Cheese mats, or incline mats, are not made of a creamy dairy product, nor are they good on crackers with a nice cab sauv. Cheese mats do not have Swiss holes in them, nor should they be used to bait mouse traps. See where this is going? They have nothing to do with cheese. But they are shaped like a wedge, so somewhere along the line, someone decided that wedge was a wedge of cheese and the gymnastics apparatus got its bizarre name. But since they’re an integral part of a gymnastics practice, we, of course, have them in stock, and not in the refrigerated section.
The incline mats we carry serve so many purposes, it’s hard to name them all. Primarily, they are a learning tool. The youngest tumblers can use them to master things as simple as forward rolls. How many times have you seen a little guy try to do a somersault only to end up balancing precariously on top of his head, then lose strength in the neck, have it bend sideways, and the kid flops to the floor? (Insert collective gasp here.) Watching our kids master gross motor skills is just something we have to survive, but with an apparatus like the incline mat, you can help your child learn some of that stuff in safety. Sure, the tumbling class will have an incline mat, but the kids don’t leave tumbling at the gym. So make sure they have a safe place to learn, practice, and grow by brining this odd piece of equipment home for them.
The larger the kid, the larger the incline mat needs to be, so our incline mats come in different sizes. The little guy gets the preschool sized mat, but the older gymnast can choose from the medium, large, or large-plus incline mat. Why the different sizes? As the gymnast’s skills grow, so does the need for more adaptive apparatus. A larger, taller incline mat can help with more advanced skills like back handsprings (with appropriate supervision and spotting, of course).
Now you know what the heck a cheese mat is and can choose to call it that or an incline mat – it really doesn’t matter, because it’s going to protect your tumbler or gymnast through their practicing years, giving you peace of mind, if not an extended vocabulary.