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There are six key groups of dives in the sport of swimming.
Swimming is one of the world's most popular sports. Whether you swim for pleasure or do it professionally, diving is an important aspect of swimming, allowing you to propel yourself into the water. Diving takes place from a diving board or other platform, and while there are various types of dives, most are derived from six key diving groups.
The forward group of swimming dives is among the most well-known and commonly performed. With this type of dive, you face the front end of the diving board or platform and rotate your body toward the water during the dive. With a forward dive, you often include one or multiple somersaults, increasing the difficulty of the dive. Typically with a forward dive, you take a running approach of a few steps before diving off the board.
The backward group includes those dives in which you start on the end of the board facing away from the water. As you jump and dive off the board, you rotate away from the board into the water. The direction of the movement is always away from the board. Height can be difficult to generate from takeoff because there is no running approach before the dive.
The reverse group is similar to the backward group of dives, but also includes aspects of the forward and inward groups as well. It is sort of a combination of the three. During these dives, you start facing the front of the board, as with the forward group, but during the dive you turn your body backward, using this movement to gain momentum as you rotate back toward the board.
The inward group of swimming dives is similar to the backward or reverse group, in that you position yourself at the edge of the board, facing away from the water before you dive. The difference is that instead of spinning backward away from the board during the dive, you rotate forward toward the board. Examples of dives from the inward group include the inward dive in the open pike position and inward somersault in the tuck position.
The twisting group is considered one of the most difficult type of dives. All dives that include any type of twisting of the body during the movement are included in this group. All armstand dives are not included in this dive, but four types of twists can be included as part of this dive: forward, backward, reverse and inward.
With the armstand group, the dives are started with your body positioned in an armstand, assuming steadiness in that position before propelling your body off of the board. Typically with the armstand dives, you position yourself at the very edge of the platform with your palms face-down on the diving platform. A twisting or somersault motion often is involved during the dive. This dive is performed only from a platform, not from a diving board.
Swimmers can incorporate variations into their dives, with the name of the dive relating to their body position. Body positions on a dive include pike, straight, tuck, free or synchro. Synchronized, or synchro, diving involves two divers performing the same dive at the same time from adjacent takeoff positions.