Bad arm pump help!

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9/29/2019 1:50 AM


basically, I get arm pump really really bad. I’m a 15 year old racer on a 125. I really need some other ideas to eliminate my arm pump. Currently I use a 4 Armstrong , cycle before race to warm up, cut sugar out 48 hours before, hydrated, good sleep, great fitness, nose strips to hold nose open for optimal breathing, use cone valves and Traxx shock for bike setup, use all them sprays to prevent it etc. what else can I do? Am I missing something that’s a key?
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9/29/2019 2:05 AM

Don't use glue or wire on your hand grips. Will teach you to have soft hands.Worked for me.

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9/29/2019 2:28 AM

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9/29/2019 3:12 AM

Arm pump is a bitch and can be caused by countless reasons, to name a few, something in your diet, incorrect training, bike set up, riding technique...the list goes on and on.

Best way forward is to hook up with a current or forma pro or a experienced trainer and figure it out.

Good luck going ahead

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9/29/2019 3:12 AM

Drop-Bear wrote:

Don't use glue or wire on your hand grips. Will teach you to have soft hands.Worked for me.

You can't be serious are you?

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9/29/2019 3:17 AM

I actually had the same issues and had surgery in 2017, the root of my problems were overtrained forearms, so the muscle-sacks (not sure how to explain correctly) were too small for the muscles in my wrists, causing lack of bloodflow.


They made 3 cuts in each forearm, at the same time so for 4 weeks i couldnt use my arms

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9/29/2019 3:18 AM

Jackyy231 wrote:
basically, I get arm pump really really bad. I’m a 15 year old racer on a 125. I really need some other ideas to eliminate my arm pump. Currently I use a 4 Armstrong , cycle before race to warm up, cut sugar out 48 hours before, hydrated, good sleep, great fitness, nose strips to hold nose open for optimal breathing, use cone valves and Traxx shock for bike setup, use all them sprays to prevent it etc. what else can I do? Am I missing something that’s a key?

Pop them a mail. monica@chrisbirch.co.nz

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9/29/2019 4:16 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/29/2019 4:17 AM

Drop-Bear wrote:

Don't use glue or wire on your hand grips. Will teach you to have soft hands.Worked for me.

Boomslang wrote:

You can't be serious are you?

Absolutely

Lose grip.Never get arm pump anymore.

My bike is setup properly, I use Twsited engineering flex bars and Xtrigg bar mounts, with pillow top grips. I'd say that would be helping as well. But ever since I stopped wiring my grips on, and got used to it, no more arm pump.

I ride a 125 and 144 atm, but just sold an RM 265 and an RMZ 250, didn't get arm pump on those bikes either.

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9/29/2019 4:47 AM

There were several riders at nationals that swear by pickle juice for arm pump.

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9/29/2019 4:56 AM

I find that thin grips help arm pump, I use Renthal diamond medium compound. Squeeze bike with legs, try not to death grip bars. Throw 4armstrong in garbage

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9/29/2019 4:59 AM

I changed my technique.

-I relax my grip on jumps/in air, also at the same moment take a good breath.
-In rough breaking bumps I relax my grip and push into the bars to maintain contact.
-Feet back on pegs asap on corner exit to grip with knees
-Also experimented with how much you grip, meaning what is the least amount you can get away with. Might be surprised. I think a lot of people over grip on corner exit with the anticipation of acceleration and there after.

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9/29/2019 5:12 AM

sandman768 wrote:

I find that thin grips help arm pump, I use Renthal diamond medium compound. Squeeze bike with legs, try not to death grip bars. Throw 4armstrong in garbage

Good advice regarding the 4armstrong gadget...

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9/29/2019 5:23 AM

Full diamond grips. Size M/L gloves for reference.

Finding gloves that fit snug but have little to no tightness around the wrist area.


Making your bars fit perfect so that your hands rest very naturally and even pressure across the palms.
For me as a midget 5ft 8". I use Zeta 19mm bar risers on my KTM with the mounts in the rear position. Bar bend that works perfect and cut 1/4" off of each side of bars. Instant arm pump relief.

Tried the new 2020 Husqvarna's last weekend and had arm pump in seconds just cruising around. Jumped straight on my bike and gone in a lap.


Also the obvious, grip more with knees. Concentrate on relaxing your hand grip on every possible section on a track. It is amazing once you start to concentrate on it how much you were actually over gripping.

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CR250 07
KTM 200 2016 EXC (XCW)
Husqvarna TC125 2018
KLX110L 2018
KX85 11 2014
YCF 125 Bigy 2018

9/29/2019 5:32 AM

Riding technique, and Midol Complete

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Washed up moto and enduro weekend warrior.

9/29/2019 6:03 AM

Jackyy231 wrote:
basically, I get arm pump really really bad. I’m a 15 year old racer on a 125. I really need some other ideas to eliminate my arm pump. Currently I use a 4 Armstrong , cycle before race to warm up, cut sugar out 48 hours before, hydrated, good sleep, great fitness, nose strips to hold nose open for optimal breathing, use cone valves and Traxx shock for bike setup, use all them sprays to prevent it etc. what else can I do? Am I missing something that’s a key?

What's your suspension setup and weight?
Handlebar is in neutral position, aligned with forks?

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9/29/2019 6:04 AM

It’s probably mental, cardio and riding, hydration at least 2 days prior, electrolytes during, stretching, and I take ibuprofen about 30 minutes before riding

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9/29/2019 6:25 AM

You're not squeezing hard enough with your legs.

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9/29/2019 6:38 AM

Fix your technique and work on your mental skills.

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9/29/2019 8:35 AM

Old enduro guy I knew when I was young (1979) told me this "Only grip the bars so just your thumb and forefinger meet thats all you need you'll grab on tighter if you need to." If you do that just sitting in front of the computer you'll see how your forearm stays relaxed. Just have them touch and allow your other fingers to just rest on the grip.

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9/29/2019 11:54 AM

You’re holding on to the grips too tight.

The end.

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9/29/2019 12:07 PM

I always got it real bad till I had training with Ryan Hughes, changed my technique and then never had an issue afterwards.

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9/29/2019 12:12 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/29/2019 12:13 PM

Anecdotes-Thinner grips. Full diamond is the thinnest.

Looser gloves. Tighter fitting jersey on forearms.


Actual fix- Stand up more. Grip the bike with your legs.

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9/29/2019 12:43 PM

Depending on how/when your get armpump you can diagnose it better. If it comes immediately after 2-3 corners it is more likely to be setup related, handlebar position or suspension being to stiff (typically in rear).

If you get it 8-10minutes into a session it can be poor cardio and/or related to body position.

Btw, I get armpump right away if:
1. low speed compression suspension is to stiff in rear so it does not brake through the initial travel (or to fast rebound or to much preload).

2. I tilt my handlebar 2+mm fwd,

3. I run to thin grips. KTM stock for example is a no go. Renthal Kevlar duo like the only one that works.

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9/29/2019 1:30 PM

Lean into acceleration and against braking & ride at a pace where you dont hold on tight. Should take care of 90% of it

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9/29/2019 1:37 PM

Shock horror, your 4 Armstrong doesn't work? As others have said throw it in the garbage. Just relax, release the death grip on your bars and use thinner grips.

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9/29/2019 1:47 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/29/2019 1:48 PM

Do you get arm pump only when you race, or when racing AND just riding open practice. If you don’t get arm pump during open practice days, it’s most likely just a death grip on the bars while racing. While out joy riding you may be more relaxed. Just something to think about.

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9/29/2019 1:50 PM

Stop drinking red wine and high reps lighter weights for your arms

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9/30/2019 5:28 AM

rs275

17 minutes ago

It's not so much the sugar that causes armpump but caffeine and carbonation, so that's one of the reasons why people tell you to eliminate energy drinks and soda as a rider (energy drinks especially because of all of the health risks involved, it's better to eat an orange about 15 minutes prior or drink some emergen-c about 30 minutes prior to riding to get a calm "pick-me-up" so you can stay relaxed and control your breathing rather than get jacked up on an energy drink and have your muscles tense while riding.) The higher your heart rate the harder your entire body is having to compensate and it fatigues wayyyy quicker when on any type of energy drink or pre-workout drink. One of the best exercises to incorporate into your training regimen are arm hangs. The idea is to lengthen and strengthen your forearms without bulking them up during the process. Your body adapts to any movement that it does repetitively over a length of time and it doesn't matter how hard you're squeezing with your knees, you're still having this constant pulling motion especially the faster that you become as a rider which can be simulated with the arm hangs. So jump up and grab a bar, a tree branch, a porch beam or anything similar, keep your arms straight and hang as long as you possibly can. While you're hanging try to stay as relaxed and calm as possible, controlling your thoughts and breathing especially as your forearms begin to hurt. You don't realize it at the time but you're building habits and responses to being in that environment. Once you can't hang any longer, drop down and stretch your forearms out for a minute or 2 (just long holds, don't bounce your stretches) slowly pushing your fingers back towards the top of your arm to stretch the forearms, do some wrist rolls and jump back up. Repeat this 5 times and try to do these 3 times a week (say Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). Once you get comfortable doing arm hangs, take a soccer ball and stick it between your knee's without crossing your ankles while you hang. Focus on squeezing and hanging at the same time while still controlling your thoughts and breathing. It also helps to do these at the end of a workout or incorporate them into an interval workout after you're warmed up. So do a full body 15-20 minute warm up, then when you're ready, sprint until your heart rate is elevated and you're breathing heavy and then do your first arm hang. Stretch the forearms and then sprint again to elevate your heart rate and repeat this 5 times.
Schwinn Airdynes are amazing for building all around muscle endurance, you can practice being in the attack position with your head up and looking ahead while you're sprinting and controlling your breathing. No matter how tired you get stay out of the habit of dropping your elbows and head and rolling your shoulders forward into that kind of slouched, fatigued position. Don't close your eyes and grit your teeth either, anything you do off the bike you'll do on the bike as well, even something as simple as staring down at your phone all day can cause your head to naturally drop down once you stop thinking about it on the bike.
At the track, you can take a resistance band there and attach the middle of the resistance band to something and incorporate rows into your warm up, row for a good 10 minutes and then do a full upper body stretch (especially forearms) about 30 minutes prior to your race. Practice all of this during a practice day at the track before doing it at a race so you get an idea of how your body responds to it and how long of a rest you need between your warmup and race. It's a balance between allowing your body to relax and recover after a warmup and not completely cooling down before you ride.
I can't stress enough how much learning how to control your thoughts while being in those uncomfortable positions help reduce arm pump. I once took these "arm pump tablets" when I was about 16 and I remember thinking before the race that there's no way that I can get arm pump now, so it never even crossed my mind and I rode as hard as I could the entire 20 minute plus a lap race without ever pumping up. A few months after the race the product was discontinued because there was nothing in it but some vitamins and minerals. I used to experiment with it during a full body exercise I used to do, once I thought about my arms and shoulders getting tired I would feel nothing but my upper body getting fatigued, but once I switched my focus to my legs getting tired I would feel nothing but my lower body.
Just about any technique that you are struggling with can be simulated in a gym with some creativity. I used to struggle with keeping my leg up in turns and dropping my inside elbow, so I took a barbell and sat on a leg extension machine with light weight and practiced that repetitive movement over and over (when the left leg comes up, leaning forward, tilting my head to the left while keeping my head center on the barbell, both elbows staying up while I turned the barbell slightly) as well as my breathing during all of this. Once I got on the bike the movements came a lot easier.
One more tiny tip is to keep your toes pointed slightly inward while riding. A lot of techniques benefit from this but a lot of times your toes tend to naturally point a little outward, and it's way easier to squeeze the bike and keep your lower body locked in place when your toes are pointed inward than out. Even in turns, when your left leg comes up, practice pivoting your right foot inward a tiny bit as if you're walking and deciding to do like a military pivot with your outside foot, it will help drive your knee into your bike and hold you in place so you don't slide back on the seat during the exit and end up having to hold on even tighter with your arms.

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9/30/2019 5:29 AM

Had the best luck remedying this by another poster suggesting this: changing my practice routine to concentrate only on form (not worried about speed initially) and rode as many semi fast laps as I could until I built stamina. Included all the things mentioned above, concentrated on gripping more with my legs, loose grip, body position, thin grips etc. It all goes out the window sometimes during a race though, and I know it's a death grip on the bars when it happens...and my own mental error.

While one guy mentioned his shock being off, for me softening my forks...a lot, also helped. Good luck!

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9/30/2019 6:47 AM

It’s hit and miss for me. I pound out 30s in my local sand pit with rollers everywhere and I’m fine. Then I’ll head to my local track on a Wednesday when it’s a highway and I pump up in 3 laps. I really don’t know how to eliminate it. Stay hydrated and stretch a lot

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