Different Types of Fitness Mats
Yoga mats are thinner than pilates mats because they are intended for lower impact exercises. They are made from cotton, closed cell PVC, rubber and mesh to provide non-slippery grip during exercises. If you carry your mat with you to class or are you have limited space, a thin mat would be idle for you.
Foam mats are used in martial arts classes and high-intensity training exercises to provide cushioning. They are about five inches thick and two square feet with interlocking edges. The thickness of these mats absorbs impact and shock to make training less painful.
General Purpose Mats
These mats are excellent for body weight exercises such as push-ups, planks, Russian twist, sit-ups, pilates, and yoga. They provide sufficient cushioning throughout the workout to protect your body against a hard surface. They come in many sizes, thickness, and color. There are three main types of general purpose mats:
- Foam core with a vinyl cover. These mats are durable, able to withstand repeated use and easy to clean.
- TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer material). These are comfortable mats and the most eco-friendly as they can be recycled.
- EVA. EVA foam mats are lightweight, but they are not built to resistant abrasiveness of the trainer
Heavy-duty PVC Fitness Mats
They are designed for floor fitness or cardio related exercises. They are thick enough to give you the optimum cushioning while exercising. The size of the mat enables your head and torso to fit without hanging off the edge. This mat is very durable and it can accommodate heavy exercise equipment. Heavy-duty PVC mat features a textured surface to give you a strong grip.
Benefits of using Fitness Mats
- The cushion padding protects your hands, legs, knees, and elbows during floor workouts. They feature durable closed cell foam which does not dent easily.
- Fitness mats give the best balance in yoga and protect hips and tailbone in pilates.
- They protect your floor from damage from impact during exercise, and they also keep the floor and carpet clean and sweat free.
- Most mats are portable and lightweight so you can fold for easy storage or transportation
- Exercise mats are long enough to accommodate full exercises, and they can be rolled to provide additional padding.
Things to Consider when Buying Fitness Mats
Most fitness mats require you to lie on your back or stomach for floor workout, so your mat needs to be long enough. Fitness mats come in different lengths, and the length you choose is determined by your height.
If you plan on traveling around with you mat or taking it to and from the class, consider the thickness of the mat first. Most fitness mats can be rolled up and stored away. Others have straps for convenient transportation.
Fitness mats can be classified into two categories: natural fibers and synthetic material. Mats made from PVC, rubber or eco-friendly material, provide good traction and referred to as sticky mats.
Type of Exercise
Yoga mats are mostly 1/4 because the exercise requires the trainer to feel the floor with their bare feet through the mat. They have a bumpy surface to stick on the floor and provide a firm grip to the trainer.