Why exercise is vital for teens

I think exercise is an absolute no brainer when it comes to teens; they develop so many life skills and learn so much about themselves whilst growing up being active, it’s absolutely essential they’re doing some sort of movement. We need teens to move as often as they can and in many different ways possible so they learn key motor skills and how to move correctly.

The 🔑 fundamental SKILLS:

▪️BALANCE

▪️ CO-ORDINATION

▪️AGILITY

▪️ACCURACY

▪️ ENDURANCE

▪️ STAMINA

▪️ FLEXIBILITY

▪️ STRENGTH

These are vital fundamental skills that need to be focused on, challenged and explained to teenagers growing up through any exercise. All professional sports that you can think of demand these at a high level and with great execution, whether its Basketball, Jujitsu or Soccer etc.

Along with these key physical and neurological skills which play a key role in youth getting better at moving there are simple fundamental movements which can be used to challenge the above. These movements are crucial to everyone and should be practiced over and over again, they’re movements that help with our teen's long term development and transfer over to simple life activities.

The 🔑 Fundamentals movements:

▪️RUN

▪️JUMP

▪️SQUAT

▪️LUNGE

▪️PUSH

▪️PULL

▪️HINGE

▪️TWIST

It’s important to remember when training teenagers that we are training them for the sport of life, we’re just one piece of the jigsaw puzzle. The goal is very rarely short term, you have to think long term development!

Should teens be lifting heavy weights?

A question I get asked a lot by parents and the question really needs to be, should they be lifting weights?

A 10 year old can be taught to lift weights and if its done three times a week for 8 weeks then research will show they’d put on muscle, but is that what they need? We need to give them what they need, not what they want! If they want a fun game to play at the end then give them that!

Kids 12 and under shouldn’t be touching any weights in my opinion, the focus should be the development of the fundamentals using bodyweight exercises which is a lot more transferable to life and different sports they’ll want to take part in.

Kids 13 and above is when things needs to be considered carefully, depending on what sport they’re in etc. Adding weights and resistance may be necessary to help get stronger or more powerful for example. Weighted exercises should mostly be functional 90% of the time and not bodybuilding type exercises. The responsibility will purely be down to clubs, coaches and their programmes, if you’re never to sure on why your child is doing something then simply ask. Good clubs and coaches will happily explain the reasons.

No matter the age….clubs, coaches, and parents should be challenging their teens through both fundamental skills and movements. The only thing we need to change is the approach we have on training and figure out the best way to develop those skills depending on the age.

For a free teens program or any questions regarding this subject, please contact me on LM@innerfight.com

OR get your teen involved in our Teens Class straight away:

SUN/TUES/THURS at 4.30pm

SAT at 10am

By; Lloyd Melling, Performance Coach