The Fastest Swim Technique: Backstroke Dolphin Kick With Maggie MacNeil

Courtesy of Gary Hall Sr., 10-time World Record Holder, 3-time Olympian, 1976 Olympic Games US Flagbearer and The Race Club co-founder.

Most swimmers have a faster backstroke dolphin kick than butterfly. Maggie MacNeil’s best stroke is butterfly however her dolphin kick is so fast that she is the women’s 50 backstroke (SCM) world record holder. The question is what makes Maggie’s backstroke dolphin kick so fast?

In this video, we analyze Maggie’s dolphin kick using our Velocity Meter technology and compare with Olympian Mikita Tsmyh. Coach Gary Hall Sr explores the scientific explanation why dolphin kick on your back is typically faster than your stomach.

Yours in swimming,

Gary Sr.

Gary Hall, Sr., Technical Director and Head Coach of The Race Club (courtesy of TRC)

Like The Race Club on Facebook

Follow The Race Club on Instagram

Follow The Race Club on Twitter

Connect to The Race Club / Gary Hall Sr. on Linkedin

[email protected]

See The Race Club HQ here.


Because Life is Worth Swimming, our mission is to promote swimming through sport, lifelong enjoyment, and good health benefits. Our objective is for each member of and each participant in The Race Club to improve his or her swimming performances, health, and self-esteem through our educational programs, services and creativity. We strive to help each member of The Race Club overcome challenges and reach his or her individual life goals.

The Race Club provides facilities, coaching, training, technical instruction, video, fitness and health programs for swimmers of all ages and abilities. Race Club swim camps are designed and tailored to satisfy each swimmer’s needs, whether one is trying to reach the Olympic Games or simply improve one’s fitness. Our programs are suitable for beginner swimmers, pleasure swimmers, fitness swimmers, USA swimming or YMCA swimmers, or triathletes; anyone who wants to improve swimming skills. All of our Race Club members share an enjoyment of being in the water and use swimming to stimulate a more active mind and body.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
ACC fan
21 days ago

Short legs

22 days ago

It looks like her knees overextend.

Reply to  ScovaNotiaSwimmer
22 days ago

FYI “Hyperextension”is prolly beneficial for maximizing underwater speed if one can do it. The term “Overextend” suggests that what she ia doing is not beneficial, likely reason for down votes

Last edited 22 days ago by Austinpoolboy
The Screaming Viking!
Reply to  ScovaNotiaSwimmer
21 days ago

Yup. When I see a third grader who stands like an ostrich with their knees bent backwards I know I can make them fast underwater. I immediately call their parents and recruit hard.

BBQ Billy
23 days ago

WOW! Thanks Gary for the wonderful analysis. This kind of information is slow in coming for the general coaching population. Very helpful. I would have loved to see such an analysis for MP. Well done.

23 days ago

Dressel is slower he needs to take notes