Context: Given the relatively novel technique of tissue flossing is currently lacking in the research literature despite some positive findings in preliminary studies, the modality clearly requires further research. Current evidence suggests that band flossing results in performance improvements and may also be an effective method in injury prevention. Objective: Previous research has shown that tissue flossing may result in increased ankle range of motion, jump, and sprinting performance in recreational athletes. The present study aims to extend on this research, within an elite athlete sample. Design: Counterbalanced, cross-over design with experimental and control trials, separated by 1 week. Setting: University laboratory. Participants: Fourteen professional male rugby union athletes (mean [SD]: age 23.9 [2.7] y). Intervention: Application of a floss band to both ankles (FLOSS) for 2 minutes or without flossing of the ankle joints (CON) on 2 separate occasions. Main Outcome Measures: A weight-bearing lunge test, a countermovement jump test, and a 20-m sprint test at pre and at 5 and 30 minutes post application of the floss band or control. Results: There were no statistically significant interactions between treatment (FLOSS/CON) and time for any of the measured variables (P > .05). Effect size analysis revealed small benefits for FLOSS in comparison with CON for countermovement performance 5 minutes post (d = 0.28) and for 10-m (d = −0.45) and 15-m (d = −0.24) sprint time 30 minutes post. Conclusion: Findings from the current study suggest minimal benefits of tissue flossing when applied to the ankle joint in elite athletes for up to 30 minutes following their application.
Blair Mills, Brad Mayo, Francisco Tavares and Matthew Driller
Francisco Tavares, Martyn Beaven, Júlia Teles, Dane Baker, Phil Healey, Tiaki B. Smith and Matthew Driller
Purpose: Although the acute effects of cold-water immersion (CWI) have been widely investigated, research analyzing the effects of CWI over a chronic period in highly trained athletes is scarce. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of CWI during an intense 3-wk preseason phase in elite rugby athletes. Methods: A total of 23 elite male rugby union athletes were randomized to either CWI (10 min at 10°C, n = 10) or a passive recovery control (CON, n = 13) during 3 wk of high-volume training. Athletes were exposed to either CWI or CON after each training day (12 d in total). Running loads, conditioning, and gym sessions were kept the same between groups. Measures of countermovement jump, perceived muscle soreness, and wellness were obtained twice a week, and saliva samples for determining cortisol and interleukin-6 were collected once per week. Results: Although no significant differences were observed between CWI and CON for any measure, CWI resulted in lower fatigue markers throughout the study as demonstrated by the moderate effects on muscle soreness (d = 0.58–0.91) and interleukin-6 (d = −0.83) and the small effects (d = 0.23–0.38) on countermovement jump in comparison with CON. Conclusions: CWI may provide some beneficial effect by reducing fatigue and soreness during an intense 3-wk training phase in elite rugby athletes.