The age old question: How to overcome arm pump?

This past weekend I suffered arm pump so bad that I could barely feel my throttle hand, so much so it basically cost me a finish. I crashed, twisted my fork, and basically had 2" of travel on a rough course and couldn't continue.

I've been told that its because of nervous energy, dehydration, not breathing enough, etc etc.... but all of which I was working on. I wasn't very nervous, I drank a lot, and I focused on my breathing before and during the race.

Does anyone have some things that work for them in overcoming arm pump? That was really the first time I suffered from it and it sucked. People who were slower than me were passing me by and that's just frustrating.

I hate to sound like a "pro practice racer" but just out for a regular non-race ride I can ride as hard as I can all day long at race pace. No problems whatsoever. In fact, I ride faster on a casual ride than during a race! ugh... someone please give me some pointers.......... thanks.

Hydration seems to work good for me!! Went most of the weekend drinking lots of fluids- Water Gatorade etc. Rode aggressive and very good without arm pump. Then Saturday night drank lots of beer! Slightly slower pace and had arm pump in the first 5min of ride. Could have been tired from the other days but I would say dehidration??

ive been practicing riding with a looser grip on the bars and a tighter grip with my legs on the bike,seems to help a bunch i have carple tunnel crap and used to get arm pump bad,the grip things seem to really help

Race more often, there's not much that will prep you for a race better than racing haha

eat lots of fruit the week before riding/racing gives your body a lot of stored energy and hydrate a lot at least a gallon of water. if your drinking a sports drink poweraid,gatorade,etc.. then drink as much water as gatorade/poweraid. (a bottle of gatorade=a bottle of water)

and of course hold on with your legs more then arms! helps out big time

even when your paying attention to breathing, not being nervous and all that your body is still gonna get tense when your in a race, only way to over come that is experience and confidence

Hydration seems to work good for me!! Went most of the weekend drinking lots of fluids- Water Gatorade etc. Rode aggressive and very good without arm pump. Then Saturday night drank lots of beer! Slightly slower pace and had arm pump in the first 5min of ride. Could have been tired from the other days but I would say dehidration??

Like I said, I can go out for a casual ride and never encounter the same problems as in a race. I rarely take it easy on a "casual" ride because I have to make it worth my while. I can even ride hard for 2 hours without drinking anything and no arm pump at all!

I also ride loose and almost never grips my bars too tight.

I'm totally confused as to why.

you can also get one of these bad boys, i use it when i drive,sit at the computer watching tv, any down time really. 100 squeezes for each hand..i noticed it helped a lot with arm pump

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you can also get one of these bad boys, i use it when i drive,sit at the computer watching tv, any down time really. 100 squeezes for each hand..i noticed it helped a lot with arm pump

securedownload-12.jpg

You can also squeeze a tennis ball if you have one lying around.

Potassium and lots of (WATER) two or three days before. Cut out sodas and caffeine and ride as much as you can until it easies up.. Some say arm pump is 50% mental????

i used to ride with my bars twisted pretty far foreward thinking that it helped with keeping my elbows up. I always suffered from arm pump and thought it was just related to my riding a 450. A friend of mine told me a couple times to twist my bars back to a neutral position (like 0 degrees on the markings on the center part of the bars) and i thought he was crazy. Finally i tried it and my arm pump is completely gone! If your bars are twisted too far foreward it puts all the preassure on the outside of your hand (like your pinky finger) instead of spreading it out and letting your whole hand share the load of holding onto the bars. It might not work for you but it sure helped me...a million times better.

i used to ride with my bars twisted pretty far foreward thinking that it helped with keeping my elbows up. I always suffered from arm pump and thought it was just related to my riding a 450. A friend of mine told me a couple times to twist my bars back to a neutral position (like 0 degrees on the markings on the center part of the bars) and i thought he was crazy. Finally i tried it and my arm pump is completely gone! If your bars are twisted too far foreward it puts all the preassure on the outside of your hand (like your pinky finger) instead of spreading it out and letting your whole hand share the load of holding onto the bars. It might not work for you but it sure helped me...a million times better.

levers too, if they are to high your using forearm muscles to grab it, bringing them down gets you reaching for them causing your elbows to go up and using less muscle reaching for them

Loosen up your grip, keep yourself hydrated, and eat plenty of energy packed foods the week before. Hell, I know guys who eat spaghetti before a race.

Arm pump is a mystery to me also. I almost cannot ride because of it. I only get it in my right arm. I thought it was because of the throttle. Long story short, I have a knee problem so I have trouble exercising but have been getting on an exercise bike and guess what. My right forearm tightened up. So for me it is the weight of me leaning on my arms for a extended time.

The only thing I could see is that I wasn't hydrated enough before the race. The course was pretty choppy too and that didn't help.

Thinner gloves. Helped me considerably.

you should ride less hard when riding casually try going to the gym and if you want to take a break while riding take it on the spot do not wait till the nearest tree because fatigue will kill you unless you follow your body's instincts like to stop when your brain feels like it

Cockpit set up is spot on, thin gloves - check, good grips - check, loose while riding - check. All that stuff is covered.

Still, the glaring difference is my ability to ride way better and faster during a practice day instead of a race. No arm pump while practicing EVER!

It was a pretty rough course, the A course in the afternoon anyways. I got the worst case of monkey butt I've had in a LONG time and some pretty big ass blisters on my hand. I was stuck between relieving the pain of my hands by sitting only to feel the pain of my monkey butt. I was screwed, lol

Hydration, pound some banana's, learn were you can relax, were you need to charge, grip with your knees, stand, sit, mix it up. The best practise is more races, ripping with the boys just doesn't cut it. How often do you ride as fast as you can for a tank of gas, refill in 30sec, and continue ripping for another tank. Just doesn't happen unless yor racing.

It was a pretty rough course, the A course in the afternoon anyways. I got the worst case of monkey butt I've had in a LONG time and some pretty big ass blisters on my hand. I was stuck between relieving the pain of my hands by sitting only to feel the pain of my monkey butt. I was screwed, lol

Hydration, pound some banana's, learn were you can relax, were you need to charge, grip with your knees, stand, sit, mix it up. The best practise is more races, ripping with the boys just doesn't cut it. How often do you ride as fast as you can for a tank of gas, refill in 30sec, and continue ripping for another tank. Just doesn't happen unless yor racing.

I think the key here is nutrition. Bananas and fluids and stuff like that is what I need to work on.

When I ride though, I ride exactly like its a race situation. Most of the time its trying to keep faster dudes in sight, and we'll do that for hours without stopping. That's the perplexing thing.

At last year's Dragon Spray XC, I pre rode the 65km course and found it difficult but was able to ride it at a good pace. Come race time, I was cooked beyond belief 1/3 way into the lap, and I wasn't going as fast! ugh.... I don't get it.

I think the key here is nutrition. Bananas and fluids and stuff like that is what I need to work on.

When I ride though, I ride exactly like its a race situation. Most of the time its trying to keep faster dudes in sight, and we'll do that for hours without stopping. That's the perplexing thing.

At last year's Dragon Spray XC, I pre rode the 65km course and found it difficult but was able to ride it at a good pace. Come race time, I was cooked beyond belief 1/3 way into the lap, and I wasn't going as fast! ugh.... I don't get it.

Just don't hydrate too much. I had to take a piss during the entire race :smirk:

Pre riding a course is a different thing. Not nearly as rough, no chaos around, people in the way to pass, etc. The whole energy and nervousness of a race changes everything.

I personally thrive on the race situation. Many friends that can hang with me all day practise riding are miles behind racing. I put myself in a diferent head space racing, I know it's a closed course and I'm there to actually go as fast as I can. Doesn't mean I'm not nervous before the race, but once the gate drops, it's all business.

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