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Take the plunge. Diving is a sport which involves jumping or falling into water from a platform or springboard - often while performing impressive acrobatics. Non-competitively, diving can be performed from any surface into water - pool, lake or sea!

How does it work?

Some leisure centres have a dedicated diving pool with platforms that vary in height. However, dives can just as easily be performed off the side of a pool without any raised level. Making sure you have the technique is very important in diving - you don't want to end up belly flopping painfully into the water!

The ideal position for a dive requires pointed toes with feet touching at all times and arms straight above the head. Hands must be locked straight and pointed too to ensure a smooth cutting motion into the water with as little splash as possible.

Competitive diving involves three disciplines: 1m and 3m springboards and the platform. The athletes are divided into categories depending on gender and age - in the Olympic Games platform diving is from ten metres high. The depth of water when diving is obviously essential to avoid injury - all pools will have ‘no diving’ signs where the water is not deep enough.

Is it for me?

Practicing diving is an interesting way to perk up a normal swimming routine - you will still exercise the same parts of your body and crouching and launching yourself into the water does wonders for the thigh and calf muscles. If you haven’t done much swimming before or are not very confident in the water then this sport may not suit you - it can be quite daunting plunging in deep water head first. Any outdoor diving requires complete knowledge of water depth, weather conditions and currents.

Good to know

Synchronized diving has been an Olympic sport since 2000, and involves two divers performing identical moves. One for perfectionists, we reckon....

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