Exercise mats are great as stand-alone exercise equipment. They are also an awesome tool or accessory for exercise. They can be used from low-intensity activities such as static bodyweight exercises like crunches and planks up to high-intensity plyometric sessions. They can also be used for commercial or home gym use.
Exercise mats allow you to have a more comfortable workout by cushioning your knees, elbow, spine, and other delicate body parts. In this article, we discuss the things you should consider before purchasing an exercise mat. To narrow down your options, we also made a list of our top exercise mat picks.
It is important to first differentiate a yoga mat from an exercise mat. There are misconceptions that an exercise mat is interchangeable with a yoga mat, but it is not. Exercise mats will vary depending on the exercises you will perform on it. Pilates workouts, for example, require a surface that your body can slide on.
Exercise mats have low friction and, therefore, a low to medium gripping surface. Most exercises, static or moving, require that you rely on your own strength to keep or perform a movement; this is what separates an exercise mat from a true yoga mat.
Yoga mats, on the other hand, are supposed to be sticky. The surface should have at least a medium grip to allow you to hold different yoga positions. This allows for a progressive and gradual change in your form, not everybody is as flexible as they'd want to be.
Choosing the perfect exercise mat for you might seem like an easy decision to make. While exercise mats look very simple and its function very straightforward, there are more factors to consider than you think. We have created a comprehensive guide to help you pick your exercise mat correctly.
The exercises you plan on doing determine the size. Some might require a small area such as yoga or Pilates even bodyweight exercise like glute bridges and burpees. Smaller ones tend to be 180x61cm on average in size forming a rectangular shape, which is the most common size and shape for exercise mats.
Big ones, those that can have a 243x243cm in total size, are great for plyometrics, mixed martial arts, gymnastics, and crossfit-type movements. Big exercise mats are more often than not interlocking ones and, hence, are sold in packs.
There is a big difference of use for dense and soft mats. Dense mats are great for high-impact workouts with explosive movements such as jumping-squats for plyometrics, grappling movements for MMA, and flips for a gymnastics routine. They have a high-rebound and do not dampen nor completely absorb the forces exerted on them.
Soft mats are great for people who like having a cushioned surface in performing ground-based movements. It might be a mobility stretching routine, a Pilates core movement, or a simple plank - some people will want more padding than others. Soft mats prevent discomfort that may discourage you from exercising.
Whichever you prefer, make sure that it is thick enough to absorb shock that may damage your knees, ankles, neck, spine, or head.
The surface is the most important part of an exercise mat. The first thing to consider is the grip. Keep in mind two thing - how sticky do you need your mat to be, and how much grip the mat can give you. The surface material either provides you grip or slide.
Most exercise mats will have a rubber base. The base can either be natural or synthetic; it is known for its elasticity, flexibility, and It creates great foundational padding.
Foam is the most common material for exercise mats. They can range from soft to firm. Polyurethane foam is a great top layer as it gives the best grip. It is moisture-wicking. Also, it grips better the wetter it gets.
Cork is a natural, wood material. It is lightweight and springy, plus it is able tor resist bacteria and moisture. It gives a good grip, however, since it is a natural material, it can easily wear and degrade over time.
Lastly, Thermoplastic elastomer is essentially synthetic rubber. It is tougher and more protective. Plus, it is moisture-resistant which makes it more durable than other materials.
Exercise mats, generally, can be rolled, folded, or stacked. Bigger mats tend to be stacked. For smaller mats, they can have attached or detached straps for easy carrying.
This is why it is important for you to consider how much are you going to be moving around with your exercise mat. For more frequent travelling with your mat, opt for a more compact one.
A mat that is easily foldable or rollable. If you plan, however, to keep the mat in your home gym, then you can opt for larger, preferably interlocking mats that do not need constant moving. Balance the size and thickness of your exercise mat with the frequency of its use and where you plan to use it.
As an added tool or as your lone equipment, exercise mats are awesome. However, with a plethora of it available on the market, it can be hard to choose the best ones. Whether for your home or commercial gym, we are giving you a list of the best exercise mats online for you to choose from!
|Material||Synthetic Rubber - NBR|
|Material||Cork and TPE|
|Size||Folded Size: 60x60cm | Unfolded Size: 180X60cm|
|Thickness||PVC, EPE Foam|
|Material||Folded: 15cm | Unfolded: 5cm|
Extra Thick Exercise Mat
Yoga and Exercise Mat
Gym Outdoor Waterproof Rubber Mat
Non-Slip Sports Mat
Low Density Large Puzzle Mats
Extra Thick Gym Flooring
Cork Yoga Mat
Extra Large Shock-Absorbing Exercise Mat
Two-Side Mat for Grip or Slide
Folding Gymnastics Exercise Mat
Great for Newbies and Exercise Program Hoppers
Easy-to-Hang, Locally-Manufactured Exercise Mat
Heavy Duty Mat that Can Take on the Toughest Exercises
Thick Exercise Mat for Optimal Cushioning
Extra Large Mats for All Exercises
Thick, Interlocking Gym Flooring
Cork Yoga Mat for the Eco-Savvy
Extra Large Exercise Mat for the Athletes-in-Training
Environmentally Friendly Dual Surface Mat
A Thick yet Soft Exercise Mat
|Price Starts at||₱379||₱1,393||₱590||₱1,031||₱4,224||₱2,670||₱1,399||₱6,138||₱659||₱3,639|
|Size||180x60cm||180x61cm||50x50cm||185x80cm||1x1m||60x60cm||183x68cm||200x96cm||183x61cm||Folded Size: 60x60cm | Unfolded Size: 180X60cm|
|Thickness||10mm||8mm||2.5cm||113mm/1.3cm||2.5cm||1.2cm||5mm||8mm||6mm||PVC, EPE Foam|
|Material||NBR||TPE||Rubber||Synthetic Rubber - NBR||Rubber||Rubber||Cork and TPE||PVC||TPE||Folded: 15cm | Unfolded: 5cm|
Exercise mats are usually durable but they may degrade sooner than you want them to when not handled properly. So, we are giving you things to do to make sure your mat is odor-free, clean, and long-lasting. Follow these tips below:
Check out our other product recommendations that may help you with your fitness journey!
Exercise mats are great for your “quarantraining”. Depending on your preferences, you can use them at home during these lockdowns, at the local gym if your local government allows it, and just about anywhere. It is a very simple exercise tool but it can contribute greatly to the achievement of a fit, resilient, and stronger you.
We have been reminded of how important it is to look after our health because of the pandemic. Let us make the wise and right choice, look after your health not only for you but also for the ones dearest to you.
Author: Petre Baliton
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