May 15th, 2013 by Kelly Green
I am always looking for things to do with my children. Someone once gave me this bit of sage advice, “The hours are long but the years are short.” With a 10, 12 and 14 year old, I have experienced this first hand. As any parent can tell you, it seems like once the little people enter your life, if you blink, they age a year.
I remember growing up in a theatrical family, where we were always putting on homemade plays, skits and sketches. The highlight of the show was always me with my headband pretending to work out on my exercise mat and my older sister Tap Dancing with bottle-cap taps, on a cement floor in our garage.
Tap dancing has always been my favorite form of dance; making noise while you slap your feet on the ground, learning a time step, how to shuffle off to Buffalo. I learned to tap when a local high school needed a little kid to tap for a production of Gypsy. Here was something I could do with my kids.
Getting the tap shoes was an expensive but easy process but getting the right surface on which to tap proved a bit more difficult. It had to be portable, with a hard striking surface yet have some give and traction. After experimenting I came up with two, 6’x8’ plywood floors, covered with a Matlay Dance Floor “skin” from MatsMatsMats.com that I secure with vinyl tape which I also got at MatsMatsMats.com. Now I have portable, professional looking vinyl dance floor that I can lay down anywhere and give the kidlettes basic tap lessons. My son has had me in for a father/son talent show that had us time stepping in tandem on the flooring. I even had a couple moms ask me where I bought the Marley floor.
All of my kids can now tap better than I, having received lessons at a local dance studio but we all get together and they teach me what they have learned. My wife asked if I could expand the flooring enough to learn ballroom dancing. . .yikes!
May 9th, 2013 by Stag
MMA has been around for quite some time now, in one form or another. One could even argue that it has been around for hundreds of years. One of the best known; even if not for it’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) per say is Ninjistu. A style popularized by – yup you guessed it, Ninjas. See Ninjas were the commandos of their day and they had to go up against a lot of different types of opposition, so they learned their enemies Martial Arts Style so that they could use it against them. Thus the first (maybe) Mixed Martial Arts was born.
No a days the Mixed Martial Arts scene is a bit different. However the main idea stays the same. The combination of various fighting disciplines coming together to allow the fighter to move more quickly, and react more appropriately to the situation and opposition with less flair and useless moves to deal with (i.e. “Return Positions).
With MMA, people inevitably started to fight each other in public forums and thus started to make groups. The most popular of which is the UFC. So now you have thousands of aspiring fighters either learning MMA for self-defense, fitness or for a chance to be in the UFC and fight for the prize in a sense. This all requires training, and lots of it. Training requires classes, and classes require a good space to teach their students in a safe environment. So that is why we very commonly use, recommend and sell our interlocking martial arts mats and our most popular seamless flooring to MMA and Martial Arts Gyms.
Continuous Vinyl and crosslink foam flooring provides a fantastic area for the students to move and learn without fear of injury from falling, pulls, drops, or throws. We recently provided some seamless flooring to an up-and-coming MMA gym in North Carolina called Female Fighters MMA. In a sport currently dominated by male athletes they are setting the curve in providing a top notch environment and facilities for their students to learn and advance. They use our seamless flooring for their gym for just these reasons. You can see here for yourself, it not only looks great, but performs well!
Seamless Martial Arts Floor and MMA are very synonymous with each other, and if you are in the sport you certainly will see them everywhere you go.
April 23rd, 2013 by Kelly Green
There’s nothing more exciting than the first day of spring . . . what can I say, I need to get out more. The Ides of March are now safely in the rear view mirror and the onset of warmer weather rapidly approaches on fuzzy feet. Here in California, that means beach excursions are right around the corner. Surveying the bathing suit landscape has made me realize that unless I want to be mistaken for a wayward whale, I may need to shed a few pounds before venturing outside in something less than a hazmat suit.
MatsMatsMats has already supplied my household with a veritable plethora of fine choices for svelting down my ample Orwellian figure. (Orson Wells NOT George Orwell) and I have written in the past of such items as the exercise ball, the fitness flooring and kids carpet.
Today I would like to expound on the virtues of (pause for dramatic effect) the workout glove.
If you are delaying the actual choice of exercise till you find the motivation to begin said regimen, nothing tells your ever-loving spouse that you are committed to the process of slenderizing oneself than buying matching workout gloves. MatsMatsMats has a HUGE selection of gloves to choose from. Everything from a delicate pink to a more manly camouflage.
If you know me, you know I prefer products that can be multi-purposed or re-purposed and these bad boys have “batting gloves” written all over them. Maybe even James Bond-esque driving gloves! (“Yes, Miss Moneypenny, that’s shaken not stirred”)
The true purpose of these gloves is to use them in conjunction with weights to use a traditional approach to fitness. They also can be used to help cushion your hands when exercising, doing yoga, calisthenics or any other program that requires writhing on the floor gasping for breath.
Now that I have made that “first step”, I have decided to reward my efforts by treating myself to a martini and an exploding laser watch
April 23rd, 2013 by Chris Aviles
I’m pretty lucky. I’ve worked for some less than moral companies and at times have had to question my own morality. Sometimes, unfortunately, we have to do what we have to do in life. Anyway, my point is it’s nice to work for a company that’s upfront and stands behind their products. Very rarely do you actually find inexpensive quality. I truly believe that at matsmatsmats.com we are honest and have quality products at great prices.
The only downside is most people (myself included) are quick to voice their opinion when they’re unsatisfied and rarely do so when they are satisfied. Being that a big part of our job here is customer service, we hear about the rare instances when there are problems and complaints. That kind of thing is expected to some degree, especially with the volume of business we do. I mean, accidents happen, especially when you package and ship as much as we do.
When I see positive feedback, it’s usually on the website and it’s our customers talking about how great our customer service is (it really is!) or how fast they got their product. Much like a puppy that’s been adopted, I don’t usually hear anything about how well our product is doing- until last week. I had a customer call and order a supply of our SoftFoot Pilates Mat. The owner of ‘Synergy’, a Pilates Studio in Cookeville, TN, just celebrated their 6 year anniversary and needed mats to accommodate their growing clientele.
As I was hanging up with her she let me know that the set she currently has, the ones that were purchased from us over six years ago, and the ones she’s buying now aren’t even to replace those mats. I was informed that her Pilates mat is used all day, every day and she hasn’t found a better exercise mat or a more economical mat. That information really is good to know. I’ve always been confident in telling our customers how great our products are, but actually hearing it from you guys reassures me that we not only have a large yoga mat and Pilates mat selection, but our prices and quality are really good too!
April 15th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
I got some news recently… My girlfriend-wife (I call her that because she doesn’t know that I’m going to marry her yet and she can’t run forever!) has two beautiful nieces whom we just found out this week might suffer from cerebral palsy. She was very alarmed and scared. I, however, happened to know a very accomplished young man with cerebral palsy (it’s not a death sentence by any means!!). I tried to assure her that we get many calls from parents with special needs children all the time and one of the most common ones I can think of is cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy is not terribly uncommon (1 in 400 live births) and there are many routes to treatment as well as programs that facilitate child development with such conditions. It reminded me of a call we got from a customer with a 4 year old boy that has cerebral palsy looking for soft flooring. For those not familiar: cerebral palsy it is a condition that affects motor skills. Generally speech and movement are affected at various degrees as a result of low birth weights. This makes it difficult to walk and speak and in many cases, children might be only able to move around with the help of walkers or wheelchairs.
After conversing with said customer about these specifics, he was surprised at my relative understanding of what he might need. His son had just been diagnosed with a milder form of cerebral palsy that mainly affected his ability to walk but nevertheless is VERY active. However, because he is so mobile and still needs to develop more coordination, he is prone to hurt himself since he tries to run and move faster than his feet can keep up.
Obviously, as sales people on the phone, there is really nothing we can do when we hear a proud yet exasperated parent looking to pad a room but give him good advice on the best interlocking floor mats and wall padding. Luckily, he was just getting information so didn’t have to get all sales-pitchy on him. We do happen to actually encounter this often. We offered him samples of these materials and eventually got some wall paneling and soft tiles to keep the floor and wall padded and safe.
A personal friend of mine also was born with cerebral palsy. His case happened to be a bit more severe and he is bound to a wheelchair. Nevertheless, with the proper treatment, diagnosis, and a great support system of friends and family, he is on his way to getting his masters in law. If anyone happens to be interested in more information, this site is a great resource! -
April 8th, 2013 by Kelly Green
I am afraid of my wife. If you knew her, you would be too. Don’t get me wrong, I love her with every fiber of my being but she scares the bejeezus out of me. I pity the zombie who wanders into our house in the upcoming zombie apocalypse. Other men claim to have a wife who is a “knock out”. Mine quite literally, did knock me out when we first met.
In college, I was doing a play in which I had numerous prosthetic appliances attached to my face. I was in the laborious process of taking them off, when I caught a glimpse of a cute friend of mine in the reflection of the mirror. Excited, I bounded up, whirled around and leaped to her, grabbing her hand and kissing up her arm. . . It wasn’t my friend. It was my wife to be, however, at the time we had not met. In a painful flash of elbows and heels I streaked to earth. I woke up just as my face was hitting the linoleum.
Although the story has a happy ending (23 years of marriage) at the time I was thinking, as various parts of my face were rudely displaced by an ever so solid floor, “Gosh, a soft flooring would sure be nice,”
That’s where MatsMatsMats.com comes in, I could list hundreds of floor types that would all have been softer to face plant onto. Whether it’s bounce back tiles, a softwood flooring product or just some good old rolled rubber. Matsmatsmats has everything to make a hard landing into a soft landing. Speaking of soft landings, they also have martial arts throw mats for the next time your wife throws you over the couch to get the remote.
March 22nd, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
I was at the gym standing on the soft rubber flooring and I found myself thinking of horses after speaking to a customer recently. He’s a horse breeder and was pretty into it. His first questions after learning I’m from Los Angeles was “You ever been riding before?” I explained
that I grew up in close proximity before moving to L.A. from Mexico. Also, my girlfriend has been bugging me to take her horseback riding as she’s never been.
It’s a very glorious feeling indeed, there are certain details that elude those who might romanticize horse-back riding. Not only are they monstrously expensive to maintain and upkeep, but they can also be very dangerous. Remember Superman? The movies? A horse took him out. A HORSE!
As one of the earliest domesticated animals (6,000 years and counting), horses have been one of the unfortunate dwellers of the pre-civilized world that now largely does our bidding. For better or worse, these creatures are a mainstay of our human society. As our cultures collectively evolve slowly towards a (hopefully) more prudent and ecologically sound direction, many things that were once common knowledge are being turned upside their heads. For example, up until fairly recently, horses were considered relatively unintelligent animals. However, research shows that they do, in fact, exhibit great capacities for problem solving and cognitive learning outside of the herd mentality. Sadly though, they still can’t talk. Nah!
In any case, it was brought to my attention that our horse stall mats are polymerized rubber as opposed to vulcanized. The main difference with other rolled rubber flooring mats is that vulcanized rubber has a tendency to contain sulfur which can be harmful to the health of the horse if they are standing on this material, sleeping on it, or being transported on it. Sulfur generally has a bad odor, however, horses actually have a really bad sense of smell. Also, they can’t talk. Sigh… Since our horse stall mats are made from a different process altogether. Our rubber is polymerized rubber is made from an environmentally safe polyurethane bonding agent which is good for the horse, good for the planet, good as dog floor mats and good for the human race (hopefully.)
March 15th, 2013 by Chris Aviles
So after a few months of being a bum I decided it was time to hop on my treadmill machine again. I was so glad that I remembered where I put my treadmill mat! I love my treadmill because in my heart of hearts I’m a couch potato. I LOVE television and since my machine is parked in front of my TV I can get on in and zone out. Well, yesterday I hopped on and after just a 45 minute workout I felt good, until I sat down for a minute and tried getting back up. Ouch.
Being the 28 year old baby I am, I called my dad because of course I was dying and automatically assume the worst. Also my father is an international Kick boxing champion and avid gym rat (a gene he did NOT pass to me) so I figured he’d have a quick fix. I quickly learned I didn’t stretch properly. The only thing quick about that phone call was how quick he was to start lecturing me. There are many benefits of stretching you might want to consider before jumping into a workout. You really need to take care of your muscles and blah blah blah… I stopped listening. Everybody knows parents are always wrong and they just want to make life harder for us (says the 15 year old inside of me). I, being stubborn (a gene he DID pass to me) looked up facts on my own and was less than surprised to see my dad actually knows a thing or two.
The first and most important benefit to gain from stretching is relieving of pain! Not just to relieve pain, but to prevent the tightness that causes it. I read that another important benefit of stretching is that it releases a lubricating substance from the cartilage within your joints; which allows your joints to move more smoothly, preserving the cartilage in your joints and keeping your bones from scraping. I also learned that stretching can improve the circulation of water and nutrients through your body, which slows the aging process. Studies have also shown that stretching can lengthen muscles and, by doing so, can improve your posture. At this point I’m thinking an all purpose exercise mat would be an ideal gift to myself.
Here’s the kicker. All these benefits are achievable, even if you don’t regularly work out. You can experience a healthier, more comfortable day, just by stretching.
In order for stretching to be effective, you’ll need to warm up your muscles first. A simple ten minute walk or jog will make a huge difference. Remember, cold muscles are tighter, and will make you have a harder and more uncomfortable time stretching. If you don’t want to go out into the heat or rain, or have allergies, or you just want to stay in front of the TV, a stretching strap is a pretty affordable way to help you stretch indoors.
However, there are times when stretching should be avoided. Don’t stretch before intense workout sessions like sprinting or other high-intensity cardio training. Below are some tips if you decide to use a strap:
-Use a yoga strap for deep stretching, especially sitting poses that stretch the legs. Take the yoga strap in your hands and place the yoga strap around the instep of your feet. Pull gently on the strap with both hands for resistance as you bend forward at the waist. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat four to six times.For an advanced, deeper stretch, shorten the strap by wrapping it around your hands a few times. Place the strap around the instep of your feet and pull gently on the strap with both hands for resistance. Touch your nose to your knee (if you are flexible enough).This stretch will release tension in your hamstrings, calves and quadriceps.
-Use a yoga strap in standing poses to stretch your legs and hips, and to help improve your balance. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Plant your feet firmly into the exercise mat. Look straight ahead and focus on the wall in front of you. Lift your right leg gently and place the strap around the instep of your right foot. Pull gently on the strap with both hands as you lift your right leg off the ground. Stretch leg straight. Hold for ten seconds. Repeat 4-6 times (alternate each side). For an advanced, deeper stretch, shorten the strap by wrapping it around your hands a few times. Place the strap around the instep of your right foot. Pull gently on the strap with your right hand only. Lift your right leg off the ground. Stretch leg straight in front of you. Move your right leg to your right side. Pull the strap higher with your right hand for more resistance and to achieve a deeper stretch. Hold for ten seconds. Repeat four to six times on each side.
-Use a yoga strap for stretching your arms shoulders and chest (especially when you can’t reach both hands behind your back). Place the right arm behind your back and place the left arm over your shoulder so it touches your upper back. Take one end of the strap in each hand. Tug each end of the strap with each hand, which will give you a deep stretch in your arms (especially in the triceps), shoulders and chest. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat four to six times
-Use a yoga strap for prone positions (before final relaxation) to stretch the legs, back, hips and groin area. Lie down on your mat and wrap a yoga strap around the instep of your feet. Use both hands and lift your legs towards the ceiling. Tug on the strap at the same time as you lift your legs higher for a deeper stretch. Hold the strap with your right hand and move your right leg slowly the right side. Touch your right leg to the mat (if you are flexible enough) while still holding the strap with your right hand. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat four to six times, alternating sides.
March 11th, 2013 by Stag
In the last three weeks a good friend of mine came back into town. He was diving in the Gulf of Mexico for the last eight months and I guess you could say he had become a bit home sick. So, now he is back…and living in my living room. This is not a problem at all, since this guy and I are more like brothers than friends. However, I have noticed that some of my more cherished, nay; revered comfort products have been going missing or simply finding their way into his possession. This is a problem and needs to stop! After a long day at the office and then almost falling asleep on my folding exercise mat, I just wanted to be comforted with my beloved pillow.
Now, I love my Television. Seriously, I mean LOVE IT! So, naturally, I also love anything that will allow me to more easily and comfortably view my television from my bed. I have a cherished Reading Pillow that I use for the not so productive activity of watching TV. So, after a day of work I come home to ready myself for a bit of trash TV before actually having to do something productive, and what do I see; my bed, minus a TV Pillow. So, I naturally begin to hunt, and search for this beloved accessory of mine.
After a failed half hour of pain-staking rummaging, I finally found my back pillow, tucked away with my friend’s air mattress in the corner of my living room. A feeling of relief quickly washed over me, followed quite immediately by mischievous ideas to liberate his body pillow in retaliation. Perhaps I shall do so this weekend. Wish me luck and I’ll see you all next week.
March 5th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
A quick look in the mirror today reminded me that I’ve been schlepping off on my workouts. I was in a pretty bad car accident mid November of last year which immobilized me considerably and effectively kept me away from the gym for the last 3 months or so. When you’re on a tight schedule and your gym is not at home, getting to and from work with a gym in between becomes damn near impossible. Yes I’ve seen athletes pull it off, but I’m no athlete.
Looking at my pasty self in front of that mylar mirror made me think of Black Swan and all those skinny dancers. Not because I bear a striking resemblance to Natalie Portman,I do, but because of how damn skinny I am! Which leads to me to this rant: Dancers. HOLY CRAP! Have you seen a male dancer? In full get-up and all?? They are INSANELY fit! I guess you’d expect that from anyone that has to balance their body on their toes while gracing across the matlay dance flooring. Flexing and holding impossibly painful, yet strangely beautiful, poses in front of glassless mirrors. Arousing many a curious patron with their grace and flexibility while practicing on their ballet bar.
It was then and there that I think I needed to get into classical/ballet and dancing. My slender figure would benefit greatly, as would anyone else’s, from the intense workouts and discipline required of a ballerina. A tutu wouldn’t be half bad either. Now I’m off to get my first piece of dance equipment for home.