Whatever your sport, avoiding or mitigating injuries is as important as logging miles or sessions. But if you find yourself toeing the line between pushing it too far or sitting on the sidelines, one preventative measure can help support your body so you can keep training: kinesiology therapeutic tape. Utilizing this elastic tape to reduce injuries and boost performance isn’t a revolutionary idea in exercise science—especially when integrated with other body maintenance and recovery best practices. Using the right tape effectively, however? Now that’s another story.
And it’s not just elite athletes who can benefit, either. You don’t need to resemble the colorfully taped Olympic beach volleyball champs who come to mind. When applied correctly, kinesiology tape can ease pain, mitigate injuries, and reduce post-workout muscle soreness in mortal athletes engaged in any type of outdoor exertion or active venture. Here’s how.
Choose a High-Quality Tape
Not surprisingly, not all kinesiology tapes are created equally. When you compare options, look for one that offers non-restrictive movement so you can continue to train comfortably. High-quality adhesives help tape to last longer, offering more support to the target area before, during, and after a workout. KT Tape Pro stands up to your toughest workouts. Made from synthetic fibers featuring an elastic core, this performance tape provides more support than cotton kinesiology tape without restricting movement. The adhesive also lasts four to seven days through sweat, swims, and showers—meaning it’s an easy addition to a daily, or even weekly, routine. Plus, rounded corners on each strip reduce snags and peeling.
Learn Correct Taping Techniques
Sure, your old-school gym trainer’s tape can provide support in a pinch. And modernizing to a kinesiology tape can address a number of common athletic injuries. But creating the perfect balance of support and flexibility is an art. One of the most common errors? Applying the tape right before activity. It needs an hour to adhere; proper advance application time helps it last for days (vs. hours) of continuous use. Strips should also be sized long enough to cover the affected area without stretching 1.5 inches at either end. KT Tape Pro comes in pre-cut strips that take the guesswork out of taping. But before you even take the backing off the tape, watch a video to learn the proper taping technique for the target area (or areas) you’re experiencing pain. KT Tape has a library of 35+ video tutorials to help you utilize the tape like a pro. Seriously, you’ll feel like you just walked out of your PT’s office.
Prep Your Skin Before Applying
Once you have a game plan, it’s time to prep your skin before applying the tape. Remove any lotions, body oils, or sunscreen. You may want to trim excess body hair. Then, wipe down your skin with rubbing alcohol and let the area dry before applying the tape directly to your skin. For best results, apply KT Tape at least an hour before training. Removal is painless and simple even with body hair, where first applying some baby or mineral oil to the tape, or peeling off in the shower, can also help.
Watch: How to Apply KT Tape
Make Kinesiology Tape Part of Your Movement Routine
Kinesiology tape isn’t just helpful for supporting muscle groups and injuries during training. If soreness affects your ability to stick to a movement routine, KT Tape can help your body recover by supporting sore muscles and joints before, during, and after your workout. Studies have shown kinesiology tape helps to aid recovery and reduce soreness by up to 50 percent when worn during and at least 48 hours after exercise. Integrate it into your routine as general preventative (eg. tape before, foam-roll after) and as a key body-maintenance tool to keep you out there performing with less pain and risk of injury.
KT Tape moves with you so you can crush every moment and unleash your potential. The product provides long-lasting support and pain relief for muscles, tendons, and ligaments for anyone who loves to move, wherever your adventures take you.
This content was originally published here.