Title:
Anchor system for use in an aquatic environment
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An anchorage system for use in an aquatic environment, which has a stationary base, a cylinder, and a piston useful for practicing stationary swimming and/or rehabilitation.



Inventors:
Alvarez, Enrique Lozano (Municipio de Benito Juarez, MX)
Application Number:
11/454378
Publication Date:
12/21/2006
Filing Date:
06/16/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B31/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ROLAND, DANIEL F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STINSON LLP (ATTN: PATENT GROUP 1201 WALNUT STREET, SUITE 2900, KANSAS CITY, MO, 64106-2150, US)
Claims:
What is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is as follows:

1. An anchorage system for use in an aquatic environment comprising: a removable piston and cylinder assembly comprising a piston located inside a hollow cylinder and biased by a spring, said piston having a narrowing region, and said cylinder having at least one opening; at least one ball at least partially positioned within said at least one opening; a stationary base having a recess for receiving said removable piston and cylinder assembly, and said stationary base having a groove for receiving a portion of said ball when said piston and cylinder assembly is placed in said recess.

2. The anchorage system for use in an aquatic environment in accordance with claim 1 wherein said cylinder has two openings and two balls at least partially positioned in each opening.

3. The anchorage system for use in an aquatic environment in accordance with claim 1, wherein said stationary base has an upper slot and is said stationary base is threaded.

4. The anchorage system for use in an aquatic environment in accordance with claim 1 where said piston has a ring or eyelet adapted to receive a tether.

5. The anchorage system for use in an aquatic environment in accordance with claim 4, wherein a string is attached to said cylinder.

6. The anchorage system for use in an aquatic environment in accordance with claim 1 wherein said narrowing region of said piston comprises tapering a diameter of said piston from a larger first diameter to a smaller second diameter.

7. A method for tethering a swimmer to a pool wall comprising: anchoring a stationary base having a recess in said pool wall; removably securing a piston and cylinder assembly in said recess, said piston and cylinder assembly having a ring or hook at one end; fastening a tether to said ring or hook; and fasting said tether to said swimmer.

8. The method of claim 7 wherein said cylinder has at least one opening, said piston has a narrowing region, and said anchoring base has a groove on an inner wall of said recess; and wherein a ball engages said groove in said anchoring base and opening in said cylinder to removably secure said piston and cylinder assembly in said recess.

9. The method of claim 7 wherein said piston and cylinder assembly comprises a spring biased between a flange on said piston and a protuberance on an inner wall of said cylinder.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is based on Mexican Application Serial No. PA/a/2005/006673, Jun. 17, 2005 which is hereby incorporated by reference and to which priority is

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is related to anchor systems for workout and/or rehabilitation inside bodies of water, more specifically to an anchor system used for the practice of stationary swimming in a swimming pool.

DESCRIPTION OF RELATED ART

In recent years there has been a notorious increase in the number of stationary exercise appliances. These appliances are commonly used at home or at established gymnasiums. The appliances are used in order to exercise certain muscles or muscle groups, such as abdominals, pectorals, legs, etc. There are also appliances that simulate the activity of a full sport, such as skiing, escalating (escalators), rowing (rowers), cycling (stationary bikes), walking (walking machines), and the like.

Swimming is one of the best cardio-respiratory exercises. Notwithstanding, it is difficult to practice this sport because a relatively large swimming pools are required to obtain the physical benefits of the sport. Thus, it would be advantageous to have a device that permits the swimmer to obtain the benefits of swimming in a confined swimming location.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,634,993 granted to Morr on Oct. 21, 2003, describes an appliance used to hold a swimmer “in place” during an aquatic workout. The appliance is made of a flexible tethering string or cord attached to the pool wall, a flotation device, and a pair of fixed lines secured to the soles of the swimmer's shoes.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,490,823 granted to Awbrey et al. on Feb. 13, 1996, describes a system for exercise and therapy inside water. The system includes a hook anchored to the pool side deck to which a tether cord is attached via a swivel pulley assembly. The tether cord is attached to the swimmer's shoe.

European Patent No. 0,226,524 granted to Sanchez Velasco, on Oct. 24, 1990, describes any anchorage system which uses threaded bolts.

Despite the foregoing, there remains a need to develop a removable anchorage device that can be used during an aquatic workout.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to an anchorage device to be used in an aquatic environment capable of being installed in the place were the workout and/or the rehabilitation is to take place inside water.

Another purpose of the present invention is to provide an anchorage system that is easier and more efficient to mold and produce in an industrial scale, as well as significantly cheaper and convenient to use.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an elevated lateral exploded view of the anchorage system in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a partial elevated lateral exploded view of the anchorage system in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a partial elevated lateral view, showing the piston and cylinder assembly separated from the stationary base in the anchorage system of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a partial elevated lateral view of the stationary base of the anchorage system of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a partial elevated lateral view of the interphase cylinder of the anchorage system of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a partial elevated lateral view of the piston of the anchorage system of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a length-wide, elevational view showing a person using the anchorage system of the present invention in a swimming pool.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

In the drawings, the similar characters of reference are related to the relevant parts of all the different views.

Making reference to FIGS. 1-3, the anchorage system 10 for use in an aquatic environment in accordance to the present invention is provided. The anchorage system 10 comprises a piston 2, an interphase cylinder 4, a stationary base 6, and at least one ball 5 for removably securing the piston 2, interphase cylinder 4, and stationary base 6 together.

The piston 2 has a first end (e.g., a superior or upper end) and a second end (e.g., an inferior or lower end). The first end of the piston 2 has a ring or hook (e.g., eyelet) 1 for receiving and attaching a tethering string or band 8 (see FIG. 7). The second end of the piston 2 comprises an elongated portion 2a having a diameter equal to that of the inner diameter of a spring 3 which is slidably mounted on the elongated portion 2a. The spring 3 is biased against a piston flange 2b extending out from the elongated portion 2a to help retain the spring in place when the piston 2 and spring 3 are placed within the interphase cylinder 4.

As shown in FIG. 1 and in more detail in FIG. 6, the piston 2 has a non-uniform outer diameter. The second end of the piston 2 includes a narrowing region 2c having a diameter that is smaller that the elongated portion 2a of the piston 2. In this narrowing region 2c, the diameter of the piston 2 preferably tapers gradually from a larger first diameter inward to a smaller second diameter and then tapers back outward. As discussed more fully below, this narrowing region of the piston 2 receive a ball 5 when pressure is applied to the piston 2 so that the entire piston 2 and interphase cylinder 4 assembly can be removed or inserted into the stationary base 6.

As shown in FIGS. 1-3 and FIG. 5, the interphase cylinder 4 is generally a hollow member and includes at least one opening 4a that extends through the cylinder wall for receiving a ball 5. In the preferred embodiment, two openings 4a are located on opposing sides of the interphase cylinder 4. As discussed more fully below, the diameter of the openings 4a is smaller than the diameter of the balls 5 so that the balls are movably retained within the openings 4a and the wall of the piston 2.

The balls 5 thus function to retain the piston and cylinder together. The balls 5 also function to removably position the piston 2 and cylinder 4 assembly in the stationary base 6. The diameter of the interphase cylinder 4 is such that the piston 2 and spring 3 assembly are slidably mounted therein. The interphase cylinder also contains a concentric band or protuberance 4c so that the elongated portion 2a of the piston 2 can slidably move through the hollow cylinder 4 but the spring 3 cannot. Thus, when the piston 2 is pushed further into the interphase cylinder 3 by applying pressure to the piston 2, the spring 5 is compressed because one end of the spring 3 is biased against the piston flange 2b and the other end of the spring is biased against the protuberance 4c.

In one aspect, the interphase cylinder 4 also includes a flange 4b. To remove the piston 2 and interphase cylinder 4 assembly from the stationary base 6, it is useful push the piston 2 downward into the cylinder, thereby further compressing the spring 3 and at the same time pull the piston 2 and interphase cylinder 4 assembly outward by pulling on the flange 4b.

As shown in FIGS. 1-3 and FIG. 6, the stationary base 6 comprises a generally hollow member having a recess for receiving the interphase cylinder 4. The stationary base 6 is inserted into a wall, such as a swimming pool wall, in a preformed wall opening (see FIG. 7). The stationary base 6 preferably includes a plurality of threads 6a so that the stationary base 6 may be screwed into the wall. The stationary base 6 also has a slot 7 at one end adapted to receive a common tool such as a screw driver, thereby anchoring the stationary base 6 to the wall.

As shown in FIG. 1, the stationary base 6 has a non-uniform inner diameter. More specifically, the inner wall of the stationary base contains a groove 6b. This groove 6b is adapted to receive and engage the balls 5 in order removably secure the interphase cylinder 4 and piston 2 assembly to the stationary base 6.

More specifically, to secure the piston 2 and interphase cylinder 4 within the stationary base 6, the spring 3 is placed over the elongated portion 2a of the piston 2 such that the spring 3 is biased at one end against the piston flange 2b and at the other end against the band or protuberance 4c on the cylinder wall. When the spring 3 is sufficiently compressed by pushing the piston 2 into the cylinder 4, the balls 5 become aligned with the narrowing region 2c so that the balls 5 fall within the narrowing region 2c of the piston. In this position, the balls 5 do not extend beyond the outer wall of the cylinder but reside within the openings 4a and the narrowing region 2c. As such, the entire piston 2 and interphase cylinder 4 assembly can be slidably inserted into the recess in the stationary base 6. When the user ceases pushing the piston 2 into the cylinder 4, the spring 3 biases the piston 2 upward, causing the narrowing region 2c of the piston to become unaligned with the openings 4a in the cylinder 4. At the same time, the piston 3 pushes the balls 5 laterally outward further into the openings 4a. When the openings 4a on the interphase cylinder 4 are aligned with the groove 6b in the stationary base 6, the balls 5 extend from the wall of the interphase cylinder 4 into the grooves 6b, thereby securing the cylinder 4 and piston 2 assembly in place.

To remove the cylinder 4 and piston assembly 2 from the stationary base 6, a similar action is used. The spring 3 is sufficiently compressed by pushing the piston 2 into the cylinder 4 so that the balls 5 become aligned with and partially fall within the narrowing region 2c of the piston. The balls 5 in this position do not extend beyond the outer wall of the cylinder 4 but reside within the openings 4a and the narrowing region 2c. The balls 5 also no longer engage the stationary base 6 within the groove 6a, thus, the entire piston 2 and cylinder 4 assembly may be pulled from the stationary base 6.

The foregoing parts can be made out of any suitable material, or stainless steel, without necessarily limiting the fabrication of these parts to said material.

FIG. 7 illustrates how the anchorage system 10 may be used in conjunction with a swimming exercise. The stationary base 6 is installed in a swimming pool by screwing the stationary base 6 into an opening with a screw driver. The piston 2 and interphase cylinder 4 assembly are removably attached to the stationary base 6 as discussed above. Elastic strings or bands 8 are attached to the ring 1 at the superior end of the piston 2 to hold the user in a stationary position when swimming by virtue of similar hooks or rings 9 attached to the shoes of the user.

Therefore, it is to be understood that, within the spirit and extent of the claims adhered hereinto, the invention can be practiced in a manner different to the one specifically described in this document. From the foregoing it will be seen that this invention is one well adapted to attain all ends and objectives herein-above set forth, together with the other advantages which are obvious and which are inherent to the invention. Further, since many possible embodiments may be made of the invention without departing from the scope thereof, it is to be understood that all matters herein set forth or shown in the accompanying drawings are to be interpreted as illustrative, and not in a limiting sense.