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Claude McKnight: Still Jumping and Dunking at 55

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Success on the basketball court requires not only a ton of practice, but the development of certain muscle groups that can allow you to become quicker and more agile and jump higher. Fast twitch muscles are the primary active muscles that allow your body to react quickly without getting tired. Since basketball is a game of constant motion and short bursts of speed, developing fast twitch muscles will enable you to become a better basketball player.

Fast Twitch Exercises for Basketball, Chris Blake

If you are a Claude McKnight Facebook fan as we are, you have probably noticed #canclaudedunkat55. He is on a quest to make his 55th year a big basketball dunking experience. We were so curious, we caught up with him for an interview. Here’s what Claude is up to, in his own words.

#canclaudedunkat55 came out of being an athlete and playing basketball all my life. I’ve had two knee surgeries, and I recover as well as I can. Because I don’t jump as high, I don’t try as hard as I used to. I question myself: Do I need to quit doing these jumps? Do I need to retire and stop playing basketball? Sometimes, I wonder if I can actually get my abilities back – so that I can actually dunk again.

In the quest to dunk, jump and keep playing basketball in 2017, I am trying new ways of stretching and strengthening the fast-twitch muscle fibers that make the best basketball jumpers. Consulting with doctors, massage therapists, and keeping biometric records, I am asking important questions: What is the trajectory for me? What do the cartilage, muscle and joints look like inside my body? What is my future on the court?

As I get older, recovery is tough for me. It’s not like I was 25 and could be at 80% after a tough basketball game or workout. Recently, I had a workout that did not feel good and went into a funk – for about five minutes. I realized I want to do better in every workout. As an athlete who does explosive jumping movements, I use fast-twitch muscle fibers. I know I have to stretch and train both sides of the muscles, tendons and ligaments in my feet, ankles, Achilles tendons and gluteus, to name just a few.


But the most important part of this journey for me – and for everyone – is my mind. In this whole basketball process, I have always been able to jump, plant, dribble and jump. I think aging is slowing me down, making it impossible for me to continue. But now I realize that I have to have my mind in the right place before I can get started. My mind is already saying “no” – and I must change that.

If I’m already saying “no,” I’m denying myself the success I seek – before I even get a good start. So, to help me answer the question “Can Claude dunk at 55?” I am talking to a producer here in LA to do a documentary about my process and my journey. Together, we will look at that aging process and how to stop the war my mind is waging against my body. We will record what it means to say “yes,” and to make dunking the gift I give myself by my birthday in October.

My advice to me and everyone else? Just move. It gets harder and harder to even continue if you stop moving. Even a little walk every day can help. Get your mind in the right place and say: “I can do this!” We all have the power to get our lives back if we believe. Stay tuned.

For more information about Claude’s recovery and pain management drink of choice, visit www.playagainnow.com, http://www.facebook.com/PlayAgainViscos/, or follow @playagainnow on Twitter and Instagram.

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