Snapping ankles and dancer-like toes are what makes Michael Phelps win
By Corey BinnsPosted 08.01.2008 at 12:55 pm 7 Comments
Despite its name, the dolphin kick—the motion that propels the swimmer forward underwater after he dives in and at the turns—isn't just about the legs. It requires a swimmer's entire body to crack like a whip, creating a fluid wave that starts at the chest and increases in amplitude as it travels all the way through the toes. In the best swimmers, this wave moves at about nine feet every second, about half the speed an actual dolphin performs the same motion. To move this quickly, whole-body flexibility is key.