Do you wonder if weight lifting is safe for your teen? Are you concerned that strength training might not be an ideal activity for your growing adolescent? If yes, then reading this article may alleviate your worries on strength and weight training for teens.
Strength training can help both teenage boys and girls to improve their fitness levels. The important thing is to do these exercises in the correct manner. Weight lifting requires pumping iron in order to increase muscle mass and size. Strength training is a process of repeatedly using light weights and resistant bands to strengthen and tone the muscles. Want to know five tips that can help your teen scale newer heights of fitness while weight and strength training? Read on!
Weight And Strength Training For Teens
1. Begin Light:
It is extremely important for your teen to begin a strength training workout program with light weights. A good parameter to consider here is to choose initially weights he can lift for ten repetitions where the last few lifts may require more strength. Using heavy weights or doing too much too fast may result in injuries. If your teen’s muscles are extremely sore or painful, it is imperative that he discontinues the exercises until his muscles recover well. You can help your teen select the weights on the basis of his body weight and fitness levels. Depending on this, the weights can be anywhere from 1 pound to 20 pound. Once your teen develops muscle strength, he can begin to use heavier weights. But ensure that his movements with weights are smooth and steady.
[ Read: Pilates For Teens ]
2. Mix Well:
For strength training or any weight training to work well it is crucial your teen combines it with other cardiovascular and stretching exercises. Doing so will help him in achieving the desired toned look with much more ease. Tell your teen to exercise alternate muscle groups every other day, to give them ample time to recover. Without proper intervals, muscles won’t benefit from any weight exercise. Using weight three times a week for 30 minutes to an hour is okay for older teens.
3. Breathe Right:
The right way to breathe during strength training or when your teen works with weights is to exhale when he pulls the weight towards him and to inhale when he pushes the weight away from himself. Regulating breath is not as easy it sounds. It requires a constant focus on the breath. As a parent, you can help your teen learn the right way to breathe by vocalizing the words ‘exhale’ and ‘inhale’ to sync with his movements. In no time, your teen would get the hang of it.
A short warm-up routine followed by light stretching is important for your teen before lifting weights. It helps to minimize the chances of his muscle injuries. Stretching exercises also enhance the flexibility of his muscles. Spot jogging, walking, using a stationary bike or a treadmill for 5-10 minutes is sufficient to prepare his muscles for a workout with weights (1).
5. Manage Expectations:
Your teenager must understand that no workout plan can work magic overnight, and it takes time for the results to show. You can help him keep track of his progress as well as stop him from overdoing the exercises. Weight lifting strengthens and tones the muscles and may also help in weight loss over time. Even if the weight remains constant, your teen may look more toned and fit than earlier. If you can note a visible difference in your teen’s physique, he may be doing the workout right.
Teenagers may overdo any workout program. Parental supervision, in this case, can be extremely useful. Slow and steady is the success mantra here. The important thing for him to do is exercise right and to have fun at the same time. It is important your teen consults a doctor before starting any workout plan. Also, seeking the guidance of a professional fitness trainer is advisable for your teen.
Hope you liked our post on strength and weight training for teens. Does your teen exercise with weights? How did strength training for teens benefit? Do share your teen’s exercise regimen with us.
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