4 Cute Braids to Try At Your Next High-Intensity Class

There’s nothing better than working out while working a braid. Braids are fierce, elegant, and strikingly practical for exercise, keeping your tresses in place no matter how sweaty you get. For those of us who get just as excited before spin class as we do before a party, taking the extra couple of minutes to braid your hair will make you feel just as good as a night out on the town.  When you’ll be making large, fast movements and working up a heavy sweat, you’ll want to pick a braid style that keeps your hair out of your eyes, off the back of your neck, and reasonably immobile even as you run and jump all over the place. Here are some great options (for every skill level!) at your next spin, interval training, bootcamp or circuit class:  PONYBRAID   For beginners: The Pony Braid The iconic sportswoman’s braid, this style has been sported in Olympic-level competition by the planet’s fittest women, including volleyball star Kerri Walsh and at least half of the U.S. Women’s Soccer team. How to do it: Tie your hair up in a ponytail, then divide it into three sections, braid, then tie it at the end. The pony braid can be a great option for high-impact workouts since it keeps all your hair pulled back – just be warned it might hit you in the head as you move! If the pendulum movement bothers you, try tying your ponytail off low and to the side, so that the braid rests on your shoulder.           FRENCHBRAID    For the practiced:  The French Braid The French braid is functional yet sophisticated and exudes poise and confidence. The style minimizes flyaways by incorporating strands into the braid relatively close to their roots, so your whole mane holds perfectly in place no matter how much moving you do. How to do it: If you do not know how to French braid, we highly recommend that you learn, as the Frenching fundamentals are the building blocks for many other more advanced braids. Watch this video on how to complete a basic French braid, like this one.  (Psst: Here’s a great tip while you practice: lay face-up on your bed, head hanging halfway off the edge of the mattress. This will get gravity working in your direction, and will also allow you to periodically rest your arms without dropping your hair! )           CROWNBRAID     For the advanced: The Crown Braid  Once you’ve mastered the French braid, the next step up involves French braiding select pieces of hair in funky directions to achieve more interesting looks. Enter the crown braid. How to do it: Part your hair slightly to one side, and then create a hairline-hugging French braid on the larger side of the part. When you add pieces on the side away from your face, try not to grab hair too far away from your hairline. When pulling the braid tight, try to keep the braid as close to your hairline as possible. When you’ve braided all the way to your ear, basic braid the existing pieces and tie off at the end. Repeat this process on the other side. Then, pull all of your hair into a ponytail or bun, removing the two earlier hair ties.       WATERFALLPONY     For the super advanced: The Waterfall Braid This braid acts as a headband to keep those pesky front pieces from getting in your eyes, and is also a great choice for shorter hair cuts. How to do it: For this style, follow the crown braid instructions above, but with an deeper side part. Here’s the trick to get the “waterfall” effect: when you arrive at a piece on the opposite side of your hairline (e.g., every other motion), abandon the entire piece and pick up a new one to incorporate into the braid. When you go all the way from one ear to the other, just finish it off as a regular braid, then pull all of your hair into a ponytail. This process is very easy but can be a bit tricky to describe, so here is a helpful video tutorial.       Want to test drive one of these braids in class? Sign up for a high-intensity class. Not a ClassPass member? Sign up now! 

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