What Can You Do on a Gymnastics Cheese Mat?
If you’ve never heard of a cheese mat before, you might be thinking, “This thing sounds delicious!” — but let us be the bearer of the bad news: it’s not made out of cheese!
In fact, a cheese mat has nothing to do with cheese at all. Cheese mats get their name from the shape they have; a “wedge” shape as many call it. As cheese is often cut in a similar shape, some genius thought it’s a great idea to call cheese mats, cheese mats.
That said, now you may be wondering what the heck are these mats used for. Well, they’re useful in a lot of beginner and advanced gymnastic exercises — which, of course, we will talk about in-depth in this post.
Furthermore, we’re also going to take a look into the top benefits these mats offer for kids, as well as a top-tier option if you decide to get one for yourself.
Without any ado, let’s get into it.
Why should kids use cheese mats?There are several reasons to pick up a cheese mat to get started in the field of gymnastics, especially for kids. Plus, cheese mats aren’t only great for gymnastics but are also ideal for many mainstream exercises as well.
Here are the top reasons why you must get a cheese mat.
They’re a great tool for practicing new skillsBefore taking your stunts to the ground level, you must practice them on an inclined surface first.
On a cheese mat, an athlete can learn to master their skills on an inclined surface, so when they finally head to a flat surface, they find that much easier. Simply put, it helps you build a strong balance and gets you ready for the big stage.
They’re useful in traditional exercisesEven though cheese mats are a tool for gymnastics, they’re also well-suited for traditional exercises.
Again, practicing your exercises on an inclined mat gives you the ability to build a strong, balanced core. When you leave the mat and exercise on a flat surface, things get much easier for you.
Some of the exercises which are best performed on a cheese mat are pilates, yoga, martial arts, stretching, and many more. The number and kind of exercises you can do on a cheese mat are only limited by your creativity, so don’t hold back and try anything you want!
They’re a great tool for gymnastics
Last but not least, cheese mats are an amazing tool for gymnastics to fully master their tricks before heading onto a flat surface.
As you’re aware, flexibility and correct body posture are must-haves for any gymnastics. And it’s harder to get them right if you don’t go out of the way to train your body in challenging ways.
By using an inclined mat, you can train your body until it becomes as flexible and strong as you need it to be. Once there, moving your body correctly to perform different tricks on a flat surface would be a piece of cake.
Which exercises can kids do on a cheese mat?
Here are the top exercises kids can do on a cheese mat.
Rolling is the first thing to try after getting your new cheese mat — that’s a no-brainer.
For instance, if you’re new to the rolling game entirely, you can start practicing by rolling from the top side of the wedge to the lower end. This will help you build more control over your momentum during rolls.
When you master controlling yourself during an inclined role, controlling yourself during a normal roll will feel like a walk in the park.
You can also try other types of rolls, like dive rolls and back rolls.
Backbending is a showdown of superb flexibility and stability — and a cheese mat can help you get your hands on those.
Practicing backbends on a cheese mat lets you be a lot more rigorous with your training, so you can be more comfortable during actual performances.
Building your bridging strength is crucial in gymnastics — but you already knew that. Let us tell you something that you don’t know: a cheese mat can help you take your bridge training to the next level!
If you keep your feet at the higher end and your hands at the lower end, you will be able to train yourself like a pro. If you’re just starting out and can’t do a bridge on a flat surface, you can keep your hands at the upper end and your feet at the lower end. This will help you train yourself until you’re ready for a normal bridge.
Cardio and strength exercises
Alongside tons of other gymnastic exercises, a cheese mat can also be used for any strength exercise. Basically, you can your inclined mat to add a bit of challenge to any exercise that usually requires you to be on a flat surface.
For instance, a cheese mat is a nice tool to practice your pilates, top-to-down planks, pushups, yoga, martial arts, and tons of other exercises.
The best gymnastic mat for home?There are many mats you can use at home. For instance, the folding mat, also known as the panel mat, is a great, all-in-one option that doesn’t take a lot of space. It’s easy and versatile in its use cases — and makes a great option if you want to get a mat for home.
A rolled carpet mat is another solid option, especially if you don’t have a carpet on the floor. Plus, it’s long enough that a kid can perform two forward flips at once.
Last but not least, a cheese mat is a solid option for beginners and advanced gymnasts alike. It helps beginners get started with difficult exercises, and also takes advanced training to the next level.
Want to get your hands on the perfect wedge mat right away? Click here to check out Kangaroo Hoppers’s cheese mat.