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Old 03-02-2007, 05:46 PM   #1
Akif
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Default 12 year old wants hops

Hey guys, I've been reading this forum the whole day, this place rocks! I've especially read nexus's posts about how plyometrics can stunt my growth because of how intense it is. Well I'm 12 years old, I'm pretty lost on how tall I am but I'm the 2nd highest jumper in the school (I'm still in elementary, grade 6) and I want to be 1st. I'm also the fastest runner in the school. I've read how good depth jumps and lateral box jumps are but I don't know if they stunt growth or not. Can someone put up all the recommended exercises I can do that won't stunt my growth?

Once the snow is gone in Canada, I'm gonna sprint around the park and up hills if I see any, I've read that sprints are good to increase strength without stunting growth and it doesn't utilize any equipment. I assume this will help my vert a bit.

Every 2nd day or so, I warm up (skip on the spot, jumping jacks, jog on the spot) for about 30 seconds, stretch my legs, arms, waist and such. And after stretching, I do push-ups. I started with 5 sets, 5 on the first, 6 on 2nd, 7 on 3rd, etc and I'm moving up by 1 push-up each set every day so next day I'll start with 6. Will push-ups help me in anything? Thanks for all your help! btw, I'm brown :)

Pushups + sprints + stretches = success for me?

edit: I'm also trying to work on my shot. I've almost got the form down but I have no idea what to do with my off-hand. I know what to do with it (hold the ball) but I don't know what I should do when I'm releasing the ball with my right hand (I'm right-handed) I've tried flicking it up along with my shooting hand which is what most NBA players do and I've tried not moving it at all and simply shooting with my right. Advice?

P.S: I don't want to do any weights and I don't have any equipment nor access to a gym. Also, I'm not looking for a 'program' or some sort. Only a list of plyometric exercises that will help add a bit to my vert and will not stunt my growth.

Last edited by Akif : 03-02-2007 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 03-02-2007, 07:40 PM   #2
tpcslj47
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Default Re: 12 year old wants hops

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akif
Hey guys, I've been reading this forum the whole day, this place rocks! I've especially read nexus's posts about how plyometrics can stunt my growth because of how intense it is. Well I'm 12 years old, I'm pretty lost on how tall I am but I'm the 2nd highest jumper in the school (I'm still in elementary, grade 6) and I want to be 1st. I'm also the fastest runner in the school. I've read how good depth jumps and lateral box jumps are but I don't know if they stunt growth or not. Can someone put up all the recommended exercises I can do that won't stunt my growth? Also, every 2nd day or so, I warm up (skip on the spot, jumping jacks, jog on the spot) for about 30 seconds, stretch my legs, arms, waist and such. And after stretching, I do push-ups. I started with 5 sets, 5 on the first, 6 on 2nd, 7 on 3rd, etc and I'm moving up by 1 push-up each set every day so next day I'll start with 6. Will push-ups help me in anything? Thanks for all your help! btw, I'm brown :)

edit: I'm also trying to work on my shot. I've almost got the form down but I have no idea what to do with my off-hand. I know what to do with it (hold the ball) but I don't know what I should do when I'm releasing the ball with my right hand (I'm right-handed) I've tried flicking it up along with my shooting hand which is what most NBA players do and I've tried not moving it at all and simply shooting with my right. Advice?


I know this isn't what you want to hear, but sorry I wouldn't recommend you do any training with weights for a few years. Your vertical will continue to improve simply because your body is maturing. I would only worry about actually playing basketball, get down the mechanics of how to jump correctly and get used to the motion. And plyometrics don't do much for you until you have built a strong base. I did plyometrics when i was a junior, and saw some immediate gains, and kept doing them until the gains stopped, and didn't know why for years. My legs weren't strong enough, i had to get in the gym and start lifting before my vertical would improve any more. I wouldnt recommend anyone starting either (weightlifting or plyos) until atleast 16. If you don't have the patience and you decide to start anyway, don't be surprised when you don't see the results you hoped for. When there are kids that can dunk in highschool, it's more about them being naturally gifted atheletes than have busted their ass to be in the shape they are or be as strong as they are. Example; LeBron. It's very unnatural to be as ripped as he was at 18 or have those hops, he was just a freak of nature. Hope that helps.

As for shooting, you have 2 options, shoot naturally however you feel comfortable, and perfect it. Even if it is technically wrong or looks awkward, you can still make it work. Plenty of players in the NBA have unusual looking shots. Or, learn proper for and practice it. Proper form if you're right handed is to propel the ball to the basket only using the fingers on your right hand, and primarily fingertips at that. You don't want the ball to be touching your palm as you bring it back and release, and the left hand is used only as a guide. To keep the ball centered and balanced as you prepare to release. Start off just shooting a few feet away from the basket without even using your left hand. Place the ball on your right hand and get used to balancing it on your hand without it touching your palm, and shooting gradually further and further away as you get used to it. Or you can always shoot how you naturally do and try to make it work.

Last edited by tpcslj47 : 03-02-2007 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: 12 year old wants hops

Oh, I forgot to add that I want exercises not involving weights or any other equipment. Uhh tpcslj47 thanks alot for your reply, but I've read on some websites that there are some plyometric exercises that won't stunt my growth and will slightly raise my vert. What about squat jumps? Plyo lunges? Bodyweight squats? You said yourself that you did plyos when you were a junior and you saw immediate gains. So I can do the same thing until the gains stop, then wait until I'm 15 or so then lift weights and resume plyos?

edit: and this "freak of nature" you're talking about, I have six pack abs so I assume I'm gifted? Although I did ab exercises and cardio, I'm only 12 :)

And about shooting: What do you mean get used to balancing it on my hand without it touching my palm? The past few years I've never used my palm. Then when I joined a basketball training group, they showed me proper form and I was supposed to place the ball on my palm yet you're telling me not to. Can you show/explain what you mean please?

Last edited by Akif : 03-02-2007 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:49 PM   #4
tpcslj47
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Default Re: 12 year old wants hops

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akif
Oh, I forgot to add that I want exercises not involving weights or any other equipment. Uhh tpcslj47 thanks alot for your reply, but I've read on some websites that there are some plyometric exercises that won't stunt my growth and will slightly raise my vert. What about squat jumps? Plyo lunges? Bodyweight squats? You said yourself that you did plyos when you were a junior and you saw immediate gains. So I can do the same thing until the gains stop, then wait until I'm 15 or so then lift weights and resume plyos?

edit: and this "freak of nature" you're talking about, I have six pack abs so I assume I'm gifted? Although I did ab exercises and cardio, I'm only 12 :)

And about shooting: What do you mean get used to balancing it on my hand without it touching my palm? The past few years I've never used my palm. Then when I joined a basketball training group, they showed me proper form and I was supposed to place the ball on my palm yet you're telling me not to. Can you show/explain what you mean please?

You "read on some websites"....so? Like i said, go ahead and start but don't expect much, or anything, to happen at your age. I don't see any reason to start until you are 16, but it's your life, your body. If you see any gains, there is a better chance you are seeing them because you getting older than because the plyos are working. Yes, i started when i was a junior, ie, 16, not 12. For the shooting, no i cant really show you, thats just how i was taught. You'll probably receive different advice from whoever you ask so just do whatever works for you. Good luck.
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Old 03-03-2007, 01:28 AM   #5
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Default Re: 12 year old wants hops

do 100 jump ropes a day. that will get your hops way up.
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Old 03-03-2007, 06:02 AM   #6
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Default Re: 12 year old wants hops

well. First of all, there's a distinction to be made:

do you want to become a leaper or a basketball player?
You surely know that there's much more to basketball than jumping like rabbits. Forgive me if I'm a little didactic, but there's an important thing you should know:

Physical abilities are divided in two big branches: conditional and coordinative.
Conditional abilities are Strenght, Speed and Stamina. Coordinative abilities are several... depending on the approach they vary from 5 to 11.. howevere, they are such things as "balance", "body-eye coordination", "selfperception"..
Obviously all abilities are necessary to become a good sportsman _of any kind_ , from the golfer to the weightlifter. The matter is that human body has a different capability to improve these abilities through training, depending on the age of the subject.
This means that at a certain age you are more sensitive to ability training, and less to conditioning.. and viceversa.
Your age is the best moment to train coordinative abilities, while to start improving your conditional ab. will be in 6,7 years.
This doesn't mean that you can't train your speed, or stamina, or strenght, and it doesn't even mean that it's unuseful. It just means that in a few years it will be really harder to learn coordination, so it's the best way to spend your time right now.

So, back to our first question: do you want to become a leaper, or a bball player?
If you want to become a leaper, I'd suggest you try to find out if you like athlethics. I don't know how sports are organized in the US before the HS, but I'm sure you'll be able to find out. If you find a good environment, you'll be taught the basics of coordination, and introduced to high jump, long jump, or whatever you are best suited for. They will know how to increase both your conditional and coordinative abilities, w/o, if they know what they're doing, affect your wealth. (important thing: exaggerate with weight training during youth doesn't "stunt the growth". The fact is that connettive tissue and the spine structure are still developing, and one risks to load it too much, and to suffer minor and major injuries all life long)

Back to us. If, instead, you want to try seriously with basketball, you have to train coordination as well: ball handling, body control, direction changes, hands-eye and feet-eye coordination, match reading, team playing.. you have to reach a complete control of your body.. and then you'll be ready to improve your strenght. Meanwhile, to keep fit, what you are doing is ok: run (on long and short distances), sprint uphill, simple organic exercises on the ground (push-ups, abs, back muscles, triceps, skip, ankle jumps..) and rope jumping is a good training. I could try and give you a bunch of exercises, but I know them with their italian "nicknames" and I'd need to draw them to explain. Ask, if you want.

Two important suggestions, about rest and stretching. Rest is as important as the very activity, during a training. When you train, you willfully stress your body, to induce a growth in response. The rest, _DURING_ the training session and between different sessions, is the moment when the body starts to produce that response. If your rest is not proportioned to your training, more than half of your stresses will go wasted. There's not a unique rule to set the rests... it depends on which kind of training you are having.
I had written some detailed examples of trainings, but maybe they are too much all together.

About stretching: stretching is really important... to avoid injuries and to increase your results. If your muscles are too short - a consequence of strength training is the shortening of the muscular fibre - you won't be able to execute the right gestures to obtain the best from your conditional abilities. Stretching a muscle (without causing pain) at the end of a training will help it keep its elastic properties.
Before starting a training, instead, I prefer active muscular extension (movements that cause your muscle to extend, and to warm up as well, without having to "pull" it, that when you're not completely warmed up could cause minor injuries). I.e. those "ballerina" exercise where you stand on a foot and let the other leg oscillate.. front and behind, left and right.. these seem stupid exercises, but they both warm you up and increase the elastic properties of your muscles. Obviously, you have to execute them properly.

I think I wrote even too much. In the end, my suggestion (but it's biased, as I'm an athlete and athlethics teacher) is to try athlethics. You'll get a great, complete training, you'll learn great skills, and you'll always be able to decide you really prefer basketball and get back on your steps.

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Old 03-04-2007, 09:22 PM   #7
Akif
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Default Re: 12 year old wants hops

Ok so I'm screwing plyometrics, here's my plan to unleash the athlete in me (that sounded cheesy ;))

-Eat healthy and avoid too much junk food.

-Get at least 9-10 hours of sleep everyday.

-Push-ups, 4-5 sets, increase reps everyday.

-Sprints, hill sprints once the snow is gone.

-Jumping rope once the snow is gone.

-Stretch, stretch and stretch

-Focus less on strength, speed and stamina and try to increase my coordinative abilities: ball handling, shooting, passing, hand-eye coordination, better grip, etc; since after I pass a certain age, it will be much harder to improve on those. (props to orfeomorfeo for this one)

And during basketball practices, I might do a few rim jumps to get the hang of the technique, but not for plyometric reasons.

Does anyone have any other suggestions as for exercises? I'm going to stop doing abs for now. I need exercises similar to push-ups that will work my arms/chest. I'll try finding spots to do chin-ups, pull ups.

Last edited by Akif : 03-04-2007 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 03-05-2007, 01:59 AM   #8
orfeomorfeo-ita
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Default Re: 12 year old wants hops

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akif
Ok so I'm screwing plyometrics, here's my plan to unleash the athlete in me (that sounded cheesy ;))

-Eat healthy and avoid too much junk food.


This would be really important. It's not to make a fuss about it, but it's hard - I hear - to have a good diet (by diet I mean "eating well", not "becoming thin") in the US

Quote:
-Get at least 9-10 hours of sleep everyday.


The sleep one needs is a very personal thing. There's people perfectly comfortable with 6 hours of sleep everyday, other need 9.. the important thing is that you find out how much you need, and stay constant every night.

Quote:
-Push-ups, 4-5 sets, increase reps everyday.

As with all exercises, don't increase to much. Once you get to 4-5 x 15 every day, they should be enough.

Quote:

-Stretch, stretch and stretch


Remember not to stretch too much until you are warmed up really well

Quote:
-Focus less on strength, speed and stamina and try to increase my coordinative abilities

Good. remember that coordination to play bb isn't increased only in a "bb scenario".. you should learn to do balance on your hands, to walk-move-run with your eyes closed.. and any other strange exercise that stimulate your attention and body control.

Quote:
And during basketball practices, I might do a few rim jumps to get the hang of the technique, but not for plyometric reasons.

Just an info: when you say "plyometric" you don't refer to any way to increase your strenght... it's a particular kind of strenght training, suited for jumping abilities... but it's not really important.
Remember that during a game you won't be able to jump as you wish to. Good technique for jumping is quite cleare: long, strong steps, increasing speed in the curve, fast motion of the "free" leg and of the arms. But it's not like you can ask : "hey, wait, I need you to get out of my ideal running-line, 'coz I want to dunk on your face"... so, you're idea is good.. try to execute it by jumping in any way you can, and continously varying it: one/two feet, helping yourself with hands or not, from under the basket or more distant, from unbalanced position.. you know..anyhow.

Quote:
Does anyone have any other suggestions as for exercises? I'm going to stop doing abs for now. I need exercises similar to push-ups that will work my arms/chest. I'll try finding spots to do chin-ups, pull ups.

When I'll be back home in the evening I'll try to describe you a bunch of exercises for the upper body and a few other things..
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Old 03-05-2007, 11:10 AM   #9
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Default Re: 12 year old wants hops

@ orfeomorfeo: About the pushups, I don't do a certain amount of pushups each set. What I do is start at a certain amount, then increase by 1 each set for example: My first set is 6 reps, 2nd is 7, 3rd is 8, 4th is 9 and 5th is 10 reps. Is that a good way to do it or should I keep each set the same # of reps. And each day I increase the starting set and every set after that by 1 rep compared to the day before so: if I started with 6 reps the day before, the 2nd day I would start with 7, then 8, etc;

I have 1 question left: How many days should I exercise? I assume for the light workout I have planned, I should do it everyday or at least 5-6 times a week.
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Old 03-05-2007, 11:44 AM   #10
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Default Re: 12 year old wants hops

don't over exert yourself, b/c at 12 u have alot of years to develop jumping ability, if u hurt yourself u could ruin it all
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Old 03-05-2007, 02:23 PM   #11
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Default Re: 12 year old wants hops

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akif
I have 1 question left: How many days should I exercise? I assume for the light workout I have planned, I should do it everyday or at least 5-6 times a week.

I'm sorry, but I won't have time to prepare the exercise we were talking about this evening. I'll try and take care about that tomorrow.
More: the fact is that once you gained a certain amount of strenght the single push-up becomes "easy", which means less stressing, which means less training. So you feel the need to increase the number of push-ups to get the same amount of growth. But a high volume of soft work isn't the same as a small volume of hard work. So, it depends on what ability you want to train.
Generally, I'd try to mix up.. once you reach a combination of several total pushups (say, 5 x 20), reduce them and increas the hardness (you can do that simply keeping your feet a little higher than your hands). It could be really hard right now at your age, but you don't have to do that tomorrow.. just grow slowly, without harsh changes.
Moving the position of the body during exercises.. putting it in unfavourable starting positions is a good way to increase the hardness of an exercise without using overweights.

About your question: it obviously depends on your fitness status. In general, light training can be taken everyday, and big efforts need from 2 to 7 days to be recovered from. As long as they are light exercise, I think you'll be able to listen your feelings..

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Old 03-06-2007, 06:51 PM   #12
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Default Re: 12 year old wants hops

Ok. here's some drills to strenghten your upper body.

- Normal push-ups
- Unfavoured pus-ups (with your feet slightly higher than your hands)
- Lateral push-ups: when you get down, you have to move on your left and on your right (alternatively), so that your face gets near to your hand.
- Crossed push-ups: with a hand at the height of your eyes and one at the height of your stomach.
- Normal abs.
- "book" abs: legs and arms straight, always balancing on your lower back, flex your abs so that your hands and your feet meet halfway (vertical to your belly)
- torsion abs: cross your feet, bend your hip and your knees of 90 and flex your abs with hands behind your head so that right elbow touches left knee, and viceversa.
- Back muscles: laying face down, cross your fingers, revolve your hands and extend arms. Lift hands, elbows, shoulders, knees and ankles, keeping legs and arms extended. Keep position for a few (6-10) seconds, than rest. repeat 3 times.
- triceps. Sit with your back near something you can lift yourself on, so that you can put your palms on this support. Extend your arms and lift your belly, and get back without touching the ground with your butt.

Another exercise would need a stall bar. You catch the higher bar, let your shoulder blades stay in touch with the wall, and try to pull up your pelvis: not your legs. you do not have to bend at hip height. You must use your high back muscles to lift it, like if you wanted to pull out the bar from the wall.

Obviously, do not execute them all toghether. Mix them, choosing some of them here and there, and you'll have a good drills list.

(I tried to translate some term I'm not used to here, so if something isn't clear, just ask and I'll try to explain better)

Remember ropejumping is a good drill to improve upper body strenght, and that to get really good at it you must learn to do _everything_ while rope-jumping: skipping, one-leg jumping, running, opening and closing your feet, moving fast - very fast - your feet in a pattern (left right, forward, back, forward right left.. etc. etc. ), and anyother exercise you usually do only with your feet.

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Old 03-06-2007, 10:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: 12 year old wants hops

....dude, you're 12! Just enjoy being a kid before it's gone.
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Old 03-16-2011, 03:02 PM   #14
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Default Re: 12 year old wants hops

Just make jumping part of your game.. Try and get up there when your doing a lay up... And jump high on rebounds even if your tired, jump to swat shots. Dont get rediculuos though. But it will get you a lot of strength, youll igure out how to jump right when it counts and youll be more tired after games. Im older but have only been playing bball seriously for a little over a year. Without any conditioning ive gotten my vert from about 26 to 35 and am dunking now.

Just play hard. Be a kid.
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:51 PM   #15
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Default Re: 12 year old wants hops

About shot form, your off-hand should do almost nothing, it's there to guide your shot from the beginning of your shot, but it shouldn't go to your release point. It's hard to explain, but it should plate the ball lightly and you use your dominant hand to push the ball through, it might help if you can see it heres a good video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuxCHOp_Y00
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