Do You Need A Rowing Machine Mat?
Would you believe it! You're about to spend several hundred dollars on a rowing machine, and just as you're ready to click 'buy now', you see the 'customer who bought this item also bought...' - you know the one. In this instance, they're suggesting you also get a shock-absorbing mat to go underneath your new purchase.
So is it just an excuse to get more money out of you? Or are they an essential accessory?
I believe it's one of those things, that if you don't buy it, you'll wish you had later. A good rowing machine mat has a number of advantages.
A good mat will:-
Let's start with the first two advantages. How can reducing vibration and slippage help? Firstly, it can make for a more comfortable workout, especially if you like to row fast at a high resistance level. If your rower suddenly moves when you're going full tilt - it will upset your rhythm and could even cause injury. Vibrations also cause wear and tear on your machine and could loosen housings over time.
Anything that reduces noise is welcome, whether you live in an apartment or not. Whilst the top-level models can be quieter, all rowing machines make a noise simply because they have to provide resistance for your body to work against.
Apart from protecting your machine against vibration, a good mat will also prevent damage to your floor, and stop particles such as dust and carpet fibers getting into your machine - all things that could damage moving parts and mechanisms.
Now for the not so pleasant factor - the 's'-word: sweat. Most of us will perspire during a workout. It's only natural after all! But if you row on a carpet, all that sweat will be absorbed into the fibers and after a few days - well let's not go there, you get the picture :0) A good exercise mat is easy to wipe down and clean after a training session - and therefore far more hygienic.
So although you can pay around $50 for a good mat, I think it's money well spent!