This is a question that I get a lot.
There are certain scenarios where one method works better than the other.
When Is One-Foot Jumping Better?
One-foot jumping is really great for taking off without any pause. Let’s say you’ve got somebody behind you or you’re taking a cut to the hoop and you get the ball.
Without any pause you can stomp down, go up one-foot and take off.
When Is Two-Foot Jumping Better?
Two-foot jumping is really good for the times where you need to time an alley-oop, for example.
I find it’s much easier to dunk an alley-oop off two feet.
If you want to be a versatile in-game dunker you need to know how to two-foot dunk, two-foot jump and one-foot jump. They both have very specific techniques.
Getting As High As Possible Off The Ground
In some of my other articles I talk about what’s called an ultimate step, where you take a longer second to last step and then a shorter step which lowers your body weight and gets your body ready to pound into the ground.
The other thing is you need to take your step and stomp directly underneath yourself.
A lot of people put their foot a little far in front of them.
What that does is it breaks all your momentum and you’ll get a knee wobble sometimes.
I don’t know if you’ve had it where you’ve got a break-away, you’re about to dunk in front of a crowd and then you step too forward and your knee wobbles and you wonder what happened.
You’ve got to stomp directly underneath yourself.
Improving Your Technique
There’s other things that you can do to improve your technique itself as far as using your tendons better, and as far as planting on the forefoot or rocker stepping properly.
If you’re jumping off two feet and you’ve got the ball, a lot of people hold the ball up in the air and jump with it in that position.
What you need to do is take that ball and when you’re jumping you put it in between your legs.
Bring it down like you’re doing a double pump dunk.
Check out this video of Aaron Gordon in the 2016 Dunk Contest and see how low (down below his waist) he has the ball right before he takes off.
Pro Tip: Click the gear icon on the video and slow the video down
When you put the ball in between your legs you’re able to use your arms and your shoulders.
What people don’t know is you can get a lot of additional momentum from using your arms.
Just try jumping with your arms behind your back.
You’re going to lose several inches.
Training Your Arms For Maximum Lift
Being able to use your arms properly is extremely important for increasing your vertical.
One way to train your arms is with a medicine ball.
Dunk with a medicine ball and then take your regular basketball and dunk and go back and forth from medicine ball to regular ball.
You’ll find yourself using your arms more and more.
Practice Makes Perfect
Just to add a little bit more, I know this is getting kind of a long response, but if you want to be able to jump off two legs you need to be practicing it all the time.
Every day you need to get what I call max jumps in.
Max jumps means getting up as high as you can on every rep.
Get those two-foot max jumps in, one-foot max jumps in, and make sure you’re doing them at the highest possible intensity.
As you increase your stability with one-leg movements and two-leg movements and the strength and explosive exercises, you’ll find that the technique and the strength and the quickness are all going to come together with time.
But you’ve got to put in the repetition, especially when you’re starting out.
I used to be only a one-foot jumper.
That’s what I felt most comfortable with, but after a while of practicing two-foot jumping I just preferred it.
I felt like I had more control.
I felt I could get a little bit higher.
I just liked being able to hop step into a two-foot jump and dunk, that kind of thing.
But definitely, if you want to be the best dunker that you can be in games, learn how to jump off both feet and jump with two feet.
Sorry for the long answer. If you have questions just let me know and I will respond in the comments as soon as possible.