Nothing generates more excitement in a basketball game than watching the creativity and athleticism of a player flying through the air and finishing with a slam dunk. It can single-handedly change the dynamic of the game and turn a regular player into a star. Although it helps to be tall or have a natural leaping ability, short people can develop the skills required to perform this amazing athletic feat with proper training and technique.
Justifying these selfish, skewed priorities in my head as I stuffed a basketball into my backpack and pedaled away from our home would turn out to be one of the most formidable obstacles in my path. I must have whispered, What the f--- am I doing? as many times as I leaped toward one of the rusty rims scattered around the south Los Angeles beach community where we live. That latter number tallied somewhere around 5,000, according to my journal and 24-plus hours of video. Many of these jumps were attempted while wearing a weighted vest that pulled me downward, the same way that home pulled me sideways.

Four times a week, from April through October, I embarked on 90-minute explosive weightlifting sessions based on the years I’d spent working as a strength coach to club, college and professional volleyball players. Squats, squat jumps, deadlifts, lunges, box jumps, cleans, sprints. . . . Three or four days a week I visited one of my local blacktops, where I tried to dunk tennis balls on 10-foot rims or throw down basketballs and volleyballs on lower ones. By May 3—one month in—I could dunk a tennis ball on a 9' 10" rim. I considered this a better-than-good start, not realizing that compared to dunking a basketball, this tennis-ball jam was akin to a child scrawling the diagonal line that begins a capital A on his first day of learning the alphabet.

I tried to work out at least a couple of hours a day doing something or other. So some days were lifting, doing arm and core lifting. Again, you can imagine these sprinters, they’re strong all over — if you think of Tyson Gay or someone. It’s not just their legs that are muscular, it’s their arms, too, because they have to pump furiously to get themselves to go faster.

Of course, these forces increase linearly with increasing body weight. Therefore Olympic high-jumpers are usually build more like marathon runners and less like football players. Every unnecessary pound adds to the forces during take-off, and at some point the muscles and tendons of the jumping leg are just not strong enough any more to support all the weight.
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My quest to dunk started poorly. The main problem was that I could only do about half of the very long list of ercises the Jump Manual instructed at the crowded and inadequate YMCA near my place. The basketball court—the only space big enough to do some of the drills—was always occupied with classes. The Strength Shoes, meanwhile, were so absurd that I was too embarrassed to wear them in front of other gym-goers. I used them only a handful of times, in an empty stairwell on the top floor of the gym.
Which is why, on April 1, 2014, I dedicated myself to dunking a basketball for the first time. So that I could live it, breathe it, perhaps take a crack at it with my pen. I had tossed this idea around for years, realizing with each passing birthday that my chances of success were dimming. However, on that April Fool’s Day (a coincidence) I spent three hours on the court and at the gym, with a promise to myself to return several times each week until I threw one down like Gerald Green. Or at least like Litterial Green, who played in 148 NBA games between 1992 and ’99, and who, like me, was born in the early ’70s, stands 6'1", 185 pounds and is at no risk of having dunker carved into his epitaph.

The two-hand backscratcher finish can exert tremendous force on the basket. In 1979, Darryl Dawkins twice shattered NBA backboards with tomahawk dunks leading to a quickly-enacted rule making it an offence to break the backboard.[citation needed] Technology has evolved to adapt to the increased strength and weight of players to withstand the force of such dunks, such as the breakaway rim (introduced to the NBA in 1981) changes to the material used for the backboards, and strengthening of the goal standards themselves.


Results: You need a 0 Inch vertical leap to touch the rim and 6 Inch leap to dunk considering that you have to jump about 6 inches over the rim to dunk. To accomplish that you have to leave the ground at a speed of 1.73 m/s vertically no matter how much you weigh. You need a force of 0 Newtons against the ground based on your weight to reach that speed assuming you bent your knees at an angle of 60 degrees. The force depends on how much you bent your knees. Check side bar.
If anything came to surprise me about this journey, it was the sheer volume of physical pain involved. I had taken on impressive physical feats before. I had run a sub-3:30 marathon back in 2003 (my first and only attempt) after put­ting in the hundreds of training miles required. I’d done some of the most grueling weight training on offer, most of it either on the beach or at The Yard, a nearby temple of athletic performance where Maria Sharapova, Kobe Bryant and Tom Brady, among many others, have kneeled with exhaustion. But the physical toll of trying to dunk made the marathon and the semipro football and the parenting and everything else I’d ever attempted seem like mere rubber band snaps to the wrist. The lifting didn’t hurt as much as the jumping, the banging of my quadragenarian appendages into the ground, taking off and landing 50 to 200 times a day. My legs never got used to this bludgeoning, never got better at recovering from it, despite my daily foam-rollering, stretching, icing and hydrating. Even on my off days, a quick game of tag with my kids or a bike ride to the park meant daggers in my thighs and a gait like Fred Sanford’s.

The vertical jump involves coordinated spine, hip, knee, and ankle extension to produce force in a vertical direction very quickly, while the muscles are shortening through to a very short muscle length. Since the time available for producing force is long compared to other athletic movements, this reduces the importance of rate of force development. Yet, the force-velocity relationship is the primary determinant of the amount of force that can be exerted at a given movement speed. Therefore, maximum force, velocity, and the force-velocity gradient all affect vertical jump height.
Perform the routine every second day to give your body a days rest in-between workouts. This means that on week one you’ll be training 4 times a week, week two you’ll be training 3 times per week, and on week three you’ll be training 4 times per week. That ends up being 11 workouts per phase for a total of 33 workouts in the program. Also, during this program you will be taking one week off between each phase to let your body completely recover. You need to give your muscles time to fully repair in order to grow stronger and more explosive.
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