The Dos and Don’ts of Using Fitness Equipment on Zebra Mats

Zebra Mats are a staple of many martial arts, yoga, and fitness facilities. As facility owners increasingly diversify their range of classes and offering, the question naturally arisescan I use fitness equipment on my Zebra mats? This is a simple question with a complicated answer. See below for two things to consider before placing fitness equipment on your Zebra mats.  

#1: The Shape and Weight of the Equipment

The weight of the fitness equipment you want to place on your mats is a significant consideration. The surface shape is also very important. This is because the weight distribution of the equipment will dictate whether or not the equipment will damage your mats. Equipment with a narrow contact surface has a much lower weight limit allowance than equipment with a wider surface area. A 100 lb kettlebell would be safer than a narrow pole of the same weight, which would be likely to tear the vinyl.  

Equipment with smaller, heavier surfaces should not be placed directly on the mats, and instead should be placed on solid floor or on a block or other item that allows for wider weight distribution. 

#2: How the Equipment is Used

Another important factor is how the equipment will be used. Equipment that is stationary or can be lowered to the mat in a controlled manner (such as kettlebells or dumbbells) is safe. Having said that, do not drop or slam any fitness equipment onto your martial arts mats. Doing so may cause tears in the vinyl. It is also important not to leave equipment on the vinyl because it could cause permanent compression of the foam over time.  

We suggest that you store your equipment off the mats and use it on the mats only when appropriate. 


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