Every rider’s nightmare; arm pump! Top club riders and even professionals experience arm pump. It’s uncomfortable, not to mention the fact that it ruins races! There are a few get ways to get rid of arm pump and here are a few of them.
#1 Nothing Beats Riding!
The best cure for arm pump, is riding regularly; it is as simply as that. There is a little bit of science behind it. A lot of the muscles that are used when riding are not necessarily used regularly or strenuously on any other occasion. For this reason, they can not deal with the pressure that is put on them during a race. Regular riding will ensure that these muscles are worked. Ultimately, they will repair themselves and grow into much stronger muscles, reducing arm pump for the future.
#2 Confidence and Relaxation
Although motocross is an extreme sport that requires lots of attention, enthusiasm and a lot of commitment, it is important to learn to relax. Newer riders might find that they are gripping the bars far too tight and they are keeping their bodies extremely tight. This will mean that they are putting un-necessary stress on their muscles. They will be feeling every single bump that they hit. The best riders have the confidence to ride relaxed, loosening their grip and allowing the bike to absorb the bumps, rather than their body. Relaxing grip won’t just reduce arm pump, but it will increase the quality of a riding style as well.
#3 Hit the Gym!
So you want to be a top motocross rider? Motocross riders require a high level of general fitness, much higher than many people imagine. It is important to exercise regularly, but exercise in the right ways. Lifting heavy weights in short sets is going to hinder fitness for a race, rather than help it. Consider doing only light weights, lots of reps and a couple of sets.
Ideally, focus on cardiovascular exercising such as exercise bikes and rowing machines, as these are much more likely to help a rider achieve their aim of reducing arm pump. Try and incorporate stretches into the exercise routine. Most injuries happen because riders have not stretched, or because they are in-flexible due to lack of stretching on a regular basis.
#4 Get the Tool Kit Out
After seeing the set-up a lot of amateur riders run with, it is not wonder they are getting mega arm pump when they enter a motocross race. The smallest changes will make the biggest difference. It does come down to personal preference, but consider the following:
- Use a gripper seat cover; it saves a lot of arm action when it comes to trying to stay on a bike, especially when hitting the unsuspecting breaking bumps or when cross-rutting!
- Suspension set-up is key. Go to a pro and ask them to re-valve the suspension and set it up for your particular height and weight; it makes the world of difference.
- Grips play an important part in how people grip the bars. For those that ride with a loose grips, they will want a soft compound, whereas a rider that has a tense grip can get away with a medium/hard compound
- Bar setup – When sitting at the start gate, you should offer centre of gravity to the bike, leaning forward with arms bent (almost in a T shape). If you are hunching over to get this shape, the bars are too far forward. If your forearms/elbows are drooped, then they bars need to be forward/higher.
#5 My Personal Favourite
Not all of us can skip over-time a few times a week to hit the gym. For those that do not have the ability to skip work, the Powerball offers an excellent substitute.
This is something that is used by mountain bikers, kayakers, tennis players and even golf players to help strengthen their grip and reduce arm pump. For the price, they offer excellent value for money and for most people; it is all they need to get their arm pump down to a manageable rate at their local motocross race.