The Voodoo floss bands have revolutionized injury rehabilitation and are great for injury prevention.
The bands work by applying a high-compression force, applying pressure to the selected joint or muscle to help improve blood flow, restore connective tissue, and increase the range of motion.
The VooDoo floss bands work particularly well for the ankle, calf, knee, and hamstring. You can also use your band around your wrists, elbows, or shoulders, but this article shall focus on using the bands for the legs.
VooDoo Floss For The Ankle
Keeping your ankles in good nick is important as problems at the foundation can magnify issues further up the body. By flossing regularly, you can keep your ankles in good shape even if you run regularly and maintain a good level of flexibility.
To wear the floss band for ankle work, you begin by placing the end of the band on the inside of your foot above the arch and wrapping it around to the outside to come back up the inside of your foot.
Be sure to start the wrap fairly close to your toes and pull up for a good level of compression every time the band passes back over the middle of your foot – great for the medial tendons. Repeat this process until half of the band’s length is wrapped around your foot.
Next, let your ankle relax so your foot is roughly 90° to your leg. Wrap the band around the back of the ankle but make sure it is completely flat – unwrap any wrinkles you develop at this stage and rewrap – and then down the outside of your foot and back up the inside.
You need to cross the band over to the outside of your ankle, wrap around the back of the ankle, cross over the foot to wrap around the outside, to come back up the middle. This figure of eight wrapping pattern is repeated until the length of the band has been used up and you can tuck the end in.
Once your ankle is wrapped, go for some gentle stretches to warm up the tissue and make sure everything is comfortable. The best stretch at this stage is to kneel on one knee with your wrapped foot out in front so the knee is bent at 90°.
Gently transfer your weight to your wrapped ankle and take some time to roll circles to make sure you maximize your ankle’s mobility.
Keep these stretches going for as long as you like but make sure you stop if your foot feels numb or you get any tingly sensations. If this happens, take off the band and go for a walk to regain normal blood flow.
VooDoo Floss For The Achilles & Calf
Using a VooDoo band at the Achilles will help return injured tissue or fascia back to a healthy state by increasing mobility. You have the option of moving the VooDoo wrap a little further up the leg for some effective calf work, great for combating shin splints, restoring calf muscle function, and can even help conquer knee pain.
Begin your VooDoo wrap low down on the ankle and aim to get the top of the heel covered – this coverage is important as all the tissue from the heel to the Achilles and calf are connected. Wrap firmly around the ankle and work your way up towards the knee.
If you want to focus on the Achilles, keep the band localized to that area and aim to stop wrapping when you are roughly a third of the way up your leg. If you want to do some calf work, feel free to wrap up further but be sure to include as much of the heel in the wrap as possible.
If at any point of using your VooDoo band your foot or ankle feel tingly, simply take off the band and try again a bit later. Restricting the blood flow to this point will not help your recovery.
At this point you need to stretch in such a way to get a full range of motion from your wrapped leg. Downward facing dog is a good option here but make sure you remain active through the calf and Achilles by pedaling the feet.
Warrior II with the wrapped leg at the back is another great stretch as you can rotate your leg for a full range of motion along the injured calf and Achilles.
VooDoo Floss For The Knee
VooDoo flossing the knee is one of the most effective applications of a compression band and works well to restore the connective tissue and fascia that surrounds the knee joint.
Using two bands is generally recommended for the knee, especially if you are flossing for rehabilitation of the joint, as using one wrap above the joint and one below maximizes flossing benefits and creates additional space for movement.
For the double wrap, you need to aim to compress the patellar tendon and the quad tendon. These are the two tendons that meet in the middle of the knee at the front.
All you need to do is begin at the front of the leg, and wrap the band around your leg firmly to get the benefits of VooDoo floss bands. Make sure the band is flat and the tension is uniformly distributed for the best results. Once wrapped, just tuck the end of the band in on itself to stop it unraveling.
The second band is then wrapped either above or below the joint with the same pressure and uniform wrapping as the first band.
You can get very similar results with a single band with a little more thought on how and where you place the wrap.
Begin roughly 6-8 inches above the knee and wrap around the outside of your leg several times moving slowly down the leg – be sure to pull tight as the band comes up the inside of your leg for a firm wrap.
At the knee cap, you can either continue wrapping or leave a gap. Leaving a gap is recommended as you will get that extra space to maintain full knee mobility.
Keep working down the leg until you get toward the end of the band. At this point you need to bring the end of the band back up and across all of the wrapping you have done and tuck the end in somewhere towards the top.
Once wrapped, you can do some gentle knee stretches and build up the intensity until you are able to comfortably do some squats.
VooDoo Floss For The Hamstring
Using floss bands on the thigh hamstring is an effective way to improve your deadlift technique – opening up this area ensures accessibility and a good hip position as you add load to the muscle.
To get these benefits with a floss band, you need to begin wrapping the band at the top of the hamstring which is right underneath the glute muscle. As this area is so muscled you can pull the band as much as possible for an appropriate level of compression.
Keep the wrap flat but localized as this will give the best support. Tuck the end of the band into the wrap to secure.
Once wrapped, make a low squat and grab your toes. Now you simply aim to shoot your rear back and straighten the leg. Stay here for a moment and then bend the knees to return to the deep squat position. This squat move should be repeated 10-15 times for the best results.
Flossing With The VooDoo X Band
This extra-wide band is great for those who just want to do some compression work. This band is more durable and thicker than the other VooDoo bands and so gives a stronger compression to the joint when wrapped.
The band is wrapped in the same way as the original VooDoo floss band, but be aware that it will feel tighter and will offer more support for the injured joint.
The additional support and compression with this band mean that any pain around the joint will be reduced and, once the band is removed, the joint in question will feel much more open with a good range of motion.
Frequently Asked Questions
What bands should I use for VooDoo flossing?
The best VooDoo bands available are from Rogue Fitness as they are the authentic product. These bands offer the best elasticity and durability which, in turn, increase their efficacy.
If you feel you need a stronger band, your best option is the VooDoo X band, also from Rogue Fitness.
Wide VooDoo bands are also available for those who need to treat a bigger area of the body.
Is VooDoo flossing safe?
VooDoo flossing is a very safe but effective compression treatment when done with the correct technique. It is important that you do not leave the wrapped floss band on for too long and that you do not wrap the band too tightly – aim to wear these bands for a few minutes before taking off.
Any longer and you risk damaging nerves and blood vessels.
How does VooDoo flossing work?
Three common theories explain why VooDoo flossing is such an effective treatment. Firstly, compressing a joint improves the local blood flow to that area by restricting the volume of blood that can move through.
Once you take off the band, freshly oxygenated blood will rush to the site of compression and help to speed up recovery and any healing taking place.
The second common theory also stems from compression as this technique simply creates a distraction force on the joint. This force can create additional room in the joint, specifically in the joint capsule, and will mobilise the joint in question so you can use its full range of motion without restrictions.
The final aspect of how VooDoo flossing works is the ‘flossing’ element – applying compression to the muscles and getting them through all of their range of motion acts in a similar way that dental flossing removes gunk stuck in between the teeth.
Moving the joint without any restrictions will break up any fascia that have stuck together, further improving your range of motion.