There are two main types of exercises – aerobic exercises that increase your heart rate and require a lot of oxygen and movement (like running, biking, swimming) and anaerobic exercises, which are high intensity burst exercises, like weight training. While aerobic exercise gets most of the attention when it comes to weight loss, anaerobic exercises for weight loss are still important.
What Are Examples of Anaerobic Exercises for Weight Loss?
Anaerobic exercises do not burn nearly as many calories as aerobic exercise. They are not specifically designed to burn fat because they burn glycogen, rather than calories, in order to create fuel. Anaerobic exercise can burn some fat, because all movement and exercises can burn fat, but anaerobic exercise is not considered as likely to burn nearly as much weight as aerobic exercises.
Yet it is still highly recommended that you engage in some type of anaerobic exercises when you’re losing weight. This is because:
- Body Shaping Goals – Losing weight isn’t just for health. It’s also for body shaping, and anaerobic workouts (which build strength and muscles) are excellent for body shaping. They tighten muscles and grow muscles in all of the places people like, so that as you lose weight you also start seeing more of a defined shape.
- Strength for Exercise – One of the secrets to burning fat is simply moving as much as possible. Walk anywhere you can. Move when you’re sitting down. Climb stairs without the handles and so on. But in order to do that, you need to have the strength to carry your body without as much fatigue, and that is where muscle workouts can be very valuable, as they give your muscles more strength so that you can do more and keep moving.
- Anaerobic/Aerobic – There are also versions of anaerobic exercise that have their own weight aerobic component. For example, if you do pushups (anaerobic) very quickly, you often receive an aerobic component while simultaneously improving your muscle mass. Exercises that involve anaerobic activities at very fast paces can burn fat similar to aerobic activities while also providing muscle benefits.
There is also some evidence that an increase in muscle mass can burn calories even at rest, and although the difference is not enormous, every calorie you burn can help you towards your weight loss goals. Also, anaerobic exercises are outstanding for total body health, and the healthier your body the easier it is to lose weight.
What Anaerobic Exercises are Best for Weight Loss?
In general, you should try to exercise all of your muscles, because all of your strength is important. Indeed, the more you target each and every muscle, rather than just the ones you want to see (like abs), the better your health and weight loss will be.
Still, the best exercises are going to be exercises that utilize your entire body, preferably in a way that can help you burn calories too. Examples include:
- Interval Sprinting – Sprinting is an anaerobic activity, but when combined with walking it can have many caloric benefits as well. Repeat a sprint and walk pattern to lose a lot of calories without having to run long distances.
- Jump Roping – Like sprinting, the act of jump roping is actually an anaerobic activity, but the more you jump rope the more your heart rate goes up as well. That makes jump roping an excellent weight loss exercise.
- Rowing – Rowing machines use a lot of different muscle groups and have a powerful effect on the heart. They use much of your entire upper body, which makes them an amazing choice for those looking to build muscle and lose weight.
You should also remember to do workouts that use your largest muscles, like your back and your legs. These are some of the more forgotten anaerobic exercises (most people focus on arms and abs, which are smaller muscles) and can help you improve your strength and possibly build much needed muscles for fat loss.
Consult Your Medical Weight Loss Professional
Still, the right exercises are going to be based on your health and abilities, and the exercises that are best for you may not be best for someone else. Talk to your doctor about which exercises you are physically capable of doing, and if you’d like to learn more about medical weight loss, contact Institute for Weight Loss and Body Contouring.