How To Get Kinesiology Tape To Stick
So you’ve invested in kinesiology tape and are excited to use it. But it starts peeling off long before the minimum three days it’s supposed to last. How frustrating! Before you write off the tape or the brand as unworkable, stop. Are you applying it correctly? There are many factors that could be affecting how well the tape adheres to your skin. Below is a list of tips that will help improve your ability to make the tape stick.
Preparing the Skin
- Remove excess body hair. Kinesiology tape is made to stick to the skin. If there is too much hair, the tape won’t stay on. If you have a lot of hair, it is best to shave it. If you can’t bear that, cut it very short so that the tape can touch the skin. It needs to touch the skin to stick.
- Wash the skin with warm water and soap. Follow up with astringent, rubbing alcohol or non-perfumed hand sanitizer to remove any unseen particles. Any traces of oils, sweat, or lotion will interfere with the adhesive.
- Let the skin dry completely. The tape will not stick if it is applied to skin that is even a little moist.
Preparing the Tape
- Round the corners. If you are cutting your own tape, be sure to round the corners. This will prevent the ends from catching on clothing or curling up.
Applying the Tape
- Don’t touch the sticky side of the tape. The oils from your fingers will coat the adhesive and prevent it from sticking to your skin.
- Always apply anchors at the ends. The tape will stick better when you leave 2-3 inches of unstretched tape at each end.
- Do not overstretch the tape. Instead, make sure that the muscle you are supporting is fully stretched when you apply the tape. When the muscle is around or across a joint such as the knee or elbow, that means having the body part in its most bent position. That way the tape will already be at maximum stretch.
- Be sure you are taping properly. Kinesiology tape is applied in exact formations to provide support for specific injuries or conditions. For training on proper taping techniques, consult with your physiotherapist or other healthcare provider.
- Make sure that the strips end on the skin. The adhesive used in kinesiology tape is designed to stick to skin, not clothing or other pieces of tape.
- Rub the tape from the center to the ends. This will activate the adhesive. By starting in the center you don’t accidentally lift the ends while rubbing.
- Prevent the ends from curling up by minimizing contact with clothing, other body parts or workout equipment.
- Use a tape adhesive on the ends to help them stick even better. A more economical solution is hairspray.
- Apply the tape a minimum of one hour before a wet or sweaty activity. This will give the adhesive time to bond to the skin.
Kinesiology tape provides excellent support both for workouts or recovery. Follow the above tips to help the tape stick so you can get maximum benefit.