HE MIGHT NOT be a family title in your favourite NBA workforce’s roster, however Darius Clark can leap with any basketball professional. Clark’s feats of flight have in all probability made their means into your social feeds—and should you’ve seen him high float as much as effortlessly faucet a 13-foot bell on Venice Seaside, or explode as much as try a world-record vertical in a health club, Clark’s jumps have in all probability left your jaw on the ground. Additionally jaw-dropping: He’s doing all these spinning, acrobatic, and face-above-the-rim dunks at simply 5’10”.
“Truly 5-foot-9 and three-fourths,” the 23-year outdated says. The previous Texas A&M All-American lengthy jumper is aware of that each inch counts—earlier this 12 months, he went for the world’s highest vertical leap, a 50-inch explosion that he says he is ready to have authenticated by Guinness. Within the meantime, he’s teaching others on-line to leap increased, in particular person as a coach and coach on the world-famous Dunk Camp.
Clark took a break from pogo-jumping round his Faculty Station, Texas, residence to speak to MH in regards to the workout routines he makes use of to leap so excessive, the vertical leap mistake conserving guys from hitting their very own new heights, and peculiar stuff he places in his pasta.
This interview has been edited and condensed for readability.
For males on the market who’ve all the time needed to leap actually excessive, they usually already don’t skip leg day … what’s the factor they’re lacking?
Everyone is aware of you want a great quantity of power for a great vertical leap. However what folks do not realize is in addition they want reactive power as nicely. The vertical leap is only a measure of energy.
What are some key energy workout routines that guys ought to begin doing in the event that they need to leap increased?
On the power aspect, I would say full vary of movement workout routines, like full vary of movement squats. We’ve got lure bar deadlifts. Nordic hamstring curls are an excellent train for power as nicely.
On the reactive aspect, I like doing drop jumps. That is simply leaping or stepping off a platform of 12 to 24 inches, after which leaping as excessive as you’ll be able to as quickly as you contact the bottom. And seated jumps. Sitting in a chair with the knees at round a 90 diploma angle after which simply leaping from that seated place. These are some key workout routines that I believe all people ought to incorporate into their coaching routine in the event that they’re attempting to extend their vertical.
How typically ought to guys be moving into these sort of issues, the reactive power strikes?
I do reactive coaching each day to a sure extent. I stroll round the home doing fast pogo jumps, simply getting off the bottom as fast as attainable. However I am unable to actually reply that query for everyone as a result of not all people is similar. Some folks may have a knee damage or one other damage, and also you undoubtedly need to dial again on any sort of coaching, you already know, should you’re coping with the damage.
If you hit a very excessive leap, what does it really feel like once you’re within the air?
I used to be taking part in basketball only a couple days in the past, and I went as much as block a a layup. As a result of there was that in-game adrenaline, that undoubtedly helps with vertical. I received a bit increased than regular. And it was sort of scary. Lots of people attempt to land this approach to shield your knees, your joints. However once you leap so excessive within the air, irrespective of the way you land, you are going to really feel it a bit bit. So it was identical to, I am about to really feel this one.
However it’s additionally thrilling as nicely, simply being increased than all people else. It is actually simply enjoyable, to be trustworthy with you. So enjoyable: Thrilling, however scary.
At Dunk Camp, you see guys dunk for the primary time. Are you able to describe what it’s prefer to see them obtain that objective?
So I forgot what his title was, however there was a man who was 40 or 41, and he received his first dunk. With the ability to witness that’s loopy, and seeing the quantity of emotion that he went by way of—all people, however particularly the dunker—it was simply the slightest stage earlier than being overwhelmed. Everyone’s going loopy. There’s a variety of yelling as a result of that is one thing that you simply work fairly exhausting for, particularly getting your first dunk on the age of 40 or 41. It is a huge deal. So that you’re undoubtedly going to be excited, be happy with the achievement.
In a variety of your social posts, you speak about higher physique power and vertical leap. Why is that necessary?
When you swing your arm, you want your higher physique to get off the bottom, to propel you. I believe it is roughly 20 % of the vertical leap is from higher physique power. So that you undoubtedly do not need to skip out on higher physique days should you’re wanting to realize a vertical leap. The way in which I see the higher physique power is simply propelling you upward. That is the the objective of the higher physique.
And what are among the workout routines that you are able to do that can assist facilitate that form of swing?
I do chest press, curl presses—doing the curl movement after which urgent it upwards, urgent the load upward [Editor’s note: curl to press]. I additionally do unilateral dumbbell snatches.
Most individuals assume that you simply want to have the ability to dash quick and squat a variety of weight to have the ability to dunk. We talked about energy, however are there different elements that folks don’t notice go into it?
Most individuals, each time they’re attempting to leap or dunk for the primary time, they sort of overload on the penultimate step. In order that they sort of like take a really lengthy second to the final step or final step, they usually lose all of their momentum, all of their energy. They’re mainly attempting to dunk from a standstill. Like, a standing dunk, which is tougher to do than dunking with a working begin. So leap mechanics undoubtedly performs an enormous position.
When you’re attempting to get your first dunk, you undoubtedly have to deal with leap mechanics. That is why lots of people get their first dunk on the Dunk Camp—we had some nice trainers that assist with leap mechanics. It actually simply primarily comes right down to the final two steps. You possibly can see a distinction of 4 to six inches simply off of a fast 5 to 10 minute fix-up.
What’s a leaping exercise or problem our readers can begin incorporating?
Resisted jumps. You possibly can leap with two 10 to fifteen pound dumbbells, 20 to 30 kilos complete resistance. And simply leap quickly for 12 to fifteen seconds. You undoubtedly do not need to do this each day. Perhaps as soon as per week, 3 to 4 occasions a month.
Clearly, the extra weight you’ve, the extra it’s a must to take off the bottom. So what do you eat to remain lean?
So proper now, really, I am consuming some some pasta. I am bizarre. I put strawberries in my pasta, consider it or not—rooster, candy potatoes, strawberries. I am an enormous pasta man.
Greg Presto is a health and sports activities reporter and videographer in Washington, DC.