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!
Most of the methods are bogus, ineffective, not doing what they are “promised” to do, even the hi-tech and expensive items that are “scientific” and futuristic. However, both Martin and I have settled on the same cheap tool for our general maintenance needs.
We use it regularly, as part of our daily routine, 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.
The Voodoo Floss Band
We discovered this recovery tool from following Dr Kelly Starrett, a physical therapist and strength coach. The “Voodoo Floss Band” is basically thicker and stronger thera bands, a thera band on steroids!
Floss bands work by compressing a targeted area which, in turn, promotes recovery and frees up tight limbs as explained below.
For general recovery, from training and racing, to alleviate DOMs (delayed onset of muscular soreness – from training/racing exertion) we have found nothing works better – FAR superior to rolling, stretching, and definitely NOT icing / RICE-ing.
These bands are great to use after strength sessions – after paddle sets in the pool, post stomping on the bike or following a hill rep running session. By adding the floss band to your daily routine, wrapping your limbs after training but while you work / cook / relax is going to increases the chance of beating the DOMs!
How this recovery tool works
Floss 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 simple movement patterns performed – walking, air-squats, arm extensions, etc. The compression and movement combined work to encourage the tissues to shorten and lengthen – which massages the fibers due to the pressure of the band against them.
But, the real benefits happen AFTER removing the band.
The band needs to be wrapped tight and kept 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)
- 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 movements to encourage muscle contraction
- The skin below the band (the foot in this case) may turn pale, but this is ok!
- After 2-3 minutes, unwrap the band and you will feel the blood flow down the limb as you unwrap
- Removal 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!
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 training recovery and relieving 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 Floss Bands.