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Scuba Fitness: Divers gain strength and coordination for fin kicking

Lying Leg Curl with Dumbbell - Starting Position
Lying Leg Curl with Dumbbell - Starting Position
Gretchen M. Ashton, Photographer, Loren Kurz, Fitness Model

Featured Exercise for Scuba Diving: Lying Leg Curl with Dumbbell

Develop strength and coordination for scuba diving with this lying leg curl.
D.D. Ashton, Photographer, Gretchen M. Ashton, Diver

The Lying Leg Curl with Dumbbell is a fun and sometimes challenging way to train the glutes (buttocks) and hamstrings (muscles on the back of the thigh) for diving activities. By squeezing the inner thighs together during the exercise divers will also purposefully work the adductors (inner) and abductors (outer) thighs. Balanced muscle strength in the legs helps develop proficient fin-kicking.

Getting Started: Stand the dumbbell on end on the floor or bench. Grasp it between the arches of the feet allowing the end of the dumbbell to rest on the bottom of the feet as shown. Contract the abdominals and glutes to protect the low back during this movement. Keep the head aligned in neutral spine as much as possible. Inhale and extend the knee joints while lowering the weight as close to the floor as possible without dropping the weight or putting pressure on the knees. Exhale while flexing the knee joints and raising the weight toward the buttocks.

Strength: To develop strength, perform exercises with as much weight as possible for 12 to 15 repetitions for 1 to 3 sets with a rest period of 30 seconds to 1 minute. To elicit an adaptive response, the last 3 repetitions should feel difficult to perform.

Precaution: Do not allow the front of the hips to lift off the bench or floor. If this happens, lower the weight until the exercise can be performed with safe and proper form.

For more information about fitness for diving visit www.scubafit.com

This article also appears at www.worldsbestdives.com