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What is a Balance Mat?

By L. Roux
Updated May 17, 2024
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A balance mat is a soft and durable mat that provides a stable surface for standing, lying or seated exercises. It is usually made from foam and is lightweight. These mats help provide balance and stabilization to the individual and are ideal for use on hard or uneven surfaces when performing exercises.

A balance mat is ideal for a variety of exercises, including yoga, Pilates and stability exercises. These mats are usually available in various thicknesses to provide the proper support and cushioning to the individual when performing different exercises. Thicker mats may be used by individuals who perform stability exercises because they can provide slightly more stability than thinner mats. A balance mat can also be a good tool for stretching exercises before and after a workout.

A balance mat may also be used when attending a group fitness class, especially when free weights are used. There are usually a few exercises that will require people to lie on their backs or stomachs, and the floor surface can be quite hard and uncomfortable. Individuals can either buy their own balance mat to use both at home and in class, or they can make use of the health club's equipment if its available. There are certain group exercise classes where a balance mat may be necessary, such as yoga or Pilates classes.

Balance mats are usually treated with antibacterial substances, and are waterproof and body heat retentive. They are also easy to roll up and likely will have Velcro straps for easy storage. Mats may be bought from various sports stores and also from online retailers.

A balance mat may be cleaned by simply wiping it down with a damp cloth. One can also use a mat cleaner, which may provide added protection against bacteria and may prolong the life of the mat. These cleansers are usually biodegradable and non-toxic.

Like balance mats, there are other types of balance training equipment used for core strengthening, including a balance board and a balance ball. A balance board can be used for stability training, therapy and brain development. A balance ball is usually made of elastic PVC that is filled with air. These balls come in various sizes and can be used to perform a wide variety of exercises. Using a balance ball or balance board to perform strength exercises can be very helpful since your body responds to the instability of the item to remain balanced.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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