How to Get Kinesiology Tape to Stick - The 6 P's of Kinesiology Taping

K Tape Beach Volleyball

One of the great things about kinesiology tape is that it can be worn for several days through all kinds of wet, muddy or sandy conditions - provided it is applied properly in the first place. When it isn't applied properly, however, even the greatest-looking applications can fall off much sooner than expected, sometimes in a matter of minutes or hours. When you're in a hurry to get your tape on so you can get on with your workout, it helps to keep in mind the 6 P's of kinesiology taping - Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Premature Peeling. Let's break these tips down into 3 phases:

Phase 1: Skin Preparation

1. Skin Must be Completely Dry Before Applying Tape If you just had a shower, don't apply your tape the instant you hang up your towel - wait until all of the surface moisture is gone. If it was a really hot shower, you might need to cool down a bit first. Ditto if you just finished working out. Wait until you have completely stopped sweating - even if you towel off, if you're still producing even a little bit of sweat, your tape will not stick.

RockSauce Liniment and Skin Prep

2. It Also Needs to be Clean And now to the cleanliness issue ... in all likelihood what you think of as clean and what your k-tape adhesive thinks of as clean are 2 different things. It doesn't matter if it has been 8 hours since you used your favorite body lotion, body spray or sunscreen - even a little bit of oil residue can be the kiss of death for k-tape adhesive. Ditto for perspiration and even natural body oils that build up over time. Take a minute to clean the entire application area right before you apply the tape. You can use an astringent, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol or our favorite, RockSauce. RockSauce is an awesome topical liniment that also happens to be a great skin prep. Rub it in, wait a few seconds, then wipe it off with a paper towel. In addition to having the perfect skin surface for your tape, your injury will love the icy hot tingle that it produces.

Phase 2: Tape Preparation and Application

StrengthTape Precut Strips - Royal Blue

1. Use Good Quality Tape Always start with a good quality tape. Saving a couple of dollars per roll doesn't pay off it you get only half the application time per application. For athletes training and competing in extreme conditions, our favorites are StrengthTape and RockTape H2O, which both have extra-strong adhesives. For those wearing the tape under less rigorous conditions, any of the quality brands we carry on our website should work fine. 2. Round the Corners If you're cutting strips from a roll of tape, take a couple seconds to round the corners. Rounded corners are a lot less likely to catch on things or begin to curl or roll up after time. The quickest way to do this is to fold your strip in half and cut two corners at once. 3. Don't Touch the Adhesive This might seem easier said than done, but there are a couple of tricks that make it easy to keep your fingers off the sticky side of the tape. In fact, we just published a post that describes these tricks in excruciating detail. You can read it here.

How to Apply K Tape

4. Go Easy on the Stretch K-tape is so nice and stretchy, it is tempting to give it a good stretch during application, thinking that it will provide better support, For most conditions, however, the best results come when the muscles are stretched and the tape is not stretched. So, overstretching the tape may actually make it less effective in addition to making it more likely to come off. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that 2 inches at each end of the strip are applied with zero stretch.

5. All Strips Must End on Skin Kinesiology tape is designed to stick to skin, not to other pieces of kinesiology tape. It is OK to cross pieces over each other, but all strips should end on skin.

How to Apply Kinesiology Tape

6. Activate the Adhesive The acrylic adhesive on k-tape is heat-activated and friction is a great way to produce just the right amount of heat. After applying your tape, rub it briskly from the center towards the ends for a few seconds to get that adhesive warmed up. If you rub from the ends toward the center, you run the risk of catching an end and lifting it from the skin. (If this happens, cut the loose piece as close to the skin as possible with scissors and carry on.)

Phase 3: Wearing the Tape

1. Avoid Contact at the Ends Even if you follow all of the advice above and get a perfect-application in place, if the ends end up rubbed by pads, equipment or human contact, they will likely lift. If you know that this is likely, you can apply a pre-taping adhesive spray under the ends of the tape in high risk areas. If you don't have any, even a little bit of hairspray can help. If ends do lift, just snip them close to the skin with scissors to prevent the lifting from continuing down the entire strip. So now you know the 6 P's of Kinesiology Taping and in the process have learned exactly how to get kinesiology tape to stick. Be sure to share this with your friends and fellow tapers so they too can avoid the dreaded "premature peeling" phenomenon and get the most value from every application.

How to Get Kinesiology Tape to Stick - The 6 P's of Kinesiology Taping

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