For our second part on Weightlifting for Triathletes series, I want to share a great tool for improving your swim. Check out the photo below.
This is an overhead cable pull "machine." (It's really not a machine, but a cable, some pulleys and weights.) You put a single handle on the cable, back up and get on your knees so you can extend your arm all the way out, and then pull it towards you like a swim stroke.
The most important thing to focus on is engaging the muscles in the correct order all while keeping your body as straight as possble. To simulate great swim form, you first bend the wrist down, then bend down the forearm, then sweep the elbow and shoulder to the side. Notice how my elbow is well above my hand and my wrist is bent out facing forward instead of backwards.
The whole time you do this, try to keep your body as straight as possible from the waist up. Have somebody video you doing it and show you right then and there what you look like. Keep adjusting until you have it right.
Even as a strong swimmer, I can only do about 40 lbs. for about 15 reps before I give out. So, don't be upset when you're surprised how hard it is. While I rest one arm, I work the other one. I go back and forth that way until I knock out about four sets total.
If you do this on a regular basis, you will notice huge gains in your swim speed and durability. Enjoy!