How to Dunk a Basketball

February 14, 2013 | Chris Hitchko

Must See Basketball Videos

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...
Must See
Why NFL Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson Counts His Blessings
Views: 6,211,842
Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 37,127,207
Brandon Jennings: "Always Improve"
Views: 4,159,975

Featured Videos

A Day in the Life of NBA D-League Star Seth Curry Views: 69,070
Kevin Love's Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill Views: 9,456
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Views: 133,452
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,308,880
What Ryan Hall Eats for Breakfast
Views: 795,300
STACK Fitness Weekly: How To Do a Muscle-Up
Views: 778,676
Greg Nixon's Hill Training Program
Views: 705,782
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,561,942

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Train Like a Pro: Julio Jones 3-Day Sandbag Strength Program

The Top 10 Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

Abby Wambach's Strength and Speed Workout

Increase Athletic Strength with Rotational Bodyweight Training

The Un-Liftable Inch Dumbbell: Can You Handle Its Challenge?

Get Faster With This Weightlifting Technique

3 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

Jump Higher After a Month With These 3 Exercises

Tobin Heath's Powerful Leg Workout

4 Tips for Reducing Deadlift Back Pain

Not Making Bench Press Gains? Try These Strategies

8-Exercise Advanced Chest and Back Workout

How You Can Olympic Lift With an Injury

3 Tips to Blast Through Training Plateaus

The 4 Best and Worst Cable Machine Exercises

How to Recover From a Soccer Game or Workout

5 Quick Workout Fixes for Faster Muscle Growth

Use Wave Loading to Take Your Strength to the Next Level

Build Muscle With the 2-Second Pause Workout Program

Train Like a Pro: Henrik Zetterberg's Hockey Strength Workout

Use Sled Pushes to Increase Speed, Strength and Power

Train Like a Pro: Los Angeles Lakers Strength Training Program

Speed Drill of the Day: Reverse Lunges

Todd Durkin's Complete Football Strength Training Program

3 Keys to Better Softball Workouts

Abby Wambach's Soccer Power Workout

Paul Rabil's Powerful Rotational Strength Workout

Bicep Curl Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

Add Surprise Sets for a Great Workout Finisher

Speed Drill of the Day: Weighted Arm Swings

How to Use the Pallof Press for an Iron Core

Train Like a Pro: Baseball Strength Workout Program

3 Reasons Why You Should Do Full-Body Workouts

3 Keys to a Solid Squat Setup

Build Bulletproof Chest Strength With This Unconventional Method

Build a Strong Upper Body With These Landmine Exercises

Get Faster to Pitch Harder

2 Brutal 10-Minute Workouts That Deliver Serious Results

Train Like a Pro: Dustin Pedroia's Baseball Power Workout

Kevin Love's In-Season Workout

Train Like a Pro: MLS Soccer Strength Program

Is It Too Soon for Olympic Lifts?

Build Strong Legs with the Leg Press Lockdown Workout

Train Like a Pro: James Harden's Basketball Maintenance Workout

Build Athletic Strength with the Playground Sandbag Workout