How to Beat Arm Pump

Welp, I’m not gonna lie, I don’t believe there is one particular thing that actually gets ride of arm pump all together.  I can easily make the argument that the stronger we get your grip via fat grip carries and holds the less you would have to work to hold onto the bars and therefore you would not fatigue your grip so quickly.  Then I can just as easily argue that the more muscle and strength you have in your forearms the harder you will be squeezing and therefore building up more arm pump because with added muscle comes the ability to fatigue faster. So now where do we go?

I strongly believe that arm pump is a factor of being comfortable on your bike and riding with proper efficient technique. BUT, we can definitely help with that.  Our number one focus with all our athletes is proper movement mechanics and efficient movement.  We want them to understand where their stability should be coming from when they are in the proper riding position, and how to most effectively stay in that position.

We have gotten great feedback from some of our athletes that are out running clinics like Landen Powell.  He has been able to immediately reduce arm pump in the riders he is working with by helping them use more efficient techniques that use more of the entire body than just the arms and shoulders.  Being able to combine great on bike coaching with great off bike training and coaching we have found a killer combo that can’t be beat.

We do utilize a lot of upper body conditioning that hits grip greatly and I strongly believe that it definitely helps.  Everything from kb swings, slam ropes, clubs, to heavy farmers walks.  I don’t believe there is ever a need to have a weak grip.  But still nothing beats being efficient on the bike and comfortable.  Nerves creep in and we get tense and we squeeze.  It just happens.  This is another reason that we begin all our sessions in the gym focusing on breathing.  We want all our athletes to know how to properly breath and brace to relieve stress and tension in our bodies. This is exactly what we want our athletes focused on at the start of the race.

So with all that said what are our favorite exercises for arm pump?

  1. KB Swing
  2. Fat Grip Farmers Walks
  3. 1-Arm DB Rows
  4. Planks
  5. Lat Pulldowns
  6. Chest Supported Iso Holds
  7. Chaos Shrugs
  8. Battle Ropes

But what beats all of these is good riding mechanics and using your bike and body efficiently.

If you aren’t training with us already, check out our programs to get the most out of these movements, while also becoming stronger, faster, and more stable (on the bike and off).  We also offer online programs for those of you who can’t make it to the gym.

See you guys on the Dirt!

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