It may look like a torture device, but the 4Arm Strong is actually a massage and stretching tool for alleviating elbow and wrist pain, reducing arm pump and increasing grip strength.
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To use it, you slide the clear plastic cuff over your forearm, tighten the Velcro strap and screw in the contact pad to apply pressure. Then you extend your arm and bend your wrist backwards to stretch your forearm muscles, repeating three times, in five positions.
The theory is that creating extra pressure points allows you to expand the facia (the tissue surrounding your forearm muscles) more than a conventional stretch would.
Its makers say that reducing the pressure in your forearms gives your muscles more space to expand when they fill with blood on a long descent, reducing arm pump.
Because so many factors contribute to grip strength and arm pump — bike set-up, conditioning, fatigue on any given day — I found it difficult to quantify how much the device helps in these regards. It’s a good stretching tool though, and noticeably reduces soreness on multi-day rides.
4Arm Strong says it also helps treat carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow. As a sufferer of the latter, I noticed a distinct improvement after regular use.