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How to Jump High Enough to Dunk a Basketball

By: Jason Markum

Basketball is all about the fundamentals. Passing, shooting, boxing out, defense, free throws, three pointers, endurance. Sure, everyone knows that.

That stuff is all great, but what we all really want to see is high flying dunks!

The problem is, unless you were born massively taller than everyone else, it’s going to be hard for you to dunk it! Especially when you are younger like high school age.

There are several things you can do to build the necessary muscles that allow you to jump high enough to dunk a basketball. Most people think that jumping is all about leg muscles. But it isn’t!

Jumping is also about the muscles around your mid section, like your abs and you lower back muscles. If you focus just on building up your leg muscles, you may be missing out by not strengthening your mid section muscles.

That’s not to say that you should neglect your leg muscles.

The first thing you should do is wear ankle weights at all times. You can pick up a pair fairly cheaply at any sporting goods store or at a local Walmart or Kmart or Target type department store. Obviously, the heavier the leg weights, the more bulky they are going to be and the sillier you are going to look.

Don’t worry about it! You may look goofy now, but no one is gonna be laughing when you throw down a massive dunk that sends your high school stadium to its feet!

Next, focus on strengthening your calf muscles. There are an infinite number of exercises you can do for this. I like putting something sturdy on the floor that sits off the floor by a couple to a few inches. A weight from your weight bench, or an especially big book or something. You can also use a step from a staircase.

Stand on the edge of the step with the balls of your feet on the step and your heels hanging over the step over the air. Lift up on your tip toes, then lower yourself back down to the starting position where your feet are perpendicular to the step.

Do as many repetitions of this exercise as you can until your calves start to burn and you can’t take it any more. When this exercise becomes too easy for you, add weights to the mix. Add weights by picking up a weight bar with an appropriate amount of weights on it, lay the bar across your back and do the exercise like before.

This is a great exercise for strengthening your calf muscles.

And don’t forget to work on your abs and lower back muscles too! Crunches are good for the abs. Do as many as you can, as often as you can. Any other exercise you can think of to strengthen your abs is a good idea.

With just these few exercises you will be well on your way to dunking the basketball.

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