How to Do a Front Flip Off a Diving Board

Senior woman on high diving board
Approach the dive with a hop-skip-step for adequate momentum. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

The front flip is a beginner-level dive that helps you build a foundation for more advanced skills. Eventually, a proficient front flip or tuck can allow you to progress to dives such as the front one-and-a-half somersault pike and the front flip with two twists. A forward facing dive capitalizes on the spring from the diving board. Your straight body is propelled into the air, where you tuck your knees to your chest and fully rotate forward, before entering the water head-first. Always practice new dives with a lifeguard or certified diving coach present.

Step 1

Warm up by swimming laps for five to 10 minutes at a moderate pace. Alternate between all four the major strokes: freestyle, breaststroke, butterfly and backstroke. Perform three to five basic warm-up dives.

Step 2

Approach the dive with a hop-skip-step. Stand approximately 18 inches from the end of the diving board, facing forward. Take two steps forward. Raise your dominant knee toward the sky and land on the end of the diving board with both feet together. Push off the diving board and keep your body straight as the momentum from the board propels you up into the air.

Step 3

Throw your arms up above your head as your body pushes off of the diving board; your arms help with momentum when launching into the air. Keep your body straight as it rises toward the sky or ceiling.

Step 4

Tuck your knees into your chest, as high and tight as possible. Throw your arms forward to initiate the forward rotation. Bring your chin in toward your chest to help maintain the momentum of the forward somersault. Keep your eyes open throughout.

Step 5

Release the tuck to open and straighten your body as soon as you have fully rotated and see the water. Raise your hands above your head; form one hand into a fist and take hold of it with the other. The fist will help to break the water when hitting it with impact. Keep your body in one straight line, as you approach and enter the water, with your legs glued together and your feet pointed.

Tip

Practice front somersaults in the pool to master a proficient forward rotation. Locate a spot in the pool where the water is chest to shoulder height. Push off of the bottom of the pool and tuck your knees tightly into your chest. Throw your arms forward simultaneously to rotate.

Warning

Consult with a physician before engaging in a new water sport, such as swimming or diving.

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