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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.
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I think one way of thinking about it is, less parts of the body, and more the kind of muscle. You want to develop your quick-twitch, or fast-twitch, muscles, because at the end of the day, trying to dunk a basketball is an explosive activity. You’re not going for a long-distance run here. You’re doing three quick steps, a hard shove against the ground, and exploding upwards. So the question is how to turn yourself into basically a sprinter. You do a lot of jumping exercises where you’re doing box jumps, where you jump off one box and as soon as you hit the ground, you try to jump up onto another box. That sort of thing.

“When most people first start trying to dunk, it’s usually off one leg,” says Jones. “You’re banking on your speed, so this means you want to have a running start to gain momentum. If you want to dunk off two, that requires more athletic ability, more coordination, and using the power dribble to gain momentum. If you have a nice set of calves and a big butt, this might be the way to go.”
I'm 33 yrs old, turning 34 in a month. I stand 5'7" and weigh 155 lbs. I used to touch the rim with both hands but now I can only touch the back board... I almost came close to dunking, but that was when I was 22 years old. I still dream of dunking one in...but I think the exercises that I used to do...don't seem to work anymore... Is it still possible for me to dunk even at this age?
Many models have been constructed to identify the most important muscles in the vertical jump, with some conflicting results. Some have suggested that movement is governed by the gluteus maximus and quadriceps, while others have proposed that the hamstrings, quadriceps, and calf muscles are key. Importantly, no model has yet explored the role of the adductor magnus, which is the primary hip extensor in the barbell squat. This is relevant, as many studies have found that the squat is an ideal exercise for improving jump height, and maximum back squat strength is closely associated with vertical jump performance among athletes.
This is a dunk where the player takes off from a distance which is significantly further away from the basket than is considered typical. The free-throw line is most commonly constituted as the take-off point, an effect likely attributed to the easily observable span between the line and the basket in the view of the TV audience. In order to achieve the hang-time and altitude necessary, players will generally leap from one-foot to maximize the momentum generated from the half-court running start often required to complete the dunk. A cornerstone of dunk contests, dunks from a distance are also performed in games, most often on the fast break.

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.


The simplest method to measure an athlete's vertical jump is to get the athlete to reach up against a flat wall, with a flat surface under his/her feet (such as a gym floor or concrete) and record the highest point he/she can reach flat-footed (the height of this point from the ground is referred to as "standing reach"); fingertips powdered with chalk can facilitate the determination of points touched on the wall. The athlete then makes an effort to jump up with the goal of touching the highest point on the wall that he or she can reach; the athlete can perform these jumps as many times as needed. The height of the highest point the athlete touches is recorded. The difference between this height and the standing reach is the athlete's vertical jump.
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