This week, we take a moment to review the colourful athletic tape called Rocktape.
Price: Around $20 a roll in US and AUS
Purchase: Rocktape AUS/Rocktape US
I still remember the time when I first saw coloured taping on CrossFitters’ bodies. It was during the Australia Regional in 2011, where a number of competitors were sporting tape in parts of their bodies I’d never seen before.
The Anatomy teacher in me was intrigued by where and how the competitors taped their bodies, but admittedly, my curiosity was actually triggered by the funky colours of the tape.
Seeing as I was fairly injury free during that time, I didn’t look further into exactly what the tape was, or what exactly it was for. One year later and I wasn’t injury free anymore.
CrossFit Open WOD 12.3 left me a present to remember. I had twisted my ankle retinaculum (atendinous band that wraps around and supports your ankle joint).
After six weeks of struggling through WODs in pain, I felt my ankle was almost back to normal. The thought of taping my ankle had of course crossed my mind, however, the hassle of having to go through the process of battling with tape everyday turned me off.
Fortunately, things fell in place for me during a visit to a Fitness Exhibition in Sydney, Australia earlier this year. I was wandering around the expo when I came across the ROCKTAPE stall, selling the exact same tape I saw one year earlier at the CrossFit Regionals.
Thinking of my almost recovered ankle, the curiosity I had about the tape, and still unsure of its actual benefits, I finally inquired about ROCKTAPE.
A very friendly staff member patiently explained to me why the tape is superior to the generic nude colored tapes. He told me about the biggest advantage the tape had – the ability to stretch!
Unlike traditional tapes that merely binds, ROCKTAPE stretches, to allow skin to lift away from the soft tissue, promoting blood flow and lymphatic drainage. So in theory, it would be perfect for sprained and strained muscles and joints.
After a detailed chat, I was generously offered a roll of ROCKTAPE for free, and told to experience the claims about ROCKTAPE first hand. In addition, I also had my ankle taped by the nice staff member!
I must admit – after a few minutes of wearing the tape, I actually felt a difference. I definitely felt more stable and secure without jeopardizing any range of motion in my foot. I was fully sold!
Straight away I decided to buy even more ROCKTAPE. The funnest part was choosing the color of my tape, which ended up being skulls with wings on black. I Loved it!
After the Exhibition I couldn’t wait to test the ROCKTAPE further to see if it really lived up its promises. I headed straight to the box and luckily we did a WOD that involved running.It was the first time I had run in six weeks and I didn’t experience any pain during, or after the workout.
The tape lasted for five days, and yes, I do shower on a daily basis! I taped my ankle with my new ROCKTAPE for another 5 days and after that my ankle was 100% back to normal. Of course one can argue that I would have recovered anyway. But I doubt that I would have been able to do the WODs as pain free, and without restriction to my movements, without the tape.
Using ROCKTAPE during the final stages of my injury definitely made me feel more stable and secure whilst allowing full range of motion. And it seems I wasn’t the only person sold on the product. At the 2012 Australia Regional I noticed even more competitors wearing the colourful tape!
The stretch – ROCKTAPE stretches up to 190% of its original length. This allows it to provide different strengths of support for differing injuries and needs.
Not just for injuries – While ROCKTAPE is great for treating injuries, it also has a number of other benefits. The tape can be used to increase endurance and reduce fatigue, as well as increasing blood flow.
Great feel – The tape has a velvety soft feel and is almost enjoyable to wear. Not once did I ever get agitated or annoyed with the ROCKTAPE.
Diverse range – ROCKTAPE can be bought in all shapes and sizes. There is the standard tape that is great for the majority of muscles. There is wider tape for legs and larger muscle groups. And there is also thinner tape, which is great for taping fingers, wrists and feet.
Great stick – The tape lasted easily for five days, and probably would have lasted a few days more if I let it. I used the tape in the water surfing, sweating through many WODs and slept in it, and still it stuck fine! The edges never frayed and I never had to reapply.
Funky colours – ROCKTAPE comes in a wide range of cool designs and funky colours. As much as I loved the physical benefits, I loved the ability to be stylish while CrossFitting,
Can be used anywhere – The tape can literally be used on any part of the body. Differing sizes means you can use ROCKTAPE to support and stabilize almost every single part of your body.
Price – Retailing at around $AUD20 for 2’’x16.4’ (5cmx5m), it is definitely a more expensive option than the traditional athletic tape. Although you do get a longer usage period with ROCKTAPE (5 days).
Square edges – I strongly advise to cut the corners into a diagonal shape as this will prevent the tape from peeling of your skin or being caught in socks, jeans and other clothing garments. If ROCKTAPE came with curved corners, the stick would be even better.
All in all, I highly recommend ROCKTAPE. Whilst I may not use it on a regular basis for my WODs, the times I have used the tape, I have felt the difference. The next time I’m battling with any kind of muscular or joint pain, I’d have no hesitation in buying a new roll of ROCKTAPE.
For less than $20 a roll, it is definitely worth a try.