Describing a Typical Diving Workout

Have you ever wondered what a typical diving practice looks like? Well, just as with other sports, it includes a lot of drills, repetition and, of course, hard work.

Most competitive divers generally workout three to five days a week with practices lasting between two to three hours. Every coach will follow a slightly different regimen, but in general most workouts consist of the following elements.

Diving Warm-up

A good portion of a diving workout, probably 30 to 45 minutes, is spent on the pool deck performing warm-up exercises.

Before starting any practice session divers will typically do some sort of cardiovascular exercise: Running around the block, jumping stairs, jumping rope or jumping on the trampoline. Then, it is time to stretch.


In diving, stretching is a crucial part of any workout. It increases flexibility and, most importantly, protects your body from unwanted injuries. Divers will take about 15 to 30 minutes stretching their hamstrings, quads, ankles, shoulders, back and wrists.

To get an idea of the specific stretches that might be used, look at the guide, “Importance of Stretching in Diving.”


For divers to excel in the sport they must improve their strength through weight training or muscle building exercises. The stronger the diver, the greater their ability to jump high, rotate quickly, and finish with a tight, clean entry.

Strength training is usually done one of two ways:

  1. Weight room: Divers will use both free weights and machines to help build muscles in the legs, shoulders and stomach.
  2. Body resistance: Some programs either don’t have access to a weight room, or feel that exercises that include body resistance are just as effective as weight training. For these programs exercises may include, lunges, squat jumps, wall stands, push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups.

Divers will often spend a half hour to one hour in the weight room, one to two days a week.

Dryland Training

One of the biggest advances in diving workouts is the advent of dryland training programs.

Almost every diving program now includes some sort of dryland training through the use of trampolines, dry-boards, and/or spotting belts. It is a successful way for divers to learn and perfect dives from start to finish.

Most programs will devote about an hour or two per week to dryland training. To better understand this element of diving, take a look at the diving guide, “The Benefits of Dryland Training in Diving.”

Fun Fact:

To incorporate dryland training into a workout, coaches will often split the divers into two groups: One group for dryland training, the other for pool time.

Pool Time

Divers will usually spend at least half, if not more, of their workout in the water. Although pool time differs from team to team, most coaches implement these skills into every workout.


Divers almost always start a workout with a series of front and back lineups — often referred to as front and back falls.

Lineups are essentially standing-forward and backward dives off the 3-meter or platform. The main purpose of these dives is to perfect your entry and learn to vertically align your body so that it enters with the least amount of splash. Lineups also help you practice your underwater saves.

Divers will typically do five to 10 forward and back falls before they start diving practice.

Board Work

After a diver works on lineups, they will start board work. Board work is a fundamental skill in diving and requires constant attention. The more effectively a diver is able to ride the board, the more height they will get in the dive, making it easier to complete the dive with time to spare. This results in cleaner entries and higher scores.

Because it is so important, divers will typically spend the first 10 minutes of a workout bouncing the boards and working on technique, including forward hurdles and back presses.

Fun Fact:

In order for a diver to gain maximum height, they must learn how to ride the board. Riding the board is a technique where a diver coordinates the body’s rhythm in a forward or back approach to the flexing of the board. This skill does not come easily — the best way to develop that rhythm is to practice daily.

Diving List

Typically a coach will have a diver run through their list of dives, performing each of their required dives two times and each of their optional dives three times. But this varies greatly from workout to workout depending on what skills need the most attention.

However in every workout you can be sure of one thing — repeating the dives is an absolute certainty.

End of Diving Workout

A typical diving workout varies from coach to coach and diver to diver. However there are some components of the workout, including stretching, dryland training and repetition of dives, that is universal to most diving programs.

By the end of a workout you should be tired, but satisfied that you put in a good day of training!

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