Why can a 5 foot 8 inch man dunk a basketball on a 10 foot rim while some people of taller stature can't?

by | May 4, 2011 03:57 PM ET

You asked:

Why can a 5 foot 8 inch man dunk a basketball on a 10 foot rim while some people of taller stature can't? What accounts for the ability to jump so high?

Marshall Brain Answered:

There are three things that allow a person to dunk a ball:

1) Light weight - no fat. The lighter you are, the higher you can jump.

2) Explosive power in the legs, something that you get through weight training and exercise. This lets you jump higher as well.

3) Practice.

This video talks to Gil Thomas, who claims he can teach anyone to dunk:

Learning How To Dunk A Basketball

Some additional instruction:

Here are a set of exercises that increase leg strength:

See also: How To Increase Your Vertical- The Basics and How to increase jumping ability, add 10 inches to your vertical jump!

Here is a person who is 5'-5" and is able to dunk:

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