Turtle Bay Dive Resort Blog

Improve Strength and Breathing for Diving

Posted by Featured Author on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 @ 11:54 AM

By Gretchen M. Ashton

Performed on an exercise ball, the pike abdominal and push up target the chest and abdominals, and have many benefits for divers.

To improve your strength and breathing for diving, it’s best to target a group of muscles. The pike abdominal and push up is a complex exercise set that targets the chest and abdominals, but has many additional benefits for both the assisting muscles, such as the shoulders, and antagonist muscles such as the triceps, involved in the movements. Performed on an exercise ball, the sequence is broken down into several separate moves to allow easy transitions in strength and confidence.

Some positions help strengthen the shoulders and back while also acting as safe alternatives for divers with shoulder or back injuries, so find the combination that works best for you. One of the biggest advantages of this exercise, when it comes to diving, is that while you’re strengthening your upper body and torso, you’re simultaneously training your body to support deep, relaxed, and controlled breathing for diving. Believe it or not, better breathing when it comes to diving is attainable by strengthening the muscles of the chest and torso.

Better Breathing, Better Diving

It’s important to integrate deep breathing into all exercise programs. Especially for divers, practicing deep breathing during abdominal exercises is an excellent opportunity to focus on recruiting the diaphragm muscle, which is responsible for 75 percent of respiratory air flow, and the intercostal muscles, which move the ribs, resulting in 25 percent of respiratory effort. The most recognized chest muscles, pectoralis major and pectoralis minor, often called simply the “pecs” are located in front of the ribcage. They add another layer of protection to the chest when it comes to diving. Studies indicate that the pectoralis major is active during both inhalation and exhalation. The more stable the chest, acting along with the diaphragm, the greater potential for increased lung capacity and oxygenation of the tissue, making the difference between fatigue and endurance. Conversely, tight chest muscles may inhibit breathing capacity and can limit range of motion in the shoulders. When performed properly, strength exercises actually help to actively stretch and expand the chest.

Walk Out on Exercise Ball

Ball Walk Outs: A great way to develop upper body and torso (abs and low back) strength is to support the body on an exercise ball while walking out with the hands. Set up as shown above with the ball under the hips or thighs. With arms extended under the shoulders, walk forward with the hands, rolling the ball along the body until it reaches your shins. Reverse direction and repeat while maintaining balance and keeping the ball moving along the center line of the body. Focus on balance and breathe rhythmically throughout the exercise. This exercise is an excellent alternative to push-ups for divers with shoulder injuries.

Remember to warm up with 10 minutes of aerobic exercise. Begin with an abdominal contraction when walking out on the ball, and let strength and proper form dictate range of motion.

Push Ups with Feet on Exercise Ball


Push-ups on the exercise ball: Push-ups are one of many ways to develop upper-body strength for scuba diving. Divers working to master push-ups may find the exercise ball makes the movement easier. Ideal range of motion at the bottom is when the elbows are at just less than a right angle. Remember to fully extend the arms at the top, but do not lock out the elbows. A good beginning goal is to complete five to 15 push-ups. With practice, sets of 25 to 100 are possible. If divers feel pain or strain in the shoulders they should stop until shoulders are confirmed as healthy enough to perform push-ups.

Pike Abdominal

Pike crunch on ball: Divers may take the exercise up a notch by flexing the hips while rolling the ball toward the chest with the feet. This pike position requires a good foundation of overall body strength to perform. It’s a great way to increase strength in the upper body, abdominals and low back, and improves balance and coordination. Repeat the pike about 10 times or alternate with a push-up. When combining the pike with the push-up, make sure to return to a straight body position before performing the push-up.

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Source: http://scubadiverlife.com/2016/05/11/improve-strength-and-breathing-for-diving/

Tags: scuba diving lessons, scuba diving, diving, PADI dive courses, dive resort cebu, relaxation, cebu dive resort, scuba

Water Up Your Nose

Posted by Chris White on Thu, Jun 26, 2014 @ 05:08 PM

By Shelley Collett

Everyone hates it, right?  It’s why you see so many people holding their noses before they jump into the water.   One of the biggest problem skills I’ve seen as an instructor is breathing without a mask underwater. Some people handle it fine, but others have extreme, nearly insurmountable difficulty with it.   After a couple of difficult sessions with some student divers, I decided to try to learn how to teach the skill better.  I needed a better way to impart knowledge instead of just saying, “Just don’t let the water in!” without really knowing how to tell them not to let the water in. I really didn’t understand why or how I was keeping the water out myself. I just did it! I always have. I was never a nose-holder.

After some research,  I thought I’d share here. I realize there are a lot of experienced divers here, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anyone who has issues with this. And, I’m sure we also have some newer divers reading who perhaps barely made it through that skill in the hopes that they would never, ever have to do it again.  I’m sorry to say to those individuals... you probably will have to deal with it again.  Masks flood, they get knocked off. It happens and you should be prepared for it and be confident that you’ll be okay with it.

While I’m sure you’ve noticed people jumping in while holding their noses, have you noticed all the people not doing it?  What do they know that you don’t? Some double top secret dolphin technique?   Nah,they just know how to control their body to keep the water from entering too far into their nose. There’s no way to prevent water from getting into your nose proper, but you can stop it from ending up down your throat and choking you.  (But if you do know a double top secret dolphin technique, please let me know!)

There are a couple of things that help you keep from inhaling water through your nose in the situation we’re talking about: Soft palate control and Epiglottis control.  The two things work in tandem, so it can be difficult to distinguish which is which. I’m hoping the exercises below will help with that.


Testing soft palate control

Put on your mask without the strap around your head and suck in through your nose to try to keep the mask on.  If your mask fits correctly, this shouldn’t be a problem. (This is how most folks “try on” masks before buying them anyway)  While you’ve got the mask ‘stuck’ to your face, start breathing normally through your mouth and keep the mask on your face. Tilt your head down a bit so that you know the mask isn’t  just balancing on your face.

If you can do this for a bit, then you have what it takes to breath without a mask on; you have soft palate control.  You just need to get over the psychological aspect of breathing with water on your nose.

If the mask immediately drops off of your face, then you don’t have very good soft palate control at all and you should learn and practice it.

Epiglottis and soft palate control

Now a new test.  While exhaling through your mouth, cover your mouth with your hand to prevent air from escaping.  Did your cheeks puff up?  They should have! And, you should not be exhaling through your nose.   That’s soft palate control.

While still trying to exhale, move your hand away. If you immediately exhale through your mouth, you used soft palate control. If you paused before exhaling through your mouth, that was your epiglottis. Either is okay, we’re just trying to get you to understand your own body at this point and how things work and feel.

Now we’re going to try alternating a bit. Take a breath, exhale through your mouth, then cover your mouth and switch to exhale through your nose.  Did you feel a little nudge or jolt above and at the back of your tongue? That was your soft palate opening to let the air out of your nose.

Maybe you felt a little jolt closer to your lower neck or chest. If so, that’s your epiglottis.

Alternate now between exhaling through your nose and trying to exhale through your covered mouth.  Do you feel that control? Remember it. That’s how you keep water out too!

Practice makes perfect if you’re having difficulty with this. I don’t think I can stress enough how important it is as a diver to be comfortable with water on your nose. Comfortable to the point that you’re not going to panic and bolt to the surface, at least.  Practice in a tub, pool, hot tub, even the shower. (you could flood your mask in the shower, stand with it flooded and just breathe through your mouth) Practice it a little every time you dive until you are comfortable with it. It will make you a more confident diver and a safer diver.

Tags: diving tips, diving with sardines, divingmoalboal, Sardine City, turtlebaydiveresort, relaxation

Discover the Healing Power of Meditation in Turtle Bay Dive Resort.

Posted by Chris White on Fri, Aug 30, 2013 @ 11:19 AM


meditation photo


Discover Meditation`s Healing Power


If you were to ask me what the most important experience of my life has been, I would say it was learning to meditate. Meditation has been the key to my creativity, well being, and happiness. I have enjoyed it in my own life, and it continues to be one of the most powerful healing tools we offer at the Chopra Center.

Join us on our all-new 21-Day Meditation Challenge, Miraculous Relationships starting on August 5th 2013. No experience necessary and participation is FREE. Register today: http://bit.ly/Mi_Rel


Meditation takes us from activity into silence, giving our body a very deep level of rest. Rest is how the body heals itself, which it does by throwing off the stress, fatigue, and toxins accumulated during our daily life. The silence of pure awareness is extremely refreshing to the mind, which finds it increasingly easy not to cling to old thought-patterns; rigid habits of thinking and feeling begin to fall away of their own accord. When this happens, the mind is actually learning to heal itself.

The most significant health benefits of meditation are stress reduction, better sleep, lower blood pressure, improved cardiovascular function, improved immunity, and the ability to stay centered in the midst of all the turmoil that’s going on around you. Meditation helps you do less and accomplish more.

During meditation, you aren’t forcing your mind to be quiet; you are experiencing the silence and stillness that lies beyond the background static of worry, resentment, wishful thinking, fantasy, unfulfilled hopes, and vague dreams in your head. Meditation brings us home to the peace of present-moment awareness. It gives us a direct experience of our Spirit and in the process dissolves the impurities which are preventing Spirit from shining forth in our lives.

In meditation we disrupt the unconscious progression of thoughts and emotions by focusing on a new object of attention. In the meditation technique we teach at the Chopra Center – Primordial Sound Meditation – the “object of attention” is a mantra that we repeat silently to ourselves. A mantra is pure sound, with no meaning or emotional charge to trigger associations. It allows the mind to detach from its usual preoccupations and experience the spaciousness and peace within.

Even more important than what we experience during our meditation sessions is the effect they have on the remaining hours of our day. With a regular meditation practice, life’s inevitable stresses no longer have the power to throw us into chaotic mind-states, and all of our thoughts, actions, and reactions are infused with greater love, calm, and joy.



Come stay in Turtle Bay Dive Resort, whether your a diver or just need a break. Relax, Meditate and Enjoy the beauty of nature to encourage you to meditate and get your mind off all the worries and anxiety within and let it all go. Surounded by the beautiful garden and a beautiful view of the mountain and the sea.


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Tags: visiting cebu, relaxation, relax after the dives, meditation