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A guide to buying a workout mat

Using the right equipment is an essential part of any workout and workout mats are no exception. With many different types of gym mats for sale, knowing exactly what to look for is important; so let’s take a look at how to go about buying a mat that will suit your needs.

Various types of workout mats

Workout mats have many benefits including protection of knees, elbows and tail bone; improving balance and protection of floor surfaces. The type of mat that you buy will depend on the type of mat exercises you will be doing. Workout mats are used for most general exercises and the rise in pilates and yoga has seen the need for quality workout mats increase. Here are some of the features of the different types of mats currently available. General exercise fitness mats Thickness: 1cm - 1.5cm.
Length: 140cm – 190cm.
Width: Approx 58cm. If you require a mat for general exercises like sit-ups, press-ups and stretches then a general PVC foam mat will suffice. These mats are widely available for between £5 and £15. Pilates exercise mats Thickness: 1.5cm - 1.9cm.
Length: 140cm – 216cm.
Width: approx 58 to 100cm. Due to the nature of pilates moves, pilates mats are required to be a bit thicker than most other workout mats, grip on the underside of the mat is also required. A good pilates mat will be odour and moisture resistant, made from Thermal Plastic Elastomer (TPE) and come in folding and roll up styles. These mats are widely available for between £10 and £30. Yoga mats Thickness: 0.3cm - 0.6cm.
Length: 120cm – 190cm.
Width: approx 55 to 80cm. Yoga mats aren’t required to be as thick or big as pilates mats. One of the benefits of this is that they are usually much easier to roll up, store and carry. A good yoga mat will have good gripping on both sides to help balance, be moisture and odour resistant and made from TPE. Yoga mats for sale are usually priced between £15 and £30. Heavy duty exercise fitness mats Thickness: 1.5cm - 5cm.
Length: 122cm – 240cm.
Width: approx 60 to 122cm. As these mats are difficult to move and store, they are more commonly used in the medical profession by physiotherapists and by athletes in gyms. These mats can cost up to £135.

Assess your needs before buying

There are various cheap exercise mats available but the most important thing to do before buying is to assess what exactly you will be using the mat for. Most of the above mentioned mats are available from all local fitness stores, sports stores, general stores and also fitness websites like Gymworld and Fitness-superstore.co.uk.

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