“The most important thing in our sport is the leg muscles,” says Orlando Duque, the 40-year-old Colombian who is the greatest cliff diver of his generation.
“First for takeoff, and then for landing, because we land in the water feet first. When you dive from a height of 88 feet at around 53 mph, you have to press your legs together with all your might. So it’s really important for me to do special exercises. One-legged squats are routine.”
As well as the squats, Duque’s workouts include “a regular mix of cardio, weights, diving and mental training. I vary my endurance training—running, cycling, swimming, rowing, stand-up paddling— but luckily Hawaii, the place which I’ve chosen to make home, is ideal for that.”
Do it like Duque: Protect your Essentials
“The last thing you want is for your legs to come apart as you hit the water at 53 mph,” Duque explains, “which is why it’s most important for you to work on your leg muscles.”