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So I was watching American Ninja Warrior and noticed one of the ladies had a beautiful manicure…but SHORT nails.
Now, I know that if you’re a Ninja Warrior, that’s the way it’s got to be…NOTHING that could potentially get in your way!!
But I was just curious, what about long nails at the gym, for us everyday folks?
Especially since I recently wrote a blog post called “Can You Work Out with Eyelash Extensions?” In that post, I concluded that if you go to a reputable beautician…and you follow some basic guidelines, like, don’t shower or sweat in the first 24 hours…You’re “batting” 1,000!
(That’s my way of saying, yes, you can wear eyelash extensions and do any workout. 😉 )
And of course, looking good and feeling good go hand-in-hand…Beauty and working out
shouldn’t be at odds with each other!!
Like, yes, your hair getting SWEAT DAMAGE from working out…or split ends from hair bands…these are concerns for some women, but they’re small concerns that are easily fixed.
Let me give you some tips on that real quick…After that, I’ll answer the question, “Can you work out with a manicure?”
Tip 1: Instead of wearing a typical hair tie that can lead to breakage:
1) Use elastic hair ties with no seams
2) Wear SCRUNCHIES instead
3) Avoid putting your hair up when it’s wet from the shower
Tip 2: To prevent sweat damaged hair… get familiar with leave-in conditioners. During your workout, use a hair tie alternative I just mentioned.
Tip 3: After your workout, take your hair tie out and apply dry shampoo.
Now, of course, that’s not as important as things like COOL DOWN exercises after you work out…nor as important as changing your CLOTHES (no UTIs from trapped sweaty bacteria down there, PLEASE!).
But I understand that a lot of you work hard for smooth (or beautifully curly) hair, free of split ends and other issues, and don’t want to lose that!!
So anyway, on to the main issue: Can you work out with a manicure?
Unlike hair and eyelashes…this was the one exercise-and-beauty issue that I couldn’t think of how to fix…
I mean, if you’re rock climbing or strength training, then your nails are going to break, no matter how careful you are. And if you try to apply lots of coats and nail strengthener…it’s just going to hurt more when they do break!!
In fact, if you’re doing intense outdoor exercises, the worst that could happen is, you could SCRATCH yourself with a broken nail filled with dirt, and cause an infection! I don’t think I need to tell you that those things can be WEAPONS!
So with that out of the way, you may be saying, “But Michele, I see all sorts of Instagram fitness models with long fingernails. Are they fake press-ons??”
The truth is, there are a lot of women who do more than cardio — strength train, yoga, etc. — with long nails.
One strategy for lifting with is avoiding the “hook grip” (gripping thumb in between your hand and the barbell)…thumb digging into skin…ouch!!
It’s all about adjusting your grip slightly, and if you’re embarrassed to be seen messing around with that at the gym, then grab something that’s about as thick as a bar, like a magic marker. See what kind of grip is comfortable there!
Also, be careful taking weight plates on and off barbells!!
Now, exercises like yoga and pushups can be more difficult with long nails, IF you make fists with your wrists. How do you avoid your nails digging painfully into your palms? Well, DON’T tuck your fingernails under. Just let them rest over the top of the palm. Totally safe for exercises like yoga or push-ups. Or, rest on your forearms during planks!!
A couple of final nail notes: use DIP POWDER (powdered acrylic), in addition to nail strengthener, to keep nails from breaking.
And, how to keep the polish from chipping? GEL POLISH always gets great reviews!
So, can you work out with a manicure? My view is, yes, for the most part…NOT rock climbing or martial arts…and just BE CAREFUL!