featuredIssue 24 • May 2014

VooDoo Flossing

We all know what to do for general aches from training, right? A little ice maybe a hot bath with some Epsom Salt. What if there was a way to get similar relief and over time actually alter and enhance your movement efficiency? We’ve all rolled around on a foam roller and have a therapist on speed dial but there’s something else.

VOODOO, yes VOODOO. Don’t worry… No dancing or drinking of some wild elixir is involved. VOODOO (coined by a product manufacturer) or muscle flossing is a technique used combining both compression and muscle dynamics of your soft tissue.

The key aspects of muscle flossing are; compression over the affected area, while moving the closest joint through a set planned range of motion. For example, if you have a case of tennis elbow, muscle flossing could be a way to treat and relieve symptoms so you can get through a match.
So what do we need?

  • Voodoo Floss Band or Bike Inner Tube
  • Super Friend
  • Affected Area to Treat

Before we commence, some very basic rules of thumb should be laid out. This will reduce blood flow to the region that the band is wrapped around. After you alleviate the compression blood will flow back into the affected area. This is good. What is not good is when the reduction of blood flow becomes extreme, discoloration of skin and a tingling feeling occurs. TOO TIGHT, TOO LONG!

  • Flossing has many purposes and uses to help in recovery.
  • Better range of motion.
  • Improves muscle dynamics and proprioception.
  • Increases blood flow to affected areas and reduces pooling and inflammation.

Can’t all this be done without a band, through massage and mobility stretching?
Not really. It’s hard to achieve the same level of compression using massage and the bands actually intensify stretching. Flossing bands allow you to apply more circumferential compression on the nerves and tissue than stretching alone. Once compression is released the intense blood flow promotes recovery.
Muscle flossing is used quite often in training practices associated with High Intensity Training.

For example I work with rehab clients that need to improve range of motion. We start every
training routine with some Voodoo. The same practices, however, can also be applied to athletes who are not injured. So Voodoo Floss is actually a utility tool, as far as soft tissue recovery and maintenance.

With consistent use, you can actually say “goodbye” to super knotty trigger points and say hello “hello” to full range of motion. If you program it correctly and under proper supervision you will understand why it’s called VOODOO.

  1. Locate the target area that needs either joint or soft tissue treatment. Start distal, wrap proximal. In other words, start the wrap furthest from the heart and wrap towards your heart. Wrapping the band at 50% stretch around the extremity (limb) covering the target area/joint. TIP: Creating an X at the key trigger location can create more shearing stress. (Great for chronic muscle adhesions).
  2. Move through various ranges of motion, leaving the band on for no more than a few minutes. If you have a “Super Friend” have them take you through some passive movements using full range of motion.
  3. Release the band. You have now placed your mal-aligned joint in alignment. The muscle is now laid properly and can get better activation due to the correct line of pull.
Henry Nowell

Henry Nowell

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