Teenagers find themselves smack-bang in the middle of the most dramatic phase of human growth as they make the transition from childhood to adulthood. However, there are a lot of methods that may help teenagers to build strength.
During this exciting growth phase, teenage athletes can build strength quickly if they engage in the right type of training programme. This guide will help young athletes to increase their strength safely by focusing on 7 important factors.
1. Focus on major muscle groups
The major muscle groups in the human body are the shoulders, legs, back, chest and arms. With bodyweight training, the best ways to hit these muscle groups are simple push-ups, handstands, squats, pull-ups and sit-ups. All these can be done without additional weights or expensive exercise equipment.
Focusing on the major muscle groups is important in order to build strength effectively. This can be done with bodyweight exercises and weights, however they should be cautious of using heavy weights (as they are still growing). Ensure they are working with a qualified coach or as part of a proper strength programme.
2. Don’t train too much!
Over-training is the process of not allowing the body adequate time to recover and repair. It is a major problem for many strength athletes, but it is even more problematic for teenagers who require more rest and sleep as their body grows rapidly moving from childhood to adult (and the body needs to have greater resources to recover).
You should avoid over-training as it can have a negative impact and can leave your body vulnerable to injury. Over-training is one of the biggest reasons that teenagers fail to reach their strength training goals. Ensure you get plenty of rest and quality sleep between sessions.
3. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted
Linking mind and body is important as an elite athlete. So, when training, it is important to be single-minded and focused on your objective. Try not to mess around with others when in the gym too much! Training should be fun, but remember, we mean serious business here!
Try to focus on your goals. In order to build strength, it is important to have training consistency and persistency. This means getting distracted will have a severe negative effect on your strength training progress.
4. Don’t skip legs!
You need to be setting solid foundations for your sport, and a large part of this is leg strength, endurance and support.
Don’t simply work your arms, shoulders and chest. In order to gain all-round strength, the legs must be trained as much as the upper body. Oftentimes, teenagers prefer to build the upper body, but realise training the legs are the foundation of strength, as they are the largest muscles of the body.
5. Leverage weekends
Don’t be all about partying on the weekend. Obviously, you need down time to relax, recover and enjoy. If you’re serious about your training then “everything in moderation”. We all recognise teenagers enjoy socialising and going to parties, but if you’re serious about getting fitter and stronger, don’t forget your training… this is a very useful concept to consider.
6. Don’t forget cardio
Don’t leave out cardiovascular fitness. As well as training for strength, cardio training is also very important as it actually helps with building strength.
Cardio routines should be used a number of times per week in order to increase the intake of oxygen through the body, and to improve the health of the heart. It also helps to keep fat levels to a minimum and aids good circulation.
7. Sports supplements
Using good quality, carefully selected sports supplements may be a very useful tool in order to help you build muscle and strength, but this should only be done after careful consideration of all the facts. For example, it is perfectly healthy for teenagers to use vitamins and mineral supplements. Likewise teenagers may benefit from drinking nutrition shakes following a tough training session, as it will help them to recover and repair damaged muscle tissue. You should ideally consult a trained nutritionist if you’re unsure about supplements, or have a read of this article!
Using these teenage workout tips will certainly help young athletes with their strength training. Good luck in your efforts to build strength and become a stronger athlete.