Don’t know which exercise mat you need? We can help.
So, you’re in the market for a new exercise mat – or mats – for your gym, your PT business, your home workout space. You’ve been doing some online research, exploring different brands and price points to try and establish which exercise mat you need.
Where have you got to in that process?
If your research has left you more uncertain than you were even beforehand, we have reassuring news: you aren’t alone!
Because when it comes to exercise mats, there’s so much choice that it can be hard to know where to start. What thickness do you need? What material should you be looking for? Which mats are the easiest to keep clean?
Physical Company is here to help you navigate all of this and find the perfect mat for your needs.
How will you use your exercise mat?
Let’s step back from the question of brands and pricing for a moment, because the first thing you need to be looking at is how the mat will be used. It is this that determines the correct choice of exercise mat: it has to be the right mat for the job.
So, will your mat be used for yoga or pilates? For high-intensity training sessions? For stretching? Each of these activities demands a very different style of mat.
“This might sound really obvious, but you have to pick the right type of mat for the activity you’re going to use it for,” observes James Anderson, sales and marketing director at Physical Company.
“You’d be surprised how often people say they want a yoga mat – then, when asked what for, they explain it’s for a high-intensity circuit training class. In that environment, a yoga mat would be totally unsuitable. It simply wouldn’t give the body the protection it needs.”
Get a sweat on: HIIT workouts
HIIT requires enough cushioning to protect the joints and spine from impact during dynamic movements, yet not so much cushioning that you lose your balance. Somewhere around 9.5–12mm is generally spot on.
For HIIT classes in particular, you’ll also have hygiene and cleanliness high on your wish list. Look out for closed cell technology, as this means your exercise mats won’t absorb sweat and will be wipe-clean. All Physical Company’s AIREX fitness, yoga, pilates and studio mats use this technology.
For a cost-effective option, check out the Supasoft Studio Aerobic Mat. The ultimate mat for durability and comfort combined, these rugged, non-slip mats provide great support for the spine and joints. Or if you’re heading outdoors for your workout, how about the AIREX Xtrema – a new generation of mat that’s more durable than ever.
Get a grip: pilates & yoga
For pilates and yoga, a moisture-absorbing surface for maximum hand and foot grip is a great feature to look for, as is a textured underside to grip the floor.
You also have to get the right level of cushioning: you’ll need enough to protect the spine, but not so much that you lose connection with the floor. That tends to be around 5mm for yoga mats; roughly double that for pilates.
Physical Company’s own brand Performance Yoga Mat is top of many people’s yoga mat shopping lists: an affordable product for both in-club and at-home use that nevertheless delivers an exceptional user experience.
“As we went through the design process, we enlisted a group of yoga instructors to give us their hands-on insight. They tested out the various materials we were considering and their feedback was instrumental in creating a product that truly ticks every box for the end user,” explains Anderson.
The mat is designed to be the perfect thickness – “just enough to provide comfort, without losing any of the control you need for yoga” – with excellent grip on both sides. On the rear, this comes courtesy of a textured surface to grip the floor; on top, a moisture-absorbing layer ensures maximum hand/foot grip in all conditions.
Additional features include positional markings on the mat – a central postural guide, plus horizontal alignment markings for the hands and feet – and eyelets for hanging storage.
Physical Company also stocks a wide range of pilates mats, such as the AIREX Coronella pilates mat. At 15mm thick, it provides maximum comfort and cushioning, as well as a unique surface structure that prevents slipping.
Get down to it: Stretching
Meanwhile, for stretching, you’re looking for maximum cushioning and – where relevant and, particularly in the aftermath of COVID, permissible – a large enough mat to allow for partner work.
Physical’s Vinyl Studio Stretch Mats tick all the boxes: 32mm deep for great cushioning and comfort, wipe clean, and able to be produced with hook and loop fixtures to join multiple mats together for a larger stretch area.
And these are just a few suggestions, with many, many more mats to choose from on the physicalcompany.co.uk website. Now you know what you’re looking for, though, our wide range will be a plus point rather than a cause for confusion. Happy shopping!