Here Are 3 Underwater Workouts to Get Your Submerged Sweat On

Mermaid Fitness

Including an opportunity to channel your inner Ariel.


Taking your workout to new depths, aqua fitness has successfully solidified its stance as a thing in recent years – and with no signs of slowing down. This hot trend with the perk of keeping you cool gets more and more creative by the day, with women now flocking to channel their inner Ariel (fishtails and all) at a growing number of mermaid fitness classes. Whether you prefer to get your submerged sweat on with, or without a tail, these workouts are guaranteed to go above and below – so you can go poolside later armed with your aqua-sculpted body…and that well deserved post-workout cocktail in hand.

The Workout: Aqua Cycling

Aqua Cyling

Photo source

What to Know: This European exercise craze introduced to the U.S. in 2013 boasts a burn of up to 800 calories/hour, not to mention increased blood circulation – all in a therapeutic hydro setting more gentle on your joints and muscles vs. regular spinning. Also known as Hydrospinning or Hydroride, expect a high cardio, low-impact workout in a calming, typically female-only environment. Currently, you can take a ride on the aqua side at Aqua Studio in New York City (the birthplace of aqua cycling in the States), as well as further studios across the country including Cornerstone Aquatics Center in West Hartford, CT, Aquatics Is in Downington, PA, and Cal-a-Vie Health Spa in Vista, CA.

What to Wear: Feel free to don your fave 1-piece swimsuit, a bikini bottom + sport bra combo or workout shorts + a sport bra. If wearing a bikini top, just make sure it’s secure. And get ready to get jelly – if you don’t have a pair of jelly shoes left over from the 90s, you can rent a pair from the studio at check-in.

[Related: Here’s How to Work Out with Your BFF From A Bikini A Day’s Tash + Dev]

The Workout: Aqua Zumba

Aqua Zumba

Photo source

What to Know: While dancing your way in the water to a svelter silhouette, you might feel as if you’ve landed at a pool party vs. a workout class. Retaining the high energy and intensity of regular Zumba, the aqua version offers lighter impact surrounded by joint-gentle, swelling-reducing h20. Plus, your working heart rate stays lower and recovers faster than on land. Expect easy to follow Latin-inspired moves, a high calorie burn and energetic beats in this dance-fitness party truly making your workout a splash. Offered in numerous locations nationwide, find a class near you here.

What to Wear: Skip the string bikini – you’ll want a supportive 2-piece or 1-piece here, or a no-budge bikini bottom with a tank top or rash guard. You may want to invest in a pair of pool shoes to keep your feet from slipping on the bottom of the pool, but it’s not required.

[Related: 10 Dance-Inspired Workouts + What to Wear to Each]

The Workout: Mermaid Fitness

Mermaid Fitness

Photo courtesy of Hotel del Coronado

What to Know: Your chance to turn your feet into flippers is here – literally. Spearheaded in 2013 by Kari Roberts (who, fittingly, goes by Kariel) in Hawaii, don’t think mermaid fitness is all smooth sailing. This high intensity, full body workout includes grueling pool laps alongside targeted ab, arm and glute work, all while donning a serious (and sparkly) monofin. The underwater workout is becoming a particular hit with bachelorette parties, bridal parties and nostalgic 20 and 30-somethings wishing to live out their childhood fantasy of living under the sea, but it’s not female only – dudes are welcome to fin up as well. You can currently dive in at Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, CA or at Delta College Fitness & Recreation Center in Midland, MI.

What to Wear: A supportive bikini or 1-piece swimsuit, accompanied by a tail that you can purchase or rent in class.