That tape you see runners and CrossFitters wearing on their legs, arms, knees, and elbows is a lot more than just a colorful accessory. It’s called kinesio tape, and if you’re nursing an injury but continuing to train, it could be your new best friend for support.
Kinesio tape, or elastic therapeutic tape, is designed to boost your body’s natural healing process while supporting and stabilizing muscles and joints without restricting movement—almost like compression shorts and shirts, or even sleeves. It also alleviates pain, manipulates soft tissue to prolong the benefits of manual therapy, and facilitates lymphatic drainage by pulling on the skin (the tape stretches about 14%), which basically lifts it a microscopic amount.
Best of all, it’s easy to apply and comes in nearly every color. You can get very specific with the placement of it as well as how tightly you apply it. Check out kttape.com for instructions.
Gunnar Peterson is a Beverly Hills-based personal trainer who works with professional athletes and celebrities. Follow him on Twitter.