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How To Dunk A Basketball: The Ultimate Guide

If you’ve ever watched an NBA dunk contest and thought to yourself, “I could do that,” then this post is for you. We’re going to break down dunking a basketball into simple steps. And provide some tips on how to train for it. Here’s our ultimate guide on how to dunk a basketball.

This blog post will cover every step of the dunk as well as ways you can train for it. Dunking seems like such an impossible task but doesn’t worry; we’ll break it down in easy-to-follow steps and provide some helpful training advice too!

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What is Dunking in Basketball?

Dunking is when a player jumps up and dunks the basketball in one fluid motion. A dunk has to be performed over another person; if you can dunk on someone, then that’s considered a flagrant foul or an assault. Dunking is also referred to as “slam dunk” which makes it easy to remember what they’re called!

 dunk a basketball

Tips on Preparing to Dunk a Basketball?

So once we’ve defined dunking, let us explain how you have been able to do this your entire life! You might think of yourself as being vertically challenged. But don’t worry about jumping high because there are some tips for increasing jump height below too.

It’s Time to Get Dunkin’!

Don’t forget that you can train for this by doing several different exercises which are explained in detail below. Now let us get dunking… Dunking seems like an impossible task but it isn’t, trust us!

Here are some simple steps detailing exactly what you need to do. It might seem intimidating at first especially if you consider yourself vertically challenged (short). Or don’t know where to start with your training. We’re here for you though and will provide lots of helpful tips too so read on…

Stretching is Important

First off, stretch out those hamstrings and calves by doing some simple stretches. When you dunk a basketball, you’re going to be jumping. So your muscles must be stretched out and ready for action.

When You Dunk Your Whole Body Moves!

For one thing, dunking is not just an arm movement. When you dunk a basketball your whole body needs to follow through with the motion. So try practicing on some benches or steps first before attempting on the court if this sounds new to you.

Increasing Vertical Jump Height

Now that we’ve gotten our first dunk out of the way, let’s talk training advice for increasing dunk height. Several different exercises can be done but if you want an effective program then check out NBA player Kenny Gregory’s workout routine. As he regularly trains with weighted balls to increase his vertical jump height:

  • Hold a medicine or slam ball above your head while standing upright. Bring it down past one side of your face so it’s behind this ear and then dunk it.
  • Take a medicine ball and stand with your back to the basket. Start at arm’s length away from the hoop, jump towards the basket, reach up high for a dunk while jumping off of one leg or both legs if you are comfortable doing so. Repeat this step by standing closer to the hoop each time. Until dunking becomes easy enough for you to do on just about any shot attempt – even without leaving your feet!

These are two of our favorite exercises that can be done anywhere anytime. This will help increase dunk height quickly but there are several other training tips too:

  • Sprint as fast as possible over short distances (about 20 meters). Look down at where your feet hit when running; notice anything different? That’s right, your heels hit first instead of the middle or front part of your foot! This is because you are using quick movements to dunk a basketball.
  • Jump rope for at least five minutes every day. You’ll want to jump up with two feet when turning the rope and if possible. Try doing it on one leg too (jump off both legs).
 dunk a basketball

The Dunk – Step-by-Step

Grab a basketball, stand about three feet away from the basket, and make sure you have a run-up of about five steps.

Make Sure Your Fingers are Flexible and Grippy

When dunking the basketball, you need to hold it with your dominant hand while doing so! This means that if you’re right-handed then dunk the ball with your right and vice versa for left-handed players. You also need strong fingers which is why we recommend working on this during training too.

Simply grip some tennis balls or roll them around in your hands at home/at work until they become softer. When dunking a basketball, you’re going to be putting all pressure down onto one finger. So avoid injuries by making sure yours are flexible and grippy enough before attempting any dunks!

Keep Your Spine Straight and Head-Up!

When dunking, you need to keep your spine as straight as possible. If it’s curved then this could lead to back injuries from trying to dunk a basketball which is why we recommend keeping the above advice in mind too.

You also want to make sure that when dunking a basketball you jump high enough so don’t forget about our tips on how to improve your vertical below either!

Bring The Ball To Your Upper Chest And Extend Your Arm Outwards

Keep bringing the ball upwards until you’re at chest level – some people prefer dunking with two hands but if that doesn’t feel comfortable for you then go and do one hand instead. Your dominant hand should be on the ball and your other arm will extend outwards.

This is where you need to make sure that you dunk high enough so aim for the top of the backboard if this sounds like a new technique to you.

Bring The Ball Down And Extend Your Arm Outwards Again

Now dunking is going to involve repeating some movements several times, just keep in mind that every time we’re talking about dunking a basketball!

Next up bring down your stretched-out, the non-dominant arm which has been holding onto the ball until it reaches eye level then follow through by extending it outwards again before bringing everything upwards once more.

Repeat these steps many times until eventually, they become second nature – dunking a basketball is not easy but with some practice, you will get it!

Bring The Dunk Down And Extend Your Arm Outwards Once More

Bring dunking down once more until your arm reaches the height of your waist then extend outwards one last time. Remember to keep everything straight and make sure that when dunking a basketball, you jump high enough so don’t forget about our tips on how to improve your vertical below either!

Practice Makes Perfect – Don’t Give Up Yet!

We know dunking seems like an impossible task especially if this is new for you – trust us though, we’ve been there before. Keep practicing these steps over and over again every day to dunk a basketball and make sure that your finger strength is up to scratch too!

 dunk a basketball

Extra Tip

Now, when dunking the ball you can either bring it down in front of your face or behind depending on which feels more comfortable for you. You also want to be careful with how high you jump when dunking as sometimes if we’re not used to dunking then this could lead to injuries.

Can I Train to Dunk a Basketball?

Absolutely! We’ve provided you with lots of great tips to dunk a basketball and now it’s time to put them into action. Remember that dunking is an art form – not everyone can do it which makes dunkers like Vince Carter or Michael Jordan legends in their game.

It might take some practice before dunking becomes second nature for you but once you get the hang of things, we guarantee there will be no stopping your dunks!

Technique for Dunking a Basketball

If dunking a basketball is something you’ve been working on for a while, then footwork might be your biggest problem. This will make or break any dunk attempt so it’s important to get this right.


Keep both feet shoulder-width apart when standing away from the basket and jump off of one leg (the opposite leg should be slightly bent). Try not to look down at where your feet land but instead focus solely on dunking the ball – if you find yourself nervous about dunking in front of an audience then practice doing it alone behind closed doors until perfect!

Watch Your Dunk

If dunking on a regulation-sized rim then you’ll want to dunk the ball from your chest and not your forehead – this is because if dunking on an NBA hoop, it’s about ten feet away but only nine feet for NCAA regulation rims which force players to jump higher to dunk successfully!

Extend Your Arms

Be sure that while going up for a dunk attempt, both arms need to be fully extended at all times! This signals the referee that you’re ready to go and nothing will stop you from completing such an amazing feat!


Try performing several of these drills before attempting another slam dunk again so that when it comes time for game day or just a normal practice session, everything flows smoothly into one beautiful play. You’ll find dunking a basketball is easier than ever and dunk contests will no longer be an issue!

Can a 5 Foot 11 Person Dunk?

Of course, dunking is possible for people of all heights and we’re willing to bet that dunk contests would be far more interesting if they were open to everyone – dunking a basketball should not be limited by height; it’s an art form!

Every time you see someone dunk, it’s like witnessing one of the best things in life. This doesn’t mean though that dunking is only meant for tall people as there are plenty of us out there who can do this too no matter what your stature may look like!

We don’t necessarily believe that dunkers are born but instead made through hard work and practice so let these tips on how to improve vertical get you started with your journey!


There are so many different ways for dunking but these tips should help get you started – good luck out there! Remember that dunking seems impossible but with practice comes great results which means dunkin’ in no time flat! Dunkin’ isn’t hard once you know how…

We hope that this guide has been helpful, remember: keep working hard, and one day soon enough all of your dunking dreams will come true!

Here are Some of our Favourite Basketball Sneakers

Here we will be giving more of an opinion, rather than facts. Are the sneakers worth the price that they are being sold at? Should you upgrade from your current sneakers, depending on what boots you own? What features stand out on these sneakers? If any. Does it do the job? Speed, control, stability etc. Depending on your needs/preferences. We can also mention its durability, if we have collected enough data on the specific sneakers.

What did we expect vs. what we got. Is it maybe overrated/underrated?


Here’s our pick from the very best of the bunch.


On your way to the pro leagues? Here’s our pick.


Want something to start with? Have a look at our pick.


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