Not so long ago, I played the worst basketball game of my life. I missed layups, turned over the ball, allowed my opponent free reign to the hoop. It was dark. As I slumped on the sidelines after the game, I realized how far I’d fallen from my prime a decade ago. Back then, I could dunk; now, at 33, I could barely curl my fingers over the rim. My game had regressed to hovering around the arc jacking threes. The last time I dunked a basketball, Michael Jordan was a Washington Wizard and people still listened to Coldplay.

Learn about plyometrics. Plyometrics are exercises that use the resistance of your own body to build strength and are essential for building the kind of strength necessary to build your jump. It takes time to train your body to jump higher, but working the right muscle groups can improve your explosiveness and height without maxing out regularly in the weight room.
Cameras of that era were too crude to capture the split second when the rules of both Newton and Naismith were bent, so it was fortuitous that New York Times writer Arthur J. Daley was at the Y that day covering the tournament that would decide which Americans sailed to Berlin for the Olympic debut of the 45-year-old sport. This new “version of a lay-up shot,” Daley wrote, “left observers simply flabbergasted. Joe Fortenberry, 6-foot-8-inch center . . . left the floor, reached up and pitched the ball downward into the hoop, much like a cafeteria customer dunking a roll in coffee.”
Toe Raises – stand with your feet shoulder width apart, typically on stairs or any sort of ground you can stand on that allows your heel to dip down. Then raise up on the tips of your toes. Continue this process until your complete your reps. Don’t rock up and down – or go to fast. For the exercise to work, you have to use correct form and go at a steady pace.
“There aren’t many people in the world who can [dunk], that’s why it has this allure, I guess,” Carter told me last fall, during his first training camp with the Grizzlies. “As far as trying to do it, there are so many ways people can go about it. The approach you’re taking is the right approach. When I was younger, that’s how I started. Tennis ball, to the point that it became easy. Then a volleyball. Then a girls’ ball. Finally I took—it was like a dodgeball. I dunked that and said, ‘You know what, I’m gonna try it.’ Next thing you know. . . .” He shrugged and smiled, the gray whiskers on his jaw sinking into a dimple.
Typically, struts consists of a coil spring to support the vehicle's weight, a strut housing to provide rigid structural support for the assembly, and a damping unit within the strut housing to control spring and suspension movement. The bottom of the strut body attaches to the steering knuckle, which in turn connects to a lower control arm through a lower ball joint.
The days and jumps and deadlifts and calf raises rolled on, rep by rep, protein shake by protein shake. Six months became seven, then eight. To protect my right hand, I began wearing a canvas gardening glove with the fingers cut off. It soon became stained with blood—the equivalent of Curt Schilling’s bloody sock, but with one-millionth the significance. The rims where I toiled belonged to me now, such that I barely noticed the toddlers wobbling nearby, the skateboarders swirling around me as day turned to dusk, the elderly couple ambling arm in arm, looking for all the world like my wife helping me to the shower on the morning after a double day.
Dunking (or attempting to dunk) is a high-impact, highly intense activity that deserves a sufficient warm-up prior to a throw-down session. Just as you would for a lifting workout, start your warmup with a few minutes of low-intensity cardio, then progress to more dynamic movements—dynamic stretching/mobility drills as well as jumping. Before attempting your first dunk, take a couple dry runs with no ball where you’re touching or grabbing the rim at the top.
Better still is an eye-popping nightclub sequence with a unique floor show, the undeniable visual highlight in a feature fraught with such. Malcolm mimics Joel Grey's M.C. from CABARET, introducing the "original" Gwen as Marilyn warbling a haunting song which effectively sums up the movie in its deceptively simple lyrics which I have included in the above summary. A gospel choir and hoop-skirted beauties (à la Madonna's iconic MTV Vogue appearance) surround lusty lovers Sean Rider and Sharon Kane at her most heartbreakingly vulnerable. The cum shot segues into the slow motion flutter of milky white doves John Woo style !
“There aren’t many people in the world who can [dunk], that’s why it has this allure, I guess,” Carter told me last fall, during his first training camp with the Grizzlies. “As far as trying to do it, there are so many ways people can go about it. The approach you’re taking is the right approach. When I was younger, that’s how I started. Tennis ball, to the point that it became easy. Then a volleyball. Then a girls’ ball. Finally I took—it was like a dodgeball. I dunked that and said, ‘You know what, I’m gonna try it.’ Next thing you know. . . .” He shrugged and smiled, the gray whiskers on his jaw sinking into a dimple.
The following data were recorded every 6 hours for 48 hours, every 8 hours on days 3, 4, and 5, and once a day on days 6, 7, 14, 21, and 28: vital signs, hemodynamic variables (including systolic and diastolic arterial pressures, heart rate, central venous pressure, and, when possible, pulmonary-artery pressures), cardiac output, arterial and mixed-venous (or central venous) blood gas levels, doses of vasoactive agents, and respiratory conditions. Biologic variables, data on daily fluid balance, microbiologic data, and antibiotic therapy were recorded daily for the first 7 days and then on days 14, 21, and 28.
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.
Like Todd and me, Nicholson was a two-foot jumper, and he echoed what Todd had told me was another flaw in my technique: “Your next-to-last step has to be a lot bigger. That big leap forward with your right foot—your penultimate step—that’s what allows you to explode off the ground.” To demonstrate, Nicholson sent me a video of Carter’s performance at the 2000 NBA Dunk Contest, which was a bit like showing a Monet to a finger painting kindergartner and saying, “No, like this.”
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.
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.
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