Kinesiology is the study of the mechanics of a body’s movement. The taping of the muscles and structures initiating that movement has popularized the trend known as kinesio taping. The practice serves to improve pain, performance, and various physical deficiencies by using sticky, elastic tape to decompress swollen and injured muscles. When applied correctly, kinesio tape is able to lift the skin, thereby decompressing the layers of fascia underneath and allowing greater blood flow through the area. In turn, this promotes healing, relieves pain, and speeds up recovery times.
Athletes all over the world use this method, often at the advice of their physical therapists. At the moment, there are two main brands in the world of kinesio taping - KT tape and RockTape. They both have the same goals, and function to improve pain, performance, and deficiencies. However, one does work better than the other and an increasing number physical therapists are recommending this brand over its competitor.
RockTape vs KT Tape
Founded in 2009, RockTape is a new, much needed improvement to KT tape. While both brands have the same goal of reducing pain and are utilized in the same ways, RockTape has a leg up in more ways than one. As with many topical, pain relief products, strengths and weaknesses are exposed during the application process.
The duration of time after applying the tape is what draws the line between these two brands. When applying kinesio tape, the goal is to take a single strip and anchor one end of it to the skin, stretch the middle portion, and anchor the other end. The stretched portion serves to lift the skin, allowing greater blood flow underneath and speeding up the healing process. How long the tape stays on is very important, for as long as the tape remains adhered to the skin, the athlete will experience its benefits.
There are many things that affect how long tape will last for a particular individual. For ideal results, tape should be applied to clean, hairless, lotion-free skin. According to KT tape’s website, their cotton version of the product is meant to last for 1-3 days of wear. Their PRO version is advertised with a wear time of 4-7 days. At RockTape, one will find that all of their kinesio tape is designed to last 2-7 days. What many have found is that KT tape over-promises and under-delivers in this area, while RockTape exceeds expectations.
Compared to KT tape, RockTape is much stickier, adhering to skin longer and withstanding the friction of clothing and intense movement. It is inevitable that an athlete will have to tape an area covered by clothing. The constant friction caused from taking these clothes on and off puts extra wear on the tape. KT tape does not hold up well against this activity, and its wear time is significantly reduced. On the other hand, RockTape is much more resilient. The edges of the tape may fray but it will remain adhered to the skin, preserving its effects.
Versatile Application Options
Another significant difference between RockTape and KT tape is the design of their strips. KT tape comes in a roll of 20, pre-cut 10-inch strips. This is meant to eliminate the need for scissors and make the application process easier. However, RockTape’s roll of one long, continuous piece of tape actually proves to be the simpler option.
A 10-inch strip of tape is convenient if there is a large area to cover. However, if 8 inches of tape is all that is needed, that leaves 2 inches left over, which is much too small an amount to be used anywhere. Thus, it ends up getting thrown away, wasting money. With RockTape’s single, continuous roll, this problem is eliminated. Individuals have the freedom to cut any size strip that is needed, adapting it to their specific needs and using more of the product they paid good money for.
Additionally, as RockTape believes, athletes should not be limited by the products they use. A 10-inch strip of tape will be utilized differently by a 7-foot athlete versus someone who is 5 feet tall. No two athletes are the same, and the freedom to adapt a product to one’s specific needs is much more effective than modifying the original design.
The advantages of RockTape are why more athletes and health professionals prefer this brand. It’s composition is stronger, stickier, and its application is more versatile. KT tape may have been the first on the market, and no doubt introduced many to a new, very helpful recovery strategy. But RockTape has been able to expand on this. They have created a product that stays on longer, maximizing the benefits received by athletes. They have also given athletes the ability to choose how they will use the product. Instead of assuming what is best for the general population, they have empowered athletes by allowing them to decide these things for themselves.