Introduction to Strength Training for Teens

For a long time, there was a myth that strength training stunts a young child’s growth. We now know that’s false. Building strength when you’re young actually creates muscle memory and endurance for a solid fitness baseline.

Bellevue Club personal trainer Juliana Di Loreto shares a simple upper-body circuit to help youngsters build muscle and increase mobility. She suggests performing each exercise 12 to 15 times for three sets. 

01/07: Bicep curl to shoulder press

Start in an athletic standing stance, holding light dumbbells by the hips. Curl the arms, bringing hands to shoulders. Then, press the hands overhead. Be sure to completely straighten the arms. Return to the starting position.

02/07: Alternating Front Raise

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and choose dumbbells appropriate to your fitness levels. With a straight arm, raise your left hand to shoulder height out in front of you. Return to starting position and then raise your right arm. Alternate 12 to 15 times on each arm.

Alternating Front Raise

03/07: Row to kickback

Hinge at the hips and bend slightly through the knees while holding two light dumbbells with your arms extended toward the ground. Engaging through the back, shoulders and arms, draw the dumbbells toward your shoulders until you find a 90-degree bend in your elbows. Pause. Then straighten your arms, kicking the hands back. Return to the starting position.

04/07: Dumbbell chest fly

Grab a step or bench, and choose a light set of dumbbells. Lay flat on your back on the apparatus and bring your arms out straight away from your body in a T position. Push through the chest, and raise your hands overhead. Return to starting position.

05/07: Tricep Extension

Juliana Tricep Extension

Lay flat on a step or bench and hold a dumbbell of appropriate weight in your left hand. Begin with the elbow bent and the hand and dumbbells by your upper shoulder. Straighten the left arm toward the ceiling, engaging through the shoulder, back and core. Return to the starting position and repeat 12 to 15 times. Switch hands and repeat.

06/07: Shoulder Taps

From a plank position, shift your weight slightly to the left and tap your right hand to your left shoulder. Return to plank position. Shift your weight slightly to the right and tap your left hand to the right shoulder. Return. Alternate 12 to 15 times.

07/07: Plank Raises

Begin in an upper push-up position, with your shoulders over the wrists. Engaging through the core, lower to your elbows one arm at a time. Return to the starting position one arm at a time.

To train with Juliana, please email

Watch it instead

More Reflections

Continue reading Reflections and don’t forget to check back
every two weeks for more articles.

Bellevue Club


  • M-F:
  • SA:
  • SU:
  • 5 A.M. – 11 P.M.
  • 6 A.M. – 11 P.M.
  • 6 A.M. – 9 P.M.
11200 Southeast Sixth Street,
Bellevue, WA 98004