How to do Front Falls in Diving
One of the first skills a diver will learn is a front fall off the 3-meter springboard or platform. Essentially, these are standing forward dives. Not only are these dives easy for beginner divers to learn, but they are also crucial in helping a diver perfect their entry into the water.
There are several ways to perform these types of falls. The style you choose depends on several factors, including: The particular skill you are practicing, the level of springboard or platform you are diving off of, and even the particular style your coach likes best. Listed below are the various ways you can perform these dives, as well as the reasons behind why you might choose one style over another.
Front Fall Basics
Front falls are exactly what the name implies: You fall forward into the water from either the 3-meter springboard or platform. These dives help you focus on your body alignment and entry into the water. They also help you practice your forward pike saves underwater. In general, there are two ways to perform a forward line up: Standing and sitting.
1. Standing Front Fall
The standing lineup is the most common forward lineup. It is almost always the choice for forward lineups on springboard. Here is how you perform it:
- Stand on the edge of the board and lean your body over into a pike position. Make sure to keep your legs straight and your body as close to your legs as possible.
- Place your arms out to the sides of your body. Round-out your shoulders and your back, making sure your core is tight and you are in a good hollow position.
- Face the palms of your hands towards the water. Keep your head in-line with your body.
- Rise onto your toes and prepare to dive. Keep your eyes focused on the water.
- Once you initiate the fall, grab your hands (flat-hand grab) above your head. Try to create a tight seal around your ears by pulling your shoulders up to your ears, and squeezing your arms tight to your head.
- Keep your core tight and dive into the water.
- Perform an underwater save.
A standing forward fall is also used on platform. However, the more common type of forward fall to use on platform is from the sitting position.
2. Sitting Front Fall
A sitting fall is exactly as the name suggests: You sit on the edge of the platform and fall into a dive position. It is most common to perform this type of lineup from the platform. Here is how to do it.
- Sit at the edge of the platform with your legs dangling off the tower.
- Place your hands on the platform surface, with the palms of your hands by your hips. Your fingers should be curled over the edge of the platform.
- Straighten your legs and bring them into a pike position out in front of your body.
- Rise up onto your arm so your bodyweight is balanced on your hands, arms, and wrists.
- Pull your stomach in tight, pike deeply, and fall into the water.
- Gravity will pull your body into a head-first — or dive — position.
- While falling, move your arms to the sides of your body and above your head.
- Grab your hands in the flat-hand grab and prepare to enter the water.
- Perform an underwater save after you have entered the water.
A sitting fall is best off 10-meter where you have more time for gravity to pull you into the handstand position. Most divers will perform a sitting forward fall off 10-meter rather than the standing counterpart.
The height of a 3-meter springboard doesn't give your body the time in the air to rotate into a handstand position. Keep in mind, though, that sitting front falls are generally reserved for platform practice.
Practice Your Rip
In order to score high in any diving competition, you need to rip the entry. In order to rip the entry, you need to practice your forward lineups every day. Practice the different lineups described above and you will quickly notice what it feels like to smoke an entry!