Vertical Knee

Do basketball players improve their flexibility in order increase their vertical jump?

I’ve been known to touch the rim and sometimes on a good day grab the rim. I’ve never played basketball for a team before. I was just wondering what they do to jump higher. Also, do they try to do stretch exercises as much as they can? I look at some of the basketball players in the NBA when they go up for a dunk it looks like their hips are very flexible they can extend their back a little further backwards while in the air. Dr. J wasn’t that strong leg wise but he did look very flexible. Also, I’ve been told I have tight hips could improving flexiblity in my hips alone increase my vertical jump, my legs are already strong. I was wondering if that could really get me the 7 inches I need to get up higher.?Plus, I have tight muscles in my knees and ankles anybody know any stretches for that? The muscle inside and around the knees to improve flexiblity?

This is the least exciting of all the principles that I could possibly name. However, if you do not have proper range of motion in your hips, shoulders, and low back you are not going to reach your potential. Since the dominant amount of force production in a vertical leap is accomplished in the hips, you will see that optimal range of motion is very necessary. If your hips are tight you will not be able to translate force through the hip musculature properly and you are setting yourself up for injuries, primarily in the low back and sacroiliac joint.

Simply stretching though in the traditional sense will not be the solution to your problems. In flexibility training there are two main types, static and dynamic. Static is the what most traditionally think when flexibility is mentioned. Holding a particular stretch for 20-60 seconds. Dynamic flexibility involves certain types of movement that will help increase the range of motion in certain joints. My preferred examples might be stepping over hurdles for the hips. The importance of the distinction relates to how you structure your program. There is a very poor correlation between these two types of flexibility. Meaning if you are bad in static stretching you can still be very good in dynamic. It is important to use both. Usually we will use dynamic methods prior to a workout, as it will provide proper range of motion and assist in increased force production. Static flexibility has been shown to reduce force production so usually it is saved for after the workout as a recovery method and additional flexibility training.

Sport Stretch by Michael J. Alter provides some great ideas for static stretches. Many of my dynamic stretches use basic tumbling, hurdles, and full range of motion lifts. By using all these methods the athlete can increase many aspects of their performance including their vertical jump.


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