Heard about kinesiology tape and wondering how it can help? Here, we take a look at the theory behind it, how to use it, and also pick some of the best kinesiology tape deals on the market.
Why use kinesiology tape?
Kinesiology tape is thought to help support muscle recovery by gently lifting skin away to reduce joint irritation and allow for a better flow of blood and lymphatic fluid. This improved circulation is then, in turn, thought to aid the recovery process and reduce swelling and inflammation.
Applying kinesiology tape is a temporary solution, which many fitness professionals use to reduce pain and get through specific sporting events.
People use it for a whole range of different injuries, including Achilles tendinitis, hamstring pulls and carpal tunnel syndrome. Some people even find that it comes in handy for treating back pain and improving posture.
Remember, if you have any health concerns at all, or are worried about injuries, always consult a doctor, pharmacist or chartered physiotherapist first.
How do you apply kinesiology tape?
Before you start applying kinesiology tape, make sure you clean and dry your skin, and trim any excess hair.
You’ll need to decide on the shape you’d like to create with the tape. A single line can support and relax muscles, while a Y-shape can reduce tension in tight muscles. Use an X figure for limiting pain and boosting circulation, or create a fan with multiple lines of tape to reduce inflammation and push tissue fluid away from congested areas.
Remember, you’ll need to tape certain body parts and injuries in different ways, so it’s always worth looking up how to deal with your specific issue. For a basic introduction to taping, take a look at this how-to video:
The best kinesiology tapes to support muscle recovery
RockTape H2O Black Logo Tape
As one of the most popular options on the market, RockTape is an option to consider when it comes to muscle recovery. In fact, it’s the first choice for more than 45,000 medical professionals across the globe, according to the brand.
RockTape is designed to provide the same amount of elasticity as your skin to promote natural movement. It’s made from 97% cotton and 3% nylon, with the brand claiming it should absorb minimal moisture and stay in place for up to five days.
The tape comes with a hypoallergenic adhesive backing in order to minimise any irritation once it’s in place.
PhysioRoom Pink Kinesiology Tape
- Buy now from Amazon (£4.19)
Since it was founded in 2000, PhysioRoom has become a trusted brand in the fitness world and is said to be used by the NHS and private physios alike.
This 5cm kinesiology tape has useful tearaway strips to help you create I and Y shapes and easily adapt the tape to your own recovery needs.
As for the construction, PhysioRoom’s kinesiology tape is made with 95% cotton and 5% spandex for plenty of elasticity. The brand says this tape has a strong adhesive backing, which should help it stay in place for three to five days – even if you take showers.
Ultimate Performance Kinesiology Tape
Ultimate Performance is widely considered to offer one of the best kinesiology tapes when it comes to stickiness. The brand’s version is said to be able to stay on for up to seven days, and is also claimed to be water resistant to survive showers during the week.
The tape is also hypoallergenic and completely free from latex, which should make it more suitable for people with sensitive skin.
Unlike some other kinesiology tapes on the market, this roll is made entirely from cotton, yet is said to be as stretchy as human skin.
KT Tape Pro Synthetic Jet Black
Moving away from standard designs, KT Tape has created a slightly different muscle aid here. It’s completely synthetic and comes with reflective detailing for visibility in low light.
The tape arrives pre-cut into strips measuring 25 x 5cm – you’ll get 20 in this pack. The brand says they’ll stick to your skin for up to seven days and are also claimed to be water resistant for extra grippiness.
Boots Kinesiology Tape
Boots has created its own line of latex-free kinesiology tape, which represents a convenient and budget-friendly option for anyone in need of a quick fix.
As with all the best kinesiology tapes, you’ll get a claimed water resistant yet breathable adhesive tape that’s said to stay in place for around five days.
Thanks to the thin design, the tape should mould to your skin for a comfortable fit.
PhysioRoom Union Jack Kinesiology Tape
To give your kit a patriotic touch, choose this fun tape from PhysioRoom. Finished with the Union Flag design, it’s one of the best kinesiology tapes for anyone that wants to add a bit of colour to their race days and competitions. You can even spot the Great British Ice Hockey teams sporting this colourful tape!
It comes with all the features you’d expect from a high-quality tape, including an ultra-thin design and medical grade, heat-sensitive acrylic adhesive.
The brand says you should expect to get between three and five days of use from this patriotic tape.
Meglio Kinesiology Tape
- Buy now from Amazon (£7.99)
If you find yourself feeling slightly self-conscious about wearing kinesiology tape or you want to avoid taking focus away from your kit, this option could be perfect. It swaps neon colours for beige to match in with certain skin tones.
It’s said to be hypoallergenic, lightweight and water resistant, so on paper it’s another high-quality choice for athletes and sports enthusiasts. It’s also designed to provide a good amount of stretch and is said to last for up to five days once applied.
GSPCARE Pre-Cut Y Kinesiology Tape
- Buy now from Amazon (£7.99)
For maximum convenience, try GSPCare’s pre-cut kinesiology tape. It arrives as ready-made strips, which is said to be more effective and last longer than shapes you cut yourself.
This tape is made from breathable cotton material and is finished with a corrugated rubber upper to apply pressure to your muscles. As you’d expect, the brand says you can keep it on in the shower and it’ll remain glued to your skin.