Box jumps can help you dunk a basketball.
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The box jump is a plyometric exercise that builds explosive leg strength. That improved leg strength can help you sprint faster, run farther and jump higher. If you can already dunk a basketball, box jumps can make slamming the ball easier. If you can't quite jump high enough, box jumping may help you add the dunk to your shooting repertoire.
To perform a box jump, all you need is a raised platform -- which doesn't have to literally be a box. You can jump onto the first step of a staircase, or a bench, for example. The higher your platform or box, the more challenging your workout becomes. Stand facing the box, then jump and land on it with both feet. Jump back down immediately. Keep your knees flexed throughout the exercise and swing your arms forward as you ascend. Perform the jumps as quickly as possible.
Muscles and Joints Worked
Box jumps work almost all of your thigh muscles. The exercise targets your hamstrings, but also works your quadriceps, plus the hip adductors and abductors. Box jumps also strengthen the gluteus muscles in your butt and hips, as well as your calf muscles. Your hips and knees extend and your ankles flex when you jump up, while your hips flex when you land.
If you've mastered the standard box jump but still can't dunk the ball, increase the intensity by jumping onto a higher platform, just a few inches short of your maximum vertical jump. To prepare for the jump, spread your feet about shoulder-width apart, bend your knees and hips as if you were squatting and swing your arms back. Jump by thrusting your arms forward and up as you push hard off the floor with your legs. Land on the balls of your feet with your knees flexed, then bend your knees a bit further to absorb the impact.
Dunking the ball through a 10-foot hoop requires a certain amount of height. If you're 5-feet tall, for example, you won't be able to dunk the ball, no matter how many box jumps you perform. Talk to your doctor before starting a box-jumping routine, particularly if you've been inactive or have health concerns. Stop doing box jumps if you feel pain. Warm up with five to 10 minutes of light aerobic exercise before doing box jumps. Follow with some dynamic stretches, such as walking lunges, leg kicks, walking with high knees or running butt kicks.