How To Dunk A Basketball – 4 Important Tips And Goals

by Patrick

in Plyometric Exercises,Uncategorized

how to dunk a basketball michael jordan I know that pretty much every one of us has, at some point in our lives, dreamed of dunking a basketball like Michael  Jordan. “His Airness” has always been one of my idols, and since I was a kid I always imagined what it would be like if  I  could float in mid-air like him. As you can probably imagine, I never achieved that level of jumping ability (or else  everyone would be talking about me!) but I did manage to learn how to dunk a basketball pretty well. It takes hard work, and the  work you’ll have to do to get there is directly proportional to your height. However, it’s definitely possible for guys under  6  feet in height…so don’t despair if that’s you!

When I was a little younger and better at dunking I would get a lot of questions from people on how to dunk a basketball. It’s actually a bit hard to answer this question without responding with a simple, “Jump higher”. But now that I’ve had a little time to think about the question I’ve come up with a few tips for you  to follow that hopefully will help you get a bit closer to your goal of dunking a basketball. So without further ado, let’s get started.

  1. Your main goal when dunking a basketball is to get your whole hand above the rim. If you can’t do that, you’re going to get rejected by the rim. It’s embarrassing when that happens, trust me. You can even hurt your wrist if you slam the ball against the rim too hard, so I recommend making sure that you can cleanly get your hand above the rim before you try with a basketball. I would highly recommend that you invest in a vertical jump program. They can do wonders for your jumping ability, and they lay everything out for you.
  2. Another thing you’ll need to work on is your grip strength. Even if you can get your hand above the rim you’re going to have troublehand grip exercise gripper dunking if you can’t hang on to the ball. So, grab a tennis ball and squeeze it about 30 times as hard as you can for 5 sets. You should try to do this at least every other day. It will greatly improve your hand strength and help you maintain control of the basketball when you go up for a dunk. You can also get a hand grip tool to work on your strength. Check out the picture on the right to see what I’m talking about.
  3. The third thing you need to do is make sure you warm up thoroughly. You’ll be amazed at how much higher you can jump if you just do a little bit of warming up first. This is one of the most important things to do when learning how to dunk a basketball. Warming up not only helps you jump higher but also helps prevent injury. Do a little bit of jogging and hopping around before you try to dunk. Nothing too intense.
  4. The final thing you need to keep in mind is that you need to use proper form if you want to learn how to dunk a basketball. I’ll go more in depth with this topic in another article, but you basically need to keep the word “fluid” in mind. Your body should act in one fluid motion when you jump to dunk a basketball. Work on transitioning from a full out run to a jump. I see a lot of people that tend to studder step or hop just a little bit right before they jump up to dunk. This completely ruins the fluidity of their motion and it takes away a lot of their jumping power.

I hope this article helps a little bit in your quest to learn how to dunk a basketball. I’ll try to go deeper into some of these topics later on so you can get a better understanding of what I’m talking about. For now, just keep it simple and work on achieving goals like getting your hand above the rim. I have no doubt in my mind that with a little hard work you’ll eventually learn how to dunk a basketball.

Be sure to comment if you have any questions and I’ll try to help.

  • I tried doing plyometrics to improve my leap and it really help me to develop leg muscles that enable me to jump higher. It includes doing squat jump, box jump and even lunges. I also do weights just to improve my muscles I hope I’m on the right track.

  • admin

    Yeah, you’re definitely on the right track. Those are some very effective exercises. Just make sure you’re increasing the amount of effort you’re putting into the exercises on each consecutive workout. Progressive overload is key to seeing gains. If you want to jump higher, you need to train like you really want it. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck at the same place.

  • steve

    i also doing some exercises like plyos and intensive jumps to increase my vertical leap. im stuck at approx. 30-32 inches and i can touch about 9’6” and my goal is 50” (i know thats utopic but i wanna get about 45”). so can you advise me to do cause i m pretty light and small but cant go higher in fact i have strong legs…
    hope you can help me!

  • admin

    Hey Steve,

    Have you been incorporating weight training? Also, if you’re doing plyometrics make sure you’re not just doing the same old thing each time you workout. Try to vary it up a little. Also, make sure you’re training with intensity and push yourself harder each time. If you train the same way every time you’re never going to get anywhere.

  • grandma992

    Hey dude im in 8th grade and im able to jump pretty high and we have these small rims on the side of the gym. I can get my hand over the rim for sure but im not rlly able to get the “fluid’ motion in. I dnt know my other friend who is shorter and has less vertical is able to convert and im a little frustrated help?

  • Patrick

    Hey 992,

    Sorry for the delayed response. Make sure that you are practicing slowly when you’re working on form. Rather than running up to the rim at full speed take it down to a jog or even an exaggerated slow-motion run. You also need to ensure that you’re using your full body. This means bending your knees right before the jump, swinging your arms up toward the rim, etc. Check out this video by Jacob Hiller (creator of the Jump Manual). He goes into more detail on some tips to help your technique. I’ve learned a lot from Jacob over the past few years. The first 15 seconds is a bit hard to hear but it gets better right after that.

    Jump Technique Video

  • Dan81

    I love my basketball and really have always lacked a vertical but my one foot jump is ok. Just into my 30’s now so a bit older and started getting ankle problems as a result of a long bball obsession.
    Any suggestions on how many days/plyometric exercises I should do to maximise my vertical at my age without overloading? Currently only just able to dunk off two feet when warmed up and really looking for an extra 12″ or so minimum. No probs with technique or motivation as my general cardio is ok – just not sure how much I should do to get the gains….

  • Patrick

    Hey Dan,

    I can relate to your love of basketball! I’ve had ankle and other joint problems as well, even at the ripe old age of 24. If you’re having problems with your ankles you might want to look into getting a brace that you can wear, even when you’re doing exercises. The ones they make today actually do a pretty good job of protecting your ankle while still allowing you to move freely. You can also look at putting plastic inserts into your shoes that would add a little cushion. Also, you can try working out on grass or a padded mat to help take some strain off.

    I would say that you can probably do just about any exercise you want. The main thing you need to do is try to use the suggestions I mentioned above. Make sure you have good padding under your feet, and try not to train on hard surfaces like concrete if at all possible. You could probably focus on a standard 3-day split workout routine. This means you workout 3 days per week with a day of rest in between each day of exercise. This gives your body a nice little break and some time to recover. As far as a routine, I would recommend checking out something like the Jump Manual by Jacob HIller. It’s a great program that I’ve used in the past to put on about 6 inches in 6 weeks. Unfortunately, I sprained my ankle during a pickup game on the 7th week. I guess I need to listen to my own advice more. ha!

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