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June 2018

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.

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!

Stall Bars: Here Are 3 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!