How to dunk

How to dunk in 4 weeks: My training progress

After only 4 weeks of Vert Shock, I was able to throw down my first dunk! I am really surprised that I was able to dunk that soon and I am really excited about the potential further improvement in the second half of the Vert Shock training program! 

So the Vert Shock program is halfway behind me and I have good news: I finally learned how to dunk! And I did so after only 4 weeks of training!

So I got up early this Sunday morning, drank a quick coffee to really wake up and then made my way over to the basketball court. I like to test my vertical jump progress ​early on Sundays because I am usually alone and nobody is bothered by my camera and tripod in the middle of the court (which kinda looks stupid to be honest).

Vertical Jumping can be funny. Some days you just don't have it. But on other days, you feel like you have springs under your shoes!

This Sunday was one of these days! The sun was burning down on the basketball court and made the warm-up almost unnecessary. I felt real loose and started with some light jumps without the basketball, tapping the backboard at the highest possible spot.

Vert Shock Vertical Jump Training

My Rating:

4.5 / 5 stars (read more)

I immediately noticed that my vertical jump was at an all-time best. So I grabbed my basketball and tried to dunk it. After three very close misses, I made my first dunk in a LONG time. See yourself:

Read about the 5 things I learned since I can dunk here!

​The first thing I did back home was to transfer the video files to my laptop because I wanted to watch my first dunks over and over again. But to be honest, it was a bit underwhelming because you can really see that the dunks barely go in. And there is just no way that I will be able to dunk in-game with my current vertical jump height. Right now, everything from the approach to the take-off has to be perfect and these situations just don't come up in games...

But this success is a great motivation to keep working out! And who knows how high I will be able to jump in another 4 weeks when Vert Shock is completed. Maybe I will throw down tomahawk dunks with ease 🙂

An easy way to measure my vertical:

On a side note: I was thinking about how to track and prove my vertical jump height to the readers and I think I came up with a great solution: I bought self-adhesive measuring tape like this one on amazon and put it on the backboard of the hoop where I did all my dunking attempts so far.

I adjusted it to my standing reach so that I can read my jump height by simply trying to reach the highest point on the measuring tape. The tape I bought from german amazon is in meters, the little black spot you can see in the picture below marks a vertical jump height of exactly 1 meter (around 39.5 inches). Unfortunately the resolution of the video is not good enough to read the exact measurement, but I am definitely getting closer to my goal of a 40" vertical!

Measuring vertical jump using self-adhesive tape

From the picture above my best guess is that I am missing about 5 inches to a max running vertical of 40 inches. With a basketball I am still not able to generate the exact same jump height but I think I am getting better there as I practice it more and more...

This week of Vert Shock was really awesome. Finally being able to dunk again has really re-ignited my motivation to work hard and I am looking forward to dunking a lot more (and better) in the next weeks! 

You can read about my final results after the complete 8 week program here!

Leave a Comment:

6 comments
Hugo says September 14, 2015

Hello Andy,

My name is Hugo and I’m from Spain. I’m a fellow basketball player that recently started with the Vertshock program (I’m still in the middle of the second week of training).

I started watching you channel a week ago, but suscribed just today. First of all I’d like to thank you for sharing your progress and hope you reach your 40 inches goal!

Just to give you some background about my personal story, I started playing basketball again a year ago. It was this summer that I decided that I wanted to dunk, so I started a free three month jumping program (http://www.basketballforcoaches.com/vertical-jump). Unluckily I didn’t measure my vertical during that time, but I can definitely tell I improved.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, I decided to make some research on the best vertical jump programs out there, and ended up deciding on going with Vertshock (mostly for the same reasons you pointed out on your blog).

My height is exactly like yours (6 feet), and my vertical jump before starting with Vertshock was around 24.4 inches. I’m waiting for the second week to finish so I can record my new vert. Anyway, the problem is that on a 2,90 meter (9.5 inches) basketball I can surpass the rim with my whole hand a little bit of my forearm without a ball, but I don’t seem to be able to dunk when I’m trying to actually dunk the ball.
I was wondering if you’re practicing your dunks on a small basketball like mine (9.5 inches) or a professional one (10 inches).

I would also appreciate any comments or tips you could share. I really feel like I should be dunking by now, but I guess I may lack the appropiate technique to dunk apart from a few inches.

Keep up the good work, it feels very encouraging to read about other people’s journey to dunking!

Reply
    Andy says September 14, 2015

    Hey Hugo,

    thanks for the comment!
    I have just recently measured the basket you can see in the video and it is actually 1inch short of being 10 ft. But by now I was also able to dunk in the gym were my team practises on a regular 10ft basket!
    I think your problem is very common, there is much more to dunking than just being able to jump high.

    I have rather small hands and because of that I have trouble dunking with only one hand. I cant palm the ball and so I always lose control of the ball on the way up. But after I switched to two-handed dunking (which should be a lot harder for most) dunking became a lot easier to me!

    Are you trying to dunk off of one leg and using one hand or are you a two-legged jumper like me? Maybe you want to switch this up and see if the other way works better for you..
    Another idea would be to practice with smaller balls (tennis, volleyball, football etc.), I think once you have the coordination to do it with smaller balls, you should be able to adapt to a basketball rather easily.
    Overall I think it is a great idea to learn how to dunk on a lower basket, I had a 9ft basket in the driveway when I was a kid and I think I am still profiting from that 🙂

    Reply
Eba says November 4, 2016

Did you use instant shock before using vert shock

Reply
Will Chien says February 20, 2017

im in my 1st week of the program, and curious, can we take 2 days off/per week if we get tired and we have bad knees, im 30 now, i played hours and nights bball for years and every summer, sprained both my ankles on the team didnt heal back right, knees feel pretty worn out, on days i can barely walk out of bed have to warm my knees up, but i want to be able to dunk before i can’t bball anymore.. would this program work if we rest 2 days each week and sort of extend or continue where we left off? im starting to get really sore but im very determined to do this. i can grab rim (2 inches above it with fingers), or touch it from standing jump. hope the program will get me there. ………have you tried weight squats/? i read that helps people after all the plyo workouts..

Reply
    Andy says February 20, 2017

    Sure! If your knees are killing you I would take a few days off until you feel better. Also, try to do the plyometric exercises on softer surface like grass or wooden gym floors. Weighted squats are definitely helpful, but they take a lot longer to show results than plyometrics. If you want to do them anyway, it makes more sense to do them for a few months before you start the plyometric work. This way you build up strength which will be of additional benefit once you start the plyometric exercises. The other way round, the slow movements of strength training can actually hurt the quickness you have built up through the explosive plyometric exercises.

    Reply
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