If you’ve watched sports recently, you have probably noticed athletes wearing kinesio tape (at the 2016 Olympics, women’s beach volleyball comes to mind). This trend has trickled down to the college and high school levels, as well (I think it has become sort of a fashion accessory). I’ve even seen a few of our local high school athletes wearing kinesio tape.
Functional taping is nothing new, mostly to stabilize injured joints. The specific goal of kinesio taping (KT) is to improve sport-related muscle contraction. It is assumed that KT can facilitate and stimulate muscle function, if applied properly, due to the elastic properties of the KT.
A recent Journal of Strength and Conditioning study evaluated the effect of KT on college athletes, as it relates to vertical jump strength, power, and balance. According to the study authors, “The KT technique was not found to be useful in improving performance in some sports-related movements in healthy college athletes; therefore, KT… should not be considered by athletes when the sole reason of the application is to increase performance during jumping and balance.” (Nunes, et. al.)
Here’s what does work for improving vertical jump strength, power, and balance: Strength training. Forget about the gimmicks and shortcuts. Consult with a qualified strength and conditioning professional about a program that incorporates core and lower-extremity strength, power, and balance training. The impact that a well-designed strength training program has on your performance will be considerably greater than wearing kinesio tape.
Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!