Strength Training for Teens

by Jodee on January 21, 2011

Strength training can be part of a healthy lifestyle for teens. Staying active should include a number of activities, such as cardio exercise like walking, swimming, jogging or cycling.

Including some kind of resistance training in the mix is a good strategy. When you challenge your muscles to work harder than usual, they become stronger. Muscle burns calories at a higher rate than fat does, which means you will continue to burn calories at a higher rate even when you are at rest. As a result, it’s easier to get to and maintain a healthy weight.

Strength training is not the same as powerlifting or bodybuilding. Powerlifting involves building strength to see how much a person can raise at one time, and bodybuilding is about developing very well-defined muscles that are symmetrical and equal in size.

Neither powerlifting or bodybuilding are recommended for teenagers. Both of them have the potential to cause injury to the bones, muscles and joints of a young person, who is still growing.

Benefits of Strength Training for Teens

The benefits of strength training include the following:

  • Increased endurance for fitness activities, as well as other daily activities
  • Improved concentration, which may lead to better grades in school
  • Lower levels of body fat
  • Increased muscle mass
  • Helps to burn more calories, even in between exercise sessions
  • Lower risk of injury to bones, tendons and joints
  • Can help to prevent other medical issues, such as osteoporosis or high cholesterol

Free Weights and Weight Machines

There are a couple of choices available for people who are performing strength training exercises. Free weights, which include dumbbells, kettle bells and barbells, are a popular choice. Using them will help you work a specific group of muscles at once.

Weight machines are another option for strength training. They are used to work on a specific part of the body in isolation. If you go to a gym and look around at the way the weight machines are set up, you will see that they are positioned in a way to make it easy for users to work on a circuit and target each set of muscles in turn.

When starting an exercise program that includes weights, it’s important to start off slowly. The idea is to challenge your muscles, not overwhelm them by trying to get them to lift something that is too heavy.

Starting slowly and being patient is the way to go to achieve success when it comes to getting the most out of strength training for teens.

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