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How to Dunk a Basketball

February 14, 2013 | Chris Hitchko

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From Michael Jordan's famous "leaner" to Vince Carter's performance in the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, elite athletes have perfected the art of dunking a basketball. Granted, genetics plays a tremendous role, but so does training.

When I was in high school, I was relatively scrawny, but I had decent hops because I regularly implemented plyometrics in my workouts. Not to toot my own horn, but I learned how to dunk a basketball easy and it felt great. However, performing hundreds of jumping repetitions on a daily basis five times a week placed an unsafe amount of stress on my neuromuscular system. I'm surprised my body didn't fall apart. Unfortunately, many programs promise results without considering safety, meaning kids can fall victim to the same trap.

Avoid the trap of overtraining. Below is a powerful but safe jumping program that can help you potentially gain three to four inches on your vertical in a month. Ready to dunk a basketball? Let me show you how.  (See also Start Dunking With This 2-Day Program.)

How to Dunk a BAsketball: The Plyometric Plan

Perform this workout routine three times a week and you'll be dunking a basketball in no time. Caution: before you attempt this, you should strength train for at least three months and be able to squat one to one-and-a-half times your body weight. This will minimize your risk of injury.

Monday

Backboard Touches
Sets/Reps
: 3x25

  • Stand beneath a basketball hoop
  • Jump up as high as you can; aim for the backboard
  • Rest two minutes between sets

Switch Jumps
Sets/Reps:
3x10 each leg

  • Place one foot on a bench and explosively jump
  • While in the air, switch your legs and land with your non-jumping leg
  • Rest for two minutes between sets

Pistol Squats
Sets/Reps: 4x10 each leg

  • Rest for one minute between sets

Wednesday

Broad Jumps
Sets/Reps: 3x10

  • Rest for two minutes between sets

Backboard Touches
Sets/Reps: 4x10

  • Immediately follow each set with a minute of jumping rope
  • Rest for two minutes between sets

Power Squats
Sets/Reps: 5x5

  • Place loaded squat bar six to eight inches below shoulder height
  • Rest for three minutes between sets

Friday

Backboard Touches
Sets/Reps: 5x10

  • Rest for 30 seconds between sets

BOSU Ball Jumps
Sets/Reps: 3x10

  • Stand on a BOSU ball and jump at 75% of your max
  • These are not max jumps because balance is incorporated
  • When landing, hold the bottom position for five seconds
  • Rest for one minute between sets

BOSU Ball Switch Jumps
Sets/Reps: 4x10 each leg

  • Rest for two minutes between sets.

Follow us at www.facebook.com/showupfitness to see more exercises and get helpful dieting tips.

Chris Hitchko
- Chris Hitchko, CSCS, owns ShowUp Fitness, a personal training facility with locations in Santa Monica and the San Francisco Bay area. He is also an...
Chris Hitchko
- Chris Hitchko, CSCS, owns ShowUp Fitness, a personal training facility with locations in Santa Monica and the San Francisco Bay area. He is also an...
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