Do you Voodoo?

Do you Voodoo?


If you have been doing CrossFit at 330 for any length of time I’m sure you have heard mention of the witch doctor ways of the Voodoo Floss.


You may have seen it in use on a shoulder (namely mine), Elaine’s elbow…or other various wrists, ankles or even the occasional knee.


Last week (if you read Dustin’s blog post) you would have seen his reference to it as well.


So, what is this mystical tool? Why would you use it? Even better, how do you use it?


The Voodoo floss is a thick black latex band that you can find rolled up and living with the lacrosse balls. 


It helps with recovery and mobility of the majority of joints and some muscles in the body through the use of compression, friction, increased blood flow and basically clearing yuck outta those spaces.


First, let’s look at the areas you want to use Voodoo floss and the areas you do not.


Hells yes areas: shoulders, arms, elbows, wrists, hands, thighs, calves, feet, and ankles. 


No, no, no zones: head, face, neck, chest, torso, abdomen, and back.


Your call: Over the knee cap. I know some people who do it with no issue and some people who hate it. You make your own choice on this one.


Ok, so now that we know some of the areas that we can use it lets talk about how to use it. 


You will wrap the band tightly over the area where you are experiencing issues. You want to wrap down from the top and leave a loose end near the bottom. That end can be tucked in to itself while you take the body part through full range of motion exercises. This is a must for joints! You will leave that on for about 90 seconds or so, releasing it when you start to feel the pins and needles of the blood flow stopping. 


So, what’s happening while you are doing this? 


Basically, by squeezing the muscles in a tight wrap and moving through full (and I stress the word full) range of motion you create friction between muscles fibers. This friction will help to break up scar tissue, lactic acid, and other junk that is hanging out in there. Once you release the band a rush of blood will wash through the muscle. Which, you will recall from Dustin’s blog last week, will not only clear out all the junk you just broke up, but also bring in nutrients that will promote growth and healing. 


In the case of my shoulder and the inflammation that is hanging around in there post-surgery it promotes lymphatic drainage. The new blood flow also helps my tissue to repair itself and the passive range of motion exercises that Dustin puts me through helps to increase my mobility in the joint. All wins!


This can all also be done on areas where you have straight up muscle soreness. Maybe your hamstrings are tight…Go ahead and wrap your thigh up, do some flexing and contracting of the muscle, release it and see how you feel.


The first time I used Voodoo floss I can remember thinking it was a bunch of hooey and I would feel exactly the same after. This is probably one of the only times I can remember A. being wrong and B. being ok with it!


I recommend everyone gives it a go just to see what all the fuss is about and try out the witch doctoring for themselves.


~ Michelle