When I first started exercising at home, one of my first purchases was a yoga mat. I didn’t do much yoga, but I knew my floor was hard, and laying down on it hurt my back, and it had me wondering, are yoga mats good for sit-ups? Unfortunately, I realized a yoga mat wasn’t the best for that purpose; while you can use a yoga mat, it’s not as comfortable as an exercise mat.
Whether you’re exercising at home or the gym, it’s fairly easy to assume that your yoga mat will do just about any exercise. After all, when they’re rolled up in the store, they pretty much all look the same. However, when they’re on the floor of your home or gym, there’s a big difference between a yoga mat and an exercise mat.
What Are Yoga Mats Good For?
Yoga mats are designed to provide a user with a rough surface for stability. The mats are meant for exercises that involve being in various positions, but typically only a user’s feet or hands will be in direct contact with the mat.
For a yoga mat to provide this stability, it has to provide two things. It must give a good grip to the user and the ground. It also has to be stable. You might also be wondering do yoga studios provide mats.
A yoga mat usually has a rough texture to provide a good grip. The bumps and ridges on the top increase the friction between the yogi and the mat. This prevents the user from slipping.
The bumps and ridges on the bottom of the mat create a lot of friction between the mat and the floor. This is why smooth-bottomed mats are ideal for doing yoga outside, while dual-sided mats are ideal for indoor use. Check out these yoga garden ideas if you’d like to practice yoga outdoors.
You’ve probably noticed that most yoga mats are relatively thin. This is because extra padding will make the mat harder to balance on. What’s easier, balancing on a floor or balancing on a pillow?
Why Are Exercise Mats Better?
While a thin mat that is easy to grip is ideal for yoga, it is not the ideal choice for other exercises, such as sit-ups. A person doing sit-ups rarely needs to think about their overall stability. The lack of padding, however, is a real issue.
When a person is lying flat on their back, they don’t need to worry about slipping and falling off a mat. For this reason, the ridges on a yoga mat aren’t necessary, but they shouldn’t bother you much, either.
The lack of padding can make doing sit-ups on a yoga mat very uncomfortable. While some people may not notice the difference, others will likely want to reach for a pillow or other type of padding, especially for their lower back. If you’re in a pinch, you’ll get by with a yoga mat for sit-ups, but it’s not the best choice.
FAQs On Are Yoga Mats Good For Sit Ups
How can I best use a yoga mat for doing sit-ups?
Position your mat on a level surface, and consider using a pillow or wedge for your lower back until you get used to doing a lot of sit-ups.
How can I provide more padding while doing sit-ups?
While some people choose to use a pillow, there are wedges that are specifically made for people who do sit-ups on hard surfaces or who need additional lower back support while they exercise.
Should I clean my yoga mat after doing sit-ups?
Ideally, your yoga mat should be cleaned every time you exercise. Use a very mild soap mixed with water to spray down the mat, then wipe dry.