Rogue AbMat Review
The Rogue AbMat is a super simple and affordable mat that works to cradle and support your spine as you knock out reps without doing any lasting damage. It has a slightly curved edge that contours to the shape of your back to help keep it supported. As you lower yourself back down from a sit-up, the soft materials prevent your spine from hyper-extending, where most of the strain occurs. I love this mat because it feels super soft, yet firm enough to prevent lower strain on my back.
Below, I want to dive into some of the design features that make this AbMat from Rogue worth adding to your home gym!
Closed-cell foam construction
Provide full extension of ab muscles
Made from antibacterial materials
Non-skid back stays in place while in use
Will not absorb odors or moisture
Some users find that it is too stiff
Unable to adjust length or height
Can place the spine in an uncomfortable position for some
What I love most about this mat is that it is composed of quality materials that hold up well over time. The entire mat is composed of a single piece of closed-cell polyurethane foam that is insanely durable. If you are worried about germs and bacteria, have no fear! This design is considered to be anti-bacterial, which means that sweat and body odors won’t seep into the fibers of the mat over time. When you are finished with your set, simply wipe it down and pack it away in a cool, dry area.
I personally love that this mat provides a textured surface for excellent grip. Even as I really start to sweat, my back firmly grips the textured surface of this mat. Plus, because it is composed of a closed-cell construction, it means that sweat will simply wick off of the surface so you have a firm grip on the mat for your entire workout. This closed-cell construction also means that it won’t start to smell funky after weeks of continued sweaty sit up!
If you can do a sit-up, and you can use this AbMat. When you lie on the ground without any support under your back, you may notice that there is a gap between your lower back and the floor due to the natural curvature of your spine. When you engage in your first few sit-ups, your ab muscles work to keep your spine supported. However, as your ab muscles start to fatigue, the transfer of energy and weight is dropped from your abs and placed directly on your spine. This is the reason that many personal trainers are dropping sit up from their workout routines across the board. Also, as you start to become fatigued, you are more likely to use momentum to dump your body back on the ground. Your back does not like that sudden impact.
This mat works back bridging the gap between your spine and the floor. As you like flat, the mat works to support the natural curvature of your spine. Additionally, as you start to fatigue and your ab muscles start to fail out, this mat also helps to absorb the impact when you collapse down after a failed set. It may seem like a very simple piece of equipment, but it is incredibly effective.
HYPEREXTEND YOUR ABS
The biggest advantage of using an ab mat is that it helps to protect your spine. I made the investment in an ab mat because my lower back seemed to be angry all the time, and sit-ups only served to make it even madder at me. While it protects your spine, it also works to hyperextend your abs muscles that help to trigger more muscle groups in a single sit-up. Due to the slight curve to this design, when you extend back you sink a little deeper than you would if you didn’t use a mat.
Using this mat feels similar to doing a decline sit-up on an adjustable weight bench, without the need to invest in a bench! You won’t be able to dig quite a deep compared to an adjustable bench, but the difference between using this mat and going without is quite impressive. Besides, declined sit-ups on a bench won’t work to protect your spine the same way the Rogue AbMat can!
The dimensions of this mat measure to be 14.5 inches long, 11.75 inches wide, and 2.75 inches tall. Unfortunately, this design comes in a one-size-fits-most scenario. From what I have gathered from previous users, this mat works for most sizes and shapes of users, both men, and women. There are some that fall just outside the size requirements and are often users that are considered to be quite tall (over 6’3’’) or on the shorter side (under 5’’). If you lie outside these height requirements, you will still be able to benefit from this mat, it may just feel a little awkward.
It’s also important to note that this design weighs just 2.2 pounds. It has just enough weight to it that it really anchors to the floor, but is also a cinch to toss into storage when needed.
One thing that users love most about this mat is that it offers just the right amount of fitness. While you don’t want something that is as stiff as a board, you also don’t want something that will smoosh down into a pancake over time. The closed-cell construction of this mat makes it incredibly firm, but it provides a slight give to it that contours and comforts you back while in use.
While it is marketed as a mat that has a slight softness, there are some users that found this mat to be too firm. Adjusting to this mat takes a little getting used to, and the overall firmness boosts its overall durability. Many budget-friendly mats may feel nice and soft and comforting to your spine, but they simply cannot withstand continued use over the years without breaking down. The slightly more rigid design of this mat may seem uninviting, but it ensures that it will hold up incredibly well over the years.
When compared to the budget-friendly ab mats out there on the market, this design may feel a little bit more expensive than most. However, many of the cheaper options are just that: they are cheap. This design is composed of quality materials that won’t flatten out into a pancake the way more affordable options collapse under the pressure. It may seem daunting to pay a little extra for a foam pad, but I feel that this design is worth every penny!
These humble mats take quite a beating, so it is important that you select a design that is made from quality materials that hold up over time.
Comparisons to Previous Versions
This upgraded version uses one single piece of foam to prevent tearing and breaking, and it is also made from more durable materials that are built to stand the test of time.
I was pleasantly surprised by how my sit-ups felt after using this mat. I originally purchased it to help ease the pain in my aching lower back and was shocked to find that it really helped me dig deeper into my sit-ups as opposed to old-school floor sit-ups. It’s even great for crunches as well by helping you back stay supported on the floor as you engage in the movement.
I expected this mat to be just another accessory that I try a few times and banish to the unused workout gear graveyard, but it soon became an accessory that I use every day!