Arm pump

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by pingvin, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. pingvin

    pingvin Been here awhile

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    Might be other threads arounf but couldn't find it.

    Always struggled with arm pump and after got into dirt riding it's worse to the point might have to give it up. So intersted in any tip that could help me redice the problem. What I do today:
    1. Do streching several times a day also during breaks during riding
    2. Do exercises (mostly hand grips)
    3. Try to use legs and be in balance to not strain arms...but not easy for a beginner
    4. Try focusing on relaxing grip while riding...but again not easy when bumpy and loose
    5. Taking breaks (even short ones hep)
    6. Tiger balm (actually a stick lasting way longer, really works)
    7. Muscle relaxing, anti-inflammatory drugs (normally take before riding)
    8. Try not to use PC too much
    9. Will reduce weight and get in better shape, less mass to control and easier having correct technique when not tired
    10. Get sme more basic technique training, still not that confident riding standing up
    11. Quick action throttle, less rotation=less train
    12. Just ordered leg pegs leg pegs (www.legpegs.com). Guess with proper teqhnique, balance etc it's not neccessary but having problems during hard acceleration not hanging onto bars. Worth a try.
    #1
  2. buls4evr

    buls4evr No Marks....

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    All of the above are fine but you are likely missing the most important thing.... The way you grip the grips! Are you gripping at a 45 degree angle across the grip or 90? 90 is incorrect! Ever wonder why that dogleg is in your lever that way? Your fingers go across that angle if you grip correctly. Tell yourself to center on the bike and keep your elbows up!!!! Your thumbs should not be down, but more in line with the bars.
    Another tip is to use one of those velcro tennis elbow supports on your arms just below your elbow on your forearm. They help your bloodflow a lot. If you grip in this way your wrists and forearms will thank you.
    #2
  3. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    Use your legs and feet to grip the bike.


    Slow down a bit until it becomes a natural thing to relax. Big help.

    Oh and those legpeg things? When I see Knighter,RC or Dungey using them maybe I'll think about them. 'Til then useless billet bling.
    #3
  4. VxZeroKnots

    VxZeroKnots Long timer

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    squeeze the seat with your knees, good kneepads help. Also proper suspension setup helps a lot depending on the terrain. My bike is set up for slow tech riding and as such I get pumped out fast in sand because the bars are moving so much on me. If you are having problems on acceleration lean forward and grip with your knees before giving it gas to counteract.

    Warming up also helps a ton, ride mellow for a while until your blood is flowing good before wicking it up.
    #4
  5. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    When I was a young fellow racing MX, I often got arm cramps the first few moto's of the season. As my fitness improved, my arms were less likely to cramp. I think arm pump is something different. It seems to be a common circulatory ailment suffered by motorcycle racers and solved with surgery.

    Today I can get various cramps when riding long distances. Usually legs, but also hands and forearms. I've learned that when cramps surface I am dehydrated. I wear a Camelbak and a few pulls on that will relieve my cramps in about 5 minutes. Maybe you have something like that going on?
    #5
  6. MADurstewitz

    MADurstewitz MADMark

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    #6
  7. baloneyskin daddy

    baloneyskin daddy bikaholic

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    Throttlemeister.:rofl
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  8. Bald Kirk

    Bald Kirk Dances with Dirt Bikes

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    Have you tried eating a banana before you ride?
    #8
  9. pingvin

    pingvin Been here awhile

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    Thanks for all replies, appreciate that!

    Maybe should mention what kind of riding I do. Used to do only road riding and track days on race tracks. But a few big crashes on road got me into dirt riding. Mostly been doing gravel roads as strictly forbidden doing any off road in Norway, even trails. But gravel roads aren't really that challenging so bought a RMZ250 this year for some MX as happen to have a track 5min from my house, to improve skills. Been to MX track maybe 10 times in total, but due to arm pump I cam only do a couple of laps at a time.

    Road riding and gravel roads are OK if take breaks. It's race tracks and MX that's the biggest problem.

    So 45 degrees is correct? Trying to get elbows up but tend to fall down. Thumbs pointing down, will try to change.
    OK, doesn't that restrict bloodflow? Trying not to have anything tight on arms wrist...
    Yes...must do this, agree! Must sacrifice ego to improve.

    Don't even know who they are...but bet they are a lot better than me. I'll just give it a try, fortunetely they can be taken off again.
    Rubbish with susepnsion set up but know guys that can help me so will have a look at it.
    I'm, trying...but still end up hanging in bars a bit. It helps leaning but doesn't eliminate it. Maybe LegPegs will :D

    Yes, started doing that as well, forgot to mention it. Even use the hand grips before riding. Helps.
    Guess arm pump isn't a medical term but for some it's only a probelm right there and then. If been at MX track or race track, I have to wait a week before tpouching a bike again.

    Always use camel back on longer rides and never really hot in Norway.
    Have a power ball, not used it lately. Might try the motorcycle specific, can't hurt to try.
    Well, always ensure got food in stomach before riding...anything special with bananas (if you're serious)?
    #9
  10. Bald Kirk

    Bald Kirk Dances with Dirt Bikes

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    Hey! I have always heard that potassium and plenty of water helps.
    #10
  11. AlsoRan

    AlsoRan Lone Trail Of Dust

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    More riding will help to relax the grip and less arm pump. But if it's there now to that extent it will likely be a part of your riding life. A couple of quick things you can do to help. As others have mentioned eat bananas before you ride (not a joke). A second thing is the handle bar position. You said that your elbows fall back down. Roll the handlebars so that the ends are pointed slightly "up". If the bars are too far forward by doing this then get some different bars to insure at least flat across the bar ends. Think of a bench press where everything has to be in-line to lift maximum weight. Elbows are not at the sides. This will take pressure off your wrists and hands. Try it and see.
    #11
  12. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    So there it is. You don't have arm pump. You are just not in athletic shape. Couple laps?!!!:rofl

    Naw, you are just weak. You can fix that easy enough. You don't even need a trainer.
    #12
  13. VxZeroKnots

    VxZeroKnots Long timer

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    Yup, go do a couple of laps, hold your hands above your head and shake them to get all the lactic acid out, repeat.
    #13
  14. Valker

    Valker Been here awhile

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    If your health allows, take a couple of real aspirin and a Niacin supplement about an hour before riding begins.
    #14
  15. crofrog

    crofrog Long timer

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    Focus on the core muscles not the grip, the issue isn't grip strength but the fact that you're hanging on in the first place the core is what lets you be relaxed on the bars.

    More importantly pinch the seat/tank with your legs, try turning your toes in so they're pointing into the center of the bike, this forces your knees to grip.

    This is HUGE. Work the core, loose weight everything else will fall into place.
    Without confidence there's almost no chance you aren't gripping to hard.

    Pointless. Just overgrip the throttle.

    I'd not say pointless, but the biggest thing that helped me is _ anticipating_ what the bike is going to do. If you're about to get on the throttle lean forward into it _before_ you whack the gas open get your head over the number plate. About to bounce on the brakes get your weight back. Make sure you're pinching the entire time.
    #15
  16. crofrog

    crofrog Long timer

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    Lean forward more!
    #16
  17. pingvin

    pingvin Been here awhile

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    Amazed by the response, thanks everyone!
    OK, will try...thanks!
    OK, haven't heard this before but assume have an effect or you wouldn't mention it.
    OK, will try...anything as long as allowes me to ride :D
    Fix the problem, not the symptoms. makes sense.
    Trying...
    Yes, think maybe improving technique is the one single most important thing, really a must. Fortunately have a buddy that is mx trainer and he'll help me with basic technique riding eights around tyres etc, starting rom scratch.
    Well, that's one of the gadgets I really do feel makes a difference and see no downsides. Easy job too.
    Will take them off when get that good, promise :D
    Trying...one day I'll get there!
    #17
  18. crofrog

    crofrog Long timer

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    The downside is trying to ride in limited traction situations fine throttle control is needed whenever the going get's tough.

    Try to ride some gnarly uphill or snotty single track and see where that quick turn throttle puts ya :)

    The trick to going full throttle is the re-grip / overgrip. When you're getting ready to go full throttle over grip the throttle and pin it. This lets you keep your elbow's up and allows you to stay in the attack position.
    #18
  19. effensteve

    effensteve Enjoying the ride

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    More porn, my arms never get tired now :csm :fpalm
    #19
  20. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    What works for me:
    Best way of delaying the onset of arm pump that I have found is to do a set of push ups until failure, every morning, for a few months leading up to a long/challenging ride. I don't doubt there are better, lengthier fitness regimes, but for me, less than two minutes before a shower I was going to take anyway was a sacrifice I found easy enough to make that I actually bothered to do it 95% of the time.

    I am no sport scientist and someone will probably be along to tell me this is BS, but it worked for me.

    Conversely, I found that last time I hit the trails, when I had been lazy and severely neglected the push ups in the three months running up to that particular ride, that I suffered from arm pump far more than usual.

    Update: Went for the first proper trail ride since last time (when I had been lazy) yesterday. I'd been back at the pushups for only two weeks. Even in that short space of time, no arm pump at all. If anything was aching it was my calves and thighs, but that was probably from ice skating the day before.
    #20