If you’ve been thinking about starting a fitness program, you might have seen the term “Kinesio taping” mentioned somewhere. The truth is, you will find a lot of people who say they work with kinesiology tape in the fitness industry. But what is it, and how does it work?
Kinesiology tape is a special type of tape that can be used to help relieve pain, support muscles/joints, and improve blood circulation. Kinesiology taping is gaining popularity in the sports medicine rehabilitation and sports performance industries because of its effectiveness in decreasing pain, increasing range of motion, and accelerating healing time.
Today, many athletes use Kinesiology on the field for injury prevention and in rehabilitation to protect against upcoming injuries too.
How to Use Kinesiology Tape?
Here are the steps to properly use Kinesiology tape:
Step #1: Pick the Right Tape
There are many different types of kinesiology tape on the market. It is important to pick the right type of tape for your needs. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to choose Hypoallergenic Kinesiology Tape. If you are looking for a tape that will stay in place during strenuous activity, you may want to choose an athletic tape.
There are also tapes specifically designed for different body parts, such as the knee or the shoulder. Cotton fibers are good adhesives because they are strong and flexible. It is also breathable and comfortable against your skin.
Hampton Adams Premium Kinesiology Tape is an affordable and the right fit option. Made from elastic cotton fibers woven together with an acrylic adhesive coating on the backside, the fibers allow it to stretch and conform to your skin without being too tight or painful. They also allow it to mold around curves in your body like muscles, making them more comfortable than other taping solutions such as traditional athletic tape or elastic bandages.
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Step #2: Prepare the Skin Surface
Preparing the skin’s surface is the first step to getting the kinesiology tape to stick. You want to make sure the area you are taping is clean and dry before applying the tape. Clean and exfoliate your skin before applying kinesiology tape. This will keep the adhesive on the tape from coming off prematurely when it comes into contact with sweat or water during exercise or physical activity.
Once it’s been cleaned, dry your skin thoroughly. If you’re applying the tape over an area that’s already wet from sweating or water, the adhesive may not stick well.
If you have sensitive skin or are worried about allergic reactions, you can apply a little bit of rubbing alcohol or witch hazel to the area first. This will help remove any oils from your skin and make it less likely for any sensitivity issues to occur.
Step #3: Pull the Tape to Stretch
To get the kinesiology tape to stick, it is important to pull the tape to stretch it before applying it. This helps ensure that the tape will adhere properly and not come off easily.
When stretching the tape, be sure to pull it firmly but not too forcefully. You should feel a gentle tugging sensation, but the tape should not feel like it is being ripped. If you pull too hard, the adhesive on the tape may be damaged and will not stick.
It is also important to make sure that the area of the skin you are applying the tape to is clean and dry. If there is moisture on the skin, the tape will not adhere either. Before applying the tape, remove any oils or lotions from the skin.
Step #4: Place the Tape in the Correct Position
Apply the tape directly over the muscle belly; this may vary depending on your personal preference. If there are knots or thick areas in your muscle, try placing your kinesiology tape further away from these areas so that it doesn’t cut off circulation or cause irritation. When applying the tape, start at one end and smooth it down as you go. Be careful not to stretch the tape too much, as this can reduce its effectiveness.
Applying the tape in the direction of muscle movement will ensure that the tape can do its job properly by providing support and stability to the muscles and joints. Start at the least painful point when placing the tape and work your way outwards.
Step #5: Press to Secure the Tape
Before you begin your taping session, it is important to press down on the tape to make sure it is secure. You can do this by pressing on the edges of the tape with your fingers or by using a roller.
When you are ready to apply the tape, you will need to pull the skin slightly. This will help to create a smooth surface for the tape to adhere to.
Once you have pulled the skin, you can then place the tape on the desired area. Make sure to smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles.
After you have placed the tape, it is important to press down on it again. This will help to ensure that the tape is secure and will not come off easily.
Step #6: Pat the Tape to Activate the Adhesive
Once you’ve applied the tape, you can use a hair dryer to help activate the adhesive. The heat will make the adhesive stick better to your skin and give it a longer life span. You can also pat the tape with your hand or let someone else do it for you. The heat will activate the adhesive and make it stick better.
Common Mistakes When Applying Kinesiology Tape
If you don’t know how to apply the tape properly, it can do more harm than good. Here are some mistakes people make when applying their kinesiology tape:
- Sticking it too tightly or too loosely
If you have a lot of swelling, then you might want to apply your Kinesiology Tape more loosely than usual. Otherwise, if you apply it too tightly, it could restrict blood flow and cause bruising or other problems.
- Failing to remove the backing completely before sticking down your tape job
Suppose there’s still a little bit of backing on when you stick down your Kinesiology Tape. In that case, it can cause problems such as bunching up or peeling off prematurely due to excessive friction from movement or sweating.
- Inadequate layers
Failing to apply enough layers of tape over each will not create an adequate amount of pressure on the affected area. As a result, there will be no blood circulation or pain relief benefits.
Essential Tips to Remember When Applying Kinesiology Tape
- The edges should be completely stuck down. The tape should not be able to be peeled back at any point on your skin. If you’re having trouble with this, make sure that the area is clean before applying the tape and that you’re using enough pressure when sticking it down.
- It shouldn’t hurt when applied correctly or when removed from your skin. If it does, stop immediately and see if you can find an alternative solution for whatever issue you were trying to address with the tape.
- You should only wear one strip of tape at a time and no more than three unless otherwise directed by a doctor or physical therapist. This is because once the adhesive starts losing its stickiness, additional layers won’t stick effectively anymore either.
- If you’re applying the tape yourself, trim off any excess hair with scissors for easier application over body curves and joints such as elbows, knees, ankles, and wrists. Make sure your hands are clean before starting, so there’s no grease or dirt from your fingers.
- Choose an area where there are no sensitive structures such as nerves or blood vessels. This will prevent the likelihood of irritation when placing the tape. For example, avoid placing it directly over your spine or chest area.
- Wear loose clothing so that it does not restrict your movements while applying or removing the tape from your skin. You should also avoid wearing sharp jewelry such as rings while using Kinesiology Tape. These accessories can break through the material easily if you move around too much.
Following the above strategies will get your tape job to last for an extended period and help you recover quickly while exercising without pain. The key thing to remember is that kinesiology tape sticks better to skin than hair. This makes it important to properly prepare the skin and other body parts you are planning on taping before applying the actual tape.
Be sure to go with a quality product that will make you comfortable. This can help ensure that the tape will stick for the duration of your activities without losing its hold, ripping off, or creasing.