Yep, we’ve run tips on arm pump before, but it’s one of those problems that are nearly universal, whether you’re a weekend warrior, or factory pro. While talking with Jeff Emig at one of our local tracks recently, we asked him if he’d had problems with arm pump during his days of chasing National and SX Championship. When he quickly responded with, “I’m having problems today!” it drew a round of laughs, but we asked him for his tips on relieving the dreaded syndrome.
“I think there are a few things you can do to relieve arm pump. The first thing is to look ahead. The sooner that you can get the information on the track ahead, the more prepared you’ll be for whatever’s coming.”
“The next thing is to try to get forward on the bike. Get your head and shoulders over the bars more, and ride in a forward position. That way the bike is pushing you, rather than pulling you.”
“Another thing is to squeeze the bike with your legs, and hold onto the bike and maneuver it with your legs rather than your arms. Also, when there’s any sort of jump where you can relax your arms, set yourself up in a way that you can relax your hands and arms and take a deep breath. One of the main things that gives you arm pump is not breathing. Having your chest and lungs and everything tense. The more that you can relax your lungs and relax your hands, the better off you’ll be.”
“Of course, the more that you ride, and the more you practice that, the better you’ll be. When pro riders go out and practice, they’re practicing certain things like that. I was always preparing myself for the race, and by preparing my technique and riding style to be the most efficient and work the best on race day.”