So you've decided to do some mobility workouts. That's step one. Step two is getting the right equipment. Despite the minimalistic nature of CrossFit, we can all get a bit obsessed with having the best/latest/coolest equipment. The question, then, is if we really need a ROMWOD mat to get “flexy and swole”, or can we get by with an alternative.
The first thing to know is that you will definitely need a mat for floor-based flexibility and gymnastic strength training. Workout Mats for CrossFit ROMwods, mobility sessions, and yoga for CrossFit classes are essential. You could potentially use the floor of your gym if the rubber flooring is soft enough. But even at that, it's nicer to have a bit more cushioning for some of the exercises that will have your knees or shoulder pressed against the floor for a long time.
ROMWOD's own mats
The company that “invented” the Range of Motion WOD has its own line of mats designed as a safe surface to perform flexibility and mobility workouts, but also to perform burpees, sit-ups, lunges and other CrossFit-style exercises.
There are four types of mats on the company store.
- The “Swole & Flexy” Original
- The “Swole & Flexy” Competition
- X Outwod Pride Mat
There’s no difference between the 4 apart from the graphics. Choose your favourite color.
All mats are 6 FT (182 cm) x 3 FT (92 cm) x 1 inch (2.5 cm) with a vinyl surface. Free shipping on all products in the US.
You can order in bulk with a discount on the regular price. The company also offers a custom design but you'll need to contact them.
The mats are actually made by Dollamur, which sells a very similar product for pretty much the same price. So you might as well have the ROMWOD logo on your mat.
Quick tip for saving money on your Maximus or Swole & Flexy Mat:
- Create an account and add the mat to your cart but don't buy it.
- Wait a day or two and grab the discount that the company will email you. It's a little sneaky but it's also a tip you can use on most e-commerce stores. Just don't tell anyone I told you.
ROMWOD Mat Alternatives
If you need something more durable and a mat that you can also do some lifting on, check out Rogue's Individual Mat (no prizes for the exciting name).
The Individual Mat is another quality product from the ever-reliable Rogue Fitness brand, who we absolutely love here at WODtools.com.
The mat has a slip-resistant vinyl surface and is 5/8ths of an inch (1.5cm) thick.
It folds, rather than rolls, but still compacts down to a small size.
If that's a little expensive or you don't plan on dumping dumbbells on the floor, the Rogue Yoga Mat might be more suited to your needs. At 0.125 inches (0.32 cm) thick, you've got a lot less padding between your bones and the floor, but this is a typical thickness for yoga mats. And millions of yoga heads can't be wrong. There's also a better connection with the floor during a workout, stretching session, or myofascial release session.
This mat is lightweight, easy to clean, and easy to store.
If you're buying for your CrossFit box, gym, or friends, get free shipping when you order three items. At the mat's regular price of less than $20, this is great value and a big saving.
Grippy Not Slippy
Ideally, you want a reversible, non-slip surface so you can perform any movement with confidence. A textured surface prevents slipping out of position so you can hold poses no matter how long that deep hip poses takes you.
You might want to look for a non-PVC material, or a Latex-free mat. Phthalate-free inks are also popular these days. But it comes down to your personal preference and how you feel about the materials used. Some people have allergies, some have ethical considerations, and others feel like certain materials are causing them health issues.
Be kind to your body knowing you aren't breathing in harmful chemicals next time you're doing downward dog. Please also treat the mobility mat with care and don't expose it to extreme temperatures like a car on a hot day
Next time you feel a bit stiff, roll out your mat, turn on ROMWOD, and start doing those wrist and hip flexibility exercises without kneeling or leaning on a hard surface.
And check out our guide to mobility exercises for athletes.