Low Impact Mats: What are they and why do we care?

Guide for Physical Therapy Flooring: Rubber Floor Tiles

A physical therapy clinic should offer an appropriate experience for all patients; safe and pleasant rehabilitation environment. Returning to sport is about building strength, power, neuromuscular control, and body awareness.

The flooring in sports physical therapy clinics must therefore be excellent in cushioning as well as shock absorbent. It has to remain stable enough to stand up to heavy machinery as well as the highest impact activities while preserving performance characteristics.

SmartCells Cushioning Technology provides the solution designed to reduce impact, prevent injuries, and deliver measurable results for patient progress and the clinic.

What is SmartCells Flooring?

SmartCells Flooring is manufactured from durable rubber and engineered based on valid, time-tested research. This impact mat has a unique cushioning technology developed with the input of experienced physical therapists for the optimal clinical impact.

The simple but advanced design of the rubber floor tiles are made up of specially engineered, highly compressible material that springs back to return energy, effectively reducing fatigue. SmartCells are capable of absorbing the majority of impact, while providing stability for balance. This combination of features is ideal for athletes in training or recovery.

How does SmartCells Flooring work?

When free from pressure, SmartCells Flooring has a non-compressed structure that stands on hundreds of tiny, carefully designed cylindrical cells. At impact, this structure compresses while absorbing the pressure of a force, whether it’s a lunge, a walk, a jump, or a fall. When that pressure is reduced, the structure springs back in phase with the body’s movement so that the energy returns to the body.

This innovative design adds value to almost all exercises performed at MOTUS. The SmartCells impact mats will absorb up to 90% of an impact, so it takes immense pressure off of joints and causes less stress to injuries during rehab. With its stability and cushioning, it’s the optimal surface for rehabilitation work.

Advantages of Rubber Fitness Flooring

Rubber floors offer an easy-to-maintain athletic surface while acting as a protective barrier against the subfloor. All rubber gym flooring products provide high absorbency and high durability, this resilient material helps keep joints strong during repetitive use and helps decrease fatigue. It absorbs falling weights and minimizes bounce back thus minimizing the risk of serious injury. Heavy equipment and heavy lifting can easily ruin most common gym flooring. The SmartCells® material is non-porous and is incapable of absorbing liquid, unlike typical foam tiles or sponge-based products that are made of cellular structures. Making this flooring is water resistant and easy to clean.

The benefits of impact mats are vast and varied. Not only do they provide a safe surface for athletes to train and recover on, but they also reduce impact stress on the body, helping to prevent injuries. With its stability and cushioning, SmartCells Flooring is the perfect surface for physical therapy clinics and sports training facilities.

SmartCells Training Mats help with shock absorption for rehabilitation purposes and provide a stable surface for advanced athletic training. From home gym options to commercial gym options these extremely durable mats take the strain instead of your body in every setting.

The biggest benefit offered by SmartCells Flooring is its ability to reduce impact by up to 90%. A lower amount of impact puts less strain on all exercise drills, be it jumping, running, or any type of lunging. A 2017 study showed that shock-absorbing sports flooring used with standardized jump tasks provided less impact forces and higher jumps. These actions are much more gentle on the joints when the SmartCells Flooring is in use. SmartCells® technology is engineered to the optimal balance of stability and cushion, creating the perfect surface for patients to rehab on.

The SmartCells® Mat is designed to provide impact reduction during high-intensity movements. Whether a patient is performing high impact activities, lifting heavy weights, or performing an exercise on the rubber flooring these mats provide a safe non slip surface comfortable to train in a physical therapy setting. Measurement tools have been added to the surface of these rubber tiles allowing for seamless appearance and accurate recording of patient progress.

A reduced impact means that SmartCells Flooring is a safe surface for a potential fall. In 2015, a group published a study that looked at how impact absorbing flooring could reduce injuries from falls in female nursing home residents. They found that the impact absorbing flooring reduced the relative risk of injury from a fall by 59%.

Although the majority of our patients are far from frail and elderly, this study still applies to the risk of re-injury from a fall during rehabilitation. The last thing you want is for an additional injury to cause a delay in healing. SmartCells Flooring helps protect from that, and keeps you from injuring your joints in repetitive impacts.

Tracking and analyzing the progress of your patient’s functional movement by utilizing tools such as the outside hash marks and shapes on our PT mat is a valuable tool built in to the rubber flooring.

Use of these tools to provide clear and concise targets for patients to reach to advance them through recovery or training sessions. Assessing range of motion progress by using any of the tools featured on every square foot of the mat. Use distance incentives for your patients to inspire them to reach their goals and improve their overall range of motion.

For the patient, SmartCells Flooring provides a balanced, comfortable, and safe slip resistant foundation for rehabilitation and training.

Who should use SmartCells Flooring?

Essentially any type of exercise benefits from the SmartCells Flooring, from the most basic to the most challenging (high impact). Patients who are working on their balance or stability will find it easier to hone in on those skills on this flooring, and will have the benefit of a low-impact surface in case of a fall.

Using SmartCells Flooring can enhance any exercise that focuses on functional movement patterns. This innovative tool has become an intricate part of our trusted physical therapy techniques at MOTUS.

Safety Concerns with Impact Mats

There have been some safety concerns with these rubber tiles in the past, but with the advent of SmartCells Flooring, these concerns have been alleviated. The biggest danger with traditional rubber flooring is that they can cause injuries if patients slip on them.

With SmartCells Flooring, this is not a concern as the surface remains stable underfoot. Additionally, the SmartCells impact mats are designed with safety in mind. They will not puncture or tear easily, reducing the risk of injury if someone falls on them.

In summary, SmartCells rubber flooring and mats provide a variety of benefits for both the physical therapist and the patient. These mats are designed to reduce impact on the joints, provide a safe surface for falls, and track patient progress solidifying they are an essential tool for any physical therapy setting.


  1. Laurent Malisoux et al – Influence of sports flooring and shoes on impact forces and performance during jump tasks
  2. Johanna Gustavsson et al – Investigating the fall-injury reducing effect of impact absorbing flooring among female nursing home residents: initial results available
  3. https://www.smartcellsusa.com/about-us

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