BACKGROUND: Effective warm-up routines result in less muscle soreness post-exercise, a lower risk of injury, and an enhanced performance output ability. Existing research has shown promising effects of muscle tissue flossing, a novel method of warming up in which a latex band is used to apply pressure to a specific area in the body. The purpose of this study was to determine how active, healthy college students respond to flossing applied to both a joint as well as soft tissue in the lower extremities, focusing on the ankle joint and calf muscle. METHODS: This study utilized a randomized crossover study design. Floss bands were applied bilaterally to either the ankles or calves for each of two visits and remained in place for a total of two minutes. The bands were applied at 50% tension and 50% overlap. Subjects walked around post-band removal to regain blood flow before completing each of the three outcome tests. Twenty minutes post-treatment, each of the three outcome tests were repeated. Subjects (n=7, 86% female, age 22.1±1.9 yrs) completed tests on power (vertical countermovement jump test (VJ)), range of motion (weight-bearing lunge test (WBLT)), and balance (dynamic leap and balance test (DLBT)) that were compared between the two flossing treatment sites via paired sample t-tests. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in performance between the immediate post-treatment and the 20-minute post-treatment outcome measures, aside from DLBT number of right-side errors (3.1±2.5 vs 2.4±1.8, p=0.047) and DLBT left-side time (39.00±4.40 s vs 36.30±3.68s, p=0.007) for the ankle treatment and WBLT straight left leg (57.6±7.5° vs 54.9±6.6°, p=0.004) and DLBT right-side time (41.10±8.38s vs 36.00±5.94s, p=0.042) for the calf treatment. The calf and ankle treatment sites were equally effective for each of the outcome measures, aside from a significant difference found for the VJ immediately following removal of the floss bands in favor of the ankle site (0.44±0.11m) over the calf site (0.42±0.10m, p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Active college students’ power, range of motion, and balance responded equally to floss band application to a joint and soft tissue area in the lower extremities. The floss band treatment may be a feasible warm-up option, especially for those looking to not increase their exercise load. Application to either the ankle joint or the soft tissue of the calf may be an option.

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