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Fit Diver: Activation and Workout

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Cristian Pellegrini of DAN Europe looks at the ultimate fitness workout programme for divers

How much time and money do you invest in choosing and purchasing the right dive equipment? Now ask yourself – ‘are you really making the most of it’? Most of us tend to forget what actually is the most-important piece of our dive equipment – ourselves.

In fact, your experience in and out of the water would be greatly enhanced if you were to improve strength, resistance, and flexibility.
Again, ask yourself – would you be ready to effectively face a sudden change in weather or sea conditions (e.g. strong currents), or manage an emergency (e.g. transport of an injured buddy), or quickly respond to an equipment failure, using the necessary aerobic and anaerobic capacity, and with the right timing? Would you be ready to sustain an unexpected physical effort, or to control your emotional state?

Were there times when even managing simple activities such as transporting your equipment, perhaps on unstable soil (e.g. on a boat during poor weather conditions and perhaps rough seas) represented a challenge for you? Then it's high time you trained!

The following is a training programme aimed at improving or maintaining a proper state of physical fitness that will also enhance your performances in diving, reduce the risk of injury or accident, better react to emergencies or sudden changes of certain conditions, or simply enjoy diving at its best!

Setting reasonable goals

It's all about expectations. Through our training programme, we intend to:

  • increase joint mobility
  • increase joint stabilisation
  • improve general strength and body proprioception – the ability to control your body through postural rebalancing

We will try to reach our target through a series of four routines(functional primitive movements) specifically designed and built for the needs of divers, at any level. Whether you are an athlete or not, this workout can serve as a useful tool for optimally training all the structural components, generating a safe and effective body movement. Not only muscles will be involved, but also joints, tendons, ligaments – the connective tissue that constitutes the bands giving life to the muscle chains – as well as the nervous system.
This will result in an improvement in joint mobility and proprioception, as well as co-ordination, reactivity and ultimately strength, speed and power.

Adjust the programme to fit your needs

This functional training system can be carried out just with your body weight, or using loads – such as diving equipment itself.
Routines consist of a sequence of postures of global stretching, mixed with dynamic, multi-articular stretching and movements to enhance general strength.

In the video, the static positions (marked in white) will be maintained for about seven seconds, while the strength series (marked in orange) consist of eight repetitions. Depending on your needs, you can vary the holding time, the width of movement, or the number of repetitions.
By reducing or increasing the holding time you can put an emphasis on cardiovascular fitness or postural rebalancing and global myofascial release.

Progressively increasing the amplitude of movements will act on the recovery or maintenance of the full range of motion in joints. Increasing the number of repetitions of the exercises will increase the general strength, and a multi-articular and proprioceptive strengthening/stabilisation.

Meet the trainer

Matteo Del Principio is a qualified professional strength and conditioning coach with extensive experience in basketball championships (A1, A2 and B Basket Leagues). In 2016 and 2017, he was professional strength and conditioning coach for National Youth Teams (FIP – Italian Basketball Federation) and completed an internship in NBA with the Atlanta Hawks team. He has also been Professional S&C Coach of several motorcycling riders in the MotoGP and World Superbike Championships.

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