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.
4. verb By extension, to achieve a forceful, dramatic success or accomplishment handily or easily, often at the expense of someone or something else. Sometimes hyphenated. The incumbent president has slam dunked his opponent in every televised debate so far. If we can slam-dunk this proposal, we'll get enough funding to see us through to the end of next year.
Before you take on these vertical jump exercises, spend a few minutes looking over the plyometric section of our website. When you increase your vertical jump, you’re actually altering the nature of your muscle fibers, and our plyometric articles can explain how this works. Meanwhile, keep working on strength-building exercises for your quads, glutes and hips, and remember to keep an eye on any hesitation between your jumps.  
But you know what? Because these help with your jumping, you will become an amazing rebounder, blocker, and, well, dunker! In 2016, according to MaxPreps, I was 14 in the country in average blocks per game (National Basketball (2016-17) Blocks Stat Leaders, I’m 14th ;P). I had two triple-doubles. No, not points, rebounds, and assists, but points, rebounds, and BLOCKS.
High pulls can also be done using a dumbbell or kettlebell,. When doing so, position the weight between your feet and pull with one arm at a time (switching arms halfway through the set). A trap bar (aka, hex bar) is also an option, particularly for individuals who have a hard time keeping the lower back flat; the trap bar allows the hands to be positioned behind the shins to help pull the shoulders back.
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Even so, the back squat does differ in important ways from the vertical jump. Primarily, it involves a much greater trunk extension turning force, because of the barbell weight on the upper back, and this likely contributes to the more hip-dominant nature of the squat over the vertical jump. Secondly, it is often performed to a deeper depth, which can alter the relative contribution of each of the hip extensors to the movement, because of their different leverages at each joint angle. And thirdly, it only involves accelerating up to midway through the movement, while the vertical jump involves accelerating right up until take-off. This also affects the relative contribution of the hip extensors, as force production will be required in the jump even when the hip is nearly fully extended, while this is unnecessary in the squat.
I met Janik at Velocity Sports Performance in Manhattan, where he trains clients. Janik was so handsome and well built he looked like an X-Men character. We talked about my athletic background and what I needed to do in order to dunk in ten weeks. He assigned me a three-days-a-week program that would improve my explosiveness and overall leg strength and told me to check back in three weeks to adjust it. "If you follow the program and your intensity level is high," he said, "I guarantee you’ll dunk again."
Exactly which muscles are most important for improving the vertical jump is still relatively unclear, and may differ between individuals. Clearly, the spinal erectors, hip extensors, quadriceps, and calf muscles are all involved in the jumping movement, and the hip extensors and quadriceps are likely the prime movers, but which of the hip extensors is the primary muscle is very unclear. Importantly, since force production is required right up until take-off, the lower body muscles must produce force from moderate through to short muscle lengths, which differs from the barbell back squat exercise.

I think it’s the sort of thing that a lot of kids probably fantasize about, me included. Just like you might want to become an astronaut or something like that. I was always one of the tallest kids in my class, but I never really tried to dunk. And so as an adult, you start wondering a little bit about what sorts of things you left on the table, that you never really tried your hand at. And I got it into my head that I’d pick up this childhood fantasy of mine and see if I could dunk.
On the basis of the results of the SOAP study,3 which showed a rate of death of 43% among patients receiving dopamine and a rate of 36% among patients receiving norepinephrine, we estimated that with 765 patients in each group, the study would have 80% power to show a 15% relative difference in the rate of death at 28 days, at a two-sided alpha level of 0.05.
To build strength in the legs that will be compatible with the speed developed through successful plyometrics drills, squat and lunge exercises are important components. Squats are performed with free weights, where the athlete uses a weighted bar to carry out the exercise. The additional weight will be supported by the body through the abdominal, lumbar (low back), and gluteal muscles, in addition to the legs. This form of exercise permits the strengthening of the legs in conjunction with enhancing the core strength of the body, essential to the balance necessary to have the several muscle groups involved in leaping work in harmony.
When performing a vertical jump, the athlete exerts force at the low back, hip, knee, and ankle joints. The spine flexes as the athlete squats downwards, and then is extended by the spinal erectors over the course of the jump. The hip extensors (gluteus maximus, hamstrings, and adductor magnus) work to move the trunk and the thigh apart, which pushes the torso up and backwards. Meanwhile, the knee extensors (quadriceps) contract to extend the knee, and the calf muscles contract to move the shin backwards, towards the vertical.
I learned that insects are fucking awesome. There was an insect in particular that I was interested in called the froghopper, or spittlebug, that is basically one of the world’s top jumpers. It’s a survival mechanism. It can jump far, far higher than we can as a function of its weight, basically. So I learned that humans are quite modest in the jumping scheme of things.
One morning a week later, the gym at the Y was empty. I picked up the same mini-ball and unsuccessfully tried to throw it down. I found the more relad I was, the higher I could jump. So I loosened my shoulders, took a depth breath, and approached the rim. I held the ball for a beat longer this time, and easily popped it over the rim. It felt incredible. I did it a few more times, each easier than the last, pulling down on the rim with unnecessary force for maximum satisfaction. But as exhilarating as it was to dunk again, I was only using a mini-ball—I hadn’t completely reached my goal.
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.

In basketball, the ability to jump high can be pretty important, especially for layups and dunks. Thus, it’s no surprise that many people who play basketball, either professionally or just for fun, want to be able to jump higher to improve their game. Luckily, by performing certain exercises, losing weight, and perfecting your technique, you can significantly improve your vertical leap and jump higher in basketball.
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,[23] a windmill,[24] and over a person.[25] 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.[26] 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.[27]
In the ABA, Charlie Hentz broke two backboards in the same game on November 6, 1970 resulting in the game being called.[43] In the NCAA, Jerome Lane shattered a backboard while playing for Pitt in a 1988 regular-season game against Providence, and Darvin Ham did the same while playing for Texas Tech in a tournament game against North Carolina in 1996.
If you took a poll of the areas athletes wanted to improve the most, their vertical jump would be among the tops. Athletes playing basketball and volleyball rely on their verticals in a number of ways, but one major way is it gives them an edge to stand out amongst their peers. Players want to jump higher and coaches are looking for players that can put some space between their feet and the court.
Stand on your right leg and lift your left knee up as high as you can. Keeping your knee bent and your left leg out of the way, jump and land eight to ten times on your right leg. Focus on the landing. Your body should be ready to spring back up again the second you hit the ground. Try to jump higher with every repetition. Use your left hip and raised leg to build leverage.

A second, more efficient and correct method is to use an infrared laser placed at ground level. When an athlete jumps and breaks the plane of the laser with his/her hand, the height at which this occurs is measured. Devices based on United States Patent 5031903, "A vertical jump testing device comprising a plurality of vertically arranged measuring elements each pivotally mounted..." are also common. These devices are used at the highest levels of collegiate and professional performance testing. They are composed of several (roughly 70) 14-inch prongs placed 0.5 inches apart vertically. An athlete will then leap vertically (no running start or step) and make contact with the retractable prongs to mark their leaping ability. This device is used each year at the NFL scouting combine.
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