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.
- 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.
- 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 trouble 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.
- 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.
- 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.