A workout to tone the body for boys helps increase lean muscle tissue while reducing body fat. Boys generally get excited by physical activities and respond well to challenging exercises. But, boys also tend to have more attention span problems than girls. Toning workouts that focus on achieving one or two small goals for each session can present a fun challenge that helps keep a boy's attention. Toning workouts for boys include a variety of activities that increase strength and enhance cardiorespiratory endurance.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends strength training at least three days a week for boys. Strength training tones the body by increasing lean muscle tissue. Children and teens benefit from strength training workouts as long as they are emotionally mature and can follow directions. Toning workouts that involve moving objects, such as weights, are appropriate for boys, because a larger portion of a boy's cerebral cortex is devoted to special-mechanical functioning than in girls. Spatial-mechanical functioning is what makes boys want to move objects through the air, according to William McBride, Ph.D.
Strength Exercises and Scheduling
Avoid strength training on consecutive days, and finish each workout within 40 minutes. Target two or three muscle groups during each workout session. For example, a workout to tone the body for boys might target leg muscles one day, chest and back muscles on a separate day and arm and shoulder muscles on a third day. Perform two or three exercises for each muscle group. Start with bodyweight exercises, such as situps, pushups and pullups. Then progress to basic weightlifting exercises, such as bench presses, lat pulldowns and squats.
Weight training should form only part of a boy’s toning workout regimen. Toning workouts for boys include aerobic activity, which helps reduce body fat and enhance muscle tone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend vigorous aerobic activity, such as jumping rope, running, cycling or swimming, at least three days per week for boys. Boys should perform 30 to 60 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity on non-lifting days. A toning workout for boys on strength training days may also start with 15 to 20 minutes of light aerobic activity, such as a brisk walk or jog.
Safety and Location Considerations
Adult supervision is a critical element of keeping boys safe during workouts. Boys test their manhood with risky activities and tend to overestimate their abilities. A fitness trainer or coach with experience in youth training can provide a reality check that helps boys workout safely. Boys also respond better to visual information, and instructors can give visual demonstrations of proper workout techniques. Particular workout locations and environments might appeal more to boys. According to Anita Sethi, Ph.D., young boys prefer looking at groups of faces. Therefore, working out around others at locations, such as school gyms and health clubs, might be more appealing than working out at home.
- Center for Recruitment and Retention of Mathematics Teachers; Girls Will Be Girls and Boys Will Be Boys; William McBride, Ph.D.
- ACSM.org: Youth Strength Training
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; How Much Physical Activity Do Children Need?
- TeensHealth: Strength Training
- Parenting.com; The Real Difference Between Boys and Girls; Anita Sethi, Ph.D