How To Dunk

Michael Jordan

The slam dunk is one of the greatest displays of athletic power in sports.

The dunk is an artistic display of speed, flexibility, power, and explosiveness.

It is every basketball player’s dream to be able to dunk…

Nothing gets a crowd crazy and electrified like a good-ol dunk during a basketball game, whether it’s a pickup game or the NBA finals.

How To Dunk A Basketball In 4 Simple Steps.

1. Increase your vertical leap

The first thing you need to do if you want to dunk is to increase your vertical leap.

You can do this by doing exercises that make you jump higher and/or by following a great vertical jump program like the Jump Manual.

As a rule of thumb, you want to be able to get your whole hand above the rim in order to dunk.

Every athlete varies in height and limb length, so you need to figure out how many inches you need to add to your vertical before you can get your whole hand above the rim.

2. Improve your flexibility

This goes hand-in-hand with increasing your vertical jump.

If you increase muscle flexibility and elasticity, you will be able to jump higher.

In fact, if you currently don’t have good flexibility, you increase your vertical jump by simply stretching more.

Stretching also improves the range of motion of your joints, helping you prevent injuries.

Stretch your whole body, but pay special emphasis on stretching your lower back, hips, quadricep muscles (thighs), hamstrings, and calves.

Check out these great tutorials on how to stretch the muscles mentioned above:

3. Improve your grip strength

Increasing your grip strength will do wonders for your dunking ability, especially if you can’t touch your whole hand above the rim when you jump.

hand gripper

hand gripper

The simplest (and cheapest) way to increase your grip strength is to squeeze a WET towel.

Yup, just get the towel wet and squeeze away!

You can also improve your grip strength by buying hand grippers

4. Master the mechanics of dunking

A high vertical jump is not enough when it comes to dunking.

I’m sure you know many athletes who can jump really high but cannot dunk very well, often missing most of their dunks.

On the other hand, there are many athletes who can barely get their hands above the rim but can consistently dunk the ball successfully.

This is because they have mastered the mechanics of dunking.

Before we get to the mechanics, let’s discuss the 2 ways of dunking.

  • Single Leg Takeoff
  • Double Leg Takeoff

Most dunkers can dunk using both takeoffs, but they always have a preference.

For example, Michael Jordan and LeBron James are more single leg takeoff dunkers while Dwight Howard and Nate Robinson are more of double leg takeoff dunkers.

Dunk Mechanics

a) Single Leg Takeoff

  • Speed dribble towards the basket, then take the allowed 2 steps while palming the ball in your dunking hand.
  • Jump as high as you can after your second step, extend your arm towards the rim and stuff the ball through the net
  • Make sure you land safely by landing softly on your feet.
  • Run back for defense! (unless you pull of a 360 between-the-leg dunk whereby your coach will run on the court and celebrate with you)

b) Double Leg Takeoff

  • Speed dribble toward the basket and jump-stop (plant both feet on the ground) about 1 foot away from the rim.
  • Grip the ball with both hands and extend your arms towards the basket, jumping as high as you can.
  • Stuff the ball through the net with both hands.
  • Make sure you land safely by landing softly on your feet.

Tips and Tricks

  1. Practice on an adjustable height basket and start on a lower hoop and gradually increase height.
  2. Dunk a smaller ball first and slowly progress to the basketball as you become more proficient at dunking e.g. tennis ball – > volleyball -> basketball
  3. Practice dunking with one hand first. When you get it down, practice dunking with two hands.
  4. Watch your favorite NBA players dunk and try to notice how they do it ; how do they approach the rim? how far out to they begin their jump? Noticing these details will help you dunk better.

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360 Responses to “How To Dunk”

  1. Gelo Says:

    just by APLS it can give you 3-5 inches when you jump

    Reply

  2. chris Says:

    thank you for the tips

    Reply

  3. darez Says:

    i am 15 yrs old and 5 foot 9 andd a half inches and can grab rim but cant dunk plesse help me!!

    Reply

    • Coach Flight Says:

      Lol I can’t dunk, but I will tell you this…all the people who know how to dunk successfully get above the rim. I tell players on fastbreaks to lay it in because they can only grab rim. When you can get about an inch or 2 above the rim, (measuring from the bottom of your palm) your a rimgrazer. But when you hit 6 inches+…you are taking flight.

      Reply

  4. Conor Says:

    Hey guys I’m 15 and 6’6 I have a 23 inch vertical jump and I can only one hand dunk, I do squats and calf raises along with bicep curls every second day and I haven’t seen many results.
    Can someone please suggest how I can improve my jump.
    Thanks

    Reply

    • Justin Says:

      Im only 16 and Im 5″10 and I can dunk , I streched before every exercise it will hreally helps , it prevents your legs from gettting worn out , I started out doing 200 calf raises a day 100 when I wake up and 100 before I sleep . During the Day I jumped all the time and I just tried to touc rim , then I was able to touch rim then started to do 2 sets of 20 , meaning I tried to touch the rim 20 times the I took a break then I tried again , keep trying and it will pay off .

      Reply

    • tips Says:

      just do one leg calf raises with weights

      Reply

    • boy Says:

      Go buy the jump manual! it works like crazy. its 67$, but it’s worth it for like a christmas present or something. im 14, and i went from an 18 inch vertical to a 24 inch vertical in 3 months, and i couldn’t even do the entire workout!

      Reply

    • Jamie rodney Says:

      You need to rest in between all of your exercises and take rest days to let you body recuperation

      Reply

    • A. Banks Says:

      Try to incorporate plyos. Like box jumps, depth jumps, and other similar workouts.

      Reply

  5. bryan Says:

    I am 24 6’1″ and i can drunk one hand or two if im hype.. the tip go out and drunk whenever your not sore!!! youll get it down just like dripping with your left hand =D

    Reply

  6. lucson Says:

    cool

    Reply

  7. Jeremiah Says:

    i am 5 foot 4 i can grab the rim what can i do to be able to dunk

    Reply

  8. usman Says:

    waag1 people…i think i might have posted on this website before…not to sure. but if i have i was defo complaining about how my jump is minor and being outjumped by random mandems and getting rejected. but now its different…ive been practicing palming the ball and now i can do that i thought i might aswell try and jump and see how high i get….boy i never expected to touch the rim….but i can tell yu i was well happs. anyways just wanted to say all i done was about 500 calf raises a day (not all together of course) and played basketball like a dog everyday for about 3hours and i soon saw my vertical increase. btw i dunked it this morning…although i can barely touch the rim it helps that i can palm the ball. i usually used to read comments about people practising palming the ball….and i used to think “what absolute idiots” but trust me it pays of when ure dunking it and everyones goin crazy…but the best of all when the chix scream ure name!!!!!

    Reply

  9. harwalwal Says:

    im a 73 years old and i can dunk but my back has artheritis and i think that if i can do it so can you! BOB THE BUIDER, CAN YOU DUNK IT, BOB THE BUILDER, YES WE CAN!

    Reply

  10. fly fade khalifa Says:

    Well hey I’m 14 and I’m 6ft tall I can’t grab rim with both hand but I can with one. When I dunk the ball it either bounces around then go in or it comes right out. All I do is run a lot and leg presses.

    Reply

  11. Logan Says:

    I’m 12 and 5.5 and my b ball hoop is like 9.11 and I can touch the rim Its summer and Im trying to practice atleast 3 hours a day or more. I won’t to dunk by gr 8 and I’m going in
    To gr 7 any tips on how to increase my vertical

    Reply

    • Mohamed Says:

      Im 12 yrs old and im 5.5 and i can touch the middle part of the net but i want to focus on getting my vertical . Please help , so next year i can dunk . Im willing

      Reply

  12. brad Says:

    i am 15 and 6ft 9 and a half inches tall i can dunk but not 360 help please !

    Reply

    • Jay Says:

      A 360 is all about explosiveness, flexibility, and athleticism. I can do a 360, 360 alley-oop….It just takes practice. Start out by running at the rim from the elbow extended, so you have part of your “360 degrees” already done, (youll be facing the sideline when you take off). I prefer a 2 foot jump to increase my explosiveness. I take the ball and almost motion like I’m passing (push the ball out in front of you with two hands) then bring it down by your knees as you squat down to jump. As you jump lift the ball up with two hands and spin. This approach will give you maximum height. Then to simplify it more, reach out with one hand to gain a couple extra inches. Now I’m 6′ 4″ and cant palm the ball, but this one handed approach is still doable. Now practice practice practice. Try without a ball and hang on the rim with two hands, if you can grab with 2 after a 360 you’ll be set for a one hander. Good luck

      Reply

    • steve Says:

      hey man, just practice grabbing the rim out of a 360, im 6’2 and a half and can put down the occasional 360

      Reply

  13. Brady eimen Says:

    Hey guys I’m 18 6ft and I’ll be a senior this year I can touch rim but not consistently I need some exercises I can do during football season if anyone has some here’s me email please help :p bradyscott2@yahoo.com thanks

    Reply

    • Jay Says:

      squats will be your best friend. they work several muscle groups that a primary for jumping. work squats into your workout routine along with deadlifts. stretch a lot, do those exercises and dont forget about your upper body. upper body strength contributes to jumping more than most people know. just push hard!

      Reply

  14. Logan Says:

    Hey dan I’m 5’5 and I got very good hops I’m 12 years old my b ball hoop is a little short it is like 9’10 I can touch the rim but not dunk I wona be able to dunk in gr 8 and I’m going in to gr 7 do u have any tips to get me a better vertical

    Reply

  15. drew Says:

    hey. i am 5’5 and im 15 and can grab the middle of the net. I know i suk. i just want help. i can dunk on 8’6 goal. i wanna dunk on a 10′ goal. plz

    Reply

    • Jay Says:

      dont be discouraged, your 15 man. I know it sucks making your age an excuse but lets be real, you’ve got plenty of time. look at me, I couldn’t dunk until I was in 10th grade, I could only one hand it. I grew a little and now I’m 6’5″, 24 yrs old, with a 38″ vert. I can do almost any dunk you can think of, but it took me a long time to get here. If you commit yourself to deadlifts and squats you’ll see some big initial gains, then they’ll taper off but stick with it, you’ll get to your goal if you put in the time and effort

      Reply

  16. Justin Says:

    Hey i’m 5 10 and i can barley touch rim, it’s my seinor year and i wanna dunk. Can anyone help me??

    Reply

  17. Josh @ increase-vertical-jump.net Says:

    Flexibility is definitely an overlooked part of jumping higher. Also, diet is very important. I’ve seen a huge improvement in my overall athletic performance when I watch what I eat. Overall, great tips!

    Reply

  18. Jack Says:

    I’m 11 and 5’6 I can’t even get rim. I’m at least a foot and a half off. Why am I so bad at dunking.

    Reply

  19. joshua Says:

    im 12 have a 26 inch vertical jump im 5’1. im currently doing the jump manual and have got 2 inches in the first 2 weeks

    Reply

  20. Colton Says:

    I am 5′ 6 1/2” and i can get about half way up the net and i am 13 years old what can i do to help me at least get rim?

    Reply

  21. Jon Says:

    Hey I’m about 6’2” and I can grab rim and get the rim to about the middle of my hand but I can’t dunk. If you can help me at all please let me know.

    Reply

  22. Swag Says:

    I’m 5’11 I can touch backboard and grab net I want to dunk I need some pointers

    Reply

  23. Brady Says:

    I’m 14 and 6 ft. I can grab the rim. But I want to know how high does my hand have to be above the rim before I can start dunking it?.. It’s the beginning of basketball season and I want to be able to dunk it at the end of the season. Any tips..

    Reply

  24. Justin Yong Says:

    Hi I’m 6.0ft , i don’t do any training i can dunk but i want to dunk without 2 step. i want to improve more! any tips ?

    Reply

  25. James Says:

    I’m 5/6 and I want to know how high my vertical needs to be
    To dunk

    Reply

    • Brad Says:

      Check ur reach. Put one/both of ur arms upward, on the side of your head as if you were reaching for something right above you. measure from the top of ur head/arm to your fingertiptip. Its math,,here i’ll do it for ya…

      Goal: 120 inches
      Your Height: 66 inches
      Need at this point: 54 inches

      Arm-Headtop to fingertip length(estimate): 12 inches

      …End result answer: You need a 42 inch vertical.

      Reply

  26. jesse Says:

    I’m 5’11 3/4 inches I just started dunking I just started trying and a kid helped me make sure to throw your arms up hard when you go up to get better lift off and jump close to the basket not far away just do plyos even if its just jump rope or jumping straight up try hard

    Reply

  27. mike Says:

    im 14 and 5″8 but i have a horrible vertical. any help?

    Reply

  28. Austin A. Says:

    I am 6 foot 7 and I can touch the rim, but cant dunk. I am only in middle school and and 14 and I would love to be able to dunk in January when basketball starts. What do I do to be able to dunk by then????? PLEASE HELP!!!!

    Reply

    • Andrew Says:

      get a better grip on the ball & try doing jumping technics EX pogo stick, jumprope, ect PS: if your that tall you have a gift, USE IT

      Reply

  29. Studio DA Says:

    Hey, guys

    What do you think this? good as a real training kit or just funny product for X’mas gift?

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/74260459/growth-chart-decal-children-wall-decals

    good product or silly.. helpful… reasonable… too expensive…

    appreciate you if you could leave any comment

    Reply

  30. Boedoet Says:

    Hi, I think Derek Fisher is shorter than me. But how can he do a dunk? Anyway, I’m 178 cm tall.

    Reply

  31. Andrew Says:

    im 5 foot 6 and 12 years old, i can touch the middle of the net but i really want to dunk, any tips?

    Reply

  32. jose Says:

    hi im 16 years old and 5’9 and i could only grab the middleof the net any tip to help me please

    Reply

  33. zach Says:

    im 12 my height is 5’7 and i can’t even touch the net yet can anybody give me any stretches so i can get better to at least touch the net
    thanks

    Reply

  34. Dustin Says:

    I am 5 foot 6 and am 20 years old 2 years out of high school, I dunked for the first time my senior year, and it was on someone going for a rebound, after that the confidence boost made dunking rather simple. I used jumpsoles and was actively working out. Just stay flexible and continue to work at it, I amaze people everytime I hit a court amebic you putvin hard work you can/will too

    Reply

  35. kendall Says:

    Hey,
    I’m 5’8″ with a 7’3″ tall reach and a 25″ vert
    I know that sucks but I’ve Been increasing it via training and using dunk routines by rughly 2″ a week.
    My problems are idont know weather im a 1 or 2 footed jumper and I can’t palm a ball.
    How do I fix this?
    Thanks

    Reply

  36. Nick Says:

    Im 14yrs old and about five eight i cant touch rim on a ten foot how to i increase my vert

    Reply

  37. Nick Says:

    Im 14 only five eight how to i get to where i can grap rim fully extended my reach is about 7’5

    Reply

  38. Brandon broomfield Says:

    Im 17 and I wanna dunk on a school basket but can’t do It some help me wit this and I’m 5 8

    Reply

  39. Jakorik Says:

    I’m 6’4 and a forth. I can dunk however I want, but to everyone else. You should do a mixture of plyos, weight lifting, and don’t forget to rest. If you take about a weeks rest from lifting or plyos. You’ll notice how high you can jump. Also work on your balance, your jumping, palming the ball, and build ankle strength. You should gain about 2 or 3 inches. Hope this helps. To check out my vertical. Look up jakorik22 on youtube or scotmockup and look for the dunking vids. Later.

    Reply

  40. Joest Says:

    Jumping high isnt the only thing it takes you have to know when to jump since the 8th grade I’ve been able to do a 180 and grab the rim with two hands and hang on it but I just started being able to dunk consistently this year and I’m now a sophomore. Either try jumping further away from the rim or jumping closer to the rim.

    Reply

  41. Bright(blynnxxx) Says:

    Hi my name is bright i am a dancer and a basketballer and i am 6’5..i can dunk but not too well with only one hand and i don’t like it…am so commited to b-balling,i want to be in the nba and i wan knw how to 360 dunk pls tip me on ma mail pls

    Reply

  42. josh Says:

    hey im 13 and about 5’10″ i can almost touch the rim im planning on doing air alert or jumps soles or one of those whichis better im hoping to dunk by the end of the year

    Reply

  43. colton Says:

    hey im 6’3 and i have a 34 inche vertical most of it is natural but i squat with lightweight and a lot of reps and do 150 calf raises. but the best thing you can do for your vertical is box jumps, vertimax, and just jumping around. before practice i just jump 50 times and my vert has grown the fastest due to that.

    Reply

  44. jim Says:

    im 6’6 16 years old and i can 1 hand, 2 hand, reverse, and i can oop myself and i want to learn how to do a 180 can any one help me?

    Reply

  45. robert Says:

    im 13 and 5’5 and can touch backboard, do you know anything i can do to increase my jump a few inches?

    Reply

  46. Monte Jordan Says:

    Yeah, I can grab rim jumping from the foul line , but I don’t have a ball … how can I dunk ?

    Reply

  47. Jessie Says:

    Hey I’m 6’0 foot I weigh in at 220 pounds I can jump really far but not real high I work out everyday I can only touch the rim with my finger that’s it I need help

    Reply

  48. EEZY Says:

    yo im eezy and im 5’9 i can only 360 dunk a 9 and a half foot goal. its pissin me off not dunking a 10!

    Reply

  49. dom Says:

    Hey I’m 17 I can sometimes get my my whole hand around the rim but for the most part I only touch the rim with my finger tips, what gives?? I’m 6ft, I’ve got a good build only weigh 160. Ive attempted dunking but have only got as close as smashing the ball into the backboard and jamming my finger on the rim so yea wana know whats up with my spaz jump.

    Reply

  50. kanishk Says:

    guyz who say they are 6’9″ at the age of 16 just tell me how did they get it……aha…btw i am 16 6’1″ and can grab the rim and dunk too but i am having problem with the alley oop…..

    Reply

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