The beauty of gymnastics in its innate form is that it doesn’t require special gymnastics tumbling mats or gymnastics equipment – except your own body! However, the best gymnastics mats for home can be beneficial for safety and for learning skills faster.
The best tumbling mats can help to acquire skills faster and safer than using nothing. Luckily there are several cheap gymnastics mats for home use that are also some of the best gymnastics mats – even gyms use them! I have reviews for the gymnastics air mat, cheese mat, folding mat, and rolled mat below. Each one caters to different needs and wants, which I describe in my reviews.
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Kids Gymnastics Mats
Gymnastics equipment for kids makes for a childhood of fun and encourages physical activity. Even before they are crawling, infants can use gymnastics tumbling mats. The different textures and colors and ways you can change them spark their curiosity. Their shapes help put their bodies in different positions.
Gymnastics mats for home can spark kids’ interest in gymnastics, and almost always challenge them to move more. If you have a gymnast, gymnastics mats are the best gift for a gymnast! They will love to get the extra practice in, but they will especially like the “play time” having a mat at home provides them with.
Gymnastics Mats for Adults
Gymnastics mats for kids are popular, but adults love tumbling mats for home too! Flat mats can double as yoga mats or soft surfaces for sitting on the floor when not practicing gymnastics tricks on them.
I almost always do my yoga on my gymnastics carpet mat. It offers a lot more space than a traditional yoga mat and really helps with difficult skills I wouldn’t want to practice on the tile.
I also use the mats for skill training and strength work. It’s a good idea to keep your mats out if you need motivation. As easy as unrolling, or unfolding a mat stored in the corner of the room is – it’s easier to have one already waiting for you! My mats at home are also used in place of furniture!
The Best Gymnastics Mats Buying Guide
Here is a quick guide to some of the best tumbling mats most used by competitive gyms that are also practical for home gymnastics mats. Scroll on to see more in-depth explanations of the different types of gymnastics mats for home.
A folding gymnastics mat, is also called a folded mat or panel mat. It is generally the most popular type of mats at gyms.
If I had to pick one style, the gymnastics panel mat would be my choice for the best gymnastics mat for homes and gyms. They are easy, versatile, and store well so they are an obvious choice for home gymnastics. Unfolded, the mats are a safe surface to practice skills.
The 8 foot version is enough room for most kids, but adults may want something longer. Another option is to begin the skill off the mat. Purchasing two folded mats gives you the option of fastening them together, as these mats all have hook and loop fasteners on their ends.
Folded up, the panel mat is my favorite piece of gymnastics equipment to learn cartwheels. It gives a little platform to also help learn backward rolls, straddle presses, and to gain strength in handstands. Kids also love to use the folded mat in their playtime as a wall!
This is really the most basic piece of gymnastics equipment and what I recommend buying first for your home gym (or practice area). You can check the current price and the reviews right here. They have a lot of fun colors, too, so you can customize your gymnastics room!
The gymnastics cheese mat, which is also referred to as a gymnastics incline mat or wedge mat, is a great tool for practicing gymnastics at home. All ages can use it and is great for rolls, kick overs, backbends, and more. In fact, there’s so much you can do with the cheese wedge mat, I wrote a whole article about it!
I recommend buying one that folds, not just for easy transport, but so it can be used as a large cube-shaped mat too. The block can be used for practicing high jumps/vaulting, and for a platform to jump down from.
It comes in a few sizes, medium is a great start for kids and most uses. For older kids and adults’ back handsprings the large or even X-large is a good size. There is a preschool size, which is great for babies and toddlers, but will not be of much use past about 5 years old and it doesn’t fold. You can check out all the sizes, colors, and prices here.
Also, check out the buying guide table above for another (cheaper) option in the medium size incline mat.
Rolled Carpet Mat
I bought my 5×10 mat over seven years ago second-hand and it is still one of my most-used pieces of equipment. These come in handy, especially when you don’t have carpet. They are most useful for older kids and adults to practice larger, or linking, skills.
It’s long enough for children to do two forward rolls and long enough for adults to practice handsprings or cartwheels. I also use mine for yoga too, as it’s softer than hard floors without being too soft to affect balance and it is nice and grippy! They roll up very easily and are fairly lightweight. I recommend this rolled mat, it’s one of the cheaper ones and has good reviews.
Tumble Track Mat
The tumble track mat, also known as the gymnastics air mat, is a fairly new edition for gymnastics equipment for home use. They have rapidly become popular for home gymnastics and more. Kids and adults can have a blast jumping around, exploring on them, and it gives kids help with their balance.
Tumble tracks, both spring and inflated types, have been seen in gyms for ages. But it is only within the last few years these were made available (and affordable) for home use. Air mats are safer than spring trampolines and much more storable. A lot of gymnasts have weak wrists when starting out and the air mat can really help by absorbing more shock in things like back bends and handsprings.
The bounce provided by the air mat is much less than that of a trampoline, so is more natural for the body. Learning skills on the trampoline is not the same as learning them on a floor!
Hardly considered a mat, but with the same versatility as one. These provide gymnasts with the same type of floor they are used to performing on. The thinner ones have a feel similar to a regulation gymnastics floor, with a bit more spring. The thicker the mat, the more similar to trampolines or bounce mats. Keep in mind, with the added bounce, air mats would not be safe with low ceilings!
There are a few options out there, but I really like this one I found on Amazon because of the great reviews, prices, range of sizes, and it comes with a fast air pump! See it here. The air mat that I own is currently not available but most of them are very similar.
Consider size the most when determining the gymnastics air mat. The thicker ones are bouncier but tend to lift up on the sides when landing on them!
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