Is it okay for kids ages 12-15 to lift weights?
Yes it is.
Some of the benefits of strength training include:
– Improvement of physical strength, and athletic ability
– Improvement of performance on the basketball court
– Improvement of your self-confidence
– Reduction of the risk of injury
– Development of the habit of self-discipline
Now strength training is beneficial for young basketball players, but I believe that it is best to begin with body-weight training.
Look, if you can't lift your own body-weight then you have no business pumping iron in the gym.
Can you do 100 push-ups? Can you do 100 sit-ups? Can you do 100 squats?
Young basketball players should start building physical strength by engaging in a daily body-weight exercise routine. Begin with 100 push-ups, followed by 100 squats, and finish with 100 sit-ups.
Obviously if you haven't been working out, you won't be able to do 100 reps of any of those exercises in one set; so I recommend you do multiple sets until you reach 100.
So for example, if you can't do 100 push-ups straight, you can do 2 sets of 50 or 4 sets of 25. The goal is to be able to do 100 of each exercise, so each day you need to push yourself to do more reps on each set than you did the day before. The end goal is to do 100 push-ups, 100 squats, and 100 sit-ups straight.
Once you can do 100, 100, and 100 of each exercise, then you're ready to do some weight training.
Strength Training Tips
So, if you can comfortably lift your own body-weight then you can do weight training in order to challenge your muscles. You want to increase your upper, lower, and core strength.
That means, you need to engage in upper body exercises such as, bench press, bent-over rows, low incline bench press, overhead shoulder press, and bicep curls to name a few. You need to engage in lower body exercises such as, leg press, barbell squats, dead lift, dumbbell lunges, and leg curls to name a few. For core exercises you can do, weighted sit-ups, abdominal machine, plank, and jack-knife sit-ups.
All of the exercises I mentioned can be beneficial, but you need to have a workout plan associated with each muscle group so that you know what exercises to do on what day, and how many reps and sets need to be completed.
Those exercises will also help you increase your vertical jump which is something you should be focused on if you're serious about the game of basketball.