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How to Wrap a Knee With Athletic Tape

By Elizabeth Wolfenden ; Updated July 21, 2017

Wrapping the knee with athletic tape can not only help rehabilitate an injured knee, but may prevent knee injuries from occurring in the first place, according to David H. Perrin in his book “Athletic Taping and Bracing.” Although there are different methods of wrapping a knee, each method must be done properly to have the desired effect and benefits.

Spiral Method

  1. Sit on the floor. Extend your legs straight in front of you.

  2. Hold one end of the athletic tape below the kneecap. With your other hand, begin wrapping the tape around the leg. Overlap about half the width of the wrap as you wrap the tape up your leg.

  3. Stop wrapping upward once you have reached the desired height. You can double-back and wrap another layer over the entire area you just covered with the tape, or simply criss cross additional tape over the kneecap, depending upon your personal preference.

  4. Check the tightness of the tape. Make adjustments if desired.

Cross Method

  1. Sit on the floor. Extend your legs straight in front of you.

  2. Hold one end of the athletic tape below the kneecap. Position the athletic tape so it forms a diagonal line across the kneecap.

  3. Bring the tape around the back of the knee, and then bring the tape back down to make an opposing diagonal line across the knee. The tape should appear like a letter “X” over the kneecap. Repeat until the entire area of the knee is wrapped.

  4. Check the tightness of the tape. Make adjustments if desired.

  5. Tip

    Always tape your knee with the leg completely straight.

    Warnings

    Do not attempt to wrap a knee while standing. Not only is this difficult to do properly while keeping your balance, but it may make the wrap less effective as well, says Perrin.

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