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Superior Skills Make Slam Dunk Champions

Superior Skills Make Slam Dunk Champions

It’s not size, it’s skill. Superior skills are what set great athletes apart from the rest. In basketball, having a solid vertical jump will give you and your team an advantage, and you don’t have to be seven feet tall.

Some people claimed Spud Webb had a 50-inch vertical jump and he was only 5’7″. He even won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 1986, defeating Dominique Wilkins in the final round. Later, Webb helped 5’9″ Nate Robinson win the same event a record three times.

Maybe your goal is to become a Slam Dunk Contest champion some day — or just to be able to make a dunk at all! Thankfully, there are simple but effective exercises that can increase your vertical jump. Most of these exercises fall under a category called “plyometric exercise,” which means exercise that involves the repetition of quick movements that stretch and contract the muscles to increase muscle power (jump ability).

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Exercises specific to how to jump higher in basketball focus on repeated jumping variations in order to increase the strength and reaction speed of specific leg and lower back muscles. These drills range from low intensity, such as ankle bounces and slalom jumps, to higher intensity, such as squat or box jumps, or standing leaps.

Many of these jump exercises are featured in videos posted online. You can also find DVDs or books that go in-depth on vertical jumping. If you’re on a team, your coach can help you design a training routine. A well-rounded vertical workout may also include sprints, jump-roping, and stretching (which is especially important to avoid pulling or straining muscles).

Reminder: the general rules of good workouts apply. Warm-up, stretch, start with low intensity moves and work up to high intensity, stretch, and cool down. Also, since plyometric movements tend to be higher impact than regular workouts, you should be aware of your body as it may need more recovery time than normal. In other words, it is possible to over-train with these exercises and become vulnerable to injury. Alternate your target areas from day to day and let your muscles recover and become stronger.

source : The 10 greatest Slam Dunk Contests – Sports Illustrated

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