I've created a few simple phrases that I can learn the meaning of when I'm outside the pool, then, then when I'm swimming, I can simply pull these phrases into my head without having to focus too much on big sentence and paragraph-based swimming cues. So, without further ado, here are weird words that will make you swim faster!
* You can read part 1 HERE.
Swim Faster #5 - Puppet Elbow:
Imagine that your elbow is attached to a puppet string that is pulling it straight out of the water in the recovery phase of the stroke. A full elbow recovery is very important, especially in choppy, open-water swimming, where a partially submerged arm in the recovery phase will quickly tire you out because of increased drag.
Swim Faster #6 - Cigar Mouth:
For a streamlined breathing pattern, attempt to take as little of the head as possible out of the water when breathing. The best way to think about this is "smoking a cigar" when you inhale, meaning, for you healthy, non-smoking triathletes, that the breath only comes from the outside corner of the mouth while the inside corner of the mouth is under the water. As you learn this breathing method, you may end up swallowing a bit of water, but long term practice will result in more efficient swimming.
Swim Faster #7 - Raise Pinky:
To achieve optimum pull against the water with the hand, while still maintaining a drag-free slice through the water, the pinky should be elevated higher than the rest of the fingers during the entire stroke phase.
Every hand is different, so experiment with the outwardly turned angle of the hand until you find a position that gives you the most speed. One of the common mistakes I see when the pinky is elevated is a completely locked out elbow. Never completely straighten the arm when reaching towards the end of the pool because you'll be able to grab less water to pull against.
Swim Faster #8 - Wall Reach:
"Reach Over a Wall, "Spear a Fish", "Take a Cookie From the Jar" - there are many ways to describe how your hand should feel as it enters the water, but the general idea is that you are grabbing as big a handful of water as possible when initiating the pull phase of the stroke. If your elbow was correctly drawn out of the water, this will result in a more vertical entry of the hand/forearm unit. Remember, the forearm creates pull against the water in the same way as the hand, so make sure to use it by keeping the elbow slightly bent as you reach over the wall.
If you found these swimming faster tips and cues helpful, then be sure to check out http://www.rockstartriathleteacademy.com, where there's even more practical tips just like this, along with videos, audios, forums, and more!