Have you seen Andre Iguodala at the 2006 NBA Slam Dunk Contest?
The 24-year-old swingman delivered the best dunk of the contest in the first round, if not one of the sickest of all time! He caught an Allen Iverson pass on the back of the glass and flew under the dash and rim to strike back on the other side.
Even Josh Smith, the 2005 dunk champion, admitted that dunk was insane and that he would never attempt it, even after seeing it completed.
“That occurred to me one day during the summer. I was in the gym and this guy told me I couldn’t touch one side of the board and go over to the other side and shoot the ball, and I did.” – Andre Iguodala
By the way, did you know that Iggy did more dunks (120) last year than LeBron James (108), Josh Smith (108), Vince Carter (86) or Kobe Bryant (59)?
In case you’re wondering what its vertical is, its 34.5 inches.
By now, you may think:
And that? It’s great for him, but what can I do to improve my vertical?
First of all, you need to work on your general fitness. You have to lose the extra pounds and your legs must become strong enough to take a vertical program.
For that, go jogging and use the jump rope 3 times a week (jogging: minimum 45 min. 3 times a week; jumping rope: 100 jumps 3 times a week)
Jumping rope not only gives you explosiveness and strength in your calves, it is also a great way to build endurance and improve 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 every now and then (on the days you don’t run).
But don’t overdo it (max. 1 set of 8 reps twice a week)!
After 2-3 weeks, your legs should be ready for a vertical program.
Now you can start with a combination of weight training and jumping jacks.
Weight training gives you strength and jump training gives you the speed you need to get your body quickly in the air.
Weight training (2x / week) consists of exercises such as the aforementioned calf raises, squats, but also lunges and leg presses. Use 2 sets of 10 reps per exercise.
Jumping training (2 times a week) consists of exercises such as lunge jumps, calf jumps, and hoop jumps. Use 2 sets of 15 reps per exercise.
Try to measure your vertical every week and watch your nutrition. Avoid fats and try to eat a little less than usual, especially at dinner.
If you are really interested in improving your vertical and looking for a good vertical program, I can definitely recommend Go Up Strong, it gives you everything you need to improve your vertical.
Many people think they can learn to dive in two weeks or less. That is rubbish! Just watch the progress you make each week, your highlights (maybe you can hit a tennis ball already), and the motivation will last.