Which Gym Mat is Best for My Sport?

When it comes to performance flooring for martial arts, weights, or other sports, your choice of flooring always matters.

Having the correct flooring is critical to mastering just about any sports discipline. Whether you want to create your own personal training studio, or establishing a commercial facility, sourcing the correct flooring is key to keeping yourself and others safe while you train.

Matching your gym mat to your sport makes all the difference and we are here to help!

If you want to be sure about your sports mat selection or quick and concise guide will assist in navigating the sometimes overwhelming range of sports mats on the market. Read on to match your sport to matting or flooring, that will work as hard as you need to!

Key considerations for finding the best gym or sports mat.

Whatever your sport, when evaluating a mat or flooring for your training the following factors are critical:
• Thickness and density: These factors determine the level of impact absorption the flooring can provide, which is not only critical for your protection but also protects the subfloor from damage too.
• Absorbency: Martial arts and sports flooring should be non-absorbent and resistant to mold.
• Cleaning: Look for matting that can be easily and effectively cleaned and sanitized with good chemical resistance.
• Format: Matts are available in a variety of versatile formats including rolls, a jigsaw, and folding mats which can be used for temporary or long-term installation.
• Surface texture: This will affect the grip and hold of the mat underfoot. If a lot of your activity is on the ground you need a surface that won’t cause burns. The bottom of the mat should also be anti-skid to prevent shifting while it is being used.

Read on for our quick guide to matching a mat to the sport of your choice.

Are you practicing a striking martial art?

Striking martial arts like karate and taekwondo require a training mat that has a suitable thickness and density for dealing with fast, high-impact movements.

High-density foam needs to be at the core of this kind of flooring to provide the necessary cushioning and support. The surface grip is essential for barefoot training as well as a certain amount of spring to prevent injury.

Does your martial art have a lot of floorwork?

If you practice mixed martial arts, wrestling, or any other sport that involves a good deal of grappling, you will need a specialist matting that can accommodate the associated friction and wear. These martial arts require flooring that is not only durable but soft. Look for thick EVA foam matting that can provide the support needed for prolonged periods on the ground as well as a decent fall height rating for takedowns. To prevent friction burns, ensure that the mat has a no-burn surface.

Are you practicing high-impact landings?

High impact landings, throws, falls and takedowns require a superior level of protection or injury is inevitable. Martial arts like judo require flooring with good fall protection as standard. For maximum impact absorption, a crash pad provides the best performance. These high-specification mats have thicknesses of up to 12 inches with a polyurethane core and vinyl cover. Crash pads should be matched to the level of expected impact.

Is footwork critical to your sport?

Sports like traditional boxing or Thai boxing rely on the ability to execute swift movements and detailed footwork. A thick, springy mat will fold your feet and slow you down. This is why these boxing gyms require thin, firm, and dense matting that provides complete control.

Do you lift weights?

Weight training requires heavy-duty matting that is dense and absorbs impact. It needs to be up to the job of protecting the subfloor from dropped weights, which can be damaging over time. Thick rubber matting also provides the grip and traction needed when weight lifting safely.

Rounding up

As you can see, finding a proper gym mat that will be able to meet the demands of your sport does require some consideration. Whether you are training in a dojo, kwoon, dojang, or regular gym, a perfectly matched mat will make all the difference to keeping you in peak condition. Choose your mat from an extensive range of well-engineered mats and floorings which have been expertly designed to deliver the performance you require.

Author: RCole

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