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.
Writer Antonio Passolini (formerly "Johnny Jump-Up" in his Greg Dark days) borrows several elements of science fiction cyber classics such as BLADE RUNNER and STARGATE with an experimental project at the asylum ironically referred to as Mindgate. Employing intentionally impenetrable mumbo jumbo, Dr Hellstrom has created a doorway into the mind's realm as if it were a separate world running parallel to the physical one our bodies inhabit. The f/x when Mangrove and her henchmen (Decker again and Peter North) pass from one world to another are impressive, matching the big budget blockbuster original every step of the way.
After a one-week recovery period in January following Phase 1 of Jump Attack, Phase 2 brought an increase in intensity and time investment. This was the last stop before Phase 3, the wilderness where those attack depth jumps lived. (Attack depth jumps: Rest on your knees in front of a box; explode to your feet without using your hands; immediately jump onto the box; immediately jump as high as you can off the box, landing on the balls of your feet. Repeat. Many times. No blacking out allowed.) Phase 3 brought dramatic increases in both explosiveness and hip flexibility, two critical ingredients that I started to feel working in tandem. I emerged both confident and in dire need of another one-week recovery period, which I spent playing with our kids, watching dunk videos and mouthing the syllable Ow. Once healed, in early March, I returned to the rims with a friend whom I’d asked to toss lobs to me. There would be no more lifting. (After Jump Attack, what else could there possibly be?) From here on, I just jumped and recovered, jumped and recovered, attacking this tiny window of three or four weeks before my time away from the gym began to sap my strength. It would be over at that point, all over, whether I wanted it to be or not.
A vertical jump is defined as the highest point an athlete can touch from a standing point jump, less the height the athlete can touch from a standing position (standing reach height). The best place to start with your vertical jump improvement is testing your vertical jump. This will serve as your reference point to see how you’re increasing your vertical.
You will need to get at least that high to be able to snap the ball into the basket. If you're relatively short, then you have your work cut out for you. Developing a one-handed dunk requires less vertical ability than a two-handed dunk, and, for most players, jumping off of one foot from a running start makes it easier to jump high enough to dunk. There are many things that you can do to work on your vertical leap.
To build strength in the legs that will be compatible with the speed developed through successful plyometrics drills, squat and lunge exercises are important components. Squats are performed with free weights, where the athlete uses a weighted bar to carry out the exercise. The additional weight will be supported by the body through the abdominal, lumbar (low back), and gluteal muscles, in addition to the legs. This form of exercise permits the strengthening of the legs in conjunction with enhancing the core strength of the body, essential to the balance necessary to have the several muscle groups involved in leaping work in harmony.
Perform jump and reach exercises for a simple vertical jump workout. Start in a standing position with your arms above your head, your feet shoulder-width apart, and your knees and hips forward. Bring your arms down and back, while simultaneously lowering your hips and bending your knees. Then, swing your arms forward and jump as high as you can.
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.
During the 2009 NBA dunk contest, Howard had a separate goal brought onto the court, and the rim was noticeably significantly higher than a standard goal. Howard, after going into a 1950s-era telephone booth and again fashioning the Superman attire, caught a pass from Nelson and easily completed a two-handed dunk on the higher goal. While this was not performed for record-setting purposes, the dunk received a perfect score and a warm response from the crowd, in part because of its theatrics. Also in this contest, 5'9" guard Nate Robinson wore a green New York Knicks jersey and green sneakers to represent Kryptonite, playing on Howard's Superman theme. He used a green "Kryptonite" ball, and jumped over the 6'11" Howard prior to dunking. This dunk and the theatrics could have won the competition for Robinson, who was voted the winner by the NBA fans. Robinson then thanked Howard for graciously allowing him to dunk over him, asking the crowd to also give Howard a round of applause.
Muscular strength and explosiveness must be developed in conjunction with flexibility if the athlete is to maximize the jumping ability and reduce the risk of injury to structures such as the Achilles tendon and knee ligaments. Flexibility, when achieved through focused stretching programs, will serve to increase the range of motion in the joints essential to jumping: the ankles, knees, and hips. A common muscular deficiency that plagues athletes who require well-developed leaping ability is a lack of flexibility and resultant strength imbalance between the quadriceps (thigh) muscles and the hamstrings, the pair of muscles responsible for the flexion and the extension of the knee. Proper stretching will assist the athlete in the maintenance of an approximate 3:2 ratio in the relative strength of the quadriceps to the hamstring. When there is a significant deviation from that proportion, the knee and the muscles themselves are at greater risk of injury.
It takes a higher vertical leap to get both hands up to the rim versus just one (and don’t forget, you’ll be holding a basketball as well), so if you’re cutting it close, try for a one-handed jam. Being able to palm the ball will obviously help, but it’s not totally necessary; just make sure you keep the ball in both hands until you leave the floor so you don’t lose it.
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.
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.”
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.
There are a number of variations on the windmill, the most common being the aforementioned one- or two-hand variants. In these cases, the windmill motion may be performed with the previously discussed one-arm technique and finished with one- or two-hands, or the player may control the ball with two hands, with both arms performing the windmill motion, finishing with one or both hands. Additionally, the ball may be cuffed between the hand and the forearm—generally with the dominant hand. The cuff technique provides better ball security, allowing for a faster windmill motion and increased force exerted on the basket at finish, with either one or both hands. Using the cuffing method, players are also afforded the opportunity of performing the windmill motion towards the front (counterclockwise), a technique exploited by French athlete Kadour Ziani when he pioneered his trademark double-windmill.
The opening scene finds Modern Messiah Malcolm Stevens (the tragically deceased Jon Dough recreating his career-defining character) back in his familiar padded cell. Out of thin air, his lost lady love Gwen (Jeanna Fine, resplendent in stylized Marilyn Monroe Kabuki make-up) appears as an echo of the original's psychiatric theory that Stevens concocted his entire past out of years of transfixed TV ogling à la Jim Carrey's CABLE GUY. This proves to be the film's first of many technical knockouts, shot in black and white complete with scratches and splices to suggest an old movie, the tiniest splash of pink occurring as Jeanna vibrates herself into a frenzy. Malcolm still has a problem projecting himself into his own fantasies and is, at first almost subliminally, replaced by tattooed muscle boy John Decker, the mesmerizing lead from Paul Thomas' terrific MARISSA.
Justifying these selfish, skewed priorities in my head as I stuffed a basketball into my backpack and pedaled away from our home would turn out to be one of the most formidable obstacles in my path. I must have whispered, What the f--- am I doing? as many times as I leaped toward one of the rusty rims scattered around the south Los Angeles beach community where we live. That latter number tallied somewhere around 5,000, according to my journal and 24-plus hours of video. Many of these jumps were attempted while wearing a weighted vest that pulled me downward, the same way that home pulled me sideways.
The way Arthur J. Daley and the other spectators at the Y felt when Fortenberry dunked—that’s how fans at the Oakland Arena felt on Feb. 12, 2000, when Vince Carter shoved his forearm into the rim and swung there by his elbow. What only the initiated noticed about Carter’s dunk was that if you froze him during his approach, he looked like Bob Beamon. Carter long-jumped some 12 feet, right foot leading the way, before landing for a nanosecond and blasting off into his two-footed ascent.
The between-the-legs dunk was popularized by Isaiah Rider in the 1994 NBA slam dunk contest, so much so that the dunk is often colloquially referred to as a "Rider dunk" — notwithstanding Orlando Woolridge's own such dunk in the NBA contest a decade earlier. Since then, the under-the-leg has been attempted in the NBA contest by a number of participants, and has been a staple of other contests as well. Its difficulty — due to the required hand-eye coordination, flexibility, and hang-time — keeps it generally reserved for exhibitions and contests, not competitive games. Ricky Davis has managed to complete the dunk in an NBA game, but both he and Josh Smith have botched at least one in-game attempt as well.
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The hips and glutes are the primary muscles that help us jump higher and increase our vertical. To increase power in these muscle groups, attach the Kbands securely around your legs and plant your feet wider than shoulder width apart. Sit deep in a squat position (knees in line with toes, hips pushed back) and hold the move for a full 30 seconds. To see the effects of this move in your vertical jump, you should feel a burn in your rear, hips and quads.
Important Update! – I have been receiving a few emails/comments on players tracking their jump during the course of their program. Please understand that what you are doing when completing a jump program is breaking down the muscle. You aren’t going to see improvements mid-week because the muscle hasn’t healed properly. That’s why I suggest only checking how much you’ve improved at the end of each rest week. Rest is just as important as the routine.