Increase your vertical leap. You will need the lifting power of your legs to get you in the air and up to the basket. Building a regimen of leg workouts that will increase the fast-twitch strength and the flexibility of your leg muscles can help you add inches to your vertical leap, getting you that much closer to the rim. A good regimen to get started with might include:
Before and after every workout, stretch your legs. This can lead to increase flexibility which loosens your muscles and allows them to perform better with a greater range of motion. In other words, they are strong and function better. Be sure to include dynamic stretches into your warm-up to get your joints moving and static stretches into your cool down after the workout.
For taxonomic purposes it is an important distinction, but the modifiers discussed below are often considered dunk types in common parlance. This misconception is perhaps attributable to the modifier being the most salient component of the dunk from the perspective of the observer. However, each dunk modifier requires a dunk type to be a successful dunk—albeit the most-basic dunk type.
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.
In the 2011 NBA contest, Los Angeles Clippers power-forward Blake Griffin completed a self-pass off of the backboard prior to elbow-hanging on the rim. A number of other variants of the elbow hang have been executed, including a lob self-pass, hanging by the arm pit, a windmill, and over a person. Most notable are two variations which as of July 2012, have yet to be duplicated. In 2008, Canadian athlete Justin Darlington introduced an iteration aptly entitled a 'double-elbow hang', in which the player inserts both forearms through the rim and subsequently hangs on both elbows pits. Circa 2009, French athlete Guy Dupuy demonstrated the ability to perform a between-the-legs elbow hang; however, Guy opted not to hang on the rim by his elbow, likely because the downward moment could have resulted in injury.
Starting out, athletes should always err on the conservative side and only perform 10-20 maximal effort jumps in a training session. Because of the explosive nature of a vertical jump, the body can only perform a handful before performance starts to drop. Training beyond this point will not improve jumping height and will only lead to injury. At the completion of a training session, it is generally recommended to rest 48 hours before completing another intense training session.
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.