One morning a week later, the gym at the Y was empty. I picked up the same mini-ball and unsuccessfully tried to throw it down. I found the more relad I was, the higher I could jump. So I loosened my shoulders, took a depth breath, and approached the rim. I held the ball for a beat longer this time, and easily popped it over the rim. It felt incredible. I did it a few more times, each easier than the last, pulling down on the rim with unnecessary force for maximum satisfaction. But as exhilarating as it was to dunk again, I was only using a mini-ball—I hadn’t completely reached my goal.
Plyometrics is the best known of the jumping development exercise programs. Plyometrics training emphasizes speed and explosive movement, and a plyometrics program will typically consist of a series of bounding, hopping, and jumping drills. The object of a plyometrics program is to perform the exercises at maximum intensity. For this reason, plyometrics training must be approached with caution, and the athlete must progress slowly from one level to the next to reduce the risk of injury. Proper rest intervals must also be incorporated in to plyometrics training, as the exercises are intended to place significant stress on the target muscle groups.
For one-footed jumpers, the ball is generally transferred to the non-dominant hand just before or upon take-off; for two-footers, this transfer is often delayed for milliseconds as both hands control the ball to prevent dropping it. Once airborne, the dunker generally transfers the ball from non-dominant to dominant hand beneath a raised leg. Finally, the ball is brought upwards by the dominant hand and slammed through the rim.
At the onset of the jump, the ball is controlled by either one or both hands and once in the air is typically brought to chest level. The player will then quickly thrust the ball downwards and fully extend their arms, bringing the ball below the waist. Finally the ball is brought above the head and dunked with one or both hands; and the double clutch appears as one fluid motion. As a demonstration of athletic prowess, the ball may be held in the below-the-waist position for milliseconds longer, thus showcasing the player's hang time (jumping ability).
For improving vertical jumping ability, the back squat and jump squat have been used for many years with great success. Depending on the exact force-velocity profile of the athlete, either back squats or jump squats should be effective for improving vertical jump height. Even so, exercises that shift the load towards the center of mass of the body, such as hex bar deadlifts and weighted vest jumps could be superior.
A more accurate method would be to use a Jump Tester (like these here.) The problem with these, obviously, is that they are way too expensive. In fact, the only scenario in which I recommend using one of these is if you’re a coach, trainer, or athletic director who is purchasing it to test a large number of athletes over time and who needs as accurate of a number as possible for scouting purposes.
I just got the bike on Friday and used it twice over the weekend so this isn't a long-term review but my initial impression is highly favorable. I am a "serious" cyclist, which is not to say I'm a professional or anything like that but I log a lot of miles on my road bike and use high-end equipment. I've always hated hooking a bike up to an indoor trainer and I've avoided that type of training for many years. I finally went in on a spinning bike and I am very impressed with the results.
How do you know these will work? A little over a year ago, I was a 6′7″ HS junior, and I could almost touch rim. I decided that I wanted to dunk as soon as possible. I worked by butt off, doing these numbers or more every day (well, almost). 3 to 4 months later, I threw down my first dunk on a regulation goal (10 feet). Fast forward to today, I am a 6′8″ HS senior, and can dunk regularly (am close to doing a two handed standing dunk).
Even so, the back squat does differ in important ways from the vertical jump. Primarily, it involves a much greater trunk extension turning force, because of the barbell weight on the upper back, and this likely contributes to the more hip-dominant nature of the squat over the vertical jump. Secondly, it is often performed to a deeper depth, which can alter the relative contribution of each of the hip extensors to the movement, because of their different leverages at each joint angle. And thirdly, it only involves accelerating up to midway through the movement, while the vertical jump involves accelerating right up until take-off. This also affects the relative contribution of the hip extensors, as force production will be required in the jump even when the hip is nearly fully extended, while this is unnecessary in the squat.
The simplest method to measure an athlete's vertical jump is to get the athlete to reach up against a flat wall, with a flat surface under his/her feet (such as a gym floor or concrete) and record the highest point he/she can reach flat-footed (the height of this point from the ground is referred to as "standing reach"); fingertips powdered with chalk can facilitate the determination of points touched on the wall. The athlete then makes an effort to jump up with the goal of touching the highest point on the wall that he or she can reach; the athlete can perform these jumps as many times as needed. The height of the highest point the athlete touches is recorded. The difference between this height and the standing reach is the athlete's vertical jump.