Do I Need an Equipment Mat for My Elliptical Trainer?

Do I Need an Equipment Mat for My Elliptical Trainer?

An equipment mat is a mat that sits at the base of a piece of exercise equipment like an elliptical. It is similar to an exercise mat in terms of appearance but is made of heavy duty rubber making them extremely durable. Equipment mats sit perfectly under the machine and serves several purposes. Some use a mat while others do not but placing a mat under your elliptical can do a lot of good. Let’s discuss why you need an equipment mat for your elliptical.

Benefits of Equipment Mat

Floor Protection

Whether you have carpet in your home gym or hard flooring, an equipment mat will protect your flooring. For hard floors like hardwood, laminate and tile, such a large, heavy machine like an elliptical trainer will damage the flooring. It is almost impossible not to have scratches or a series of scuffs on your floor but laying down a mat prior will keep flooring damage free. Equipment mats also protect carpet by preventing those deep indentations that never seem to go away.

Noise Reduction

Elliptical trainers produce vibrations when in use. The continual motion that occurs stride after stride creates vibrations that increase the noise output of the machine. This noise is increased more when the user weighs close to 200 pounds. Ideally, an elliptical should be quiet during operation. It makes the workout more enjoyable. Having that soft surface below the machine acts as a cushion to reduce noise, absorbs the vibrations and muffles sound.

Non-Slip Surface

Rubber equipment mats also provide users with a non-slip surface when they get off of the machine. Those who use ellipticals regularly have probably slipped or lost their footing as they were dismounting the trainer but the mat will decrease the chance of that happening.

Improved Stability

Having a shock absorbent surface under an elliptical will improve the stability of the machine. Several models have a small base that can cause the trainer to rock back and forth during use. The cushion provided by the equipment mat will stabilize the unit.

Prolonged Machine Life

Many are surprised by this but placing a mat underneath your elliptical will prolong the life of the machine. Mats do this by protecting the parts against carpet fibers and dust that may become trapped in the moving parts. They also balance friction. Dust and fibers cause obstructions while a friction imbalance can result in the misalignment of essential components which can cause them to fail leaving the trainer less comfortable or inoperable.

As you can see, you do need an equipment mat for your elliptical. This inexpensive and very durable mat will protect your floor, reduce noise, prevent slips, improve stability and prolong the life of your trainer. A small $15 to $50 investment is definitely worth it.

Equipment Mat vs Exercise Mat

Do I Need an Exercise Mat?

An exercise mat is one of those must-haves everyone should own. They are inexpensive and extremely useful. Whether you do most of your workouts at the gym, in a yoga studio or at home, having a comfortable mat on hand for floor work adds a certain level of comfort and can actually improve the efficiency of floor exercises. Let’s discuss the instances in which an exercise mat can be used and how it can help.

Home Workouts

Whether you have hardwood floors, tile or carpeting, performing exercises like sit-ups, push ups, the plank or donkey kicks, having that padded, non-slip surface underneath is greatly beneficial. With such moves, you need traction and a certain level of comfort that flooring cannot provide. Without a mat you may get a little rug burn, may feel yourself slipping during certain moves or experience discomfort due to the pressure associated with having your knees or elbows against a hard surface. As a plus, they lay nicely on the floor and stay put, unlike towels.

The Gym

Everyone that goes to the gym needs an exercise mat due to the reasons above along with sanitary reasons. Gyms are nice but, unfortunately, they’re filled with germs. Mats are available at most gyms but they are breeding grounds for bacteria. Having one of your own reduces your exposure to bacteria while providing the flexibility to perform all the exercises in your workout routine.

Yoga or Pilates

In a yoga or Pilates class, an exercise mat will designate your personal workout area, prevent you from slipping and bringing your own will guarantee that you get a mat for class (there is often a limited supply).

Types of Exercise Mats

As you can see, if you exercise on a regular basis, you need a mat. If you don’t have one already or your old one needs replacing, be sure to get the mat that suits your needs. There are fitness mats, yoga mats, and Pilates mats. Fitness mats are for general use, tend to be the most inexpensive and are made of foam or other soft material. Some feature air pockets for additional support and come in a variety of sizes. Yoga mats, as you may have guessed, are best suited for yoga. They are thinly cushioned mats with a sticky non-slip surface that is easy to clean and tote around. Pilates mats are much thicker to better cushion the body during various Pilates moves. They also feature a non-slip surface and are portable.

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