The Benefits of Weight Training for Teen Girls
When girls lift weights, the benefits are worth the work.
"Strength training and weightlifting are great for teens," Rowley says. "Not only will this type of exercise build strength and improve overall health, but it will also develop self-discipline, increase self-esteem, improve self-confidence and foster a healthy self-image."
Lifting weights can also complement sports that teen girls are already participating in. It can help build back and shoulder strength for a stronger spike in volleyball, build a solid core that will aid cross country runners and even help with hand-eye coordination, which is important in several sports.
Keeping Teen Girls Safe Around Weights
In its last report, the CIRP found that boys and girls aged 13 to 24 years old sustained the largest proportion (47 percent) of weight training-related injuries that lead to emergency rooms visits. Much of this can be attributed to the increase in the popularity of lifting weights among teens.
Many of these injuries were sprains and strains, which can be avoided with proper training and technique.
"The most important thing to watch for is that they learn and use proper weightlifting form and techniques from day one," Rowley says. "It would be wise to utilize a trainer or coach for a while until proper form is learned."
Because teen girls are still growing, these sprains and strains can be due to their developing bones, tendons and ligaments. Rowley adds that weightlifting, however, can help build the right muscular foundation—if done correctly. Starting with body weight exercises and then progressing to light weights with high repetitions can help reduce the chance of injury and ensure that teens are starting out in the safest way possible.