This is a very strong preventative wrist taping technique suitable for rugby, weightlifting and other sports where the wrists can take a pounding. The tape supports the structure of the wrist and helps protect it from injury, particularly hyperextension injuries. Read on for full instructions…
Wrist Taping Instructions
Step 1: Starting at least 5-8cm above the wrist, wrap the lower arm and wrist with foam underwrap. Make sure to wrap completely over the wrist joint itself and then continue the wrap about 2-3cm onto the back of the hand, as pictured.
Step 2: While making a strong fist on the hand being taped, create an ‘anchor’ about 5-8cm above the wrist by circling the arm once with the 3.8cm strapping tape. Begin the anchor on the thumb side of the arm, wrapping over the arm towards the outside edge before circling under and bringing the tape back up to meet itself. Follow the natural contours of the arm rather than trying to make the tape overlap exactly – you will probably end up with an offset as pictured.
Step 3: Still making a strong fist, apply a further two or three anchors with the 3.8cm tape. Work towards the wrist, with the starting point of each anchor overlapping the previous anchor by about 1/3 of its width. The strapping needs to cross over the wrist joint, with the final anchor coming slightly onto the back of the hand as pictured.
Step 4: Test for function – make sure the wrist and hand can still be moved to the required degree. Many people will find that the three anchors alone will provide enough support, in which case there is no need to apply any more tape. If stiffer support is required, continue to step 5.
Step 5: Build up layers of 2.5cm zinc oxide tape down the back of the hand and the wrist. Start on the back of the hand, just above the point where the wrist joint flexes. Apply strips of the 2.5cm tape in an overlapping back and forth (or zig zag) pattern. The resulting ‘pad’ of tape should cross over the wrist joint slightly onto the lower arm. We used four strips of tape in this example, but you can use as many as necessary to build up enough support on the area. None of these tape strips circle the wrist; they’re just laid on over the back of the wrist.
Step 6: ‘Lock off’ the tape job by adding a further three anchors of 3.8cm strapping. Apply them in the same way as the first three anchors in steps 2 and 3. Again, make sure the hand is closed in a strong fist as the strapping is applied. That’s it.
Advanced Tip: some people may find that the full version of this wrist taping technique places an uncomfortable amount of pressure on the inside of the wrist. If this is the case, cover the inside of the wrist and the base of the palm with a square of adhesive foam before applying the first set of anchor strapping.