Kinesiology tape (K or Kinesio tape) has started to be seen across a whole variety of sports over the last ten years as physios and athletes look for ways to treat injury and enhance performance. But is this just a fad trend professional sport athletes use and do they really help them? In this review I’ll explain what ‘k tape’ is and how it helps, which star boxer has been seen to use it, how you should apply it and what options there is for you to try out.
What is Kinesiology Tape?
When I first saw someone using K tape I was watching a rugby game and not long after it was being used by many athletes in the Olympic games in 2008. What was this strange fluorescent coloured tape they are all wearing and how was it helping them?
Well to sum it up quickly, K tape is a cotton stretchy strip tape with an acrylic adhesive which aims to support muscle or joint problems, it particularly helps athletes who have slight injuries or others who have physical disorders. It can also help aid with muscle recovery, prevents spasms and enhances muscle strength/tone.
But does it actually help? Well it’s a matter of opinion until you try yourself and I felt this video helps explains the benefits quite well!
What boxers are using k tape?
Well probably one of the biggest stars in boxing Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has been seen to use Kinesio tape during his training camps, his second victory over Golovkin around his knee and even in his KO victory against Amir Kahn back in 2016 (see below) where he used strips on his calf muscles.
Apart from Canelo, there has only been a handful of professional boxers seen to be using tape, but generally only during their training camps. My personal guess is that is may show a sign of weakness or injury which could give psychological edge to their opponent if they are seen to be using them.
In today’s age with social media, boxers show what they get up to in their training camps, which makes it harder not to spot fluorescent k tape. But that’s not to say they don’t use them when the camera is off.
Injury also happens all the time in training, especially muscular injuries from over training which tends to be a big problem with lots of boxers. Maybe Kinesio tape should be more widely accepted and used to enhance the performance and aid recovery which is so vital in boxing. I do feel however that k tape does give some sort of placebo effect for anyone who uses it and you need to believe it will help you for it to make a difference.
How do you apply K Tape?
Well there are many ways and techniques you can apply kinesio tape depending on where you are having an issue, whether that be your shoulder, groin, calf, back etc. There are lots of great methods you can watch on YouTube first and foremost. But here is great resource of videos by TheraBand on how to apply K tape here.
What Kinesio Tape should I buy?
There is whole range of products which are pretty much all very similar, but here is the top three options I found on the current market which will give you a good starting point:
TheraBand Kinesiology Tape
This innovative physio tape features best-in-class adhesive and unique, breakthrough XactStretch Indicators and come in variety of different colours. The Xact Stretch pattern has octagons printed on the tape. Small and large octagon indicators show when the tape is at 25% or 50%, the most common stretch amounts for kinesiology tape. This creates a visual guide that allows anyone to apply kinesiology tape with the right amount of stretch every time. (US visitors can learn more on Performance Health)
Learn more here on Amazon: TheraBand Kinesiology Tape Standard Roll
Physix Gear Sport Kinesiology Tape
Feel the confidence with Physix Kinesiology Tape, designed to reduce chronic muscular pain conditions in joints, muscles, and tendons. Physix also provide an inclusive 82-Page image packed eGuide, offering multiple taping strategies and tips for you to get the best out of your Physix Gear Kinesiology Tape.
Learn more here on Amazon: Physix Gear Sport Kinesiology Tape
No label Kinesiology Tape
“No label” Kinesiology tape offers premium support which eases joint pain & muscle pain. With 7 colours of k tape to choose you’ll be looking great doing it, whether running, playing sports at the gym or a hot yoga class. It also comes along with a FREE taping guide e-book to get you started taping properly.
Learn more here on Amazon: No label Kinesiology Tape
As boxer myself, I feel kinesio tape is an extremely useful product if you suffer any muscular injuries during you training. I have used it before personally for a groin injury (a difficult place to apply the tape!), and I did feel much less tightness. I’ll definitely try out in other areas where I get tightness including my back and leg muscles and let you know how I get on in a future blog. All in all I would recommend giving K tape a go if you feel the need to try something new to help your muscles tightness or injury.
Let me know in the comments below if you have used k tape before or if you are thinking of trying it out.
Thanks for reading!
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Fischner Institute: https://fischerinstitute.com/benefits-kinesiology-therapeutic-tape/
IQ K Tape: http://www.iq-tape.com