Whether your gymnast has just started tumbling or you have an experienced tumbler at home, you and they will benefit from having gymnastics mats at home. The truth of the matter is a gymnast is never still and soon most of the furniture in your home will be used as an apparatus! Unfortunately, unlike the gym, a home’s floors aren’t cushioned or very forgiving. If you have a gymnastics mat available to cushion falls, you will be able to encourage your gymnast to practice without getting bruises or potentially getting hurt.
Ways to Use Gymnastics Mats at Home
Many people wonder how a gymnast will use a mat at home. The truth is these mats are multi-purpose and can be used for much more than just basic tumbling practice. For instance, your gymnast will love their mat to practice basic tumbling like rolls, walkovers, handstands, and even cartwheels.
Mats will be used by advanced gymnasts to practice standing back tucks and front tucks too. A home gymnastics mat is also perfect for slumber parties, general horseplay, and mom can even use it for yoga practice.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Home Gymnastics Mat
If you are considering buying a gymnastics mat for use at home, you need to make several considerations before making a purchase. Below, we have listed the most important features of home mats to consider to help you get the mat you need and want.
A mat that is too thin won’t provide the cushioning and protection you want if your gymnast falls while tumbling on it. On the other hand, if the mat is too thick, your gymnast may not be able to practice stunts because their hands or feet will sink into the mat when they aren’t supposed to. Standard mat thickness is about 1 3/8” thick.
2. Mat Dimensions
Before buying a mat, you need to think about where your gymnast will use it. You also want to make sure it is big enough for a gymnast to practice stunts on. Since mats are offered in a variety of different sizes, it shouldn’t be hard to find a happy medium that fulfills both needs.
Different Types of Gymnastics Mats You Can Get
There are many different types of mats to choose from when it comes to home use. The most popular mat types are described in detail below.
1. Paneled Mats
One of the most popular gymnastics mats used in the gym and homes are paneled mats. Paneled mats are offered in many different colors and fold up for easy storage. This type of gymnast mat is offered in many different sizes. The most popular size is 4 feet wide by 8 feet long. This type of mat usually has Velcro attached on the ends, so more mats can be added to create a longer mat. Paneled mats are also often referred to as folded mats. Whether the mat you are considering is a folding mat or tumbling mat, it offers the same benefits and is usually offered in the same lengths and thicknesses.
The Tumbl Trak Folding Gymnastics Mat is our most favorite paneled/folded mat. It has just enough padding for tumbling, no slip, easily folds up and connects together if you have multiple units, it’s just perfect.
To allow your gymnast to perform a series of elements together, EXTRA LENGTH mats might be a better option. Make sure you have a proper room for the size. Check out this one for a 10 or 12 feet long mat: Z-Athletic Gymnastics & Exercise Folding Mat, you can pick the size.
2. Cartwheel Beam Mat
A cartwheel beam mat is a great home mat option for a beginner or young gymnast. The mat is created with proper hand and feet placement that guides gymnasts in the proper way to do a cartwheel. Even after the gymnast has perfected the cartwheel, the mat can be used to practice handstands and handstand rolls. Most cartwheel beam mats have a beam option as well. To use the beam option simply flip the mat over and you will find a practice beam. With this matted practice beam, a gymnast can practice beam balance skills and other skills that are normally performed on the beam.
The Tumbl Trak Cartwheel Beam Mat is best for beginner gymnasts. It has two sides guides for practice, hands and feet on one side and beam-line on the other side. It also has a more variety of colors to choose from.
3. Flexi-Roll Mats
A carpeted or flexi-roll mat is made to look and feel like a competition floor. Of course, it doesn’t offer exactly the same feel because it isn’t created with springs, but it is the best option for those that want to get comfortable with the feel of a competition floor at home. The best thing about a carpeted mat is that it can be rolled up and stored with ease.
Find deals on Amazon for flexi-roll mats here.
4. Incline Mats
An incline mat is perfect for young gymnasts that are learning how to do rolls backwards or forwards. This type of mat can also be used for log rolls too. The great thing about an incline mat is it helps a gymnast create body awareness and lessens stress on the body while learning. It’s not recommended for advanced gymnasts to use an incline mat for harder skills because of the risk of injury. If a gymnast is looking for a gymnastics mat for home use designed for more difficult skills, it’s better to purchase a larger incline mat.
Shop for incline mats here.
Other Uses of Gymnastics Mats
Contrary to the name, gymnastics mats are not just for gymnast. In fact, this type of mat can come in handy for many sports and activities. For instance, wrestlers, dancers, and cheerleaders can make use of a gymnastic mat in their home. The most popular type of mat for a wrestler, dancer, cheerleader, and gymnast to use in the same home would be a folded or paneled mat. Since paneled and folded gymnastics mats can be fastened together to make a larger surface, they are perfect for use for many different activities
Gymnastics Mats are Investments that Make Your Home Safer and are Easy to Care for
A good gymnastics mat is going to cost a small investment but the benefits will quickly outweigh the costs. Even with hard daily wear, a good quality mat can be expected to last a very long time. One of the best things about this type of mat is that it is easy to care for as well. To clean a mat, you simply need to use a wet cloth and water to allow to dry. If you want to sanitize the mat, you can use a soft cloth and your favorite sanitizer to keep the mat germ free.
Encourage Gymnastics Practice in Your Home with a Quality Mat
One of the best ways to encourage your gymnast to practice at home is to gift him or her with a quality mat. Take the time to get exactly what you need and you’ll never be disappointed with your purchase.
We hope you find this guide helpful!