This Guy Can Supposedly Make Anyone Dunk A Basketball

Jacob Hiller is a mad scientist. Well, kind of. 

Hiller, who’s played pro basketball internationally, has put together a manual on how to improve your vertical leap. He says that through his years of trial and error, he’s figured out a way to make anyone jump higher. And of course, if you’re a basketball player, that’s a good thing.

How do you know what works?

Josh: Jacob, what’s your background? How did you put together your program? Have you worked in the medical field or as a trainer?


Jacob: It was an Obsession to Mad Scientist story. I went from being the kid obsessed with jumping, to becoming a personal trainer, to eventually having my own research equipment.  


I literally bought and tried EVERYTHING as a kid, teenager, and even as an adult that promised to help me jump higher: weird shoes, stair running, programs from the back of magazines promising crazy hops, ankle weights, moon boots (which were strap-on trampolines basically). Once I began to find out what worked for me personally, I purchased technical equipment. I began monitoring athletes with electrode equipment in order to watch how their bodies and muscles reacted during jumping, and how they reacted to the training.


This is how our training went from “this worked for me” to “this is the science of how to jump higher.” 

Nature vs. Nurture

Josh: You see guys like Spud Webb and Nate Robinson — tiny guys under 5-foot-9 — throw it down. How do they get those hops? Wheaties? Crazy squats?


Jacob: Genetics does have a hand in developing great natural jumpers. They can have more endowed fast-twitch muscle fiber, more ideal tendon, limb length, etc. But I do think we talk too much about genetics when we see an amazing athlete. It’s often hard to tell what was nature and what was nurture when it comes to amazing athletic ability.


There ARE things that a person can do to jump higher. VERY specific things. Without going over the entire program, a person needs to:

1 – Become STRONGER in the right places

2 – Become QUICKER in the right places

3 – Improve their technique so as to use  the new strength and quickness for a specific movement


Strength and quickness together is what makes an athlete explosive.  He must be strong in order to overcome his own body weight, but being strong is DEFINITELY not enough.

Related: 10 All-Time Dunks That Define All-Star Weekend

What not to do

Josh: What’s the number one mistake people make when attempting to dunk?


Jacob: Most people end up training WAY too hard. Meaning, they do too much volume and not enough high intensity. It’s like running 10 miles to increase your 100M dash. It ends up hurting you rather than helping.

Josh: I could dunk in high school … with a women’s ball. I can’t palm a men’s basketball! Is that just an excuse or could I have really developed a dunk with the right leg exercises?


Jacob: You could have done all kinds of dunks with proper training.  Seriously. Most people never do vertical jump training properly.  If you were dunking a woman’s ball, even gaining 6″ – 8” could allow you to do some pretty sick dunks. 


Josh: Being able to jump higher doesn’t just make you a dunker, but a better basketball player all around. What’s the best success story you’ve seen come from your program?


Jacob: Jumping higher and improving athleticism is literally what got me playing pro basketball, and that’s how I got myself noticed playing in Mexico. As we traveled around the world, I’ve met players who have gotten scholarships, or played pro basketball, and have been grateful to have found a reliable way to jump higher.


While I was in Japan playing some hoops at a local court, some pro basketball players showed up and one of them was doing some pretty amazing dunks. I manned up to guard him in a friendly game and he looked at me funny and said, “Hey! Are you Jacob the Jump Manual guy?! I used your program man!” I love having moments like that!

Josh: Which dunker impressed or impresses you the most?


Jacob: I’m more impressed by raw jumping ability then I am being able to do neat tricks. So I love to watch Lebron James, Shannon Brown, Russel Westbrook and Gerald Green. Derrick Rose is also a very explosive and fun player to watch.


Josh: How’s your three-pointer?


Jacob: I was NOT a good jumper in high school and had an older brother, so outside shooting was my original coping method. The good news is that when I finally learned to jump, people respected my shot enough for me to use the pump fake in order to get an open dunking lane. If you can’t shoot, people just give you too much space and you’ll never get to dunk in the game.

Jacob Hiller is author of The Jump Manual, powered by  ClickBank –

Josh Helmuth is the editor of CraveOnline Sports.


// ad on openWeb