Why is physical conditioning in the pool important ?

Are you a diver or are you training as a diver? Proper physical conditioning is crucial... Subea explains why!

tips physical conditioning finning diving pool subea

From the first levels of diving, physical conditioning is part of the training program of the FFESSM (French Federation for Underwater Studies and Sports), from level 1, where you learn how to use your fins, up to level 4, where one of the tests is to cover 800m in snorkeling (fins, mask, snorkel). The winter and the training courses in the pool offered by diving clubs are particularly suitable for this type of conditioning...

Every diver must therefore have proper physical conditioning, but what are the benefits ? And how to perform proper conditioning according to your diving level ?

tips physical conditioning diving pool subea

#1 Benefits of proper physical conditioning for diving

Reducing fatigue while finning, air consumption and risk of diving accidents are the main advantages of these exercises. As in any sport, diving is no exception... The more you practice, the more your body will be prepared for an effort. This will have a positive physiological effect on the body, which will reduce your oxygen consumption, potentially enabling you to dive longer and avoid cramps and blood problems. When diving sometimes becomes "stormy", it is better to know how to react to a strong current (swimming against the tide) to be able to swim back to the boat safely...

#2 Physical conditioning in the pool

It must include a warm-up, a main session and a recovery. The winter training courses of diving clubs in pools are very conducive to this type of conditioning. However, even if you are not a member of a club, a weekly outing to the pool will be an asset to keep you fit during the winter break (anyway, do not hesitate to browse the coaching tips from Nabaiji, the Decathlon swimming brand).

Warm up

For warming up, work with no fins should be preferred. It is also important to work sometimes without fins because, in the event of loss or breakage of a fin, this will make it possible to gradually begin to "warm up" your body.

The main session

Avoid distances that are too long from the first session, unless of course you have a precise distance to achieve for your level. You can use equipment (board, rope, balloon,...), work as a team (one against one, helping each other, in relays ...), use different techniques of finning (on the belly, support, on the side,...), vary the speed (fast, slow or with resistance) and play as much as possible.

All this will have the effect of covering the distance without noticing it and working the different muscles of your body.

tips physical conditioning training pool finning subea

Here are some examples of finning exercises

Frog kick : Go back and forth in frog kicks as deeply as possible, without touching the bottom of the pool. Reverse kick, back and forth in a pool, without rising or sinking.

Helicopter kick : rotate on yourself without using your arms (clockwise). After a complete rotation, continue with 2 frog kicks and a rotation (anti-clockwise). Then do 2 modified crawl kicks, and again rotations ... up to 2 crossings.

Torpedo kick : rotate your body as if you were torpedoing, without using your arms. Only with small movements of fins and the body, in both directions (Note! Make gentle and restrained gestures or you might get dizzy).

Quentin, technical manager of Subea, is preparing for a "session in chlorine" ...

tips physical conditioning diving pool quentin technical manager subea


Too often forgotten, it is important to reduce aches (through stretching) and to slow down the heart rate. This moment will make it possible to go home in the best conditions and start a session again as soon as possible. In summary, although diving is a fun sport, conditioning is important for it to remain so.

Then off to your fins, ready, go...

Sports diving in the pool, like the idea ?

Sports Diving in swimming Pool has been practiced exclusively in the pool, because it is not allowed in a diving tank, in several European countries and for several years. The FFESSM (French Federation of Underwater Studies and Sports) recognises this activity as inseparable from the competitive aspect. This sport is aimed at men, women and young persons, from level 1 FFESSM or CMAS ★ divers (minimum "gold diver" for children under 14).

Its goal ? To invite you to perform timed events, mixing aquatic ease, speed, dexterity and underwater movements with diving apparatus.

Plongée Sportive Piscine - Sport Diving

Tests performed within cmas :  the french federation officially recognises 7 of its 10 tests.

- THE 100 METRES IMMERSION : underwater movement (or immersion swimming) in the best possible time, over a distance of 100m


- EMERGENCE OF AN OBJECT (dive marker) : in a basin of 25 m or 50 metres. Underwater movement over a distance of 23 m (or 47 m in a 50 m pool) ; then, emergence of an object of 6 kg by means of a dive marker, as soon as possible. The organiser places at the bottom of the pool, and in as many lanes as there are competitors, the object to emerge. The weight is placed 23 m from the start (or 47 m in a 50 m pool).

- OCTOPUS : a timed subaquatic partner movement, in which divers use a single cylinder for distances of 50 or 100 metres.

- COMBINE : obstacle course and various tasks, to be carried out in the three-dimensional space of the underwater environment.

- RELAY 4 x 50 M or 100 M IMMERSION : underwater movement (or immersion swimming) of a baton by 4 divers, in the best possible time, over a distance of 200 m or 400 m.

- NIGHT-TIME SCUBA-DIVING : test without the vision to find 3 elements placed at the bottom of the pool, in a maximum time of 3 minutes.


Article co-written with

Benoît, retail assistant at Decathlon in Mans
I have been diving for 23 years. I first started diving with my uncle, who introduced me to this sport, and since then I have never stopped. I have dived mainly in France (Mediterranean, Atlantic, swimming pool, diving tank, etc.) but also abroad especially in Egypt. I am now a level 5 FFESSM (French Federation of Undersea Studies and Sports) diver but also a level 2 instructor.

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