- How to find gyms for teenagers
- 11 gyms that allow teens
- Benefits of gyms that allow kids under 18
- Safety guidelines for bringing kids to gyms
- Training advice for teens
- Take action
As childhood obesity is a serious problem in the United States, and not only, it’s more important than ever to guide kids and teens into doing physical activity, like working out at a gym located near their home.
About 1 in 5 American children aged 2-19 years were suffering from obesity in 2018, according to CDC data. Of all the kids, the most affected were the teenagers, since 21.2% among 12- to 19-year-olds were obese.
Worldwide, over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese in 2016, according to WHO data.
Multiple causes determine obesity, from eating too many calories to drinking soft drinks full of sugar. One of the most interesting causes was the decline of physical activity around the world, childhood obesity research claims.
Therefore, a very important step toward making your children healthier is to register them to a gym that allows kids under 18 or at least teenagers.
Better yet, use this opportunity to start exercising as well and improve your shape while spending quality family time.
And if you don’t know which gyms are fit your teens and are also located near you, don’t sweat. We gathered all the official age restrictions imposed by the largest gyms on the market.
How to find gyms that allow teenagers
The straightforward way of finding which gyms allow teenagers is to call your local gyms or check their websites.
However, this process can take a fair amount of time, so we investigated the age requirements set by the top gyms in the industry.
Therefore, checking our list of kid-friendly gyms is the easiest way to find a fitness club that allows teens (kids aged between 13 and 19 years) to work out.
Gyms that allow teens (kids under 18)
Most of the largest gyms allow teens to work out inside their facilities but only if certain requirements are met, like the need for parents to sign a waiver or to supervise their kids.
Here is a list of the best gyms that allow teenagers or kids under 18, and their age limits:
- Planet Fitness: age 13-14 accompanied by a parent; age 15-17 access without a parent.
- Anytime Fitness: age limit depends solely on state law.
- 24 Hour Fitness: age 12-17 access without a parent.
- Gold’s Gym: age 12-15 accompanied by an adult; age 16-17 access without a parent.
- Crunch Fitness: age 14-17 accompanied by an adult and limited access.
- LA Fitness: age 13-15 accompanied by a parent; age 16-17 access without a parent.
- Life Time Fitness: age 13-17 access without a parent.
- Equinox: age 15-17 accompanied by a parent.
- YMCA: age 13-14 access without a parent after initiation; age 15-17 full access.
- Snap Fitness: age 12-15 accompanied by a parent; age 16-17 access without a parent.
- YouFit: age 13-15 accompanied by a parent; age 16-17 access without a parent.
The best gyms for teens who want to work out without being required to bring a parent with them are 24 Hour Fitness and Life Time Fitness due to their permissive policies.
Disclaimer: note that age restrictions and rules may vary by location, so make sure to double-check with the staff at your gym of choice about age limits before getting a membership.
1. Planet Fitness
If you want to work out at Planet Fitness, you need to be at least 13 years old. Since this is their minimum age requirement, all teenagers can get a membership at Planet Fitness.
However, PF states that kids aged between 13 and 17 years must join alongside a parent or guardian. The latter must sign two papers that will enable the minor to use the gym:
- Membership agreement;
- Legal waiver.
Also, it’s important to know that Planet Fitness insists that kids aged 13 and 14 must be supervised at all times by a parent or guardian. Moreover, the parents need to be members of Planet Fitness or the Black Card guests of the minor member.
Note: anyone with a Black Card membership at Planet Fitness can bring a guest, even if they are a minor.
If you have kids that are 12 years old or younger, you can't get them to work out at Planet Fitness. PF clubs won’t allow them in and they don’t provide child care services.
Planet Fitness memberships cost as low as $10 per month, which is very convenient both for adults and teens.
Is Planet Fitness located near you? If you are living in the US, you have high odds of finding a Planet Fitness gym near you. They have clubs located in the majority of the American states.
2. Anytime Fitness
Anytime Fitness hasn’t got any set age limits besides the ones imposed by the law. These depend on the state or country you live in. Therefore, before bringing a teenager to an Anytime gym, check the age policy at your club of choice.
However, note that Anytime Fitness gyms do not offer child care or daycare. So, if you wish to work out alongside your children, it is necessary to register them as members.
Anytime Fitnessmemberships cost as little as $36/month, making it a decent dealfor both adults and teens.
Is Anytime Fitness located near you? If you live in the United States, you have a good chance of finding an Anytime Fitness gym near you. Anytime has locations in almost every state.
3. 24 Hour Fitness
24 Hour Fitness gyms have loose age requirements since they accept teenagers from 12 to 17 years without the need for them to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
However, parents and guardians must sign a financial guaranty and a membership agreement before their kids can work out.
Regarding kids under 12 years old, they may not utilize 24 Hour amenities during any hour. Moreover, they must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times while inside the facilities.
These interdictions change if the child is enrolled in Kids' Club or participating in a 24 Hour approved youth program.
24 Hour Fitness memberships start at $37 per month, making it a good price for adults and teenagers alike.
Is 24 Hour Fitness located near you? You can find 24 Hour Fitness gyms in no less than 8 American states:
- California (San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego);
- Oregon (Portland);
- Washington (Seattle);
- Colorado (Denver);
- Texas (Dallas, Austin, Houston);
- Florida (Miami, Orlando);
- New Jersey.
4. Gold’s Gym
Gold’s Gym fitness clubs accept teens since anyone at least 12 years of age can get a membership. However, children under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult.
Gold’s Gym clients can get a membership for around $25 per month. Therefore, adults and kids can get fit without spending too much.
Is Gold's Gym located near you? You can find Gold's Gym fitness clubs in about half of the US.
5. Crunch Fitness
For teens between 14 and 17 years of age to work out in a Crunch Fitness gym, they need to obtain the consent of their parent or guardian and to sign a membership agreement.
However, teens won’t be able to access the weight training areas and the group classes that include resistance training. This is unless a personal trainer closely supervises the teens.
Also, a parent or a guardian with a Crunch Fitness membership must be present around the teenager at all times.
Crunch Fitness memberships are some of the most affordable because they get as low as $10/month.
Is Crunch Fitness located near you? Crunch gyms may be found all across the United States, making it easy for nearly anyone to discover one.
6. LA Fitness
LA Fitness accepts teenagers that are at least 13 years old if they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. In the case of teenagers that have met 16 years of age, they can work out without adult supervision.
However, all kids under 18 years are required to have their parents or guardians sign a waiver of liability before joining an LA Fitness gym.
A great advantage of joining LA Fitness is that many of their clubs have basketball courts, which can help your kids or teenagers improve their shooting and dribbling skills.
You can get a monthly membership at LA Fitness for as low as $30 per month.
Is LA Fitness located near you? LA Fitness facilities can be found in 22 states across the United States, with the majority of them in California, Texas, and Florida.
7. Life Time Fitness
Life Time Fitness has very specific rules for kids and teenagers joining their gyms.
Kids of 12 years old and teens of at least 13 years old are allowed to use the fitness floor and free weight area. Kids aged 11 need a parent or legal guardian to use the fitness zone.
Life Time Fitness also gives you the option to add a caregiver that is at least 18 years old to your membership. You can do this if you have a kid under 14 years old eligible for Life Time Kids Academy or Life Time’s child center.
Also, you should know that Life Time gyms also have basketball courts and a variety of activities for children available.
A monthly membership at Life Time Fitness, on the other hand, can be fairly expensive, as it starts at $90 and varies based on the gym's location.
Is Life Time Fitness located near you? You have a high chance of finding a Life Time Fitness gym near you because they are located in 30 American states and Canada.
Equinox fitness clubs only allow teenagers at least 15 years of age to work out inside their facilities, unless they are participating in children-specific activities.
According to Equinox’s member policy, parents and legal guardians are required to sign a waiver and release form on behalf of their kids if the teens want to take part in programs dedicated to children.
Moreover, note that kids must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at all times while in an Equinox gym.
Equinox Fitness has the most expensive monthly membership of any of the gyms on this list of teen-friendly gyms: $210.
However, if you join an Equinox gym you have the added benefit of having basketball courts available. You can use these when you and your kids feel in the mood to throw some balls in the hoop.
Is Equinox located near you? You can find gyms owned by Equinox in Illinois (Chicago), Massachusetts (Boston), Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, California, Texas, Washington DC, Canada, and England (London).
Since YMCA clubs tend to have different facilities in every location, you may find contrasting policies regarding kids under 18, and respectively, teenagers.
However, as an example, take a look at the Northern Colorado YMCA’s age restrictions:
- Cardio and weight rooms age limit
- Kids that are 8 to 10 years old have access only to cardio equipment and need to be within an arm’s length of an adult;
- Kids of 11 or 12 years have access to cardio equipment and machines only with adult supervision after they got into the different machines;
- Teenagers of 13 and 14 years of age have full access after they get initiated by a staff member;
- Teenagers 15 years or older have full access.
- Group exercise studio age limit
- Kids of 8-10 years are free to participate in classes that do not require weights or equipment, and only with adult supervision;
- Kids that are 11 or 12 years old can participate in any classes with supervision;
- Teenagers 13 years or older have full access.
- Cycling studio age limit
- There is no imposed age requirement for teenagers or kids to participate in cycling classes. However, YMCA states that all participants must be of appropriate height to use the bike safely.
- Pilates studio
- Teenagers 17 years and younger don’t have access to Pilates classes unless they are approved by the gym’s fitness director.
The price of a YMCA membership varies greatly depending on location and perks. The monthly rate at their Arapahoe fitness center, for example, starts at $70, but it's only $35 in Johnstown.
Is YMCA located near you? There are about 2600 YMCAs in the United States, with severalmore around the world.
10. Snap Fitness
Snap Fitness gyms are great for teens since they allow kids as young as 12 years old to work out.
However, kids aged between 12 and 16 years can train only with a parent or a guardian by their side. Teenagers that are 16 or 17 years old can work out on their own, but they need to be added to a parent’s membership.
In addition, all kids under 18 years, including teenagers, need to have a waiver form signed to use Snap Fitness facilities.
A Snap Fitness monthly membership costs $37, depending on the gym's location.
Is Snap Fitness located near you? Snap gyms can be found in the majority of American states, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Turkey, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico.
As they allow kids as young as 13 to work out inside their facilities, YouFit gyms are a great option for teenagers.
However, kids aged between 13 and 15 years must have a parent or guardian to accompany them while teens aged 16 or 17 only need signatures from them during the registration process.
It's a good deal to join YouFit both for adults and teenagers because their memberships start at $10/month.
Is YouFit located near you? If you live in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, or Virginia, you are likely to find a YouFit gym.
Benefits of joining gyms that allow kids under 18
1. Healthier and happier kids
Being obese as a kid or teenager has many downsides that could impact the rest of the lives of those affected. Fortunately, joining a gym and sticking to a workout schedule can bring enormous benefits.
Scientific research on the consequences of childhood obesity claims that excess body fat can deeply affect children’s physical health, social life, emotional well-being, and self-esteem.
Besides this, obesity harms academic performance and damages health, as excessive weight was associated with many types of disorders, including cardiovascular, orthopedic, and neurological ones.
2. Get fitter
One of the perks of introducing kids to fitness clubs is that parents get motivated to hit the gym more often.
Some of the parents will start working out because some gyms require adults to supervise their teenagers while other parents will simply get so happy for their children’s results that they will want to improve their physical shape as well.
And for parents who don’t want to get involved with weights or cardio machines, they can join gyms that also have swimming pools. Here is a list of the best gyms with pools you will likely find near you.
3. Strengthen relationship with kids
Another great advantage for adults joining a gym alongside their teens is that they can strengthen their parent-kid relationship.
The act of parents and their children working out side by side can be especially beneficial for parents whose work schedules don’t allow them to enjoy quality time with their families too often.
A study on the importance of play in raising healthy children said that playing sports together is one of the best family interactions.
Safety guidelines for bringing kids to gyms
Doing the wrong kind of physical activity can be dangerous to kids’ health because during childhood many parts of their bodies are still in development.
To keep your kids or teenagers as safe as possible during gym workouts, follow the next safety guidelines.
1. Medical clearance
It’s always a good idea to ask a doctor about whether your teenager can work out at a gym and if there are any exercises he should be avoiding. For example, if a kid has some knee issues, he may be advised to avoid squatting.
2. Visit the gym before getting a membership
To ensure your kids work out in safe conditions, schedule a tour of the gym you want to join before buying a membership.
This way, your teenager can learn: the basic instructions from the staff, how to use the available equipment, the proper gym etiquette, the possible dangers, and you, as an adult, can get relieved of some worries concerning your children’s safety.
The tour is also a good opportunity to find out about the experience of the supervising trainers, fitness classes tailored for teens, and also ask for any discounts offered for families.
3. Clarify the check-in and check-out procedures
Gyms usually have special requirements for kids and teenagers to meet both when signing in for membership and when they come to work out.
Therefore, you want to be fully aware of these requirements before joining a gym because you don’t want to end up with your teenager breaking the rules or you forgetting about them.
Training advice for teens starting to work out
Before going to work out in a gym, teenagers should know what their goals are and have a plan of achieving them. To do this, you can use our guide on how to set and achieve your fitness goals.
Here are a few pieces of basic gym advice all teenagers should apply:
- Get training knowledge only from reputable sources, like health websites (see our fitness and nutrition section), books, scientific studies, or certified personal trainers;
- Build a workout routine that hits all muscles in the body;
- Focus on form rather than how much you can lift;
- Eat with your goal in mind;
- Get enough sleep;
- Don't prioritize working out over school or exams.
Frequently asked questions about gyms that allow teenagers
How old do you have to be to get a gym membership?
Most of the best gyms allow kids as young as 12 or 13 years old to get a membership. However, you can find kid-only gyms, like The Little Gym, that let even younger children work out around less-daunting equipment.
Taking your kid to a gym that allows teenagers can not only significantly improve their overall life quality but also yours as a parent by motivating you to work out and improving the relationship with your children.
Therefore, all you have to do now is to pick a fitness brand from our list of the best gyms that allow teens (kids under 18), go through every step in the safety guidelines, and start working out alongside your kids. You will both be glad you did this.
And if you want to pick a gym that also has certain facilities, like a sauna or a pool, check our other gym amenity guides:
- Gyms with pools, saunas, and steam rooms;
- Best gyms with showers;
- Gyms with tanning.
- Gyms with pools, saunas, and steam rooms
- Gyms with showers
- Gyms with tanning beds
Age requirement guides:
- Gyms that allow teens