by Ryan Fu •
If you watched the recent Crossfit Games, there is a good chance you noticed some athletes donning multi-colored tape strips and patches on various body parts. It was quite noticeable on those more scantily-clad, such as beach volleyball and track and field athletes. In fact, one volleyball gal looked like she had the Michigan football “winged” helmet decal emblazoned across her abs.
This stuff is called Kinesiology or Kinesio tape. A bit of history:
Kinesio tape has actually been around for quite a while. Kenzo Kase, a Japanese chiropractor and acupuncturist, designed the tape and taping method back in 1979. Kase believed a flexible tape would stimulate better circulation to an injured muscle due to its tug on the skin. Traditional tape and taping methods were thought to be too restrictive and even exacerbate injuries as a result of the inhibited flow of inflammatory fluids under the skin.
Does Kinesio tape actually expedite recovery from muscle injury, or is it also used to enhance performance? If solely used for injuries, there must have been dozens of wounded Olympians competing. My guess is the tape is used for performance benefits as well. If so, does it work or is it yet another gimmick one must use to “keep up with the Joneses?”
A study conducted in Italy attempted to determine the immediate effects of kinesio taping on maximal muscle strength of the dominant quadriceps of 36 healthy subjects. Subjects were tested across three different sessions, randomly receiving three experimental kinesiotaping conditions:
Tape applied with the goal of enhancing muscle strength.
Tape applied with the goal of inhibiting muscle strength.
Tape applied incorrectly with the goal to deceive.
Quadriceps muscle strength was measured by means of an isokinetic maximal test performed at 60 and 180 degrees per second. Two secondary outcome measures were also performed: a one-leg triple jump for distance to measure leg performance and the Global Rating of Change Scale to calculate the correlation between the Kinesio taping technique and the subjective perception of strength.
None of the three taping conditions showed a significant change in muscle strength and performance. The effect size was very low under all conditions. Only a few subjects showed an individual change greater than the minimal detectable change. Global Rating of Change Scale scores demonstrated low to moderate correlation with the type of taping applied, but some placebo effects were detected independent of the condition.
This study concluded no significant effect in maximal quadriceps strength immediately after the application of enhancing, inhibiting, or deceptive Kinesio taping. Therefore, the test results do not support the use of Kinesio taping as a means of altering maximal muscle strength in healthy people.
That stated, there are also those skeptical about the Kinesio taping’s effect. According to Dr. Nicholas Fletcher, an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at Emory University, there are few large scientific studies regarding its effectiveness. Dr. Fletcher stated, “I think, if anything, there is a placebo effect involved, and there probably is a little bit of a peer pressure effect. When people see athletes who are doing so well, they think, ‘Maybe this could work for me.’”
In most cases, kinesiology tape is comprised of flexible nylon and cotton fibers; this allows the tape to provide a “snap-back” effect, producing a neuromuscular response underneath the skin where the tape is applied. Through recent fascial research, it has been shown that pulling on the skin can create widespread effects within the body.
Myofascia is a very important piece in the taping game (this is what you are effecting when you roll out and mobilize). Obviously, the health of your myofascia is pivotal to promoting proper movement patterns. When kinesiology tape is applied to the skin, it creates a neurological response, providing a change in the way that my0fascia functions, thus changing the way that movement patterns are performed. We can essentially allow for better muscle activation and promote better movement patterns with the support of kinesiology tape.
This elasticity also creates a lifting effect on the skin to allow for better lymphatic drainage and blood flow. These are two pivotal components in allowing for swelling drainage and tissue nutrient restoration during the healing process.
Kinesiology tapes use a superior adhesive (it varies depending on the tape brand) that allows for superior support over long periods of time and under extreme conditions. This adhesiveness allows for the tape to withstand water, sweat, mud, etc. without coming off or losing support. The brands above promote the fact that you can, in fact, go swimming wearing kinesiology tape.
How is this possible? Kinesiology tape provides a stimulus in the skin that externally supports damaged tissue and allows for better circulation for faster healing. This is why wearing tape after intense workouts or acute injuries provides faster recovery.
Lymphatic Drainage/Swelling Reduction
Kinesiology tape is unique in its ability to create a lifting effect on the skin to allow for better lymphatic drainage in areas of swelling. This can have a dramatic effect on recovery time after a workout and healing of damaged tissue after injury.
One of the most important aspects of rehabilitation is movement. This is pivotal because it provides blood flow and drainage in the areas of injury to allow for faster healing. It also reduces the amount of muscle atrophy or withering away that can occur after and injury. White athletic tape restricts range of motion and deactivates muscles; whereas, kinesiology tape promotes muscle activation, while maintaining support. This allows for proper movement patterns even with injury and allows for a much faster healing process.
Things come and go in the fitness industry – ankle weights, salt tablets, compression garments, toning shoes, sauna suits, ad nauseam. Some even come back. Kinesio taping may be the classical case of revisiting the past.
Does Kinesio taping facilitate recovery for injured muscles? I do not know. Does it enhance athletic performance? We need more research to determine that. What’s your experience? Let us know in the comments below.
Introducing the New Orleans Saints’ newest cheerleader — a 40-year-old mother of two.
Mississippi’s Kriste Lewis fended off tough competition from women nearly than half her age to win a spot on the coveted Saintsations team for 2014/15.
The long-time dance instructor, who has 14- and 11-year-old sons, decided to try out for the NFL troop after celebrating her landmark birthday.
She was also inspired by her serious health issue to win one of 36 places.
Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.
Remember when I was sitting up there at the Boys & Girls Club in 2010? I was thinking, This is really tough. I could feel it. I was leaving something I had spent a long time creating. If I had to do it all over again, I’d obviously do things differently, but I’d still have left. Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past four years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better player and a better man. I learned from a franchise that had been where I wanted to go. I will always think of Miami as my second home. Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.
I went to Miami because of D-Wade and CB. We made sacrifices to keep UD. I loved becoming a big bro to Rio. I believed we could do something magical if we came together. And that’s exactly what we did! The hardest thing to leave is what I built with those guys. I’ve talked to some of them and will talk to others. Nothing will ever change what we accomplished. We are brothers for life. I also want to thank Micky Arison and Pat Riley for giving me an amazing four years.
I’m doing this essay because I want an opportunity to explain myself uninterrupted. I don’t want anyone thinking: He and Erik Spoelstra didn’t get along. … He and Riles didn’t get along. … The Heat couldn’t put the right team together. That’s absolutely not true.
I’m not having a press conference or a party. After this, it’s time to get to work…
Check out the rest of the interview @
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 Granny smith apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons cold butter
Powdered sugar, for serving
Whipped cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and apples to a pan. Saute the apples over medium-low heat until slightly soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the batter. Mix the milk, vanilla and eggs in a bowl. Add the flour, granulated sugar and salt and whisk lightly (some lumps are ok but not too many).
Increase the heat under the apples to medium and add the brown sugar and butter. Cook until a syrup forms, about 3 minutes, then add the batter all at once to the center of the pan. Swirl the apple syrup mix through the batter, using a heatproof spatula, to form ribbons (you do not want to fully combine the apple-sugar syrup into the batter). Cook until small bubbles form around the edge.
Finish cooking the pannekoeken in the oven, 12 minutes. To serve, invert a 12-inch plate over the pan and flip the pan to turn out the pannekoeken. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, top with whipped cream and enjoy!
Even if you’re a novice UFC fan, you still know that name Ronda Rousey. She started her career as Olympic Judo practitioner. She medaled at the 2008 Olympic games, earning a bronze medal but she felt disappointed about not getting the gold. Afterwards, she took some time off to figure out what she wanted to do in her life. There wasn’t a female division in the UFC back then. So, Ronda did what everyone else did, try to live a normal life. She got an apartment, got a dog, and got a job (bartender). She was normal and lost, like the rest of us. Like everyone’s dream in Los Angeles, it starts to fade into the twilights and becomes shadows of the Hollywood Hills.
Then along came Strikeforce, an MMA upstart that tired to compete with the UFC. Strikeforce had a couple of talented mixed martial artists but not like the UFC. I thought the best part of Strikeforce was the women’s division. It was the first time I have ever seen a women’s division in MMA. Most of the time the women’s matches were generally more entertaining then the main event, unless the main event were women. It was also the first time I saw women being the main event and they killed it. This is where Ronda Rousey time into the fray. The first time I saw Ronda was before the fight, when she walked into the cage. She looked like a female lioness that just lost a cub. She was angry and pissed. She had that expressionless hundred-yard stare. She wanted that cub back. She wanted that glory back and she was willing to go through every female to get that dream back.
As soon as the round started, Rousey’s opponent was already tapping from Ronda’s signature submission move, the armbar. Me and the rest of the world just had that “Oh, Shit” moment. Where just witnessed something phenomenal and we knew that Rousey was going to be a force in women’s MMA. In no time, she beat every opponent in front of her and had her shot at the Strikeforce female championship. Before the fight, Ronda thought about her disappointment at the Olympic games and made a decision that she will never go through that again. Just like every fight before the championship fight, it ended the same way with an armbar and Ronda’s hand raised in victory. She was a champion, but was it enough?
Even with the women’s success in Strikeforce there was still no support in putting a women’s division in the UFC. In an interview with Dana White, UFC’s president, Mr. White told the media and the world that there will never be a female fighter in the UFC. I just got to image Ronda Rousey in her living room with her dog, shining her newly won Strikeforce belt, hearing that awful word “no”. Just like in her fights, she started to throw punches back and began a Twitter campaign to Mr. White about she would be great for the UFC. She was relentless about telling Dana that she is the greatest female fighter ever. With the UFC’s merger and acquisitions of MMA companies including Strikeforce, Dana finally had to give Ronda a shot.
At UFC 157, there was an historic fight for the first women’s championship. It was between Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche but unlike Ronda’s fights this was not going to be easy. But in life, the things we want the most never come easy. So, when the fight started Ronda was already in trouble as Liz secured a back mount on Ronda, as she was about to choke her out and end Ronda’s dream. It was close, but not close enough. You can always figure out a person by the way they deal with adversity. Some people run away and some people stand their ground. It’s the difference between being remembered or forgotten. Ronda is a warrior. Ronda is Bushido.
That “Oh, Shit” moment came back again as Ronda escaped from Liz’s hold and got on top. Everyone knew the end was near and before the round ended, she put her patented move on Liz and the dream continued. She became the first women’s champion in UFC history and automatically gave millions of women around the world another opportunity at something besides being a housewife. But with success comes haters. Being the first one through the door, it always gets bloody.
After defending her title at UFC 168 against Meisha Tate with her unstoppable finishing move, Ronda heard something different from the cheers she got from her last win. The boo owls were out and they were booing Ronda, after not shaking hands with Tate after the match. This is my opinion about MMA, it is a sport and it is not as barbaric as it once was back in the day but it is not like any other sports. These men and women have to fight each other for a living. I believe in sportsmanship like everyone else but you gained respect as soon as you stepped into the cage. I am always amazed when fighters shake hands or even when they hug before they beat the shit out of each other. I mean that’s nice and all but let’s face folks, we watch these athletes because they are trying to end each other in devastating fashion. We want to see blood and broken bones. We are living the in Roman Empire right now and we want to be entertained.
In the curious case of Ronda, well, that’s just Ronda. She didn’t feel like shaking her hand. Just because she is the champ and famous now, she is not going to change because a couple of people are booing. She is going to be herself regardless of what people think of her. This weekend at UFC 175 in Las Vegas, I am assuming the boo owls will be out in force with the fight between Ronda Rousey and Alexis Davis for the women’s championship belt. But knowing Ronda, she’ll have that hundred-yard stare, looking like a hungry lion and being totally focused on her opponent. As the crowd will shower her with boos and taunts, which I really don’t think Ronda gives two fucks about. And why should she? She has become successful like every other female mentioned in this article by not giving a fuck about other people’s opinions. If you want to become something great sometimes people will not understand it and will undermine you because they don’t have your vision. Stop caring what the fuck people think and become the next Ronda Rousey!
By the way, Earhart was the first woman to fly solo over the Atlantic, Dickinson is one the most famous female authors of all-time, Helen Keller became a teacher and Rosa Parks started a revolution. What have you’ve done?