Voodoo Flossing for Calf Muscle - Voodoo Bands for Calves
Compression Floss Bands (aka Voodoo Floss) - are They Effective?
Skip this and go straight ahead to calves floss band treatment section for TL;DR
While theorists speculate about the unproven efficacy of compression flossing with voodoo floss bands, thousands of athletes and health enthusiasts have made it part of their workouts, and still others have written books extolling the virtues of it.
If you are a person of action, the testimonies of your friends and anecdotal evidence will be enough for you to implement floss bands (aka compression bands) in your workout or recovery / rehabilitation routine if it proves efficacy for YOU without waiting for the recognition of the scientific community. If floss bands work for you it's just fine.
Why Calf Muscle is Important and Tight Calves are Bad for You
The calves control the movement of your foot, which is a big part of any locomotion and not only running. Your feet are helping you move forward, and the movement in your calves is what lets you do this. In addition to making your footwork more effective, your calves help you balance. Tight calf muscles compromise a whole body biomechanics and may cause adverse effects in any link of myofascial lines.
Anatomy of Calf Muscles
The calf muscles are a pair of muscles on the back of the lower leg. What we call "a calf muscle" is actually two muscles, the gastrocnemius and the soleus. These are the muscles that are typically exercised with standing calf raises, seated calf raises, and donkey calf raises. The gastrocnemius originates on the femur and inserts on the Achilles tendon on the calcaneus. It runs over two joints and flexes the knee and foot. The soleus is a broad muscle below gastrocnemius. It originates on the tibia and fibula and inserts on the calcaneus. It runs over one ankle joint and can't flex the knee.
Read this article on voodoo floss knee techniques.
Why Calves (Calf Muscles) are Tight?
Inactiveness. Even if you don't spend a lot of time on your feet, you probably have tight calf muscles or some calf tightness. So do most people, in fact, because sitting down a lot can shorten the calf muscles. When your calf muscles are tight, they pull on the heel bone, which can cause pain in the heel or ankle and make it difficult to move the foot properly. This also puts more pressure on the back of the knee, which can make it hurt to run.
Overuse. Calves become tight due to overuse. For example, if you run a lot and you do a lot of plyometric drills, your calves are likely to get tighter. This is the case if you run through shin splints*, or if you do steeplechase training or interval training. If your calf muscles get tight, your legs might feel like they don't bend well. In the case of walking, it might feel like you're hunching or being crouched down.
*Actually it's a vicious circle - tight calf muscles may cause excessive pronation which in turn may be the reason of shin splints shin, splints compromise ankle mobility which makes calf muscle tissue tight.
Aging. As we grow older, we lose flexibility in our musculoskeletal system. This is called decreased joint range of motion. As we age, our bodies tend to stiffen up. This is a natural part of the aging process, but it can make it more difficult to move, and even painful in some cases. As we get older, we have to work harder to stay fit, which often leads to more aches and pains. Staying active as you get older is essential, but you have to be sure to stretch your muscles and tendons regularly to avoid tightness and pain. We are going to share some tips with you today about how to stretch your calf muscles and how to keep them flexible and strong.
How to fix tight calf muscles
The muscles in your calves usually relax when you stand or exercise for a while. The more stretching you do, the more they'll get relaxed. This is because when your calf muscles are tight, they work harder and this leads to more fatigue and inflammation. To make matters worse, your calves tend to stay tight, even when you exercise.
The best stretch for calf muscles is doing downward facing dog pose. This asana stretches and strengthens the whole body, and is especially good for tight calves, which are being stretched at the same time that they are strengthened. This pose is a great choice to fix tight calves issue.
Compression Band Flossing of Calf Muscles
Compression floss band treatment is an excellent adjunct to a stretching therapy. They are safe for majority of people. We recommend doing this along with applying of voodoo floss bands on ankle explained in another article.
How Do you Voodoo Floss a Calf
You'll need a single floss band for one leg. If you have strong big calves then maybe high compression floss bands is the best option for you. Don't do this if you have varicose veins.
There is no best compression floss band for everyone. Try different brands and compression levels.
- Start at the bottom and work your way to the top, start with the legs straight.
- Wrap around the calf. Do about 50 percent tension with each wrap. Try to cover the last wrap with
- about fifty percent coverage. Go your way from the Achilles tendon up over the calf muscle itself.
- As you reach the top, leave a little bit of slack so that you can tuck the band in at the top.
- Have the patient flex and extend the foot (point and flex the toe) during a minute in a non weight bearing position.
- Have the patient stand up and mobilize the calf coming up on both toes. Do that for another minute.