Hairbrained Quick-Tips: Core Strength for Career Longevity

Katrina Nguyen demonstrates a core-strengthening exercise. Photo courtesy of Hairbrained

If you’re a craft hairdresser, you’re probably familiar with lower back strain. And though debilitating pain is a common side effect of a career spent on your feet— it’s not one that you have to put up with. By adding a few simple at-home exercises to your daily regimen, you can improve your posture and stabilize your spine.  

Here, Katrina Nguyen, longtime hairdresser and owner of @DVLPMNT_Lifestyle, shares her tips and tricks for strengthening the core muscles. Read on to learn how you can increase your career longevity by strengthening the muscles that support your spine’s health, so you can live pain free, now and in the decades to come.

Tip 1: Plank pose. Straightforward and easy to achieve, the plank pose boasts myriad benefits. Requiring strength and endurance, a properly held plank pose can work to strengthen your core. But the pose also firms your gluteus muscles, hamstrings, plus supports proper posture and improves overall stability and balance.

“Begin in a push up position, making sure to keep your hands, elbows and shoulders in line. Contract your abs and squeeze your gluteus muscles. As you build up strength, you can modify the pose by dropping to your knees. Conversely, you can add intensity by adding a ‘toe tap.’ Stabilize your hips, and tap the right toe out to the side, repeating on the opposite side. Whichever variation you choose, make sure that you’re able to hold it for 30-60 seconds.”

Tip 2: Scissor kick. A flutter kick can help to target and sculpt a variety of muscle-groups. From toning your lower abdominal muscles to working your hip flexors, flutter kicks provide a great mini-workout, in one simple pose.

“Lay flat on your back with your arms by your sides and your palms placed facing down. Extend your legs out in front of you, keeping a slight bend in your knees. Make certain that your lower back is pressed firmly to the ground. Lift your heels off of the floor, and make small, yet rapid, scissor like motions with your legs (crossing one over the other, horizontally). Modify the pose by lifting your legs slightly higher, which will put less strain on your abdominal muscles. Repeat for 30 seconds, taking breaks as needed.”

Tip 3: Swimmers. Benefiting the entire core area, a ‘swimmer’ can help to strengthen your back muscles, helping to improve your posture, mobility and stability. This exercise also challenges your core muscles. You’ll engage the deep abdominal muscles, ultimately improving your body’s overall alignment.

“Lie on your belly with your arms and legs fully extended. Raise both arms and legs off of the ground, lifting your head and chest. As you do so, make sure that your neck and spine remain in a neutral position, and that your gaze remains forward. Flutter your arms and legs as if you were swimming. Keep your belly pulled in tight to protect your lower back. Modify the pose by decreasing the elevation of your arms and legs. Increase the difficulty by adding light weights to the hands and feet.”

By adding these three simple poses to your regimen, three times weekly, you’ll build a strong foundation for increased core strength and you can be certain to enjoy a long and successful career.          

For daily fitness and nutrition related tips, plus inspiration, follow Katrina on Hairbrained, Facebook and Instagram @DVLPMNT_LIFESTYLE  

About: Founded by two like-minded hairdressers: Photographer and hairdresser, Randy Taylor, plus world-renowned educator and platform artist, Gerard Scarpaci. Both share a deep love for the industries professionals and the craft alike. www.hairbrained.me @hairbrained_official

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