Abdominal Exercises for Teenagers

Abdominal Exercises for Teenagers

Today we’re looking at something for the young ones: Abdominal Exercises for Teenagers.

Teenagers are a population group that not only can train, they should do so too!

Physical exercise is healthy at any age, including for children and teenagers, we just have to bear a few things in mind in terms of developing the body safely.

How should teenagers train?

Teenagers don’t have to train too differently from adults – their muscles are the same.

Teenagers Training

In 2009, the NSCA published its position on the issue.

Its general recommendations for exercise are summarised here:

  • Provide the teenager with instructions and supervision from a qualified professional.
  • Ensure a safe and risk-free training environment.
  • Start each training session with a dynamic warm-up period of 5 to 10 minutes duration.
  • Cool down with less intense calisthenics and static stretching.
  • Attend to individual needs and the specific characteristics of each session.
  • Used individualised training logs to monitor progress.
  • Renew the training programme and challenge yourself by systematically varying the training programme.
  • Optimise performance and recovery with healthy nutrition, proper hydration and adequate rest.
  • Supporting and congratulating the teenager (coach and parents) will help maintain interest.

Exercises at Home

Because of lockdowns, home training has grown in importance in 2020, with many people having seen their options for body development limited.

It’s easy to keep up with your core muscle work by performing a material-free teen sit-up routine.

It’s still advisable to have at least one stiff floor mat to prevent the joints from acting as pressure points against the rigid floor, which can cause discomfort. Have a look at Exercises for Working Out at Home.

Cardiovascular exercise

Cardiovascular exercise is that which aims to improve cardiorespiratory capacity and can be determined by factors such as:

  • Decrease in resting HR.
  • Increase in HR at rest.
  • Increase in maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max).
  • Increase in MAP and MAPV.
  • Peripheral angiogenesis.
  • Increased metabolic efficiency (oxidation of substrates).
  • Technical improvement and increased motor efficiency.

Cardiovascular Exercices

And many other features of interest to teenagers.

According to WHO recommendations, children and adolescents should perform at least 60 minutes of physical exercise every day at moderate (5-6 out of 10) or vigorous (7-8 out of 10) intensity, preferably through games and recreational activities.

Activities so unusual nowadays are the best practices to achieve these recommendations, such as:

  • Playing a game of football with a group of friends;
  • Playing a game of cops and robbers; or
  • Going out with the bike on a mountain route.
Adolescents who compete or are specifically training to compete in an endurance sport must perform cardiovascular exercise according to the determining characteristics of the sport in question.

Strength Training

The recommendations specific to the NSCA for training in adolescents are:

  • Start with relatively light weights and always focus on the correct technical execution of the exercises.
  • Perform 1 to 3 sets of 6 to 15 repetitions of a variety of upper and lower body strength exercises.
  • Include specific exercises that improve the core.
  • Focus on symmetrical muscle development and proper balance of the muscles acting on the joints.
  • Perform 1 to 3 sets of 3 to 6 repetitions of a variety of upper and lower body power exercises.
  • Progress slowly through the training programme according to needs, goals and abilities.
  • Increase the load gradually (5-10%)as strength increases.
  • Start the strength training programme 2 or 3 times a week, on non-consecutive days.

The WHO recommendation is to focus on the development of large muscle groups, as well as the core.

Strength Training

Preferably by performing global (multi-joint) exercises.

Everything you need to know about Strength Training for Teenagers in this link.

Abs Routine for Teenagers

In accordance with the recommendations of the most prestigious international bodies, we propose the following abdominal routine:

Exercise 1. Abdominal Plank

Abdominal Plank


  • Execution: Supporting the entire surface of the forearms and toes on the ground.
The teenager maintains an aligned position (head-hip-feet), voluntarily contracting the abdomen.
  • How much? 3 sets of 20 seconds.

Exercise 2. Abdominal crunch

Abdominal crunch

Abdominal crunch.

  • Execution: Lying on a mat in the supine position (face up), the teenager contracts their abdomen to perform a flexion movement of the spine until reaching about 40° of flexion between the floor and the dorsal region of the spine..
It’s important not to climb any higher to maintain good spinal health.
  • How much? 4 sets of 15 repetitions.

Exercise 3. Lying down Leg Raise

Leg Raise

  • Execution: Lying on a mat in the supine position (face up), the teenager raises their legs to 90° with the torso.
During execution, attention should be paid to avoid lumbar hyperextension.
  • How much? 3 sets of 8 repetitions.

Exercise 4. Dorsolumber extension on the floor

 Dorsolumber extension

Dorsolumber extension.

  • Execution: Lying on a mat in the supine position (face up), the teenager aims to separate the torso from the ground without giving up the lying position
It should not be raised more than 40-50° to maintain good spinal health.
  • How much? 2 sets of 10 repetitions.

Exercise 5. Hollow Block

Hollow Block

Hollow Block.

  • Execution: Lying on a mat in the supine position (face up), the teenager flexes their hips and knees to 90°.
Maintain this grouped position.
  • How much? 3 sets of 40 seconds.

Don’t forget the importance of good nutrition to further improve health!

Bibliographic References

  1. Faigenbaum, A. D., Kraemer, W. J., Blimkie, C. J. R., Jeffreys, I., Micheli, L. J., Nitka, M., & Rowland, T. W. (2009). Youth resistance training: updated position statement paper from the national strength and conditioning association. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research / National Strength & Conditioning Association, 23(5 Suppl), S60-79.
  2. World Health Organization. (2010). Global recommendations on physical activity for health. Recuperado de https://apps.who.int/iris/rest/bitstreams/52834/retrieve.

Related Entries

  • 17 Best Ideas to Strengthen Abs. Visit this link.
  • The Best Suspension Training Exercises. Click here.
Review of Abdominal Exercises for Teenagers

Include cardiovascular exercises - 100%

Include strength training - 100%

Recommendations - 100%

Training routine - 100%


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About Alfredo Valdés
Alfredo Valdés
He is a specialist in metabolic physiopathology training and in the biomolecular effects of food and physical exercise.
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