You’ve likely seen dancers wrapping recovering joints or taping sore muscles with bright, colorful kinesiology tape. The lightweight, stretchy adhesive is said to improve athletic performance by helping the wearer feel where her limbs are in space. Others like that it provides light support without restricting movement. Devotees even say it increases blood and lymphatic flow by lifting the skin away from muscle tissue, which can speed recovery from an injury.

It turns out, though, there’s no science to back these claims. In a recent study, participants performed weight-training exercises at the same level whether they were wearing kinesio tape, no tape or just strips of plain, sticky fabric. This suggests that performance improvements felt while wearing kinesio tape are due to the placebo effect. But if you feel a difference in your dancing, stick it on. It can’t hurt! 

Photo: Thinkstock

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