Table of Contents Hide
- Why Do You Need a Special Yoga Mat for Planks?
- Key Features to Consider When Shopping for the Best Yoga Mat for Planks
- Top 5 Best Yoga Mats for Planks
- How to Take Care of Your Yoga Mat
Unlock the secret to a perfect plank with the best yoga mat for planks! Discover the top choices, expert recommendations, and tips for maintaining your mat. Your journey to stronger core muscles starts here!
If you’ve ever done a plank, you know it’s no joke. You might have felt like your arms were about to give out, your core was on fire, and let’s not even talk about those shaking legs. But what if I told you that the right yoga mat could make a world of difference in your plank game? Yes, that’s right! The best yoga mat for planks can provide the necessary support, grip, and cushioning to help you hold that plank just a little bit longer and with better form.
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In this article, we will delve deep into the world of yoga mats and unravel the mysteries behind selecting the best yoga mat for planks. From understanding the importance of a good yoga mat to exploring the top options available in the market, we have got you covered.
So, grab a cup of tea, get comfortable, and let’s embark on this journey to find the best yoga mat for planks.
Why Do You Need a Special Yoga Mat for Planks?
Planks are a comprehensive exercise that targets multiple muscle groups, including the core, shoulders, and glutes. They are a staple in many fitness routines due to their effectiveness in improving posture, enhancing core strength, and building muscle. However, performing planks can be tough on your elbows, wrists, and forearms, especially on hard or slippery surfaces.
A regular yoga mat might not provide the necessary cushioning and support needed for performing planks comfortably and effectively. Using a mat that is too thin can cause discomfort and even lead to injuries in the joints. On the other hand, a mat that is too thick can compromise your stability and make it difficult to maintain proper form. Additionally, a mat with a slippery surface can cause your hands and feet to slide, making it challenging to hold the plank position for an extended period.
Therefore, investing in a yoga mat specifically designed for planks is essential to ensure comfort, prevent injuries, and optimize performance. A mat suitable for planks should have the following characteristics:
- Adequate Cushioning: To protect your elbows, wrists, and forearms from pressure and discomfort.
- Firm Support: To provide stability and help maintain proper alignment during the exercise.
- Non-Slip Surface: To ensure you maintain your position without sliding.
- Durability: To withstand the pressure exerted during planks and other intense exercises.
Key Features to Consider When Shopping for the Best Yoga Mat for Planks
When searching for the best yoga mat for planks, several key features should be considered to ensure you choose the mat that best suits your needs:
- Thickness: The thickness of the mat is crucial for comfort and support. A mat that is too thin will not provide adequate cushioning for your joints, while a mat that is too thick may affect your stability. A mat with a thickness of around 1/2 inch to 1 inch is ideal for planks as it provides the perfect balance between cushioning and stability.
- Material: The material of the mat affects its durability, cushioning, and grip. PVC, TPE, and natural rubber are popular materials used in yoga mats. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride): This is a type of plastic that is durable and can last for a long time, even with regular use. However, it is not eco-friendly and may release toxic chemicals over time. TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomers): This is a more eco-friendly option as it is made from recycled materials and is biodegradable. It offers good cushioning and is slip-resistant. Natural Rubber: This is an eco-friendly option made from rubber trees. It provides excellent grip and cushioning but may not be suitable for people with latex allergies.
- Texture: The texture of the mat affects its grip and comfort. A mat with a slightly textured surface will provide better grip and prevent slipping during planks. However, the texture should not be too rough as it can cause discomfort to the skin.
- Size: The size of the mat is also an important consideration. Make sure the mat is long and wide enough to accommodate your entire body comfortably during planks. Standard yoga mats are usually 68 inches long and 24 inches wide, but if you are taller or prefer more space, you may want to consider a larger mat.
- Durability: The durability of the mat is essential, especially if you plan to use it regularly for intense workouts. Choose a mat made of high-quality, durable materials that can withstand the pressure exerted during planks and other exercises.
- Eco-Friendliness: If you are environmentally conscious, you may want to consider the eco-friendliness of the mat. Choose a mat made of recycled or biodegradable materials to minimize your environmental impact.
Top 5 Best Yoga Mats for Planks
1. Impulse Fitness Knee Mat
The Impulse Fitness Knee Mat is an excellent option for planks. It features an extra thick and soft 1″ (25mm) pad that provides cushioning for kneeling and elbows[^1]. This makes it suitable for planks, ab rollers, and other exercises that put pressure on the joints. The mat is made of high-density foam that provides the perfect balance between cushioning and stability. It is also easy to clean and comes with a convenient carrying handle.
2. Greatmats 1 inch Thick Martial Arts Mat
The Greatmats 1 inch thick martial arts mat is possibly the best interlocking exercise mat for planks. These 1×1 meter mats are made of high-density EVA foam[^2]. The interlocking design makes it easy to assemble and disassemble the mats, and you can customize the size according to your needs. The high-density foam provides excellent cushioning and support for planks and other exercises. Additionally, the textured surface provides excellent grip and prevents slipping.
3. ProsourceFit Extra Thick Yoga Mat
The ProsourceFit Extra Thick Yoga Mat is another great option for planks. It is 1/2 inches thick, which means it provides adequate cushioning for the joints while maintaining stability[^5]. The mat is made of durable PVC material that is tear-resistant and designed to withstand the pressure of intense workouts. Additionally, it has a non-slip surface that provides excellent grip during planks and other exercises. It also comes with a carrying strap for easy transport.
4. Yoga Design Lab The Infinity Mat
The Yoga Design Lab The Infinity Mat is listed as the Best Overall Exercise Mat by Good Housekeeping[^4]. It features a unique design with a top layer made of natural rubber and a bottom layer made of eco-friendly TPE. This combination provides excellent grip, cushioning, and durability. The mat is also 6mm thick, which is the perfect thickness for planks and other exercises. Additionally, it comes with a carrying strap and is available in various beautiful designs.
5. Gaiam Premium 2-Color Yoga Mat
The Gaiam Premium 2-Color Yoga Mat is another highly rated option[^7]. It is made of PVC material that is free of harmful chemicals and provides excellent durability. The mat is 6mm thick, which provides adequate cushioning for the joints without compromising stability. Additionally, it has a textured surface that provides excellent grip during planks and other exercises. It also comes in various colors to suit your preference.
How to Take Care of Your Yoga Mat
Once you have invested in a good quality yoga mat, it is crucial to take proper care of it to ensure its longevity and maintain its performance. Here are some tips for taking care of your yoga mat:
1. Clean Regularly: It is essential to clean your yoga mat regularly to remove sweat, dirt, and bacteria. Depending on the material of your mat, you can use a specialized yoga mat cleaner or a mild soap and water solution. Make sure to rinse thoroughly and air dry the mat completely before rolling it up for storage.
2. Store Properly: Do not fold your yoga mat as it can cause creases and damage the material over time. Instead, roll it up loosely and store it in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing it in a car trunk or a hot, humid area as extreme temperatures can affect the mat’s material and durability.
3. Avoid Sunlight: Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause the mat to fade and deteriorate. Therefore, it is best to store your mat indoors or in a shaded area. If you practice outside, try to do so in a shaded area and do not leave your mat in the sun for extended periods.
4. Use Both Sides: Using both sides of the mat will help distribute wear and tear evenly and extend its lifespan. Some mats have a designated top and bottom side, so make sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions.
5. Do Not Wear Shoes: Avoid wearing shoes while using your yoga mat as it can cause unnecessary wear and tear. It is best to practice barefoot or wear socks with grip bottoms.
6. Regular Inspection: Regularly inspect your mat for any signs of wear and tear, such as thinning, tears, or loss of grip. If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to replace your mat.
7. Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions: Always follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Some mats may have specific care instructions, such as not machine washing or avoiding certain cleaning products.
By taking proper care of your yoga mat, you can ensure its longevity and maintain its performance for years to come.
Planks are a fantastic exercise for strengthening your core, but they can be tough on your joints. Therefore, investing in the best yoga mat for planks is essential to ensure comfort, prevent injuries, and optimize performance. When searching for the best yoga mat for planks, consider the thickness, material, texture, size, and durability of the mat.
The Impulse Fitness Knee Mat, Greatmats 1 inch Thick Martial Arts Mat, ProsourceFit Extra Thick Yoga Mat, Yoga Design Lab The Infinity Mat, and Gaiam Premium 2-Color Yoga Mat are all excellent options that provide the perfect balance between cushioning, stability, and grip.
Remember to take proper care of your mat by cleaning it regularly, storing it properly, avoiding sunlight, and using both sides. Happy planking!
Q1. Can I use a regular yoga mat for planks?
While you can use a regular yoga mat for planks, it might not provide the necessary cushioning and support needed for performing planks comfortably. It is recommended to invest in a yoga mat specifically designed for planks to ensure comfort, prevent injuries, and optimize performance.
Q2. What is the ideal thickness for a yoga mat for planks?
The ideal thickness for a yoga mat for planks is around 1/2 inch to 1 inch. This thickness provides adequate cushioning for the joints while maintaining stability.
Q3. How often should I clean my yoga mat?
It is recommended to clean your yoga mat after every use to remove sweat, dirt, and bacteria. However, if you are using your mat less frequently, you can clean it once a week or as needed.
Q4. Can I use soap and water to clean my yoga mat?
Yes, you can use a mild soap and water solution to clean your yoga mat. Make sure to rinse thoroughly and air dry.