Flossing – the new fitness trend

Seems a bit strange at first, but it’s very effective: Flossing involves tying off individual body parts with a rubber band and then giving them a targeted workout. The new trend comes from the therapy sector and is increasingly finding its way into recreational sports.

“Flossing is mainly used after injuries to treat pain and swelling. But it can do much more. Right after the first applications, you can feel how effective this method is,” says Kay Bartrow, a physiotherapist from Balingen, who has published a book on the subject.

Hands, shoulders, knees, feet or back – the Flossband is applied to the parts of the body that hurt or that are to be specifically trained. The even pressure significantly reduces blood flow. “As soon as the raft band is put on, the exercise time starts running,” explains physiotherapist Kay Batrow. After three minutes, the band must be taken off again. “That’s why you should determine the exercises for the flossing workout beforehand,” he advises.

During the movement, muscles, fascia, nerves and ligaments rub against each other. This loosens adhesions and makes joints more flexible. At the same time, the tissue is squeezed out like a sponge to fill it with new nutrient-rich fluid when the ligament is removed. The compression effect also increases metabolism. To get the blood flow going again after the band is tied, the exercises are repeated without the fin band for another five minutes.

Sports professionals also use flossing

Flossing also helps if you have twisted your knee or twisted your ankle. It starts important metabolic processes for regeneration, reduces swelling, and prevents fluid from running down. In addition to sports professionals, more and more recreational athletes are also taking advantage of this trend. Flossing even prevents sports injuries. Many exercises you can do yourself at home. Only in case of open skin injuries, latx allergy, vascular and cardiac diseases should not be flossed. If tingling or numbness occurs, remove the tape immediately. In most cases, the symptoms will also subside immediately. The band can then be reapplied slightly offset. Reduce the pressure.

Flossing exercises

Lower back

Tape length: two meters. To put on the tape you need a second person. The wrap starts above the pelvis and ends at the lower ribcage. The band should not press too much into the abdomen and still leave enough space for breathing. Repeat all exercises 15 – 20 times.

Rotate: Place both hands crossed over shoulders. Tighten the abdominal muscles and use them to fix the pelvis. Then slowly rotate the upper body to the right and left. The radius and speed of rotation can be increased slowly. Then move the upper body sideways downwards. Slowly bend in the lumbar spine. Do not make jerky movements.

Stretch: Lie on stomach, rest elbows on floor, press torso upward while pulling shoulder blades back. For diagonal stretch, grasp opposite foot with one hand and pull toward buttocks. Alternate sides.

Flossing on the knee

Begin wrapping below the knee and fix above the kneecap. The tensile strength should be strongest where there is a problem.

Knee stretch: lie on your back and place a towel roll or ball under the knee. Then lift the heel off the floor, pressing the back of the knee against the pad. To bend the knee in prone position, lift the leg and press the heel toward the buttocks. Do not make jerky movements.

Step-up: Place the flopped leg on a stair (2nd step) or a stable stool. Keep center of body and leg axis stable. Then pull up, hold up for one second and put down again.

For the shoulder

Start wrapping two to three fingers’ width below the pain site or in the middle of the upper arm to above the acromion.

Raise arm: Raise arm up to vertical. Keep the elbow slightly bent. Start slowly, then increase the size and speed of the movements. Then move the arm sideways with the other hand to the center of the body and move it outward again.

Rotate shoulder: Take a dumbbell in the hand with the shoulder flopped, bend the arm 90 degrees. Then the upper arm is at shoulder level and the dumbbell is pointing up. Bend the elbow 90 degrees as well. The forearm points towards the floor. Then move the forearm back up, with the dumbbell pointing toward the ceiling.

More exercises in the book by Kay Bartrow with DVD: “Flossing – Richtig anlegen und wirksam ├╝ben”, TRIAS Verlag, 25 euros.

Text: Dietlinde Besch