The two-hand backscratcher finish can exert tremendous force on the basket. In 1979, Darryl Dawkins twice shattered NBA backboards with tomahawk dunks leading to a quickly-enacted rule making it an offence to break the backboard. Technology has evolved to adapt to the increased strength and weight of players to withstand the force of such dunks, such as the breakaway rim (introduced to the NBA in 1981) changes to the material used for the backboards, and strengthening of the goal standards themselves.
Jumping Rope – A skipping rope is the only piece of equipment involved in the program. If you don’t have one a piece of rope will do just ﬁne. If you don’t have a piece of rope either jumping up and down on the spot without much bending in the knees will achieve a similar result. Jumping rope involves holding a rope with both hands and swinging it around your body continuously.
Keep your upper body straight and your arms relaxed at your side. Extend your left leg straight out behind you with a slight knee bend. Place your right leg in front of you with your knee bent at a 90-degree angle and your thigh parallel to the floor. This is your basic lunge position. From this position, slightly lower your entire body, and jump to the opposite lunge position with your right leg extended behind you and your left leg in front of you. Repeat 25 jumping lunges in a row for three sets with a 1-minute break between sets.
I scoured the Internet looking for guidance. There are dozens of sites promising a path to dunking, most of them coded at the dawn of the Web. It was daunting finding one that seemed legit. I ended up paying $67 for the Jump Manual, an online program offered by Jacob Heller, a trainer with a 42-inch vertical who counts NBA players among his clients, according to his website. Next, I ordered a pair of Strength Shoes. You’ll remember these if you’re a basketball player of a certain age—the ridiculous-looking training kicks popular in the ’90s, with a platform under the toe that places your bodyweight on the balls of your feet.
I went through this progression, too. I went from touching the middle of the net at 12 years old, to dunking a basketball at 14 years old, to doing serious acrobatic 360-degree dunks at 17 years old. In college, my personal record for the vertical leap was 40 inches. At my peak, I was able to touch the top of the square on a regulation backboard, about 11.5 feet from the ground. Even now, in my thirties, I can dunk a basketball while standing underneath the basket—no run up required. I owe it all to the power of the vertical jump.
The simplest method to measure an athlete's vertical jump is to get the athlete to reach up against a flat wall, with a flat surface under his/her feet (such as a gym floor or concrete) and record the highest point he/she can reach flat-footed (the height of this point from the ground is referred to as "standing reach"); fingertips powdered with chalk can facilitate the determination of points touched on the wall. The athlete then makes an effort to jump up with the goal of touching the highest point on the wall that he or she can reach; the athlete can perform these jumps as many times as needed. The height of the highest point the athlete touches is recorded. The difference between this height and the standing reach is the athlete's vertical jump.