It’s universally believed that the more you pay for something, the higher quality the item is likely to be. On the whole, generally this is true, and we expect something to be superior if it costs more money. But does the same ring true for gym mats and gym flooring?
If you’re creating your own at home gym space, or you have your own commercial gym set up, the quality of your chosen gym flooring or gym floor mats is probably something which has crossed your mind. How can you be sure that the surface covering you’re using is up to the job? Is it strong enough? Durable? Will it last for years to come? And, perhaps most importantly, is it safe?
There are a vast array of different types of gym mats and gym flooring to choose from, all at very different price points – as a result it can often be tricky to fully understand the quality of what you’re looking at.
In this blog post we’ll take a look at how to spot a poor quality gym mat or gym floor and explain how the ‘Shore Density’ should play a key role in what you’re looking for.
What is the Shore Density scale?
The Shore Density scale is a method for measuring how hard or soft something is. With units on a scale of 00 to 100, a higher number indicates a harder material due to having a greater resistance, whilst a lower number indicates less resistance and thus a softer material. Harder materials are less inclined to indentations and retain their shape much better than soft materials. Therefore the Shore Density scale offers a good indication how durable a particular material or product is.
The Shore Density scale is used to denote the hardness of a wide range of materials, including plastics and rubbers. As a result, it can also be used to denote the hardness of products made from these materials, such as gym mats and gym flooring.
For example, a gym mat which has a Shore Density rating of 35 is slightly softer than a gym mat with a Shore Density rating of 45.
What level of hardness should I look for?
When searching for a gym mat its important to bear in mind the kind of activities the gym mat is going to be used for, before deciding on the hardness you require.
Gym mats can be used for a wider range of different exercises and sport, from yoga through to mixed martial arts.
Activities which require more physical movements, such as MMA, karate or judo will need to be the right density from a safety point of view.
The best quality gym mats for mixed martial arts
As an extremely physical activity, MMA often results in lots of falls and tumbles. This can ultimately lead to injuries, particularly if the flooring is not suitable or high quality.
In fact, poor quality flooring can actually result in much more serious injuries, so it is imperative to select a gym mat or gym floor which is suitable for your exact needs.
The bottom line is you’ll want to look for a gym mat which returns to its shape quickly when under stress, and is firm but not too firm. Poor quality mats tend to retain an indent for longer periods of time and won’t last as long. The mat should soften the blow upon impact, however it should be firm enough to protect the individual from a serious fall.
The ideal Shore Density for MMA mats is between 35 and 45 – so these are the figures you should always be looking out for. This is a good indicator of the quality of the materials, their hardness, and thus their ability to reduce the risk of injury.
In fact, most clubs will not recommend using a mat with a density of less than 100kg/m3 for safety reasons – the industry standard.
Why choose Gym Floors Direct for your MMA mats?
At Gym Floors Direct we’re passionate about ensuring the highest standards across our entire range of gym mats and gym floors. Our gym mats specifically designed for mixed martial arts are no exception.
Poor quality mats tend to have a very short shelf life, however all of our MMA gym mats will typically last at least four years in a club setting which has heavy use. Plus, we only stock MMA gym mats which are able the industry standard for density.