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.
Strength exercises include slow, controlled movements like squats, lunges, and weighted step-ups. Power exercises require explosive, quick moves like those needed for plyometrics and power cleans. Plyometrics are explosive bounding, hopping and jumping drills that blend strength and speed. Finally, practicing maximum vertical jump will increase vertical jump.
Aside from squats, the exercises below are considered some of the best bodyweight plyometrics you can do to help improve the fast-twitch muscle fibers that enable you to jump higher and run faster. When it comes to vertical jump, plyometrics are a key. A review in the "British Journal of Sports Medicine" looked at 26 research studies that tested the effects of plyometrics on vertical jumps and found that plyometrics increased vertical jump by 8 percent. Another study reported that plyometrics helped professional athletes increase their vertical leap by 23 percent, improve their agility by 8 percent, their balance by 5 percent, and their time by 0.30 seconds on the 20-meter sprint.
The things I had going for me: an understanding spouse; a modicum of foot speed and leaping ability, flashed during the occasional Motrin-supported pickup game; proximity to one of the best training centers in the world; and, again, an understanding spouse. The forces working against me made for a longer list and included (but were far from limited to) my average hand size and arm length, a lower-back injury that I suffered while playing semipro football in 2009 and my age. I was 42.
Two foot jumpers spend a lot more time on the ground during take-off than one-foot jumpers. This allows them to generate a lot of force through the muscles of the calves, quads, glutes and hips. While one-foot jumpers rely heavily on elasticity and "bounciness", two-foot jumps are more reliant on strength and power. This is one of the reasons why football players are excellent two-foot jumpers - they have really strong lower bodies!
Shock absorbers are basically oil pumps. A piston is attached to the end of the piston rod and works against hydraulic fluid in the pressure tube. As the suspension travels up and down, the hydraulic fluid is forced through tiny holes, called orifices, inside the piston. However, these orifices let only a small amount of fluid through the piston. This slows down the piston, which in turn slows down spring and suspension movement.
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.
Often times, basketball players have used one-leg jumping their whole life. It's just a much more natural movement because it's used every single time someone goes for a layup. On the other hand, volleyball players are often used to two-foot jumping because it is the most common way to jump when trying to block or spike. So, if you have all the suppositions to be a great two-foot jumper, but you get barely of the ground this way, it's probably because of a lack of technique.
There's another twist that will really make you reconsider all that you have just witnessed, somewhat akin to the final revelation in Terry Gilliam's 12 MONKEYS. Apparently definitive at first, the ending proves considerably more ambiguous the more it sinks in. Initially introduced as a potential Savior, a paragon of good if not virtue, Stevens has transformed into more of a devil this time, showing his true colors once he has entrapped a defenseless soul in the spider's web of his omnipotent mind. The "message" seems to be that, in the not too distant future, evil rules simply because we have stopped believing in concepts like good and evil, allowing free reign to the strongest and worst of the two. The key to understanding SHOCK lies in one of the most memorable movie lines from THE USUAL SUSPECTS as Kevin Spacey's unforgettably named Verbal Kint suggest that "the greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing the world he didn't exist." I rest my case. Over to you...
Among the hundreds of lessons I learned during my youngest child’s first year of life was this: If you earnestly pursue dunking after your athletic peak years of 18 to 30, give or take, it can be done. You can enjoy what it feels like to dunk. You can even feel it more purely than I did, maybe without needing a lob from a friend, and hopefully without all the hand damage. But you should expect a long, frustrating, demeaning war of attrition that pits mind, body, spirit against the most oppressive, unrelenting opponent of them all: gravity. The sun rises and sets, the tides creep in and out—even taxes and death seem negotiable nowadays—but gravity remains constant, forever pounding our shoulders, stooping us shorter as we grow gray, never letting up—no matter what NASA tweets.
Go between the legs. While he wasn't the first player to complete it, Vince Carter wowed crowds at the 2000 NBA dunk contest by passing the ball under one leg while in the air and slamming it with authority. It didn't hurt that his forehead was almost touching the rim. If you've worked your ups to that height, try passing it under one leg and dunking it.
Single leg jumping with it's high impact forces and dependence on the elasticity of muscles and tendons works best for young athletes. With increasing age, the tendons and muscles lose their elasticity and springiness and the risk of injury gets higher and higher. That's why a lot of basketball players start to rely more and more on their two-foot jump as they get older. And the winner of the Olympic high jumping contest are almost always below 30.
Add some flair with a double-pump. Suggesting you're so high you could dunk it twice, in the double-pump dunk you bring the ball back down to chest level at the apex of your leap, then force it back up to slam it with authority. Some notable players, Tracy McGrady among them, would do this regularly while spinning in the air, doing a 360 dunk variation.
Seventy-nine years later, the feat that Daley unwittingly named “the dunk” still flabbergasts. But how it felt to Fortenberry, a pioneering barnstormer whose name we’ve forgotten despite the gold medal he and his teammates won in 1936, remains a mystery. “He never talked about being the first person to dunk and all that,” says 65-year-old Oliver Fortenberry, the only son of Big Joe, who died in ’93. Indeed, the famous dunkers throughout history have been either reticent on the subject or unable to adequately express how it felt to show Dr. Naismith that he’d nailed his peach baskets too low. After more than a year of rigorous research on the subject, I’ve concluded that the inadequacies of modern language—not the ineloquence of the dunk’s practitioners—are at fault. In the eight decades since Fortenberry rocked the rim, words have repeatedly fallen short in describing the only method of scoring, in any sport, that both ignores one of its game’s earliest tenets and, in its very execution, carries a defiant anger.
The vertical jump is one of the most explosive physical movements executed in sport. In a number of sports, the higher the athlete is able to jump, the greater the prospects of success in that discipline. Basketball and volleyball are the two most prominent examples of sports where that correlation is plain. The jumping ability of an athlete is also an indicator of overall athletic ability, as there is a clear relationship between the ability to jump and the running speed that the athlete will develop over short distances. The National Football League, where prospective players are subjected to various physical tests, requires every player to be tested for both vertical leaps and 40-yd (37 m) sprints, irrespective of the position played.