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Arm Pump Exercises

author image Jason Aberdeene
Jason Aberdeene has been a freelance writer since 2008. His articles have appeared in the "UCSD Guardian" and on various websites, specializing in teen health. An assistant at Kagan Physical Therapy since 2009, Aberdeene has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of California, San Diego.
Arm Pump Exercises
Arm pump exercises will help you strengthen your forearms. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Arm pump is an ailment most often associated with motocross racing. The ailment results in blood being unable to leave your forearm fast enough. As a result, pressure builds in your forearm, making it difficult to move and mobilize. While the severity of arm pump varies depending on your specific situation, performing certain exercises will help fight arm pump.

Negative Resistance Training

This style of exercise forces you to move weights in a controlled manner, moving in the opposite direction you are used to. For example, have a spotter place a barbell in your hands in a curled position. While most barbell curls start with your arms extended down, negative resistance training starts with your arms curled up and requires you to bring the bar down slowly to that extended position. Repeat as many times as you can before resting.

Extended Riding

While arm exercises with weights can help reduce your chances of getting arm pump, the best way to reduce arm pump, according to Racer X Canada, is to extend your riding hours. If you are used to only riding on the weekends, add a few extra days of riding during the week to help adjust your arms to the rigors of the sport. In addition, you can extend your rides, improving your arm strength and endurance as well as your riding skill.

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Endurance Training

If you do not have the time or resources to extend your riding, performing extensive endurance exercises will help reduce your chances of getting arm pump. Endurance training can often result in additional veins to develop in your body, called neovascularization. These additional veins help improve circulation in your forearms, reducing your chances of getting arm pump. Endurance training exercises that you can perform range from endurance running to biking and weighted rowing and boating exercises.


Chinups will strengthen your forearms and grip. Start by placing a box directly under your chinup bar. Step onto the bar, placing both of your hands on the bar with your hands spread out evenly and palms facing you. Slowly lower yourself to an extended position, moving your legs to the sides of the box so that no contact is made. Once you are fully lowered, step onto the box and repeat the exercise. Perform three sets of 10 before stopping.

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