In basketball, dunking refers to shooting the ball through the basket with enough power to send the ball back down into the basket. Dunking is considered one of the most exciting and showy plays in basketball. Although most players are able to dunk the ball, only a small number of players can do so with ease and style.
In this blog post, Red’s Army will show you various types of dunks and how to dunk a basketball.
The History of The Dunk
In 1936, Joe Fortenberry performed one of the earliest known dunks at Madison Square Garden. The word “dunk” originated from a New York Times article about Fortenberry’s accomplishment, which stated that the shot resembled “…much like a cafeteria customer dipping a roll in coffee.”
Before renowned Los Angeles Lakers announcer, Chick Hearn began using the term “slam dunk” during Lakers broadcasts, it was referred to as a “dunk shot.”
While the dunk is today regarded as a remarkable accomplishment, this wasn’t always the case. Many players in the 1940s, probably the ones who couldn’t dunk, viewed the shot as showboating and an insult.
To level the playing field, the shot was even prohibited in college basketball from 1967 to 1976. However, the dunk’s sheer joy and enthusiasm won over (thank goodness!), and it became the main event in and of itself.
The American Basketball Association (ABA), the NBA’s main rival, established the Dunk Competition in 1976, allowing the NBA to be more inventive. To the delight of the crowd, players attempted elaborate gimmick dunks that might not have been successful in ordinary games. The iconic foul-line dunk by Julius “Dr. J” Erving, which Michael Jordan later imitated, was also completed here.
The dunk has now become one of the sports’ most thrilling plays.
Different Types Of Dunks In Basketball
1. One-Handed Dunk
The player goes up while holding the ball in one hand and then throws it into the hoop to perform the simplest type of dunk. Jumping off either one or both feet is possible. Using the opposite hand makes things harder.
2. Two-Handed Dunk
The players can hold the ball while dunking with both hands. And that’s what’s known as the “two hands dunking” idea.
3. Windmill Dunk
The windmill dunk can be executed in an odd method in which the players must wrap the ball around their arms. Here, dunks are made by starting with the ball down and fully rotating it before turning the arm in a circle. Depending on the player, the windmill can be executed with either one or two hands.
4. Alley-Oop Dunk
This kind of dunking involves two players, with one player helping the other to pass the ball. The first player would lob the ball high into the air in the direction of the basket. The second player’s responsibility is to catch this ball and pass it through the basket.
5. Reverse Dunk
This dunk style is performed under the hoop with the player facing away from the basket rather than toward it. The player extends his arms while throwing the ball while simultaneously holding it in both of his hands. As he stands underneath the basket, the ball would be passed through it and end up behind his head.
6. Tomahawk Dunk
With this dunking style, the athlete brings the ball back down behind his head while holding it in two hands over his head. The ball would be taken back and passed through the basket in a circular motion.
7. Free Throw Line Dunk
Michael Jordan made this dunk popular, and it is still among the trickiest to pull off. The athlete must be quick and powerful to perform this kind of slam.
The athlete leaps from the free throw line and sprints from one end of the court to the other before slamming the ball home after literally flying through the air. This can be done with one or two hands for an added challenge. The term “foul line dunk” also applies to this dunk style.
8. 360 Dunk
The athlete must perform a 360-degree jump using this type of dunk system. The way the ball is tossed toward the hoop is conventional.
9. 540 Dunk
Even more difficult to execute than a 360 dunk, this kind of dunk needs one and a half rotations in the air.
10. Between the Legs Dunk
This sort of dunk requires the player to pass the ball from one hand to another in the air between his knees, and then he must pass it through the basket to complete the dunk. This kind of dunk is incredibly thrilling to see for the spectators, and the judges give the players’ performances high marks.
11. Off the Backboard Dunk
The player used both of his hands to perform this type. In this, as the name suggests, a player dunks the ball after bouncing it off the ground and into the direction of a chalkboard.
This kind of dunk is fairly common when the player only executes the slammer after catching the ball in midair. This dunk can be used with the windmill, tomahawk, and reverse dunks. The crowd enjoys watching this charming method of dunking.
12. Double Clutch (Pump) Dunk
When doing this kind of slam, the players must first extend their arms in the air, bring the ball back to their bodies or heads, and then extend their arms once again to dunk the ball again. Here, the dunk occurs again, which is why the move’s name contains a double.
13. Rock the Cradle
Similar to the windmill dunk, the player moves the ball around their arms before making the slam in this style. The only difference between this situation and the windmill is how the player handles the ball, which is held in the palm and wrist. In this instance, the player must begin the ball’s circular motion from the bottom, unlike in the windmill.
This dunk style combines the double pump dunk, reverse dunk, 360 windmills, and 360 between the legs.
14. Elbow Hang Dunk
The move, popularized by Vince Carter, involves the player leaping so high that as the ball gets through the hoop, his entire forearm ends up there, where he dangles for effect. This is a difficult one to pull off.
The Key to Dunking a Basketball: The Vertical Leap
Your ability to jump tall is determined by your vertical leap, which is vital for dunks. When you jump higher, it becomes easier to dunk, making it easier for you to learn new dunks if you are satisfied with your vertical leap but tired of the standard one- or two-handed flush.
You can find more information about how to significantly increase your vertical leap by visiting the websites we mentioned, which are also incredibly effective. We also covered in depth how to measure your vertical leap so you can figure out how far you need to run during practice to get to the height you need to dunk.
Read more: how to be good a basketball?
How To Dunk The Basketball?
Go for the hoop with a dribble.
Palm the ball in your dunking hand and control your approach by taking the allotted two steps. Jump from a distance of around 1 meter from the rim. Drive the ball through the net by leaping from your planted foot across from your shooting hand. You can prepare for it.
If you’re having trouble, jump and grip the rim before utilizing a ball. The most difficult element is getting the movement correct.
One-handed dunk initially. Although the two-handed slam is arguably the most dominant play in basketball, touching the hoop with two hands requires a far longer hop.
Make the ball smaller.
When you initially begin, it is considerably simpler to try dunking with a smaller ball. The maneuver will be more enjoyable, and your practice sessions will be more realistic if you can palm it more easily and manage your approach.
Keep practicing your dribbling and shooting with the proper-sized ball to avoid becoming too accustomed to it, but keep a mini ball on hand for those sick dunks.
Get better at handling the ball.
Learn how to control the ball with your arm outstretched by using inertia. You need to develop a feel for handling the ball and maintaining control of it in the air since even people who can palm a basketball occasionally lose their hold when dunking.
Run at the rim and practice slamming the ball against it. You are still honing your approach and holding the ball properly as you leap toward the hoop, even if you are not “dunking.”
You can start with a tennis ball or golf ball, then go on to a volleyball, and finally, a basketball.
People frequently put all of their efforts into getting the rock into the hole and wind up falling, which hurts. A lot. Even professionals experience it occasionally, but if you take your time with the follow-through and concentrate on doing the whole set of motions and landing properly, you’ll dunk more precisely and consistently.
Think of a successful dunk, then concentrate on landing right away. Land as softly as possible on both feet while flexing your legs into the landing. Beware of other players.
Don’t cling to the edge.
Most games forbid hanging on the rim unless you’re in danger of hitting someone below you. In addition to endangering the hoop, hanging on the rim can make you unbalanced and cause you to tumble backward. So, resist the urge to grip the rim after you’ve slammed the ball. Drop it and dunk it.
Practice dunks on a shorter rim.
If you have access to one, start with a basket that can be adjusted in height. To practice dunking, set the height lower. As you get better, raise it progressively to the regular height.
Purchase a quality pair of shoes.
Most players agree that wearing good shoes helps them dunk better and, more significantly, keeps you from getting hurt while trying to dunk.
During your first few dunk tries, you’ll probably embarrass yourself, but get up from the court and try again. If you continue to work on your leaps and develop the strength in your legs, you’ll be amazed at how much you’ve improved.
Building Your Jump
Gain more vertical leaps.
You will need to use your legs to lift yourself into the air and up to the basket. Building a routine of leg exercises that will improve your leg muscles’ fast-twitch strength and flexibility will help you boost your vertical leap by inches, bringing you that much closer to the rim. A suitable routine to start with could consist of:
- 50-100 calf raises
- 2 or 3 sets of squats and lunges
- 3-5 sets of 60 second wall sit
Plyometric workouts, which use your body as resistance to develop strength, are crucial for developing the strength required to improve your jump. Training your body to leap higher takes time, but targeting the proper muscle areas may increase your height and explosiveness without frequently reaching your weight limit.
Strengthening exercises for the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals, and calves are necessary. The hamstrings and gluteals extend the hip, while the quadriceps extend the knee. The initial jump is caused by the calves flexing the ankle.
Improve your adaptability.
It won’t work if you only strengthen your legs. You’ll need to dunk over the defense to give you the movement and response. The muscles must also be loose and supple. You can increase your flexibility by routinely stretching, engaging in elastic resistance exercises, and trying yoga.
The hamstrings and hip flexors are two muscle groups that require flexibility. Hamstring tightness will prevent the knee from fully extending during the jump. Hip flexors obstruct the jump’s hip extension phase.
Start your stair run.
There is a reason why coaches make you run stairs. Running stairs will strengthen the quadriceps, hips, and calves, promoting overall leg flexibility and strength. It’s also affordable. You can run stairs at your home, after school hours at the school, or even on the outside bleachers.
Jump around on the court.
Jump all the way around the court and back. Try jumping as high as you can for three or more laps. Run to the net and jump to touch it until you can accomplish it ten times in a row. Most likely, you won’t be able to finish this in a single day. Continue your efforts. Jump again. Orient yourself toward the rim.
Take a look at our post on how to jump higher in basketball if you want to be a professional player.
Learning Highlight-Reel Dunks
Find out how to two-handed slam.
When Shaquille O’Neal double-handed the ball into the goal, the backboard would frequently break. Although rim technology has made that less likely, it is still a strong and demoralizing dunk to execute.
For a two-handed dunk to be successful, you must have a very high vertical. Practice jumping straight up while positioned beneath the hoop until you can touch your wrists to the rim.
A double-pump will add some flair.
In the double-pump dunk, you bring the ball back down to chest level at the top of your leap, then force it back up to slam it with authority, giving the impression that you’re so high you could dunk it twice. Some well-known players, Tracy McGrady among them, would frequently perform this while spinning in the air, a version of the 360 dunks.
Activate the windmill.
Bring the ball into your abdomen and back as you get closer, stretching your arm behind you and up in a windmill-like motion. Bring your arm completely around to fling it down like a boss at the peak of your jump. Dominique Wilkins, the Dunkmaster General of the 1990s, used to astound large crowds with this amazing dunk.
Chop the tomahawk.
The tomahawk dunk entails pulling the ball back over your head by bending your elbows and slamming it violently into the hoop as if you were chopping a tomahawk. It can be performed with two hands or one. This poster dunk was made popular by “Dr. J” Julius Erving and Darryl Dawkins, who smashed multiple backboards with his tomahawk dunks.
Go between the legs.
Vince Carter dazzled spectators at the 2000 NBA dunk contest by passing the ball under one leg while in the air and slamming it with force. However, he wasn’t the first player to pull it off. The fact that his forehead was virtually in contact with the rim didn’t hurt. Try passing it under one leg and dunking it if you’ve worked your way up to that height.
Read on our post if you want to learn how to play horse basketball
Tips and Warnings
You’ll start to feel your oats once you can stand up and slam dunk a basketball, but there are a few things to consider if you want to prevent being hurt and looking foolish:
Be cautious where you dunk because the rim itself may be a mess, depending on where you play. You could tear your palm open on a corroded, badly maintained rim.
The way down is no easy fall for us guys under six feet, so guard your knees and ankles. Keep your cool, especially if other players are around. Your season will be quickly ruined if you sprain your ankle or knee.
Practice your dunks on stationary goals unless you want to end up in the hospital or become a YouTube sensation. If you place weight on the rim, those things are prone to tipping over, which could result in accidents.
Avoid grabbing the rim unless necessary: Only if you’re hanging on the rim to defend yourself or other players is it acceptable to do so throughout a game. If you behave foolishly, you will receive a technical foul. Incorrect use might make it harmful as well. You can become unbalanced and collapse onto your back.
Practice Makes Perfect
You’ll probably notice that as you develop your power and jumping skills, you get a little bit closer to your objective with each attempt at the basketball rim. However, what will you do when you arrive?
It takes more than just being able to jump high enough to dunk a basketball. Additionally, you need to have ball handling skills and be able to dunk in a game without traveling. You must therefore practice.
The ball management is a major issue for smaller players, and it was one I had trouble with. I can palm a basketball, as most guys my size can, if I grab it carefully, but in all honesty, it won’t happen without a little focused effort.
Some of those large men have the ability to transform a basketball into a volleyball, and they have no issue grabbing it and slamming it over the hoop.
Start small and work your way up if you can almost leap high enough to dunk but you’re having trouble with the mechanics. Although it would be ideal if you could dunk while using two hands, you’ll definitely need to learn to control the ball with one hand first.
Start with one of those miniature basketballs until you find your rhythm. After that, move on to volleyball, women’s basketball according to rules, and then men’s ball according to rules. Keep your form under control as you progress to harder stages, and be patient. You will succeed if you keep working hard.
Watch this video to learn How to jump higher to dunk.
How High Do You Have To Jump To Dunk?
Standard: 6 feet 1inch – 6 feet 3 inches
You can comfortably dunk from this height without needing to perform a lot of vertical jump exercises. At this height, several NFL football players demonstrate their superior ability to jump over basketball players.
What Percent of People Can Dunk?
Only about 1 percent of the world’s 6 billion inhabitants can, will, or have ever slammed a basketball through a regulation-sized hoop.
Not everyone is born with the ability to dunk a basketball. For those who weren’t, it can be frustrating to see other people do. But don’t despair, there is hope! You can also learn how to dunk a basketball with a little practice and determination.