Fit To Dive: Warm-Up Exercises before you dive:
A Warm-Up before you dive helps your body prepare your muscles and mind for both mental and physically activity when you dive, and it reduces the chance of muscle related injury. The aim is to increase circulation, increase blood flow around the muscles of your body in a gradual manner. During the warm-up any injury or illness you may have can often be recognized, and further injury prevented.
The Warm-Up can be any physical activity, but it must be of an intensity that will increase your heart-rate.
Warm-Up can be, for example, shadow-boxing, on-the-spot skipping (with or without rope), leg lunges, or a short brisk run or jog.
A simple Warm-Up routine could consist of some of the following exercises (see images and how-to-do). Always aim to focus on using your larger muscle groups, such as your thigh/quadriceps, taking care to make sure that you increase the activity level at a steady rate, avoiding any arm raises above shoulder height for the first few minutes.
The length of time you spend warming up will vary depending upon your age, fitness level, and the ambient temperature. – but by the end of your Warm-Up time you should generally be developing a light sweat, a feeling of general looseness, and a greater range of mobility compared to how you felt before you did your Warm-Up.
Aim to spend about five minutes as a minimum for a sufficient Warm-up.
When preparing for your dive, take into consideration that depending on the ambient temperature and your general level of fitness it may take a good 15 to 20 minutes for your body to be working at its best. During cold weather, and certainly if your diving activity requires sudden bursts of action, make sure you spend more time warming up.
If you are diving back-to-back (on the same day) remember to Warm-Up again before your second dive, - particularly important if you have rested up and your body has cooled down again. – Even when diving in tropical waters your body is likely to ‘stiffen up’ during a rest period, which is likely to occur if your dive has been in any way strenuous (diving in currents, for ex.)
Once Warmed-Up it is time to do some stretches of the key muscle groups as they relate to your diving activity
Bear in mind that at any time after a Warm-Up, wether it is before your first dive of the day, or your second or subsequent dives on the same day, as you prepare for that next dive you should also complete your stretching routine.