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Dimitrije Cabarkapa, Andrew C. Fry; Jayhawk Athletic Performance Laboratory, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas

Basketball is one of the most popular sports worldwide. The basketball dunk uses a very powerful jumping motion to forcefully push a basketball through a goal positioned at a height of 10 feet (3.05m). In the modern game of basketball, the dunk is very popular due to its very high field goal percentage. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine the kinetic variables of peak force, peak power, rate of force development, impulse and time during the concentric phase of the five most commonly used variations of a basketball dunk: one-leg left (1LL), one-leg right (1LR), two-leg left-right (2LLR), two-leg right-left (2LRL) and two leg stationary (2LS). METHODS: Ten healthy recreationally active men (X±SD, age=22.4±2.5, weight=89±6.3kg, height=192.8±4.9cm, vertical jump=73.7±12.4cm) who were capable of dunking a basketball volunteered to participate in this research study. Kinetic variables measured in this study were obtained from a force plate and data acquisition system sampling at 1000Hz. Descriptive statistics and repeated measures analyses of variance were used to analyze the data. The significance for all statistical tests was set at p<0.05. RESULTS: Our data indicate that the most time-consuming dunk approach was a 2LS (0.820±0.116sec) while the fastest dunk approach was 1LL (0.311±0.039sec). The highest peak power output was observed for 2LS (6261.9±1104.1W) which also had the lowest rate of force development (5851.3±3069.5 N‧sec-1) and impulse (408.2±41.1 N‧sec-1). The highest peak forces were observed for 2LLR (3158.4±376.3N) and 2LRL (3206.8±518.2N) dunk approaches. CONCLUSION: Based on our data we can conclude that the basketball dunk is a highly powerful activity that requires high levels of strength and speed. Knowing the specific biomechanical characteristics of a motion can help target optimal training for each individual and lead to enhanced basketball performance. Peak force and peak power values observed during all five of the most common basketball dunk approaches were similar to or greater when compared to some of the most common resistance training exercises performed in weightlifting room. The data presented in this study can serve as a guideline for off-court training programs and for which dunk approach should be utilized at certain times during an on-court game performance.

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