Get a Healthy Start to the New Year with Anaerobic Exercises

Subarna Ghosal

Updated on:

Anaerobic Exercises

Anaerobic exercise is the type where we get out of breath in just a few moments, like when we lift weights for improving our strength or when we sprint etc

  • During anaerobic exercise, our body’s demand for oxygen is more than the available oxygen supply.
  • Anaerobic exercise is charged by energy stored in our muscles. Most anaerobic exercises are extremely high intensity and short duration exercise lasting from a few seconds to up to 2 minutes.

Anaerobic exercises Benefits:

  • A recent research on the endocrine functions of contracting muscles has shown that both aerobic and anaerobic exercise helps to promote the secretion of myokines with benefits like repairment of tissues, growth of new tissue,  and various anti-inflammatory functions, which in turn reduce the risk of developing various inflammatory diseases.
  • Myokine secretion is dependent on the amount of muscle contracted, and also the duration and intensity of contraction.
  •    Anaerobic Workouts Burn More Calories in Less Time
  • If weight loss  is our goal, then anaerobic workouts are important.
  • People who are starting weight loss programs are looking for a program that will get quick results and will fit into a busy schedule.
  • The effect of a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) anaerobic workout are similar to a high weight lifting session.
  • In both the cases,
  • muscles are pushed to the extreme level, resulting in microdamage which gets repaired during rest and recovery phase through the development of new muscle tissue.
  • The difference is that in a high-resistance weightlifting program, we are targeting specific muscle groups in an aerobic environment, whereas in an anaerobic workout we are working combinations of muscles, and with the added pressure of oxygen debt.

Increases Muscle Mass

  • The intense bursts of exercise required of the body during anaerobic exercise results in microtears in the muscles.
  • But it’s the body’s natural process of repairing these microtears that helps muscles to become stronger, more toned and larger.

Increased Metabolism

  • Muscle tissue is hungrier than fat.
  • By boosting our muscle mass through anaerobic training, we will create hungrier tissue.
  • More muscle tissue causes a boost in body metabolism.
  • Decreases soreness

While the inevitable result of beginning a program of anaerobic exercise is post-exercise soreness, once anaerobic exercise becomes a regular part of your exercise routine, soreness is minimized. This is because regular anaerobic exercise improves your body’s tolerance to the waste by-products of exercise such as lactic acid. It also improves your body’s capacity to efficiently eliminate these by-products of exercise.

Improves our Energy

  • Our body relies on glycogen stored in the muscles as energy.
  • Regular anaerobic exercise boosts our body’s capacity to store glycogen, giving us more energy when necessary.

Increased Bone Strength and Density

  • No exercises that increase bone density more than anaerobic exercise. This is good news for osteoporotic patients.

  Improves Joint Protection

  • Muscle strength and muscle mass translates to joint protection in our body. This can protect us from injury.

Lowers our Blood Sugar

  • Regular anaerobic exercise also helps to regulate insulin production, which helps us to avoid spikes in our blood sugar.

Improved Ability to Perform All of the Tasks Required of our Daily Life

  • Our daily daily life is easier when one is in shape. The improved strength and capacity for bursts of intense activity can make our life easier – from climbing stairs to doing heavy lifting workouts.



  • It is a kind of anaerobic exercise that is good for the heart and overall health.
  • To get maximum benefit, we need to vary our pace of running after every five to ten minutes.
  • And if we practice regularly, we can increase the duration and pace of running.


  • Lunges is a workout for the lower body muscles.
  • Like squats, lunges also contribute to improving our balance.
  • To perform lunges, we need to keep a straight spine and take a big step forward.
  • Now, bend the front knee at 90 degrees.
  • Lastly balancing our weight on our back toes, slowly lower the back knee, but make sure that it does not touch the floor.

Heavy Weightlifting:

  • We should include at least a few anaerobic exercises in our daily routine. Heavy weightlifting is one of such exercise.
  • However, one should perform it only under the supervision of a certified trainer.


  • Rowing is a light warm up, followed by an intense period of rowing as long as our muscles can hold on, like for 1 or 2 minutes and then slowly decreasing our pace and rowing gently to relax.
  • At the start of the sprint or burst, the person’s exertion levels are usually pushed to the max.
  • A rest period is needed to allow the body to catch up.
  • But interval training should be done under strict supervision and should not be undertaken by beginners.


  • A type of muscle building, which involves the chest, arms, upper back and shoulders, push-ups require short but intense bursts of energy to push up and then lower the body.
  • There are many variations, one can perform push-ups on the floor, at an incline or decline in elevation or between the 2 chairs.

Pull-Ups/Chin Ups

  • It involves exerting force to pull oneself up, to touch a certain height, with the support of a fixed bar or beam.
  • The entire mass of an individual is pulled up solely by the arms, forcing heavily in upper body strength.
  • Muscles which usually gets the benefit here include the lower back muscle, deltoid, biceps and the teres major.


  • It involves a particular muscle or one group of muscles. Such exercises do not allow stretching of the muscle and the muscle might not move at all.
  • Isometric exercises are commonly used for strengthening a muscle damaged due to an accident.


  • This is a form of anaerobic exercise.
  • From a supine position, with the back completely to the floor, one must rise with one’s back and touch toes or knees, with only the butt touching the ground.
  • This exercise is to strengthen the stomach muscles.

Weight Training

Weight training is a type of strength training exercise for developing the strength and size of skeletal muscles. It utilizes the force of gravity in the form of dumbbells or weighted bars or even weight stacks in order to resist the force generated by muscle via concentric or eccentric contraction.

Interval Training

  • It’s a physical training which is a combination of aerobic exercises in an anaerobic mechanism.
  • For example, cycling which is an aerobic exercise. Cycling is a burst of sudden energy and then reducing the pace for a restful interval, before once again, picking up the pace is one form of interval training

Other types of anaerobic exercise include:

  • Climbing Hills or Steps
  • Squats
  • Sprinting Activities
  • Tug of War
  • Jumping Rope


  • If we are targeting only the cardiovascular exercises then we will lose the muscular fitness. We will be losing most of our weight in muscles and not fats.
  • Also, by ignoring muscular fitness we will also invite many problems like knee pain or others.
  • My suggestion as a Nutritionist is that both type of exercises are important for fat loss and to maintain the muscle mass.
  • Apart from reducing fat, these exercises also help to improve our heart condition and are applicable in all weather.
  • These types of exercises are performed by any normal person, body builders, athletes.
  • But degree of both the modes may be different but required by all.
  • Thus, focusing on both type of training to achieve maximum fat loss is important.
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