Strapping Guide (Also called Voodoo Flossing)

An introduction to Voodoo flossing

Voodoo floss is also known as voodoo tape, compression tack, or mobility bands. They are used for a different purpose than exercise resistance bands, and in a completely different way.

CBT, or compression band therapy, is sometimes referred to as voodoo flossing, joint flossing, or muscle flossing. Although the term “blood flow restriction training (BFRT)” is often used interchangeably with CBT, the two are not the same. BFRT is a related modality, but a specific type of cuff should be used for BFRT, and the goals are different from those of CBT.

In this post, you’ll learn about voodoo flossing, how it works, and why it might be a good option for you. You’ll find instructions on how to use it for different body parts, information on safety concerns and research.

Voodoo floss usage

The tape that is used for muscle and joint flossing is called voodoo floss. It is a long band that you wrap around a specific area on the arm or leg. It acts like a compression bandage.

Once the body part is wrapped up in a compression band, blood flow to the area is restricted. Certain exercises or stretches are performed for a short amount of time, and then the band is removed to allow blood to flow back into the area.

Voodoo bands are big rubber bands that come in different sizes. They are most commonly made from latex, but you can also find latex-free options. They are often used in CrossFit mobility training, which is a type of workout that helps you move better. Some physiotherapists, chiropractors, and fitness trainers also use voodoo bands as part of their toolkits.

Voodoo flossing can be done with trigger points therapy tools like foam rollers and trigger point balls.

Whereas trigger point therapy focuses on the muscles, voodoo flossing can also work into the joints, so these offer promise as complementary mobility training techniques. You may have also heard about massage guns, which are another related modality that uses a technique called percussive therapy.

While Voodoo flossing is most commonly used on joints and muscles on the periphery of the body, some strength athletes and climbers also use it on their fingers.

Flossing with compression bands can help treat acute joint stiffness, reducing pain and soreness in muscles, and preventing injuries.

There have been two studies done that show promise in helping to treat tendinopathy and improve the squatting depth and weight load. The first study found that a compression tack and floss technique along with lacrosse ball massage helped treat tendinopathy (inflammation of connective tissue), specifically in the Achilles. The second study analysed the knee joint and vertebral column load and found considerable progress in squatting depth and weight load.

How and why it works

Although the full mechanisms behind voodoo flossing are not known, it is theorized that the practice works by creating space in joints and reducing movement restrictions. Voodoo flossing is thought to be a form of myofascial release, which is the interaction between the nervous system and muscles.

There are a few theories explaining how voodoo floss works, but more research is needed. The term “flossing” likely comes from the analogy of flossing teeth. One theory is that muscle flossing helps break up the “junk” in between muscles.

The band temporarily decreases blood flow when it is on, and then blood flow returns to normal when it is removed. There is a theory that this increased circulation after the band is removed can help with healing and recovery, but there is no evidence that it helps to break down scar tissue.

Voodoo floss is much different from compression clothing. Voodoo floss is left on for a very short amount of time and creates a much tighter compression effect. Other compression tools are used for longer periods, but they work in a different way than voodoo flossing and may offer intermittent, rather than continuous compression.

Benefits of voodoo flossing

The main aims and potential benefits of voodoo flossing include:

  • Improving joint range of motion
  • Increasing mobility (i.e. improving movement/being able to move more freely and easily)
  • Potential improvements to performance
  • Decreasing pain levels in muscles and joints
  • Improving recovery between training sessions and reducing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMs) when it’s used after, or in between workouts
  • Reducing injury potential during workouts when it’s used for pre-workout mobility

The Voodoo floss band is a stretchy band that is wrapped around muscles and joints in a way that does not restrict circulation. it is best to stretch and wrap the band around the area you want to stretch at 50% of the band’s capability. You should only wrap peripheral joints and muscles of the arms and legs, and never wrap areas around the neck, chest, or torso.

The limbs are wrapped tightly in the voodoo floss and left for some time, usually around 5-10 minutes. The voodoo floss is then removed and the limbs are moved through their full range of motion. Voodoo floss is used on specific areas of the limbs, based on previous injuries, niggles, or general areas of stiffness or pain.

Does it really work

Although there is not a lot of reliable research to support the claims made about voodoo flossing, some smaller studies have found that it could be helpful for things like preventing injuries and improving athletic performance. More research is needed before any definitive conclusions can be drawn.

A study of 52 recreational athletes found that voodoo flossing the ankle improved range of motion and single-leg jump performance. A meta-analysis of studies on voodoo flossing for ankle joint range of motion found some positive results.

Other studies have found that there is no significant difference in the range of motion when comparing those who use voodoo flossing to a control group. In a study of shoulder range of motion, there was no statistical difference found between the voodoo flossing group and the non-voodoo flossing group. Interestingly, the Voodoo floss group reported feeling more flexible. Therefore, the effects were psychological, rather than physical!

Another study observed no significant difference in calf flexibility between those who used voodoo flossing and those who stretched conventionally.

The study may have been limited by the fact that only static stretching was used. Most people who advocate voodoo flossing are more likely to use it while performing dynamic stretches, mobility-specific movements, or bodyweight resistance exercises.

If you ask someone who regularly uses floss bands if they work, they will probably tell you “yes” emphatically. If they didn’t think it was having a positive effect, they wouldn’t be using it. Even though science takes time to catch up, reports on the benefits of using floss bands are likely to come from personal experience.

Safe execution

Some basic safety guidelines to follow when using a voodoo floss band: -be sure to wrap the band around a part of your body that is not injured -don’t wrap the band too tightly- you should be able to slide a finger under the band -if you are experiencing pain when using the band, stop immediately

  • Due to safety issues, never floss the following body parts: face, neck, head, chest, stomach, or back. Voodoo floss has been designed to be used on the limbs, so avoid any other body parts.
  • Do not use voodoo floss if you have any blood clots or heart conditions or concerns. If you have any medical conditions, it’s best to seek advice from your doctor.
  • For current injuries, consult your doctor or physiotherapist before using voodoo floss
  • If you are allergic to latex, purchase a latex-free variety of voodoo floss.

Floss bands are used to apply pressure to a specific area for a short period, similar to how a tourniquet is used. However, if the band is applied too tightly or left wrapped for too long, it can damage nerves and blood vessels. To avoid any complications, it’s best not to leave a floss band wrapped on the body for more than a few minutes.

Voodoo floss knee

Flossing the knee with compression floss bands is an effective mobility exercise for restoring fascia and connective tissue around the knee joint.

Double floss band knee wrap

You can maximize the effect of flossing on your knee by wrapping a Voodoo Floss band around the patellar tendon and quad tendon, both above and below the knee. This will create more space in the knee joint, making it more flexible.

Single floss band knee wrap

Wrap a single floss band around your knee to help restore the natural sliding surface of the fascia and tissues surrounding the knee. This can also be a great pre-workout primer before running, cycling, or any form of squat movement.

Voodoo floss calf and Achilles

The Achilles tendon is the large tendon located at the back of the ankle. It can become painful when the surrounding tissue becomes stiff from overuse, past injury, genetics, or diet. This can restrict the range of motion and function.

This Voodoo flossing exercise is designed to improve the health of your tendons, fascia, and overall mobility. For triathletes, this can help relieve Achilles pain caused by high-volume or high-intensity running and cycling.

The floss band can be wrapped higher up the calf muscle for a more widespread sheer effect. This can help if you’re having shin splints, calf muscle strain, or even knee pain.

Tight or tacked tissues in the Achilles or calf muscles can cause knee pain. This is why flossing and other forms of deep tissue mobility work should be considered.

Voodoo floss ankle

Tight muscles in the calf and hamstring can cause knee pain, just as limited mobility in the ankle can cause pain further up the body, especially with activities that involve repetitive motion such as cycling and running. Voodoo flossing the ankle is a great way to improve range motion in the ankle, for both dorsiflexion and side-to-side mobility.

Most videos on Voodoo flossing show the traditional band, but for greater compression, you can use the Voodoo X band.

Wearing high-compression floss bands around your ankles will help improve your athletic performance in many ways. Greater ankle range of motion helps you squat deeper, cycle smoothly, and express full hip extension when running. This simple best practice can have a big impact on your movement and overall fitness.

Voodoo floss hamstring

The text is discussing how to use voodoo floss on the hamstring. You can either wrap the short head (lower portion) of the biceps femoris or the long head (high hamstring) closer to the hip joint and glute attachment. Voodoo flossing in both areas can help unglue tacked tissues and trigger points that can cause pain downstream, such as in the knees or VMO.

The popularity of compression band flossing among CrossFit athletes has led to its use among athletes in other sports, including swimming, cycling, running, and triathlon.

Voodoo floss bicep 

Working your bicep, really extend your elbow joint. For your triceps, get your arm overhead and flex and extend your arm.


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