How to Dunk a Basketball for Short People

Nothing generates more excitement in a basketball game than watching the creativity and athleticism of a player flying through the air and finishing with a slam dunk. It can single-handedly change the dynamic of the game and turn a regular player into a star. Although it helps to be tall or have a natural leaping ability, short people can develop the skills required to perform this amazing athletic feat with proper training and technique.

Player dunking basketball (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

Training

Step 1

Purchase a pair of ankle weights at your local sporting goods store. Strap the ankle weights around each ankle, and jog 30 minutes with a slower pace than normal five days a week for one month. Increase your pace each week as you build strength.

Step 2

Stand on the bottom step of a flight of stairs holding the railing on either side. Place the balls of your feet on the stair with your heels hanging off the edge. Slowly raise your heels as high as you can, and hold for two seconds. Slowly lower your heels below your toe level, and hold for two seconds. Repeat calf raises exercise 20 times for three sets with a 1-minute break between each set.

Step 3

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight, bend at your knees and hips as if you are attempting to sit in a chair until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Simultaneously extend your arms straight out in front of you. From this position jump up, straighten your legs and swing your arms back down to the side of your body. Repeat 25 jumping squats in a row for three sets with a 1-minute break between sets.

Step 4

Keep your upper body straight and your arms relaxed at your side. Extend your left leg straight out behind you with a slight knee bend. Place your right leg in front of you with your knee bent at a 90-degree angle and your thigh parallel to the floor. This is your basic lunge position. From this position, slightly lower your entire body, and jump to the opposite lunge position with your right leg extended behind you and your left leg in front of you. Repeat 25 jumping lunges in a row for three sets with a 1-minute break between sets.

Technique

Step 1

Without using a basketball, try touching the rim to practice getting your timing and vertical leap down. You will get highest when you jump off one foot and reach up with one hand.

Step 2

Progress using a small ball like a tennis ball. If you are right handed, approach the hoop from the left as if performing a lay up. As you get closer to the rim, take two big steps, and jump off your left foot with the tennis ball in your right hand, and dunk the tennis ball.

Step 3

After a successful tennis ball dunk, try using a softball followed by a mini basketball, and finish with a regular sized basketball. If you can’t palm the basketball, then you can hold the ball over your hand like a waiter holding a plate of food and, with a quick turn of your wrist, throw the ball through the hoop.

Tip

Fatigue is a factor, so you might only have the energy to get a few good jumps in before your legs wear out.

Warning

If you grab the rim but can’t hold on, your momentum could cause you to fall uncontrollably, which can cause injury.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
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