mermaid fitness

Mermaid fitness, the sport that gets you swimming like a mermaid

Do you dream of swimming like a mermaid? Make it your sport with Mermaid Fitness! We'll tell you all you need to know about this aquatic... and magical discipline.

Are you The Little Mermaid's #1 fan? Good news! You can tick “Swim like a mermaid” off your bucket list! Mermaid Fitness, also called mermaid workout, is a discipline imported from the United States. And it's your chance to finally make your childhood dream come true. 

So what's this sport all about? What are its benefits? What is a session like? Read on for a first-hand account from a mermaid in training... and get all the info you need to get you in the water!

mermaid workout

1/What is mermaid fitness?

Mermaiding is a way of life, one that includes the iconic mermaid outfit. -The fish and crab companions are optional!-~Isn't the costume a little kitsch? Not at all! Or maybe it is but that's what's so great. It's not for people who take themselves too seriously. But we can confirm it is indeed a sport. With its graceful aesthetics, the discipline shares points in common with artistic swimming.Mermaid Fitness first made a splash in France in 2014 with synchronised swimming champion Julia Sardella. Since the first one opened its doors in Marseille, numerous mermaid fitness schools have sprung up all over the country. Great news! There is bound to be one near you! 

It is probably no coincidence that mermaid fitness originated in California, THE birthplace of Disney studios and Hollywood cinema. Imagination is at the heart of this alternative sport. Think Greek mythology, Andersen's fairy tale or Disney's animated adaptation. Under the seaaaa, under the seaaa! --Sorry, I couldn't resist!- It's what sets it apart from almost every other sport and makes it so unique. Although! There's also Quidditch invented by J.K. Rowling… but that's another story ;)

In short, it's a mix of escapism and sport, says Charlotte, our test mermaid: “In all honesty, it's physically challenging, you can feel your muscles are working, but since you have a flipper on your feet and you are finally living the mermaid dream, you forget that your body is doing exercise! And that’s what’s really cool!”

charlotte mermaid workout

2/ Mermaid fitness in practice

Mermaid swimming is generally done in a swimming pool. The trick is to master the dolphin kick, the undulating swimming technique. This stroke will help you to improve your breathing, but also requires a lot of concentration, coordination of movements and above all muscle tone. Charlotte's feedback says it all! “I didn't think swimming like a mermaid would be so much work, it targets your abs and shapes your legs! Fantastic”.

Yes, it’s got the wow factor… the body-sculpting effect of mermaid fitness. This sport works the abs, sculpts the glutes and leaves you with shapely legs. The ideal sport if you are looking to tone your body!

3/ A mermaid workout session from a to z

What is a session of this water-based sport like? Margaux Caillier, synchronised swimming champion and mermaid swimming fan, accompanied our budding swimmer for her first time. Her top tip was to remember that “a mermaid has her feet together all the time, and must be able to swim underwater without coming up to the surface of the pool.” This is the effect you are looking for this session. So, in you go!

To achieve this goal, there are three steps to the training:

1- First, undulating without a tail to learn how to properly move your pelvis;

2- A few warm-up lengths with your feet together; 

3- Freediving exercises.

Once you have mastered holding your breath and you are at ease—this can take a few sessions, even years for some—the next step is to act like a mermaid and get her beautiful fin moving. Ready? 3, 2, 1... Here we go:

- Hair games (in an ideal world: let your long hair flow with the movement of the water!);

- Undulate your body with your arms outstretched or alongside your body;

- Lie down at the bottom of the pool with your legs bent to form a right angle;

- Arch your back forward and back;

- Swirl your body around in a spiral…

All of these poses are guaranteed to be highly instagrammable. And that's without even mentioning TikTok.

mermaid workout

4/ The shimmering outfit

It's easy to imagine yourself in an extravagant swimming costume with sparkling scales, but you can keep it really simple when it comes to mermaiding gear. A decent swimsuit is all you need! But to look the part you don't really want to be in a standard bathing suit. A one-piece, we must admit, would not be quite right in this context.

Charlotte recommends wearing "a two-piece swimsuit with a secure fit so that you can comfortably do dolphin dives without losing your bikini..." Oh, and as for using shells as a bra, give it a miss. We gave it a go... zero support! ^^

In absolute terms, a mermaid tail is not mandatory... but, in theory, if you are getting into mermaid fitness, you must be very eager to give it a go! :-D The basics: a lycra-covered monofin in the shape of a tail. Tried and tested by Charlotte: “The great thing is that it’s easy to use. You can put it on and take it off as you wish and it's super comfortable to wear and to swim in". ~This accessory can be supplied during your first class. Before investing, do your research! Unless you're a cosplayer at heart.

5/ Verdict: is mermaiding for you? 

One of the prerequisites is being able to swim. Apart from that, this sport is accessible to everyone: children over the age of 6 and adults. 

Classes based on ability level are available if you want to further your skills. If you are good at swimming or have a good command of freediving.

There are often introductory classes available. They are particularly popular with those organising a hen do! It's a great opportunity to try a unique and fun sports activity. With the family or some friends! A great experience to share and a guaranteed laugh.

mermaid fitness

Ready to take the plunge?

Another good thing about this sport is the simplicity of its equipment.

All you need is a good-fitting swimsuit.

You don't even have to have a mermaid's tail! But if you really want one, it will generally be provided during your Mermaid Fitness class...

Do you already feel in your element at the mere idea of swimming like a mermaid? Admit it, we can see you wriggling your fins! Our new Ariel can confirm: “Time flies, you're swimming while having fun, you feel elegant underwater and… you never want to take off your tail!” In short, it's fantastic and it's F.U.N. !


Need more advice? this way, please!

synchronised swimming


We have come a long way since the aquatic ballets of the 1930s... A complete, demanding and graceful discipline: I give you artistic swimming!