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Blog: Top 4 Home Exercises for Cheerleaders

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The physical demands facing today’s cheerleaders are considerable, with high-levels of endurance, strength, and flexibility all critical to maximizing your performance. The hours spent practicing at the gym are essential to improving your cheer skills and perfecting your routine, but it’s equally important to put in the time outside of the gym. Here are four exercises you can do at home to boost your athleticism and improve your performance. 

Cardio Training

Endurance is crucial, and you’ll need plenty of it if you want to make it through a demanding routine without emptying your gas tank. To expand your energy reserves, you’ll need to do cardio at least three to four times a week. Your cardio routine can be anything that keeps you moving and breathing, like step class, swimming laps, cycling, or working an elliptical. For best results, spend 15 minutes on cardio in the beginning, and increase your time 5 minutes per week until you reach 30 minutes. 

Resistance Training 

Muscles are also important since you’ll need raw power to perform basket tosses, pyramids, or to lift and hold your teammates. Resistance training is a safe, reliable way to build the power of your muscles, ligaments, and tendons while minimizing the risk of injury. Pushups, squats, wall sits, lunges, shoulder presses, curls, and triceps extensions are all great ways to build power, and there are dozens more – choose the ones that are most comfortable for you. Aim for 2-3 sets of exercises with 12-15 repetitions per set, and try to work complementary muscle groups for the best results: back and biceps, chest and triceps, legs and shoulders. 

Also important for resistance training is a reliable mat. Consider picking up an EZ Flex Home Mat—it’s strong, light, and stable, making it perfect for all the exercises you’ll need to do. And since it’s made from the same carpet and foam as the floors you compete on, it’s perfect for practicing your cheer skills, too!

Core Training

Core strength determines how well you can utilize your torso, hips, and thighs to position yourself, absorb impacts, and maintain your balance. V-ups, crunches, scissor kicks, superman holds, and side planks are all great examples of core exercises. Schedule core workouts for every other day, and perform two sets of at least three different exercises. After a week, add a new exercise. After two weeks, add a set to all your exercises.

Flexibility Training

Flexibility not only helps you perform amazing routines, it dramatically reduces your chance of injury, increases your speed, and improves your balance. Flexibility training is probably the most important set of exercises on this list, and you should begin every workout session with a good stretch. Warm up for a few minutes with light cardio to get your blood pumping, and plan on spending 10-15 minutes going through a series of stretches. There are literally hundreds of different kinds of stretching exercises out there, and it’s up to you to find the ones that work best for your body. Be sure to hold those stretches for at least 30 seconds, and while you’ll certainly want to make sure you give all your muscles a good stretch on a daily basis, pay special attention to the muscle groups you’re planning on putting through resistance training that day.


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Blog: EZFlex 2018 Home Gymnastics Equipment Guide

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For the serious gymnast, a home exercise center is a great way to supplement your training . Whether you or your child are hoping to be the next Simone Biles, or just looking to enhance fitness regimen, creating a safe and efficient gymnastics zone in your home will allow you to take those skills to the next level.

There are five basic equipment categories you’ll want to address when creating your home workout center:

1. Balance Beams for Home

When purchasing a balance beam, measurements are crucial. Make sure you get one that’s regulation width and provides as much length as possible. Competition beams are 16’ long, but get what you can fit. Also, stick to higher quality construction materials – there’s nothing sadder (or more dangerous) than a sagging balance beam. A floor beam is ideal for younger gymnasts as it will provide additional safety. 

2. Gymnastics Training Mats

Probably the most important piece of equipment in your home gymnastics area, your mat provides cushion and traction to prevent injuries while allowing you to perfect your technique. Like the balance beam, it’s best not to compromise on quality here. You’ll want a mat that’s firm for general support and protection, as well as a softer mat like a crash or landing mat, for comfortably absorbing heavy impacts.

3. Training Bars

Very few people have room for a full set of uneven bars in their home, but there are single-bar trainers available that are compact and provide plenty of opportunity to practice basic bar skills. Make sure you get one that’s adjustable—eye level is ideal.

4. Accessories and Training Aids

Once you’ve handled the larger pieces of equipment, think about which training aids are most important to your craft. Fitness balls are a good addition, since they provide a wide range of exercise options that will help you build core strength. EZ Flex has a wide variety of accessories and training aids, like inclines and shape mats, that can support your equipment and training.

5. Where to Shop

Now that you’ve got a list of the must- haves, all that’s left is to figure out where to get what you need. Naturally, Amazon has just about everything and at a good price, but might not offer the highest quality gear or customer support you need if you have questions. The EZ Flex online store is a better option – we have everything you need, it’s all top quality, and our experts are here to help you choose the best equipment for your or your gymnast.

Buying Guide List

Balance Beams:

Simone Biles Signature Line Balance Beams
Excellent home balance beams for a variety of skill levels.

Home Mats: 

EZ Flex Home Gymnastics Mats
Train on the same style of carpeted mats used at most gyms!

Simone Biles Signature Line Training Mats
A wide selection of panel mats and landing mat

Training Bars:

Simone Biles Signature Line Training Bars
Adjustable bars for beginner and intermediate gymnasts.

Accessories and Training Aids

Training Aids from Spieth America
Complete your home gym with these accessories and training aids. 


 


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Blog: Your Daughter Made the Cheer Team

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Your daughter just made the cheer team, she’s excited beyond words, and all you can think about is what kind of new things you’re going to have to deal with, right? 

Here’s a list of six things you can do to save yourself some headaches while ensuring that your daughter’s foray into leadership will be both fun and challenging:

1. Practice and Scheduling

Your daughter is part of a team now, and the team relies on her to know her routines. This is an opportunity to foster discipline and leadership skills. You should work with your daughter to help her create a practice schedule and stick to it. Find a prominent place to post your daughter’s cheer schedule and keep it updated. The fridge is a good spot, so is the door to her bedroom. If you’re her ride, make sure she arrives for practices and events on time and dressed out.

2. Gear for Cheer

Cheerleading can be strenuous and physically demanding, and there are several pieces of workout gear that can greatly reduce the risk of injury. A good pair of gloves with wrist support - or, alternatively, a roll of workout tape – can help prevent hand injuries. Also, a workout mat is a must – the extra cushioning and support is important. We recommend a EZFlex Mat for maximum stability and ease of use.

3. Storage

Save yourself time and energy by storing all of your cheerleader’s equipment in one place. Outfits, workout gear, footwear, and any accessories should all be kept in the same space rather than spread out all over the house. You’ll thank us later.

4. Hair Care

Believe it or not, your daughter’s hairstyle can dramatically affect her ability to cheer. If she likes having long hair, then keep it tied up tight in a ponytail. If she prefers short, then go very short! In-between lengths are problematic because her hair will end up in her eyes during her routines.

5. Jewelry is a No-Go

To improve safety, most cheer squads prohibit jewelry – and this includes earrings. If your daughter wants to get her ears pierced, explain to her that she might have to forgo earrings while she’s on the squad. Rings and necklaces are out too.

6. Support!

Your support will mean the world to your daughter. Buy a team shirt, get a big foam #1 finger, and cheer her on from the sidelines. Help out with booster events, get to know other team parents, and make it something you can both do together. Your daughter’s cheer career can bring you both together in profound ways, so be there for her!


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New Articles from the FlexFit Blog

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Check out the latest articles on the Official FlexFit Blog for fitness and health tips, workout ideas, and more! FlexFitMats.com is our sister site for our line of high-performance mats for high-impact workouts, FlexFit Fitness Mats. Here are some of the most recent articles we’ve posted:

There’s much more on the FlexFit Blog, with more articles added frequently!


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EZ Flex Now Offering Gymnastics Equipment from Spieth America

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EZ Flex is proud to announce that we're now an Official Dealer of quality gymnastics equipment from Spieth America. Featuring a full line of equipment, like FIG-approved apparatus for international competition, recreational apparatus, training aids, and more, EZ Flex now has more of the products you need to complete your gym! 

Visit our new site at ezflexgymnasticsequipment.com to see our full selection of products!


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World of Wrestling Partnership Renewed

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EZ Flex is proud to announce the extension of its partnership with World of Wrestling, promotor and director of some of the country's most prominant youth wrestling tournaments.

As the official mat of World of Wrestling, EZ Flex will provide its high-performance lightweight wrestling mats to upcoming WoW tournaments like the Tulsa Nationals and Reno World Championships. These mats, in 42’ x 40’ and 30’ x 30’ sizes, will be made available at a highly discounted rate to schools and clubs in the surrounding areas, helping support the growth of youth wrestling.

"Our first year working with World of Wrestling in the 2015-2016 season was a great experience." said Ben Anderson, President of EZ Flex. "We're excited to be continuing our partnership with Jack Roller and World of Wrestling into 2017 and look forward to having EZ Flex represented at the country's greatest kids wrestling tournaments."

World of Wrestling operates some of the top youth wrestling tournaments in the country, such as the Kickoff Classic, Tulsa Nationals, and the Reno Worlds, collectively known as the three legs of the “Trinity Award”. It was founded in 1998 by Jack Roller, a long-standing fixture in Oklahoma wrestling who is dedicated to “the Promotion of America’s Youth and the Great Sport of Wrestling." Visit their website at www.worldofwrestling-roller.com for tournament details, registration, and more.

EZ Flex Sport Mats (www.ezflexmats.com) is one of the country's leading manufacturers of mats for wrestling, cheerleading, gymnastics, fitness, martial arts, and more. Founded by industry veterans Jeff Anderson and and Gary Heartsfield in 2010, EZ Flex has experienced rapid growth and notoriety as a leader in quality, performance, and service. EZ Flex continues to strengthen its presence in the wrestling community each year, providing mats for 24 major tournaments and competitions in 17 states throughout the country for the 2016-2017 season.


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The Best of Who's #1 2016

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FloWrestling's Who's #1

It was another undeniably memorable evening at Lehigh University for FloWrestling's 4th annual Who's #1, which took place on Sunday, October 2nd. The preseason wrestling competition brings some of the country's top high school wrestlers to the mat to battle for the coveted #1 spot. As the Official Mat of Who's #1, EZ Flex worked closely with Flo to co-design the custom mat for the event.

Check out Flo's video featuring some of the best moments from the event:

The Best of Who's #1


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The Super 32 Challenge

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2016 Super 32 Challenge

For the third straight year, the top high school wrestlers in the U.S. will be competing on EZ Flex mats this October in the 2016 Super 32 Challenge, the country’s most elite pre-season tournament. As the Official Mat of Super 32, EZ Flex will be supplying 12 new lightweight wrestling mats for the competition. 

Run by tournament directors David Barker and Sara Koenig, Super 32 began as regional tournament to help raise money for a local high school wrestling program. The ‘Super 32’ name was adopted in 1999, after the North Carolina rankings that Barker publishes yearly. Super 32, now in its 18th year, is known for having the deepest and most diverse field of the pre-season wrestling tournaments. Eight of the 2016 NCAA Div I Wrestling Championships finalists had competed in Super 32 during their High School career, and nearly 250 wrestlers that participated in 2015’s Super 32 later won a state title.

Each year, EZ Flex makes the mats used in the tournament available for sale to local wrestling programs at a discounted price, with the ability to customize the mat with their own colors and artwork. Thanks to unprecedented demand, all 12 mats for this year’s tournament have been pre-sold in the months leading up to the event, at an average discount of more than $1,000. Orders are already being taken for tournaments later in the season, such as the NCWA Nationals, and numerous state high school championships.

The 2016 Super 32 Challenge, “Battle for the Belt”, takes place October 15-16, in Greensboro, North Carolina. For more information, visit super32.com.


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Times Square Debut

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EZ Flex made our mat debut in Times Square recently with two major wrestling events, celebrating this year's upcoming Olympic Games in Rio and participating in Beat the Streets' annual gala.

Set among the storefronts and mega-billboards in the heart of New York City, the EZ Flex wrestling mat, custom-made for Beat the Streets NY, made its inaugural appearance during the Road to Rio "100 Day Countdown" event on April 27th. It was the fourth stop in a tour leading up to Rio Games in August, organized by the U.S. Olympic Committee, bringing the excitement of the Olympics to fans across the country. Wrestling was showcased in one of the event's athlete demonstrations, featuring Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs and three-time World Champion Adeline Gray in a series of exhibition matches.

Just three weeks later, EZ Flex was back for "United in the Square", the seventh annual Beat the Streets Gala. The yearly wrestling event features matches between some of the top wrestlers from the United States and around the world, raising money for the non-profit program which works to make wrestling more accessible to NYC's youth, providing opportunities for at-risk boy and girls and building lifelong skills. This year's gala on May 19th, featured five US Olympic qualifiers facing off against challengers from Iran, South Korea, and Canada.  In his match, Jordan Burroughs defeated Iran's Peyman Yarahmadi, remaining undefeated in his six consecutive BTS galas.

In all, the gala was a great success, raising over $1 million for Beat the Streets.

Read all about the 2016 Beat the Streets NY Gala here:
http://btsny.org/news/984-beat-the-streets-2016-gala-a-smashing-success-in-times-square
Or learn more about Beat the Streets at their website, http://btsny.org


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