Anaerobic exercises are a form of exercise where there is breakdown of energy in the body without the usage of oxygen. The word ‘anaerobic’ means ‘without oxygen’. When our body goes into a state of deficient oxygen, it has to go through the process in anaerobic form. This process involves glycolysis, where the glucose gets converted into ATP, i.e., Adenosine Triphosphate. This ATP is thereafter used for other cellular activities.


Our body breaks down glucose into energy for all metabolic processes. This is done in two ways- aerobic process and anaerobic processes. Aerobic process does the entire process in the presence of oxygen. Whereas the latter does all these methods in the absence of oxygen. After the anaerobic process of glucose breakdown, lactic acid is produced as its primary byproduct. It is this lactic acid which sometimes results in muscle cramps after a hard core workout session.

Following are the characteristics of anaerobic form of respiration during exercises:

  1. It takes place in the absence of oxygen. 
  2. They are more intense than aerobic exercises.
  3. They require shorter time duration, for example, hardly 15-20 minutes.
  4. It increases muscular strength and vigour.
  5. It immensely boasts weight loss.

Examples Of Anaerobic Exercises

Sprints

It is a well known form of anaerobic exercise that has gained worldwide recognition. Sprints consist of running for a short distance with high speed in a given time interval. It has been a part of many famous exercises where one member had to run fast in order to get the passing ball so their team could score a goal. The running part in these sports is a great example of sprints. 

Weightlifting

A common anaerobic exercise, it is performed to build muscles and improve overall body strength. The athlete tries to lift as much weight as they can. There are categories in weightlifting according to male and female. Doing this for at least 30 minutes could burn upto 120 calories. The calorie burn depends on a person’s weight. Regular weightlifting leads to better posture, good sound sleep, increased bone density and effective weight loss. 

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

With the name itself, it is clear that this is a high intensity workout. It consists of intense workouts with short breaks. One needs to do a few anaerobic exercises for a short duration, with a break in between. These exercises last for less than 30 minutes and are highly effective. HIIT improves muscle capacity and capability. 

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