Gym Workouts for Teens
Teenage years are busy—from school to jobs to clubs to college applications—finding the time and energy to squeeze everything into your schedule can be difficult. These are exciting, formative years full of lots of firsts, including, for some, going to the gym. Entering as a beginner into the world of fitness and gym-life with the right foot forward launches a positive fitness trajectory for years to come.
That’s why, when it comes to teens going to the gym, it’s important to highlight the importance of proper form, best practices, and technique.
There are some incredible benefits to regular exercise as a teenager, and today we’re diving into where teens should begin at the gym.
Why Exercise In The First Place?
We get it because we’ve all been there: teenage years are hard. Juggling the stress of academics and a social life can, at times, feel impossible. Plus, with the added responsibility of taking care of younger siblings or holding your first job, finding time for exercise may feel like an unnecessary activity.
However, exercise has been shown to decrease depression and anxiety and may help prevent conditions such as high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, and poor lifestyle habits that can lead to heart attack and stroke later in life, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center.
While it may seem counterintuitive, devoting an hour each day to exercise will free up your day by creating more mental availability to conquer your daily tasks and responsibilities.
What We Recommend
Get Into a Routine
A smart routine helps you stay on track and motivated, resulting in a strong sense of achievement. This is where a gym membership comes in handy. Having a strict destination and devoted area for physical fitness can help you stay on track and requires less day-to-day mental planning. With over 30 locations across four states, stop by your nearest Chuze to become a member. Our state-of-the-art fitness centers have machines and tools to help with all levels of fitness and abilities.
However, a gym membership isn’t the be-all-end-all of your budding fitness career, so if you don’t have your license yet, don’t worry. Home workouts are also a great option—they just require a bit more diligence to accomplish—especially if you’re just starting out. If this is the case, consider a virtual gym membership such as our iChuze Fitness experience. We offer a broad range of guided fitness classes that include yoga, strength training, and cardio.
Find a Mentor
Whether you reach out to your soccer coach, a P.E. teacher at school, an athletic trainer, or a physical therapist, reaching out to an experienced fitness professional who understands proper form and how the body works and can help you optimize your exercise routine is valuable. Proper form is important because it will help you prevent injury. Even though your body may feel invincible right now, practicing proper form will protect your bones, joints, and muscles for the lifetime ahead of you.
Ask your mentor to help you build out a workout plan suited to your abilities and goals. Be sure to write this down so you have less to worry about and so that you can track your progress. Having a goal in mind is a great first step, but developing a strategy consisting of small steps that help you build towards your end goal is paramount.
Phone a Friend
Another great way to maintain a routine and practice good form is by working out with a friend.
Having someone that relies on you to show up each day will help you stay focused, and it’s fun to work out with a buddy! Additionally, working with a partner who can look at your form and help you adjust as needed will further prevent injury.
Great Beginner Workouts To Incorporate Into Your Workout Routine:
These lunges are a great introduction to gym workouts for teens. Start by standing with your torso upright, holding two dumbbells in your hands by your sides.
Step forward with your right foot and lower your body down while keeping your torso upright. Inhale as you go down. Next, use the heel of your foot to push your leg up and return to the starting position as you exhale. Repeat this motion for 10 repetitions, then switch to your left leg.
Seated Dumbbell Press
For this exercise, grab a pair of dumbbells and sit on a military press bench or a bench with back support. Place the dumbbells in an upright position on top of your thighs. Lift your thighs to bring the dumbbells up, one at a time, to shoulder height at each side. Rotate your wrists so the palms of your hands are facing forward. This will be the starting position.
As you exhale, push the dumbbells up and extend your arms overhead until the dumbbells almost touch. After a brief pause, slowly bring the dumbbells back to the starting position.
Seated Cable Rows
To start this exercise, sit down at a low pulley row machine with a V-bar and put your feet on the front platform. Make sure your knees are slightly bent, and not locked. Lean forward to grab the V-bar handles and pull the handles back until your torso forms a 90-degree angle with your legs. You should have your back slightly arched and your chest sticking out as the starting position.
Keep your torso stationary as you pull the handles back toward your abdominals. As you’re pulling the handles, you should be squeezing your back muscles. Hold that contraction for one second and slowly return to the starting position.
Dips (or Chest Dips)
Start by holding your body above a set of parallel bars or an assisted dip machine with your arms locked (if you’re using a machine, set the assistance to the level you need to perform this exercise). This is the starting position.
As you’re breathing in, lower yourself slowly with your torso leaning forward less than 45 degrees. At this point, your elbows should also be slightly pointed outwards until you feel a small stretch in your chest. When you feel the stretch, use your chest to push your body back to starting position while breathing out. As you move back to the starting position, squeeze the chest for one second to fully exercise that area.
As with any new physical activity, it’s important to consult your physician before jumping into things. Ask them what type of exercise they recommend to you based on your physical growth and abilities. There is a huge spectrum of strength, weight, and height factors that vary from one teen to the next, so understanding your body’s needs is essential.
Whatever workout you choose to do, the most important step is always the first one and we at Chuze are so thrilled to take it with you!