Here Are 10 Anaerobic Exercises For Your Next Workout

Intense exercise starves your muscles of oxygen, even as the same muscles continue to burn glucose. This creates a buildup of lactic acid that your body has to break down after your workout. The gradual breakdown of lactic acid is an energy-intensive process that causes your muscles to burn extra calories.

Exercising until you feel the burn sets these metabolic events in motion. This ends our ultra-brief explainer on anaerobic exercise.


Role Of Anaerobic Exercise In Your Fitness Regimen

Most people want to see results as they pursue their fitness goals. Results could mean weight loss, muscle gain, or improvements in general health.  Adding anaerobic exercise to your fitness program means you start to see progress after a short while.

High-intensity exercise increases muscle strength and endurance, allowing you to power through demanding workouts. This type of exercise also burns an impressive amount of calories in a few short minutes. For anyone on a tight schedule, the efficiency of anaerobic exercises is a big selling point.

Here are some effective high-intensity, anaerobic exercises to add to your workouts.


Simple And Intermediate Anaerobic Exercises

The difference between regular and anaerobic exercise often comes down to intensity. A leisurely jog counts as aerobic exercise, while a two-minute, all-out sprint is an excellent example of anaerobic exercise. By the same logic, high-intensity resistance training creates an oxygen debt, which qualifies as anaerobic exercise. Go through this shortlist and see which exercises are a good fit for your fitness routine.



Sprints are a category of cardio exercises that you do at breakneck speed for a short period. For example:


1) Running Sprints

All you have to do is wear your running gear and run some distance at full speed. You can start by running on a flat surface and progress to uphill and downhill sprints.


2) Swimming Sprints

male swimming

Get in the pool and do as many laps as you can in a short amount of time. For starters, it’s completely fine to pace yourself, but the end goal is to keep beating your personal records. 

You can start your sprints with the swimming stroke that you’re most comfortable with. When you master the challenge, move on to another swimming style and work towards beating your personal records again.


3) Cycling Sprints

Gear up and ride as far as you can in a set amount of time. As your muscles get stronger, you’ll slowly increase your speed and the distance you cover. You will also gain the ability to cycle for longer intervals. It’s worth noting that you can do similar exercises with a stationary bike.


4) Skipping Sprints

hiroki skipping

Skipping may not require you to move from point A to point B, but you can convert the activity into an anaerobic exercise. Pack as many skipping reps as you can into a fixed time period, taking care to maintain good form. 

Different styles of skipping have different difficulty levels, so this is an exercise that should engage your mind and body in the long term.


Weight Lifting

Raising and lowering free weights is a form of aerobic exercise where your muscles get all the oxygen they need. Now convert weight training into high-intensity exercises by performing as many reps as you can in a fixed time period. A minute or two should work just fine for the physically fit. Try the following weight exercises at speed:


1) Bench Press

Load a barbell with weights that you can lift comfortably and lie on a flat bench. Engage your core and chest muscles before lifting the barbell from its rack. Now do as many bench presses as you can fit into a minute, and remember to keep good form. You can increase the time interval as your muscles build endurance.


2) Back Squat


Again, load a barbell with weights that you can comfortably lift and position it across the back of your shoulders. With your feet at shoulder-width, execute a squat and raise yourself back to standing position. 


3) Kettlebell Squat

Grip a kettlebell, hold it to your chest, and perform as many weighted squats as you can in a minute. You can make the exercise more challenging by extending your arms straight ahead and away from your chest.


Bodyweight Exercises

These strength training exercises push your muscles to lift or support your own body weight. We look at compound, full-body moves that will target multiple muscle groups.


1) Jump Squat

This exercise allows you to put some extra work on your thighs as you do a regular squat. Lower yourself into a deep squat, pretend to be a frog, and jump. Maintain good form to get the most out of each rep.


2) Mountain Climber

Mountain climbers are a great way to work up a sweat.

Start this exercise in a high plank, with your core and back muscles engaged. Now bring your right knee towards your right shoulder before putting your leg back in its original position. Repeat the same movement with the left knee. Do as many reps as you can fit into a minute or 90 seconds.


3) Burpee

The burpee combines the pushup, the squat, and a jumping exercise to create a full-body workout. The steps are easy to follow, so put them together to make one rep:

  • Start with your feet at shoulder-width apart and lower your body into a squat.
  • Now plant your hands on the floor in front of you and keep them at shoulder-width.
  • Support your body weight with your hands and jump your feet back to put your body in a high plank.
  • Do a pushup in perfect form.
  • Jump to bring your feet forward and get into a squat position.
  • Raise yourself from a deep squat to standing position.

This compound exercise is a workout all on its own, and you can use it to burn a bunch of calories if you’re short on time.


High-intensity Workouts And Safety

Beginners should ease into anaerobic exercise by starting small. Choose easy exercises and pack as many reps as you can into a short tranche of time. As you build endurance, increase the duration of your high-intensity exercises. You can also graduate to harder, more challenging moves.

It pays to get the all-clear from your doctor, especially if you have an ongoing medical condition. The doctor will guide you on how hard you can safely push yourself.


Reach Your Fitness Goals With High-intensity Exercise

These simple anaerobic exercises can make your workouts more exciting and more effective. Use them to put your muscles to work long after your workout session ends.


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