Introduction to diving

Fitness benefits of diving

Diving is a great sport for boosting your fitness, developing a number of key muscles as well as the cardiovascular system. Here's an introduction to diving and how it gets you fit.

You probably already know that diving consists of a diver jumping from a springboard or platform and performing acrobatic maneuvers before plunging into water.

Introduction to diving

While the prospect of flinging yourself off a board for the first time might be quite daunting, it is something that some of us readily do, perhaps on the beach when we drop off a small cliff face into the sea. The depth of the water in modern diving pools gives us ample protection provided the dive is done safely. The diving pools have depths ranging from between 3m (9.8ft) and 6m (19.7ft).

Diving is one of the original ‘extreme sports’ and gives a great adrenaline rush. Jumping from a 5m board is the equivalent of jumping from the roof of a house.

All competitive diving is done from springboards set at 1m (3.3ft) and 3m (9.8ft) above the surface of the water. Alternatively, it can take place from platforms or firmboards set at 5m (16.4ft), 7.5m (24.6ft) and 10m (32.8ft), though when it comes to firmboards, all major competitions admit dives from the 10m board only.

Diving has traditionally been an individual sport, but at the Olympic Games in 2000 in Sydney, Australia, both men's and women's synchronized diving were added. Synchronized diving involves two divers who perform either on the 3m springboard or 10m platform using the same or similar dives. Judges scrutinize both the execution of each individual diver and how synchronized they are.

Getting started in diving requires very little, other than perhaps lots of courage and some tight fitting swimwear that will stay on when you hit the water!

Health benefits of diving

The health and fitness benefits of diving exercise include:

  • Great exercise for strengthening upper body strength, notably arm muscles.
  • Develops cardiovascular system, with the heart and lungs pumping oxygen round the blood stream.
  • Improves agility and flexibility.
  • Refreshes and focuses the mind from everyday distractions.
  • Tones muscles and betters posture.

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