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Home > Blog > Blog > How to Apply Kinesiology Tape
How to Apply Kinesiology Tape

How to Apply Kinesiology Tape

Kinesiology tape is a lightweight elastic tape used in the sports and fitness world. It is used to provide pain relief to muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It offers support to an affected area of the body such as the neck, knees, shoulder, ankle, or wrist without restricting movement. 

Here is a comprehensive guide on the process by which you can apply kinesiology tape on your skin safely.

Applying Kinesiology Tape

If you’ve watched a race among cyclists competing against each other, you might have seen strips of colored tape on the shoulders or knees of the cyclists. 

Those strips are kinesiology tape. They are applied strategically to provide therapeutic sensations to the body to enhance performance and lessen swelling or pain. 

Think of it as a constant massage. Skin receptors are directly influenced to reduce pain and stimulate muscles once the tape is applied. It also provides support in nutrient exchange and ease of transport to body cells moving across blood capillaries. It also breaks down fascial adhesions and enhances the mobility of muscles and joints. 

Precautionary Measures To Observe Before Applying Kinesiology Tape

Before using kinesiology tape, ensure that the skin covering the area is clean and free of body oils or lotions. If not, you should wash it with soap and water and allow the area to dry completely before applying the tape. Moisture on the skin will affect the adhesive nature of the tape. 

Remember to also remove excess hair from the area. It will make tape removal a lot less painful than it otherwise would have been if applied with excessive hair. Hair may also have an undesirable effect on the stickiness of the tape. 

To make sure that the tape is going to stick, apply a test strip first. This will help you detect whether you are allergic to kinesiology tape. If there are no allergic reactions such as redness on the skin or itchiness on your body 24 hours after you’ve applied the test strip, you may proceed with the necessary steps of applying the tape. 

Keep in mind that the kinesiology tape requires a certain amount of time to stick to the skin. You should, therefore, hold on for at least one hour after your skin has been tapped before engaging in physical activity that may cause your body to sweat. 

Make sure to avoid perspiration, showering, or swimming within the first hour of applying the tape.  

Kinesiology Tape Application Process

There are various ways of applying kinesiology tape. These methods are often dependent on the size of the muscle affected and the reason motivating the application. 

It’s recommended that you see a physiotherapist if you don’t fully understand the alignment that should be used for taping a specific muscle. 

However, the general rules are as follows: 

  • X tape is applied when the tape forms an X shape on the affected area. This is used when the alignment of the muscle changes with body motion. 
  • Y tape creates a Y shape over the targeted region. This is used to surround the affected muscle to facilitate muscle stimuli and inhibit pain.
  • I tape is used to help with alignment corrections and on acute injuries. It involves placing a single strip of tape along the affected muscle in a straight line. 

After you’re familiar with the affected area, proceed to cut the amount of tape required. The tape can either come as strips that have already been cut or as a continuous roll of tape. If you’re using the former, tear the strips along the serrated edges. 

However, if you are using a continuous roll, first unwind the tape then cut off the amount of tape you require. Make sure that you cut off the corners with scissors to round the ends of the tape. This helps to avoid the unpeeling of the tape at either end. 

The next steps involve applying the tape to the skin. Anchor the tape to the skin on one edge of the tape and stretch the tape across the affected muscle. The amount of tape you stretch depends on the kind of treatment you are going for. 

If you would like to stimulate a muscle struggling with pain or tension, then it is advised that you use a 15% to 50% stretch. If you want to relieve pain on an overstimulated muscle, then use a 15% to 25% stretch. Peel the backing from the tape gradually and avoid touching the adhesive. This will affect the stickiness of the tape and may cause its skin to peel off. Proceed to rub the tape from the centre to the ends to activate the tape and help it stick to the skin. 


There are over 50 different brands of kinesiology tape available in the market today. The original product, known as Kinesio tex tape, was developed in the 1970s by a Japanese chiropractor named Dr. Kenzo Kase. 

Dr Kenzo wanted to make a tape that offered support to the body without limiting its movement as traditional athletic tapes used to. 

The efficiency of kinesiology taping may not have undergone comprehensive research, but it has proven to increase circulation, enhance the way muscles and joints operate, while reducing pain.

For an effective kinesiology tape, check out Arcanum today. Our Sarko Skin tape may just be the right choice for you. 

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