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I love watching the olympics, in large part because of the plethora of female athletes. I’m far from an olympian, but I am definitely more fit than delicate, and it’s inspiring to see other physically strong women. Watching my favorite soccer players, runners, and tumblers gives me a little extra motivation at the gym, reminds me that looking strong does not take away from looking feminine, and gives me plenty of fit-girl beauty inspiration. I’m not the kind of girl who spends a lot of time primping before a workout, but considering that I spend an average of 6-8 hours a week at the gym, I do sometimes get bored with a plain ponytail. My favorite olympians have some awesome and very durable solutions. Click the notes to learn about my favorites. –– Laura Martin 

#1: Bouncy Ponytail With Headband. Wear a ponytail at the occipital bone (the ridge at the back of the head) and it will naturally fluff out a bit from the head, giving it a bit of bouncy movement. Add a headband about an inch from the front hairline; it keeps flyaways in place and adds a splash of color.

#2: Ballerina Knot. The topknot looks cool, but its super-high placement makes it a bit precarious and prone to wild hairlines. This look takes the knotted shape and settles it slightly further back on the head, placing the shape at the top of the crown, where it will sit securely through burpees and handstands.

#3: Braided Ponytail: Adding a braid to a ponytail is a quick and easy way to take it up a notch whether you choose to incorporate a small plait into the side, or entwine the tail to create a polished rope. Just keep it to a single braid and the look should come together in less than 10 minutes.

Special thanks to Laura Martin for this post. Laura is a professional hair stylist, former senior educator at ARROJO cosmetology school, and a creative non-fiction MFA student at Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA. Follow her inspirations on twitter @LarMarStyle



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