Floss bands, also known as voodoo floss (thanks to the immensely popular product of the same name from Rogue Fitness) is a relatively new tool that compresses your joints and the surrounding tissues and keeps them in check. You must know the right way to wrap your joints to feel all the benefits and to avoid potential side effects.
Before everything else, you should know that floss bands are made out of natural rubber, so if you have a latex allergy, you better avoid these bands! If you’re in the clear though, here’s how you can use the bands to help you out. There are a few areas on your body that you can use the bands on, and some you should avoid wrapping! Do not wrap your head, abdomen, neck, or back, and if you do not know how to wrap your kneecaps properly, avoid doing that as well. The joint you can help with a floss band is your hip. Start wrapping the floss just below your hip, so on the upper part of your thighs. Place the end of the band on top of your thigh, then wrap it around your thigh once. Do not wrap it as tight as you can! Use about half the tension the band provides you with, and then start making your way around your thighs. Overlap the band as you reach the bottom part of your thighs. The overlap should be about one inch wide. If you start to feel tingling sensations or numbness, you’ve wrapped yourself up too tightly, and you should loosen the grip. Once you’ve reached the end of the band, it’s time to secure it. You can do so by tucking the end of the band under your previous wrap, and you should take a strip that is approximately two inches long, pull on it, and then secure it under the nearest layer. Then do any variety of exercises used to boost thigh and gluteus strength, like squats and lunges. Do not have the band on for more than two minutes! Once two minutes are up, take the band off, apply it to your other thigh, and repeat a few sets of your favorite lower body exercises for two minutes.
The ankles are also one area that can be helped with floss bands. You start by sitting comfortably somewhere. Cross the leg you want to wrap over your other leg. Let your leg rest just above the ankle, so that they are free to be wrapped. You begin by wrapping your arches. The end of the floss bands should be on the top of your arch. Start to wrap the band around your foot towards your heel, and do so only three times, while slightly overlapping the floss. Do not flex your foot while doing this; it’s important you remain in a natural, relaxed position. Leave your heel open and exposed, and concentrate on wrapping your ankles. You need to do this to have enough range of motion. Wrap your ankles and move towards your calves, still using about 50% of the tension the bands offer. Again, once you reach the end of the floss, tuck the end underneath the band. Once you’ve done this, it’s time to move onto improving the strength of your ankles. While still sitting, flex and rotate your ankles. Rotate the ankles as well, and concentrate on warming it up. Once you’ve done so, do toe raises, and you can even try hopping around. Again, once the two minutes are up, remove the band and repeat the same process with your other ankle.
Our wrists are the thinnest parts of our body, with almost no muscle support, so it’s only logical that the bands should also be applied here. Grab onto the end of the band with the hand you want the band to be wrapped around. Use around 50% to 75% of the bands’ tension, and begin wrapping your wrist, while overlapping the band. Continue your way up to your elbows, still overlapping the band. Once you’ve reached about two inches from your elbows, it’s time to change the direction of your wrapping! Reverse the wrapping and go back toward your forearms. Once you’ve run out of the band, tuck it underneath the nearest part, and you’re good to go. Now it’s time to work on that wrist mobility! Find the nearest wall and do wrist extensions. Position your arm so that your elbows are locked, while your fingers face downward, and your palm remains against the wall. As you pull your wrist away from the wall, make sure to relax it. And keep your shoulders relaxed throughout the whole motion – do not push so hard that your shoulders move! You can do this on the floor as well.
And now, the shoulders. You will need the help of someone else here! Stretch out your arm and rest it on the shoulder of whoever is helping you. Do not extend or flex it; it should rest in a neutral position. The end of the floss bands should rest on top of your shoulder, just slightly below the top joint. Wrap it once in the style of an anchor strip, and then use only 50% of the tension to wrap the rest of your arm. Continue down to your elbow, and finish above it, so you remain fully mobile. If you feel any slight tingling or numbness, do not worry – this is normal for the shoulder wrap. Now you can extend your arm up above your head, and then fling it down towards the floor. Do this for about 30 seconds or so. You can also swing the arm in a horizontal motion.
We’ve reached the end, and our last wrappable joint is the knee! Wrap it below the kneecap, if you suffer from anterior knee pain (one that begins at the front or the center of the knee). Move towards the thigh, and of course, overlap the band. If your pain is lateral, start the wrapping above the kneecap, avoid the whole knee, and then wrap again underneath it. If your knee hurts under the kneecap, start wrapping underneath your knee and stop when you’ve reached it. Then do 20 to 30 squats!