Remedy against arm pumping ?

I've been working out very hard this winter, I weigh 148 lbs for 5" 7' so I need more strength to handle the bike the way I want. But one problem still persists : ARMPUMPING. Some people tell me the more your work out the forearms the more they will pump. So what's the best 'remedy' against armpumping. Exercises to do or to avoid ?


Arm pump usually comes from holding on in a death grip and/or not enough endurance & strength for the length of time you ride.

- I strongly recommend building up strength which should give you more endurance. You will last longer whatever.

- Try not too grip your handle bars too hard.

- Learn to grip withOUT using your whole forearm muscles. Its an 'art' which takes a while to perfect...its hard to describe but once you figure it out you'll know what I mean.

- If you have small hands & thick gloves the grip my be too may be compensating by overtightening your grip. Try smaller grips or thinner gloves.

- Ride more often :)

Use your legs to hang on to your bike. This takes a lot of load off your arms. Also, a really good warm-up helps a lot.

The best way to avoid arm pump is to relax. This is easier said than done. Ever notice how much quicker your arms pump up in a race, as opposed to practicing? Even if you go at the same pace the extra excitement of racing seems to make you grip harder.


You would think a person would need to work on his forearm muscles and not his biceps if you had probs with arm pump. Whats your take?


I hope a lot of people chime in on this thread. I would like to hear different ideas on how to train. Does anybody know of a book written specifically about training for MX / dirt bike riding?

Missile - I was playing with what you are talking about on my last ride. I was riding a lot of whooped single track on very steep side hills, very fagituing and little room for error. While riding I try to think "use dexterity and finnesse, not muscle and strength" on the bars and controls. Relax the shoulders and arms. Like Woodzi says, hold on with your legs. Drop your butt in the rough stuff and and let the bars do what they want. Try thinking 'keep my hands on the grips' instead of 'keep the grips in my hands'.

higgy426 - I thought the same thing at first. Go back to the link and click on the Brachioradialis link in the Muscles list. I was really suprised.

Ron in SoCal - Great link.


If you look closely, those are not regular curls... the bicep muscles do get somewhat of a work out but the target muscle is in the forearm... take a closer look and you`ll see

When done correctly, the hammer curl will give you arm pump big time. I can get the exact same thing going on with a 10 pound dumbbell as I get on the bike.

With this exercise you need to concentrate on form and lift utilizing the forearm. I think the guy in the picture is using too much weight to show how it is done right. No jerking, but a smooth motion bending at the elbow, and twisting the dumbbell from a horizontal position to a vertical position.

It should work this muscle:

Unless you want to look like Popeye the sailor man, use 10 or 15 pound dumbbell and work only one arm at a time until you get the form down.

Man I know where your coming from, I came back to riding after a 6yr lay-off. Megga Arm pump on my new WR. I never had that before in my whole life. I dumped the stock bars went to Pro-Tapers (Henry bend) and made sure to drink lot's of fluids. (not beer either) Problem mostly gone except when I don't get enough fluids.


BFLee said it very eloquently

"Try thinking 'keep my hands on the grips' instead of 'keep the grips in my hands'."

Thats exactly it.

Something learned from mountain biking too...dont fight the steering. I know its somewhat different but on a mountain bike the worst thing you can do at high speed on rough sections is tense up and fight the steering. Go with the flow....dont fight the steering, unless of course you need to. A fine line I know.

A steering damper helps at least I hope it does :) as I spent the bucks on one 6 weeks ago...but havent been able to ride since !

A six pack of beer and porno tapes. When your wife busts in you can tell her you are working on your arm pump problem. :)

Gary siemics arm pump video has some good excercises and basic explanations of why we get arm pump. But it doesn't go into any riding techniques that will eliminate pump. which was why I wanted it. I have been doing the excercise routine since christmas and I think it is helping

me. I think I will add the hammer curl also


I have a little contraption that I use for working the forearms. I think I originally got this out of the old Ake Jonsson "The Technique of Motocross" book.

You take a piece of broom handle (about 2 feet long), drill a hole in the middle and tie a string to the hole (make the string about 4 feet long). Put a 2-5 lb. free weight on the end of the string. I also add a couple old hand grips to the broom handle for effect.

Hold the broom handle with your arms straight out in front of you and roll the weight up and down slowly while keeping your arms straight out (parallel with the floor). It produces a nice burning sensation in the forearms and after time will lead to that cool "Popeye" look.

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