Mat sports | Part 1

Mattensport | Teil 1

Do you already have one of our mats? Perfect, then you can get started.

It also doesn't matter whether it's a fitness mat or a yoga mat. You can also do a great bodyweight workout on our NEOLYMP yoga mats.

We've put together a few brilliant exercises for you in several parts. Maybe we'll give you new ideas or maybe you 'll challenge yourself even more . Whatever applies to you, your next workout will be tough. ;) But we'll start with a few basics. You can expand almost every exercise with a pair of dumbbells or other weights.

The most important thing to prevent back pain and poor posture is basic tension. If you lie on your back on the mat, it is essential to press your lower back towards the floor. If you lie on the mat without tension, a slight hollow back will automatically develop. If you tense your abdominal muscles and press your back down, not even a sheet of paper will fit between you and your mat. And this basic tension is exactly what you need! For every single exercise. If you notice that your back is lifting up and you cannot maintain this tension continuously, simply do the easier versions and reduce the load. But we have another option for you. Push the palms of your hands under your bottom; this will help you keep your back down.

And if you breathe correctly now, you will be well prepared. Always remember the following: breathe out when you go INTO the exertion and breathe in when you come OUT of the exertion.

Exercise 1: Crunches

Lie down on your mat, place your legs at a sharp angle and tighten your stomach by pressing your lower back towards the floor. Now lift your shoulders off the mat, place your hands loosely on your temples and pull yourself towards your knees as far as possible as you exhale. This effectively contracts your abdominal muscles. Then lower yourself back down as you inhale and repeat this process as often as you can.

If you want to try an easier version, stretch your arms towards your legs and hold them there. This reduces the load and helps you to get up. If you want it to be a little harder, stretch your arms above your head and hold them there. Even when you get up, your arms should always stay next to your ears, which increases the amount of strength you use and trains your abdominal muscles even more effectively.

This exercise is perfect for strengthening the straight abdominal muscles.

Miniband: Upper arms | Arms stretched in heavy version

Recommended repetitions: 4 sets of 30 seconds each

Exercise 2: Diagonal crunches

Get into the same starting position as before. This time, however, lift your legs at a right angle. If you pull your legs too close to your stomach, you will lose abdominal tension and the workout will only be half as effective. Now bring your hands to your temples. Your elbows now move alternately to the opposite knee, your shoulders come off the floor and you turn your upper body. The right elbow touches the left knee while you stretch your right leg straight out in front of you. Now quickly change sides and create a smooth transition.

Are you motivated and want to push yourself even harder? Then alternately stretch your hand towards your opposite foot while performing a diagonal crunch.

This exercise places a strong strain on the lateral abdominal muscles, but of course also on the straight abdominal muscles.

Miniband: Thigh

Recommended repetitions: 3 sets of 40 seconds each

Exercise 3: Hip Thrusts

We switch from stomach to buttocks. The buttock muscles also need to be used, so lie down on your back on your mat with your legs bent like you would for a crunch. Place your arms loosely next to your upper body. Now lift your pelvis up high and tense your glute muscles. You are now only lying on your shoulders and stabilizing yourself with your heels. Hold for two seconds before lowering yourself again, making sure that you do not put your pelvis completely back on the floor. Repeat the exercise a few times and never lose the tension in your buttock muscles.

You want more? No problem. Lift one leg at a time and stretch it straight out in front of you in line with the other leg.

Perfect exercise for the glutes and hamstrings.

Miniband: thighs and/or calves

Recommended repetitions: 3 sets of 40 seconds each

Exercise 4: Hip Thrust Hold

Choose the starting position of the hip thrust, lift your pelvis up, tense your glutes and hold. This is a static exercise, without any movement. This exercise is even more effective if you do it directly after the hip thrusts. Hold your hips as high and as long as you can and tense your buttocks firmly. Then lower your pelvis slowly and in a controlled manner.

Here, too, you have the option of stretching your legs out alternately for a few seconds to really make your butt muscles burn.

Ideal for glutes and hamstrings.

Miniband: thighs and/or calves

Recommended repetitions: 3 sets of 40 seconds each

Exercise 5: Frog Pump

This exercise will burn more than the previous one, I promise. But give it a try anyway!

Lie on your back on your mat again, bend your knees at a sharp angle, bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees fall outwards. Now lift your hips up, tense your bottom and form a straight line from your head to your knees. Press your heels together and activate your glutes. And now comes the pump! Rock your knees and keep your hips high at all times. Up and down, small movements, pay attention to your breathing and keep going. After about 30 seconds, lower yourself again and repeat this exercise 2 or 3 more times. Are your muscles already burning? Can't go on? Very good, but carry on anyway. The muscles have to burn, that's completely normal when training. As soon as the training is over, your muscles regenerate very, very quickly.

Your gluteal muscles are primarily stressed here.

Miniband: thighs

Recommended repetitions: 3 sets of 40 seconds each

Woman doing mountain climbers