Taping up is on the rise


You’ve probably noticed your favourite athletes and sports players decked out in tape recently – a trend that has certainly been on the rise!

There are several different types of strapping and supportive taping, which are commonly used by physios and other health professionals to:

  • Relieve pain
  • Improve joint stability
  • Enhance athletic performance
  • Reduce risk of injury recurrence
  • Prevent injury

In this article, we’re breaking them down for you so you know what’s what.


Rigid tape:  As you might expect, rigid tape is stiff to reduce or completely limit joint movement.

Under tape: A little kinder to skin, under tape sits under rigid tape to help it do its job properly (with minimum discomfort to you).

Elastic tape: Elastic tape is elasticated (surprise!) so that your muscles have some added flexibility that they wouldn’t get with a more rigid tape. It’s generally made of cotton so that your skin can still breathe and wick sweat away.

Felt tape: Felt tape doesn’t have any glue in it; it’s just used as a barrier for the skin.

Cohesive bandages: These bandages also don’t have any glue in them. They stick together when they are wrapped around a joint or muscle.

Kinesio-type tape: This type of tape moves and adjusts with the skin, making it the popular choice for sports players.
“If you’re not sure how to tape up a particular body part, YouTube is a great resource,” says Ewan Birnie, trainer of Cert III & IV, and Diploma of Fitness. “You’ll find a range of videos that demonstrate how to use the different types of tapes, and how they should be applied to different body parts and for different situations.  Here is an example.”

As with all attempts to relieve pain and reduce injury, make sure to speak to your doctor or physio before you get yourself in a sticky situation with tape!

The facts in this blog were sourced from the article below – that’s because it’s great! We recommend you give it a read for a more in-depth look at athletic taping and how you can use it in practice to stabilise and solidify specific joints and muscles.


This page was last updated on: Friday 13 January 2017

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