Unfortunately, I’m not the 6' 7" son of a Hall of Famer, so I had to resort to desperate devices—like Hennessy, an infamous and inexpensive cognac that, according to one of the two NBA players who recommended it to me, “will give you that Yah! That bounce. That little bit of meanness you need.” The little minibar-sized bottle that I downed 30 minutes into an intense session of dunk attempts on a sweltering day last summer, had no effect other than scorching my esophagus, giving me a headache and releasing from my pores an aura that, as my six-year-old put it that evening, “smells like medicine.”
Turn on the windmill. As you approach, bring the ball into your abdomen and back, extending your arm behind your body and up in a circular fashion, like a windmill spinning. At the apex of your jump, bring your arm all the way around to throw it down like a boss. Dominique Wilkins, the Dunkmaster General of the 90s, used to blow crowds away with this spectacular dunk.
In this multicenter, randomized, blinded trial comparing dopamine and norepinephrine as the initial vasopressor therapy in the treatment of shock, there was no significant difference in the rate of death at 28 days between patients who received dopamine and those who received norepinephrine. Dopamine was associated with more arrhythmic events than was norepinephrine, and arrhythmic events that were severe enough to require withdrawal from the study were more frequent in the dopamine group. In addition, dopamine was associated with a significant increase in the rate of death in the predefined subgroup of patients with cardiogenic shock.
Yet, rate of force development is likely less important for vertical jumping than for faster athletic movements, such as sprinting. This is because the time that is available for force production is *ten times* longer in the vertical jump than in sprinting. Sprinters often take their foot off the ground before their lower body muscles have achieved maximum force (which takes approximately 150ms), but this early period of rising force production plays only a very small role during vertical jumping.
procedure (see also variations below): the athlete stands side on to a wall and reaches up with the hand closest to the wall. Keeping the feet flat on the ground, the point of the fingertips is marked or recorded. This is called the standing reach height. The athlete then stands away from the wall, and leaps vertically as high as possible using both arms and legs to assist in projecting the body upwards. The jumping technique can or cannot use a countermovement (see vertical jump technique). Attempt to touch the wall at the highest point of the jump. The difference in distance between the standing reach height and the jump height is the score. The best of three attempts is recorded.
The rate of death at 28 days in this study was close to 50%, which is to be expected in a study with very few exclusion criteria and is similar to the rate in previous observational studies.3,9,21-24 Our trial was a pragmatic study that included all patients who were treated for shock states, and therefore, it has high external validity. The study design allowed for maximal exposure to the study drug, since we included patients who had received open-label vasopressors for a maximum of 4 hours before randomization and since during the 28-day study period, the study drug was withdrawn last when patients were weaned from vasopressor therapies and was resumed first if resumption of vasopressor therapy was necessary.
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.
Asher Price, a reporter at the Austin American-Statesman, spent a year of his life trying to find out and chronicled his quest to jam on a regulation hoop in the book The Year of the Dunk, which comes out in May. Price, who played coy about whether he was able to achieve his goal, spoke to Science of Us about what a rec leaguer would need to do to fly like a pro. (Spoiler: lots of squats and alley-oop attempts.)
The method described above is the most common and simplest way to measure one's vertical jump, but other more scientifically accurate methods have been devised. A pressure pad can be used to measure the time it takes for an athlete to complete a jump, and then using a kinematics equation (h = g × t2/8), the computer can calculate his or her vertical jump based on the time in the air.