The coronavirus pandemic has closed most of our country. And gyms will probably be the last to reopen once the lockdown restrictions are gradually lowered. Conversely, the ban on professional sporting competitions might be some of the first measures to be reversed. For gymnasts, this is both good and bad news. The good news is that you can get back to competing soon. And the bad news is, you might go out of shape as there will be nowhere to practice your routines.
That being said, if you want to keep yourself flexible and 100% prepared once the time comes to break out your moves, you will need to practice gymnastics at home. And that means you will need to get all the training equipment you used at your gym. I’m sure you probably already own some home exercise equipment such as dumbbells, resistance bands or a stationary bike. But what about some of the more specialised gymnastics equipment, like an airtrack mat?
If you haven’t invested in your own airtrack already, now is the time to do so. As more and more Australian lawmakers advise us to prepare for social distancing in the long haul, this means that even once gyms reopen, there may be some restrictions on how many people will get to use them at the same time. And as a result, you might not get to practice in a gym as often and as long as you like. So, investing in a good air track mat to keep yourself in shape is a smart step that can benefit your performance.
Benefits of Buying an Air Track Mat for Home Use
Airtracks combine the benefits of a trampoline, spring floor and a landing mat all in one. If you are extra careful, you may perform some movements without a mat. Training on a hard floor is bad for the body, especially the joints. Over time, it can lead to pain, injuries and even dislocation. But practising on an air track softens the impact on the joints and allows you to perform more exercises using less energy. And this allows you to do more reps which can result in more success. Plus, an airtrack is lightweight, portable and easy to store away under your bed or in the back of your closet.
Should I Get and Inflatable or Foam Mat?
Gymnastics mats are available in foam or inflatable form. Although foam mats do offer cushioning from the floor, inflatable mats are far superior and have many advantages. The main one is that once deflated, an inflatable mat takes up very little room and can even fit in a drawer, unlike a foam mat which can only be rolled up to be stored away. Additionally, inflatable airtrack mats are made from the best quality Sports Double Wall Fabric (Sports DWF) which provides the perfect bounce and is leak-resistant. Sports DWF mats also have a completely flat surface.
What Is the Best Thickness for an Airtrack?
If the air track is too thin, it won’t offer enough cushioning when tumbling on it. On the other hand, if it’s too thick, it also means it will be elevated higher of the ground, and as such the user may have trouble timing the stunts. However, thicker mats leave more room to play around with pressure. For instance, you can inflate the mat using lower pressures for an easy bounce that’s perfect for warming up. Then, once you’re ready for more technical movements, you can increase the pressure for a firmer bounce. In general, an airtrack that’s around 20 – 30 cm thick will offer you more room to control the pressure and enough cushioning to stay safe.
Get the Right Dimensions
Before purchasing an air track gymnastics mat, you need to make sure it is big enough to fit you. Then, you also need to consider the size of the space where you plan to use the mat. Since airtracks are available in a wide range of sizes, you will easily find a mat that satisfies the two needs. For an adult gymnast, the recommended mat size is around 4m in length and 1m in width.
Make Sure It’s REACH Compliant
Manufacturers are known to sneak in many nasty chemicals into exercise equipment. And gymnastics mats are no different. To make sure that you won’t breathe in toxic fumes during your training, you need to look for a mat that’s REACH compliant. REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) is a regulation that dates from 2006 which addresses the use of chemicals and their effects on both human health and the environment.