What is Kinesiology Tape and How Does it Work?

Recovery
Training & Fitness

Kinesiology is a study of movement, and the aptly named kinesiology tape, or kinesio tape as it is commonly known, is a flexible tape which can aid muscle movement. You’ve probably seen loads of professional and every-day athletes with bright pink or blue tape over their muscles. Find out how Kinesiology tape works and how it can benefit you.

What Does Kinesiology Tape Do?

Originally developed to boost athlete performance, kinesio tape is a support for joints and muscles, designed to reduce swelling & inflammation, relieve pain, and aid recovery.

How Does Kinesio Tape Actually Work Though?

According to experts, the tape stimulates blood vessels for increased blood flow where applied. This increases oxygen supply to the affected areas, reducing swelling, and acting as a drainage system for lactic acid produced by hard-working muscles. Kinesiology tape - when applied correctly - then aids recovery and allows greater freedom of movement in injured areas.

When Should You Use Kinesiology Tape?

Kinesiology tape should be applied at least 1 hour before working out or doing any running. This allows the tape time to bond with the skin and work around the affected areas.

Can I Apply Kinesio Tape Myself?

You absolutely can apply the tape yourself, however it’s always a good idea to get guidance from a physio or sports therapist on first use.

How Do I Apply Kinesiology Tape

There are 3 typical cuts of kinesiology tape; I Strip, Y Strip, and Lymphatic Fan.

I Strip: Single piece of tape used along a larger muscle or pain point, such as the hamstring
Y Strip: Single piece of tape cut up the middle to a certain point, creating a “Y” shape. Suitable for creating angular coverage or moving across different muscles, for example on the quad
Lymphatic Fan: Good for swelling reduction, a Lymphatic Fan cut is where an ‘I Strip” is cut to create 3 or 4 tails.

Tape is applied by stretching over the affected muscle area. Always stretch the muscle, not the tape. If the tape over-stretches, then friction or recoil will mean the tape isn’t as effective, or even cause irritation.

Good application can last days! Tape sticks best to skin, not to other tape, so always apply directly to the skin. Clean, dry skin is best, as moisture, oils, or wax can stop it from sticking. Shaven skin is also a good recommendation, as no one likes ripping tape off hair and tape doesn’t stick to skin as well when hair is in the way!

How Long Should I Leave KT Tape on For?

Kinesio tape can last for an average of 3-4 days. You should always try to apply the tape around an hour before your activity for maximum bonding.

If your tape doesn’t last very long, it’s either been applied incorrectly, or is a low quality tape. Our range of Kinesio tape is high quality for effective use.

When Should You Not Use Kinesiology Tape?

Don’t use Kinesio tape if you are allergic to adhesives. You should also avoid taping over open wounds or infectious areas.

What Do the Colours of Kinesio Tape Mean?

Absolutely nothing. Whatever colour you choose to use has the same chemical & physical makeup and will have the exact same impact in use. Some people prefer to match tape colours to outfits, others like a neutral colour to be similar to the skin. Beside personal preference - it makes zero difference.

Shop Kinesiology Tape at Greaves

Kinesiology tape can have excellent benefits across any sport in recovery and performance around injuries. Whatever sport you play, a roll of kinesio tape is a good item to have on standby. Shop kinesiology tape at Greaves, available in a range of colours.

Shop Kinesiology Tape

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