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How to clean and sanitize your gym mats

By Rebecca Mancino November 13, 2018

You’ve seen Team Mancino at Gymnastics Meets...de-chalking and mopping the competition landing mats and skill cushions between sessions to make everything perfect for the next groups of gymnasts. Clean mats matter when flu season is about to hit!

infographic how to clean and sanitize your gym mats

Sweep away all loose chalk with a soft, short bristle broom.

Collect loose chalk in dust pan and discard.

Mix up a batch of Simple Green d Pro 3** (follow directions on package) in your Garden Sprayer. This is a great product to disinfect without leaving a “filmy” residue. Also have the peace of mind that it kills virtually any virus, bacteria or fungus it comes in contact with!

Spray the mats. Cover them lightly but thoroughly.

Mop the mats immediately. Large mats may call for you to step on the mats to get the centers. Mop this area first and work your way out. Nothing's worse that having to do double work!

We've assembled the best cleaning system mops and heads to take the guesswork out! View it here.

You'll find amazing results when above the steps are performed on a regular basis. Your clean mats will impress athletes, coaches and parents! With allergies, influenza and general health issues are on the line, keeping your mats clean and sanitized is your first step to healthy staff and students!

** readily available at Home Depot, Lowes or Walmart.

Additional Pointers:

-Do not reuse dirty mop heads as your mats will appear “chalk-smeared”.

-A general rule where to start in your gym: We start our cleaning at Beam Mats and end at the Chalky Bar Mats.

-Don’t forget skill cushions, throw mats and spotting blocks!

-Remove the dirty mop heads and gather for washing after every use. We wash ours in HOT water with two Scoops of Oxy Clean Laundry Detergent Booster and two cups of White Vinegar. Pop into dryer (without a dryer sheet! Dryer sheets take away the ability for fabrics to be absorbent) and take them back to the gym.

Trust the Mancino Gymnastics Meet Process

October 22, 2018

Do you ever wonder what goes into a Mancino Meet? We start game-planning like each set up and execution of the equipment is our super bowl. With Meet season coming up, know that if you're meet is outfitted with Mancino, you're in good hands.

Pre-Meet Planning: To do so we determine our field of play-the actual competition space, the size of the room, the amount of gymnastics equipment required, the level of meet competition, the order of events, the surface we are setting up on, how seating is arranged, and a number of other factors are essential in arranging the gym equipment layout.

For set up, we need a clear space (does not include bleachers, or other obstacles) with a minimum of 102’ in at least one direction, as this is the total length of a competitive vault runway and minimum vault mat set up for behind the vault (Ideally this length would be even longer to allow a buffer between the end of the landing mat and a wall) For the width we like to say 102’ minimum again, as it allows for more options in laying out the space. Set ups can be done with less than the minimum measurements mentioned above, but usually one will be larger than the minimum in these cases.

Once the measurements have been determined and submitted, Mancino creates a digital (CAD) rendition of the layout. Once the layout is approved, the next phase of planning begins as await the gymnastics meet weekend!

The unload plan: Through the years Mancino has seen many unique unload areas. Lots of questions are asked in determining the best way to get our gymnastics equipment into the facility. Is there a loading dock? Is the room being loaded into at ground level? How far away is the unloading area to the gym? Do we need to move the trucks from where they are unloaded? Are there curbs? How big are the doors? What time are the volunteers arriving and how much help will you have?

With a fleet of trailers, drivers, and set up crews, the gymnastics meet team determines which of each will be suited best per location, and await set up day.

The Set-up: Upon arrival, our crews will show up with multiple layout copies, tape measures, and implements to mark where each piece of competition equipment will set up for the weekend. Once the competition area is marked according to the drawings, the trailers are backed in, and we begin the unload. Typically, Mancino sends 2-3 employees with each trailer; the remainder of the help comes from the brave parents that volunteer to be a part of the process! These volunteers make a huge contribution to the pace in which a set-up runs. A single truck set-up typically takes 2-3 hours. For every separate gym you see, Mancino has sent 1 truck. So for smaller gymnastics meets, one or two trucks will do; but for larger invitationals, Mancino in the past has sent up to 5 trucks to one single event!

Your Mancino Meet: The morning of the competition, the Mancino team arrives and does one last equipment inspection, and sets up chalk stands and water bottles. During the event, the Mancino team is available for assistance with any gymnastics equipment needs. Between each session, the Mancino team members use their tried-and-true gymnastics mat cleaning process to ensure that the gym looks good as new for each new group of gymnasts. This is not only important to help prolong the life of the equipment (not only for our whole meet season, but for those who buy the Mancino demos) but also because we believe that each session is just as important for the athletes, as the session before it was. Once cleanings are completed, the Mancino team will move equipment as necessary, depending on the level of competition. This process repeats as many times as you can hit play on the compulsory music. Once every athlete has competed and the awards have been handed out, the breakdown begins.

Breakdown: After the meet, breakdown and load-in are a bit of science for Mancino. Each truck has an identical load-in to make sure each piece will be make it to its next destination. To do this, there are again 2-3 Mancino team members present, who are accompanied by volunteers from the host gym. Lots of heavy moving of mats and pallets and a few hours later as we look back into an empty gym, its like we were never even there!

If you have any questions about any particular step Mancino takes to make sure your gymnastics meet is the best it can be, please contact us as info@mancinomats.com.

What are your most essential training mats?

October 12, 2018

Think about it. You are involved in gymnastics or cheer classes all day, training multiple age and skill level athletes and you have 5 mats that you can choose from for training aids. Which do you choose and why? Mancino posed this question recently and the answers were spot on.

royal blue folding mat by mancino

4' x 8' Folding Mat

"I have never practiced or coached an event where folding mats weren’t necessary for at least one thing on that event. Folding mats are so versatile and can be used for so many different types of drills and skills."

8 incher skill cushion by mancino

8" x 5' x 10' Skill Cushion

"Our 8-incher can be used anywhere and is really the workhorse of the gym. Whether it's being used to land on or to perform drills, this thickness is perfect for tumbling low falls, but not too heavy to move around to different stations."

mancino folding incline mat36" x 72" Folding Incline Mat

"We use our incline pretty much all over the gym but especially in our preschool stations. The size is just right for our smaller gymnasts when training forward rolls. It being a folding incline means it takes up less of a footprint and can be used as an impromptu spotting block too."

fluffy mats by mancino

Fluffy Mat

"Our gym loves our fluffy mat. It's the softest mat we have and the gymnasts really like using it when learning new skills. It usually ends up being used most during uneven bar training but if they had their way, we'd use it everywhere."

mancino spotting blocks

Spotting Block

"As a coach we always need to be able to spot tumblers especially when they are learning news skills. This one is really a great size overall and definitely our favorite."

Which Mancino Mat is your favorite and why? Leave a comment below!

5 Gymnastics Coaching Tips for Beginners

By Miranda Murphy September 14, 2018

Do you have brand new students in your class who don’t quite understand the fundamentals of gymnastics? Here are 5 tips to help make the learning process easier! Great for any age newbies!

Back to Basics! Teach the basic terms.

Girls and boys who have never taken a gymnastics class before may not know a lot of the basic terms used every day in gymnastics. It is important to explain the basic terms like going on high toe, hurdling, pointing their toes etc. so they have a better understanding when you instruct them to do certain skills and how to fix those skills. The Mancino Catnastics Mats are great teachers for additional term teaching.

Mancino Catnastics Positions | Beginner Gymnastics Positions | Gymnastics Terms

Lay down the Law! Rules of your gym.

It is helpful to your new students if they are clear of the rules of your gym before they start their first class. If you don’t want water bottles or shoes on the gym floor, let them know!

Do it Again! Constant reminders.

If you have a new student, they need to be constantly reminded about everything! Remind them of the skills and rules of the gym as well as what they are supposed to be doing on a certain station or event. Make sure they have these concepts and rules stuck in their heads!

What is it? Gymnastics mats and equipment.

Knowing the difference between incline mats, spotting blocks, octagon mats, and other types of equipment will help when you direct them to go to certain stations or if they are helping you to set up your drills! You can’t ask your gymnasts to go to the station with the "8-incher" if they don’t know what it is!

Body and Coordination Awareness!

It is very important to teach your new gymnasts body awareness and how to use certain muscles and parts of their bodies! If they have never had to point their feet or straighten their knees before, they may not have the muscle coordination yet to do so easily.

It’s always important to revisit the basics!

5 Tips for Preschool Gymnastics Teachers

By Miranda Murphy August 22, 2018

Coaching a preschool gymnastics class can be exciting, fun, and sometimes, stressful! Here are my top 5 tips to keeping your energetic young gymnasts on task and excited to come to their gymnastics class!

Keep it moving!

Your younger gymnastics students will not always have a one track mind when it comes to staying on task. Rather than having separate stations and prompting the kids when it is time to switch, keep your stations moving! Set up your stations as a path to follow so they are constantly on the move! Check out some good spot market options below, all with free shipping included!

Curved Arrows spot market set
Curved Arrows Spot Set
This curved arrow floor spot market set can help kids or carts navigate obstacles or activities! Made of durable vinyl, each arrow is 10"L x 10"W with 1 each in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Free Shipping!

Numbered weighted cone set
Numbered Cone Set
This colorful set of 36 (6 in each color) numbered cones are great for active learning play and thinking on your feet! 6 set of 6 9" tall cones in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple and made of durable polyethylene. On each cone is a large legible number. Free Shipping!
Feelies! Feet Spot Marker Set
Feelies! Feet Spot Set
This set of 12 durable and tactile feet placement markers can help teach proper form in many areas of the gym. Or play a big game of Twister along with Hand Feelies! Free Shipping!

Stay at their level.

Remember, these children are in their very first years of doing gymnastics. It is important to stay at their level and to not push them to do any skills that they are not physically ready to do.

Give them some independence.

While hands-on coaching is very important at such a young age, it is also very important to let them have some independence. Give your kids certain stations or time during their class to allow them to show you what skills they can do on their own! This helps with progression and building their confidence in gymnastics!

Warrior Fitness course for side station work

Be patient

Preschoolers are constantly trying to figure the world out and may ask you a lot of questions or say things about anything and everything not related to gymnastics. Be patient with them, sometimes they have some pretty funny things they NEED to tell you at gymnastics!

Make it fun!

Be exciting, be energetic, and, most importantly, be fun! Preschoolers respond well to fun and enthusiastic instructors who are very passionate in what they are doing. Also, attract the eyes of your young learners with fun colors and fun looking preschool gymnastics equipment! preschool gymnastics area!

Remember: Your preschoolers become your rec kids... which become your team kids... which become...?? Let’s get them started and keep them interested!

View Mancino's 2018-2019 Gymnastics Catalog!

By Mancino Digital Media August 3, 2018

Mancino is proud to introduce new for 2018-2019 its line of TCR adjustable and low beams! Also new to the lineup are our custom quad bars and Level 6/7 and Silver Vaulting systems. Read below to see why Mancino is the premier manufacturer of safety padding, gymnastics equipment, wall padding and more.

Click the catalog link below to view full screen!

5 Important Concepts when Teaching a Yurchenko

By Miranda Murphy July 19, 2018

Are your gymnasts finally ready to start training the Yurchenko vault? Here are 5 important concepts and techniques that you won’t want to skip over!

1. Long Hurdle into the Round Off.

A lot of times when gymnasts see the vault round-off entry mat in front of the springboard, their first instinct is to hurdle as close to the mat as they can before they round off. Teach your gymnasts a long hurdle that is stretched out to guarantee a good push out of their legs to create a powerful round-off!

2. Proper Round-Off Hand Placement.

When a gymnast first starts to learn the techniques of the Yurchenko vault, it is very important to stress proper hand placement in the round-off entry. Often times they will have their hands too wide or overturn their hands in the round-off. Prevent these hand-placement errors before they happen with the Shannon Miller Collection Vault Round-Off Trainer Mat!

3. Proper Feet Placement in the Round Off.

Now that your gymnasts are going to back handspring up on to something, it is very crucial to exaggerate to feet in front position out of the round-off to ensure they will hit the back handspring on to the vault table at the right angle!

4. Fast Arms into the Back Handspring.

Teach your gymnasts to really throw their arms back fast out of the round-off and into the back handspring. One helpful training shape to teach this technique is a Mancino Handspring Trainer! Put the back handspring mat with the round side facing up and have your gymnasts lay flat and arch back on to the mat while quickly throwing their arms up by their ears!

mancino tumble trainers for back handsprings5. Fast Legs out of the Back Handspring.

When their hands block off the vault table, their legs need to be ready to snap over their heads to prepare for the flip out of the back handspring. A good drill to help with this is to have your gymnasts arch over a Mancino Tumble Trainer and snap their feet over their heads to an open push up position.

Wall Padding Basics

June 29, 2018

The ultimate purpose of wall padding is to protect against serious injury if your athlete were to accidentally run, trip, stumble or collide into a hard surface such as a wall, door, stage or other obstacle. Without a protective layer of padding in place, a sudden impact could lead to a serious injury, potentially even fatal. Any facility where there are athletic events occurring i.e. gymnasium, field house, etc and the potential to run into a hard surface such as cement/cinder blocks exists, wall padding provides not just a necessary, but a critical layer of safety. Below are the 3 components of wall padding that are important to keep in mind when investing in you gym.

wall padding cutaway with foam and blue vinyl


A typical wall padding panel consists of a wood-based backing material, to which foam is adhered and covered with a vinyl fabric. All three components combine to provide a product that creates a necessary safety barrier anywhere a potential collision can occur. Each component provides a different functionality and depending on the facility in which the wall padding will be installed, it is essential to pick the best combination of materials to provide the most appropriate and best safety barrier.

The backer board component of wall padding provides structural support and creates aesthetic value in the final installed product. At Mancino, the preferred substrate is a minimum 7/16” thick OSB oriented strand board wood backing that is made from recycled composite wood that is SFI® Certified and urea formaldehyde free. A wood backed wall pad provides structural integrity which helps prevent the sagging that can occur over time with a non-wood backed hung padding.

wall padding cutout of panel with 2 inches of foam


The second component, which makes up the interior of wall padding, is foam. Foam is adhered to the backer board with an adhesive. It provides the impact protection again collision forces. Wall padding is differentiated by the foam used. The differing types of foam dictate the amount of shock absorbing properties (impact attenuation) and the fire class rating it will have. Polyurethane based foams typically used in wall padding have an open cell structure and provide a softer feel. Polyethylene based foams used are closed cell giving a firmer feel and protect against higher impacts. In addition to the foam type, foam density, thickness and flame retardant properties can vary. Mancino provides a wide array of wall padding options each differing by the type of foam used. Please refer to the specification sheet for each series which can be found at the bottom of our indoor wall padding section for more details.

mancino wall padding vinyl on roll conveyor in the factory


The last component of wall padding is the protective covering material. Typical wall padding is covered with a knife-coated or a spray-coated vinyl material. In addition to providing aesthetic value, the covering contributes to the durability and longevity of the wall padding. Mancino Manufacturing uses a 16oz knife-coated vinyl. The importance of using a knife-coated vinyl over a spray-coated laminate type, is the increased abrasion and puncture resistance properties inherent to the material. Knife coating results in a thicker layer of vinyl coated material resulting in wall padding that can withstand a higher degree of trauma from repeated impacts to the surface or from increased stress points found at corners and bends. Abrasion studies of have shown that a 16oz knife-coated vinyl to be up to 3 times more abrasion resistant than a 14oz spray coated laminate type vinyl. In addition, due to the greater tensile strength inherent with knife-coated vinyl, it also allows for a wall pad that has better puncture resistance. The vinyl that Mancino Manufacturing uses to cover its wall padding also contains an anti-bacterial additive designed to prevent the growth and spread of mold, mildew and fungal bacteria. Especially beneficial in athletic or healthcare facilities where a hot and/or humid environment often exits, the protective treatment in wall padding creates an additional layer of safety.

5 Important Body Shapes to Teach Your Gymnasts

By Miranda Murphy June 22, 2018

Here are 5 important body shapes that your gymnasts should definitely learn and perform correctly to ensure proper gymnastics and injury prevention!

Pushing Through Shoulders

Often times we see our gymnasts trying skills like back walk overs, back handsprings, or front handsprings where they start to sag in their shoulders as their hands hit the equipment. It is very important to teach your gymnasts to push tightly through their shoulder muscles rather than letting their upper back arch.

Drill Idea: Have your gymnasts hold handstands against an incline mat against the wall and focusing on pushing their bodies tight and tall through their shoulders.

Rounded Back

With the sagging shoulder issue, your gymnast may also not understand the concept of rounding their backs and staying hollow. Arching the back, when it is not appropriate to do so, can cause weakness and possible injury if this shape is not corrected.

How to Arch Properly

Many times we see gymnasts arching solely through their lower backs during back or front walkovers, handsprings, and other skills. These improper techniques can lead to many bad habits while performing skills as well as possible lower back injuries.

Drill Idea: Let your gymnasts practice walkovers and handsprings on a tumble trainer, emphasizing the proper stretch through their backs.

High Toe

Not only do gymnasts need to learn how to be on high toe because the judges like it, it also helps to strengthen their feet and ankles for more stability while doing their skills! It also helps to create a better toe point!

Flexed Stomach Muscles

Often when gymnasts are told to get their bellies in they just suck in air. When a coach says to get your stomach in, it is important that the gymnast knows that they need to flex and tighten their abdominal muscles, not just suck it in.

Drill Idea: Use an octagonal donut and have your gymnasts log roll across the hole, really focusing on not arching and keeping their bellies tight!

​Summer Gymnastics Training at home - Equipment Dos and Don’ts!

By Miranda Murphy June 14, 2018

Training in the summer is important to keep gymnast’s skills strong and ready for the upcoming season. No matter the age of your athlete, Mancino has options for practicing beginner to advanced skills.* Here are 5 dos and don’ts for buying and utilizing gymnastics mats for home use!

Do: Training Shapes!

Inclines, octagons, and tumble trainers are a few great examples of gymnastics training shapes that could be used in your home! Check out some more options!

Don’t: Landing Mats!

Skill cushions, landing mats, and competition landing mats are typically made for bigger spaces and used in gyms or at gymnastics competitions. They generally do not fold up or store easily in smaller places.** These products should only be used in a controlled setting with appropriate staff spotting.

Do: Folding Mats!

Folding gym mats come in a variety of sizes and colors and fold up for easy storage! They can be used to learn and perform many different types gymnastics skills and exercises!

gymnast doing push ups with mancino parallettes

Don’t: Wrong Size Items!

A lot of the gymnastics mats fit for at home training come in a variety of other sizes. Don’t buy the wrong size! You don’t want anything too big or too small. If you are unsure of the perfect size, you should ask your athlete’s coach.

Do: Preschool Mats!

Most of Mancino’s preschool gymnastics products are the perfect size for a lot of homes and good choices for your young gymnasts in training! From Mancino cartwheel mats to foam training beams, your little gymnasts will have a blast training at home!

* Mancino recommends that any skill training be done in a controlled environment with coaches and trainers present for safety.