Strength Training Tips for Divers

diver strength trainingIt may seem as though that diving is its own training. Meaning, if you’re a diver, all you have to do is dive, and that alone is sufficient to your strength gains. But only untrained and uninformed people would make this assumption. The truth is you need to complement your underwater training with weight training in the gym. Both types of training work differently but complement each other.

How do you get stronger as a diver?

You have to get strong muscles. That’s all there is to it. If you want to be stronger, you have to train your muscles for strength and endurance.

Train all muscle groups.

You use all your muscles when you’re diving, so work out all your muscles in the gym. If you’re new to strength training, start with compound workouts three times a week. These exercises include barbell squat, leg press, lat pull down (or pull up), bench press, and shoulder press. Once you build decent strength, you can progress to muscle-specific isolation exercises, such as standard curl, cable extension, trap raise, leg curl, step up, and calf raise.

Have a solid workout plan.

You don’t go to a gym and just use machines randomly. If you have no idea what to do, ask the gym instructor. You don’t train like everyone else. Know your strength levels and strength training experience, and start from there. If you have been diving for a while and are considering upping your muscular strength and endurance, you probably have some decent strength level, which can be measured by how much weight you can lift properly for 8 repetitions.

A solid workout plan involves properly structured workout schedules and rest/recovery days. Beginners start from full body workout using compound exercises, build strength through progressive overloading, and then include isolation exercises.

Lift BEFORE you dive, not after.

Most divers who also lift weights go to the gym before their scheduled dives. When they are diving on multiple days in succession, they skip weight training altogether until their off days. If you have a diving schedule that conflicts with your strength training schedule, do the strength training first. After the dive, rest. Reduce your activity after a dive to avoid formation of micro-bubbles in the body, particularly in the joints.

Include cardio.

Cardio should be part of any fitness program. The main purpose of cardio is to train your cardiovascular stamina. You also burn calories in the process too. Your muscles are not the only ones working hard when you dive but also your heart and lungs. Do cardio 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes each session. Do cardio after weight training. You can hop on the treadmill or just jog.

Do warm ups and cool downs.

A proper warm up prepares your body for the workout. It raises up your heart rate and breathing rate and wakes up your muscles. The purpose is to improve circulation of blood and oxygen to your muscles. Working out your “cold” joints and muscles increases the risk of injury.

After your intense workout, you should also cool down to gradually bring your heart and breathing rate slowly and avoid pooling of blood in your extremities.

Warm ups and cool downs can be anything from dynamic stretching to jogging. Cardio for 5 minutes is excellent for warm up and cool down.

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