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What Makes a Good Exercise Mat for P90X?

Choose the right foam floor mat for your P90X workout.

Looking for the right mat for an at-home exercise program like P90X®? That's another question we get on a daily basis and we're pleased to offer a variety of high-density anti-fatigue mats that stand up well to the rigors of personal fitness.

In any workout environment, you want your flooring surface to deliver the right balance of shock absorption and stability. Too much of one, and you might sacrifice the other! That's what makes EVA Foam anti-fatigue mats an ideal flooring surface for for high-intensity and high-impact workouts like P90X®.

Shock absorption is important because while you push your body to excel you also need to protect your joints. A vigorous workout can put a lot of stress on your knees and ankles, so having an appropriate amount of padding on the floor is crucial to absorbing some of that stress and giving your joints some relief. When it comes to fitness flooring, we strongly recommend at least 1/2" (14mm) or 3/4" (20mm) foam.

Stability is just as important as shock absorption, because trips and slips while your body is under stress can often result in injury. Where EVA foam is concerned, a thicker, high-density foam will be the most stable. The other thing that you need to take into consideration is the surface on which you're going to install your mats. We strongly recommend against installing your mats on carpet, even if it's low-pile. When mats are placed on a hard interior surface such as wood or cement, their large surface area in contact with the floor is able to produce plenty of friction to remain stable underneath all your fancy flying push-ups and lunges. When the mats are installed on carpeted surfaces, they may not be able to produce enough friction to avoid slipping as a result of sudden impact.

And there you have it! When shopping for the right flooring surface for your workout, be it P90X® or otherwise, look for a thicker, high-density EVA foam mat and install it on a hard surface such as wood or concrete. Need a few suggestions? We've got some right here!

   

7 Responses to What Makes a Good Exercise Mat for P90X?

  • cam

    What is the difference between Martial Arts and the regular EVA tiles? Is there a difference in traction?

  • We Sell Mats
    We Sell Mats on December 19, 2012 at 11:57 am said:

    Great question, there are two primary differences between our Martial Arts product line and our standard foam product line. First, the martial arts mats are available in up to 3/4" thickness whereas the standard foam is currently only available in up to 1/2". Thicker foam provides more padding and greater stability. Second, as far the texture is concerned, standard foam comes in a herringbone-patterned surface texture, and the martial arts mats are finished with a traditional tatami-patterned surface texture. Martial Arts studios prefer the tatami finish for its traditional appearance, but both textures are designed to enhance traction and neither is particularly superior in that regard.

  • Eric L
    Eric L on May 4, 2013 at 6:53 pm said:

    Good article. Having a good mat is important to get the best workout.

  • Keri

    Can you just put this down on a floor in the living room where you do a workout (say in front of the tv) and then take it up after? or would it just slide all over the place? I don't have a dedicated room where I could put this along the entire floor--but I need some sort of padding for plyometric workouts--it's too hard on my heels and ankles.

  • We Sell Mats
    We Sell Mats on October 9, 2013 at 5:43 am said:

    Hi Keri, thanks for your comment! You can definitely put down the mats during your workout and then remove them when you're done; assembly takes just a few moments. The only caveat is that you should not put the mats on a carpeted surface where they will most likely slip beneath you. The mats are designed for use on a hard/smooth indoor surface only.

  • Siobhan
    Siobhan on January 13, 2014 at 9:57 pm said:

    Which yoga mat would be best for carpeted areas? These mats, listed above, probably won't work in my current living situation. What would you suggest for a thick mat?

    Thank you.

  • We Sell Mats
    We Sell Mats on January 14, 2014 at 1:46 am said:

    Hi Siobhan, thanks for reaching out to us on the blog! As a general rule, our mats are not recommended for use on carpeted areas for two reasons. First, because they may slip underneath you, and second because the carpet provides an uneven weight-bearing surface. Both of these issues carry with them the potential for accidental injury, especially during physical activity, which is why we do not recommend using the mats on carpet.

    That being said, if you're looking for the thickest available mat for your yoga practice, I can make two recommendations for you. The first is our 3/4" Thick Martial Arts EVA Foam, and the second is our 1-5/8" Thick Personal Exercise Mat. Neither of these are "yoga mats" in the traditional sense, however we are aware of a number of customers who use and enjoy them in their yoga practice.

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