Skip to content

Teen Health

Font Size
A
A
A

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

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

"Claire" began her sophomore year in high school eager to make new friends and committed to doing well in her classes. Then, as winter approached and the days grew shorter, Claire noticed that she needed more sleep than usual. Even after sleeping more, she had no energy and felt fatigued, moody, and depressed. When she tried to write articles for the school paper, something that normally came easy for her, Claire had trouble concentrating. She started to miss deadlines. When it came time to print...

Read the Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) 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
Article
mini cupcakes
fitSlideshow
 
teen couple
ARTICLE
Teenage Couple standing in a fairground laughing
Article
 
Sugary drinks
fitSlideshow
teen wearing toning shoes
fitSlideshow
 
young woman texting
Article
teen boy holding a condom
ARTICLE
 
Teen girls eating ice cream
fitQUIZ
teen sleeping
fitARTICLE
 
couple kissing
SLIDESHOW
Taylor Swift
fitSLIDESHOW