Thursday, 25 Jul 2024

Taping Your Wrists for Football: The Importance and Techniques

Football is a highly energetic and contact sport, with players constantly fighting for ball position and coming into contact with opponents. This puts them at a higher risk of joint injuries, especially in the wrists and fingers. To prevent these injuries, footballers often tape their wrists. In this article, we will explore why taping wrists is important and how to do it correctly.

why do soccer players tape their wrists

Why Do Footballers Tape Their Wrists?

The correct application of sports tape is a common method used by footballers to prevent injuries, particularly strains on the wrists. Goalkeepers, in particular, can be seen wearing Zinc-Oxide sports tape to protect their fingers and wrists, even under their gloves. Sports tape effectively supports and protects digits and joints from bending out of place and getting injured during intense football matches.

Sports tape is also used to support other players’ wrists in case of sudden contact with the ball, another player, or the ground. It limits excessive movement and helps prevent injuries. In addition to injury prevention, sports tape offers benefits such as protecting and aiding the healing of wrist injuries, reducing the likelihood of injury aggravation, and allowing for an earlier return to sport after an injury. Some players even use sports tape to keep their socks up!

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How to Tape a Wrist for Football

While it is recommended to have a medically trained sports professional apply sports tape, it is important to know how to tape a wrist for football correctly. Here are the steps:

1. Assess the player’s needs

  • Evaluate the area that needs taping.
  • Determine if the taping is for protection or prevention.
  • Decide the range of motion required and if any movement needs restriction.

2. Apply an anchor point

  • Ask the player to hold their hand towards you with fingers spread wide.
  • Apply a few strips of tape around the wrist and base of the hand to create an anchor point.

3. Secure the tape

  • Take a fresh strip of tape and secure it from the wrist’s outer edge towards the space between the thumb and forefinger.
  • Gently pull the tape back down to secure it around the wrist anchor.

4. Restrict range of motion

  • Apply tape along the palm if the intention is to prevent the hand from flexing too far backwards.
  • Apply tape to the back of the hand if you need to restrict how far the hand can flex forward or to the sides.

5. Create supporting fans

  • Use shorter layers of tape placed in alternating directions to inhibit the range of movement.
  • Secure the fans in place with additional tape, being mindful of the pressure around the thumb joint.

Sports Wrist Tape

Tips and Warnings for Wrist Taping

It is crucial to use the right type of sports tape and apply it safely. Here are the most common sports tapes used in football:

  • Athletic Tape (Zinc-Oxide): Provides stability and support, limiting movement to prevent damage or further injury.
  • Kinesiology Tape: Highly elastic and adhesive, it supports muscles rather than restricting joint flexibility.
  • Cohesive Bandage: Lightweight and flexible, primarily used for protection and support of other joints.
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If you are unsure about taping or which type of sports tape to use, reach out to a trusted source for guidance. Remember, using the wrong tape or taping incorrectly can lead to further injury or inadequate support.

Removing Sports Tape Safely

Proper removal of sports tape is crucial to avoid causing additional damage. Follow these steps for safe removal:

  • Use blunt-nosed tape scissors to reduce the risk of injury.
  • Remove the tape slowly while applying gentle pressure to the skin close to where it is still adhered.
  • Monitor the taped area to ensure that blood flow is not hindered.

Sports tape should generally be removed within 48 hours or sooner if there is increased pain or irritation.

When to Avoid Wrist Taping

While taping can be beneficial, it is important to know when not to use sports tape. Avoid taping in the following situations:

  • When a player has circulatory or sensory problems that may be worsened by taping.
  • When a player is allergic to sports tape.
  • When a player is recovering from certain injuries, such as fractures. Consult a professional sports physiotherapist for appropriate protective measures.

Reducing the usage of sports tape as the injured area improves strength and mobility over time is crucial. However, reapplying sports tape before high-risk activities, such as football, can help reduce the risk of aggravating the healing area.


Q: What are the benefits of taping wrists for football?
A: Taping wrists provides support, prevents injuries, aids in healing, reduces the likelihood of injury aggravation, and allows for an earlier return to sport after an injury.

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Q: Should I tape my wrists myself or consult a professional?
A: It is recommended to have a medically trained sports professional apply sports tape, especially when taping is intended to protect an existing injury. However, knowing the correct techniques can be beneficial.

Q: Can I use any type of sports tape for wrist taping?
A: Different types of sports tape serve specific purposes. It is essential to choose the appropriate tape for wrist protection and consult professionals if unsure.


Taping wrists for football is a common practice to prevent injuries and provide support to players. Proper taping techniques and using the right sports tape are crucial for effective and safe wrist taping. Always prioritize the well-being and safety of players by seeking professional guidance when necessary. Happy taping!