All You Wanted to Know About A Pilates Exercise Mat

Pilates Exercise Mat© Ana Blazic Pavlovic

If you want to lose weight, you have to adopt a healthy lifestyle that incorporates some form of daily physical exercise. A Pilates exercise mat ensures an effective and safe Pilates workout for you.

Pilates is an exercise option that is increasingly becoming popular. It is low impact exercise form that focuses on building long, lean muscles and strengthening your core (abs and lower back).

Your flexibility improves and the body becomes stronger. Long term Pilates practice sculpts your body with lengthened muscles so that you will never ‘look fat’. The weight loss is an incidental associated benefit.

Pilates is derived from the asanas of Yoga.

Need for a Pilates Exercise Mat

As Pilates focuses on developing strength in the abs and lower back, there are several exercises which require you to lie on the floor. Having a suitable exercise mat makes sure that you remain comfortable during the workout. This helps you focus more on the workout and thus derive maximum benefits.

Mat Size is Important

Pilates exercise mats are available in a variety of colors, designs and sizes. While you can opt for your favorite color and designs, the mat size is an important parameter.

The mat must be long and wide enough to comfortably accommodate you. The length and width of a standard mat ranges from 55-85 inches and 23 –39  inches respectively, giving you a wide variety of options to choose from.

Fold Down or Roll In? 

You have options of fold down mats and roll-in mats. The latter occupy less space and are more convenient for you to carry from home to your workout and vice-versa. Why not use a Yoga Mat?

Both Yoga and Pilates are low impact workouts that require an exercise mat. But due to certain differences in their nature and the intended purposes, the exercise mats for both workouts differ.

Pilates exercise mats are thicker than yoga mats to provide adequate cushioning for your hips and spine that experience stress during workout. In Pilates, you are generally reclining on the floor and there are several Pilates poses that press your bones into the mat. If your mat is too thin, you could end up bruising the part resulting in intense pain.

As compared to Pilates, Yoga incorporates a number of standing postures. It is best if your Yoga mat is thin so that your feet can feel the floor through the mat, improving the sense of balance. And anyway, Yoga does not stress any part of the body as much as Pilates.

Stickiness is recommended quality for Yoga mats, allowing the mats stick on the floor. This keeps the mat firmly in place as you practice yoga. A wobbly mat may cause you to lose your footing and expose you to risk of injury.

Typically Pilates exercise mats are non sticky and unabsorbent so that they offer you a strong grip and ensure that you don’t slip and are able to maintain your position even when your palms are sweaty.

Where to buy?

Pilates exercise mats are available at most sports shops that sell workout clothes and other exercise accessories. Check with others in your Pilates class or your instructor where to find the best quality mats. Or buy them conveniently online at Manufacturers today are offering several exercise mat options including environment friendly mats.

Multipurpose Pilates Exercise Mat

You can use your exercise mats for purposes other than working out. Its firmness and thickness makes it an ideal extra ‘mattress’ for a visiting friend and you can relive your childhood sleepover memories.

Going out camping? Your mat can serve as a sleeping pad by the night. And as the morning dawns, prepare for the wonderful day ahead with your regular Pilates workout.

After all, your Pilates exercise mat is there with you, right?

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