At first glance kettlebell training may not seem appropriate for teenagers, but upon closer examination, there can be a case made for several points of view. Kettlebell training is without a doubt, one of the most demanding, heart-pounding, and fastest results workout programs you can find today. There is no question that kettlebells can deliver great results in short amounts of time, and are one of the best ever workouts for all around physical conditioning. But the question remains, are they the right vehicle for intense fitness training for teens?
A case against could include several factors. Most teens, before they reach eighteen have not reached their full height and musculature. This could present some problems if the teen was to engage in heavy, low rep kettlebell training. While the cardio aspect would be fine, the possibility of injury to still developing joints, muscles and tendons could be magnified.
A case for might include the facts that this type of training can accentuate the muscular coordination, control, endurance and tone as perhaps no other exercise program can do. Kettlebell training will fight the obesity epidemic rampant among the younger generations, by the very nature of the exercise. Of course, building a strong base for future strength building would be a plus as well. Kettlebell training can provide that in spades, as it is a total body conditioning program.
Perhaps the most sensible approach to this question is to take this on a case by case basis. No two of us are ever exactly alike, so a blanket statement about the efficacy of kettlebell training for teens might not be useful. Instead, let's examine a handful of things to consider when making this decision, and have each individual go from there.
Has growth slowed or stopped in the last six months to a year? What is the overall condition of the teen like? Has he or she engaged in any type of intense training before, or any heavy lifting? Do they have the will or the interest to take on this type of extreme exercise? Are there any physical issues that might play into an individual's success or failure with kettlebells, such as a weak knees, shoulder problems, or something similar to these. While kettlebells can be used to strengthen areas where we lack strength, a condition which limits the ability of the body to work well in concert in an activity such as this would be a detriment. (For example, trying to perform a clean and press with a bad knee) You would not only put your safety in jeopardy, but develop a host of poor technique as well, thus affecting your future success.
In summary, use some common sense and apply it liberally to the individual in question before embarking upon this or any exercise program. You wouldn't try and train for the triathlon without first learning to swim, run and ride: don't make the same mistake with kettlebell training for teens.