Should You Floss Your Elbows?

How ‘Muscle Flossing’ Helped Cure My Joint Pain

 
When is the last time you heard someone say, “Man, that was a tough workout. I might have to go home and floss my elbow!” Never, right? If the idea of “flossing” body parts sounds crazy to you, this article may just blow your mind — and solve your muscle and joint pain.
 

What is muscle flossing?

A few months ago, I was struggling with stubborn knee and elbow pain. On the hunt for relief, I discovered a new fitness tool called “muscle floss” or “voodoo floss.” The floss looks like a stretchy roll of tape or an unlooped exercise band. To use it, you wrap the floss tightly around your painful joint or muscle group, then exercise that spot for between 30 seconds and two minutes.
 

What are the benefits?

By applying pressure to your muscles with floss, you can break down the adhesions and restrictions that are causing your pain. According to Shape magazine, this will help relieve your pain, boost your mobility, and speed up your recovery. You can get similar benefits from foam rolling, but muscle flossing offers relief more quickly.

“Flossing and foam rolling both work to release tension in the fascia that surrounds our muscle tissues,” Mitchell Fischer, a certified trainer and USA Weightlifting coach, told Shape. “But flossing makes the process much more efficient by releasing a whole set of tissues, as opposed to one localized muscle at a time.”

For me, muscle flossing worked like a charm! The sensation of the band squeezing my elbow and knee was a bit uncomfortable but ultimately worth it. Today, I swear by muscle flossing.
 

How can you try it?

You can buy a roll of WOD Nation muscle floss on Amazon.com for as little as $11.98, or score RockTape RockFloss on REI.com for just $22. When it comes to using the floss, though, make sure you follow all of the provided instructions; only wrap safe areas like your elbows, shoulders, knees, ankles, biceps, triceps, quads/hamstrings, or calves; and don’t wrap too tightly. You could risk nerve damage if you’re not careful!
 

-Randy Sklar

 

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