8 Great Floor Mat Exercises for a Full Body Workout
With so many high tech pieces of fitness equipment in modern gyms, many are beginning to underestimate the potential of the humble exercise mat.
As such, we have taken it upon ourselves to revive the reputation of the exercise mat, reinstating it as one of the key pieces of equipment needed to achieve a full body work out. Here we have provided you with a list of 8 floor mat exercises which will allow you to become reacquainted with the more mature gym equipment and its ability to give you a full work out.
Through incorporating the floor mat into your exercise routine you can build on major areas of fitness such as core strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility. To achieve this you will need to include both compound and isolation exercises.
Compound movements rely on the coordinated actions of several muscle groups, thus making use of two or more joints. By including a small number of compound exercises you can achieve a full body work out efficiently with great benefits.
USING MORE MUSCLE GROUPS AT ANY ONE TIME MEANS THAT…
- More calories are burned.
- Coordination and balance are improved.
- The risk of injury during sport and other activities is reduced.
- Heart rate is increased, thus improving cardiovascular performance.
- Muscular endurance and strength is increased, allowing you to exercise for longer.
Isolation exercises work one muscle or one muscle group at any one time. Through this type of exercise you are able to select which area you would like to focus on, and move through different muscle groups accordingly.
The benefits of Isolation exercise are that….
- Muscle weakness, perhaps after injury can be corrected.
- You can increase both size and endurance of a specific muscle type.
- Able to measure and monitor how much each muscle group is being worked.
- Places more stress on a single muscle group, thus resulting in a more complete workout.
BEFORE YOU START…
Determine your goals. Everyone will want different things out of their work out and have preferences towards different exercise formulas. Make sure that you chose ones which suit you and are within your fitness ability.
Adopt a pic n mix attitude! Keep things interesting by introducing new exercises or variations on an existing exercise. If you enjoy it then you are more likely to achieve your goals.
COMPOUND EXERCISE TAILORED TO THE FLOOR MAT…
Muscles worked: glutes, quads, hamstring, calves and abs
- The back should stay straight
- Go to the seated position and keep abs tight
- As you start to feel more confident try sitting lower in the seat position
- Holding the squat for longer will improve muscular endurance
Muscles worked: triceps, abs, back muscles, deltoids (shoulders), pectorals (chest)
- Keep the back in a straight line from head to toe
- Lower yourself slowly to ensure that you are working muscles to their maximum potential
- Increase repetitions to increase difficulty levels
Muscles worked: hamstring, quads, glutes, calves and abs
- Keep your back straight.
- Do not allow bent knee to touch the floor.
- Ensure balance before moving between lunges.
- Adding hand weights will increase intensity.
- Slow repetitions will ensure that you achieve the maximum work out potential.
- Engage core muscles, maintain tension in abs.
Superman (arm and leg extension on all fours)
Muscles worked: abs, glutes, lower back, quads, bicep and triceps
- Keep tension in abdominal muscles
- Keep head down , ensuring spine remains straight
- Hold extension for longer to increase intensity and improve balance
- Movement should be slow and controlled
ISOLATION EXERCISES FOR THE FLOOR MAT…
Bridge (raise hips off the floor whilst lying on your back)
Muscles worked: glutes
- Ensure you feel balance before the lift
- Keep shoulders firmly on the floor
- Pushing hips higher will increase difficulty levels and improve muscle strength
- Maintain tension in gluts and abs
Muscles worked: back and abs
- Increase time holding the plank position to make it more challenging
- Ensure that your back remains straight
- This is a great exercise for building strength for push ups!
Muscles worked: Abs
- A variation on the sit up, but you only lift your shoulders a couple of inches off the floor
- Remember that your abs are producing the movement, not your neck and back
- Hold raised position for a couple of seconds to tailor it to your ability
Hamstring Curl (on all fours)
Muscles worked: hamstring
- Bend and straighten the leg with a slow controlled motion
- Tension in abs will aid balance and core strength
- Once leg is bent at 90 degrees raising the heel towards the ceiling will work gluts and add another element to the exercise
Implementing a balance of these exercises into a weekly routine will improve muscle strength and endurance as well as completing and improving your workout…
Thus the exercise mat is the only piece of equipment that enables you to work almost every muscle in the body and lets you chose how you do it!