With precision, grace and an incredible physique, swimmers and divers are undoubtedly envied for their gorgeous builds and toned muscles, but it doesn’t come easy. Achieving the dream divers’ body isn’t a cakewalk, but with a little hard work and persistence, anyone can do it. In honor of Travaasa’s Dive Month, here are a few exercises to incorporate into your workout routine that can help you achieve lean legs, sculpted shoulders and ripped abs.
It goes without saying, flexibility and range of motion is key to success for any athlete, especially diving. Flexible shoulders, hips, hamstrings, and wrists add to the aesthetics of a dive, making it look effortless and graceful. There are hundreds of stretching exercises to improve flexibility. Stretching post-workout allows lactic acid to release from your muscles, helping to prevent soreness and maintain flexibility.
Broad, beautiful shoulders are an obvious characteristic of swimmers and divers. Divers need strong, sturdy shoulders in order to properly strike the water at full force while keeping their arms overhead. To build shoulder strength, incorporate wall planks into your workout routine. Standing at least three feet from a wall, lean forward into a plank position. Lower yourself into the wall and push off, back to your starting position. After three reps of 20, you should start to feel your deltoids, triceps and pectorals burning.
When Olympic diver, Laura Wilkinson was asked what kind of strength training she couldn’t live without, she responded, “We do a lot of core and back.” Surprised? Strengthening your core is the central aspect of building muscle tone throughout your whole body. Because all successful strength-building exercises originate from your core, your abs should be involved for support even when you’re doing arm exercises. To build core strength, start in a plank position by placing your elbows on the floor directly beneath your shoulders in a pushup position. Your head, neck, waist, hips, knees, and ankles should be in a straight line parallel to the floor. While engaging your core and without moving your upper body, lower your knees to the ground and then back in line with your hips and ankles. Repeat for 30 seconds.
It’s important to build calf, quadricep and hamstring strength to get the most power behind your dive. To build leg strength and achieve long lean muscles, add squats and explosive skips during your cardio routine. Begin by jogging. Increase your speed to a run and add in the “skip.” Pull your knees up to your chest, keeping your upper body tall and your core engaged. While skipping, push off your standing leg, lifting your other knee as high as you can, almost as if you were spring loaded. Repeat the jog-sprint-skip cycle for two minutes and repeat five times. totally to ten minutes of intense cardio.