Rocktape: The Hottest Trend in Track & Field Performance

Last week, I briefly wrote about Rocktape after posting a photo of Damu Cherry, Charonda Williams, Kellie Wells.  This article is guest blogged by Morgan Sjogren.  She writes for Track and Field Athletes Association (TFAA) and her own Blog is Running [Dharma] Bums.  (By the way, I am a huge Jack Kerouac fan!)

Rocktape: The Hottest Trend in Track & Field Performance

By Morgan Sjogren

If you’ve been following Track and Field this summer, you may have noticed that the hottest new "accessory" amongst athletes is brightly colored athletic tape all over their bodies!  Rocktape is one of the most popular is the leader amongst these brands, not only because the tape comes in unique and trendy colors and patterns, but more important, because Rocktape uses a technology that goes beyond injury treatment to also enhance performance.

Rocktape is a thin, stretchy hi-tech athletic tape that can be used to treat a wide variety of sports injuries such as shin splints, IT band, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendon, runner’s knee and a host of others. It is the “Gold Standard” in Kinesiology Tape.

When applied properly, Rocktape lifts the skin away from the muscle, which promotes blood flow and relieves pressure on pain receptors located just below the skin. Faster blood flow means more oxygen and more lymph drainage, which helps performance. In the case of injury, Rocktape can be used to stabilize and encourage proper muscle activation patterns without reducing range of motion.

Melaine Walker & Lashinda Demus. Photo Credits: AP Photo, Lionel Cironneau

Rocktape is currently used by several U.S. Track and Field Olympians including Lashinda Demus (400 Hurdles) and Kellie Wells (100 Hurdles) who are headed to the Olympic Games in London this month.

Lashinda, who is also the American Record Holder in the 400 Hurdles, uses Rocktape to deal with what she considers one of the biggest obstacles in Track and Field—injuries. Because sprinting relies heavily on an athlete’s legs, she says, “that if anything is slightly wrong, it throws off everything,” so she uses Rocktape to “hold those muscles together and keep them elongated.” This same concept can be used to help enhance the performance of non-injured muscles during training and competition.

Injury is certainly not the only use for Rocktape. 2008 Olympian Tiffany Ross-Williams (400 Hurdles) says, “Rocktape has been really good in aiding my recovery and during my workouts,” and uses Rocktape on her calves most frequently. Rocktape enhances the recovery process by decompressing swollen tissue after hard workouts or races. Because Rocktape stays in place for up to 5 days, athletes get both the performance and recovery benefits on a constant basis for a boost of legal performance enhancement.

Rocktape is like duct tape for the human body. Depending on the application, Rocktape can:

  • Decompress swollen tissue (trauma)
  • Compress muscle onto bones (shin splints)
  • Reduce swelling (edema) Increase venous blood flow
  • Correct biomechanical dysfunction (patella femoral)
  • Treat lymphadema
  • Increase range of motion (shoulder impingement)
  • Provide proprioceptive queuing (increase athletic form)
  • Provide postural control (neck stress associated with forward head carriage)

damu cherry with rocktape

And what about the unique prints and colors that Rocktape offers? 2008 Olympian Damu Cherry (400 Hurdles) loves the Tattoo print Rocktape, while 2011 World Championship Silver Medalist Danielle Carruthers (100 Hurdles) was spotted at the Paris Diamond League Meet wearing Tiger print Rocktape. The patterns and colors give athletes a chance to accessorize, express their individuality and match their uniforms during competitions.

Rocktape spent some time with the Track and Field Rock Stars during the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon. Watch this exclusive video to find out why the U.S.’s fastest athletes love Rocktape!

Jimson Lee

Jimson Lee

Coach & Founder at
I am a Masters Athlete and Coach currently based in London UK. My other projects include the Bud Winter Foundation, writer for the IAAF New Studies in Athletics Journal (NSA) and a member of the Track & Field Writers of America.
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
  • despite the endorsement by athletes and trainers I doubt that this tape would have any measurable effect on muscle function if subjected to a rigorous study.
    however, it looks great!!