My four year old son has a whole bunch of books in this series. They are all AWESOME. My son really likes facts and history and these books are full of both. You don't read them like a story - rather, they are basically written as one fact after another with lots of exciting illustrations in between. I like that I can jump around from fact to fact or picture to picture, depending on my son's mood or attention span at that particular point in time. He has actually been absorbing many of the names and dates and facts and statistics. I love that these books make it fun for kids to learn! FIVE STARS!!!
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.
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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.
Four times a week, from April through October, I embarked on 90-minute explosive weightlifting sessions based on the years I’d spent working as a strength coach to club, college and professional volleyball players. Squats, squat jumps, deadlifts, lunges, box jumps, cleans, sprints. . . . Three or four days a week I visited one of my local blacktops, where I tried to dunk tennis balls on 10-foot rims or throw down basketballs and volleyballs on lower ones. By May 3—one month in—I could dunk a tennis ball on a 9' 10" rim. I considered this a better-than-good start, not realizing that compared to dunking a basketball, this tennis-ball jam was akin to a child scrawling the diagonal line that begins a capital A on his first day of learning the alphabet.
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.
Squats – start with the bar behind your neck, resting on your shoulders and make sure you’re standing with your feet shoulder width apart. From this position, slowly lower your body by bending at your knees. You’ll go all the way down until you’re in a deep squat and holding that position for two seconds. Then you can slowly rise back up to your starting position. Make sure you keep your back straight and you’re bending at your knees.
The back squat and jump squat are the two most commonly-used strength training exercises for increasing vertical jump height. The back squat is clearly more effective for improving maximum force, while the jump squat can be used to shift the force-velocity gradient towards a more “velocity-oriented” profile when required. In addition, the jump squat has the secondary benefit of training force production right through until the muscles are contracting at short lengths, because of its longer acceleration phase. Even so, it is unclear whether squat variations are optimal for improving vertical jump height, because the center of mass is in a different place from in the vertical jump.
Struts also perform a second job. Unlike shock absorbers, struts provide structural support for the vehicle suspension, support the spring, and hold the tire in an aligned position. Additionally, they bear much of the side load placed on the vehicle's suspension. As a result, struts affect riding comfort and handling as well as vehicle control, braking, steering, wheel alignment and wear on other suspension
This phase begins with the athlete at the bottom of the jump, just as he begins exploding upwards towards the takeoff. The force-time graph shows that the athlete reaches peak forces shortly after reaching the lowest point of the jump. He then further accelerates until his feet leave the ground and there are no more ground reaction forces measurable.
Discussed in this module are activities which when applied, modify a given dunk type. Modifier-activities occur prior to leaping or while airborne. Modifiers performed prior to leaping pertain to the manner of approach (e.g., locomotion or standstill), angle of approach (e.g., from the baseline), distance of leap from the basket, the addition of a pass (e.g., alley-oop), or some combination thereof. Modifiers performed while airborne pertain to bodily rotation (e.g., 360°), obstruction of own vision (e.g., arm-over-the-eyes), other bodily movements superfluous of dunk type (e.g., voluntary kicking of the legs), or some combination thereof. Dunk types can also be modified with obstructions (e.g., leaping over a car or person) which influence activities both prior to leaping and while airborne.
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.