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Is Athletic Tape Used in Swimming?

author image Andrea Cespedes
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.
Is Athletic Tape Used in Swimming?
A man swimming front crawl in a pool. Photo Credit: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images

Athletic tape, sometimes called kinesio tape, is used to treat pain and prevent injury. Swimmers often use the tape to support the muscles and joints in common injury areas, including the shoulders, back and hips. You can wear the tape in training, but don't try to wear it during competition or risk disqualification. Before using athletic tape for a swimming injury, consult with your health care provider to ensure you are taking the right measures for your problem.

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Not in Competition

USA Swimming permits taping if it has a sound medical reason and doesn't provide a competitive advantage. An adhesive bandage over an open wound is a medical aid. It doesn't make the swimmer faster and is permitted. Kinesio tape may have a medical purpose, but is generally considered to provide a swimmer with an advantage. In individual cases, a referee may permit its use if it is determined it does not provide any advantage.

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