My personal opinion on weight training for swimming and triathlon in general would be to stick on the path you are on with the compound lifts however as others have mentioned you are missing a pull in your training. I am not sure how much tri training you do or how you split up your training volume/intensity between your swimming/cycling/running however I’ll assume you can train twice a week. If I were to train twice a week I would split it up like so:
A Snatch grip high pulls (if you aren’t confident from the floor due to technique there is nothing wrong with hang IMO till you are comfortable from the floor)
B1 Back squats (full depth, if you can’t work on hip and ankle mobility with goblet squats and various mobility exercises till you can! Full depth will have a ridiculous carryover to your cycling and running)
B2 SLDL (see CanditoHQs tutorial for this, best IMO. Helps lengthen and strengthen the hammies which can get shortened from the cycling)
C1 Bench press (everyone knows the drill for this one)
C2 DB Row (form is key, all about scapular retraction, swimming develops the lats, upper pec and anterior delt well but not the traps so much so getting a good squeeze will strengthen the scapular retractors which makes for healthier and stronger shoulders)
A Power cleans (the classic “athlete” exercise, simple enough to do but may take time to really nail, like the SGHPs if you aren’t comfortable from the floor do them from the hang)
B1 Front squats (strengthen the shit outta your legs and abs and upper back, IMO one of the best exercises going)
B2 Knee flexion exercise (GHRs if you can do them, Nordic curls are always good or even lying leg curls, GHRs or Nordic curls would be optimal)
C1 Dips (Streghten and stretch the pecs and anterior shoulder, focusing on good, deep ROM before adding weight)
C2 Pull ups (I highly recommend the “tactical” pull up used by SFGs and Pavel, the hollow body position is great for the abs and seems to transfer nicely to the pool for me)
With regards to sets and reps and I would keep the “A” exercises between 1-5 reps with anywhere from 3-6 sets.
The BSQs and SLDL I would do anywhere from 5-8 reps for 3-4 sets.
The bench I would use 5-8 reps and for the DB rows anywhere from 6-12 reps both for 2-4 sets.
For the front squats and knee flexion exercise keep the reps from 3-8 and sets 2-3.
Finally for the dips and pull ups keep the reps from 3-8 and sets 3-5.
The main message of the story is use compound exercises for lowish reps and with regards to exercise to help improve each of the three discipline for swimming lots of upper back work including scapular retraction in the form of rows and squats for stronger kicking, the upper back work should help minimize the chance of shoulder issues. For the cycling squats and the knee flexion exercises will strengthen your quads and hammie whilst the SLDL will stretch the hammies (which can get “tighter” from riding whilst still strengthening them), in addition the upper back work should prevent any issues if you ride with a kyphotic posture which is very common. The running is similar to the cycling, strong hip extensors (think the explosive lifts and SLDL) as well as upper and lower back for better posture whilst running.
There are many ways to skin the strength training cat and it comes from experience really, that is very similar to what I did when all I did was competitive swimming (I competed in 400IM, 800FC and 1500FC) with the addition with loads of things like band pull aparts and rotator cuff exercises, hell, some of us did band pull aparts every day pretty much!Final point for the strength training don’t go feeling that you need more conditioning work at the end, all your tri training should provide your conditioning for your sport and if it doesn’t address your training as you are fucking up.
So now that I’ve covered how to strengthen the muscles needed for swimming and the other two disciplines I’ll give some insight on how to improve your actual swimming. When a competitive LD swimmer you do a lot of swimming however swimming is about 2% of a tri race. Given that it is more about technique and efficient movement than fitness, don’t think I mean do no swimming and just technique but put some effort into being a more effortless swimmer! Spend the first part of your session on technique, ideally with a competent swim coach, and then follow it up with fitness appropriate to your distance (I am aware that open water swimmers and triathletes use their legs less when swimming and utilize the stroke more). Don’t worry about your swim fitness too much, the three disciplines complement each other nicely and have good CV crossover between them!
If anyone has any questions please ask!