Doing any type of floor exercises will mean having the best cushioning for yourself, and a good Pilates mat is vital for your own protection. While typically this routine has little or no impact, you will want to protect your joints and your palms and kneecaps while on the floor.
A good Pilates mat can also help to increase your blood circulation and keep your body warm during exercises, which in turn means better results. The more your blood circulates, the more your muscles and joints are fed that healing blood and oxygen and this means being stronger overall. The right Pilates mat means more than just a cushion but is like another tool that's needed for your success.
So how do you find the best Pilates mat without overspending? If you're like most people today, your budget is just as much of a concern as anything else so you want to consider the price as well as anything else.
A good towel might be used as a Pilates mat but won't offer the options you need for better results. You want a mat that is thick enough to absorb any impact you might experience during your routine and that will protect those knees, palms, bottoms of the feet, and other areas that hold your weight. This means something that is at least half an inch thick for a good Pilates mat.
You also want something with good grip for a Pilates mat since you're moving around almost constantly and don't want to slip. Most perform their routines without socks and shoes since you're not performing aerobic activity, which means you need to have something with grip. It's also good to choose a Pilates mat with closed cell features; this means it won't absorb sweat and the germs and bacteria that go along with it. Those with closed cell technology are also easier to clean overall.
How to make your selection.
Once you've given some thought as to the options needed for a good Pilates mat, you might want to shop online rather than at your local retailer. This is because even sporting goods stores often have very limited choices. They need to be mindful of their shelf space and so many only carry a few different Pilates mats, and this means potentially only finding the cheapest and thinnest varieties.
When you shop online, be sure to use the term Pilates mat in your search. Remember that they're typically different than a yoga mat, which may be thick and cushioning but which may not provide much grip. If there is something in particular you want in a Pilates mat such as a carrying case or carrying handle, use those terms in your search as well. This will mean finding the sites and the pages that offer these terms more quickly. You can then browse the options for a Pilates mat for yourself more readily and make your best choice for your routine.
This is a great mat if your hands do not sweat during yoga. If you take Hot Yoga classes, invest in a good towel or mat towel. I have ordered one and once I use it with this mat I will update my review.
Some pros of the mat are: great calming colors, a little 'spongy' padding for those with bad knees, this really helps with low runner lunge etc..., reversable- there is just something about being able to flip it over and have a brand new mat between classes that I like. - Henniet
I love my Elite mat. I would never go back to the old mat & towel combination. The Elite, created by Kulae, is so much easier to transport, use, and clean. I have two of them, which I use in my daily practice. I rotate them and wash in the washing machine once a week. -