An alligator can run at a speed of 11 miles per hour for short distances. In water, alligators can swim at a speed of about 20 miles per hour.
Alligators are fairly sluggish on land as their bodies drag on or close to the ground, their legs are short, and they have to drag their tails. Muddy terrain increases the speed at which an alligator can run on land as the alligator can slide its stomach more easily along the mud.
Alligators are strong swimmers. They bend back their legs to streamline their bodies and glide more easily through the water, propelled by their long tails.