Is it safe for teens to exercise in a “real” gym?

Yes. While we think of team sports and playground activities as the most appropriate exercise for kids and teens, dumbbells and machines—and even barbells—are not all that different. (Think about it: A kid who manages to pull themselves up onto the monkey bars is doing something more strenuous than, say, a set of dumbbell rows.)

We have a guide here to understanding what kinds of strength training exercises are appropriate for kids. The bottom line is, anything can be appropriate, but kids need to be taught how to do the exercises appropriately.

If you’re athletically inclined yourself, accompany your teen to the gym for their first few workouts. Teach them what to do and how to do it. If you’re not the kind of parent who can double as a coach, one alternative is to consider hiring a personal trainer for a few sessions. For a cheaper and somewhat more traditional approach, rely on your teen’s school coaches and/or older friends to teach them the ropes.

Most machines are appropriate for teens, so long as they physically fit into the machines. (Shorter kids may not be able to adjust some machines appropriately, and will have to wait until they grow a few more inches.) It’s also important to know how exercises are supposed to work. We have a guide to common gym machines here; you can also look up exercises on YouTube or on places like to get a demonstration of how to use dumbbells and cable machines.

Post time: Jul-01-2022