What to Look for in a Pilates Mat
First, you want a mat that is
Hi! This is Laurie Johnson for About.com, and I'm here with you today to talk about Pilates mats. Typically, Pilates studios will give you mats when you come to their classes. But if you're interested in having your own mat at home, I have some suggestions.First, you want a mat that is thicker than your basic yoga mat. Typically, half an inch or more is a good guideline to use. The biggest difference between yoga mats and Pilates mats is the thickness and amount of padding. Yoga mats are thinner, so they're easier to carry to class, and they don't require as much padding. Yoga mats are made to prevent slipping, while Pilates mats are made with extra padding to give you extra support on your back, your side or your belly. Your mat should have enough padding, so that when you're doing exercise, you're comfortable. Yet, it should be firm enough to support your alignment.The length of you mat is also important. At least get a mat that is long enough, so that when you lie down on your back, your head and your feet fit with your knees bent. Even better is a mat that when you lie down flat, your head and your legs fit with your legs out long. As far as width is concerned, when you're lying on your back, you want to be able to take your knees to one side and then the other.You'll be able to find mats that are roll-up, fold-up, or just lie flat. Think about portability and where you'll need to store it.For a good mat, you'll be looking to spend from $60-$100. You can check out your local department or sporting goods store, or look online where you might get a better price. You want to find a mat that's durable and will last. If you can, touch it, feel it - it should feel sturdy.Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.