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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 Tom Gabor 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

By Sherry Everett 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 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.

Solo Gymnastics Training for the Summer!

By Miranda Murphy June 8, 2018

Too much summer fun planned? Vacations? Picnics? Parties? Having a hard time sticking with a summer training schedule?

As a college gymnast, I tend to find myself working out and training alone a lot during the summer. It can sometimes be hard to find the motivation to work out by yourself when balancing your daily life, your summer job, and not having your team to work out with you.

Here are my top 6 Tips for Solo Summer Training:

#Show up.

On the days where you just don’t feel like working out, show up anyway. Whether you train for 1 hour or 5 hours, it is so important to just get yourself to the gym and to get your body moving!

Write it down.

If you have trouble making up workouts or assignments for yourself on the spot, write it down before you go in! It is very helpful to go into a workout already knowing what to do for the day.

Be Reasonable.

While it is always good to push yourself, make sure your assignments are reasonable! If your assignments are too hard to complete, it can be counter-productive.

girl practicing a back handspring on the beach

Stick to it.

Because I work a lot during the summer, I find it makes my life easier when I stick to a schedule. I try to go to the gym at the same time each day to ensure a consistent workout plan.

Ask for help.

Even though you may not be at school for the summer, you can still ask for help from your coach! Give them a call or send them a text if you need help with your gymnastics training!

Train on the best.

OK... you all know I am working at Mancino as their summer intern, but I am lucky that my daily work outs are at a local gym that has pretty much 100% Mancino mats!Mats matter when you train, and Mancino mats are the best!

Introducing Guest Blogger, Miranda Murphy!

By Rebecca Mancino June 6, 2018

Miranda Murphy just started off her second summer here at Mancino and is a valued member of our marketing and administrative teams. Not adverse to creating mailing lists and cleaning out file boxes, Miranda’s true talent is educating our staff on the “hands-on” details of the gymnastics industry.Miranda Murphy - Mancino gymnastics guest blogger

Miranda provided her bio details below:

“ I am currently a senior and captain of the gymnastics team at Rhode Island College! I have been doing gymnastics for 14 years and competing for 10 of those years. I also started coaching women’s gymnastics at the age of 14 and have been doing so for the past 7 years.

I started gymnastics when I was 7 years old. I just asked my mom one day to sign me up and here we are, 14 years later. When I was 7 and 8, I did gymnastics at a gym that is no longer in business and from age 9 to 18, I trained at Spirit Gymnastics in North Wales, PA.

I love training all 4 events in gymnastics but my favorite is either bars or beam, depending on the day. I have always been very passionate about gymnastics and have always loved how different of a sport it is. I love how there are so many variations of different skills you can learn and routines to put together. I also love how while it is a very individual sport, it is also very much team oriented, especially in college.

I went to Rhode Island College in 2015 to compete for their gymnastics team and to pursue earning my degree in Marketing. I was named captain of the team my sophomore year and named the team’s MVP this past season. I will now be entering my third year as a team captain and my fourth and final year at Rhode Island College.”

Collegiate athlete, competitor, team leader, coach, marketing student...pretty sure you can easily see why we are happy to have Miranda on our team! It’s gonna be a great summer. Keep an eye out for future insider blog posts from Miranda diving deep into her gymnastics knowledge!

3 Essential Stall Bars Exercises for your Athletes

By Bailey Thomas June 1, 2018

Stall bars are one of the best tools you can have in your gymnastics or cheer fitness program! From arm strengthening to core strengthening, here are 3 essential but simple workouts to help your athletes get the most out of your stall bars. Check out the video below to see it in action!

Front Support

This one is super simple. All you have to do is lean your body weight into the stall bars and support yourself with only the strength of your arms! Sounds easy, right? Trust me; it’s tougher than it looks.

The Human Flag

This is probably the most patriotic of all workouts, so if you really want to get in that Olympic mindset then this is for you! If you can’t do the full human flag just yet, don’t worry. It’s a beast. Try starting with your legs tucked in to your chest.

Leg/Knee Raises

For a great core workout on your stall bars try doing some leg/knee raises while hanging. Just pick a spot where you can hang without your toes hitting the ground and start pulling your knees to your chest or your toes to the sky. Pro tip: keep your back as close to the stall bars as possible to really work those abs!

Mancino's 8' high powder-coated steel stall bars provide a low profile training station for gymnast's of all ages and levels to use. These bars allow coaches to keep their classes moving and help to not tie up full sets of Uneven bars and other gymnastics equipment that can be utilized for other drills.

We also offer stall bar pads! The Core Fitness Stall Bar Pads keeps your back aligned and provide padding to cushion and protect your body from the stall bar while performing different types of core exercises. Add your digitally-printed gym logo for and extra $50!