My son is 12yrs old. At what age would you recommend some or any type of weight training for youths. Are their age appropriate exercise programs. Not sure at what age it's ok to introduce some kind of program.
Our team goes to the gym once a week, but we concentrate on interval training, core strength and endurance. Go and see your doctor and ask him what kind of program he thinks would be appropriate for your son.
Go old school. I have an 8 year old. I started him out doing 10 push-ups and 10 sit-ups. He nows does 20 push-ups, then 40 sit-ups, then 20 more push-ups. We are lucky we live in South Florida so we go out side almost everyday and play catch (maybe 15 mins). A couple times a week we add some long toss. We play a game called 21. For those who don't know you throw the ball, the other person catches the ball and holds the glove still. If the ball would have hit the person in the chest it is worth one point, if the ball would have hit the persons head it is worth two. First player to 21 wins. It is a fun way to get some throwing in while having fun and teaching accuracy. Here is a quote I heard Tom House say, "kids pitch too much and don't throw enough."
He said throwing off flat ground was ok. It is when they get on a mound that the problems can occure.
P.S. My 8 year old is 80 pounds pretty solid, and the other night one hopped the fence (200ft) three times, and hit rockets through the infield. So I feel the push-ups and sit-ups are working.
I give lessons to both softball and baseball players, and I get asked this frequently. My own opinion ( gleaned from sources I've read and other trainers I've spoken with) is that for a girl, the earliest she should hit the weights is age 15. Because of physical maturation of the body, I would suggest 15 or 16 for boys, (depending on maturation) but make sure you CONSTANTLY guard against harmful supplements. Young/teen boys have a tendency to want to overdo it on the weights, bulk up, and don't understand the long-term effects of supplements (both legal and illegal).
I have a tendency to work with running and very sport-specific exercises (agilities, tee work, sprints, etc.) for my early teen and younger students.
If your 12-year old were my student, we would work on sport-specific training only (including sprints), talk about nutrition, the importance of stretching (both dynamic and static) and the mental aspects of the game as well.
Bands, Medicine balls and body weight workouts will work fine. I am 26 and played pro ball for three years. Much of the offseason program consists of body weight workouts (squats, pushups abs) and medicine ball work. If you want any ideas let me know.
This is one of the biggest myths known to man. Weight lifting do not stunt or hurt a kid growth. This is absolutely false. If this was true, you would never grow. The human body requires strength training to grow and be functional. You lift your body weight every day of your life. You really believe that your body can tell the different between 5 pounds of your body weight and a 5 pound dumbbell. What’s heavier, a 5 pound bag of sugar or a 5 pound dumbbell? They are both 5 pounds.
The main reason that kids “stunt their growth” is because of physical injuries to their growth plates, period. This can happen from anything. The reason that this occur doing weight lifting so much is because kids are trying to lift more than their body is capable of and it results into injuries to one or more of the growth plates. Most kid’s growth plates under the age of 16 have not completed the growth process. If they are damaged, this can interfere with the kids growing process. No kid under the age of 16, male or female should be doing overload lifting, power lifting, Olympic lifting or any other lifting of weight that they cannot do at least a minimum of 10 repetitions.
Age 12 is okay, start with repetitions of at least 33 is recommended. This will be very light weight. This will allow you to work on his proper weight lifting techniques and teach him the safety of weight lifting. Most important, go at your son own pace. Do not overdue it. Rest days are just as important if not more important as the workout days.
As a long time youth instructor and former professional player I've spent a lot of time debating this subject in my mind. What's good / bad, safe / unsafe. All the different types of workouts available kind of make it difficult to know what is right for your son. I know with my own son we have really focused on workouts which do not require you to add any additional weight. I have a new web site, gtdpitching.com, and have started posting some of the stuff I've used and have seen make a difference. Go check out the web site and look under tips and lessons. Everything there is recent, and i believe very effective. Let me know what you think, I'm always open to feedback.