All scuba divers have “wash board abs” - some just have a load or two of laundry resting on top. Whether they are visible or not, abdominals are essential in supporting the back and stabilizing the body through complex movements associated with scuba diving. Without question a balanced abdominal strengthening program is an important component of scuba fitness and should be developed in conjunction with back strengthening and flexibility early in an exercise program. The challenge is finding the best method for individual divers to strengthen the abdominals without creating or aggravating certain back conditions.
FitDiver® Workouts are based on sound research including a health profile of the diving community and the unique physiological demands of the underwater environment. Scuba diving is often considered moderate-intensity activity. Yet, there are differences in the physical requirements for diving depending on the type of diving and the conditions. Diving may be recreational, technical, industrial or military. Conditions vary greatly in water temperature, visibility, currents and surf. Further, other stresses on human physiology must be considered in an underwater environment. Along with the proper gear, divers must also prepare with proper training, including physical fitness, for safety and performance. The ultimate physical fitness recommendation for scuba divers is to be in excellent health; free from disease, medical conditions and injury. As we go through life, we often have difficulty maintaining this clean slate. It is important for divers to know how to become and remain physically fit, prevent illness and injury, and rehabilitate and manage conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, and obesity.
In addition to improving health and quality of life, physical fitness for scuba diving:
-Improves transportation of oxygen to muscles
-Reduces amount of air used
-Extends bottom time
-Increases physical endurance and reduces fatigue
-Facilitates carrying less weight
-Improves mental acuity
-Reduces the risk of decompressions sickness (DCS)
-Improves agility on boats and uneven terrain
-Improves comfort and movement on the surface and underwater
-Improves fin-kick efficiency and diving performance