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How to Dolphin Dive


Dolphin Dive Technique
Swimmers churn the water as they begin the Ironman Triathlon World Championship race in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
Swimmers churn the water as they begin the Ironman Triathlon World Championship race in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

A proper dolphin dive is a great way to shave several seconds off your total triathlon time. The dive is used as a way to enter shallow water and gain momentum for when you start swimming. Unlike diving into the water in normal swimming, the best way to gain speed is to perform several "dives" using the dolphin technique.

Once the race begins, start running towards the water. Enter the water and run as far as you can, which, for most of us is about knee-deep.

Then plant your feet in the ground and jump into the air at a 45-degree angle with your arms extended and hands joined, much like a dive off the blocks in a regular pool swimming.

Now comes the fun part -- once you enter the water after the dive, dig your hands into the sand. You're going to pull yourself forward using the sand as an anchor point. Once you've pulled yourself forward underwater, with your hands past your chest, plant your feet on the ground and bend your knees. It's important to keep your knees bent to maximize the power of your coming jump.

Now push up with your legs and launch yourself up and out of the water once again. You'll go flying upward like you did on your initial dive. Repeat these steps and keep dolphin diving until you're ready to start swimming. Remember, on that last dive before you start swimming, stay closer to the surface, because you won't be able to swim rapidly if you're deep under the surface.

Up next, we'll learn about the benefits of using the dolphin dive technique.