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Arm Pump Solutions

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Hi guys, looking for some advice here.  Been suffering with arm pump ever since I started riding (~20 years).  Sometimes it's worse that other times but always there.  Seems to take about an hour to 1.5 hrs before I'm loose enough to hang onto the bike and ride at the pace I want.  It's predominantly in my right arm (running rekluse so don't touch the clutch much).

I've tried a lot of things (therapy, strength training, various stretching techniques, etc...) all with limited success.

Recently I've been introduced to two different products and I'm wondering if anyone here has any experience with either of them.

1. 4 Arm Strong ($130) https://www.4arm-strong.com/

This seems to get quite a few high profile endorsements and has been used by several pro riders with great reviews.

2. Rolflex ($60) https://www.amazon.com/RolflexTM-Foam-Roller-Re-imagined-Myofascial/dp/B01IFRD3HG#customerReviews

Recently on the shop floor at Boeing there has been a huge push to reduce worksite injury and one of the outcomes of the study was to place this device at each of the workstations.  In reading up on it it seems pretty versatile.  Gets lots of good reviews from rock climbers that it reduces arm pump.  

Any (constructive) advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

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Hi guys, looking for some advice here.  Been suffering with arm pump ever since I started riding (~20 years).  Sometimes it's worse that other times but always there.  Seems to take about an hour to 1.5 hrs before I'm loose enough to hang onto the bike and ride at the pace I want.  It's predominantly in my right arm (running rekluse so don't touch the clutch much).
I've tried a lot of things (therapy, strength training, various stretching techniques, etc...) all with limited success.
Recently I've been introduced to two different products and I'm wondering if anyone here has any experience with either of them.
1. 4 Arm Strong ($130) https://www.4arm-strong.com/
This seems to get quite a few high profile endorsements and has been used by several pro riders with great reviews.
2. Rolflex ($60) https://www.amazon.com/RolflexTM-Foam-Roller-Re-imagined-Myofascial/dp/B01IFRD3HG#customerReviews
Recently on the shop floor at Boeing there has been a huge push to reduce worksite injury and one of the outcomes of the study was to place this device at each of the workstations.  In reading up on it it seems pretty versatile.  Gets lots of good reviews from rock climbers that it reduces arm pump.  
Any (constructive) advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

I don't know how you ride but I would suggest looking at technique and position on the bike before spending.
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I am in construction and I never get arm pump I only get numb hands. You need to work out you forearms and wrists and the best way is to swing a hammer all day.

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How often do you ride hard/race. Myself I can take a year off from racing and never get armpump from just trail riding, but when I go back racing I suffer for bout a month. Practice track one night during week a 4 motos on Sunday armpump is pretty much gone. Have to ride and ride Alot to not have it. If you're riding hard that is, big difference between racing and not racing.   Hand squeezers work good to. Do couple hundred every day helps . hold them closed till can't anymore 

1518618221270300295947.jpg

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Eliminate your caffeine intake... 

Is this a real concern? I’ve never heard that one, interesting.

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7 hours ago, Hans Schmid said:

Eliminate your caffeine intake... 

Explain?  Thanks..

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Arm pump "can be" other things as well:

1. seating position too far back on the seat.  Move forward on the seat.  Knees should up on the shrouds, butt a little forward of the middle of the seat or more.  Its called attack mode.

2. elbow position too low.  Elbows should be out, and in line with the shoulder and hands, not below or above that line between shoulder and hands.

3. trying to stop or slow the movement of the bars.  Allow the bars to work back and forth as you hit obstacles.

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Here is my experience with arm pump...it comes down to proper technique, period.  Its a physiological issue.  So the cure is going to be found along those same lines (with very very few exceptions that require surgery).

You get arm pump because you are squeezing the bars to hard, and not breathing correctly...even if you think you are, you aren't...

If you hop on your bike and cruise down a dirt road, do you get Arm pump?  If the answer is yes, then you may be on of those that need surgery.  If the answer is no, then its gives credibility to what I'm saying...you don't get it riding down a dirt road because you aren't riding tight. 

This is also why some people never get arm pump on practice days, but get it during a race.  They ride "loose" during practice, and "tight" during the race...end up with arm pump. 

Riding tight is: holding your breath...poor technique (not squeezing the bike with your ankles, calves, knees...not supporting your body with your core muscles-supporting them with your arms....shoulders are stiff-often pulled up towards your head....elbows are stiff-possibly bent, but not loose...wrists are locked...hands gripping the bars to tight).

Riding loose is: Proper breathing (inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth...steady, consistent, moderately deep breaths...the ENTIRE time you're riding.  Most people think they do this...but they don't.  Or they do it some of the time...but through the whoops, or in a race situation-trying to make a pass-or tricky rhythm section, or a techy trail section they start holding their breath and/or start taking short quick breaths.  It takes practice to train your body to breath correctly when your mind is focused on other things-making that pass, riding the whoops, nailing that tricky rhythm section, or that techy section of trail....practice, practice, practice)...grip the bike with your ankles, calves, knees (this is how you stay attached to the motorcycle...your arms/hands are just for steering not for holding you on the bike 99% of the time)...stand up as often as possible...support your upper body-while in the attack position-with your core muscles (not with your arms)...relax your shoulders, your elbows, your wrists, and your hands. 

The next thing is seat time...seat time while using property technique and riding loose.

So stop worrying about going fast...and slow down and practice riding loose...if you can master that (and its incredibly hard to do) you're arm pump will go away (and you'll be a better rider for having improved technique and be faster because riding will take less effort)...for the same reason you don't get arm pump cruising around the neighborhood. 

It worked for me. 

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19 minutes ago, ronbuell said:

Arm pump "can be" other things as well:

1. seating position too far back on the seat.  Move forward on the seat.  Knees should up on the shrouds, butt a little forward of the middle of the seat or more.  Its called attack mode.

2. elbow position too low.  Elbows should be out, and in line with the shoulder and hands, not below or above that line between shoulder and hands.

3. trying to stop or slow the movement of the bars.  Allow the bars to work back and forth as you hit obstacles.

About number 1: The attack position is while standing, knees directly above/just behind the foot pegs (squeezing the bike), knees bent so your butt is back towards/out over the back of the seat/rear fender (depending on how tall one is), bent at the waist, head over the handle bars, elbows bent as you described in your 2nd point. 

Numbers 2 and 3 are right on in my experience. 

Edited by D.j. Gardner
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 I’m gonna tell you the honest simplest way to get rid of arm pump forever. First, what D.j. says is true and in the end that should be your focus; ride more loose.

 Here is the easy trick: whether riding in the woods or on a track, when you get to easier sections make the “OK” sign with your fingers and ride with the grips fully loose in your hands (holding on with just part of two fingers). You can practice it at first riding in a straight line out in a field if the track doesn’t have an area you feel is easy enough.

 Once you can do that then start stepping it up to doing it during cornering, then do it with clutch action and braking. You can do it while in the air on a jump (as long as you don’t need to throttle or clutch for corrections). It can be done over small whoops, up hill climbs and over logs.

 At first this is going to seem like BS. But once you start doing it you will be amazed how little you USUALLY have to grip the bars. Consider how many kids and women ride fast and well. Yes they are obviously in shape but they aren’t ‘body builder forearm ripped’.

 Knowing this trick also helps when you are in a race or riding hard and you start to feel the pump come on then all you have to do is remember it’s “OK”.

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4 hours ago, Wallowa said:

Explain?  Thanks..

roll your bars back closer to you. even though you don't realize it you are holding yourself forward with you forearms even if just a little bit it will cause your arms to pump up. 

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12 hours ago, Motox367 said:

How often do you ride hard/race. Myself I can take a year off from racing and never get armpump from just trail riding, but when I go back racing I suffer for bout a month. Practice track one night during week a 4 motos on Sunday armpump is pretty much gone. Have to ride and ride Alot to not have it. If you're riding hard that is, big difference between racing and not racing.   Hand squeezers work good to. Do couple hundred every day helps . hold them closed till can't anymore 

1518618221270300295947.jpg

I used to have armpump also and I started using these hand squeezers and they work great! Ever since I started using them the arm pump is gone!

Edited by bmwgus
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4 hours ago, D.j. Gardner said:

About number 1: The attack position is while standing, knees directly above/just behind the foot pegs (squeezing the bike), knees bent so your butt is back towards/out over the back of the seat/rear fender (depending on how tall one is), bent at the waist, head over the handle bars, elbows bent as you described in your 2nd point. 

Numbers 2 and 3 are right on in my experience. 

Agreed.  Attack can be seated as well as standing, in my view.  I'm an old guy 61+ still riding.  So I don't stand as much as I should, but when I do, the pace increases! :ride:  The 98 KTM 300EXC I used to have would head shake like mad if I stood up in a fast section, but would not do it in the same section if I was seated.

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For me improper lever orientation caused some arm pump. I had my levers too high up for the attack position causing strain on my wrists.

 

Other causes for me are A: Glen Helen and B:KX500 lol

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31 minutes ago, 1320fastback said:

For me improper lever orientation caused some arm pump. I had my levers too high up for the attack position causing strain on my wrists.

 

Other causes for me are A: Glen Helen and B:KX500 lol

Gotta love ergonomics and adjusting settings just to see how it feels.  Agreed on lever position.  I tend to err on having the levers pointed down.... more comfortable standing.

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1 hour ago, tidtid said:

roll your bars back closer to you. even though you don't realize it you are holding yourself forward with you forearms even if just a little bit it will cause your arms to pump up. 

You lost me....my "Explain?" was in reference to Schmid's post:  "Eliminate your caffeine intake... "

Edited by Wallowa

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Try taking 2-3 aspirin to thin your blood.

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