I think it’s the sort of thing that a lot of kids probably fantasize about, me included. Just like you might want to become an astronaut or something like that. I was always one of the tallest kids in my class, but I never really tried to dunk. And so as an adult, you start wondering a little bit about what sorts of things you left on the table, that you never really tried your hand at. And I got it into my head that I’d pick up this childhood fantasy of mine and see if I could dunk.
Another aspect to look at for any potential dunkers is flexibility. I'm about 6'4 and 21. In high school, I, like many of you on here, worked on jumping and lifting to gain power. I had some decent strength, but the flexibility of a toothpick. Once I got out of high school and got more interested in fitness, I saw how much that affected me. If you can't touch your toes or only squat 8 inches down, this is a great place to start working on your flexibility.
Joe would die some 30 years later, at age 82, but what he said that day as he stood in a puddle of dry tobacco—his clothes disheveled, the other Fortenberrys yelping a chorus of excited Yessirs—spoke to me in a way that can only be understood by those who blindly take on missions that exact a greater toll than was envisioned. “Well,” he said with a grin, “that’s the last time I’ll ever do that.”
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I think one way of thinking about it is, less parts of the body, and more the kind of muscle. You want to develop your quick-twitch, or fast-twitch, muscles, because at the end of the day, trying to dunk a basketball is an explosive activity. You’re not going for a long-distance run here. You’re doing three quick steps, a hard shove against the ground, and exploding upwards. So the question is how to turn yourself into basically a sprinter. You do a lot of jumping exercises where you’re doing box jumps, where you jump off one box and as soon as you hit the ground, you try to jump up onto another box. That sort of thing.
High-Reach Jumps – Are similar to tuck jumps, but instead of brining your knees to your chest, you just reach as high as you can. This is done best under a basketball ring or near a wall so that you can tell how much lower your reach becomes as you fatigue. Try to reach the same height through all repetitions. if you don’t have anything to measure against, that’s ﬁne. Just jump as high as you can each repetition.
James Naismith, I learned, was a bit different. “I was only three when he passed away [in 1939],” said his grandson, James Naismith, 78, of Corpus Christi, Texas. “He was known as a tenderhearted man, but he also had”—the doctor’s namesake pauses—“the polite term is ‘firmness of mind.’ It’s kind of a family trait. He devoted his life to improving the lives of others through physical activity, through games. That took time.
Perform the routine every second day to give your body a days rest in-between workouts. This means that on week one you’ll be training 4 times a week, week two you’ll be training 3 times per week, and on week three you’ll be training 4 times per week. That ends up being 11 workouts per phase for a total of 33 workouts in the program. Also, during this program you will be taking one week off between each phase to let your body completely recover. You need to give your muscles time to fully repair in order to grow stronger and more explosive.