Most athletes, if not all, have a preference on how they launch into a jump. This will either involve launching off of one or both legs. If you watch basketball closely you will see this difference in approach between various players, especially when it comes to how they dunk.
While both types of jumping use the same muscle groups, the distinction can have a pretty significant impact on the best forms of training. Knowing which form of jumping you excel at can help you to get the best possible results, so it’s worth taking time to work out how to dunk in a way that fits your individual style.
One Foot Jumpers
Long jumpers and high jumpers tend to fit into this category. It also used to be the dominant form of jumping seen in dunk contests. One foot jumpers tend to be best at jumping from a run up.
One foot jumpers are known for being fluid movers and often have good body structures for jumping (long legs being a crucial component). This strong, natural performance means that one legged jumpers often perform better than their other measurements of strength would suggest.
Two Foot Jumpers
Due to an increase in fitness science and strength training, jumpers who perform better off of two legged launches have become more common. This has been particularly noticeable in more recent dunk contests. Olympic weight lifters and shot putters usually fall in to this category too.
Successful 2 foot jumpers tend to have thicker muscles than their one foot preferring counterparts. They also tend to bend their knees more to get the elevation. They also tend to be better at jumping from a standstill.
While people tend to think of this jumping style as being more about power than smooth graceful motion, it’s totally possible to get a smooth, stylish dunk with a two foot jumping preference.
Is It Possible To Change Jump Styles?
With the right training it can be possible to overcome the body’s preference towards one form of jumping. Michael Jordan, for example, became known for developing his style, from that of a one foot style to a more balanced approach to jumping, equally skilled off of a two foot launch.
In most cases though, it would be best to work on your natural preference first, adding in greater skills in your weaker area at a later date, if required.
Those who want to jump higher off one foot jumping will need to work incredibly hard at developing high speed energy transmission.
If you are looking to improve a two foot jumping technique, then it’s all about getting that explosive strength to jump higher.
Remember, some sports have a leaning towards a certain type of jump, but either style can be effective for dunking purposes. In the case of basketball, it’s just a matter of working to individual strengths to get the best results.