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The best workout-approved hairstyles, according to Olympians


Photo: Instagram/@francescadallape
Photo: [email protected]
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There’s a lot that Olympic athletes have to think about: training, fueling, focusing, and taking care of their bodies.

But among the many ways that not-quite-professional active people can learn from the major players in Rio, perhaps the most applicable is…their hairstyles.

Because while you might not need to learn how to perfect your freestyle stroke to nail a record-setting 800-meter swim (go Katie Ledecky!), you’re likely always looking for new ways to keep your hair out of your face while you’re keeping pace on the treadmill, on what feels like your millionth burped at boot camp, or grapevining your way through dance cardio class.

And no one knows creative ‘dos that do more than keep their hair pulled back as they vault, dive, sprint, and score like these athletes.

What we’ve learned so far? The regular ponytail so four years ago. From technicolor streaks to braided ponytails, these are the hairstyles to try for your next workout. Maybe they’ll inspire some Olympic-level fitness feats as well!

Scroll down for four Olympian-approved ‘dos you should try for your next sweat session.

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olympic hairstyle
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1. The top-top knot

Take your half-bun up a notch with this super-high top-knot. It survived through all of gymnast (and #FierceFive member) Aly Raisman’s insane floor maneuvers—and who can argue with a gold and silver medalist?

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olympian hairstyle
Photo: [email protected]_kocian

2. Tiny braids to accent a ponytail

Olympic gymnasts need to keep their hair seriously flip-proof—but that doesn’t mean they can’t add some stylish accents. Madison Kocian rocked a tiny braid in her ponytail before she dominated the bars (contributing to the team gold). Definitely fierce.

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Photo: Instagram/@francescadallape
Photo: [email protected]

3. The braided ponytail

The braid-ponytail hybrid keeps hairstyles on lock for Italian synchronized divers Francesca Dallape and Tania Cagnotto as they knock out flip after flip—in tandem—off of a diving board. The duo took home the silver medal this year.

braided ponytail
Photo: [email protected]_armitstead

British cyclist Lizzie Armitstead opted for the braided ‘tail as she placed fifth in the women’s road race. Let’s just say there were no flyaways slowing her down.

kerri walsh jennings hairstyle
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Volleyball champ Kerri Walsh Jennings is often sporting this braid style on the beach as she slays her opponents. She (along with teammate April Ross) just advanced to the quarterfinals.

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venus williams
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4. A dash of technicolor

If your go-to workout hairstyle is a simple ponytail, try spicing it up with a bold color a lá tennis superstar Venus Williams. Though she didn’t advance to finals this year, her hair should have.

ryan lochte hair
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Or, of course, you could go all out and dye your entire head an icy silver color for summer, like swimmer Ryan Lochte (who took home a gold medal). Just, er, maybe don’t go into a pool afterwards.

Ever wonder what it’s actually like to train like an Olympian? Here’s what happened when one of our editors tried it out. Or you could try this 10-minute Olympic-inspired cardio challenge