Even with all of the training in the world, two weeks of events is a lot of wear and tear on the body. So what do the world’s top athletes do to help their bodies perform to their gold medal worthy best? After nutrition and mental focus, our sporting greats are currently turning to fascial movement taping.
Essentially it’s elasticated sticky tape that is applied to the skin to a) cradle and support muscles to mimick the effect of massage and b) restrict potentially damaging movements. It’s available in several widths (Wiggle stocks it in 5cm and 10cm), depending on the size of the area where it is going to be applied.
But it can’t just be stuck on any-old-how, whoa no! To mimic massage, the tape must be skillfully affixed in way that maximises blood flow and improves the transportation of oxygen to the muscles that need to perform. Ultimately this delays the onset of fatigue and increases endurance so that you can eke out those extra reps, strokes, laps or hits that lie between failure and success! For our elite athletes, this could mean silver or gold…
To balance muscular usage (e.g. if you have a dodgy knee), you can apply the tape in way that allows “good” movement but limits your ability to make the “bad” movements that are causing you grief. The theory is that if you use the tape then you stop engaging in the damaging movement, gradually get used to the new movement and your muscular imbalance(s) readjust. Far more scientific than that obviously but in a nutshell…
Naturally not everybody is a fan and skeptics questions whether observed benefits are down to the placebo effect. Supporters argue that this doesn’t matter; if it provides athletes with the the extra oomph needed to hit their goals then it’s worth it. In the words of Henry Ford :
“Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.”
As with sports nutrition, practices and anything else that’s surrounded by debate, the best option is to do your research and make your own decision.This is why Rocktape is Wiggle’s brand of choice. Rocktape is careful to provide information about how to apply the tape correctly, clearly taking responsibility that its product deals with peoples’ health and wellbeing.