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Basketball Youth Program Charles Smith

Did you see JR Smith's Alley Oop-Dunk against the Wizards last week?

The 6'6'' Denver Nugget went so high, his head was almost at the rim level! What about his dunk on Dikembe Mutombo or Jason Maxiell? By now these are youtube-classics.

Since his appearance in the 2005 NBA Slam Dunk Contest everybody knows JR got hops. Then he finished third behind Amare Stoudemire and the winner Josh Smith. JR Smith aka The Prodigy impressed the crowd with a sick "behind-the-back" dunk, that no one has ever done in the history of the dunk contest. In case you ask yourself: JR Smith has a 44-inch vertical leap!

You may think now: Well, that's great for him, but what can I do to dunk a basketball? How can I increase my vertical leap?

The most important point at the beginning is that you have to realize that you can learn to dunk over night. It takes a lot of time, weeks if not months. So first of all you need patience.

The second point is that there are no huge secrets about jumping higher - it's all about work. All the common exercises you heard about jumping higher do work:

1) Squats (3 sets, 10 repetitions)
2) Calf Raises (2 sets, 15 repetitions)
3) Jump Rope (200 jumps a day)
4) Lunges (3 sets, 10 repetitions)
5) Step Ups (2 sets, 8 repetitions)
6) Leg Presses (3 sets, 10 repetitions)
7) Leg Extensions (3 sets, 12 repetitions)
8) Wall Sits (2 times, min. 90 sec)

There is a famous vertical program that covers a lot of excellent exercises:

If you want to try something else, there's Olympic Weightlifting. Now what's so special about Olympic Weightlifting and what does it have to do with increasing your vertical jump?

Now, here's the bottom line: It's highly effective in increasing your vertical jump. Different studies have proved the effectiveness of Olympic weightlifting.

For example a group of lifters did various Olympic lifts (High pulls, Power Clean, and Clean and Jerk), and were compared to a group using vertical jump exercises (Single and Double Leg Hurdles Hops, Alternated Single-leg Hurdle Hops, etc). After the 8 weeks of training the Olympic weightlifting group had significantly increased their 10 meter sprint speed and their standing jump over the control group using standard vertical jump exercises (Tricoli, 2005).

Another 15 week study compared a powerlifting program to an Olympic Weightlifting program for athletic performance. After the study was over the Olympic weightlifting group had a significant improvement in the vertical jump over the powerlifting group (Hoffman JR, 2004).

By the way, a famous NBA player uses Olympic Weightlifting - Baron Davis!

But as long as jumping ability is about (leg) power AND quickness, you also need to work on your quickness:

Wind sprints (5 sets, 50 meters, 3 times a week) are a very effective exercise in this case.

Remember - Success doesn't come overnight, but once you are there, you know the hard work was worth it!

P.S. Additional tip: Lose some weight (if your weight is ok, try to get your body fat under 15 percent) because every extra pound is the extra weight you have to get up in the air.

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