An often overlooked part of every home gym is flooring. These are essential to protecting your floors and your equipment from damage due to the inevitable dropping of a weight. They also add some cushioning under foot when performing plyometric or jumping exercises. Essential to save your knees! There are lots of options available online from industrial grade one inch think flooring to 1/4-inch foam mats to Olympic-style platforms. Below are some options I’ve reviewed that are great for all fitness applications needed for at-home use. Weigh out the options (pun intended) and pick what’s best for you.
Available in three colors these are an excellent budget option for your home gym. And certainly, a quick inexpensive fix for your exercise flooring needs. Designed like a puzzle you have some options as far as sizing goes and you can combine more than one set for more floor coverage.
The reviews are pretty solid on Amazon.com but, it appears some people have complaints about using them on a carpeted floor. They are fairly soft and lightweight and the cushioning from the carpet underneath will cause them to bend and the interlocking joint will come apart. It’s best to use them on hard floors to prevent them from bending and coming apart.
I wouldn’t recommend these mats for use with a bench or performing Olympic or Crossfit lifts. With a bench, it’s quite possible for the feet to eventually wear through the soft foam. As for Olympic or Crossfit lifts dropping even light bumper plates on them will cause the mats to wear out rather quickly. For Plyometric and/or floors exercises, these will work just fine and will hold up to occasional dumbbell drops.
Another bonus with this style is they can quickly and easily be broken down and put away for storage. This is great for those who are limited on space.
Touting 4.5 stars at 146 reviews, it’s a great flooring option for those looking to use a bench and be dropping weights fairly regularly. These are the mats you commonly see protecting the floors in almost all commercial-gym weight rooms across the country. Made from recycled tires the XMark XMat is a half inch thick offering adequate protection for your flooring and equipment. It also comes with diamond plate texturing to add to the non-slip surface.
At 4 ft x 6 ft and weighing 75 lbs this is certainly a more permanent option when it comes to your flooring needs. You won’t easily be stashing it in a closet for when the in-laws come over. So, make sure it is in a place where you don’t mind it sitting out.
Also, when it comes to Olympic lifting and Crossfit exercises you may want to look elsewhere. It will hold up to lighter overhead bumper plate drops but with heavier weights, you risk damaging your equipment. It should be adequate for heavier deadlift drops from about waist high. On the other hand, it’s also less forgiving than the ProSource mats when performing plyometric exercises. So, expect a little more wear and tear on the knees.
When using more than one to expand your exercise area they simply butt up next to each other. They do not interlock but given the weight of the mats, it’s hard to imagine them moving on you. If this is a concern you can simply use double sided carpet tape underneath to help prevent them from moving. For the best application try and keep them on hard flooring as opposed to carpeting. This will give you a more confident footing.
Looking to perform Olympic or Crossfit style lifts? Then this is the option for you. These are the same style platforms you find in professional gyms around the globe. Able to stand up to repeated overhead drops you can rest assured your floors and equipment are protected from damage.
The frame alone comes in at a whopping 110 lbs. That doesn’t include the rubber tile flooring sold separately. This one can be customized by adding your own center plywood platform. This is a common practice found in most professional gyms with their team or company logo emblazoned across the top. Surely to add a nice touch to your home gym. The platform can easily be assembled by one person in less than 30 mins.
It’s made from 11-gauge powder coated steel and proudly made in the USA. So quality should not be an issue here.
When it comes to deciding which mat is best for you typically any combination of the three above will give you the best options. Then again that certainly isn’t the most budget-friendly way to go. So, get what you can afford for the time being and add-on from there. Just be careful not to push your equipment beyond what is recommended. It could result in damage to your equipment, flooring, or even yourself.
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