Leg Exercises

Jump Like an NBA Player

Follow these steps and you'll be dunking and spiking in no time.


basketball dunk

Every guy who has ever picked up a basketball has dreamed of throwing down a monster dunk, a la King James or Kobe. Unfortunately, just one thing is interfering with this fantasy: gravity. As we learned a long time ago from an apple-polishing scientist named Sir Isaac Newton, gravity pulls on everything, even those basketball stars whose vertical abilities seem to place them in another galaxy. Sure, you may be doing squats, deadlifts, heel raises and lunges with such intensity that you can hardly walk the next day, yet you still appear glued to the floor whenever it's time to grab a rebound or spike a volleyball. So, besides perhaps some favorable genes, what is it those high-jumpers have that you don't? Very simply, they do a lot of jumping. Period. Here's how you can start developing mad rise of your own to take to the playground.

Beginner's Plyometric Primer

If you've never tried jumping or plyometric exercises before, start with this simple routine, aiming to complete three sets of 10 on each exercise.

  1. Jump rope - This is a basic plyo exercise that also builds coordination, not to mention a killer set of calves.
  2. Two-footed jump - These are simply jumping in place, using the force of your landing to propel your next jump. 
  3. Butt kick - Jump up, bringing your feet up to your glutes and back down before landing.
  4. Two-footed box jump - These are the same as two-footed jumps, except you jump up onto a 6—12-inch box and back down.
  5. Two-footed over-and-back - After your box jumps, try jumping completely over the box and back for reps. Start with two sets of five reps of each exercise, resting for 90 seconds in between. Make sure you don't jump backward off the box; that's when you can get hurt.