How a 5’5″ Player Trained Himself to Dunk


Tall basketball players have a distinct advantage when it comes to dunking, that’s a fact.

Many of the legendary dunkers such as Vince Carter and Dominique Wilkins are well over six feet tall.

When looking at these ferocious dunkers, you might think to yourself:

“At my height, I don’t have a chance of getting above the rim.”

However, being short is no excuse for not being able to dunk, as many short players such as Nate Robinson and Spud Webb have proved long ago that vertically-challenged athletes are still capable of flying high.

The key to developing an impressive vertical is consistent training and perseverance.

Sound cliche, right?

Well that’s the truth, and if you don’t believe me then check out this 5’5″ guy and see for yourself.

The Story of Brandon Todd – A 5’5″ Dunker

  Today I want to show you a unique case of someone who was unwilling to give up his dream, despite his physical stature.

This is the story of a small guy from Ohio who just wanted to dunk.

Unfortunately at 5’5″, his height was a major roadblock.

Nevertheless, Brandon Todd proved that there’s no boundary to what you can do when you TRULY want something.

Get ready for some inspiration.

The Quest for Dunking

Standing at a mere height of only 5 feet 5 inches tall, Brandon Todd always had dreams of slamming down a basketball through the rim.

Obviously, his height was the main obstacle preventing him from reaching his goal.

After numerous failed attempts at dunking, Brandon started questioning whether he would ever be able to complete his mission.

Fortunately, he did not let his past failures to continue to haunt him.

As a testament to the benefits of an effective training regimen, Brandon can now consistently dunk a basketball on a regular basis.

I decided to post this story for you because I wanted you to see that…

it’s not impossible for you to dunk, even if you’re short.

You see, when I had a hard time progressing with my vertical, I started asking myself…

Can I even do it?”

…and many times, I even thought about quitting altogether.

But after discovering Brandon Todd and seeing him doing the unthinkable, I couldn’t help but thinking:

This guy was 5’5″ and he didn’t quit, so what gives me the right to do so?!

Flying over the rim – Brandon Todd

And all of a sudden there were no more doubts and no more concerns… I knew what I had to do and I felt compelled to it. I knew in my heart that if I keep training, one day I’ll be able to have that dunk.

Now you might say I was wrong to think that, and that Todd is simply a freak athlete… and to some extent you’d be right.

But the truth is…

He’s a classic case of how solid hard work pays off.

And I wish more people knew about the man, ’cause what he did is TRULY extraordinary.

Todd’s story was the thing that inspired me to keep training back when I was still struggling to even touch the rim.

And thankfully, it was all worth it… because now, for a change, I too can say:

I can do it.

Thank you Brandon.

P.S. If you too want be able to say the same and achieve your dream of dunking, regardless of your height, I’ve put together a list of the best programs you could use for jumping higher and dunking.

These programs use the same type of complex training routines Todd was talking about in the video, and they’re currently the most effective way for increasing your vertical jump and seeing results.

They provide the important information and lay the foundation for taking your vertical to the next level.

By using these methods you will have the opportunity to show the world that height is not a limitation, and that short guys too can deliver awe-inspiring dunks.


  1. Very inspirational Jesse, so it seems this guy had to go the extra mile to be able to dunk.
    Guys, if you’re 5’9-10″ this really serves as a proof.

    • Thanks Jesse. Using vert shock helped me to finally slam dunk like a total badass! I was able to add 8 inches to my vertical jump in about two months!!

      I tried everything to increased my vertical before this and nothing else worked. Through the program I learned “targeted explosive plyometric training” to shock the central nervous system of the body into jumping higher. There were no heavy weight lifting exercises and it may have even helped my growth as I’m now half inch taller.

  2. I truly identify with this guy,
    My friends joke about me all the time cause I’m small but this guy gives me motivation to prove to them I’m more then just my height.

  3. Awesome video, you showed that no matter how tall or small you are you can still achieve your goal no matter what it is. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Hey Jesse, I saw Five/Five on Yahoo Sports. I have watched it like 6 times. It is really inspirational and it really resonated with me. I grew up in Indiana and am under 6′ tall. I had a dunking fetish as well. Couldn’t stop trying to fly until I could dunk. Keep up the good work!

  5. Hey Jesse,
    What kind of powerlifting does he talk about?
    Can you go in to more details about it…?
    Thanks for showing this.

  6. I am 6’1” (185cm) and still can’t dunk, lol shame on me, but this guy is really something…I salute him.
    I need to get on the program.

  7. I’m a 14 year old from Iowa trying to learn how to dunk, I have almost a 24 inch vertical, this has inspired me much.

  8. So the weight training he did was Russian power lifting? this video is awesome man! I’m trying to dunk but it just seems like I don’t have the right method. I feel like I’m missing something with my training.

  9. Good story. If he was looking for some inspiration, he should have looked up Spud Webb. Although, he was 5’7″ but he flew above the rim.

  10. thanks for sharing BRANDON i was dunking at 5ft.8 with 2 hands because i could not palm the ball.I use to lift weights,cycle,and wrestle. my vertical jump was 42in. that was very inspirational,you helped a lot of young kids!Practice explosive jumping i believed helped me also.CONGRATS AGAIN MY BROTHER!

  11. I’m 5’3″, 16, and developed jumpers knee from over training. Not looking good for me since the past year of training is going down the drain. Worst part is I can only do so little atm. I’ve been slowing down and trying to recover for a month now and its terrible.

    • Overtraining is the biggest reason for developing injuries and it’s something that threatens all ages.
      I feel you because I once suffered from a jumpers knee and it took me a lot of time to recover from it.
      That’s why it’s important to go with a program that follows a progressive overload approach and has a good foundation to help you stay in the right load/recovery ratio.

    • Hey Jay,
      No, it doesn’t require you to have any equipment whatsoever, you just need some space and a soft surface like grass/playground to do the exercises.

      • Wow ty, you replied so fast! I’m 19 5’5 and can touch rim (not grab yet). I’ve gained 12 inch vert in 18 months and I’ve done jump manual for 12 weeks once u think vert shock “can” still add inches to my vert even if I already did jump manual? id need another 10 inch to dunk :/

        • Yeah, you caught me exactly when replying to emails on my inbox, thus the fast comment…
          Well it’s hard to say because it depends on your max potential and if you’ve reached your peak yet.
          In terms of age you’ve got nothing to worry, 19 is just a kid for this kind of stuff, but every athlete has a certain capacity that sort of determines the boundaries of how hard you can push it.
          What’s your current vertical?

  12. Got seriously pumped just from watching this, even though I’m not 5’5 and I’m actually closer to 6’1 I still think sometimes that it’s hard, but this video gives me perspective.

  13. I’m a 5’5 female who’s 16 and my dream is to become a really good basketball player so I could get a good scholarship, this definitely motivates me to get better and improve my vertical.

  14. Todd’s win over his height gives a strong message to all those underdogs(in any form) who are demotivated by friends, relatives and society that, with strong determination anything can be achieved. Forget other things but in case of sports, your physical odds can never overcome your mental notion.

  15. Absolutely brilliant, although we are seeing this clip years later: it is TIMELESS. Thank you very much for sharing it… VERY POWERFUL and motivational.

  16. That story really inspired me cause i actually thought about quitting in basketball because i work harder than these jocks that play basketball for the team. I can almost dunk the ball and I’m JV! After reading this, i’m not gonna quit and i’m gonna continue on the thing i love. Thanks for putting this story on your blog.


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