Exactly which muscles are most important for improving the vertical jump is still relatively unclear, and may differ between individuals. Clearly, the spinal erectors, hip extensors, quadriceps, and calf muscles are all involved in the jumping movement, and the hip extensors and quadriceps are likely the prime movers, but which of the hip extensors is the primary muscle is very unclear. Importantly, since force production is required right up until take-off, the lower body muscles must produce force from moderate through to short muscle lengths, which differs from the barbell back squat exercise.
Also, using the lifting (concentric) phase of these exercises only, rather than both lowering and lifting phases, *might* further improve results. This is partly because lifting phases involve faster rate coding, and partly because this strategy might potentially help avoid optimizing stretch-shortening cycle function for lifting heavy weights, rather than for jumping.
Independent 6'2" North American athlete Eric Bishop introduced a dunk entitled the 'Paint Job'. The title is in reference to the key on a basketball court, often known as 'paint' in common parlance. Approaching along the baseline with a running dribble, Bishop jumped with one-foot at the border of the key, dunked with one-hand while gliding over the key and landed just beyond the border on the side opposite his take-off—a 16-foot flight.
Stand on your right leg and lift your left knee up as high as you can. Keeping your knee bent and your left leg out of the way, jump and land eight to ten times on your right leg. Focus on the landing. Your body should be ready to spring back up again the second you hit the ground. Try to jump higher with every repetition. Use your left hip and raised leg to build leverage.
My son asked me to get book to help improve his jump and was thrilled with the terrific tips it gave him. According to him, this book covers all the important basics and is a must-read for anyone looking to increase their athletic performance. The exercises are described in a clear, easy to follow manner...and now that I've read it as well I'm happy to say, I understand more of what my son is always going on about! ;)
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.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight, bend at your knees and hips as if you are attempting to sit in a chair until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Simultaneously extend your arms straight out in front of you. From this position jump up, straighten your legs and swing your arms back down to the side of your body. Repeat 25 jumping squats in a row for three sets with a 1-minute break between sets.
I have to admit...I bought this for my 5 year old son, but I found it to be just as enjoyable! Setup took a matter of minutes before he was launching his first rocket in the air. he was impressed with the THUMP followed by a dissapearing act as it launched into the sky. After he had a few tries it was my turn, I assumed it would not handle my 200lb frame very well so I started light and worked my way up to an all out double foot stomp that left craters where I landed. The SQUEEEEEL from my son as the rocket nearly "went to the moon" was priceless. We lost a few rockets that day to rooftops, damage from landing on pavement, and one down a difficult to repeat sewer drain. I advise to have the little ones wear safety ... full review
The slam dunk is usually the highest percentage shot and a crowd-pleaser. Thus, the maneuver is often extracted from the basketball game and showcased in slam dunk contests such as the NBA Slam Dunk Contest held during the annual NBA All-Star Weekend. The first incarnation of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest was held during the half-time of the 1976 American Basketball Association All-Star Game.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Feb 2, 2019 - I am currently updating the site to have all the articles on the same format and also shooting new HD videos of the exercises in the library. For the duration of the this update I am selling Game Changers at an 80% discount (YES YOUR READ THAT RIGHT - 80% OFF the regular price). Instead of paying $47 you can pick up a copy of just $9. But hurry - this offer will be gone once I finish the updates.
When performing a vertical jump, the athlete exerts force at the low back, hip, knee, and ankle joints. The spine flexes as the athlete squats downwards, and then is extended by the spinal erectors over the course of the jump. The hip extensors (gluteus maximus, hamstrings, and adductor magnus) work to move the trunk and the thigh apart, which pushes the torso up and backwards. Meanwhile, the knee extensors (quadriceps) contract to extend the knee, and the calf muscles contract to move the shin backwards, towards the vertical.
Some days I would be doing leg exercises — you want to give yourself a 48-hour break between heavy lifting involving any given part of your body, to give yourself time to recover. Some days, I’d go out to the track and do a track workout like sprints. I was avoiding doing long-distance running, because I didn’t want to develop slow-twitch muscles. I wanted to concentrate on fast-twitch muscles. And then for fun, on the weekends, I would play soccer or pickup basketball. I was becoming a better athlete because of this. Not only was I faster and stronger, but I was also more confident, in terms of just the run of play in any of these team sports, because I was more athletic than I had been.
“Put in the work. It’s muscle memory, first and foremost. Trainingwise, people say, ‘You gotta do this, you gotta do that.’ I didn’t believe in that. I never worked on my legs in high school or middle school. I would just go through this routine over and over and over, visualizing that day when you dunk on the court. And then you live in that moment.”
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.”
Early in my mission, my editor had given me a book, Jump Attack, by Tim Grover, personal trainer to Jordan, Dwyane Wade and myriad other NBA stars. I’d ignored it at first; I figured I knew plenty about how to jump higher. When I finally opened it last December, I was further dissuaded. The exercises Grover prescribed to increase one’s vertical leap looked either nonsensical (hold a deep lunge for 90 excruciating seconds, without moving) or sadistic (the series of rapid-fire bursts and landings that he’d named “attack depth jumps”). These self-immolations, Grover wrote, would last for three months.
Slow-Motion Squats – Involves standing with your feet shoulder width apart. From this position slowly lower down until you are in a deep squat making sure your heels are ﬂat on the ground. Hold for 2 seconds before slowly rising back to the starting position. The descent and rise should each take 4 seconds to complete. Throughout the entire exercise make sure to keep your head up and your back straight.