Dunking exposes you to some extra risk of injury. First of all, you can get low-bridged or get your legs tangled up with defenders near the hoop, causing you to fall awkwardly from a significant height. You can also throw yourself off balance by trying to hang on the rim and slipping off, resulting in awkward falls. If you are in heavy traffic on the dunk, then being able to grab and hang on the rim until the clutter beneath you clears is a safety technique. If you are in the clear on a dunk, then avoiding hanging on the rim at all is the recommended safety technique (It's also a technical foul to hang on the rim in that situation). Whatever the situation, you need to come down with control and balance. Ankle, knee, neck, and head injuries await those who fail to control their momentum after a dunk.
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.
In the 2008 Sprite Rising Star's Slam Dunk Contest Dwight Howard performed the "Superman" dunk. He donned a Superman outfit as Orlando Magic guard Jameer Nelson tied a cape around his shoulders. Nelson alley-ooped the basketball as Howard jumped from within the key side of the free throw circle line, caught the ball, and threw it through the rim. This dunk is somewhat controversial, as his hand was not over as well as on a vertical plane to the rim. Some insist that it should in fact be considered a dunk because the ball was thrust downward into the basket, meeting the basic definition of the dunk.

You can assist in recording your score by holding a piece of chalk in your had and using it to mark the wall. If the wall already has horizontal lines, such as a brick wall, it will be easier to mark your jump height. Have as many attempts as you need to get the best possible score. Practice your technique, as the jump height can be affected by how much you bend your knees before jumping, and the effective use of the arms.
Another high pull option is to shorten the range of motion to make it a hang high pull instead of a power high pull (“power” implying that the load starts on the floor). In this case, the start position is from standing, with the bar hanging in front of your thighs at arms’ length. The movement is initiated with a dip in the hips and knees, so that the bar lowers to just above knee level, followed immediately by an explosive pull.
Any athlete who wants to maximize the height of their vertical jump should look to reduce their non-functional body weight (body fat) as much as possible. Though it's generally not recommended for youth athletes to go on a calorie-restricted diet, they should look to make healthy food choices. A good starting point for this is 40% of calories from carbohydrates, 30% from protein, and 30% from fats.
Because jumping ability is a combination of leg strength and explosive power, jumping can be developed in the same fashion as any other muscular activity. The ultimate limit to how high any athlete can jump will be determined to a significant degree by the distribution of fast-twitch versus slow-twitch fibers present in the muscles of the legs. This distribution is a genetic determination. Fast-twitch fibers are those whose governing neurons, the component of the nervous system that receives the impulses generated by the brain to direct muscular movement, fires more rapidly, which in turn creates the more rapid muscle contractions required for speed. As a general proposition, an athlete with a greater distribution of fast-twitch fibers will be able jump higher than one with a preponderance of slow-twitch fibers.
Dunking became a game again. After my closest misses I’d hop around and swear like a golfer whose playoff putt had lipped out. These outbursts were no longer harsh self-admonitions but celebrations of my progress, acknowledgements that I was getting tantalizingly close. I could feel my legs gaining in bounciness. I could feel my hips, quads and calves learning to fire simultaneously. My original lobber returned to the scene and suggested I try dunking in the morning instead of the evening, when the batteries in our old bodies are as low as the ones in our phones. I added this sage advice to the long list of micro­details “that help you steal inches,” as Todd had phrased it months earlier. “A quarter inch here, a half inch there.”
Janik was available by text whenever I needed him, like my very own dunk training app. The important thing, he said, was to work out hard and smart. When my knees or back were sore, he advised lowering the weight for a few sessions and eliminating depth jumps. "Listen to your body," he told me. And I did: I took a day off here or there if I needed it; I added more weight when I felt good. When, after five weeks, I started to worry that I wasn’t going to dunk again, he kept me motivated. "Leg strength is the key. Squat deep. Ass to grass," he told me, unsympathetic to the known fact that squats are fucking terrible.

An impressive vertical jump is the ultimate standard of lower-body power and explosiveness—an attribute that pays as many dividends in high-impact sports like basketball, football, and soccer as it gets you wide-eyed looks in the gym. Increase your hops, and chances are you’ll also be able to run faster, lift more weight, and maybe even throw down a dunk at your next pickup basketball game.


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.
For women's basketball, to dunk or not to dunk has long been the question. It’s the ‘wow factor’ that WNBA haters often point to as proof that the women's game doesn't deserve the fandom, fame and fortune that the guys get. Cristen and Caroline talk to two dunking superstars of past and present to sort through the courtside gender politics and controversy of stuffing the net and find out whether more women bringing the slams could settle the score.
For women's basketball, to dunk or not to dunk has long been the question. It’s the ‘wow factor’ that WNBA haters often point to as proof that the women's game doesn't deserve the fandom, fame and fortune that the guys get. Cristen and Caroline talk to two dunking superstars of past and present to sort through the courtside gender politics and controversy of stuffing the net and find out whether more women bringing the slams could settle the score.
Nothing generates more excitement in a basketball game than watching the creativity and athleticism of a player flying through the air and finishing with a slam dunk. It can single-handedly change the dynamic of the game and turn a regular player into a star. Although it helps to be tall or have a natural leaping ability, short people can develop the skills required to perform this amazing athletic feat with proper training and technique.
Step 3. Land squarely on the floor on both feet (again, around hip-width apart) and immediately jump as high as you can, straight up in the air. It’s important that you spend as little time as possible with your feet on the floor before the jump—it should be a split-second reaction. Don’t lower down into a squat before leaving your feet. Just let your hips and knees dip naturally, then extend them explosively to launch upward. Drive your arms straight up as you do so.
But you know what? Because these help with your jumping, you will become an amazing rebounder, blocker, and, well, dunker! In 2016, according to MaxPreps, I was 14 in the country in average blocks per game (National Basketball (2016-17) Blocks Stat Leaders, I’m 14th ;P). I had two triple-doubles. No, not points, rebounds, and assists, but points, rebounds, and BLOCKS.

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.
The vertical jump is defined as the highest point that the athlete can touch from a standing jump, less the height that the athlete can touch from a standing position. The measurement of the jump is flawed if the athlete is permitted to take one or more steps before jumping, as the athlete will convert some of the energy developed in the step taken into the force of propulsion that generates upward lift. Basketball has numerous legends and other urban myths concerning the seemingly superhuman leaping ability attributed to certain players; one such player, former University of Louisville star Darrell "Dr. Dunkenstein" Griffith, was reputed to possess a 42 in (1 m) vertical leap. It is likely that the average National Basketball Association player 6 ft 6 in (1.97 m) or shorter has a vertical leap of between 25 and 30 in (0.63 and 0.75 m); taller and heavier players will usually not be able to jump as high.
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