Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Teen Health

Font Size

Build Muscle With Strengthening Exercises

You run, walk, and ride your bike to keep your heart and lungs in good shape. You stretch your muscles and do yoga to stay limber and flexible. But are you also doing regular strengthening exercises?

Strengthening or resistance exercises help keep your muscles that support your back, abdomen, knees, chest, shoulders, neck, and wrists strong and less likely to get injured. Strong muscles mean greater endurance and energy, a faster metabolism (which burns more calories), and better posture.

Recommended Related to Teens

Weight Lifting and Strength Training Tips for Teens

"I want to lift weights to be stronger," says "Ella" (not her real name), 17. "But I don't want to look like a football player!" "Hey, I do want to look like a football player," says "Josh," 14. "I'm going out for the team next year and need to bulk up." There are good reasons, although they are different for Ella and Josh, why both teens should do strength training: it builds muscle strength, tones the body, builds endurance, develops stronger bones and even promotes weight loss. But they need...

Read the Weight Lifting and Strength Training Tips for Teens article > >

What Are Strengthening Exercises?

Strengthening exercises work muscles as they move against resistance. This resistance can come from workout machines, free weights or barbells, elastic bands, water, stairs, hills, cans of vegetables from the pantry -- even your own body weight as you do a pushup.

For example, walking on a treadmill (which is aerobic exercise) becomes strengthening as you raise the incline of the treadmill.

Benefits of Strengthening Exercises

Just as aerobic exercise keeps your heart in peak condition, regular strengthening exercises help keep your other muscles strong and healthy.

For example, your lower back and abdominal muscles stabilize the spine, allow proper spinal movement, and help with posture. 

Strengthening hip and leg muscles is also important, so you can safely lift objects from the floor using your leg muscles rather than those in your back.

Strengthening exercises also build muscle mass. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn all day.

Strengthening exercises lower blood pressure and help cholesterol levels, and help make your bones stronger.

Today on WebMD

unhappy teen couple
mini cupcakes
teen couple
girl running with vigor
Sugary drinks
teen wearing toning shoes
young woman texting
teen boy holding a condom
Teen girls eating ice cream
teen sleeping
couple kissing
Taylor Swift