vertical jump training

Voodoo Band Sissy Squats

Written by Jack Woodrup for Verticaljumping.com

As someone who has suffered numerous run ins with jumpers knee over the years I am always looking at different ways to help manage or alleviate it so that I can continue to train hard and play the sport that I love (for me this is basketball).

Generally the treatments are pretty well known. Ice, rest, stretching, eccentric strengthening, anti-inflammatories and so on are all things we are pretty familiar with. However, even with all of that, like most people who have had jumpers knee, I still occasionally get a bit of a flare up. However, those flare ups now occur less often and when they do happen they are also much less severe. For this I have to give a lot of credit to the regular use of the Voodoo Sissy Squat.


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WHAT IS A VOODOO SISSY SQUAT?

As the name suggests the Voodoo sissy squat a sissy squat performed while wearing a Voodoo compression band. I could explain what all that means in writing but I think a video is probably going to be a bit easier so check it out.

So why does this work in helping prevent and reduce knee pain? First up one of the most common causes of knee pain is bad patella tracking which is often a symptom of tight quads and a weak or misfiring Vastus Medialis Oblique (VMO). This is the tear drop shaped muscle that sits above the knee cap. The Voodoo sissy squat works well because it is one of the best exercises I have found to really target the VMO itself.

Second, the Voodoo compression bands work incredibly well at helping the tendons, ligaments, fascia and muscle around the knee move freely. I am no expert on exactly how it does this but the idea is that the compression of the Voodoo bands pins the inflamed patella tendon down while you are doing the sissy squats which allows the rest of the connective tissues to move more freely again.

When you combine the two you get a really great way to strengthen the quads, stretch them at the same time, and because of the Voodoo bands compression of the tendon itself, it also helps alleviate the knee pain that you already have.

HOW TO USE THE VOODOO SISSY SQUAT

I have been using this exercise in a number of ways. Firstly I use it as a warm up before all my leg workouts. I do 3 quick sets of 15 reps using just bodyweight while wearing the Voodoo bands. This sets my knees up for a pain free workout. At the end of my strength sessions I also do one more all out set of about 25 reps to help undo any damage I may have inadvertently caused during the workout. This is purely preventative though.

The other way I use this is a form of analgesic type exercise. I have found that the reduction in pain from using the Voodoo sissy squats is not permanent but it does seem to last a few hours. If I happen to wake up the next day after a hard training session or a game of basketball I like to quickly wrap my knee and do 2 quick sets of 20 using bodyweight.

ANYTHING ELSE TO KNOW

There are 2 things I want to quickly address about performing Voodoo sissy squats. First up some people will tell you that sissy squats are bad for your knees. They are not talking about the version I do on the machine but instead are referring to the version done on the balls of your feet shown below.

sissy squat

Old School Sissy Squats: Perform At Your Own Risk


The version I do on the sissy squat bench is actually very easy on my knees. You will however note that I don't use much weight (bodyweight mostly although I do occasionally ramp up the intensity a little using a weight vest and some weight plates held in front of me). FYI - I bought my sissy squat bench off Amazon.com for less than $200 and the Voodoo bands come from Roguefitness.com and are very cheap also.

ABOUT THE VOODOO BANDS

When I first came across the Voodoo bands it was because of this video at the MobilityWOD site.

At first I thought it was a load of rubbish but I am open minded enough to keep an open mind and so I bought a pair of the Voodoo bands and tried them for myself and I am really glad I did as they have been great.

If you are interested in learning a bit more about the Voodoo bands and how else to use them in managing soft tissue injuries go to the MobilityWOD site as there is a whole bunch of interesting stuff. It is definitely worth checking out.

CONCLUSION

When it comes to jumpers knee you always have to be diligent about monitoring the severity and backing off accordingly, and about preventative measures. I still spend 15 minutes EVERY day stretching and foam rolling my quads, hips and IT bands.

Voodoo sissy squats certainly aren't a cure either, but they have proven to be a very effective means of helping me manage how often and how severe the flare ups have been.

Even if you don't currently suffer from jumper's knee I would recommend this exercise as a great way to help prevent you from getting it. Voodoo sissy squats will help with VMO strength and ensure that the connective tissue around the tendon isn't constricted, both important elements in having healthy functioning knees.

RELATED ARTICLES

Jumpers Knee - What is it and what can you do about it.

Knee Pain and How To Fix it Part 1 - Knee pain is a jumpers worst nightmare. How to prevent yourself getting, and how fix it if you have it.

Foam Rolling for Faster Gains - Like stretching, foam rolling should be an integral part of your vertical jump program.

Vertical Mastery - How does Vertical Mastery compare to the other programs available? Vertical Mastery is the best.



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