The vertical jump is one of the most explosive physical movements executed in sport. In a number of sports, the higher the athlete is able to jump, the greater the prospects of success in that discipline. Basketball and volleyball are the two most prominent examples of sports where that correlation is plain. The jumping ability of an athlete is also an indicator of overall athletic ability, as there is a clear relationship between the ability to jump and the running speed that the athlete will develop over short distances. The National Football League, where prospective players are subjected to various physical tests, requires every player to be tested for both vertical leaps and 40-yd (37 m) sprints, irrespective of the position played.
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.)
I sent a video of my soccer ball dunk to Todd, the #fivefivedunker, who informed me that I was leading with the wrong leg. I’d been taking my last big step with my left foot, which, as a righty, was like swinging a bat cross-handed. A few days later I encountered a blogger and 43-year-old dunker named Andy Nicholson who showed me, among many other things, that I wasn’t the only one with blood on my hands. Nicholson was one of dozens of YouTubers, young and old (mostly young), who were documenting online their attempts to dunk. “Yes!” he yelled over the phone when I told him about the open sores on my fingers. “Those are badges of honor!”
Sports scientist are able to measure these ground reaction forces with a technology called force plates. These plates record the exact forces occurring during a vertical jump (or any other movement) and allow you to see how quickly athletes can produce forces, how large these forces are, and to expose potential imbalances between the left and right leg.
Writer Antonio Passolini (formerly "Johnny Jump-Up" in his Greg Dark days) borrows several elements of science fiction cyber classics such as BLADE RUNNER and STARGATE with an experimental project at the asylum ironically referred to as Mindgate. Employing intentionally impenetrable mumbo jumbo, Dr Hellstrom has created a doorway into the mind's realm as if it were a separate world running parallel to the physical one our bodies inhabit. The f/x when Mangrove and her henchmen (Decker again and Peter North) pass from one world to another are impressive, matching the big budget blockbuster original every step of the way.
The first thing they have to do is improve their flexibility, for a couple of reasons. They need to be flexible to undertake the kind of exercises they need to be able to jump higher. They also just need to be able to increase their flexibility, because in the short sprints you take when you try to dunk a basketball, if you can imagine yourself running up to try to dunk on the rim, the higher you can bring your knees in a sprint, just like a sprinter running the hundred meters, the greater force you’ll be able to exert on the ground, especially with your leaping step.
If you make these few exercises a part of your basketball training, you’ll be well on your way to increasing the height of your vertical jump. Be sure to measure your jump height regularly in order to track your progress -- set goals for yourself each week and remain committed. Before long, you’ll be jumping higher and seeing noticeable improvements in your basketball game.
The vertical jump is defined as the highest point that the athlete can touch from a standing jump, less the height that the athlete can touch from a standing position. The measurement of the jump is flawed if the athlete is permitted to take one or more steps before jumping, as the athlete will convert some of the energy developed in the step taken into the force of propulsion that generates upward lift. Basketball has numerous legends and other urban myths concerning the seemingly superhuman leaping ability attributed to certain players; one such player, former University of Louisville star Darrell "Dr. Dunkenstein" Griffith, was reputed to possess a 42 in (1 m) vertical leap. It is likely that the average National Basketball Association player 6 ft 6 in (1.97 m) or shorter has a vertical leap of between 25 and 30 in (0.63 and 0.75 m); taller and heavier players will usually not be able to jump as high.
The force-velocity profile can be described by three elements: (1) maximum strength, (2) maximum velocity, and (3) the slope of the force-velocity gradient, because this is what determines whether the balance between force and velocity is optimal at the desired speed for force production. Each of these factors is an independent predictor of vertical jump height.
From the Department of Intensive Care, Erasme University Hospital (D.D.B., A.B., J.-L.V.); the Department of Intensive Care, Brugmann University Hospital, Université Libre de Bruxelles (J.D., P.G.); and the Department of Intensive Care, Centre Hospitalier Etterbeek Ixelles (D.C.) — all in Brussels; the Department of Intensive Care, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Charleroi, Charleroi, Belgium (P.B., P.D.); the Department of Medicine III, Intensive Care Unit 13H1, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna (C.M.); and the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, Rio Hortega University Hospital, Valladolid, Spain (C.A.).
To begin, go up without a ball first. This will give you a great idea of where you’re at and just how close you are to being able to dunk. For beginners, you should focus on dunking with one hand. Your other hand should stay by your side to balance your body while you’re in the air. The two-handed dunk is awesome, but is surprisingly more of an advance dunk and should be an approach you build up to as you work on your dunking.
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A common, low-tech plyometrics method is performing box jumps, where the athlete jumps repeatedly from the floor to the top of the box and back again. By concentrating on the mechanics of the jump, directing propulsion from the balls of the feet and thrusting with an explosive extension of the legs, the ability of the athlete to land lightly and immediately return to the floor enhances motor control over the movement.
Randomization was performed in computer-generated, permuted blocks of 6 to 10, stratified according to the participating ICU. Treatment assignments and a five-digit reference number were placed in sealed, opaque envelopes, which were opened by the person responsible for the preparation of the trial-drug solutions. The solutions of norepinephrine or dopamine were prepared in vials or syringes according to the preference of the local ICU. Each vial or syringe was then labeled with its randomly allocated number. The doctors and nurses administering the drugs, as well as the local investigators and research personnel who collected data, were unaware of the treatment assignments. The trial was approved by the ethics committee at each participating center. Written informed consent was obtained from all patients or next of kin.
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Strength exercises include slow, controlled movements like squats, lunges, and weighted step-ups. Power exercises require explosive, quick moves like those needed for plyometrics and power cleans. Plyometrics are explosive bounding, hopping and jumping drills that blend strength and speed. Finally, practicing maximum vertical jump will increase vertical jump.