Everyone knows that exercising is one of the best habits for your health. It protects your heart and body against disease, boosts energy and concentration. In addition, regular exercise slows down aging.
But not everyone has the means, the time or the desire to go to the gym. As I write this article, it is even worse, since we are in confinement because of COVID 19. Following a sports program at home is therefore a great way to achieve this goal.
But for some exercises it is better to buy an exercise mat, whether a model for yoga, fitness, gym, crossfit or strengh training.
Why equip yourself with a fitness or yoga mat?
There are several reasons for this, which we will try to detail.
1. Protect the floor from shocks and friction
For some physical exercises, the floor can be put to a severe test. This is true of almost any surface that will be subjected to repetitive motion or impact. For example, if you're doing weight training or crossfit, even with suspension straps, you'll soon see your tiles or floating floor get a little sore. One dumbbell set a little too hard, and it's a guaranteed disaster 🙁
The same is true if you want to install a weight bench, a squat rack, an indoor rower or an elliptical trainer. You absolutely must put something under it, unless your floor is concrete. Because your equipment will inevitably move a little and mark your coating.
So, it is better to take the lead with a good thick and ultra-resistant weight mat. Not a cheap model intended for doing a few push-ups, but a nice surface made of indestructible material capable of lasting the life of rats.
2. Improve the quality of your sessions
Doing yoga or gymnastics on an uncomfortable surface will not encourage you to train. In addition, it can be dangerous to do a fitness, crossfit or weight training session on a hard and slippery surface. And it's even worse in the summer because of sweating.
At the same time, you will not solve the problem of choosing your carpet with most models on the market. They are either of poor quality or too small to do a good workout. Not to mention all the models I've tried that slip with every movement.
But I finally found the solution with a large non-slip exercise mat, as you'll see below 😉
3. Protect your joints with a suitable homemade sports mat
A gym mat also aims to improve your training comfort. This is especially true for those who do yoga, gymnastics, body weight training or certain calisthenics exercises. Indeed, these workouts often require a permanent contact with the ground.
For yoga, for example, you have to choose a floor mat that is both comfortable and large in size for certain positions. Otherwise we often end up with certain parts of the body off the mat. In addition, you risk having pain in the joints that are in direct contact with the tiles, parquet or concrete.
Likewise, one must protect one's joints when doing exercises such as jump squats, mountain climbers, burpees, jump rope and many others. Try doing planks on a suitable carpet and on the tiles, you will quickly feel the difference in the elbows, for example.
So you need to choose a mat that is suitable for your sport, gentle on your joints and durable. However, it should not be so thick and flexible that it interferes with your balance and stability. Not so easy to find happiness.
4. A gym mat is more hygienic
Well yes, imagine the bacteriological state of your carpet or your living room rug if you train on it. I advise you not to take out your microscopes, you will cry 😉
A gym or yoga mat will not be spared, of course. But he is easier to clean and disinfect than an entire room or your carpet. Especially after a very sweaty session...
The carpets that I present to you right after are extremely easy to clean. For mine, which always stays in place, it's a broom in the morning and a little water with white vinegar after a sweaty session. Even the robot vacuum goes over it. As for the yoga mat I use for the stretching exercises, it's almost the same except for the broom because the designs are deeper on the surface. But no problem with the vacuum cleaner and the vinegar water.
Then, for those who can't leave the material in the room, just roll up the rug and put it in a corner.
My choices of mats for at-home sessions
I will now introduce you to the 2 homemade sports mats that I recommend. And as usual, I specify that I speak about it because I own them. It's even easy to check since the latest videos of my youtube channel were made on the Workout mat from SquareFit. The photos below were also taken at my home when they were received:
Note that SquareFit is a French family company that designs its own mats.
The best yoga mat I have found
Here is a first photo to show you the texture of the SquareFit Yoga Series mat. It is extra thick and large enough for stretching exercises as well as yoga or gentle gym sessions. Indeed, it measures 183 cm long by 122 cm wide.
This thick gym mat is therefore twice as wide as its competitors, and that makes all the difference. He is notable for his comfort in use.
However, keep in mind that it is really dedicated to yoga, stretching and other exercises performed without shoes. Otherwise you will quickly degrade its surface. This kind of carpet is not made to withstand shocks or to resist abrasion. On the other hand, in normal use, it is guaranteed for life. In addition, it is made with non-toxic and environmentally friendly materials.
So far, I haven't found any particular fault with it after a month of use. It is both flexible and stable. Sure, it's not the cheapest yoga mat out there, but remember it's double the size of a standard model. To learn more about this model, just click in the box below:
- YOUR HOME STUDIO IN ANY ROOM - Unroll your...
- COMFORT AND OPTIMAL STABILITY - Designed from a...
- UNIQUE DOUBLE-SIDED COATING - The top surface of the...
If you do bodybuilding sessions, whether with dumbbells, of the elastic bands or TRX straps, I insist that the Yoga Series will not work for you. But the model presented now will be your ideal playmate...
My choice of gym mat for weight training
This is my favorite and we have become inseparable. By the way, while I'm writing this article, he's right behind me waiting for me 😉 Photo proof (in the background it's my work desk):
Of course, due to its less drawn surface, the Workout Series mat is not as comfortable as the model made for yoga. But that's quite normal because we're not going to treat him with as much gentleness either. That being said, I happen to use it every day for stretching and I find it very pleasant despite everything. Especially since it also measures 183 cm long by 122 cm wide.
Which means if you only have to choose one type of sports mat for your gym and you need a versatile model, this is the one for you. I've tried many others on the market, but none come close to it, if I can put it this way knowing that a rug doesn't have a peg 😂
For me it is the perfect model. Among its many qualities, I will mention these:
- Ultra-resistant (my previous model deformed during exercises and its surface made waves)
- Made of ECO-PVC, it is made from organic materials including 57% sea salt (100% recyclable)
- Extremely stable, it does not slip on the ground, even when I am completely off center with the TRX straps (yet my tiles are perfectly smooth)
- It does not deform, even when it is stored rolled up (this is also the case for the yoga one, which I often fold)
- The surface of this training mat offers good grip to perform your sessions in perfect conditions despite perspiration (particularly useful for burpees and jumping jacks)
- Guaranteed for life
- Free delivery
Here is a close-up photo to show you its very different texture from the previous model:
So it's true that it isn't the cheapest gym mat on the market either, but it is 2 times bigger than other quality models and not worth double their price. Far from there !
In other words, this non-slip fitness mat is a great deal for regular or intensive use. You can discover it by clicking on the link in the box :
- YOUR GYM IN ANY ROOM - Unroll...
- ULTRA RESISTANT - High density shape memory material....
- UNIQUE DOUBLE-SIDED COATING - The top surface of the...
The weak points of SquareFit sports mats
As nothing is ever perfect, I just allow myself 2 criticisms on these models from SquareFit:
- They have the flaw in their quality: they are large and it's great for weight training, gym or yoga sessions at home. On the other hand, it is not an advantage if you have to travel often. You may need a smaller booster model with a carrying strap in this case.
- It would take an offer of different sizes to have transportable models.
- They only exist in black and I admit that I would have liked a little more choice. And I think there are girls who would like to have a more fun model for yoga or the gym. But I know they have this planned at SquareFit. Patience…
But frankly, don't let that stop you from buying these 2 models which are in my eyes the best you can find in France. In any case, I would not exchange them for any other home gym mat...
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Last update on 2022-11-04 / Affiliate links / Some images are from the Amazon Product Advertising API