If you find yourself wondering how to swim like a beautiful mermaid, I will teach you how to move smoothly and efficiently in the water to transform into a magical creature. With some practice and a few swimming techniques, you will quickly build your confidence in the water and be ready to wear a monofin and a colorful tail to complete your transformation!
1. Learn the Dolphin Kick Motion
Mermaids move gracefully in the water with a full-body wave motion. This movement is called the dolphin kick. Once it is mastered it will be fluid and you will glide through the water like a fish. Remember the mermaid dolphin kick is slower and bigger than the traditional competitive dolphin kick.
A dolphin kick is exactly what it sounds like. Imagine the way a dolphin swims. Their tail fin pushes the water up and down. Humans swim by kicking their legs one at a time, but to kick like a dolphin you have to keep your feet together and have them kick in time with each other. The power of the kick comes from your legs, hips, and core.
Practicing for the dolphin kick
- To prepare, start by standing up on the ground with your arms extended in a streamline position (holding your arms straight above your head, squeezing your ears, hands together) and do a body roll from the tip of your fingers to your head, chest, belly, hips, and legs. Your body should be like a whip when doing a dolphin kick, so you need to master this full-body motion.
- While laying on the ground, lift your hips off the floor using your core muscles. Arch your body with only your heels and shoulder blades touching the floor. Repeat this move 10 times.This is a good workout to practice for a stronger dolphin kick.
- Hold on to the pool's edge in the water. Do the wave motion while holding on to the edge on either your front, back, or side. Make sure to keep your legs glued together. Put your head in the water while on your stomach.
- Try the dolphin kick motion with a pool noodle under your armpits. Start by floating on your stomach with your arms in front of you and your legs and feet together, straight behind you. Next, press your head into the water, then come back up as you press your hips into the water. Keep your legs straight and your feet together.
2. Swim with a monofin
The monofin is the mermaid tool that gives you power and allows mermaids to swim fast. Make sure it is tightly adjusted for your foot size.
- Sit on the edge of the pool with your monofin, move your legs forward and backward while bending your knees. Feel the power and strength from the fin. Keep your toes pointed downward.
- Sit on the edge of the pool deck with your legs in the water. Stable yourself with your hands and move your legs forward and backward without bending your knees this time. Your legs should be touching the surface or the water and then touching the wall of the pool. This will activate your core muscles.
- Start with a pool noodle under your armpits and do two dolphin kick laps at the surface of the water. Let go once you feel comfortable without it and repeat the same movement. Stay in the shallow section of the pool.
- Much of the power comes from your core muscles, so keep them nice and tight.
3. Wearing a mermaid tail
The mermaid tail adds a level of difficulty with more drag from the fabric or other heavy materials. You won’t be able to cheat since your knees will be forced to stay together. With the tail you are ready to swim like a real live mermaid. Here is a checklist to make sure you can control your whole body for a perfect mermaid swimming technique:
- Body position: You should swim with your full body parallel to the bottom of the pool in a horizontal body position. Your tail should be completely underwater. Sometimes people don’t realize they swim with their fin outside of the water kicking in the air with their head close to the floor. A trick is to follow the surface of the water in a straight line.
- Body flexibility: Make sure the wave movement is rolling through your full body from your fingers down to your toes. Many swimmers tend to only move their arms, hips, or knees, but do not create a full-body roll motion. It’s not a natural movement that we are used to doing in our daily life, but it will come with practice. Isolation exercises from belly dance can be really helpful to improve your fluidity, especially to isolate your chest.
- Head: The head leads the movement and the rest of the body follows. The eyes must enter the water first and the chin must move up and down.
- Arms: Your arms can be in a streamline position (extended forward beside your head) or loose beside your body. With your arms extended beside your head, your arms should be straight and glued to your ears. The arm movement should be guiding the movement of the body wave and should not move separately from the rest of the body.
- Knees: Do not bend your knees and do not push or kick from your knees. The body motion should be pushing the water up and down, not forward and backward. MERMAIDS DON’T HAVE KNEES!
- Feet: Always keep your toes pointed like a ballerina while using a whipping motion to propel yourself forward. This is important for swimming with more speed, power, and control.
4. Have fun with it
Mermaid swimming is more than just the basic dolphin kick.
- There are plenty of variations including the dolphin kick on your front, back, side, at the surface, or deep. You can try to do a vertical dolphin kick tread in the deep section.
- Combine your dolphin kick with some arms from another swim style including the breaststroke, crawl, and butterfly.
- For the next level, you can try spins, flips, increasing your speed, and different breath-holds. Check out our videos for more advanced mermaid swimming movements.
- To swim as fast as a mermaid try a smaller and faster dolphin kick motion while tightening your muscles to use all your strength. Your wave amplitude should be small but powerful.
Swimming as a mermaid should be an enjoyable experience that invokes a sense of wonder. It's good exercise, but also a good form of self-expression. If you don't already have one, you can buy your own tail here!
Keep practicing with and without your tail and you will become a master mermaid swimmer!