Product: PhysioWorld Exercise Mat Review
Best Place to Buy: Amazon.co.uk
Dimensions: 183 cm x 60 cm x 1.0 cm/1.5 cm
Colour: Blue, Graphite or Pink
My Rating: 9.4 out of 10.
Pilates Mats are Essentials
For anyone doing Pilates, a Pilates mat is not a luxury but an essential. It protects your spine from the hard ground and also offers support to other parts of your body during exercises. This is why you should choose carefully and pay attention to some quality factors, such as the material, thickness or size of the mat. I had a closer look at the PhysioWorld Exercise Mat and this is what I found out.
Key Features of the PhysioWorld Exercise Mat
- Material: The exercise mat is described as made from thick studio-quality NBR rubber. This means that it is made from a resilient type of rubber that can be used professionally in a studio environment. It also suggests that it is durable and comes with a long life-span. In addition, it is Phthalate, Phenol, AZO and heavy metal free
- Properties: Another aspect mentioned is its great cushioning, memory effect and the ability to absorb shocks during Pilates and other exercises. Furthermore, its said to be non-slip and non-stretch and capable of withstanding vigorous exercises.
- Thickness/size: The mat has the following dimensions – 183cm x 60cm x 10mm/15mm. So it comes in one standard length and width and a choice of two thicknesses, 10mm and 15mm.
- Additional features: Mats are easy to roll up and either available with a carry strap or a carry bag. This makes them easy to stow away and to transport. So ideal for use at home or in the gym.
- According to consumers, one of the key strengths of the PhysioWorld exercise mat is its thickness and softness with memory foam effect. Most people using it for Pilates would recommend the 15mm thickness option as it is very comfortable when lying on it, and it makes exercising more fun. Lower-back pain sufferers find it very suitable for exercising.
- Also, most people are happy with its non-slip, firm-grip properties using the mat either on carpet or laminate flooring – even outside in the garden or park.
- The sizing is seen as a definite plus point as this makes it suitable for taller persons, as well.
- The fact that the mat comes with either carry strap or carry bag is welcomed by many consumers. They find this very practical.
- The majority of the consumers is happy or very happy with the quality and density of the mat.
- Some consumers mentioned that due to the thickness and softness of the mat (especially the 15mm option), balancing exercises, as done in Yoga, are not ideal on the mat.
- Also, being soft and spongy also means that the mat tends to dent more easily and can get damaged by sharp objects or shoes.
- A couple of people said that the mats tend to stay a bit curled when unrolled but that this can be rectified by placing the mat with the curled side down onto the floor.
- Finally, the thicker mat (15mm) is a bit more bulky so not as ideal when you want to take it on holiday in a suitcase. Content goes here.
The Verdict: A Great Choice for Pilates
We have seen that the PhysioWorld exercise mat has a number of advantages but also some disadvantages, and the question is – what does this mean for its suitability as a Pilates mat? Let’s have a look at the Pros and Cons again.
The mat is made of good quality, resilient and durable material which is free of harmful substances. Thanks to its thick foam padding, it is very comfortable when lying on the floor and doing floor exercises providing great protection for the back. This is a very important factor, if not the most important factor to consider. Of course, being thick and soft also means that you get imprints on the mat. However, as the mat is of memory foam, these imprints will disappear again.
Also, it is true that balancing on the mat can be a bit harder than on a thinner mat. However, for most Pilates mat exercises, you are lying, sitting or kneeling on the mat, and this is when you need good padding and protection for your body. There are a few stretching exercises though – e.g. standing on one leg stretching the other leg – that require some balancing. I usually do this type of exercise straight on the floor rather than on a mat for more stability.
One of the disadvantages mentioned is that the mat can get damaged easily by sharp objects or shoes. Since you are not wearing shoes for Pilates, and your clothing shouldn’t have any sharp parts to it, there is not much risk of the mat being damaged this way.
Another thing pointed out is the curling of the mat, which, however, is easy to rectify by turning the mat with the curled side down on the floor. Curling is a common, but minor, issue that you will find with most mats due to their flexible rubber material. So it’s not really a disadvantage but the nature of the material.
I would definitely recommend buying this mat for Pilates exercises as it offers everything that is important during a Pilates workout: thick, soft good quality material with non-slip, firm-grip properties, good dimensions making it suitable for most people, and a few extras like the carry strap or carry bag plus a choice of colours. It might be a bit more bulky than a thinner mat, but, being of light material, by no means heavy. So should you want to use the mat anywhere apart from home, you can easily carry and transport it.