Recovery tool, one that works

July 11th 2018

By Matt Hill
Categories: Triathlon Training

Recovery tool, one that works

Our favorite recovery tool

Over the years, we have tried and tested many recovery tool, rehabilitation tools and methods – foam rollers, tennis/hockey/cricket balls, stretching, ultrasound, etc, etc. Whether we wanted to use them for general maintenance or had been recommended them by physios for a specific reason, we have used a few different tools!

Both Martin and I have both come to settle on the same tool for pretty much all needs. We use it regularly to “service” our body and have recommended it to our athletes. It is a tool used in the strength world but hasn’t yet reached the endurance sports world.

THE Voodoo Floss Band

THE recovery toolThis recovery tool was recommended to us by a sports physiotherapist – the “Voodoo Floss Band.” Voodoo Floss Bands are basically thicker and stronger thera bands, thera bands with muscle!

They work by compressing a targeted area which, in turn, promotes recovery and frees up tight limbs as explained below.

Voodoo bands are so versatile, whether you are looking to alleviate DOMs (delayed onset of muscular soreness – from progressive training loads or racing) or rehabilitation from injury or surgery, we have found nothing works better than these compression bands.

These bands are great to use after strength sessions – after pull sets in the pool, post stomping on the bike or following a hill rep running session. Making it part of your cool down increases the chance of beating the DOMs!

How this recovery tool works

Voodoo bands are made from a rubber compound and come in various strengths. They all stretch to “150%” of their original length, while still providing plenty of hold (of the muscles it wraps).

For maximum advances, the band should be wrapped over a muscle or joint and then mobility movements performed (light stretching or simple movement patterns). The compression and movement combined work to encourage the tissues to shorten and lengthen – which massages the fibers through pressure.

But, the real benefits happen AFTER removing the band.

The band needs to be wrapped tight and remains on the targeted area for 2-3 minutes. During this time, the compression effectively starves the area of blood and oxygen. Upon removal, the area receives a rush of oxygenated blood which promotes recovery and removes waste build up and damaged tissue.

How to use a Voodoo Floss Band

These bands are very simple to use, and it only requires 2-3minutes of commitment. As an example, here is how you would target your calf:

  • Wrap the first loop loosely, low down, just above the ankle. Continue to wrap the band by working up the limb (towards the heart – encouraging lymphatic flow)Wrapping up
    • Overlap the band across itself as you work upwards – cover half of the band width each wrap
    • The wrapping should be loose around the front (shin) but tight around the calf musculature – aim for 50% tension on the loose side and 75% band tension on the target area. See this video of Dr Kelly Starrett’s description and demonstration of how to apply a Voodoo Band.
    • It should feel tight and may feel uncomfortable to start with. Build your tolerance over time, wrapping less tight until you can handle more tension

 

  • Finish the wrapping by tucking the end of the band under the last full wrap
  • While the calf is wrapped you should perform some basic stretches or move around to encourage muscle contraction
    • The skin below the band (the foot in this case) may turn pale, but this is ok!

Mobility movements for the calf

  • After 2-3 minutes, unwrap the band and you will feel the blood flow down the limb as you unwrap
    • Band removalRemoval of the band super-oxygenates the area through fresh blood flow, promoting recovery and removing damaged tissue
    • The wrapped area will have imprint marks and turn red – indicating sufficient compression and heightened blood flow

 

  • Continue to move the leg around to further encourage blood flow
    • Or wrap higher up the calf – where the band didn’t reach

This process can be performed on all limbs (feet to hips and hands to shoulders), on muscles and joints and multiple times per day. The only unfortunate limitation is that it cannot (and should not!) be used on the torso or neck!

Other uses

An investment you won’t regret

These bands are cheap and so simple to use. From our experience, they are the most effective recovery tool for promoting recovery and relieving pain (aches).

They can be found on Amazon, link here, as well as other sports equipment sites.

If you are looking for a go-to recovery tool, search no further! Unlock the magic of Voodoo Floss Bands.