’s a workout program. However, people considered HIIT as a workout and search a lot about it on the internet. In HIIT, you need to do exercises in two different intervals; high-intensity followed by a recovery period.

HIIT is proven to be the best workout program. It has several benefits such as:

  • Allows you to burn more calories,
  • Help you build muscles while losing fat,
  • Increase stamina and boost metabolism,
  • Reduce weight (if you decrease calorie consumption)
  • Build strength and quickness,
  • Improve heart and lung health.

While designing an anaerobic HIIT routine, you should include only those exercises that you can do at your 90-100 percent maximum heart rate, such as running, jumping, squatting etcetera.

8. Plyometric Anaerobic Exercises

As opposed to isometric exercise, Plyometric exercise is fast pace, high-intense, and a great way to enhance both aerobic and anaerobic fitness.

Plyometric exercises are often done at 80 to 100 percent of the maximum heart rate. But for the anaerobic purpose, you can do them as fast as you can.

Anaerobic Exercises List

Although jumping ropes, squats, lunges are also included in plyometric moves (which I’ve already mentioned). Other than these, you can try stairs running at a fast pace and with higher intensity.

Stairs running pushes you to put maximum effort into the short intervals of time. Additionally, it drives you to run against gravity which is quite difficult; but helps you increase strength, power, and endurance.

Here’s how you can run:

  • Run as fast as possible for 60 seconds
  • Walk slowly and take a rest for 3 to 4 minutes
  • And complete 8 to 10 rounds.

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