High-quality gymnastics mats are essential; whether you’re a professional coach or looking to practice your new-found skills at home. If you’re wondering whether they are worth the investment, read on for Cannon UK’s expert advice on what makes them a vital part of any gymnast’s set-up.
This might be the most well-known benefit of gymnastic mats, but it really can’t be overstated! While some simple floor moves may be safe to try on an unprotected surface, the risk is increased as soon as height, speed, and impact are introduced. When mishaps occur, gymnasts can end up hitting the floor at all kinds of angles, leading to serious injuries that could put them out of action indefinitely. Even successful landings can cause joint damage without the right protection, as a certain amount of flexibility is needed to cushion the impact of feet driving into the floor.
This is especially true for moves that take place on bars, rings, or other high equipment. For these activities, mats are often placed around the outside of a deep foam pit, acting as a safeguard against misjudged falls. You’ll often find some of the springiest mats in gyms with these facilities, as their tall ceilings can accommodate for increased bounce.
Safety isn’t the only thing that matters when gymnasts hit the ground, particularly in competitive situations. For a move to score highly it needs to demonstrate style too. A good quality mat is vital for achieving this, as they prevent a gymnast from slipping and wobbling as they land. While it can’t learn the moves for you, the mat’s stability will support you to finish each move with grace and poise.
A mat for all occasions
While the phrase “gymnastic mat” may evoke memories of the rock-hard foam found in old school halls, contemporary gymnasts have a much wider selection to choose from. Foam mats now come in a range of densities, shapes, and colours, so they can be chosen with specific activities and spaces in mind. Another exciting advance came in the form of air-filled mats, such as the Air Track range offered at Cannons UK. These mats are particularly good springboards, offering a big bounce which helps gymnastics stay in the air for longer.
For the gymnast on the go
The ability to move gym mats from one space to another has also skyrocketed, with portable options that can suit everything from the smallest bedroom to the widest competition floors. Folding mats are ideal for practice spaces that need to be cleared at the end of each session, as they can be neatly stored away without the risk of creasing. For longer journeys, Air Track mats can be deflated and easily transported, with a simple pump gymnastics system to get them ready at their new location. They’re well-loved in the gymnastics community too, so offering to bring your mat to an event is a sure-fire way to make friends.