Weight training is an important component of overall fitness and will enhance a teenager’s fitness too. However, before you jump into an intense training sessions, there are a few things to know first when it comes to weight training for teens. A teenager’s body is still changing, so workouts need to be adjusted for comfort and a variety of workout tools can be used to improve strength and tone. Always check with a physician before starting a teenager on a weight training program, then keep the following tips in mind:
Wear workout gloves. The handles of dumbbells, barbells and some weight machines can wreck havoc on a teenager’s hands. Protective gloves reduce the risk of calluses and small cuts or tears that may interfere with fitness progress. Gloves also help to absorb sweat which lessens the risk of a weight slipping and causing an injury. Gloves also help to improve grip strength for future workout benefits.
Use a variety of equipment. Weight training for teens does not have to mean only free weights. You can vary the routine by using kettlebells, medicine balls, weight machines, resistance bands and body-weight exercises to improve strength and fitness.
Focus on Toning. Adolescence is not the time to prepare for a bodybuilding competition. The growth plates on the ends of the bones may not have hardened yet. These growth plates are susceptible to injuries, so weigh limits should be moderate. Adolescence is a time to improve strength and tone and overall fitness by improving body composition as opposed to focusing on competitive lifting. Use a weight that challenges the muscles, but is not so straining that injuries occur.
Always warm up. Begin a training session with a 1-minute warm up of full-body movements such as walking, climbing stairs or cycling. This helps prepare the muscles for the workout session.
Finish with a cool down. Take a few minutes at the end of each session to walk slowly and then stretch the muscles that were used during training.
Rest between sessions. It is important to rest for at least one full day between workout sessions to allow for muscle recovery. This boosts performance and helps prevent injuries.
Ask a trainer. Seek the instruction of a qualified personal fitness trainer if you are new to weight training for teens. This will help develop proper technique.