10 Types Of Aerobic And Anaerobic Exercises

Reap the benefits of this guide to perk up your workout sessions and become fit.

Reviewed by Rakesh Rathod, Certified Personal Trainer
Written by Shirin Mehdi
Edited by Arshiya Syeda
Fact-checked by Himanshi Mahajan, Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach  • 

Aerobic and anaerobic exercises have many health benefits and are commonly known as good cardiovascular exercises. Aerobic exercise, or cardio, helps burn calories, shed fat quickly, and support effective endurance training. Anaerobic exercise, or strength training, helps improve muscle mass, and burn fat.

A study undertaken in the U.S. revealed that adults aged 18 and above who could meet the Physical Activity Guidelines, which is engaging in vigorous aerobic exercise for 75 to 150 minutes a week, were around 46.9% of surveyed individuals. While 24.2% of the survey participants aged 18 and above who met the physical activity guidelines indulged in both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.

There are many types of aerobic and anaerobic exercises you can do. A mix of both is ideal for achieving a strong, lean, and fit body.

Of course, you must customize the plan depending on your body transformation needs. Continue reading to know the various types of aerobic and anaerobic exercises, how to do them, and how to use them to reach your fitness goals. Scroll down!

What Is The Difference Between Aerobic And Anaerobic Exercises?

Aerobic Exercises:

These exercises help burn fat with the help of oxygen and carbohydrates to provide your body a steady supply of energy. These exercises are low-intensity and longer duration workouts. Your fitness trainer may recommend this form of exercise if you want to lose weight.

Anaerobic Exercises:

These exercises convert the carbohydrates in your body to energy to help the muscles produce force. It is a high-intensity and low duration workout. During such exercises, lactate build-up in your muscles causes fatigue. Your fitness trainer will recommend it if you are looking to build muscle strength.

Popular Aerobic And Anaerobic Exercises:

Here is a list of the popular aerobic and anaerobic exercises.

1. Interval Training:

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Trainers and fitness experts advise adding interval training to your regular cardio workout to expedite your weight loss. Challenge the body to come out of its comfort zone and work harder. You need to push up the pace of your workout for a minute or two and then get back to your regular pace for ten minutes, depending upon your recovery time. Repeat the cycle throughout your workout routine.

2. Walking:

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Walking is the simplest form of aerobic exercise. You can vary your pace of walking depending upon your stamina and fitness levels. Since it does not require any particular gadget or equipment, you can simply put on your walking shoes and start your journey to fitness. Walking indoors, outdoors, or on a treadmill provides the same benefit. However, walking outdoors in the early morning is better as you can inhale some fresh air. It is the best option for those who find it hard to perform strenuous exercises due to joint problems, but still want to remain fit.

3. Running Sprints:

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Sprinting is a form of anaerobic exercise that is good for the heart and overall health. To get maximum benefit, you need to vary your pace of running after every five to ten minutes. With regular practice, you can increase the duration and pace of running. For best results, you should run for at least 15 to 30 minutes.

4. Lunges:

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Lunges are an example of anaerobic exercise and provide workout for the lower body muscles. Just like squats, lunges also contribute to improving your balance and aid in resistance training. To perform lunges, keep a straight spine and take a big step forward. Now, bend the front knee at 90 degrees. Balancing your weight on your back toes, slowly lower the back knee, but make sure that it does not touch the floor.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Always keep the front knee in line with the second toe as it will help tuck your hips during the movement and improve your posture.

5. Swimming Sprints:

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It is a form of anaerobic exercise and is similar to running sprints. First, start swimming at your normal speed. Then slowly increase the pace of swimming and maintain it for a minute. Return to your normal pace and repeat the cycle. Continue swimming like this for half an hour at least.

6. Heavy Weightlifting:

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

7. Rowing:

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Lie down and put your feet forward in the stirrups. Pull your arms backward and stimulate a rowing motion. It is a good workout for your abdomen, leg and arm muscles. Divide the session into a warm up and workout intensely as much your muscles can endure. Keep alternating the cycle.

8. Jumping Rope:

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Jumping rope is no more a child’s game. The International Sports Conditioning Association boasts of its aerobic and anaerobic qualities. You can increase or decrease the pace and the duration of jumping to get the advantage of anaerobic respiration. However, jumping rope performed at a normal speed is an aerobic exercise, and when done at a fast pace can be considered a good calisthenics and anaerobic exercise.

protip_icon Trivia
The most skips done with a jump rope in 24 hours is 151,409. Hijiki Ikuyama from Japan set this world record in 2018.

9. Isometrics:

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It involves only a particular group of muscles. Such exercises do not allow the stretching or lengthening of the muscles as most of the times the muscle does not move at all. Physiotherapists recommend isometric exercises for patients who sustain muscle injury. It is a type of physical therapy involving static exercises. In this form of exercise, an individual has to remain in a stationary position without moving any part of the body. The best example of isometric exercise is to remain in one position holding a weight or pushing a wall.

10. Biking:

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When you exercise aerobically like in the case of biking, your body uses the fat and glycogen for fuel. You can carry on this type of moderate exertion for long periods. You can easily turn this exercise into a few sessions of anaerobic exercise by intensifying the speed in between.

Delve deeper into the world of aerobic and anaerobic exercises. Watch this video to explore their differences and how each of them can impact your health and fitness.

So now that you know the various types of aerobic and anaerobic exercises, go on and pick the exercise that suits your fitness needs. Don’t delay your trip from fat to fit anymore!

Infographic: Top 7 Aerobic And Anaerobic Exercises

Exercise is an essential part of a healthy and active lifestyle. Aerobic and anaerobic exercises help burn calories and support endurance training. We have rounded up the top eight aerobic and anaerobic exercises that you can add to your fitness routine. Check out the infographic below to learn more.

top 7 aerobic and anaerobic exercises (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

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Download Infographic in PDF version

Aerobic exercises (cardio) are done for a longer duration but are low-intensity workouts, such as kickboxing. On the other hand, anaerobic exercises are done for a shorter duration but are high-intensity workouts. Anaerobic exercise examples include, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), powerlifting, martial arts or even tabata . While the former aids in weight loss by helping shed fat, the latter helps build lean muscle mass through strength training. You can choose either of the two or a combination of both, depending on your transformation needs. Usually, it is recommended to go for a combination of both for a fitter body and overall health. Consult a gym trainer or a physiotherapist to understand the types of aerobic and anaerobic exercises and draft a workout plan that suits you the best and covers all the bases. Indulging in various forms of exercises can be effective for the body. Keeping this in mind, you can also try water aerobics such as aqua jogging or flutter kicking.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Zumba aerobic or anaerobic?

Zumba is aerobic exercise as it gives your heart and lungs a continuous workout by increasing the use of oxygen.

Are push-ups aerobic or anaerobic?

Push-ups are anaerobic exercise. They are intense and short in duration and help break down body glucose.

Is yoga aerobic or anaerobic?

Though yoga is considered an anaerobic exercise, some variations like power yoga can fall under the aerobic category.

Are jumping jacks aerobic or anaerobic?

Jumping jacks can be considered aerobic and anaerobic based on how to perform them.

Is dancing an aerobic exercise?

Yes. Dancing raises your heart rate, makes you breathe harder, and makes you sweat.

Key Takeaways

  • Aerobic exercises help burn fat while anaerobic exercises help improve muscle mass.
  • Walking, running sprints, lunges, swimming, heavy weightlifting, rowing, and biking are some of the best aerobic and anaerobic exercises to include in your workout routine.
  • Isometric exercises involve using a particular group of muscles without any movement and are recommended for people with a sustained muscle injury.
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