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Could the active movers in your home benefit from some fresh motivation? A gymnastics mat can help transform their moves on a soft, fun platform that they can't wait to practice on.
Not only does it provide a safe landing, a tumbling mat is a shock absorber that makes practice fun. A fun practice is one your kids want to repeat again and again, building strength and confidence in their abilities. It's a sensible addition to your home gymnastics or training exercise mat collection.
There is much variety in the broad category of gym mats, with each one providing different functions. You’ll notice them referred to as: gym mat, tumble mat, crash mat, wedge mat, panel mat – the names themselves can be misleading or encompass a wide range of gymnastics support when searching for equipment that will provide a soft or safe landing zone. As you’ll see, gymnastics mats fit a wide range of possible uses. Often, research is needed to find out which one best fits you and your family’s requirements.
10 Things to Look For In A Gymnastics Mat For Home
A home mat isn’t limited to gymnastics. Using a crash mat on the floor at home can increase the safety of a range of activities. A soft landing will benefit you/your child’s at-home yoga, parkour, cheerleading, martial arts, kickboxing, workout practice or just everyday fun and games! Frequent mat use means considering things like ongoing maintenance and in-built longevity, to get the most from your purchase.
If you’re confused about where to begin, we’ve identified 10 things you need to look for when choosing between different types of tumbling mats.
Depending on where you’d like to place the mat in your home, dimensions will be important. Measuring the available area in the room where you’d like to use the gym mat is your first step. After you’ve made sure you have the correct measurements of available space, note them. As you examine the dimensions of the gym mat you’d like to purchase, consider the buffer space. An extra meter or so on each side of the mat will help prevent any contact injuries with nearby objects.
A gym mat is an investment - one you want to get the most from - over time. The best way to increase the longevity of your mat is to pick a durable material. How often do you intend to use the mat? Things to consider are the floor surface and whether you will use the mat outdoors. These points will help to inform your choice of material.
For example, waterproof materials are better if you’re going to use your mat outside. A mat with reinforced stitching will help prevent any rips or damage occurring with regular use. Rubber is the most hard-wearing material, while vinyl is versatile, being tear resistant and very easy to wipe clean. Moreover, it’s good to check that the materials of the mat have been UV-treated as it will make the product last longer.
Keeping your mats clean and storing them properly will get the best from your purchase and ensure good hygiene. Remember to sweep the mat to remove any dirt, before using a cleaner. Use a mild detergent or water to clean your gymnastics mat. It’s important that the cleaner you use has a neutral pH, so it won’t damage the mat. Use this cleaner before and after sports, teaching your kids to do it too. Don’t forget to clean the floor either, where the gym mat was placed, giving it a wipe down.
Prices vary widely between entry level, general usage mat types and those designed for aspiring professional gymnast-level training. In general, size will dictate the price commitment involved. A yoga mat has the lowest price point, as do introductory-level gym or folding mats. Tumbling mats and crash mats are in the mid-range. Acon offers a range of Airtrack mats of different sizes, with different functions depending on gymnastics level. Choosing the best gymnastics mat for you means weighing up the potential spend that makes the most sense, based on your intended usage.
Durable mats, made of high-quality materials, are usually thought of as longer-lasting as their padding’s strength lasts longer over time. To ensure safety, make sure the mat is securely placed on the floor before beginning. A panel mat provides support and cushioning, but this doesn’t mean skipping things like stretches and warm ups, or wearing the right footwear on the mat. Staying aware of your surroundings and space, or any stray pets and nearby items, when using the mat is a priority.
6. Skill level
One’s skillset is a big determinant of the kind of mat that’s most appropriate. For someone who needs to carry their mat frequently - who is used to practicing on a small surface - a gym mat may be the most suitable. A crash mat will be what you need if you already leap with precision and want a soft, supported landing. If you/your child is practicing jumps and tricks, and wants a bounce that’s similar to a professional level or can be used in water, an Airtrack will be the best choice. A simple yoga or gym mat works best for at-home workouts and stretching.
The softness of a mat influences the overall performance. If the mat is too soft, you are likely to struggle with launching yourself off the mat. However, a mat that is too hard will feel uncomfortable when landing. Depending on your needs, you may need a mat that leans to a softer side or a gymnastics mat that feels more firm and bouncy.
To practice tumbling, tumbling mats or gym mats are made from soft foam to absorb the shock of your moves easily in the padding. This softness makes the material light and easy to transport too. Airtracks give a better bounce thanks to the, well, air! Air-filled pads are durable for a landing that’s less soft, but instead a smoother bounce.
Keep the mat somewhere out of the way, where it’s not going to gather dirt or become an obstacle. Store the mat flat or roll it loosely, in a loop that doesn’t unravel. This will keep it in the best condition possible after cleaning and before its next use.
The thickness of the gym mat will provide greater safety for your/your child’s at-home sport or gymnastics training. 3/8 inch or 10mm thick is the standard floor thickness you will find at a gym. Whereas ¾- an inch thick, or up to 25 mm is the thickness, that is recommended for superb shock absorption. This thickness allows for the best cushioning, and is great for safely practicing many moves, making it a good gymnastics mat for flips.
10. User-specific requirements
A home gymnastics mat is a wonderful way to practice basic moves like tumbles, cartwheels and handstands. It provides a safe and soft landing while kids’ (or adults) find their feet with their balance and work on their skills. While a basic or folding mat is probably suitable for beginners, needs change with increased ability. With progress comes the need for a better, more cushioned landing when practicing flips. Thicker mats are better for landing somersaults and bigger jumps.
Types of Gymnastics Mats for Home
Creating a safe, gym floor environment at home will help get you and your kids moving and motivated to train. Even on days where you don’t have time to visit the gym, or the weather means outdoor practice is out of the question.
Here’s Acon’s range of gymnastics mats, made to accommodate every type of at home gymnastic activity and ability level:
|Airtrack||Folding gymnastic mat||Foldable crash mat||Small crash mat||Yoga mat|
|At home workouts||☓||✔||☓||☓||✔|
|For kids play||✔||✔||☓||☓||☓|
Let’s learn a bit more about the options!
For the serious gymnasts who want a bounce that begs for flips, tricks and jumps, Airtrack is the mat for you. This landing pad gives a professional-level bounce, thanks to the composite fiber structure. Air-filled pads soften impact, while anti-slip surfaces help provide the conditions for a peak performance. This quiet mat is so good it’s suitable for public use, it even works under water. Acon stock a range of Airtrack specifications to suit your needs and budget.
Folding gymnastics mat
A valuable, versatile addition to your gym equipment repertoire. The Folding Gymnastics Mat is one of the best for multi-use house-holds. Develop jump tricks, work on your yoga poses or build strength and resistance with training exercises on this all in one playmat. The pads lessen landing impact, while Velcro at the ends can connect multiple mats together for a safe, fun practice. Use this mat inside or outdoors to help develop your skills, coordination and balance. When you're done, simply fold it up and bring it wherever you need.
Foldable crash mat
Acon’s two-sided, Foldable Crash Mat is perfect for practicing tricks either indoors or outside. It’s suitable for the biggest leaps, and will ensure a cushioned, supported landing. Perfect for those who are pushing their skill-set to precision, it’s made from sturdy material so it doesn’t move. The Foldable Crash Mat is filled with thick high-quality foam, to absorb big shocks. The cordura material cover makes it an easy landing for big bouncers. UV-treated and water repellent, the mat can be folded or easily carried wherever you need to use it.
Small crash mat
A crash mat you can use alone or on the trampoline, crafted with a durable PVC finish. The mat is light (just 11lbs), 5ft x 3.3ft and 2 inches thick for a soft and supported landing. You can use it to build a dream landing zone with multiple mats but it’s thick enough to support you on its own. It’s light enough to move in and outdoors easily, which is good because we don’t recommend leaving this mat outdoors long-term. Provides a soft landing for your leap, while meeting the highest standards of safety for kids, for toddlers.
Stretch and flow with ease and comfort on our large yoga mat. A center line helps to keep an eye on your alignment as you breathe into movements and postures. Made from a recyclable material that’s eco-friendly, it’s good for the planet too. For resistance workouts you can pair the mat with Acon’s FIT Resistance bands set for a full-body exercise routine.
Not Just a Mat for Gymnastics
Mastering new skills and moves keeps us young. Perhaps you'd like to deepen your yoga practice by working on your headstand, or build lean muscle through body weight resistance training. A gymnastics mat is wonderful for kids' practice, while offering a great way to develop your own skills. If you’re a gymnast, then make sure to check our article on gymnastics equipment for kids - and adults, too!
Your Acon purchase is an investment for family fun and healthier tomorrow. We improve on the longevity of our products through constant research and development. This means less care and maintenance for you to do and more time for enjoying your practice. Begin or advance your fitness adventure with one of our gym mats to feel the multitude of benefits first-hand, with renewed dedication to your practice!