Arm Pump is hands down the most common problem that effects nearly all racers. There are many different techniques and ‘tricks’ out there to try and combat it, but none of them really get down to the root cause of it.
That is why I have put together my Top 7 Tips to help reduce and even Eliminate Arm Pump for good!
1. Ride more:
I know it’s what everyone says, but it’s true! Not necessarily because you will condition your body to it. But the more you ride and challenge yourself on the bike. The more comfortable and confident you become in your abilities. Allowing you to be more relaxed on the bike and not holding on with a death grip when riding at race pace.
2. Train Grip Endurance:
Training this is a little bit of a fine art, as you can actually make arm pump worse if you don’t do it properly.
3. Strengthen your Posterior Chain:
This basically means the entire back part of your body, in particular, rhomboids, lats, glutes and hammies. By building up these areas you will be able to use these bigger muscles more efficiently to help with movements on the bike instead of using your arms to do all of the work. Allowing you to leave your arms a bit looser when riding and reducing the chances and effects of getting g arm pump.
4. Strengthen your Legs:
building stronger legs allows you to better grip the bike with your legs, once again allowing your arms to relax more on the bike. This is best done with big compound movements like squats, deadlifts, lunges etc.
5. Stop Drinking Caffeine:
Coffee and energy drinks may seem like a good idea for race day as they give you energy. Even though this is true, caffeine will actually contribute to making your arm pump worse. It also dehydrates you. Two things you most certainly do not want on race day! So steer clear of the caffeine on race days.
6. Increase Cardiovascular Capacity:
Arm Pump is caused when the blood entering the muscles is coming in faster than it can leave. Causing the muscles to swell and pump up. Increasing your cardiovascular capacity, will make your body more efficient at moving blood around your body. Thus reducing this pumped up effect that occurs in your forearms when riding. This could have been included higher in the list, but this can only help to make arm pump less crippling, not get rid of it. I have also found that most racers have a pretty high cardio fitness level to begin with.
7. Supplement your Racing with Riders Edge!
MotoEndurance Riders Edge is hands down the best race day supplement. Along with its many other benefits, it actually aids in reducing the effects of arm pump as well. With the inclusion of Beta-Alanine, it opens up your veins (the ones leaving your muscles) to help reduce this pumped up effect even further.
I hope that these tips are helpful. I know it can be extremely difficult to find good information on this topic, especially since it is such a big problem in our sport. Please leave any questions, comment or feedback in the comments section below. I would love to here from you!