Remember Spud Webb winning the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 1986? Just 5’6″!, Spud beat defending champion Dominique Wilkins with a variety of nasty dunks: a one-handed 360, a two-handed double pump, and a 180 reverse double pump, just to name a few.
So, it is clear that you do not need to be very tall to make a mate. It’s all about the vertical jump: your vertical jump! And most importantly – you can train it! You can increase your vertical jump. If you do not agree on this point, you do not need to continue reading.
Spud Webb had a 42-inch vertical, what’s yours? To find out, stand near a wall and stretch your arm above your head. Now, mark the top point of your hand on the wall. Put your hand down and mark your fingers with some chalk or paint. Now jump as high as you can and touch the wall with your hand. The distance between the two marks is your vertical.
Well, now you know where you are and where you want to be.
The next step is your overall fitness. Your legs must be strong enough to take on a vertical program. You also have to lose the extra kilos (if you have them).
To do this, jog and jump rope 3 times a week (jog: minimum 45 min. 3 times a week; jump rope: 100 jumps 3 times a week)
Jumping rope not only gives you explosiveness and calf strength, but it’s also a great way to build endurance and work on overall leg strength.
Other very effective exercises are calf raises and squats, as they train the most important muscle groups in the jumping process. Do these exercises from time to time (on days you don’t run).
Important note: don’t overdo it (max. 1 set of 8 repetitions 2 times a week)! After 2-3 weeks your legs should be ready for a vertical program.
Now you can try exercises like this:
Stand up straight and jump as high as you can without bending your knees (they will bend a little). As soon as you hit the ground, jump back up. Repeat the movement several times. This exercise is very effective for strengthening the lower leg muscles.