Lower arm maintenance is an often overlooked practice that can have many implications for issues like forearm pain or a decrease in grip strength. By spending some time focusing on lower arm recovery, you can eliminate pain from overworked tissues and improve function and strength. Mobility expert and founder of MobilityWOD, Kelly Starrett, shares three strategies for getting your lower arms healthy and functioning as they should.
How to Recover Your Lower Arms: Improve Grip Strength & Reduce Forearm Pain
1. Marc Pro
When congestion builds up, stiffness and pain can set in. Marc Pro is a simple and effective way to remove that congestion. Use Marc Pro where ever you are feeling the most dysfunction. If you are having grip related flexion problems, focus on the flexor side. If you are having more extensor related pain, put the pads on the extensor side. You can put the pads anywhere, as long as you get a solid contraction you will decongest the entire area.
A minimum dose of 20 minutes will provide massive benefit. But, feel free to go ahead and pump as long as you need. The non-fatiguing function of Marc Pro means you won’t lose your ability to grip or function. Decongesting the lower arm will help bring back function to improve grip strength and reduce congestion related pain in areas such as the forearm.
2. Tissue Scraping
Tissue scraping is a technic used to improve the sliding function of tissues and desensitize the area. When tissues don’t slide well over one another, the tissue gets stiff and painful. Dysfunction can develop from adaptation errors or the if the tissues were worked too hard. This can create gripping problems and pain throughout the forearm. To improve this dysfunction, Kelly recommends doing some scraping work on the tissues. You can use a Leopard Claw or anything similar you have available, such as a spatula or spoon.
- Hold the tool at a 45-degree angle to your skin.
- Lightly scrape at first to get the tissues used to the sensation, then gradually put more pressure on the area.
- Scrape in one direction for 30 seconds to one minute.
- Scrape down in the other direction for the same amount of time.
- If the tissue feels irritated, that’s a good indicator that you’re done scraping for the day
This technique is fair game to use anywhere you need. You can use it on your hands if they feel tired at the end of the day. Or you can use it on your elbow or forearm tissue.
3. VooDoo Floss
VooDoo floss creates localized levels of temporary compression. The goal for this is to drive out congestion. Kelly says the Marc Pro is the most effective option for decongesting, but VooDoo floss is another technique that can be used. With the band, you can target larger tissue systems such as the forearms, or the smaller tissue systems located in the fingers. In the video below, Kelly shows you how to wrap the forearms and fingers.
- When wrapping, overlap the band 50% at 50% tension
- Always wrap towards the heart
- Once wrapped, create some movement in the area
- When you start the get a little tingly, remove the VooDoo floss
With just a little bit of hand care, you can improve the function of the lower arm. Removing congestion and improving blood flow and fluid dynamics is a great way to restore how your forearms and hands are supposed to work. Recovery of this area has important benefits for reducing common issues like forearm pain or improving grip strength.