VooDoo floss bands are a secret weapon for injury prevention and rehabilitation. Using a high-compression force that’s applied around specific joints and muscles, the VooDoo floss band can help restore connective tissue, improve blood flow, and increase range of motion.
This article focuses on VooDoo flossing various parts of the legs, specifically the knees, ankle, calf, and hamstring muscles. Floss bands can also be useful for elbows, shoulders, wrists, and other surrounding joints and musculature.
When getting started flossing, we highly recommend using proper “VooDoo” floss bands from Rogue Fitness (that is, unless you have an allergy to latex). Between these and the VooDoo X band (a larger, heavy-duty band), Rogue makes the best compression floss band in terms of elasticity, longevity, and effectiveness.
Start here to learn about how to floss the knee, ankle, calf, and hamstrings. Or near the bottom of this page, you can learn more about the science, benefits, and FAQs about VooDoo flossing.
VooDoo Floss Knee
Flossing the knee is one of the most effective applications of compression floss bands. Ideal for knee pain and injury rehabilitation, this mobility exercise restores fascia and connective tissue surrounding the knee joint.
Double Floss Band Knee Wrap
Using two VooDoo Floss bands to wrap above and below the knee is an effective way to maximize the sheer effect of flossing and create space in the knee by wrapping the patellar (below the knee) and quad tendon (above the knee).
Single Floss Band Knee Wrap
You can achieve a similar effect by using just one single floss band to wrap the knee joint. Not only does this technique help restore the natural sliding surface of the fascia and tissues surrounding the knee, but it can also be a great pre-workout primer before running, cycling, or any form of squat movement.
VooDoo Floss Calf & Achilles
Pain surrounding the Achilles tendon or heel cord region can stem from a number of causes. Tissue stiffness from training, past history of injury history, genetics, and diet can all play a role. The bottom line is that when the relationship between tendon and skin gets congested, the Achilles feels painful and range of motion and overall function can be restricted.
This VooDoo floss exercise is intended to restore a healthy tendon sheath and fascia overlay to improve articulation and mobility. For triathletes, this is a powerful technique to tackle Achilles pain that can result from high-volume or high-intensity running and cycling.
You can take the floss band higher up the calf muscle for a more global sheer effect. This can help if you’re experiencing shin splints, calf muscle strain, and even knee pain. In the video below, the VooDoo band is used for shin splints.
In addition to localized pain felt in the Achilles or calf muscle itself, knee pain can result from tight and tacked tissues in these areas downstream. This is why flossing and other forms of deep tissue mobility work above and below the knee should be considered.
VooDoo Floss Ankle
Just like tight calf and hamstring muscles can cause knee pain, limited ankle mobility can also cause pain upstream, especially with repetitive motions like cycling and running. VooDoo flossing the ankle is a great way to breathe life back into tight ankles and help improve range motion1, both with dorsiflexion and side-to-side ankle mobility.
While most of these videos focus on the traditional VooDoo floss band, you can level-up to the VooDoo X band, as shown in the video below. This heavyweight band provides even greater compression when wrapped tightly around the ankle, knees, calves, and other parts of the body.
Optimizing ankle mobility with high compression floss bands is a simple best practice for improving athletic performance across the board. Greater ankle range of motion helps with squatting deeper, cycling smoother, expressing full hip extension when running, and a host of other movement benefits.
VooDoo Floss Hamstring
When VooDoo floss on the hamstring, you can wrap either the short head (lower portion) of the biceps femoris or long head (high hamstring) closer to the hip joint and glute attachment. Compression flossing both areas can help unglue tacked tissues and trigger points that can cause pain downstream, such as in the knees or VMO.
The video above offers insight into different positions that you can move through to get the best results from flossing. The prisoner squat variation is a great tip.
Although compression band flossing was initially popularized in the CrossFit community, using VooDoo floss bands has applications across all types of athletes, especially swimmers, cyclists, runners, and triathletes.
Do VooDoo floss bands work?
Although quality studies on compression floss band treatment are lacking, there are a few interesting studies and countless athlete testimonials supporting the benefits of floss bands.
Floss bands work by using a high-compression, fascial shearing technique to restore tacked and restricted fascia and connective tissue. Some of the primary benefits of using floss bands are improving the range of motion and re-perfusing new, oxygen-rich blood to muscles and joints that need restoration.
One study across 52 “recreational” athletes showed positive effects of compression band flossing in improving ankle range of motion and jump performance. Athletes were able to increase dorsiflexion and plantarflexion range of motion1 as well as improve single-leg jump performance with the use of floss band treatment.
Are floss bands Safe?
When used with proper technique, yes, floss bands are a safe form of compression treatment. Floss bands serve a similar function as tourniquets for the targeted area and are only used for a short period of time. However, if the band is applied too tightly or left wrapped for too long, the risk of damaged nerves and blood vessels can occur. To avoid any complications with floss bands, it’s best not to leave them wrapped on the body for more than a few minutes.
What are VooDoo floss bands?
VooDoo floss bands are a 2-inch wide, highly-elastic thin latex rubber material that stretches up to 150% in length. Most commonly available in 7-foot roll, VooDoo floss bands can be stretched at varying levels of intensity to wrap joints and muscle groups. When wrapped tightly around a specific joint or muscle, the high compression force creates a sheer effect or “flossing” that helps restore tissue, all while improving blood flow via re-perfusion.
What are floss bands used for?
The most popular and practical uses of floss bands are generally limited to joints (i.e., ankles, knees, shoulders, elbows, etc.) and muscles of the periphery (calf, hamstring, biceps, etc.) However, strength athletes and climbers will even use VooDoo flossing for their fingers.
Compression flossing can be particularly helpful in treating acute joint sprain stiffness or areas where range of motion is restricted. When muscles are fatigued after training, compression band flossing has been shown to reduce pain and soreness in muscles. In addition to injury prevention and optimizing performance and recovery, floss bands can be especially useful in treating specific injuries.
One study found that a compression tack and floss technique along with lacrosse ball massage helped treat tendinopathy2 (inflammation of connective tissue), specifically in the Achilles. Another interesting study analyzed the knee joint and vertebral column load and found considerable progress in squatting depth and weight load3.
How do you use a VooDoo band?
By leveraging their elasticity, VooDoo bands are tightly wrapped around muscles and joints, but in a way that does not completely cut off circulation. A simple best practice when using the VooDoo floss band stretch and wrap at 50% of the band’s capability. Additionally, only wrap peripheral joints and muscles of the arms and legs, and never wrap areas around the neck, chest, or torso.
Where can I buy VooDoo floss bands?
The best place to buy legitimate VooDoo floss bands is Rogue Fitness. There are several other manufacturers of compression bands for flossing, but actual VooDoo floss bands are a MobilityWOD brand product made by Rogue Fitness. VooDoo bands are considerably better in terms of elasticity, longevity, and overall effectiveness.
Voodoo Flossing Resources
- Kelly Starrett’s The Ready State YouTube Channel
- The Run Experience with Kelly Starrett
- Voodoo Floss Band at Rogue Fitness
1. Driller MW, Overmayer RG. The effects of tissue flossing on ankle range of motion and jump performance. Phys Ther Sport. 2017 May;25:20-24. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2016.12.004. Epub 2016 Dec 12. PMID: 28254581. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28254581/
2. Borda J, Selhorst M. The use of compression tack and flossing along with lacrosse ball massage to treat chronic Achilles tendinopathy in an adolescent athlete: a case report. J Man Manip Ther. 2017 Feb;25(1):57-61. doi: 10.1080/10669817.2016.1159403. Epub 2016 May 30. PMID: 28855793; PMCID: PMC5539579. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28855793/
3. Hartmann H, Wirth K, Klusemann M. Analysis of the load on the knee joint and vertebral column with changes in squatting depth and weight load. Sports Med. 2013 Oct;43(10):993-1008. doi: 10.1007/s40279-013-0073-6. PMID: 23821469. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23821469/