Exercise Plans For Teens

free exercise plans for teensLet’s face it: being a teen can really suck sometimes. Between school, parents, friends, work, and relationships, you probably don’t have a whole lot of free time. Living off fast food for days at a time is pretty common. And, it can be tough to find time for exercise with all the other stuff you have going on. But if you found this page, chances are you want to lose a little weight, gain some muscle, or just develop a healthier lifestyle. The exercise plans for teens you’ll find below will help you.

But it won’t come easy.

If you want results, you’ll have to work for it. But it’s totally worth it, trust me on that one. You’ll look better, feel better, have more confidence, and will lead a generally happier existence.

That’s no exaggeration.

First, you need some background knowledge. I recommend starting with the following articles:

 

  1. How to read food labels
  2. How many calories you should be eating each day
  3. How to cook healthy food

 

Once you do that, here’s what I want you to do: Think about what your health goals are. Really think about what you want to accomplish and why.

Do you want to lose weight? Gain some muscle? Tone specific areas? Train for a specific sport or activity? I’ve created several exercise plans for teens below based on some of these different types of health goals.

The first part, “WEIGHT LOSS AND TONING,” is for teens who want to lose weight and body fat.

The second part, “INCREASING LEAN MUSCLE AND STRENGTH,” is more for those who want to pack on lean muscle and get stronger.

 

Exercise Plans for Teens: Weight Loss and Toning

 

The first thing you need to do if you’re a teen trying to lose weight or tone specific areas of your body is learn how to eat healthy. Here are 5 healthy eating tips that are critical for weight loss:
1. Only eat healthy carbs that are “whole grain” or “whole wheat”. Stay away from any products with white flour – white bread, pasta, rice, etc.

2. Avoid sugar. Aim for 30 grams of added sugar a day or less. Since a can of coke has 39 grams of sugar, this means …

3. Get rid of the liquid calories. Phase out all soda, sugary juices, etc. The average teen consumes about 350 calories from drinks every day. Drink water instead and you’ll drop an extra pound every 10 days. That’s 35 pounds of weight in a year just by dropping soda and sugary juices! Stick with water, milk, and tea or coffee (minus the cream and sugar).

4. Eat less fast food and more vegetables and fruits … lots more. We’re talking 6-10 servings/day.

5. Be mindful of your portion sizes.

 

This may sound obvious, but the key to losing weight is to burn more calories than you take in. Since you need to burn 3500 calories to lose one pound, “healthy” weight loss amounts to around 1-2 pounds per week.

Going on one of those fad diets or starving yourself to lose weight is terrible for your health and is a short-term solution. It won’t last. Most of the weight you’ll lose on these diets is from water weight, not fat, which means you’ll gain most of it back eventually. Ditch the diets, and make eating healthy a permanent solution. That’s the only way to keep the weight off.

Use an online calorie calculator (I use Livestrong’s free one) to start keeping track of the stuff you eat. Keep in mind consuming anything less than 1200 calories per day is dangerous and can lead to serious damage to your body. If your goal is to lose weight, here are the calorie ranges I recommend for girls and guys:

Girls: 1500-2000

Guys: 1800-2400

Once you get the healthy eating part down, you should focus on getting more exercise to burn more calories and fat.

Think about the things you really enjoy doing. Whether it’s playing sports, riding a bike, swimming, dancing, yoga, or something else, starting an exercise plan is a lot easier if you choose something you actually like doing.

Check out the following calorie burning chart to see a list of different activities and how many calories you can burn. If you’re involved in any type of activity like this, that’s a great start. If you’re not involved in much physical activity, that’s perfectly okay too. Just choose something you like doing. For maximizing fat loss, I recommend a combination of cardiovascular exercise (i.e., running) and strength training. Studies have shown that combining cardio and strength straining leads to more fat loss than just cardio alone.

If you’re a beginner, start with 3 days of moderate exercise per week and work your way up. If you have been actively involved in sports or other activities you’re probably ready for some more advanced techniques. Below I’ve outlined a few different exercise plans for Beginners, Intermediates, and Advanced teens:

 

Beginner Exercise Plans for Teens

When you’re first starting out, you want to get your body used to exercise so you’ll be working your way up to the more difficult routines. Again, start by picking a handful of exercises that you enjoy doing. Here’s a sample exercise plan:

Monday: 45 minutes – pick-up basketball game

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: 45 minutes – bike ride

Thursday: rest

Friday: 45 minutes – elliptical machine

Sunday: rest

 

Intermediate Exercise Plans for Teens

At this point, you’re probably ready to pick up the intensity a bit. Aim for 4 days per week of moderate-to-intense exercise. You’ll start incorporating some light resistance training into your routine. Here is a sample exercise plan, using a combination of cardio and bodyweight resistance training:

Monday: 10 squats, 15 pushups, 20 jumping jacks, 15 situps, 10 lunges (do each exercise one after the other with no rest in between sets). Once you’ve done all the exercises, rest 2 minutes and repeat the circuit 2 more times. Once you’re done, do 20-30 minutes of high-intensity cardio (i.e., riding your bike, running, swimming, or any other intense sport).

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: 1 hour – pick-up basketball game

Thursday: rest

Friday: 10 squats, 15 pushups, 20 jumping jacks, 15 situps, 10 lunges (do each exercise one after the other with no rest in between sets). Once you’ve done all the exercises, rest 2 minutes and repeat the circuit 2 more times. Once you’re done, do 20-30 minutes of high-intensity cardio (i.e., riding your bike, running, swimming, or any other intense sport).

Saturday: rest

Sunday: 30-45 minutes of intense cardio exercise

 

Advanced Exercise Plans for Teens

Now you’re ready to start burning some serious calories and losing weight. You’ll focus on equal parts cardio and resistance training and will have 4-5 days of intense exercise per week.

 

The exercise plan for advanced teens includes more weight training exercises but you can also stick with bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, pushups, etc. if you don’t have access to weight equipment. Contrary to popular belief, strength training will not make you “big and bulky”. It will actually help you develop longer, leaner muscles, which results in a more athletic, fit appearance. The more muscle you have, the more fat your body burns too.

 

Feel free to modify this workout plan slightly based on your individual goals. For example, if you want to tone your legs and butt then do two of the weight training sessions focusing on lower body each week. On the other hand, if you’re looking to tone your upper body and build more muscle in your shoulders, chest, and back, do the upper body routine twice and lower body routine once each week.

 

Let’s look at the advanced workout plan for teens:

Monday: Perform 3 complete circuits of the following upper body weight lifting routine with no rest in between each exercise: bench presses: 10 repetitions, bent over barbell row: 10 repetitions, standing dumbbell shoulder press: 10 repetitions, standing barbell curl: 15 repetitions, lying triceps extension: 15 repetitions, pushups: 15 repetitions. Once you have completed the weight training circuits, do 30-45 minutes of intense cardio (i.e., treadmill, exercise bike, elliptical, etc.)

Tuesday: 5-10 mile bike ride

Wednesday: Perform 3 complete circuits of the following lower body weight lifting routine with no rest in between each exercise: squats: 15 repetitions, lying leg lifts: 20 repetitions, deadlift: 15 repetitions, lunges: 15 repetitions. Once you have completed the weight training circuits, do 30-45 minutes of intense cardio (i.e., treadmill, exercise bike, elliptical, etc.)

Thursday: rest

Friday: 1 hour of an intense cardiovascular activity you enjoy (i.e., basketball, swimming, biking, etc.)

Saturday: Perform 3 complete circuits of the following upper body weight lifting routine with no rest in between each exercise: bench presses: 10 repetitions, bent over barbell row: 10 repetitions, standing dumbbell shoulder press: 10 repetitions, standing barbell curl: 15 repetitions, lying triceps extension: 15 repetitions. Once you have completed the weight training circuits, do 30-45 minutes of intense cardio (i.e., treadmill, exercise bike, elliptical, etc.)

Sunday: walk or yoga

 

Exercise Plans for Teens: Increasing Lean Muscle and Strength

 

Strength training involves using free weights, machines, or your own body weight to increase muscle strength and endurance. It is the absolute best way to gain lean muscle and strength for both teens and adults. Proper form is key to avoiding injuries.

I’ve outlined two exercise plans for teens who want to build lean muscle: one for intermediates that requires no weights and one for more advanced teens that uses weights:

 

Intermediate Exercise Plans for Teens

Do the following workout 3 times per week. Pick 1-2 other days to do 30-60 minutes of cardio training. Do each of the following exercises one after the other, without resting in between. Once you’ve completed one circuit of all the exercises, do 1-2 more complete circuits each workout.

Prisoner Squat
Stand straight up with your arms behind your head. With your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart, lower your body down, using your thighs and keeping your lower back straight. Go as low as possible without allowing your back to round. Ideally, your thighs should be at least parallel to the floor. Push yourself back up to the starting position. Do 10-12 repetitions.

Wall Push-Up
Stand facing a wall with your feet about 2-3 feet back from it so your body is at an angle. Place your hands on the wall about shoulder-width apart. Bending only at the elbows, lower yourself forward toward the wall then push yourself away from it, squeezing your chest muscles as you get to the top. Aim for 12-15 repetitions.

Side Bridges
Lying on your side, prop yourself on your elbow and forearm. Raise your hip up off the floor to achieve a straight line from armpit to ankle, with only your elbow and side of foot touching the ground. Switch sides. Hold for as long as possible on each side.

Lunges
Stand in a split-stance (one leg forward, one leg back). Bend knees and lower body into a lunge position, keeping your back straight and the front knee and back knee at 90 degree angles. Keeping the weight in your heels, push back up to the starting position. Switch legs and repeat. Aim for 10 repetitions for each leg.

Bench Dips
Sit on the side edge of a flat bench or the front edge of a chair. Place your hands on the edge of the chair and grip the edge. To start with, your feet should be flat on the floor about two feet in front of you with your knees bent (when you get more advanced and comfortable with the movement you should raise your feet up onto another chair or bench). Move yourself off the chair so you are now supporting your body weight on your hands. Bend your arms, lowering your body and going down only as far as you feel comfortable then push back up, squeezing the triceps. Aim for 15 repetitions.

Supermans
Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs stretched out. Raise your arms and legs off the ground a few inches, holding for as long as possible.

Donkey Kick
Get down on your hands and knees and kick your right leg back and up as high as you can. Pull your knee back in to your chest. Repeat for the other leg. Aim for 10-15 repetitions per leg.

Burpees
Start in a standing position with feet close together. Squat down quickly then with your weight supported by your hands, thrust your feet backward so that you are in the traditional pushup position. Do a pushup and return to the up position. Immediately after the pushup, pull your feet up to your hands in one movement, and stand back up to the original position. Perform as many reps as possible to finish the circuit.

 

Advanced Exercise Plans for Teens

For more advanced athletes, strength training becomes extremely important to accomplishing your fitness goals. Your workouts will depend upon what your goals are. If you want to gain serious mass and get stronger, stay in the 5-7 rep range with the heaviest amount of weight you can handle. If you’re looking to gain lean muscle and become a little more cut then you should be doing reps in the 8-12 range with a moderate amount of weight. If you want to do some serious toning, stick to the 12-15 rep range with a lighter amount of weight. I’ve laid out an exercise plan for teens who want to increase lean muscle mass and lose weight. If you don’t know how to do any of these exercises, just Google it.

Monday: Chest/Back
1. Bench Press/Inverted Row: Perform 8-12 repetitions of bench presses then immediately do 10 repetitions of inverted rows (this is called a superset). Do 3 total sets.
2. Incline Dumbbell Press/Pullup superset: Perform 8-12 repetitions of incline dumbbell bench presses immediately followed by as many pull-ups as possible. Do 3 total sets.
3. Barbell Row/Pushup: Perform 8-12 repetitions of barbell rows then immediately drop down and do as many pushups as possible. Repeat 3 times.
4. Plank: Hold for 30 second and repeat 3 times.

Tuesday: Legs
1. Squats: Perform 8-12 reps and repeat for 3 total sets.
2. Lunges: Perform 8-12 reps with each leg and repeat 3 times.
3. Romanian Deadlift: Perform 8-12 reps and repeat for 3 total sets.
4. Prisoner Squat (no weight): Perform 20-25 reps and repeat 2 times.
5. Barbell roll out: Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

Wednesday: Shoulders/Arms
Perform 8-10 reps of the following exercises in a circuit, one after the other:

1. Standing Barbell Press
2. Standing Barbell Curl
3. Inverted Pushups
4. Standing Lateral Raise
5. Side Bridge (hold on each side for as long as possible)

Rest for 2 minutes, repeat the circuit one more time and then move on to the next circuit…perform 8-12 reps of each of the following, one after the other:

1. Sitting Dumbbell Press
2. Lying Triceps Extension
3. Barbell Shrug
4. Hammer Curl
5. Triceps Press Downs
6. Supermans (hold for as long as possible)

Repeat the circuit one more time and you’re done!

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Do 1 hour of your favorite cardio activity

Saturday: Start over with Monday’s Chest/Back routine

Sunday: Continue with Tuesday’s Legs routine

Do this routine for 4-6 weeks and you will start to see results!