Although developing and adhering to a regular flexibility and mobility regimen surrounding one’s workout can be monotonous it has the potential to increase one’s vertical leap enormously. An athlete lacking excellent range of motion in the hips, back, hamstring, and shoulders will fail to reach their genetic potential in all athletic endeavors (this is particularly apparent in one’s ability to jump).
When an athlete jumps, a great amount of kinetic energy is transmitted through the hips. If one’s hips are tight, force will not be translated through the hip musculature properly and acute injuries are inevitable, primarily in the low back and sacroiliac joint.
Utilizing dynamic range of motion drills like stepping over hurdles and duck walks (walking around in a full squat for an extended period of time) in one’s warm-up will engage/“wake-up” the muscles surrounding the hip sockets and carry over to any plyometric (explosive) exercises. Following up a workout with some conventional static stretching (i.e. touching your toes and holding it for 20-60 seconds) will also increase one’s range of motion dramatically.
So, if you are an aspiring dunker like myself it is imperative that dynamic range of motion work and static stretching become permanent parts of your workout regimen.