There are a number of things that you should consider to reduce your chances of arm pump catching up with you on the track. These tips will help you to reduce or even prevent arm pump all together.
1. Don’t squeeze
Relax your grip on the bars as much as you can without risking losing grip all together. Try and flow with the bike as much as you can instead of fighting against it. Use your entire body to absorb bumps by making sure your body position is right. Keeping your elbows up and with your arms and body remaining in the attack position is were you want to be.
2. Control the bike with your legs
You not only grip the bike with your legs but you also need to control the bike with them too. This places less strain on the forearms as you use your legs to direct the bike by shifting your body weight and putting pressure against the bike with your legs. This will not only save your arms but will also improve your balance and speed. This will also force you to stand up more which is the key to reducing the stress on your arms.
A lot of riders only get arm pump when they in a race situation. It is essential that you stay cool and focus on your riding. This is really challenging for riders as you must be aware of the guys around you but at the same time stay focused on your lines. If you let the other guys get into your head you will tense up and reduce your breathing. This will result in lower oxygen levels in your blood. Focus on breathing as part of your practice routines and remember to bring it along on race day. The most important part is to have fun and if you are getting arm pump then maybe it’s time you remember why you are riding in the first place!
4. Ride more
It’s kind of obvious but the more you ride the more you’re body including your arms will be conditioned to handle the intense activity that motocross is. You will also get better at riding and become more fluid on the bike. Remember to focus on using your legs rather than your arms, breathing, loosening your grip if it’s tight!
5. Bike setup.
Make your that you bars are set up right for you. You may need to enlist the help of an expert for this but your bars, levers and suspension all need to be in the right position and have the right settings. Otherwise the steps outlined above will help but you will still be suffering from arm pump. Other aftermarket products that can help include steering dampers, anti vibration handlebars and quality grips can also help prevent arm pump all together. All in all your bike set u should allow you to stand up more keeping your elbows up so your levels should be lower at the front.
Ensure your exercise program is fit for the level you are riding at. Regular exercise increases the ability for your body to replenish its muscles with oxygenated blood. With good blood flow the stress on your arms will be greatly reduced. Also do some light cardio to warm up before going for a ride. This will get your blood flowing and reduce the chances of arm pump developing.
One of the most important things apart from exercise is diet. Pro motocross riders have a strict diet which doesn’t allow them to eat or drink anything that is detrimental to their fitness level. I once heard a pro motocross rider speak about his love of Coca Cola and that he occasionally consumed a can on special occasions. You can imagine what it is like at that level but for the majority of us a diet that is high in nutritional value is the way to go. Don’t forget some carbs so you have energy on the track. I have also found this training guide on how to eliminate arm pump if you have tried this method or know of someone who has then please share a comment with us!
Make sure you drink plenty of water to hydrate regularly. You should drink plenty of water all the time not just on the days you are riding. The recommended quantity is 1/2 a gallon or 2 liters a day for adults.