Learning to dive is an essential part of becoming an overall, well rounded swimmer. There are many intricacies to diving and it is important that you learn how to dive properly; otherwise you are putting yourself at risk for serious injury. With the 2016 Olympics going on right now, we will all be watching the high dive events as well as the overall swim events. Although being inspired to get physically active is a good thing, not understanding the safety issues can be a problem.

The first thing to know when it comes to diving is to make sure you are diving into a proper depth.  Diving in the shallow end of a pool  is extremely dangerous and should never be done. It is recommended that you dive in an area of the pool that is 6ft or deeper, as most dive injuries occur at depths 5ft or shallower. When you are learning how to dive you should practice falling in head first to get used to going into the water in that manner.  You can even practice the position of diving on flat ground and visualize the dive and practice tucking your chin in and your hands and arms above your head as you should be in a streamline position as you enter the water. A beginner’s dive begins from a crouched position by having your toes slightly over the edge of the pool, chin tucked and your hands above your head and pointed towards the water. Once in position, you can then lead forward  and glide into the water. As you continue to practice this,  you can begin to dive from a standing position in the same fashion and eventually you can progress to diving off a block or diving board like how a professional olympic athlete would do so.

Diving can be one of the funnest parts about swimming and features many styles and variations. Watching dive events at the Olympics is one of the most impressive things you’ll see and is great motivation to get active and learn techniques but with the proper safety precautions and techniques.

At Advance Physical Therapy, we have four convenient locations in Astoria, Queens, and on Long Island in Valley Stream, Wantagh, and Lindenhurst. If you are interested in getting into diving or swimming in general, learning proper form by our physical therapists is key to avoiding an injury. Call us today!