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Holcomb Hathaway, Publishers

Chapter 7 Lab

Athletic Taping

View or print this lab as a PDF.


The duties of an athletic trainer cover a wide scope, from prevention to treatment to rehabilitation and beyond. Athletic taping is one way certified athletic trainers can both treat and prevent injuries. Taping stabilizes muscles, tendons, and joints and prevents these areas from unnecessary strain.

Tape must be applied in a specific way in order for it to provide proper support as well as stay in place during movement. In this lab, you will see taping techniques for two of the most commonly injured sites: ankles and wrists. You will also have a chance to practice taping.1


  • Pre-wrap (optional)
  • Non-elastic adhesive tape (commonly zinc oxide tape)
  • Self-adherent tape
  • Scissors


  1. View the video demonstration of the ankle-taping technique2 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pPROeq7wEM and the video demonstration of wrist taping at http://youtu.be/fPjbyzBdhrs.
  2. Choose one of the techniques, either ankle or wrist. Once you feel comfortable with the steps involved, work with a partner to tape his or her ankle or wrist.
  3. Once you have completed taping the ankle or wrist, ask your partner about the job you did. Does the wrapping feel just right, or is it too tight or too loose? How does the tape limit your partner’s range of motion?
  4. Look up what injuries your taping technique of choice is meant to treat and prevent. What sports do you think are most likely to need this taping?


  1. Keep in mind, however, that these techniques are effective only when applied properly by someone with skill and practice.
  2. You can find written instructions for ankle taping at http://wakefieldsports.com.au/files/articles/Taping_Techniques_Ankle.pdf.