Many are the obstacles that can prevent a determined person from getting their workout done (gym fees, lack of space at home, busy schedules, to name a few), and almost all of them can be eliminated by setting up an outdoor gym. It’s really not hard, and the benefits are plenty. The main element: the outdoor gym flooring!
Gym flooring will vary in thickness, presentation (could be a series of interlocking tiles, or a longer mat), and even color, but the one thing all versions have in common is, you don’t have to install it in the literal sense, you simply lay it down. How hard it is to take out will largely depend on the overall size—and the weight of the equipment you set on top of it.
Why Use Gym Flooring Outdoors?
We could start by enumerating the many ways your health stands to improve from a steady (and not necessarily punishing) workout schedule, but if you’re reading this, odds are we’d be preaching to the choir on that front. Instead, let’s touch upon the reasons that make an outdoor gym a fantastic alternative.
1. No Gym Fees!
It is as obvious as it is important. Many, many people pay a gym in advance only to see their investment go almost entirely to waste as they struggle to make the trip to the facility due to a variety of factors, such as time constraints or—let’s just say it, it’s okay—waning resolve. The reasons don’t really matter; what matters is that, if you don’t have to pay for the privilege, you will find yourself exercising because you actually want to, not because you’d be wasting money otherwise.
2. The No-Judge Zone
Many of us would rather not exercise around strangers for different reasons, a very common one being we just don’t want to risk other people commenting (in whispers or otherwise) about our progress or lack thereof. Exercising in the comfort of your own home completely solve that problem; you can, in fact, work out in your PJs if you’d like—which we don’t know if it is actually a thing, but it probably should be!
3. Much Easier To Find The Time
Depending on where you live, it may be easier to exercise outside. Maybe the weather is benign most of the year, perhaps there is an abundance of facilities and spaces for you to hike, could be a combination of factors. However, the commute to these locales might just be too much for the time and energy you can spare between work and your other obligations. If your gym just happens to be a few feet instead of a few miles away, you will find it much simpler to squeeze a few minutes for your body’s benefit.
4. Save Space Inside
That empty room you have and which your family can’t decide what to do with? Go right ahead and turn it into a game room, or lounge, or fancy library. You no longer need to reserve it for your gym!
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The Best Outdoor Gym Flooring Options
The following selection covers a variety of choices: some longer mats, some will be interlocking tiles, with different colors and dimensions, as well as thicknesses in case you are thinking of bringing out heavier equipment. Among the features they will share are resistance to water, and a non-slip surface, which is especially important should the flooring get wet.
BEAUTYOVO Puzzle Exercise Mat
Just because it’s a mat for utilitarian purposes doesn’t mean there can’t be some color variety, and if that’s something you agree on then this one might have an extra point in its favor, as you can purchase it in a package that includes both grey and black tiles. I
t certainly doesn’t want for strength, as its 10mm thickness is enough to meet safety requirements such as CPSIA, ASTM (in the US) and EN71-1-2-3 (from the EU). The diamond pattern on the surface prevents slips, and the mats can be cleaned by wiping them with a soapy cloth. Their water resistance is such, you can take the tiles apart and submerge them completely for a deeper cleaning, and they won’t suffer from it.
- One of the few options capable of meeting several sets of safety requirements.
- The interlocking seams lack grip, and certain workout routines such as burpees may cause the tiles to separate.
- Measurements in literature are imprecise, as they include the edge that is taken away before assembling mat.
MRO Extra Large Exercise Mat
6′ x 9′ is the area you get to cover with this one, and you gain a surface that is non-slip on both sides and also admits the use of shoes without suffering.
Designed with high intensity training in mind, it’s resilient enough to endure equipment on top, and even rope training, while still providing the cushioning required for plank and other exercises involving pressure on elbows. It’s available in two colors (although price varies between them), and it comes with a carrying bag so you can roll the mat up and stow it inside for easy transportation. Cleaning can be done with a cloth or a mop.
- Remarkably easy to take along anywhere, thanks to the carrying bag it includes.
- Provides lifetime after-sale service.
- Generally praised for being resistant to scratches.
- Not the best at impact reduction, which may make it less adequate for certain training routines.
- Non-slip properties are reportedly reduced by moisture, possibly due to the surface having no pattern.
Sivan Health and Fitness Exercise Mat Tiles
As we mentioned before, there is nothing wrong about adding some color to your gym flooring, and this one is another good way to do just that—except that, instead of alternating from one square to the next, this one comes with color speckles within the tile’s black background.
You get some choice in the matter, too: you can pick black and blue, or black and grey if you’re a little more traditional. Package includes a total of 6 tiles, each one measuring 24 x 25″ with a thickness of about ½”, which can endure a certain degree of impact as long as it is not way too heavy.
- Speckled design makes them a unique touch to bring to any outdoor gym.
- Interlocking patterns can vary from one set to another; this may render them incompatible and thus unusable to cover larger areas.
- Rubber top has been known to peel off with relative ease.
Rubber-Cal Diamond Plate Rubber Flooring Rolls
If your gym area is of a fairly specific size and you haven’t found a fitting solution thus far, then this option might be what you need: instead of presenting you with a single mat, or a fixed amount of tiles, you get a roll of flooring which you can get in different widths and lengths.
There’s a total of 8 choices to pick from, in fact; thickness is 1/8″, which gives it enough strength to endure the pressure of hefty objects on top of it. The diamond pattern on the surface prevents slipping, and it is inherently resistant to moisture.
- Strong enough to bear the weight of a van without suffering deformation; heavy gym equipment should be no issue.
- Rolls are available in different measurements.
- Unlike many other forms of flooring, this one can be easily cut to size.
- Known to give off a strong smell which has been near unbearable for some customers.
Soozier High-Density Foam Floor Tile Mats
If you happen to care more about the aesthetics of the floor and don’t mind sacrificing performance in other areas, then this could be worth a closer look: it provides the necessary layer between you and the hard floor beneath, and it is also designed to look like wood, which means there is a wider variety of areas you can bring it to.
It is, in fact, adequate as a playing area for smaller kids, while still apt for sprucing up your gym space. There’s even two options to choose from—light and medium wood grain. One 24-pc pack will cover 72 sq ft.
- One of the very few that provide support and impact reduction while also bringing a pleasant view to the area.
- Surface is more vulnerable to scratches than most others.
- Not so good at preventing slips.
- Heavy items such as equipment can leave indentations; may be better for lighter workout routines.
Coming Out At The Top: MRO Extra Large Exercise Mat
Given the variety of circumstances that could come into play when setting up and using your outdoor gym (space available, type of routine, amount and weight of equipment involved, to name a few), it can be somewhat difficult to pick a flooring option that will be the ‘perfect’ solution. In our opinion, however, this mat checks more boxes than the rest, which is why we feel more inclined towards it.
Aside from providing adequate support for equipment—and for yourself—, it is also a single piece, which gives it two distinct advantages: it won’t come apart when used for intense workouts, and it is also great for portability. If for any reason you don’t require a full-fledged facility, you can simply set down the mat, roll it up when you’re done (thereby reclaiming the space until you need it again), and you can also take it along with you, which means your gym travels with you—and that can only be a good thing!