The reason your arms are reduced to a pathetic state is because of this. When under extreme pressure ( holding on to the bars, working the levers etc. ), the blood circulating or moving away from your forearms, wrist area cannot leave as quickly as the much-needed, fresh oxygen-rich blood is coming into that same area, the end result creates a buildup of lactic acid. This build up of acid adds to the pressure that is building up in the forearms compressing the muscles and nerves which in turn the muscles lose their ability to allow you to grip the handle bars properly as they cannot expand or extract and have little blood flow.
Think about like this, your dirt bike will not run properly if it cannot expel the burned exhaust gases as the needed incoming fresh fuel and air charge is coming into the cylinder.
How To Reduce The Effects of Arm Pump:
I don’t know of any magic pills, I’m no doctor so I have no clue about the surgical operations or any other cures to completely eliminate forearm pump. Don’t give up, there are certain actions you can take to considerably reduce arm pump. Your main goal is to improve blood flow through your arms and I have listed a few simple things for you to do.
• Ride On a Regular Basis: Will improve your overall off-road fitness and improve your riding skills. The more you ride off-road, the more trained your bodies muscles become especially your arms. While riding or practicing and you start to feel your arms tighten up just back off the pace but don’t stop, keep riding. This will help train or condition your forearm muscles to push through it for longer rides or motos and each time you ride you should notice that is takes longer for the arm pump to occurs and in some cases goes away.
• Stretch: This is one of the single most important things that I have started doing and it has helped tremendously with reducing arm pump. Stretching exercise prepares the muscles for the strenuous activity of riding and gripping the handle bars, this also helps to start the blood flowing freely through your arms. You want to stretch your forearms, fingers and palms before, between and after racing/riding. With just a little help from Goggle you should be able to find several stretching exercises for your forearms and hands.
• Improve Your Cardiovascular System: You may be physically strong but if your cardiovascular is low then your heart can’t pump enough oxygen-rich blood through your body to feed your muscles. Joining the gym and exercising on a regularly basis’ and eating healthy foods will jump start you into the right direction to reduce arm pump. Most gym’s have some kind of personal trainer on hand, consult with them and explain what you’re trying to achieve. I have found that building endurance within my muscles first and then strength has improved my overall riding experience. You need to find what exercises work you to get your heart rate up where you’re able to keep it there for a given time frame.
• Fine Tune Your Bike Set-up: Having the handlebars, clutch and brake levers set in the wrong position can cause your forearms and hands to be at awkward angles restricting blood flow. Don’t be affair to adjust your handle bars and levers while at the track to find what position works best. Keeping your levers/cables well lubricated and clean will ensure proper operation and ease of use. Take notes on how your bikes suspension is re-acting or performing, suspension set-up makes a huge difference and will improve your overall skill and confidence while you ride.
• Improve Your Riding Technique: Remember to utilize the sheer size and strength of your legs to grip your bike firmly. This will relieve your arms considerably when done right.
• Keep Mentally Relaxed: When you are nervous or stressed (like at the beginning of a race) your muscles tighten up and blood flow becomes more restricted. Breathe properly and try to remain calm.
• Avoid Tight Sleeves And Gloves: Most all moto jerseys today fit lose around your wrist, but remember to go easy on your gloves strap, not to tight.
• Choose Better Lines: Obviously, the smoother and less physically demanding your moto or trail ride is, the less strain you put on your arms and body. Try to use ruts and berms etc to your advantage.
• Keep Hydrated: Drink plenty of water days ahead of your moto or off-road ride, during and after riding as this helps reduce sore muscles and joints. A good sign of having plenty of fluids in your body is the need to go urinate a few times during your ride day.
So get started and let’s see how well some of these tips will improve your overall riding experience while reducing arm pump. Please leave any comments below.