Are you a competitive athlete or gym owner and wondering what kind of gym mat is best suited for your needs? There are many varieties of gym mats out there. How to choose the right one? The following information provides some excellent tips on what kind of gym mat is the right one for you.
It’s important to have a fundamental understanding of gym mat design to know what’s right for you. The two most popular materials for gym mat construction are EVA and rubber. Both can come in floor tiles you can easily fit together, similar to a jigsaw puzzle. As a general rule of thumb at British Martial Arts Mats however, EVA mats are jigsaw and rubber are straight edged.
They also come in a variety of colors and are double-sided. This is useful for creating specific patterns or zones on your floor space. Another bonus is that when one side fades from extensive use, you can flip it over. This allows you to prolong the life of the tile and get the most out of your investment.
However, please note that EVA and rubber floor tiles serve different purposes. You must understand what material is best suited to a particular sport or activity. This not only makes the best use of your purchase but is an important safety consideration as well.
Buying the wrong gym mat for your particular sport or activity can lead to injury. Also, consider the flooring surface you have. Mats placed over existing carpets provide a different experience than mats placed directly on concrete or hardwood floor. This is a factor to consider when determining the thickness of the mat you want. Carpet already adds an extra layer of padding, whereas concrete or hardwood does not.
EVA vs. Rubber
EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) is lighter and less expensive than rubber. It also comes in different thicknesses for various purposes. This type of material is ideal for absorbing impact and for lightweight training. EVA can also be cut with the ease of a carpet knife to fit your sizing requirements. Proper care and maintenance of this material are important. Avoid the use of detergents, which will cause the material to break down. Mild soap and water are best. Sharp objects easily damaged these mats. Avoid placing heavy furniture on them or walking across them in shoes like high heels.
Rubber floor tiles are derived from natural sources, like rubber trees or synthetic materials. They can even be made from recycled products like used car tires. This material is typically more costly but is also more durable. It is best suited for heavy-weight training and intense workout programs like cross-fit.
You now have a basic understanding of these different mats and how they are constructed. Next, it’s time to highlight some of the different varieties and their best uses.
20MM Jigsaw Mats
These mats are a superb choice for stand-up striking sports. If you train in karate, taekwondo, kung fu, boxing or kickboxing, this is the mat for you. Because of their lower density, these mats provide extra spring in the athlete’s step. They also allow quicker and more agility foot movement.
Surface texture is also an important consideration. For standing sports, it’s better to go with the high traction dimple surface texture. This will help prevent practitioners from slipping when training barefoot. However, this surface texture is too abrasive for groundwork and grappling, leading to mat burn or rash.
30-40MM Jigsaw Mats
Because of their thickness, these mats are a better choice for those practitioners in throwing and grappling sports. If you train in judo, BJJ, tradition jujitsu, aikido, sambo or wrestling, then these are an excellent option. These mats are heavier and have a higher density. This is perfect for absorbing the impact of break falls and throws.
Please note that the 30MM thickness is better suited for the strict use of groundwork and grappling. The 40MM thickness is better suited for practicing break falls and throws. For the surface texture of these mats, it’s best to go with the Tatami grip. It’s not as coarse as the high traction dimple texture and will help prevent mat burn or rash.
Although these mats are ideal for various martial arts disciplines and combat sports, they have other excellent uses.
If you operate a climbing gym, these mats provide an exceptional floor surface. Maybe you prefer bouldering outdoors at your favorite park. These mats can offer that necessary landing surface in case you slip.
Gymnastic schools can also find a great use for these mats. The same holds for trampoline parks, indoor ninja training gyms or stunt schools. If parkour is your thing, then these mats offer a fantastic option for safer training.
For the breakdancers out there who also want a safer training surface, these mats are the way to go. If you go with the thinner thickness, you can still benefit from a safer practice area and hit those head spins.
Perhaps you prefer your own home gym. Line the floor of your garage or studio with these mats to get the most out of your training sessions. These mats work well for home workouts in yoga, pilates, dance and weight training. Be sure to choose the thickness and textured surface for your needs.
Maybe you operate a childcare facility or run your own home daycare. These floor mats offer a lot of benefits to foster a safer play environment for the little ones.
As you can see, there are countless uses for these types of mats. The main thing is to be sure you know what kind of mat you want for the right situation. For combat martial arts enthusiasts, look no further. With the wide variety of thicknesses, surface textures and color schemes, you will find the perfect choice. For those of you who want something for other purposes, these mats are sure to offer the right solutions.
By Eddie Silver