>The exercises in this sequence require only a dowel or broomstick and a chair; they target some commonly ignored regions of the body that are important for scuba diving. Try to complete 10 repetitions of each exercise for the circuit, and repeat the circuit three times. You may not have full range of motion, but it should improve each time you complete the circuit. Focus on how your body feels, and strive for personal improvement.
- Kneel in front of a chair. Grasp the dowel with palms up and hands approximately one hand-length apart.
- Place both elbows toward the end of the chair seat.
- Shift back your knees until you can drop your head between your biceps without your head touching the chair.
- Continue to lower your head and chest toward the floor until you start feeling restriction through the spine.
- Take deep breaths while in this position, and do not force the stretch. >
>Challenge: Add a five-second contraction to the stretch by pressing down your elbows and tightening through your abdominal and latissimus dorsi muscles. After the contraction, relax into the stretch.
- Sit on the floor, a yoga block or a box, and place your entire back in contact with a wall or sturdy vertical structure, with your legs either crossed, in butterfly position (soles of the feet together) or with knees slightly bent and feet flat on the floor. To make full contact with your spine, you may need to modify your leg position or elevate your seat.
- Grasp a dowel with an overhand grip, and position the elbows at a 90-degree angle.
- Start with the dowel on top of your head and with arms and hands in contact with the wall.
- With your arms and spine maintaining contact with the wall, straighten your arms to press the dowel overhead. >
- In a tall kneeling position, grasp the dowel in one hand and bring it over your shoulder. With your other hand, reach behind your back and grasp the dowel vertically so that the back of your hand is in contact with your lower back.
- Maintaining head, mid-back and tailbone contact with the dowel, walk your hands toward each other until you feel a slight stretch in your arms and shoulders.
- Still maintaining contact with the dowel, squeeze together your shoulder blades, bringing your elbows toward each other.
- Hold for three to five seconds. >
- Lie on your stomach with your arms overhead.
- Grasp the dowel with palms down and hands approximately shoulder-width apart.
- Keeping your elbows straight, press one end of the dowel into the floor while simultaneously lifting the opposite hand and the leg opposite the raised hand.
- Lift with the opposite arm and leg. >
>Challenge: Perform with palms-up grip.
- Stand with the insteps of your feet in line with your armpits.
- Grasp the dowel overhand with your elbows at 90-degree angles, and rest the dowel across your shoulders behind your head.
- Perform a half squat, keeping the knees aligned over the toes.
- Hold the half squat, and press the dowel overhead until the elbows are straight.
- Return the dowel to the resting position, and stand up. >
>NOTE: To avoid an increased risk of decompression sickness, DAN® recommends that divers avoid strenuous exercise for 24 hours after making a dive. During your annual physical exam or following any changes in your health status, consult your physician to ensure you have medical clearance to dive.
>© Alert Diver — Q3 Summer 2019