Written by Anandini Swaminathan, BSc., MSc. (Human Nutrition) | 

Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team  on Jun 28, 2018


Teenage is the time when most gawky youngsters wish to look super so they can make heads turn and notice their trim body and youthful vigor. However, as a teenager, working out at the gym can be quite a daunting experience. It is important for teens to understand that they are beginners and must ease their body into the workout routine before being able to perform like the pros at the gym.

The exercises discussed in this article will focus on using body weight and light weight dumbbells before getting into advanced workout routines.

1. Push ups

This strength exercise uses only body weight to help build the muscles in the chest, shoulders and triceps.

Top Workouts for Teens: Push ups

How to perform this exercise

  • Assume the push up position.
  • Keep the arms straight, hands placed slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
  • The body should be in a straight line from the ankles to the head.
  • Lower the body till it almost touches the ground.
  • Hold and push back up.

As the arms are straightened, push the upper back towards the ceiling.

2. Crunches

Crunches help work the abdominal (core) muscles.

Top Workouts for Teens: Crunches

How to perform this exercise

  • Lie down with your back on a mat, with knees bent, feet flat on the floor and heels slightly apart.
  • Place hands behind the head.
  • Pull shoulder blades together and elbows back without arching the lower back.
  • Engage the abdominal and core muscles.
  • Bring chin slightly downwards and slowly curl the head and shoulders off the mat.
  • Pull rib cage together and bend towards the pelvis. Continue curling till the upper back is off the mat.
  • Hold this position briefly. Inhale and gently lower torso back to the mat.

3. Dumbbell lunges

This basic strength exercise uses dumbbells to work the quadriceps, calf muscles, glutes and hamstrings.

How to perform this exercise

  • Stand with feet parallel and hip width apart.
  • Inhale and step to the right, keeping your weight on the left heel. Both feet still face forward.
  • Shift weight to the right foot, bending the right knee and pushing the hips back.
  • Continue to lunge until the shin bone is vertical to the floor and the right knee is in line with the second toe of the right foot.
  • push off with the right foot and return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side.

4. Pull ups

Pull ups are the best way for beginners to build their back muscles and biceps.

Top Workouts for Teens: Pull ups

How to perform this exercise

  • Grip a pull-up bar with palms facing out.
  • Engage the muscles and pull the body up till the chin is over the bar.
  • Lower the body slowly back down.

5. Dumbbell step-ups:

This exercise will help strengthen the calf muscles, hamstring, glutes and quadriceps.

Top Workouts for Teens: Dumbbell step-ups

How to perform this exercise

  • Stand up straight while holding a dumbbell in each hand palms facing the sides of your legs.
  • Place the right foot on an elevated platform by extending the hip and knee of the right leg. Use the heel of the left leg to lift the rest of the body on to the platform.
  • Step down with the left leg first and then the right, returning to the original position.

These five exercises are to be done as supersets. A superset includes jumping from one exercise to the next with no rest in-between.

To begin with, do only 2 to 3 sets per exercise with about 10 to 12 repetitions per set. Make sure to use light weight dumbbells where required.

Nutrition is extremely important during adolescence. Make sure you have a well balanced diet to enjoy the benefits of working out.

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