Podcast #36: Dunk Wisdom with Isaiah Rivera



“Sprinting is probably the biggest thing that I’ve added, that I never used to do. And it’s had a huge impact on my jumping.”

“One of the best things a young athlete can do if they want to jump high: play a ton of sports.”

Torque: “The person that’s built more thick, they gotta get even stronger.”

What have you done that has translated the most to vertical jump? “Jumped a ton.”


In the past: “I’m dunking every single day. I’m playing basketball every single day… there’s no point for me to do plyos.”

“I do get a lot of that [low intensity plyometric contacts], but it’s through the warm-up.”

Treating Injuries

“There was a time, when it [Osgood-Schlatter] was at its worst, that I considered quitting dunking.”

Treating Osgood-Schlatter: “We just treated it like Tendinopathy and it healed up.”

“Reverse Nordic ISOs, I find they work best for me, for quad Tendinopathy.”

“If you’re dealing with Tendinopathy, you have to do a plyometric progression just to get back into it.”

“Never add something out of nowhere. That’s how you get your tendon pain.”

“Really good jumps, it feels like a rubber band… I felt like chewed bubble gum on a really hot day [after consistent static stretching].”

“During really intense training cycles, I see like a 3-4 inch decrease in my vertical… I’ll deload, I’ll supercompensate, and I’ll jump like an inch higher than what I normally jump.”

“I don’t think it’s possible to be completely healthy while also pushing the limits of what your body can do.”

Biggest Training Mistakes

  1. Getting away from strength training for too long
  2. Pushing through injuries
  3. Deep squatting when my body proportions aren’t built to deep back squat

Jump Technique

“I used to think that there was an archetype jump technique… long penultimate, you gotta get really low, block foot internally rotated.”

“The only time I would try to change it [penultimate length] is if you have a really young athlete.”

Purposelly changing your penultimate: “If you put in a ton of reps, I think it will do more harm than good.”

“There a bullseye… You can go too fast and you can go too slow.”

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw1mvHj6NL86Pj01IeBvjWA

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/isaiahrivera1/?hl=en

Online Coaching: https://www.thpstrength.com

THP Podcast: Spotify and iTunes