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.
Some days I would be doing leg exercises — you want to give yourself a 48-hour break between heavy lifting involving any given part of your body, to give yourself time to recover. Some days, I’d go out to the track and do a track workout like sprints. I was avoiding doing long-distance running, because I didn’t want to develop slow-twitch muscles. I wanted to concentrate on fast-twitch muscles. And then for fun, on the weekends, I would play soccer or pickup basketball. I was becoming a better athlete because of this. Not only was I faster and stronger, but I was also more confident, in terms of just the run of play in any of these team sports, because I was more athletic than I had been.
Similar to building explosive power by jumping over a stationary object, hurdles allow you to practice your leap. Space eight flights of hurdles two feet from each other and aim to jump over each like a pogo stick—basically, as high as you can. Repeat this for 10 repetitions: one flight of eight hurdles equals one repetition. Do this twice per week.
Circulatory shock is a life-threatening condition that is associated with high mortality.1,2 The administration of fluids, which is the first-line therapeutic strategy, is often insufficient to stabilize the patient's condition, and adrenergic agents are frequently required to correct hypotension. Among these agents, dopamine and norepinephrine are used most frequently.3 Both of these agents influence alpha-adrenergic and beta-adrenergic receptors, but to different degrees. Alpha-adrenergic effects increase vascular tone but may decrease cardiac output and regional blood flow, especially in cutaneous, splanchnic, and renal beds. Beta-adrenergic effects help to maintain blood flow through inotropic and chronotropic effects and to increase splanchnic perfusion. This beta-adrenergic stimulation can have unwanted consequences as well, including increased cellular metabolism and immunosuppressive effects. Dopamine also stimulates dopaminergic receptors, resulting in a proportionately greater increase in splanchnic and renal perfusion, and it may facilitate resolution of lung edema.4 However, dopaminergic stimulation can have harmful immunologic effects by altering hypothalamo–pituitary function, resulting in a marked decrease in prolactin and growth hormone levels. 5
Vertical jump training and assisted vertical jump training (essentially with a negative load) can each increase vertical jump height through increases in countermovement depth, even while actually reducing peak force produced in the jump. This seems to happen because the tendon becomes more compliant after these types of training, which means they elongate more during the countermovement phase of the jump.
I gave myself six months to dunk because that was the low end of the “six to eight months” prescribed on the website of Brandon Todd, a 5'5" former D-III star who set the same goal for himself in 2005, and then, at age 22, accomplished it. When I first contacted him, Todd perfectly expressed the more shallow reason behind my goal: “When you can dunk, it means you’re a good athlete. Period. It takes away any subjectiveness.” I also chose six months because, as would be proved repeatedly during this mission, I am prone to tragic spells of overconfidence.
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.
From Jordan to Lebron, even Yao Ming, nothing elicits more awe and applause than a dunk. As one of the highest percentage field goals one can attempt in basketball, this is a move that's worth mastering. While it doesn't hurt to be taller, you can build up both the muscles and skills required to execute this famous feat on the court, regardless of your height and experience. See Step 1 for more information.
Vertical jumps are used to both train and test for power output in athletes. Plyometrics are particularly effective in training for power output, and include vertical jumps of different types in their protocol. In one recent study, training with plyometrics (which included continuous vertical jumps) was shown to improve jump height and boost vertical jump performance to similar degrees in combination with very different resistance training protocols, indicating that the plyometric jumping contributed to the increased jump height more than resistance training. Research into plyometric jumps found vertical jumps to be among the highest in terms of muscle recruitment (as measured by electromyography), power output, and ground reaction force produced. Fatigue has been researched in athletes for its effect on vertical jump performance, and found to decrease it in basketball players, tennis players, cyclists, rugby players, and healthy adults of both genders.