But I Have Hard, Rough, Concrete Floors. Why Do I Need Any Protection?

No matter what kind of high quality equipment you have in your home or commercial gym or what kind of floor you have, if you want to save your floor from damage or avoid your space looking like its been hit by a hurricane at the end of a fitness session, then you need to invest in exercise equipment mats. Gym equipment, especially the lighter kinds, tend to move around and shuffle a lot; even for the ones on the heavy side, the high impact that most professional equipment delivers to your floor is the equivalent of taking a hammer to it, or worse. Even dumbbells can scratch, scar or dent your floors if you don't have the right protection. And that's not all; a good mat can provide just the cushioning you need to keep your bones and joints in good form. If you want several hours and months of comfortable exercising, then money towards quality exercise equipment mats will be well spent.

What Kind Of Mat Do I Need?

Rubber mats are your basic rough and tumble impact-reduction mats. They are usually sold as interlocking pieces, and you only need to put them together for a solid foundation for heavy equipment like a home gym dual station. They'll provide the right kind of protection, for your body as well as your floor. Rubber exercise equipment mats are usually made of industrial strength materials of about three-eighths of an inch to half an inch, and that will depend on the type and weight of equipment and the kind of flooring you have. Rubber is, by nature, skid-resistant so the thinner variety might even be used for light equipment like your rowing machines or skiers.

Foam mats are perfect for the added cushioning required for warm-up exercises. They can be up to an inch thick in some cases, usually a bit thinner. These are usually used in the walkways and warm up areas, not in the main equipment area. Treadmills and such will require foam of a heavier grade, such as dense EVA foam. The high amounts of impact that they absorb will either compensate for any lack of cushioning on the tread belt, or complement it; either way, it's great for avoiding shock related spinal injury in the long run.

Aerobic and weight mats are usually about 2 inches thick, and they're encased in very tough but flexible plastic polymers. They're absolutely essential to those energetic aerobic sessions or heavy weight lifting runs in order to protect you from joint impaction problems. And what's more, your floors will be blessing you from their protected hideouts with each thump that they're being saved from. When using mats for heavy weight-lifting, it can be useful to have a diamond-shaped pattern – this is highly effective in controlling static, and will prevent those nasty shocks when you touch metal after charging yourself unintentionally on the mat.

What's It Going To Cost Me?

The price range of exercise equipment mats is as wide as the side of a barn, with mats available online from $24.99 to $599. There are so many grades of mats for so many purposes that it would be impossible to say what you might end up paying for a particular type of mat. There are some great discounts available on sites like Amazon, and even Target's online facility, so shop around until you find the right mats, look around some more to see if someone else has the same ones for less, and then make your purchase. The non-interlocking mats are usually foldable, making them easy to carry around; this is useful when you have foldable equipment like treadmills, ellipticals and even fitness bikes that can be folded and wheeled away. It makes setting up your personal space quick and efficient.