By: Shae Mayan
Are you looking to up your diving game? If improved mobility is what you’re after, these five exercises will get you there. Better mobility will result in smoother movements underwater and ultimately lead to more successful dives. Trust me; you will be thanking me when you see the increase in your mobility and have the ability to swim under that tiny cave that once scared you!
Before we get into the exercises, it’s essential to understand why having good mobility matters. Divers need a good range of motion to complete all the basic maneuvers, like clearing water from your mask or checking your air supply. In addition, having a good range of motion allows divers to maintain control while swimming in strong currents.
Exercise 1: Hamstring Curls with Resistance Band
This exercise is excellent for divers because it targets the muscles used for kicking. Kicking is a vital part of diving, so it’s important to have strong muscles in this area. This exercise can be done with or without a resistance band.
If you’re using a band, loop it around a sturdy object and lie on your back with both legs straight.
Place your heels on top of the band, then curl your legs up towards your butt, keeping your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
Return to starting position and repeat for 15-20 reps.
Exercise 2: Russian Twists
This exercise works your obliques—the muscles on the sides of your stomach—which are key for maintaining balance while diving. To do this exercise:
Sit on the ground with your knees bent and lean back slightly to engage your core.
Hold your hands together in front of you and twist side to side, touching the ground on either side as you go.
Twist slowly at first and then pick up the pace for a more intense challenge.
Complete 20-30 reps on each side.
Exercise 3: Plank Walk-Outs
This full-body exercise targets key muscle groups for diving—including the shoulders, triceps, glutes, quads, and core muscles.
Start standing up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Slowly bend forward, reaching your hands to the ground, and walk out into a plank position until your hands are under your chest.
Slowly walk your hands back towards your body and stand up.
Repeat for 10-15 reps.
Exercise 4: Superman Stretch
This stretch helps to increase the mobility in your lower back, which is often tight from sitting or standing for long periods. To do this stretch:
Lie face down on the ground with your arms extended out in front of you.
From there, lift your arms and legs off the ground and hold for five seconds.
Repeat ten times.
Exercise 5: Frog Stretch
The frog stretch helps to increase the flexibility in your hips, which is important for a successful dive. To do this stretch:
Start by sitting on the ground with your legs bent and your feet flat on the ground.
From there, open your knees out to the sides and press your hips down towards the ground.
Hold this position for 30 seconds to one minute.
These exercises are perfect for divers looking to improve their mobility and dive success rate! Remember to focus on quality over quantity — once you perfect each movement, you can move on to increasing reps and sets as needed. And don’t forget to have fun!
Shae has a bachelors degree in Animal Science and has spent the last 10 years as a personal trainer (NASM and Corrective Exercise Specialist Certified). Currently she is serving activity duty in the Unites States Navy. We thank her for her service.