A great summary of what it takes to improve vertical jumping ability Joe. There is definitely an art and science to optimizing vertical jump height. I actually just completed a huge post on the topic of How To Jump Higher which your readers may find complements this post nicely. It is a long read (12000+ words) but for those of your readers who want to learn more about the art of jumping they may find it helpful. Keep up the great work!
A slam dunk, also simply dunk, is a type of basketball shot that is performed when a player jumps in the air, controls the ball above the horizontal plane of the rim, and scores by putting the ball directly through the basket with one or both hands. It is considered a type of field goal; if successful, it is worth two points. Such a shot was known as a "dunk shot" until the term "slam dunk" was coined by former Los Angeles Lakers announcer Chick Hearn.
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Many models have been constructed to identify the most important muscles in the vertical jump, with some conflicting results. Some have suggested that movement is governed by the gluteus maximus and quadriceps, while others have proposed that the hamstrings, quadriceps, and calf muscles are key. Importantly, no model has yet explored the role of the adductor magnus, which is the primary hip extensor in the barbell squat. This is relevant, as many studies have found that the squat is an ideal exercise for improving jump height, and maximum back squat strength is closely associated with vertical jump performance among athletes.
When approaching your dunk, run up with tall form and on your toes. People tend to lean forward to gain speed, this is wrong. Lean back and you will see the difference. Also when running, start off slow then gain speed into the jump. Never slow down. When you are at the poin to jump, take small strides and don't drag your foot. You want to have your front leg straight with your entire body. Again, stay leaning back some. Explode up. Keep practicing this technique. I am doing it and i went from a 32" running vert to a 38". that is how much form can do with your Dunk. (NOTE: this is for one legged jumpers)
Results: You need a 0 Inch vertical leap to touch the rim and 6 Inch leap to dunk considering that you have to jump about 6 inches over the rim to dunk. To accomplish that you have to leave the ground at a speed of 1.73 m/s vertically no matter how much you weigh. You need a force of 0 Newtons against the ground based on your weight to reach that speed assuming you bent your knees at an angle of 60 degrees. The force depends on how much you bent your knees. Check side bar.
Vertical jumps are used to both train and test for power output in athletes. Plyometrics are particularly effective in training for power output, and include vertical jumps of different types in their protocol. In one recent study, training with plyometrics (which included continuous vertical jumps) was shown to improve jump height and boost vertical jump performance to similar degrees in combination with very different resistance training protocols, indicating that the plyometric jumping contributed to the increased jump height more than resistance training. Research into plyometric jumps found vertical jumps to be among the highest in terms of muscle recruitment (as measured by electromyography), power output, and ground reaction force produced. Fatigue has been researched in athletes for its effect on vertical jump performance, and found to decrease it in basketball players, tennis players, cyclists, rugby players, and healthy adults of both genders.