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Riding position and arm pump

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When riding to keep the front end light. Say in rocks . Or climbing bluffs or decending. I am developing arm pump. I try to keep my weight over the rear tire also for traction . Or is arm pump more common than I think. I raced my 1st enduro and it was almost unbearable.

Is there something I can do for this? Other than not squeezing to tight.

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Death grip on the bar is usually the cause of arm pump. Being able to hold yourself on the bike more with your core muscles can help to some extent, along with general good fitness. Fitness taken too far can attribute to arm pump too as I've seen a lot of lifters and body builder types have serious arm pump within just a few miles of starting the ride. Pay particular attention to your grip on the bar and see if maybe your squeezing more than you think you are. 

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Weird, i never get arm pump. I've been riding for 4 years now and i never get it, I do however get hand/wrist pain all the time when riding and i think those are terrible. I remember at the beginning of the season a few months ago when i went riding, i went out for my first few laps on the track and i remember pulling off and was about to cry the hand pain was so bad. it was like a 7/10 pain. Worst hand pain i've ever gotten. though as i said when i'm riding i only get wrist/hand pain. 

 

I think doing exercises will help, so maybe work out? Gripping the bike with your knees is good but i often forget :D

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Arm pump is terribly common during offroad races. I've found that breathing helps. Remember to breath, make a point of it, especially in the first 15 min of the race.

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Weird, i never get arm pump. I've been riding for 4 years now and i never get it, I do however get hand/wrist pain all the time when riding and i think those are terrible. I remember at the beginning of the season a few months ago when i went riding, i went out for my first few laps on the track and i remember pulling off and was about to cry the hand pain was so bad. it was like a 7/10 pain. Worst hand pain i've ever gotten. though as i said when i'm riding i only get wrist/hand pain. 
 
I think doing exercises will help, so maybe work out? Gripping the bike with your knees is good but i often forget

I do work out started back because I got back into riding because it felt like the ground has gotten hard since I was a kid ,so I thought that it would help and it has I just hope it's not the cause of the arm pump.

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15 hours ago, Doc1969 said:


I do work out started back because I got back into riding because it felt like the ground has gotten hard since I was a kid ,so I thought that it would help and it has I just hope it's not the cause of the arm pump.

Unless you're lifting massive weight and trying to body build, it shouldn't be a problem. I get arm pump almost every ride but its tolerable. I used to get it to the point where I had to stop on the side of the trail numerous times and massage my own arms or I couldn't operate my levers. The biggest thing for me was improving my body/riding position. I started trying to improve my body position because I hit a plateau with my riding and I'd never really paid much attention to it. Reduction in arm pump was just kind of icing on the cake. Keeping hands light, weight on feet, keeping my head over the bars, elbows up..etc etc. I found that I got the crazy arm pump only when I was hanging on to the bike, letting the pull me. Once I started letting the bike push my by my feet and actually able to keep my hands light, that was probably the most profound and obvious difference. 

EDIT - it takes some leg and core strength to support yourself correctly and it takes a little while to get used to if (like me) you've been riding with shit body position for a long time. 

Edited by SenorThumpy
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I do work out started back because I got back into riding because it felt like the ground has gotten hard since I was a kid ,so I thought that it would help and it has I just hope it's not the cause of the arm pump.

Creatine type supplements will cause arm pump. Anything designed to bulk you up should be avoided for moto
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Unless you're lifting massive weight and trying to body build, it shouldn't be a problem. I get arm pump almost every ride but its tolerable. I used to get it to the point where I had to stop on the side of the trail numerous times and massage my own arms or I couldn't operate my levers. The biggest thing for me was improving my body/riding position. I started trying to improve my body position because I hit a plateau with my riding and I'd never really paid much attention to it. Reduction in arm pump was just kind of icing on the cake. Keeping hands light, weight on feet, keeping my head over the bars, elbows up..etc etc. I found that I got the crazy arm pump only when I was hanging on to the bike, letting the pull me. Once I started letting the bike push my by my feet and actually able to keep my hands light, that was probably the most profound and obvious difference. 
EDIT - it takes some leg and core strength to support yourself correctly and it takes a little while to get used to if (like me) you've been riding with shit body position for a long time. 

I hear you when u say let the bike push u. Instead of hanging on to the bike. Not riding scared. I guess it will just take seat time.
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Heard a great saying that I keep reminding myself of on the trail:

 

"They're called handlebars, not hold on bars."

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On 5/7/2017 at 9:31 PM, mikea 2 said:

Arm pump is terribly common during offroad races. I've found that breathing helps. Remember to breath, make a point of it, especially in the first 15 min of the race.

Its amazing how you forget to breath during a hare scramble...  I feel like I should be passed out!!  I have to tell myself to breath all the time vs when I trail ride.

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If you ride with elbow pads, try doing a ride without them.  Elbow pads are the cause of my arm pump 100% of the time. If I don't use them, I get no arm pump whatsoever.

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On 6/7/2017 at 3:38 PM, SoftOption said:

If you ride with elbow pads, try doing a ride without them.  Elbow pads are the cause of my arm pump 100% of the time. If I don't use them, I get no arm pump whatsoever.

Same. I ride/race MTB as well and it's a similar situation with my elbow pads. They seem to exacerbate the rate at which I get arm pump. I like to have them, but at what cost? I have been playing around with how tight I put them on to see if this helps. Still working on my riding technique on the CRF because, like someone else stated in this thread, I have been riding for many years using improper technique and now I am trying to ride with more skill instead of just hanging on and WOT all the time :goofy: :thumbsup:

Skin

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I found these things help:

- Bike setup (suspension and chassis) where I trust the bike. So I grip the bars less.
- Flatter bend bars. Bars with too much sweep greatly increase my chances of arm pump.
- Remedial massage to forearms. For many years my forearms were too hard all the time from my non-riding life. Got them loosened up and way better.
- Never take advice from people who don't get it. They don't understand the issue.

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Not sure this will help but I learned many years ago from DH mountain biking that there's no bigger contributor to arm pump than elbow pads. The elbow pads accentuate the pre-existing problem of the fascia around the forearm muscles not being able to expand large enough to deal with the blood flow.  Blood flows into your arm through the arteries (interior) but has difficulty flowing back out through the veins (exterior).

 

Edit...haha, I just realized I've already responded to this thread...speaking of lacking blood flow.

Edited by SoftOption
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No elbow pads. Copy. Got it.  :thumbsup:

I assumed anyone with arm pump would avoid them.

Edited by numroe
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stretch before a ride I've always done 40 push ups and 40 crunches drink about two bottles of water then gear up stretch out then get on the bike get loose sometimes don't grab the bars to hard look at it this way grab a ball or a pipe then grip it hard for a long period of time you will develop arm pump just take some notes from the other members you will find what works best for you

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- Never take advice from people who don't get it. They don't understand the issue.


This describes me, so take my suggestion with a grain of salt.

How a rider holds his/her bars may have an effect on arm pump. I hold mine like a tennis racket and twist the throttle like a doorknob. This uses forearm muscles much differently than holding the grips at a 90 degree angle and twisting the throttle by rotating the wrist straight back (sort of like doing a reverse wrist curl). If your arm pump is mostly on the upper part of your forearm, this could be a factor. Some wrap around bark buster hand guards don't allow for the "tennis racket" grip. This could be a factor. I notice a lot of the top GNCC riders don't use full wrap hand guards, maybe for this reason.

As mentioned, a loose grip really helps riding technique and must decrease arm pump susceptibility.

Again, I don't experience arm pump and am just tossing ideas out which may explain why I don't.

Good luck!
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