​7 Elements of a Great Dive

There are some dives that make you really happy and some leave you wanting more.

The reality is that what makes a good dive is extremely subjective and I will not try to act like any sort of authority – just summarize what
elements need to come together for a great experience overall, in my opinion ofcourse.

Element #1: Comfortable Dive Equipment

This is an absolutely necessity – ideally if you are really into diving you will have your own gear that fits you perfectly and that you are used to.

If you don’t, or you are on travels without it – picking gear that is a comfortable fit is key. If an operation that you plan to go diving with only has old and really worn equipment, perhaps you should look for an alternative.

Element #2:Spacious and Well Equipped Dive Boat

Everyone has been on a dive boat with WAY too many divers. Gear is everywhere. Tanks are bouncing around. People falling over. Everyone is clumsy.

Besides not taking onboard too many people some dive centres have boats that are just not equipped for diving. For example, you need to have tank holders, you need to have some kind of tarp to provide shade, you need to have a cool box for drinks (unless you are in cold water ofcourse).

Old School Dive Dhoni, Maldives

Element #3: Good Dive Buddy

Once again, I’m sure you have been on a dive where your dive buddy just really annoys you. There are many ways of being a bad dive buddy – the most obvious one is having poor air consumption and cutting the dives short by 10-15 or more minutes.

Another example is always getting lost. Or having a camera and taking a million
shots of each subject that you come across.

Element #4: Experienced, Local Dive Guide

Most of the time as a recreational diver you will not be experienced with the area that you are diving and a knowledgable local dive guide can make a huge difference.

First of all, the dive guide will know which dive sites are likely to be better on certain days (based on currents) and secondly, they are likely to have a better idea of the needs of the group.

A good dive guide will always have some secrets – a hidden overhang where lives a resident sting ray or a place known for mantis shrimp etc.

Into the Blue

Element #5: Good Visibility

For me personally, good viz is probably about 50% of the dive. If the viz is say 30 metres, and there is little marine life, I would enjoy it more than amazing marine life with 2 metres viz.

When in amazing vizibility, it changes the entire perception of the dive and greats the effect of being in flight. When in bad viz, you cannot imagine that you are flying, but rather feels like wading through mud.

Close & Friendly

Element #6: Healthy Marine Life

Obviously, most of us dive for the marine life that lives beneath the surface. Over the years I realized that its not necessary to be at a manta cleaning station or a shark point to enjoy a dive. Sometimes large schools of smaller fish can be just as exciting, not to mention the macro life which sometimes feels like such an accomplishment in spotting.

Element #7: Comfortable Environment

Finally, all the other 6 elements can be in place, but if for example there is a super strong current that you need to constantly fight just to stay in place, it all won’t matter – you probably won’t enjoy the dive.

Another thing that often disrupts the dive is some really noisy enviroments. For example, in Indonesia, very often on dives you will hear the sound of exploding home made poacher bombs. Very hard to relax when that happens at regular intervals.

In the Maldives, on certain dive sites, you have just too many divers and half the time you are worried about a holiday diver that is finning in your face or scaring away all the animals.

The dives that have most of those elements in my experience have been the ones that made you really happy and glow with excitement and happiness afterwards.

5 Useful Scuba Diving Exercises You Must Know Before Diving Into the Water

Scuba diving has always been an interesting and adventurous sport, nevertheless requiring good physical strength and mental stability. Training and maintaining a strong body are very important to help you dive safely and handle worse situations well.

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You don’t always need intensive practice, but it’s better to improve your health by following a reasonable exercise program and schedule. Additionally, you must also enhance the strength and flexibility of particular body parts that need to be active underwater.

What do divers do for exercise? Is scuba diving good exercise? What are the useful scuba diving exercises?

It’s okay if you don’t know the answer to those questions, because I will show you all in this article. Let’s find it out!

Table of Contents

5 Basic and Useful Scuba Diving Exercises

There are several scuba diving exercises for divers, such as strength-enhancing, flexibility training, bodybuilding, and more.

If you figure out a suitable exercise and keep practicing consistently, you will be in good shape while improving your strength and skills. Here are some of the most basic but effective scuba diving exercises that many divers would practice.

1. Exercises for Calves and Toes

While scuba diving, many divers may suffer from cramps in their calves and toes. One of the common reasons is that these body parts are not strong enough to endure such intensity for a long time.

In order to overcome that situation, you are recommended to apply monkey toes exercise and calf raises to strengthen your calves and feet.

Monkey toes

Usually, divers will wear fins so that they can move underwater. The fin tip is normally sharp and small, so your toes might be pressed when wearing. Obviously, maintaining this situation for a long time will cause discomfort and even pain.

Therefore, the monkey toe exercise is suggested to help your toes get stronger. It will also prevent the risk of cramping when carrying the fins.

To get started, first, you need to put something small on the floor. Then, use your toes cleverly to pick up the item and hold it for 30 seconds to 1 minute. You can begin with the bigger stuff like socks, then gradually change to smaller items like pens.

For this exercise, you may need to repeat 3-5 times on each side. Practice at least twice a week for faster improvement.

You can refer to this tutorial video to understand how to do the exercise effectively!

Calf raises

Calves are very important for scuba diving since they directly affect the force of your leg when moving. Just like the toe, this place is prone to cramping if you don’t practice properly.

Calf raises are great exercises for strengthening your calves and are also very easy to practice. To start, you need to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.

Next, slowly raise your heels and stand on your toes. Hold for a moment, then lower your legs back to the original position.

Calf raises

You can also challenge yourself by holding two small dumbbells in your hands or squatting. For effectiveness, you should work out 15-20 lifts with 3 sets and do it 3 times a week.

Here is a tutorial video so you can catch up easier!

2. Exercises for the Back

When diving, your back must be strong enough to carry the oxygen tank for a long time. Simultaneously, it also has to endure a great pressure from the water. Hence, you need to strengthen this body part to avoid pain.

Plank

This exercise impacts your whole body to strengthen your spinal column effectively while increasing the strength of the abdominal muscles. The strength and flexibility in this area will provide a greater enduring ability even under water pressure.

Plank exercise

You have 2 ways to do it, including high and low plank. A high plank will have a push-up-like stance. Specifically, the hands and toes touch the floor and raise the body in a straight line.

Similarly, the low plank is done the same way, but now your forearms will be on the ground, and your elbows will be just below your shoulders.

No matter what way you are in, make sure your stomach is tight, your back and body are all in a straight line. At the same time, the buttocks should not be too high or too low. Hold the movement until you can’t do it anymore.

Here is how a professional does this workout!

Superman

To enhance the strength, flexibility and endurance of the back, you should apply Superman exercises. To start, first, lie with your face down on the floor. Then, straighten your arms along the length of your body.

Next, you raise your arms and legs simultaneously, hold like that for 1, 2 beats and then race back to the original position.

Superman exercise

Or you can also bring your arms and legs up to let your back muscles get used to it slowly. Make sure to keep your first breath steady throughout the exercise. Try to maintain the exercise 2 to 3 times per week for the best results.

Superman is not a complex movement, so you only need a quick tutorial by watching this!

3. Leg Exercises

Legs play a crucial role when you are in the water because it is the part that works continuously to help you move, turn, go up, down, or stay balanced in one position.

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Moreover, that part needs to be strong enough to climb up and down the boat’s steps against the water pressure and extra weight, while carrying a lot of equipment like scuba BCDs, oxygen tanks, and weight bags.

Therefore, improving the strength of your legs is very necessary. One of the effective moves that divers always choose to practice is the single-leg deadlift.

This exercise impacts the entire leg muscles. Hence, it will be quite painful for a while when you start, but your legs will become much stronger later on.

You may need a dumbbell for a greater impact on the desired muscle group. Use one leg to support, and then have your upper body slowly lean forward. Don’t forget to make sure your leg muscles are tight and your back is straight.

When your other leg is raised behind you, your dumbbells should touch the ground. Hold for some seconds, then return to the original position.

Perform 10-15 repetitions for each leg and maintain 2-3 times per week for effectiveness.

For more details, watch and explore how to do the operation in this video!

4. Shoulder Exercise

To carry oxygen tanks and other equipment, in addition to a strong back, you need a strong shoulder. Overhead Press will help you strengthen your shoulder easily.

You prepare an elastic band with a firm handle. Then, using your legs to hold the rope, you can start with one and then gradually switch to two legs when you get used to it.

Hold the handle with both hands then pull the rope up over your head. Also, when bringing the rope down, keep your elbows level with your shoulders.

This exercise is good for the biceps, helping your muscles become stronger. You should do 10 -15 reps per set and do 3 sets of each exercise. Plus, try to train them twice a week regularly.

Here is a guide on practicing Overhead Press for your reference!

5. Yoga & Cardio

If the above exercises only work for certain parts of your body, yoga and cardio are designed for the whole body. With yoga, the most important step is to learn how to breathe properly, which is also beneficial for scuba diving.

Yoga increases flexibility for the body

Besides physical benefits, yoga also helps with your mind to help you mentally relax. If you spend 15-20 minutes on yoga exercises every day, your health and flexibility will improve significantly.

Unlike yoga, Cardio focuses on your endurance and strength while helping your heart and lungs become better. Not as relaxing as yoga, these exercises will make you sweat a lot, so your body will release more toxins.

When practicing, you should go from simple to complex exercises so that your body can gradually get used to the intensity. Before that, a thorough warm-up to avoid injury and excessive pain is also essential.

FAQs

In this section, I will answer some common questions about scuba diving workouts you may want to know.

Is Scuba Diving a Good Workout?

Yes, scuba diving is very good as an exercise. To explain, when you are in the water, your muscles are active and pressed continuously, leading to a greater energy consumption, which is great for fitness.

What Muscles Do Scuba Diving Use?

When in the water, it seems that your muscles are all working and performing different tasks:

  • Abs and back muscles for body lifting and diving equipment
  • The glutes will help your legs work well to move in pure magic in the water.
  • Some other muscles such as calves, shoulders, pecs, ankles, etc. also greatly support your sightseeing.

Is There a Weight Limit for Scuba Diving?

The answer is No! Diving is a sport that requires good physical strength, not fitness. This subject can impact weight and fitness, but is not significantly affected by weight. Therefore, no matter how heavy you are, as long as you are healthy, you can start.

How to Get in Shape by Diving?

To be in good shape, exercise is a must. Diving is probably a good workout method as it consumes a lot of your energy and impacts different parts of the body.

However, practice is not enough. Nutrition factors determine up to 60% of your weight. So, a proper diet with lots of vegetables, fruits, lots of water, and limited starch will give you the desired result.

Does Scuba Diving Require Strength?

Definitely essential! You have to carry many things, withstand the water pressure and stay underwater for a while. Therefore, a person without good physical strength cannot endure.

In addition, before becoming a professional diver, you have to go through extreme fitness tests. For example, you have to complete a 200m swim and 10-minute blast in the water to get a PADI certificate.

Conclusion

Scuba diving exercises do not require much fitness, but physical strength is very important. Hence, improving overall strength as well as training specific parts of the body are necessary.

There are several exercises for divers, and it’s your choice to practice what you like or what your body lacks. Keep working out and you will be healthy, strong, flexible and skillful!

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Thanks for reading!

  • Why Do Scuba Divers Dive Backwards?
  • How Deep Can You Scuba Dive?
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About Scott Maldonado

Hi, I am Scott Maldonado, the founder of diveaeris.com. You are welcome to this website. Diving is so much fun, and I’ve got a flair for it. With many diving sessions under my belt, I have transformed from just an experienced diver to a professional instructor.
I will love to contribute to your development as a diver. Therefore, I will be engaging my years of experience by discussing anything related to diving on this website.
Read more about me.

I want to be a diver, but what is SCUBA diving anyway?

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Diveimmersion 10/2/2022 Carlos Lander

Underwater Diving is:

a recreational activity, consisting of a person swimming underwater with a minimum of equipment, called “skin diving” or with scuba equipment, called “scuba diving.” If we are strictly referring to Scuba, most of the time, we are talking about an open system that uses a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus whereby a diver uses to support an independent source of air (breathing gas) while is submerge and swimming underwater.

For many, diving is a tool for exploration or other activities like photography, for others it is a sport.

There are three types of scuba system:

  • Open Circuit (OC): You inhale gas from a compressed gas cylinder and exhale your breath outside the system into the water and bubbles to the surfaces.
  • Close Circuit Rebreather (CCRs): When you inhale gas from a bag and exhale your breath inside the system. Your breath cycles through the system removing wasted carbon dioxide and replaces consumed oxygen, then returns it to the bag. No bubbles formed as there is no gas vented.
  • Semi-closed Rebreathers (SCRs): You breath in from a bag and your exhale breath cycles through the system that removes carbon dioxide and returns to the bag; in this case, the oxygen consumed, is replaced by a slow and constant flow of gas into the bag, resulting in a small stream of bubbles.

But as we mentioned earlier, most people when they talk about scuba, they are referring to an Open Circuit system.

The modern scuba system has various components:

  • High pressure cylinder (scuba tank).
  • Regulator with a primary and secondary stage.
  • An independent second source of gas or an alternate air source second stage.
  • Submersible pressure gauge.
  • Buoyancy control device (BCD)
  • Harness.
  • Weight system.

Once assembled, you don and remove it as a single unit. All the components are standardized and work with different manufacturers.

Also, the diver must have a scuba mask, fins and an exposure protection suit and it’s recommended to have a cutting tool, tables- computers and logbook.

How deep can scuba divers safely go?

A recreational scuba diver can go up to 40 meters and ascend safely following the correct procedure taught by scuba agencies. But, in your first Open Water Certification you will learn how to dive up to 18 meters and under certain environmental conditions. There are golden rules that every recreational diver must follow:

  • Be careful never to hold your breath when using any form of SCUBA equipment.
  • Ascend slowly not more than 18 meters per minute, ideally 9 meters per minute or slower near the surfaces.
  • Do a “safety stop” in every dive, according to the environmental conditions.

How long is scuba license good for?

Dive organizations certified individuals to dive with specific equipment in a particular environment, for example could be open water or cave- restricted areas, and to a maximum depth. Your certificate never expires, but if you have a long time without diving, a refreshment course is prudent and advisable.

Your certification is valid worldwide if the diving organization where you trained is part of The World Recreational Scuba Training Council (WRSTC).

How old do you have to be to get scuba certified?

To be eligible to take a beginner course, participants must be at least 10 years old, be in good health, have good swimming skills, and have the time to practice and read. All children must be accompanied by their parents at the location of the training within the facilities.

If you have any questions about children and diving, read the following post and download the report inside the post:

What Do Scuba Divers See Underwater?

The aquatic realm is an incredible world of its own, it’s like you enter an extraterrestrial world, nothing compared to those creatures living in the underwater world. Just look at the photographs, my friend Bill Stewart is an underwater professional photographer that has an immense online catalog to show you, click in the image and amazed yourself.

Source https://diveadvisor.com/sub2o/7-elements-of-a-great-dive

Source https://www.diveaeris.com/scuba-diving-exercises/

Source https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/i-want-to-be-a-diver-but-what-is-scuba-diving-anyway/ar-AA12v6mE

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