How to Wrap a Pulled Quad With Athletic Tape

sports  injury
A runner clutches her thigh as she seems to have injured her quad muscle. (Image: lzf/iStock/Getty Images)

The quadriceps muscle (quad) is the large muscle group in the front of the thigh. It consists of four separate portions or “heads” including the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis and vastus intermedius. The quad muscle frequently becomes pulled or strained due to the large amount of force that it exerts. If you wrap your quad with athletic tape, it supports the injured quadriceps muscle while it heals.

Step 1

Apply pre-wrap athletic tape. Pre-wrap athletic tape isn’t sticky and has padding. This prevents the regular athletic tape from causing a rash on the leg while walking. It also allows you to remove the wrap more easily. Begin wrapping the pre-wrap 1 to 2 inches above the knee. Continue wrapping the pre-wrap up the leg until it covers three-quarters of the thigh. The wrap should be comfortably snug but not tight.

Step 2

Make a two-layer band of athletic wrap at the bottom of the thigh. Wrap the athletic tape once around the thigh at the bottom of the pre-wrap near the knee. Make a second wrap around the thigh directly over the first wrap. The wrap should apply pressure without constricting the movements of the leg.

Step 3

Make a two-layer band of athletic wrap at the top of the thigh. This will be similar to the band in Step 2, except the band will be at the top of the pre-wrap layer, near the groin.

Step 4

Wrap the entire thigh with athletic tape. Attach the end of the athletic tape to the bottom band from Step 2. Wrap the athletic tape around the thigh so that each wrap overlaps the previous wrap. Work your way up to the top of the thigh. Tear off the tape and attach the end to the top band from Step 3. Ensure the tape applies pressure but doesn’t constrict the leg.

Step 5

Remove the tape when you go to bed. Keep the leg elevated and apply an ice pack while the leg is unwrapped. Wrap the leg again the following morning.

Things You'll Need

  • Pre-wrap athletic tape

  • Athletic tape

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