Hilary here…So. If you haven’t guessed from our blog name, we are two girls who Crossfit (sometimes in matching outfits, see above). I wouldn’t describe either one of us as being particularly girly (we can, and do, dress up from time to time, but both Jess and I are pretty comfortable in our sweats). However, girly or not, there are certain concerns that ladies have at the gym that our Crossfit guys don’t have to wrestle with.
Today, we give you those Crossfit girl problems (and how to solve them). We’re sure you can relate….
So, if you’re reading this and you’re a guy or a short-haired girl, you can scroll right on down. But both Jess and I have lovely, long, luscious locks. Which look great (if we ever actually put in the time to do our hair) but can be a bit much to deal with at times in the gym. I’ve found that different workouts/lifts/movements can require different hairstyles. But, the first rule of thumb for long-haired (or any length that requires a pony tail) girls who do Crossfit is:
2 ELASTICS. ALWAYS. This is the only way to make sure your pony is truly secure and won’t be loosening up on you as you WOD. Am I right? As another one of my Crossfit gal pals once said: “If you only need one elastic, you’re not doing it right.” Now that that’s out of the way, on to some of my hairstyle/movement pairing suggestions.
Double Unders: Your best bet here is a low ponytail or braid. If I walk into the gym with a high pony and see DUs on the board, I will always re-adjust to make it lower. Otherwise, your hair will be hitting you in the head/getting caught up in the rope for the whole time (high ponytails also end up slapping you in the face A LOT during box jumps). And I’ve not had success with getting a bun to stay in during DUs. After the first couple of jumps it’s super-loose/falling out.
Back Squats: Go for the bun! A high ponytail isn’t terrible, but you will probably hit yourself in the head/get it in the eyes when you unrack, which can be kind of funny. A low braid or ponytail though? No bueno. Your hair will be pinned under the bar in no time flat.
Foam/Lacrosse Ball Rolling: The bun for the win again, or a super-high pony. Even though I know better, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a nice braid/side/low pony and rolled it under the roller/ball, getting it caught and yanking nicely. Save yourself and your follicles ladies: put it up high when you roll it out.
Also, if you are braiding your hair (which I love to do), a couple tips:
- 1 elastic at the top, one at the bottom. If you just tie the bottom I find it’s not tight enough and is falling out in no time flat.
- Make sure the bottom elastic is tight. I’ve had a couple fall out on me during WODs that are particularly jumpy. I start the workout with a braid and end with a pony. I’ve never found those elastics…
- High or low, depends on your mood and what movements you’re doing (see above)
Dress for Success
It’s not just about looking good (although that is important, and I totally think you should work out in clothes that are cute and you feel fabulous in). There are certain things to take into consideration when you are dressing for a WOD or lifting session.
The most important thing I’ve found? Tighter is better. Crossfit involves a lot of jumping and bending, which can be super-annoying if you’re trying to deal with clothes that are hanging off of you or constantly need to be tucked or adjusted. Similarly, Olympic lifts and deadlifts involve a bar skimming your thighs. Things are much more streamlined if you’re wearing shorts or tights versus looser pants or capris.
And make sure your tights/leggings fit you correctly/are a quality brand that will stay up on you. Nothing is more aggravating than doing double unders and realizing your pants are halfway down your butt (been there – trust me on this one).
As far as shorts go, things can be a challenge. I personally have shorts that fit me pre-crossfit, and now they are somewhat, um, shorter than I remembered (which was awesome when I was wearing them the day we had to do a one mile run…I didn’t even bother pulling them down because I knew I’d just be pulling for the entire mile). If you’re ok with short shorts, then go ahead and rock a nice pair of booty shorts, a la Stacey Tovar (your choice on if you want to wear white though). Otherwise, you can try a looser fitting pair (just make sure you do the all important squat test before you buy)!
Now, a word on colour choice. White, pastels and pale shades are lovely – but if you wear a shirt like that to the gym, it will look disgusting in no time flat. Constantly hitting the deck on a dirty floor for burpees, push-ups and who knows what else will coat your beautiful top in a nice layer of gym grime. No one told me this, so I had to find out on my own and now am the proud owner of a cute bright yellow lulu t-shirt with smears of grey perma-dirt all over that won’t come out in the wash. If you really want to wear your whites to the gym, save them for a day you know you’ll only be lifting and not doing a WOD.
Tall socks. They’re fun. Also essential if you’re doing rope climbs (otherwise you’ll end up with some great wounds that take weeks to heal). They look great with shorts and you can get all kinds of them. But honestly, other than rope climbs, I don’t really wear mine all that often.
What #crossfitgirlproblems am I missing? Anything you’d add to this post?