10 Best Yoga, Pilates, & Exercise Mats for 2020

When you think of equipment for home workouts, dumbbells, kettlebells, and resistance bands probably come to mind. But investing in the best yoga mats or other types of exercise mats can make a big difference in the enjoyment of your workout.

“The most important thing you should think about when it comes to your mat is,” Is this going to add or take away from my workout? “Removing a mat seems so minor, but for mat-based training it really is so important,” Kara Duval, a Pilates instructor in Boston, tells SELF. “I know firsthand that some rugs can be squarely annoying! “

So what makes a good exercise mat? First, think about its purpose: you use a mat for yoga, Pilates, or strength training because they provide a non-slip surface for movements that need stability, says Holly Perkins, C.S.C.S., creator of The GLUTES project. “They also protect you from the floor, which makes the exercises more comfortable.”

That’s why thickness is vital, but that doesn’t mean that thickness is always better. While it certainly depends on what feels comfortable to you, what you use it for also plays a role. For example, a thick, padded yoga mat may feel good for easy movements when you are sitting or lying, but too much padding can actually make you less stable, especially on standing movements where you should feel more to earth, says Duval. This means that it may not be the best choice for strength training that requires a lot of stability, such as squats and deadlifts.

Then think about portability. If you’re looking for an exercise mat that you can take with you – even if it’s just in the yard for outdoor yoga – or if you need to put it under your bed, you might want to choose one. one that fits in a strap or yoga rollers easily. If you intend to park it on the floor, as a permanent part of the floor of your home gym, you may have a little more leeway on size and stiffness, says Perkins.

Especially in these stressful times, it can also be helpful to think outside of its functionality for a minute as well and choose a rug that will just make you smile. “Find a fun color or pattern, so you’re really excited to roll out your rug,” says Duval.

Need inspiration? Take a look at these choices for the best yoga mats and other exercise mats, chosen by professionals and fitness instructors.

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