Cutting your tape into shape
Kinesiology Therapeutic Tape is great for reducing swelling, increasing mobility and enhancing recovery. Kinesio Tape can be used to prevent or treat many common muscle and joint related injuries including: sprains, muscle strains, subluxations, and tendonitis. Kinesiology therapeutic tape provides support and pain relief before, during, and/or after an activity.
This tape is easy for self application and when correctly applied it can last up to 5-7 days. Follow the below steps to best prepare your skin and tape to get the most out of each application.
All our kinesiology tape is waterproof. You may shower, bathe and swim with Kinesiology Tape on the skin. Let the tape air dry, or pat dry with a towel (do not use a hair dryer to dry).
Anchor – The correct terminology for the end of the tape, usually between 1-3 inches, used as the base with which to apply the tape. The anchor should never be stretched, ensure it is always applied without tension.
Stretch – Usually, you won’t want to extend the tape to its full stretching capability when
applying, but most instructions request at least some degree of stretch. It could be described as little to no stretching, light stretching or moderate stretching, or you could see percentages, such as 50% for stretching to half of the tape’s full stretch, 25% for between none and half, and 75% between half and full stretch, and so on.
Flex – If you’re asked to flex a limb or joint, it simply means to extend the muscle or bend the joint. ‘Dorsiflex’ refers to the opposite, for example, with an ankle, it would mean bending it backwards.
Preparing your skin for application
Do not apply kinesiology tape to any skin surface that is damaged.
Before applying any tape, you want to make sure that the area you are focusing on is clean and dry of all dirt, oils and lotions. An alcoholic wipe is perfect to wipe down just before application to remove any excess dirt that will block the adhesion. AVO+ lemon scented alcohol hand and surface wipes are available here in packs of 20 to ensure that you can always apply your tape on the go.
If you have excess hair in the area, you will want to trim this is ensure that the tape can stick. It is recommended that the hair in the area is no more than 1/8 of an inch. If you do not wish to trim or shave the area then the tape may not adhere as well or for as long. It can also result in a particularly painful removal process.
Preparing the tape for application
Avoid touching the adhesive side of the tape. Touching the adhesive side of the tape will cause the tape to lose its stickiness.
Depending on which tape you have or need, see below for instructions on how to prepare your tape for application.
Applying the tape
Tear the backing 4-5cm from one end to create an “anchor” - the first part that will be applied.
Apply the anchor with no stretch to the required area, leaving the rest of the backing on the tape.
Once the anchor is in place, tear away the other anchor and continue peeling the backing away. You can apply the tape with or without stretch to get effective use of your kinesiology tape. See below on how much to stretch if you are unsure.
Stretching the tape
If unsure of how much to stretch the tape, it is better to under-stretch than overstretch.
Kinesiology tape is already stretched approximately 15% before it is applied to the paper backing. Therefore, benefits will be felt even if the tape is applied as the backing is removed, with no additional stretch. Overstretching, on the other hand, can lead to skin irritation that may require removing the tape prematurely.
Measure the tape against the injury and decide on the shape you need to use, see guidance below on how to make shapes. Get some sharp scissors, measure and cut the length of the strip you need to use off the roll.
For single strips with no extra shape cutting required, you will still need to round off EVERY corner to ensure that the tape wont prematurely peel away from your skin or get snagged on any clothing.
I - If you have an uncut roll of kinesiology tape, you will need to cut it into strips or shapes to fit your body/injury area. Measure up the area and with some sharp scissors, cut your tape. If you are sticking with the ‘I’ shape, don't forget to round off the corners.
The Lift Strip
This strip is made by cutting a small ‘I’ and rounding off the corners. This shape is often used to support injured tissues or to treat muscle knots or trigger points. The lift strip helps to lift the skin and tissues off of sore muscles and trigger points. It also can be used to treat superficial bruises.
The middle portion of the strip is exposed and then stretched 75-100%. This full stretch is then applied to the body over the injured area. Then the smaller end anchors are applied to the body with no stretch, creating a small band-aid that lifts the skin and tissues off your trigger points.
Cutting the tape into shape
To get your desired shape you may need to cut your roll into strips or your strips into shapes. Find your desired shape and instructions below and follow the guide to prepare yours. (I) (Y) (X) (Fan) (Lantern)
You will need to round off EVERY corner to ensure that the tape wont prematurely peel away from your skin or get snagged on any clothing.
Y - There are two ways in which you can achieve a Y shape tape.
1. Get your ‘I’ strip and cut it down the middle leaving 1-2 inch as the anchor. You need to place the anchor first with zero tension then remove the backing on each strip to place down.
2. If you have a larger surface area, you can use two strips to create your Y shape. Place one strip first using the anchor, then apply the second strip with the anchor based in the same place and remove the backing on each strip as your place.
The Y shape is very versatile and can be placed in many different areas depending on the size of your tape. If you need to cover a larger area of body such as the shoulder, you will need a longer strip to adhere to the space. Cut this the same way as above but ensure a deeper cut towards the anchor. Once the anchor is placed peel the backing off each of the strips and stick into place. Don't forget that your anchors should be placed with zero tension.
X - There are two ways in which you can achieve a X shape.
1. Using two ‘I’ strips, place one then the other in the opposite direction.
2. Using an ‘I’ strip, cut down the middle of the tape leaving 1-2 inch uncut in the middle of the strip.
Fan - To create your Fan or Paw shape you need one “I” strip.
Cut this along the dotted lines as shown below. Once you have cut the 4 strips, you need to round off each one of the corners including by the anchor.
Lantern strip - You will need an ‘I’ strip to create the lantern shape. Fold the strip in half and round of the corners, still with the shape in half, cut along the dotted lines as shown below. Once cut, unfold the strip and peel away 1-2 inches at one end for the anchor.