Just when you thought the mermaid trend was starting to disappear (finally), a new YouTube workout series is here to remind you that the allure of the mythical sea goddess will never go away.
"The 8-Week Mermaid Transformation Series" is a new workout series available on YouTube. It's created by Fin Fun Mermaid, a company that sells pool-friendly mermaid tails. (And yes, they do come in adult sizes.) Fin Fun partnered with USA Swimming–certified coach Christine Dustin to create a workout plan that promises to help you channel your inner Ariel.
The sport is literally called mermaiding. What makes it different from regular swimming, according to Dustin, are the body rolls that help propel you forward—and also the mermaid tail you may or may not choose to wear.
While it may seem like mermaid fitness is kind of jumping the, er, shark, it actually makes sense as a workout.
"Like swimming, mermaiding is a full-body workout, but it especially focuses on the core muscles," Dustin tells SELF. (The reason it's so core-heavy is because there's an emphasis on moving the body in a rolling motion—you'll see what we mean in a minute.) Mermaiding, like swimming, is also gentle on the joints. "Water provides a resistance you don’t get on land, while also giving a low-impact environment that leads to few injuries," she adds. And it's a killer cardio workout. "The workout strengthens your heart, increases your lung capacity, and improves your flexibility, [in addition to working muscles throughout] your entire body," Dustin tells SELF. What more could you ask for? (A mermaid tail of your own, perhaps?)
In the first video of the series, Dustin shows swimmers how to do three different types of dolphin kicks.
You can check out the video here:
After swimming freestyle for a lap or two to warm up, you'll start off with a 25-yard dolphin kick swim. Get in position on your belly with your arms stretched out in front of you—up to you if you want to cross your hands on top of each other so that they better mimic a dolphin's nose. Then, you'll use your feet to kick and propel you forward. "When you do the dolphin kick, remember you want to roll through your whole body," Dustin explains. That means starting the rolling motion with your hands and ending with your toes. "Make sure you press down your chest, your hips go up, and don't bend your knees too much."
Then, Dustin teaches the next type of dolphin kick. This time, you'll hold both arms against your sides. The biggest difference is that you start the rolling motion with your head and chest instead of your hands. Picture the graceful way a mermaid swims through the water, and you'll have a good idea how what this should look like.
For the third and final type of dolphin kick, you'll swim on your back, holding one arm above your head, the other at your side. "Dolphin kick on your back is pretty much the same as on your front," Dustin explains. Roll through your head, chest, core, and legs to help propel your body forward.
The finisher is a 100-yard mermaid swim—which basically just means that you swim whatever stroke makes you feel the most like a mermaid.
If you do choose to take up mermaiding, be prepared to work most of your major muscle groups, from your arms to your abs to your legs.
Your entire core has to engage as you execute that rolling motion, your legs have to work hard to propel you forward, and many muscles in your upper body, specifically your lats (the broadest muscles in your back), rhomboids (the muscles that let your shoulder blades retract), deltoids (your shoulders), and triceps, all have to engage as well, Belinda Kiriakou, certified personal trainer and sport and fitness manager at Blue Diamond Resorts, tells SELF.
As the eight-week series continues, Dustin hopes to convert all her viewers into mermaiding faithfuls. "Mermaiding is a lifetime sport," says Dustin. "Mermaiding can be enjoyed when you are 9 or when you are in your 90s." Tail is optional, but honestly, if you're going to do it, you might as well go all out.