Arm Pump: Jenn and Chris Stretch It Out

A yoga expert targets our sport and Chris helps!

Nick’s Note: For many riders arm and hand issues are the number-one fitness challenge, the main point of discomfort on the bike. Older riders and riders of low-bar race replicas struggle the most with arm pump, hands falling asleep and hands cramping.

Repetitive hand motions, like those used to ride a motorcycle, are tough on the median nerve that runs through the carpal tunnel. The ulnar, radial and median nerves can also generate problems if they become embedded in scar tissue from old injuries to the shoulder, elbow or even as high as the neck. Old injuries, Jenn Peris tells us, can often be the source of current pain. In this video, Jenn and Chris Peris walk riders through a series of arm, hand and finger stretches designed specifically to address riders’ issues.

Jenn Peris began studying and practicing yoga in 2000 and she went all-in, beginning with Bikram then Ashtanga, Anusara, Vinyasa Flow, Iyengar and then receiving her 200 RYT certification in Hatha yoga. She worked with top instructors like Schremp, Rhodes, Bowditch and Rice, practitioners who also inspired her to begin to teach yoga.

Meanwhile, Chris was racing motorcycles with a similarly dizzying list of accomplishments, including AMA podiums and two years in 600 World Supersport. When they met, Jenn recognized the need for yoga in our sport and began designing practices that would advance a rider's focus, mobility and long-term performance. Chris was her laboratory and Jenn's experiment helped Chris win two WERA national heavyweight endurance titles recently with zero crashes, on the Army of Darkness BMW S1000RR. It's impossible to go consistently quickly on a 200 horsepower bike when you're uncomfortable in the saddle.

For the last three years, Jenn has been leading before- and-after-ride yoga practices at YCRS, dubbed ChampBody. It’s fun, but most importantly, Jenn’s focused practices speak to a rider’s main issues before, during and after a ride.

For me personally this hand, arm and finger stretch series is a game-changer because I’m an old guy riding and racing low-bar bikes who also types for a living; carpal tunnel syndrome is knocking at my door and affecting my riding, so my day now includes the stretches and techniques you’re about to see. Thanks Jenn and Chris.

More Next Tuesday!