Are you training to become a better basketball player? Do you want to become more of an asset to your team? Learning how to dunk can give you the edge you need, and can also make you a more powerful, well-rounded player, allowing you to dominate the other players on the court, dunk in their face, and get the crowd on its feet. Did you know you can actually learn how to dunk in a month? It’s totally possible with the right type of training, exercise routine, diet, and determination.
A Powerful Workout
If you want to learn how to dunk, you can expect to spend plenty of time in the gym and on the court. You can’t simply practice learning how to jump higher once a week and expect it to pay off. Instead, you need to commit to becoming a better player and a good dunker by putting in the work. Each type of exercise you need to do will require plenty of power. You can’t do a basic squat. Instead, you have to squat deep and explode up when you’re returning to the starting position. When you’re performing a set of calf raises, on your way up, explode up and feel the muscles strain and work. The goal is to train your muscles to react more quickly and more powerfully. If you’re new to the game of b-ball, then you may need more training guidance. Programs such as Vert Shock are specifically designed for beginners who need a structured training program that can teach them how to jump higher and to basically become a more powerful player.
If you’ve decided to go about your training on your own, then this guide will discuss the types of exercises you should focus on and what other changes you should make.
Learning how to dunk isn’t just about jumping higher, you also need to learn the skill of dunking itself. This will involve learning how many feet to plant with, how many steps you need to take, where you should leap from and which hand you plan to use when you’re on your way up to the hoop. Practice will be important. Don’t take the easy way out and practice on a lowered portable basketball hoop. You need to practice on the highest rim possible, one that’s at regulation height, otherwise, you won’t be prepared on the court come game time. Basically, you need to focus on muscle memory and train your body to anticipate exactly how high you need to dunk to make the shot. Repeat practicing will allow your body to take full control, automatically.
Ideally, you should train several times a week to keep yourself in shape for the game. For dunking specifically, incorporate two days that are designed to focus on your jumping and dunking skills. You’ll need to set aside one day for strength training and one day for some old fashioned plyometrics. The first week, you’ll focus on one set of exercises, while the following week you’ll take your workouts up a notch and try out a whole new set of exercises. This will help to continue to challenge your body and set you on the right path in terms of preparing your body to learn how to jump higher with some serious power. You’ll continue to increase the intensity of your workouts every week. By week four, you should have no trouble hanging off the rim and sinking a ball.
Your First Week
If you’re not already in shape for the game, then there’s no doubt, your body is going to really go through it in terms of soreness and discomfort as your muscles get used to working out.
For your plyometric exercises, you can try the following:
- Jumping rope
- Rim jumps
- Medicine ball throws
- Side to side jumps
- Rebound jumps
- Box jumps
- Practice dunking
- For strength training the first week, try some of the following exercises:
- Hang cleans
- Bulgarian split squats
- Glute ham raises
- Calf raises
- Sumo squats
- Dedicate ten minutes to practice dunking
For the second week, you’ll begin to challenge your body more, increasing the number of reps and sets in order to really push your body and see some progress.
For your plyometrics, try:
- Rim jumps
- Medicine ball throws
- Single leg step ups
- Sprints lunge jumps
- Box jumps
For strength training:
Use the same exercises as the first week, but increase reps by five and sets by two.
For your third and fourth weeks, you’ll repeat the same two workout routines as weeks one and two, you’ll simply lengthen the workouts and dedicate more time to dunking practices. Go for twenty minutes of straight dunking practice per workout.
At the end of the month, you should have no trouble dunking. It may not be very flashy or like what you see the players in the NBA doing, but this is your first month. The goal of month one is to just be able to get in the air and sink a ball. Don’t give up. If you want to continue to become a better player and a solid dunker, then you should continue pushing your body with plyometrics and strength training, in addition to dunking practice. However, at the end of month one, you need to take some time off to allow your body to recover and prevent burnout. Most trainers recommend taking a week off of training every four weeks.
At the end of each training session, it’s also important that you ice your knees since constant jumping will inflame them. You can use ice knee wraps and leave them on for ten to fifteen minutes after each practice. If you notice significant pain or discomfort after a training session then you may end up needing to take a few days off for recovery.
If you want to see faster, more impressive progress, then you need to make a significant change to your diet. Consistently working out and eating right are both the keys to progress. Make sure you follow a diet that contains unprocessed foods. I recommend a diet that’s high in beans, healthy fats, nuts, veggies, fish, eggs, and lean protein. If you’re trying to build muscle, on the days that you train, make sure you increase your protein intake. Your muscles cannot grow if you don’t consume enough protein. If you’re short on time, then try drinking a protein shake post-workout. In order for the protein to do its job, you need to drink the shake within twenty minutes of finishing a workout.
What if I Still Can’t Dunk After a Month?
If you didn’t reach your goal and you still can’t dunk after training for one month, then extend the length of your program. If you were totally out of shape in the beginning, then you may need to train for a period of eight or twelve weeks. For people who are new to working out, the first month can be the most challenging and discouraging. But over time, you’ll notice that you’re getting stronger with each workout. You’ll find that a workout that winded you just a week ago, you’re getting through in a fraction of the time.
Results that Last
Just like with any type of training, you have to keep up on it. Just because you trained for a month or two and you’re now able to dunk doesn’t mean you should stop training. If you want to continue to be able to dunk or become even better at it, then you need to continue to train. If you can’t always make it to the gym, then I recommend buying a hoop system for home use, such as the Silverback NXT Portable Basketball. Having this type of access to a portable basketball hoop will allow you to train anytime you want, no excuses.
Can you learn how to dunk in a month? Yes. However, if you’re not in shape, or you’re totally new to the game of basketball, it may take you longer to reach your goals. The key here is consistency. If you want to see results, you need to stick to your workout schedule and progressively increase the intensity of these workouts in order to see some serious results. Training hard using a combination of plyometrics and strength training is the way to go. Incorporate a healthy diet, one that’s high in protein and healthy fats and you’ll see results sooner. Once you’ve reached your goal and you’re able to dunk, keep at it. Don’t stop training. Continuing to work out and perfect your dunking skills is going to make you a more powerful, well-rounded player. Over the coming weeks, after you hit that one month mark, you’ll find yourself looking forward to these workouts and the type of progress that comes with killing it in the gym and on the court.