The mat is an integral part of almost every exercise. The main reason why the mat is used is for better stability in exercise positions. This is because a fixed posture will increase your safety and greater comfort when exercising. Furthermore, the functions of the mat include sweat absorption to prevent slipping. An equally important function is the cushioning of movements to protect ligaments, joints and tendons. The pad also dampens impact noises so you won't disturb your neighbors during your home workout. There are different variations of pads to choose from.
When making the right choice, there are several factors to consider that will determine how well you will work out. In our article, we will focus on the most important ones, describe them thoroughly and advise you on how to go about choosing the ideal exercise mat.
Factors in choosing a pad
Thickness and hardness
The standard thickness of the pad is around 0.4 cm. When it comes to the higher, softer type of pad (> 1 cm), it is primarily suitable for slower forms of exercise, especially stretching. If you suffer from "blistered" knees, we recommend that you consider choosing thicker options and possibly switching to thinner ones over time. In our e-shop you will find yoga mats ranging from 0.4 to 1.5 cm.
Exercise mats are made of different types of material. The material from which the mat is made determines its softness, strength and also how well it wicks away sweat. Their durability also varies according to the material. In recent years, special materials that wick sweat well and are made in a more environmentally friendly way without phthalates and latex - for example, NBR synthetic rubber - have been catching up with conventional PVC and foams. This material excels in properties such as strength, stiffness and resistance to blisters.
Types of material
- TPE pads
They are made of high quality TPE foam. The soft surface ensures maximum comfort during exercise. The thickness is usually around 0.6 cm. The mat is non-slip, so it will not slip on the floor. Thanks to the material from which it is made, it provides very good stability on the mat, so you are not in danger of slipping even when performing more demanding exercises. Easy to maintain. You can use the mat in yoga, pilates, stretching (stretching), Body Core, Body Balance and more.
+ light weight
+ load resistance
+ slip resistance
+ long service life
- NBR pads
Sports pads made of NBR foam are suitable for exercise at home, in the gym, but also for outdoor activities - camping, picnics, outdoor exercise... They are among the stronger types of pads. It may be suitable for those of you who suffer from joint pain or pain in the lumbar spine. You can choose from different thicknesses, which range from 0.8 to 1.5 cm.
+ shock and noise absorption
+ durability, stability
- EVA mats
They are made of lightweight EVA foam. They are available in 0.4 or 0.6 cm thickness. These mats are the right choice for Power Yoga and other dynamic exercises - e.g. Body Building, Body Form, Bosu Pilates, etc.
+ non-slip surface
+ extra lightweight
+ moisture resistance
Pad made of 0.6 cm thick TPE material
Pad made of 1 cm thick NBR material
Podložka z EVA materiálu o tloušťce 0,4 cm
To exercise on the mat you need to take into account the height of your body. Standard sizes of yoga mats range between 180-183 cm. If you don't spend the whole workout on the mat, mostly sitting on it or leaning on it at the hips, the short type (173 cm) will be sufficient. If you need a firm stance on the mat, perform range exercises and lie down, the mat should ideally be taller than you. Exercise mats are available in sizes up to 216 cm.
How you will use your pad is the last key point to consider when you're choosing one.
- Will you be exercising outdoors in nature or at home?
In case you are exercising outside your home and need to carry the mat, it is advisable to choose a lighter version to facilitate longer trips. The advantage is the easy washability, where you just wipe the mat with a damp cloth.
If you don't need to carry the mat and you are exercising at home, for example, you don't have to worry about its higher weight.
- Will your workout be slow or more dynamic?
Pilates, Yin Yoga and Stretching - For this type of exercise, choose a higher, soft mat, taking into account your body type and musculoskeletal capabilities.
Dynamic Yoga, Ashanta or Flow Yoga, Body Balance - When choosing a mat for more dynamic types of exercise, focus on the non-slip surface, strength and sufficient length of the mat to ensure stability in all positions. You can choose rather thinner options taking into account your physical disposition.
Aerobic, Fitness, Power Joga, Body Building - For these more demanding types of exercise, non-slip surfaces and density for impact absorption are priorities. The ideal thickness of such a pad is around 6 mm. As an advantage, you will again appreciate the good absorption capacity for sweat wicking. After use, it is sufficient to wipe the pad with a damp cloth.
Accessories for fitness mats:
As an accessory to the fitness mat you will certainly appreciate the portable straps, which serve to store the mat in the rolled up position and for easy transportation. In our e-shop you will find several mats that include straps.
For better protection against external damage, the yoga mat cover is suitable, which you can also find in our e-shop in the section Yoga mat covers. The mat cover will prevent scratches, scuffs and unwanted contamination.
Another useful accessory when exercising on the mat is a towel, which will ensure the absorption of excess sweat and make exercise more pleasant. The towel is very useful in fitness centres where more people use the mat. Using a towel is more hygienic in this case. You can choose from several types of towels that we offer here.
Fitness mat with a strap
The mat case
TIPY:In conclusion, we offer you a few types that will come in handy when choosing an exercise mat:
- Be careful of pads that are too soft, which can dampen your movements and make the postures less stable, making the exercise more challenging or even counterproductive. Soft mats are therefore not recommended for yoga.
- Proper anti-slip pads ensure grip on both sides. That is, both to the surface (e.g. smooth gym floor) and to the mat itself (touch of the hands and other parts of the body). Excessive perspiration should be taken into account, where it is better to use a towel on the mat.
- Keep mats rolled up or hung on special racks, in the case of gyms/fitness centres. Folding them improperly could damage their functional properties.
- The material from which the pads are made ensures resistance to dirt and moisture. You can use them in sports clubs, fitness centres or gyms as they are completely hygienic. Their maintenance couldn't be easier - just wash them with clean water or spray with disinfectant and they can be used again. Use the mat for yoga, pilates, stretching (stretching), Body Core, Body Balance and more.