If you’re a sports fan you must of seen the recent appearance of coloured tape on some of your favourite athletes? These are Kinesiology tapes, but have you ever wondered what it’s all about?
Pro Athletes using Kinesiology Tape
Kinesiology tape was invented by Dr Kenzo Kase, a Japaneese chyropracter almost 30 years ago, with Sumo wrestlers in Japan starting the trend! It was Dr Kase’s answer to relieve pain without the use of drugs and surgery. In simple terms it’s an elastic tape you can apply to the body to aid relief and offer support. While offering more flexibility than traditional joint taping, because it allows you to continue ranges of movement, supports tissue, tendons, ligaments and muscle as well as joints.
Couple the visual style and individuality with visible high profile product placement by pro athletes, and you have a product that plays straight into the marketing 101 handbook. So much so the demand is ever growing, KT Tape is one of many companies vying for a share of this ever increasing market.
What they say
KT TAPE is an elastic sports and fitness tape designed for muscle, ligament and tendon pain relief and support.
For our test we used the KT TAPE PRO, in blaze Orange, although available in a multitude of colours: Black, Purple, Green, Yellow, Lazer Blue, Sonic Blu, Red, Beige & Pink!
A Pro roll, which includes 20 pre cut strips will set you back a cool £22.99.
1 x Roll of KT TAPE PRO encased in a handy circular plastic travel case
1 x instructional pamphlet.
100% SYNTHETIC microfibres
UltraLite Elastic Core – 4x stronger than cotton
SecondSkin K30 Adhesive that lasts 2-3x longer than cotton
Precut ‘I’ strips for easy handling
Reflective safety signs for use in the dark
Latex free for sensitive skin
Roll dimensions: 4.9M x 5cm
The supporting pamphlet that accompanies the tape provides ample info on the common applications. But what most impressed me was the level of further info and after care given free of charge on the site and via Twitter. With downloadable PDF instructional guides for each application on each body part, and a library of videos available through YouTube demonstrating in detail how to apply your tape.
The tape uses “SecondSkin” adhesion tech, which should ensure it would stay put even through sweat, sand, mud, water or almost anything else you could throw at it, and largely it came through my tests. Staying put after a swim, sauna and shower, with just a little frailty towards the ends, especially so on the halved strips.
I would throw a word of advise in. If like me you are of a hairy disposition, then the adhesion is not as effective. So if serious about it’s application you might want to consider shaving the area in question.
I’ve suffered from runners knee of late, so went for the knee application as noted on the site.
The Science Bit
I won’t be going heavy into the science here, mainly because I’m not qualified on any level to pass a judgement! The only thing I would say is there are doubters, with a lack of good research published and validated. But there are also believers. In fact some physios swear by the results! These days physios are highly regarded members of pro athlete backroom staff, so that alone should be proof enough shouldn’t it?
While I had my tape on, the pain previously felt from my knee was relieved. Even when going to the gym and squatting my usual 5 sets of 5 it supported my usual range of movement, with little sign of the pain. There have been allegations of “Placebo affect” with this type of tape, and to an extent I can sympathize, especially in an adrenaline fueled sporting activity such a visual aid can fool the mind. But the pain was subdued even during the day in work. Hidden under my trousers, walking up and down the stairs and sitting by the desk offered little pain, so I can vouch that the tape did make a difference.
Anyone who’s training for a specific goal such as a mud run, triathlon, personal fitness goals or is just an active person in general will tell you pain or injury can knock you’re confidence, and slow you’re progress right down to a standstill. Or even worse you start loosing those hard earned GAINS! KT Tape offers an option to relieve that pain and offer support, even if it is a “placebo affect” (which I personally doubt). It adheres to the skin through the toughest of tests, and if not anything else it makes you look the business! (just like KT Tape athlete, two time Olympic gold beach volleyball medalist, Kerri Walsh).
(Credit: photos google images)
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siI’m a Welshman born and raised in the shadow of Snowdonia, and you could say the Mountains are in my blood with a name like Tryfan! I would class myself as a relative newcomer to the outdoor pursuits arena, and so my articles will be my attempt to chronicle my adventures, hopefully learning as I go and giving those that are in a similar boat an insight / forum to share and learn.