How to Do a Compact Jump

Many youth swimming instructors put the compact jump at the top of the itinerary.
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Budding young swimmers often learn the compact jump as their first swimming pool dive. In children's swimming lessons, this simple dive, which can be performed with the aid of a personal floatation device, usually comes just after the slide-in entry technique. The compact jump isn't limited to children; novice swimmers can use this style as a safe, easy and effective way to hop into the pool. Lifeguards also use the compact jump as means of entry, albeit in a slightly different style.

    Approach the pool entry point, such as a deck, ledge or the edge of a diving board. At the edge of the entry point, stand up straight with your legs together. Cover your mouth and nose or pinch your nose with your left hand. Fold your right arm across your chest to hold your left shoulder. Keep both arms close against your body throughout the jump. Reverse these arm positions if it's more comfortable for you.

    Step off the edge, keeping your feet flat so that you enter the water with your soles first. Keep your body straight, your arms against your chest and your legs together as you enter the water.

    Hold the compact jump position until your body is fully submerged. Bend your knees to absorb shock if you hit the bottom of the pool. Keep your legs together even as you bend your knees. Once your body is fully submerged, you can begin swimming.

    Perform the compact jump with your arms down across your torso -- optionally holding a personal flotation device this way -- and knees bent to perform the jump in the style of a lifeguard. Do not tuck your knees into your chest; your thighs and calves should form a 90-degree angle, as if you were sitting down. As in the standard version of the jump, keep your feet together and flat and your back straight.


    • If entering the pool from a low ledge or an edge even with the waterline, start in the regular compact jump position and bend your knees slightly to lightly hop into the pool. Straighten your body in mid-air and resume the standard compact jump form or keep your knees bent to for lifeguard style.


    • Use the compact jump in pool zones that are at least 5 feet deep to avoid injury. The American Red Cross suggests using the compact jump when entering the pool from an edge 3 feet or more above water.

      Supervise children as they learn the compact jump. If you're a novice swimmer, enlist an experienced buddy to help you hone your diving and swimming skills. Children and adults should stay in the shallow area if just learning to swim.

      Follow any rules or guidelines posted at public pools.

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