Arm Pump--Help

Have you checked your riding position?

Armpump can partially start because you hang on too hard. You shouldn't hang on for dear life, which most likely means your position is too far back or wrong.

Stand up straight on your pegs, grip the handle-bar and get your elbows up. You will most likely feel yourself leaning forward more. Swivel at the hips and try to lean over the bars (so you could potentially see your own number plate). KEEP THE ELBOWS UP.

The reason I'm saying this is because of something an instructor and ex-pro here told us. You either get PUSHED along the track, or you get PULLED along the track. You should be pushed around by keeping your elbows up and leaning forward and let the bike do the work. It puts less strain on your arms, and doesn't cause armpump that badly.

It's difficult to explain on the net, and to be honest, I haven't gotten so far yet to actually sustain that for long, but I could definitely feel the difference when I did. Slowing down and working on the technique is probably a good start.

Anyway, just a thought... try it at a slower speed and see if you still hang on for dear life or if it feels like it's so much easier to steer and ride for longer before the burn sets in.

Here's another article about arm pump and how to prevent it. It's by Stephane Roncada's trainer:



[ June 06, 2002: Message edited by: mxfreak ]

The articles are great and have alot of good information in them to get the job done. As well as the advise from TT members to help with ArmPump.

Mxfreak brings up a good point also here, maybe I missed it in the other replys

But riding position, Bar Bend and grips make a big diff in the ability to keep holding on all day. I would add that getting a BFGF would help to termendously

Oh I forgot BFGF = Big Fat Girl Friend :) No more arm pump worries :D

[ June 06, 2002: Message edited by: EgoAhole ]

How about arm pump being contributed to blood temperature? Summer is here and everyone will be getting a little overheated. Has anyone tried Coolbands? Check them out at . Dr. Rick Hill who rides with us here in Texas and is also the medical advisor for the Clayton Memorial Foundation which offers financial aid to riders injured at sanctioned events researched armpump and the dreaded "Bonk" that athletes suffer from and came up with the cool band idea. Recovery time after a hard moto can be shortened by cooling down the forearms were blood travels. Some people swear these will eliminate armpump if you can ride with them during your moto. You will most likely need a jersey with snug cuffs around the wrist area to keep them from sliding down low on your arms while riding hard. I have tried them and will say the recovery time is better but I have a hard time riding with them. Maybe you won't but I know how skeptical some of the "engineering " types are here about trying something new. For the price though it is a no lose situation even if used only to help cool down after a moto.

When I get arm pump I typically find myself hanging on too tight. If the track is nice then I just let go some and it usually goes away. If it's sandy and whoopie then I find I'm more likely to get a little arm pump.

What gets me the most is "the claw". My forearms are usually ok, but my damn hands get stuck in the position that they're in when I'm holding the grips! After I ride 20 or 30 min strait on the MX track my hads get really soar sometimes and it initially hurts to open them back up. Does anyone ever get this? I usually get this the worst on slippery/wet days where I'm holding on tight.

I was getting "the claw" the other day. It was happening with my throttle fingers kept curling up. I think it was from the track being slippery. They kept watering the turns and they were getting real slick.

SirThump and yzrider

Thast why ya need a BFGF or better yet a BBGF :)

I too get arm pump but not nearly as bad as I used to. I have installed the FASSTCO bar inserts and they have drastically reduced my arm pump. check out Talk to Cole as Fasstco. He's the president and a really cool down to earth guy. Also, do a search on fasstco or bar inserts, in all forums. You'll find a big discussion about the bar inserts. THEY WORK GREAT!

I get armpump extremely bad within two to three laps everytime I go to the track. I have to rest and let my arms go down. They usually get right in about an hour. Then, I can usually ride the rest of the day without a problem. They will, however, pump up again when I'm ridding over my head trying to hold off the fast guy behind me.

I am convinced that my problem and 99% of you have the same problem. It is not as much physical as it is mental. I don't relax enough and, at times, I ride very tense. (death grip on the bars) I don't know what the answer is, but it takes me about an hour at the track before I "get right".

WOW! Thanks for the flurry of responses, posts and suggestions. I think that my troubles are a result of many of the factors you listed--namely the dreaded "death grip."

One thing that I did not see mentioned that I thought I would try is breathing Oxygen prior to going out. Perhaps enhanced oxygenation would help the prevention and/or recovery process????


The issue of lifting low weight and quicker reps brings the issue of KIng TUT's rule. Time UNder Tension.By lifting any weight in a fast or balistic force on the concentric motion decreases the amount of total time under tension, it's not a bad thing, but not neccessarily a good thing. What you want to do is change or cycle the amount of time under tension over the coursse of your workouts.i.e. one week lift fast, next week a little slower, next week a little slower, then repeat back to fast on the following week. This will ensure a constant adaptation factor to the muscle so your gains don't plateau off and evently stop., The other issue about breathing pure O2 before you go out to race will be quickly removed as soon as it's used up. O2 has to be taken up through the lungs and then into the blood stream, you will increase strength and recovery and also performance, but in no way will eleviate the arm pump. The anser I often give to pro. athletes that I train is usually not the one they want, but simply the one they must do to improve their performance. Please feel free to email me on any health related issues in the future. c'ya....ride long and strong....

Cutting f.arm sheath reply.....

The surgery that was mentioned above if I am to understand this correctly involves cutting the Fascia that covers the muscle and slides between the skin and muscle. here's the problem, these people are trying to cure the problem like most Doctor's do, lets cut something off and then you pay a me a bucket full of moolah! The problem is the demand on the muscle during the activity,i.e. MX ridin', Blood is going in to help build up the tensil strength of the muscle to take the beatin' it's getting during the ride, but the body sees this as a huge trauma so it's not wanting to release the blood out because it(the muscle) thinks it might be damaged if the tensil strength gets too low. the cure train the muscle harder than what your acitivity (MX)will require. This will fix your problem but not with just a month of training. Your going to have to build new muscle tissue with higher reps 30-50 reps get some eye popping pumps to stretch the Fascia tissue and build up your input circulatory system and THE OUTPUT CIRCULATORY SYSTEM. hence, blood in,blood arm pump during the race.....

ride long and strong........

Try chinese accupunture. Find someone in your area and give it a try. It is truely magic. I promise you will go back...

yeah arm pump really sucks. The best thing to do is get a membership to your local gym and do sitting lat pull, and the regular lat pull. I did this and poof, arm pump dissapered, but now my wrists pump up. i started to take 35 pound dumbbells, sit at the end of a bench and curl my wrists up and that cured my wrist pump. Good luck! :

Flexandroost; Are you stating that surgery to the forearm fascia is NOT a viable alternative for some racers? Are you saying that it is non-effective across the board.

From my research, it is the last choice for some.

[ June 08, 2002: Message edited by: Boit ]

Boit reply:

No that's not what I'm saying. What I meant was that most people (athletes esp.)tend to take the easiest way out with any sport. I know I train them for a living. What I was saying that most DR's will usually tend to want to cut on a person and give their easy way out to another person. It's not their fault entirely it's how the Doctors are trained in Med skule'. i.e. Western DR's put a pot under a leaky roof, Eastern DR's fix the hole in the roof. Having said that, yes the Fascia cutting may work, Iknow some bodybuilders have done similar things, cut the Fascia to help cut down on the restriction of holding the muscle down. This fascia ounce for ounce is stronger than steel! Thats why when you workout and get a pump in your arms it's rock solid,(arm pump) cut the fascia and it allows more room for the muscle to open up, more relief on blood flow. Eventuly the fascia will regrow, then you may be OK or you may end up with scare tissue build up around the cut and have another problem on your hands. ride strong and long,,,,,

Arm pump = not enough seat time. I ride once during the week and hard on the weekend at least one day. Get out on the bike as much as possible, your problem will go away! Good luck, Jason

Flexandroost: Why do you think some guys never have an arm pump issue while some of us train/ride and have it occur within two laps? Is it genetic? Lack of riding time? What?

I realize that this is an opinion.

I never had arm pump til I started training for my 1st MX. I went out and tried to go as fast as I could and 1 1/2 laps into it arm pump hit hard. I pulled off and realize what you guys always talk about. I asked my friend why this happened and he suggested that I was hanging on way to tight. I cure this problem I began to ride above my tank, instead of behind it, and when I got any airtime I released my grip. I barely held on in the air and just before I touched down I grabbed back on, just don't make it a death grip. It worked for me.


696, look at your positioning... you said that you are now riding above the tank, not behind it. That alone is already an improvement in your positioning. It gets you closer to being pushed around the track by your bike, instead of being pulled.

You get pulled, you have death grip. You get pushed, you don't need to hang on. That alone already is a vast improvement :)

I checked out today. It's a website started by Greg Albertyn, and someone there mentioned armpump and he said that it was death grip that usually causes it.


[ June 13, 2002: Message edited by: mxfreak ]

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