Title:
Mechanical resistance training device for skating
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is a device that can be used to provide resistance training for skaters to improve their skills, and that can be used in an actual rink or practice area. Two embodiments of the invention are described; a basic resistance training device and a slightly more sophisticated resistance training device. The basic training device comprises a body; a dual spool resistance wheel assembly; a return pulley assembly; two slack compensators; and a skater's belt. The second embodiment comprises a directional spool resistance wheel assembly and is used in the same manner as that of the basic training device with the exception that a directional resistance wheel is mounted on the shaft with a unidirectional bearing, wherein the unidirectional bearing drives the directional resistance wheel only in one direction.



Inventors:
Barr, Gunnar (West Milford, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/196105
Publication Date:
05/11/2006
Filing Date:
08/02/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B22/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DONNELLY, JEROME W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Edwin Tarver (600 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA, 90017, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A resistance training device for use by a skater that can be used in an actual rink or a practice area comprising; a. a body portion comprising a unshaped channel that accommodates a series of anchoring bolts, an extension shaft and a means to adhere to the wall of a skating rink, and which is designed to adhere to a surface with suction cups; b. a dual spool resistance wheel assembly; c. a return pulley assembly; d. two slack compensators; and e. a skater's belt.

2. The resistance training device of claim 1, wherein the body is attached to a reinforced resistance belt, which can be adjusted by a threaded eye hook and an adjustment knob.

3. The resistance training device of claim 2, whereby the reinforced resistance belt is made of Kevlar.

4. The resistance training device of claim 1, wherein the dual spool resistance wheel assembly comprises: a primary spool; a secondary spool; a resistance wheel assembly; and a rewind or return wheel mounted on a shaft, which is supported by plurality of bearings.

5. The resistance training device of claim 4, whereby two reinforced 130 lbs test lines are wound in opposite directions on the primary and secondary spools.

6. The resistance training device of claim 4, wherein the primary spool contains two times the line as the secondary spool and between 200 and 240%, preferably 220% of the distance of the practice area.

7. The resistance training device of claim 1, wherein the device further comprises: an extension shaft that houses an additional inner shaft with a pulley mounted on it and is adjustable to elevate the line above the practice area; an inverted channel mounted at a right angle to the extension shaft that supports the device when in use; and plurality of suction cups attached to the body that secure the device to a wall surrounding the practice area.

8. The resistance training device of claim 1, wherein the return pulley assembly comprises: a base plate; a bottom pulley; an extension shaft that houses an additional inner shaft with a top pulley mounted on it and is adjustable to elevate the line above the practice area; an inverted channel mounted at a right angle to the extension shaft that supports the return pulley assembly when in use; and plurality of suction cups attached to the base plate that secure the return pulley assembly to the glass or plastic surrounding the practice area.

9. The resistance training device of claim 1, wherein two slack compensators comprises: an elastic cord attached at the ends to a set of snap clips; and a nylon cord attached at its ends to the same set of snap clips.

10. The resistance training device of claim 9, whereby the length of the elastic cord is 3 feet and the length of the nylon cord is 5 feet.

11. The resistance training device of claim 1, wherein the skater's belt comprises: a fabric belt with two D-rings sewn in front and rear, respectively; an adjustable buckle; and a snap ring disconnect.

12. The resistance training device of claim 11, whereby the fabric belt is approximately 2 inches wide and is made of nylon.

13. A resistance training device for use by a skater that can be used in an actual rink or a practice area comprising: a body; a directional spool resistance wheel assembly; a return pulley assembly; two slack compensators; and a skater's belt.

14. The resistance training device of claim 13, wherein the body is attached with a reinforced resistance belt which position can be adjusted by a threaded eye hook and an adjustment knob and whereby the reinforced resistance belt is made of Kevlar.

15. The resistance training device of claim 13, wherein the directional spool resistance wheel assembly comprises: a primary spool; a secondary spool; a resistance wheel assembly; a rewind or return wheel mounted on a shaft, which is supported by plurality of bearings; a directional resistance wheel mounted on the shaft with a unidirectional bearing, wherein the unidirectional bearing drives the directional resistance wheel only in one direction, a corresponding resistance belt, and an adjustment assembly.

16. The resistance training device of claim 13, wherein the device further comprises: an extension shaft that houses an additional inner shaft with a pulley mounted on it and is adjustable to elevate the line above the practice area; an inverted channel mounted at a right angle to the extension shaft that supports the device when in use; and plurality of suction cups attached to the body that secure the device to a glass or plastic surrounding the practice area.

17. The resistance training device of claim 13, wherein the return pulley assembly comprises: a base plate; a bottom pulley; an extension shaft that houses an additional inner shaft with a top pulley mounted on it and is adjustable to elevate the line above the practice area; an inverted channel mounted at a right angle to the extension shaft that supports the return pulley assembly when in use; and plurality of suction cups attached to the base plate that secure the return pulley assembly to the glass or plastic surrounding the practice area.

18. The resistance training device of claim 13, wherein two slack compensators comprises: an elastic cord preferably 3 feet in length attached at the ends to a set of snap clips; and a nylon cord preferably 5 feet in length attached at it's ends to the same set of snap clips.

19. The resistance training device of claim 13, wherein the skater's belt comprises: a fabric belt with two D-rings sewn in front and rear, respectively; an adjustable buckle; and a snap ring disconnect.

20. The resistance training device of claim 19, whereby the fabric belt is approximately 2 inches wide and is made of nylon.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPPLICATION

This is a utility patent application which claims benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/626,567 filed on Nov. 9, 2004.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

Not Applicable

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM

Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL

Portions of the disclosure of this patent document contain material that is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.

BACKGROUND

The present invention relates to sporting equipment, and more specifically, to a mechanical resistance training device for skaters and a method of using such a device.

In many sports, resistance training enables athletes to improve their skills. For example, bicyclists use breaking devices for increased resistance and swimmers tie weights to their body. Resistance training not only enhances athletic performance but also provides an increased anaerobic workout.

To provide resistance training for skaters, many devices have been developed in the art:

U.S. Pat. No. 4,340,214 to Schutzer describes a training apparatus for skaters consisting of a fixed training stand with two carriages transversely displaceable in opposite directions, the displacement of which is controlled. Each carriage has a platform for the attachment of a foot of the skater, wherein the platform alters its angle of inclination upon displacement of the associated carriage from the initial position in the same method as a skate on ice. The lateral displacement of each carriage occurs against the action of a force, which is adjustable.

In U.S. Pat. No. 4,781,372 to McCormack, an ice-skating leg exercise device is disclosed. In one embodiment, this device utilizes a pair of rotatably positionable tracks each having a stirrup movable back and forth thereon in which the user's legs are positioned, each track being angularly adjustable with adjustable weight resistance provided against the rearward movement of each stirrup and a body support for the user to rest against, while exercising on the device.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,391,130 to Green et al., discloses an exercise apparatus used for leg exercises, and particularly for isolating the muscles used in ice skating. The apparatus consists of a frame with bar linkages arranged side by side. Each linkage carries a foot pad. A resistance unit is attached to each linkage to resist movement in both directions. The resistance unit is preferably a double acting hydraulic cylinder connected to variable flow control valves to vary the resistance to linkage movement.

Additionally, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,451,194 to Harrigan, a roller skate exercise device is disclosed, and consists of a platform having a top surface to support a pair of roller skates worn by a person. Components of the device permit the roller skates to slide in opposed reciprocating motions on the top surface of the platform, so as to simulate cross-country skiing.

All of the devices described above are simple exercising devices intended to provide resistance, particularly to muscle groups that are used in skating. Overall, the devices attempt to simulate actual skating conditions. Although there are advantages to such devices, they cannot be used in an actual rink or practice area.

Meanwhile, some devices have been developed that can be used in a rink or practice area:

U.S. Pat. No. 6,537,077 to Johnson describes a method and device for training a skater, consisting of a support frame and a harness that is secured to the support frame. The skater is secured to the support frame by means of the harness, such that the point of attachment between the support frame and the harness is a distance above the head of the skater. Further, the support frame is configured and arranged so as to extend from the skater when the skater is secured to the support frame. The support frame, which is responsive to the skating motion of a skater, moves with respect to the skating surface.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,033,734 to Jalbert features a mobile skating aid for providing support for a beginning skater consisting of a surrounding main frame supported at approximately waist-height on telescoping posts, which extend upwardly from a pair of elongated runners intended to continuously contact a skating surface. The posts are arranged to enable the height of the main frame, which includes a hand rail, to be adjusted, and further to be easily collapsed and folded flat against the underside of the frame for convenient storage and transportation. A seat element flexibly suspended from the main frame at an adjustable distance below the frame at a height to be straddled by the user provides a safety catch to prevent a skater from falling due to loss of footing or traction.

In U.S. Pat. No. 4,410,175 to Shamp, a safety suspension unit with a tracking carriage connectable to an elevated fixed track is disclosed. The suspension unit has a spring-loaded pulley system with a support cable connected to a harness for aiding a skater in the learning and practicing of jumps and spins. The tension in the spring, which loads the pulley system, increases as the support cable is dispensed.

Although all the above-described devices can be used in a rink or practice area, they are only useful in providing safety and do not provide any resistance training for skaters.

Therefore, there is a need for a device that can be used for resistance training for skaters that can be used in a rink.

It is an object of the present invention to overcome the shortcomings in the current technology and provide a mechanical resistance training device that can be used to improve skating skills.

A further object is to provide a mechanical resistance training device for skaters that can be used in an actual rink.

A further object is to provide a mechanical resistance training device that can be operated hands free.

A further object is to provide a mechanical resistance training device that can be used to control skating speed without effecting technique or stride, thereby making instruction easy and effective.

A further object is to provide a mechanical resistance training device that enables an instructor to make a quantitative assessment of a skater's performance at different resistances and/or speeds.

Finally, it is an object of the present invention to provide a mechanical resistance training device that provides a skater with an overall aerobic workout, and an anaerobic workout of the muscles used in both forward and backward skating. These and other objects of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the appended Summary, Description, and Claims.

SUMMARY

The present invention comprises a training device and a method for skaters to improve their performance. Two embodiments of the device are described. One is a basic resistance training device and the second is a slightly more sophisticated resistance training device. Both devices consist of lines, pulleys, a spool and resistance assembly, return pulley assembly, slack compensator, skater's belt, and a means for attaching the device to the rink or practice area.

The design of the basic training device allows the skater to skate in both directions with equal resistance. The design also allows the skater to move from side to side while skating in a range of approximately five feet in either direction from the direct line between the resistance device and the return pulley assembly, without significant variations in resistance.

The alternate embodiment of the training device uses a second resistance wheel, with a unidirectional bearing, a second resistance belt, and an adjustment assembly. It is used in the same manner as that of the basic training device with one exception. When the dual spool resistance wheel assembly turns, it drives the shaft on which the second resistance wheel is mounted and the unidirectional bearing will cause the second wheel to become a driven wheel, but only in one direction, while freewheeling in the other direction. This allows the user to have control over the amount of resistance based on the direction of travel.

When the unidirectional bearing is freewheeling, the resistance is provided by the resistance on the wheel of the dual spool resistance wheel assembly. When the bearing engages and drives the second resistance wheel, the resistance will be the sum of the resistance on the second resistance wheel and the dual spool resistance wheel assembly. Having a different resistance available based on direction is important, since a skater can pull against higher resistance in forward than in reverse direction. In certain drills, it would be advantageous to have little or no tension on the return or if the skater wishes to run the maximum tension, he/she could pull in forward and the maximum in reverse, at the same time, given that maximum settings would be different.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a front view of the body of the resistance training device in accordance with the present invention, represented also by FIGS. 1A, 1B &1C.

FIG. 2 is a front view of a basic spool and adjustment assembly in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a front view of a return pulley assembly in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 4 is an illustration of a slack compensator in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 5 is an illustration of a skater's belt in accordance with the present invention, represented also by FIG. 5A.

FIG. 6 is a front view of a directional spool and adjustment assembly, forming an alternate embodiment of the present invention.

FIGURES - REFERENCE NUMERALS
For the Body
 11Resistance Body
 12Extension Shaft
 13Suction Cup
 14Inverted Channel
 15Inner Shaft
 16Pulley
 17A2″ Bolt
 17B6″ Bolt
 18Nut
 19Pulley Mount
 20Washer
 21Bearing
 22Spacer
For the Basic Spool and Adjustment Assembly
101Dual Spool Resistance Assembly
101APrimary Spool
101BSecondary Spool
101CResistance Wheel
102Return Wheel
103Main Shaft
104Shaft Bearing
105Resistance Belt
106Eye Hook
107Adjustment Knob
108Return Pulley Body
109Shaft Collar
110Resistance Belt Shaft
111Belt Keeper
112Adjuster Support Shaft
113Key
For the Return Pulley Assembly
201Base Plate
202ABottom Pulley
202BTop Pulley
For the Slack Compensator
30136″ Elastic Cord
302AFront Snap Clip
302BRear Snap Clip
30360″ Nylon Cord
For the Skater's Belt
401AFront D-Ring
401BRear D-Ring
402Buckle
403Snap Clip
404Connector D-Ring
For the Directional Spool and Adjustment Assembly
501Unidirectional Bearing
502Directional Resistance Wheel
503Directional Resistance Belt

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to the drawings, the preferred embodiment of a basic mechanical resistance training device which can be used to improve skating skills and which can be used in a rink or practice area, is illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 5. The basic training device, as seen in FIG. 1, consists of a resistance body 11 that houses a dual spool resistance wheel assembly 101 and a rewind or return wheel 102 mounted on a shaft 103, which is supported by bearings 104. There are two reinforced test lines, preferably 130 pound, which are wound in opposite directions on the spools of the dual spool resistance wheel assembly 101. The primary spool 101A contains two times the line as the secondary spool 101B and two hundred and twenty percent of the distance of the practice area.

The line formula for the spools is as follows:
Primary Spool=Practice Area×2.20
Secondary Spool=(Primary Spool)/2

A Kevlar reinforced resistance belt 105 is attached to a return pulley body 108 in a manner that allows its position to be adjusted by threaded eye hook 106 and knob 107 with corresponding nut inset, thereby bringing it into contact with the resistance wheel 101C on the dual spool resistance wheel assembly 101, as shown in FIG. 2. Referring to FIG. 1, there is an extension shaft 12 that houses an additional inner shaft 15 with a pulley 16 mounted on it and is adjustable to elevate the line above the practice area. Attached to the extension shaft 12 is an inverted channel 14 that supports the device when in use. There are suction cups 13 attached to the resistance body 11 that secure the device to the glass or plastic in the rink.

As shown in FIG. 3, a return pulley assembly consists of a base plate 201, a bottom pulley 202A, and the extension shaft 12 that houses an additional inner shaft 15 with a top pulley 202B mounted on it and is adjustable to elevate the line above the practice area. There are suction cups 13 attached to the base plate 201 that secure the return pulley assembly to the glass or plastic. Attached to the extension shaft 12 is the inverted channel 14 that supports the assembly when in use. There are two slack compensators, as illustrated in FIG. 4, consisting of a three foot elastic cord 301 attached at the ends to snap clips 302, and a five foot nylon cord 303 attached at it's ends to the same set of clips 302. As shown in FIG. 5, a skater's belt consists of a two-inch nylon fabric belt with D-rings 401 sewn in front and rear, an adjustable buckle 402, and a snap ring disconnect 403 and 404.

The alternate embodiment of the present invention shown in FIG. 6, has a second resistance wheel 502 mounted on the shaft 103 with a unidirectional bearing 501 and a corresponding resistance belt 503, and adjustment assembly 107, and 112. The unidirectional bearing 501 drives the wheel only in one direction, thereby allowing resistance to be a combination of both resistance wheels in one direction and only one resistance wheel in the other direction.

The operation of the basic training device and the alternate embodiment of the device are briefly discussed herein. The basic training device has an inverted channel 14 mounted at a right angle to the extension support shaft 12 on the resistance assembly, allowing it to be hung on the glass surrounding the practice area. In addition, suction cups 13 are on the resistance body 11 to secure it to the glass. The return pulley assembly, as shown in FIG. 3, is hung in the same manner and uses suction cups 13 to secure it directly across from the resistance assembly on the opposite side practice area. Once the resistance assembly (FIG. 1) and return pulley assembly (FIG. 3) have been secured to the practice area, the line from the primary spool 101A on the dual spool resistance wheel assembly 101 is drawn out and over the extension pulley 16 on the resistance assembly. The line is drawn across the practice area and over the top pulley 202B on the return pulley assembly, and around the bottom pulley 202A on the return pulley assembly.

The forward slack compensator is attached to the ring on the line by the front snap clip 302A, as shown in FIG. 4. The skater's belt, illustrated in FIG. 5, is attached to the forward slack compensator on the front D-ring 401A of the belt by the rear snap clip 302B. The rear slack compensator is attached to the rear D-ring 401B of the skater's belt by the front snap clip 302A. Line tension is set on the resistance assembly in order to cause both compensators to become fully extended, as line continues to be drawn from the primary spool 101A back towards the resistance assembly by the rear snap clip 302B of the rear slack compensator.

When the rear snap clip 302B on the rear slack compensator reaches the resistance assembly, it gets attached to the ring of the line on the secondary spool 101B. The skater is now clipped (i.e., 403 and 404) into the skater's belt and the belt is adjusted with the buckle 402. As the skater moves away from the device, line is drawn out from the secondary spool 101B and drawn on to the primary spool 101A. As the skater moves back toward the device, line is drawn out from the primary spool 101A and drawn in by the secondary spool 101B. Since the spools are identical and the line volume is different, depending on the skater's location and direction, slack will occur when the spool that has less line on it is drawing line in, than the spool from which the line is being drawn.

On a standard rink of eighty-five feet width, the maximum slack at any time would be ten inches. The slack compensators have the ability to compensate for as much as twenty four inches, thereby maintaining a taught line above the practice area preventing it from interfering with the skater. Resistance is provided by adjusting the tension of the Kevlar belt 105 against the resistance wheel 101C, which is located on the dual spool resistance wheel assembly 101. As the adjustment knob 107 is turned, it draws the belt 105 around the resistance wheel 101C and that resistance is expressed to the skater by the line as it turns the dual spool resistance wheel assembly 101.

The range of available resistance is from zero to forty pounds. A reasonable expectation of use would require zero to thirty pounds. The design of the device allows the skater to skate in both directions with equal resistance. The design also allows the skater to move from side to side while skating in a range of approximately five feet in either direction from the direct line between the resistance device and the return pulley assembly, without significant variations in resistance.

The alternate embodiment of the training device uses a second resistance wheel 502, with a unidirectional bearing 501, a second resistance belt 503, and adjustment assembly. It is used in the same manner as that of the basic training device with one exception. When the dual spool resistance wheel assembly 101 turns, it drives the shaft 103 on which the second resistance wheel 502 is mounted and the unidirectional bearing 501 will cause the second wheel 502 to become a driven wheel, but only in one direction, while freewheeling in the other direction. This allows the user to have control over the amount of resistance based on the direction of travel.

When the bearing 501 is freewheeling, the resistance is provided by the resistance on the wheel 101C of the dual spool resistance wheel assembly 101. When the bearing 501 engages and drives the second resistance wheel 502, the resistance will be the sum of the resistance on the second resistance wheel 502 and the dual spool resistance wheel assembly 101C. Having a different resistance available based on direction is important, since a skater can pull against higher resistance in forward than in reverse direction. In certain drills, it would be advantageous to have little or no tension on the return or if the skater wishes to run the maximum tension, he/she could pull in forward and the maximum in reverse, at the same time, given that maximum settings would be different.

All features disclosed in this specification, including any accompanying claims, abstract, and drawings, may be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent or similar purpose, unless expressly stated otherwise. Thus, unless expressly stated otherwise, each feature disclosed is one example only of a generic series of equivalent or similar features.

Any element in a claim that does not explicitly state “means for” performing a specified function, or “step for” performing a specific function, is not to be interpreted as a “means” or “step” clause as specified in 35 U.S.C. § 112, paragraph 6. In particular, the use of “step of” in the claims herein is not intended to invoke the provisions of 35 U.S.C. § 112, paragraph 6.

Although preferred embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, various modifications and substitutions may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Accordingly, it is to be understood that the present invention has been described by way of illustration and not limitation.