Read Mailbag: Do Ellipticals Really Need Mats?


The Treadmill Sensei is on his way out for a meeting in San Diego, but I wanted to make sure to post before I left the DOJO. Don’t worry, I’ll be back later in the day to put up a new review as well. Today’s question is from Michelle here in Souther California. Michelle wants to know about elliptical mats. Let’s see what she has to say. Take it away, Michelle!

Oh Wise and Helpful Sensei,

Many thanks to you for sharing your 21-plus years of experience in fitness equipment with the rest of us. With your help, I’ve selected and ordered an elliptical at last! Do I need to put a mat under it? I’ll be setting it up in the garage, so I’m not concerned with damaging any carpet or flooring. I read a couple of your comments about the importance of protecting a treadmill’s motor from dust and gunk, but I wanted to know if the same goes for an elliptical.

Thank you again for your efforts. I’m in Southern California as well, so if I fail miserably with setting it up, I might be ringing up the DOJO for some help…Michelle


Thanks for your note and you’ve asked a question a lot of people send me notes about. While treadmills do need a mat under them to help protect the motor, ellipticals really don’t. Unless you have a carpet or floor to worry about getting damaged, the only real benefit you’d get from the mat is as a sweat catcher. That’s really it. It is much more important to keep your elliptical’s track/rails (depending upon which it has) and its cleaned and lubricated. A lot of crud can build up on the wheels from sweat and dust, and keep them cleaned will help smooth out your ride. Same goes for the rails/track.

Thanks again for your note, Michelle. Take care and stay fit!

-The Treadmill Sensei

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