How to Incorporate Exercises to
Avoid Burnout in the Beauty Biz
People who think that your salon, spa, or studio job isn’t physically demanding clearly haven’t lived out a full day in the beauty biz.
Whether you’re standing up for 8 hours, using your wrists and hands to cut and style hair, massaging a client, or literally any other part of your job, you know how exhausting it can be! At the end of the day, your muscles are sore, your body is tired, and you’re probably feeling like you got hit by a semi-truck.
The good news? There are ways to help slow down an even avoid this type of muscle and body burnout, and all it takes is a little knowledge, a dash of determination, and some willingness to move around.
Exercising after work might seem super unlikely, so if you can’t fit it into your busy schedule, there are plenty of on-the-job exercises you can try out to help give your body the stimulation or break it might need.
Check out a few of our favorite in-salon, in-studio, or in-spa exercises to help avoid burnout. You can do these between clients, on your lunch break, or even implement them into your post-work routine.
Either way, your body will thank you!
Wrist, Hand, and Finger Exercises
No matter what career you’ve chosen within the beauty industry, we’re willing to bet that you’re working with your hands an awful lot. Because of this, you’re probably used to experiencing stiffness, soreness, and aching in your fingers, hands, and wrists. Not only does this affect your work, but it’s also generally pretty uncomfortable. There are plenty of different wrist and hand strengthening exercises you can do strengthen your hands and stretch out your wrists.
For starters, try wrist flexor exercises. This is where you gently and carefully flex your wrists with your palm moving toward your forearm. Do this a few times on each wrist but be careful not to move too quickly or jerk your wrist around – you don’t want to accidentally hurt yourself.
Another exercise that can help is a wrist extensor, this is when you flex your palm away from your forearm to stretch out and strengthen the wrist muscles. If you’re at work, you can try exercises like wrist circles, where you gently move your wrists clockwise and counterclockwise to warm them up and stretch them out. You can also try a wrist exercise with a simple tennis ball where you hold the tennis ball in your palm, lay your forearm on a table, and squeeze the tennis ball for 5-10 second intervals.
If you plan to work on your wrist strength at the gym (post-work or on your lunch break) try exercises like wrist extensor exercises with a resistance band where you flex your fist up toward your body and then extend your wrist down to the floor with the help of a resistance band. Another at-the-gym exercise is the wrist roller exercise with a dumbbell, where you hold a lightweight dumbbell with both hands, extend your arms, and flex and extend your wrist to roll the dumbbell in repeatedly.
Take a Lap or Get Your Blood Pumping
It sounds silly to do this at work, but this is a great way to help avoid both mental and physical burnout during a long workday (or a long work week!).
Try to take a lap around the outside of your building between clients, on your lunch break, or whenever you have a spare moment. This will help get the circulation going in your legs, allow you the opportunity to stretch, and keep you moving so that you don’t get sore from standing on your feet.
If you’re not able to walk around the outside of your building, clear it with your salon, studio, or spa to allow you to take a lap or two indoors. Make sure you’re not distracting other workers and not getting in anyone’s way if you choose to take this route.
Want to amp this little routine up?
Try to incorporate some calisthenics into your lap, like high knees, butt-kicks, jumping jacks, or grapevines! This will get your blood pumping and help to fight off those aches and pains.
For Your Back:
If your back starts to act up after a few long days working in your salon or spa, then you’ll want to make sure you’re taking extra care to stretch out those muscles. A sore, achy back can make work a terrible experience. Try stretching your lower back by sitting in a chair with your arms hanging low. Spread your knees out and slowly lean forward. Try to hold this for a few breaths before slowly rising back up. Another great stretch for your back is to slowly squat with a chair or table in front of you for support. Make sure you’re keeping your feet flat on the ground and you’re pushing your knees out. Repeat this a few times slowly to really stimulate your spine.
For Your Neck and Shoulders:
Tightness in your neck and shoulders can lead to annoying aches and pains, but it can also lead to severe headaches or migraines. Taking care to stretch out your head, neck, and shoulders could be your saving grace at the end of a long work week. For your neck and head, try lowering your chin down to your chest and slowly (and carefully!) rolling your head from side to side. Ensure you’re doing this gently so as not to pull a muscle in your neck. Another great way to relieve your neck and head from pain is to make sure your shoulders are properly stretched out. Try the low-back handclasp, where you pull your arms behind you and clasp your hands together, then pull your interlocked hands away from your body. Do this gently so as not to pull anything. Another great shoulder opener is the cross-body arm stretch where you pull your arm across your chest and support it with your other arm, pulling to intensify the stretch.
For Your Legs & Feet:
If you’re struggling with sore feet and legs after a long day of standing, try to mix in a few different, simple stretches throughout the day to stimulate your muscles, avoid aches, and build strength. If you struggle with your feet and ankles, try a foot and ankle rotation exercise. With this exercise, you’ll sit down and then lift your heels up and rotate them in circles a few times each direction. Calf raises are also a good option for folks who want to alleviate leg pain. Try keeping your toes on the ground while raising your heels off the floor and then slowly lowering back down. You should feel a stretch in your calves. Leg extension stretches are great, too. Simply take a sit, stretch out your legs until they’re parallel with the ground, and then lower them back down slowly.