Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks is a killer. In fact, the 6-foot-9 small forward may now have the tallest vertical in the NBA (41 inches). The 2005 Slam Dunk Champion had more dunks (101) last season (2006-2007) than Vince Carter (86), Shaquille O’Neil (83), Kobe Bryant (59) or Dwyane Wade (59)!
“I learned how to dunk at 13, going from seventh to eighth grade. I was going to make a layup and it kept going up, so I thought let’s stay here, and I nailed it.” – Josh Smith
The 22-year-old has always had decent jumping ability, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t push himself at all. Far from there! Almost every morning in the NBA offseason, Smith goes to the gym. There, he spends a lot of time on two things: lifting and plyometrics. Josh Smith’s jumping program has two essential elements, both of which focus on:
strength and speed
The first part of the workout consists of Olympic-style weightlifting movements such as pushing, pressing, and clean hanging, which combine traditional strengthening exercises with plyometric movements.
The second part deals with the plyometrics themselves. Plyometrics works the lengthening contraction of a muscle and then quickly follows it with a concentric contraction, which has particular benefits for basketball players looking to jump higher and faster.
If your legs are already strong enough (that means you’ve been training your legs for some time), you can add the following items to your workout twice a week to get the power and speed you need to soar into the air for a overturned. Otherwise, you must first establish basic leg strength to avoid injury.
Starting position: barbell on the upper back. Quickly bend your knees and hips and then pop up and push the bar up. Bring the bar up to your shoulders and repeat the exercise for up to 5 reps. Start with light weights and add weight later. Then do 5 sets of one or two reps.
Starting position: bar above the knees, torso at a 45-degree angle to the ground. Now pull the bar up along your body. Stand on your toes and pull your body forward. Start with light weights and do 2 to 5 sets of five reps. You can add weight later and work one rep per set.
For more exercises and crucial things to know about vertical jump (why what you “don’t” do is often more important than what you “do”), check out this page. I highly recommend: