Title:
Method and apparatus for restricting arm movement and method of use thereof in sports training, physical training, and physical therapy
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method and apparatus for restricting the distance between a user's wrists is disclosed. The apparatus comprises a removable first wrist cuff with a first fastener for securing the first wrist cuff to a user's wrist and a first attachment member connected to the first wrist cuff. The apparatus also comprises a removable second wrist cuff with a fastener for securing the second wrist cuff to a user's wrist and a second attachment member connected to the second wrist cuff. An elastic member is attached to both first and second attachment members such that, in operation, a user's wrists are respectively encircled by said first and second wrist cuffs and the distance between said first and second wrist cuffs is limited by said elastic member. The apparatus may be used for athletic training such as football, basketball, volleyball, soccer, boxing, and weight lifting.



Inventors:
Goebel, Andrew Mitchell (Houston, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/713435
Publication Date:
09/04/2008
Filing Date:
03/02/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/422, 482/44, 482/83
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
TECCO, ANDREW M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Jason, Cook W. (2727 N. Harwood Street, Dallas, TX, 75201, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for restricting the distance between a user's wrists, the apparatus comprising: a removable first wrist cuff including a first fastener for securing the first wrist cuff to a user's wrist; a first attachment member connected to the first wrist cuff; a removable second wrist cuff including a fastener for securing the second wrist cuff to a user's wrist; a second attachment member connected to the second wrist cuff; an elastic member attached to both first and second attachment members; and wherein, in operation, a user's wrists are respectively encircled by said first and second wrist cuffs and the distance between said first and second wrist cuffs is limited by said elastic member.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said elastic member is removeably attached to both first and second attachment members.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said elastic member resists torque.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said elastic member is made of a translucent material.

5. A method for athletic training comprising the steps of: securing a user's first wrist within a removable first wrist cuff by engaging a first fastener of said first wrist cuff, wherein a first attachment member is connected to said first wrist cuff; securing a user's second wrist within a removable second wrist cuff by engaging a second fastener of said second wrist cuff, wherein a second attachment member is connected to said second wrist cuff; providing an elastic member attached to both first and second attachment members; and performing athletic training where the distance between said first and second wrist cuffs is limited by said elastic member.

6. The method of claim 5 where the athletic training is catching a football.

7. The method of claim 5 where the athletic training is shooting a basketball.

8. The method of claim 5 where the athletic training is hitting a volleyball.

9. The method of claim 5 where the athletic training is catching a soccer ball.

10. The method of claim 5 where the athletic training is boxing.

11. The method of claim 5 where the athletic training is weight lifting.

Description:

BACKGROUND

In the vast majority of sports played today, hand-eye coordination and correct muscle memory are important (if not essential) attributes an athlete must have to be successful. Almost any sport involving an athlete's hands requires good hand eye coordination. Athletes with better hand eye coordination not only have a tendency to perform well, but to improve at a faster pace than those individuals with lesser hand-eye coordination.

Muscle memory is slightly different than hand-eye coordination. While muscle memory is as essential to most sports as hand-eye coordination, it is important to have the proper muscle memory. That is, if an athlete develops improper muscle memory (e.g., incorrect form in a tennis swing, basketball shot, or football catch position), such can decrease performance and limit an athlete's ability to improve with time and practice.

In certain sports, experts believe there is a particular form that is optimal for the vast majority of athletes playing that sport. For example, in the sport of American football, in order for a receiver to catch a football, that receiver's wrists should ideally be a certain distance apart. Of course, a receiver may be able to catch a football with wrists father apart than that particular distance, or even with one hand. Nonetheless, the optimum arm position to catch a football is hands open, palms facing outward, fingertips spread apart, and wrists a particular distance apart.

Similar hand and arm positions are ideal for particular activities in other sports. Basketball involves frequent catching, passing, and shooting. The same logic in catching the football lies in catching the basketball. The catching, passing, and shooting of a basketball are all activities that are ideally performed when a player's wrists are a particular distance apart.

While the hands are not normally used in soccer, a soccer goalie uses his or hands frequently. As with football and basketball, ideally, a goalie's wrists are positioned a particular distance apart.

In volleyball, wrist and hand position is critical for setting. Again, a player's wrists should be a particular distance apart for proper setting.

In the sport of boxing, the blocking of an opponent's punches is paramount. This is usually done by holding one's hands up and protecting against direct punches to the head and face. If a boxer's wrists and hands are too far apart during blocking, an opponent's punch may pass through the attempted block. If the boxer's wrists and hands are too close together, a boxer's vision may be impaired and/or the sides of the boxer's head may become more exposed and more susceptible to punches.

A common thread runs in each of these activities and many others: there is a proper form with regard to the range for the athlete's arm and wrist positions. The optimal distance between a player's wrists will vary according to the size of the player and the activity performed, but the distance should typically be between 3 inches and 24 inches.

If an athlete attempts to perform these activities with his or her arms and wrists too close together or too far apart, not only will the activity be performed with improper form, the athlete may develop improper muscle memory by practicing repetitively with improper form.

Furthermore, in certain weight training exercises, an optimal form with the hands and wrists a particular distance apart can isolate and train particular muscle groups that a person wants to focus on for muscle development or in physical therapy.

Performing a barbell curl with wrists shoulder width apart, keeping the elbows close to the body, and using the bicep to curl the bar slowly up to the chin works the biceps and forearms. However, performing the same curl with wrists much closer together strongly focuses on the biceps and forearms (elbow flexors on the front of the arm).

Performing a front deltoid barbell raise with wrists shoulder width apart standing upright, holding a barbell with an overhand grip (palms down) with the barbell resting at the upper thighs, pushing the chest out and keep the lower back straight, slowly raising the barbell until arms are at shoulder height, then slowly lowering the barbell until it is back in starting position works the pectorals, trapezius, and front deltoids. However, performing the same exercise with wrists close together, strongly focuses on deltoids (inner upper arm muscles), pectorals, and trapezium.

Performing a overhead barbell press with wrists slightly wider than shoulder width apart, standing upright, holding a barbell with an overhand grip, raising the bar to shoulder height, keeping the elbows pointing downward, and pushing the barbell above the head until arms are fully extended, works front and side deltoids, triceps, and muscles located in the rib cage. Performing the same exercise with wrists close together focuses on the top part of the pectorals, triceps, muscles located in the rib cage, front and side deltoids.

Performing a upright barbell row with wrists shoulder width apart, standing upright, holding a barbell with an overhand grip, pulling the barbell up to the chest, then slowly lowering the barbell back to the starting position works the deltoids, trapezium, and rhomboids. Performing the same exercise with wrists 4 to 5 inches apart strongly focuses on the biceps, forearms, trapezius, deltoids, and various muscles in the pectorals.

Performing a barbell overhead pull with wrists shoulder width apart, lying down flat on a bench with both feet on the floor, using an overhand grip, lifting the barbell directly above the chest, keeping the elbows slightly bent, lowering the barbell behind the head until the arms are straight in line with the body, and keeping the arms straight while lifting the barbell back over the head back to the starting position works the pectorals, latissimus dorsi, and the rhomboids. Performing the same exercise with wrists close together strongly focuses on the triceps, pectorals, latissimus dorsi, and rhomboids.

Performing a bench press with the wrists shoulder width (or greater) apart, lying down on a bench with the barbell directly above the chest, palms facing the abdomen with both feet on the floor, lowering the bar to the middle of the chest, and raising the barbell until arms are fully extended with the barbell above the chest focuses on the deltoids, triceps, and pectorals. Performing the same exercise with wrists close together strongly focuses on the inner pectorals, triceps, forearms, and front deltoids.

Performing an incline bench press with wrists slightly wider than shoulder width, lying back on an inclined bench, keeping both feet on the floor, holding the barbell (palms out) over the tops of the of the shoulders, lowering the barbell 1 to 2 inches over the top part of the chest, and pushing the barbell back to the starting position focuses on the upper pectorals, triceps, and muscles located in the rib cage. Performing the same exercise with wrists close together strongly focuses on the inner upper pectorals, triceps, front deltoids, and muscles located in the rib cage.

Performing a decline bench press with wrists slightly wider than shoulder width apart, lying on the declined bench, securing feet underneath support pads, holding the barbell with an overhand grip (palms out) above the chest, lowering the barbell 1 to 2 inches above the lower chest, and pushing the barbell back up to the starting position works the lower pectorals, and triceps. Performing the same exercise with wrists close together focuses strongly on the inner lower pectorals, triceps, forearms, and front deltoids.

Performing a pushup with the wrists shoulder width apart, palms flat on the ground, lowering the body 1 to 2 inches above ground, then pushing the body back up until arms are fully extended works the pectorals, upper back, triceps and forearms. Performing the same exercise with wrists close together focuses strongly on the triceps, the inner pectorals, shoulders, the entire upper back and the forearms.

Performing a decline pushup with wrists shoulder width apart, placing the feet on a weight bench above the ground, palms pointing forward and flat on the ground, lowering the body 1 to 2 inches above ground, and pushing the body back up until arms are fully extended focuses on the lower pectoral, upper back, forearms, and triceps. Performing the same exercise with wrists close together focuses strongly on the triceps, front deltoids, lower pectoral, rhomboids, forearms and wrists.

Performing a chin-up with the wrists shoulder width apart, palms facing outward with both hands on the bar, pulling the body up until the chin is above the bar, and slowly lowering the body until arms are straight again works the shoulders, back, biceps, and forearms. Performing the same exercise with wrists close together strongly focuses on forearms, front deltoids, trapezius, upper inner pectoral, upper back, and biceps.

Performing the same chin-up with palms facing in and wrists shoulder width apart works the biceps, shoulders, and forearms. Performing the same exercise with wrists close together strongly focuses on the biceps, forearms, front deltoids, pectoral, and rhomboid.

The present invention provides an apparatus and method for restricting arm movement in the aforementioned sports training, physical training, and physical therapy, such that a user can develop better hand-eye coordination, proper muscle memory, proper form and/or isolate particular muscle groups in strength training or physical therapy.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a partially-elevated front view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows a partially-elevated front view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 shows a top-view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 shows a partially-elevated front view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 shows a partially-elevated front view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 shows a partially-elevated front view of an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Embodiment 1

A partially-elevated front view of an embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 1, a partially elevated rear-view of the same embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 2, and a top-view of the same embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 3. Two wrist cuffs, 12a and 12b are preferably made of strips of flexible material. The wrist cuffs 12a and 12b illustrated in FIGS. 1-3 are of a fabric type with one end of each cuff ending in loops 30a and 30b and the other end extending through buckles 20a and 20b, respectively. Buckles 20a and 20b also extend through loops 30a and 30b, respectively. The external sides of the wrists cuffs 12a and 12b containing the looped ends 30a and 30b comprise a soft-side Velcro 14a and 14b, while the external sides of the non-looped ends of the wrist cuffs 12a and 12b comprise rough-side Velcro material 16a and 16b that can mate with the soft-side Velcro 14a and 14b.

Holes formed by grommets 24a and 24b extend through the loops 30a and 30b of the wrist cuffs 12a and 12b. Furthermore, inhibitor plates 26a and 26b are positioned inside the loops 30a and 30b. Each inhibitor plate 26a and 26b contains a hole (not shown). An elastic cord 22 extends between the two wrist cuffs 12a and 12b, extends through the grommets 24a and 24b, through the holes in the inhibitor plates 26a and 26b and is fixed in such position via knots 28a and 28b tied in the ends of the elastic cord 22. Many other known methods may be used for attaching the elastic cord 22 to the wrist cuffs 12a and 12b without departing from the spirit of this embodiment.

To operate this embodiment, a user extends his or her arms through the interiors 18a and 18b of the wrist cuffs 12a and 12b. Interiors 18a and 18b are preferably lined with or made from a comfortable material such that operation of the disclosed embodiment minimizes irritation to a users skin. The non-looped ends of the wrist cuffs 12a and 12b are tightened to a tight but comfortable position via the buckles 20a and 20b and pushed back against the main portion of the wrist cuff 12a and 12b such that the rough-side Velcro 16a and 16b mates with the soft-side Velcro 14a and 14b. In this manner, the wrist cuffs 12a and 12b are securely fastened in a tight, but comfortable manner around a user's wrists. Many other methods of fastening the wrists cuffs such as buckles, snaps, hooks, a ratchet-type device, and the like, may be implemented without departing from the spirit of this embodiment.

In operation, wrist cuffs 12a and 12b fit snugly around the user's wrists. Via the wrist cuffs 12a and 12b, the elastic cord 22 restricts the separation of the user's wrists such that they may not be separated more than a maximum distance. Also, the elastic nature of the elastic cord 22 provides tension when a user's wrists are separated a particular distance apart, but not yet to the maximum distance.

As an alternative, a non-elastic cord or other restrictive piece can be used instead of elastic cord 22. While, in operation, this alternative would still restrict a user's wrists to a maximum distance apart, it would not provide tension when the distance of a user's wrists were approaching a maximum distance.

Embodiment 2

A partially-elevated front view of another embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 4. Two wrist cuffs, 52a and 52b are preferably made of strips of flexible material. The wrist cuffs 52a and 52b illustrated in FIG. 4 are of a fabric type with one end of each cuff ending in loops 62a and 62b and the other end extending through buckles 60a and 60b, respectively. Buckles 60a and 60b also extend through loops 62a and 62b, respectively. The external sides of the wrists cuffs 52a and 52b containing the looped ends 62a and 62b comprise a soft-side Velcro 58a and 58b, while the external sides of the non-looped ends of the wrist cuffs 52a and 52b comprise rough-side Velcro material 56a and 56b that can mate with the soft-side Velcro 58a and 58b.

An elastic band 64 with slots 66 on either end extends between the two wrist cuffs 52a and 52b. The loops 62a and 62b of each wrist cuff 52a and 52b extend through opposite sides of the elastic band 64 through slots 66a and 66b. Many other known methods may be used for attaching the elastic band 64 to the wrist cuffs 52a and 52b without departing from the spirit of this embodiment.

To operate this embodiment, a user extends his or her arms through the interiors 54a and 54b of the wrist cuffs 52a and 52b. Interiors 54a and 54b are preferably lined with or made from a comfortable material such that operation of the disclosed embodiment minimizes irritation to a users skin. The non-looped ends of the wrist cuffs 52a and 52b are tightened to a tight but comfortable position via the buckles 60a and 60b and pushed back against the main portion of the wrist cuff 52a and 52b such that the rough-side Velcro 56a and 56b mates with the soft-side Velcro 58a and 58b. In this manner, the wrist cuffs 52a and 52b are securely fastened in a tight, but comfortable manner around a user's wrists. Many other methods of fastening the wrists cuffs such as buckles, snaps, hooks, a ratchet-type device, and the like, may be implemented without departing from the spirit of this embodiment.

In operation, wrist cuffs 52a and 52b fit snugly around the user's wrists. Via the wrist cuffs 52a and 52b, the elastic band 64 restricts the separation of the user's wrists such that they may not be separated more than a maximum distance. Also, the elastic nature of the elastic band 64 provides tension when a user's wrists are separated a particular distance apart, but not yet to the maximum distance. The elastic band 64 is of a rectangular shape such that when a user twists his or her wrists in respect to each other, the elastic band 64 provides resistance inclining a user to keep his or her wrists and hands in a close, non-twisted relationship.

As an alternative, a non-elastic band or other restrictive piece can be used instead of elastic band 64. While, in operation, this alternative would still restrict a user's wrists to a maximum distance apart, it would not provide tension when the distance of a user's wrists were approaching a maximum distance.

Embodiment 3

A partially-elevated front view of an embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 5. Two wrist cuffs, 72a and 72b are preferably made of strips of flexible material. The wrist cuffs 72a and 72b illustrated in FIG. 5 are of a fabric type with one end of each cuff ending in loops 84a and 84b and the other end extending through buckles 80a and 80b, respectively. Buckles 80a and 80b also extend through loops 84a and 84b, respectively. The external sides of the wrists cuffs 72a and 72b containing the looped ends 84a and 84b comprise a soft-side Velcro 78a and 78b, while the external sides of the non-looped ends of the wrist cuffs 72a and 72b comprise rough-side Velcro material 76a and 76b that can mate with the soft-side Velcro 78a and 78b.

Holes formed by grommets 82a and 82b extend through the loops 84a and 84b of the wrist cuffs 72a and 72b. Furthermore, an inhibitor plate (not shown) is positioned inside loop 84a. The inhibitor plate contains a hole (not shown). An elastic cord 86 extends between the two wrist cuffs 72a and 72b, and on one side, extends through the grommet 82a, through the hole in the inhibitor plate and is fixed in such position via a knots (not shown) tied in one end of the elastic cord 86. Many other known methods may be used for attaching the elastic cord 86 to the wrist cuff 72a without departing from the spirit of this embodiment. A hook 88 is attached to the opposite end of the elastic cord 86. The hook 88 is used to engage a ring 90 that encircles loop 84b through grommet 82b. Many other known methods may be used for removably attaching the elastic cord 86 to the wrist cuff 72b without departing from the spirit of this embodiment.

To operate this embodiment, a user extends his or her arms through the interiors 74a and 74b of the wrist cuffs 72a and 72b. Interiors 74a and 74b are preferably lined with or made from a comfortable material such that operation of the disclosed embodiment minimizes irritation to a users skin. The non-looped ends of the wrist cuffs 72a and 72b are tightened to a tight but comfortable position via the buckles 80a and 80b and pushed back against the main portion of the wrist cuff 72a and 72b such that the rough-side Velcro 76a and 76b mates with the soft-side Velcro 78a and 78b. In this manner, the wrist cuffs 72a and 72b are securely fastened in a tight, but comfortable manner around a user's wrists. Many other methods of fastening the wrists cuffs such as buckles, snaps, hooks, a ratchet-type device, and the like, may be implemented without departing from the spirit of this embodiment. The user then engages the elastic cord 86 via the hook 88 to the ring 90 of the wrist cuff 72b such that the elastic cord 86 is removably attached to the wrist cuff 72b.

In operation, wrist cuffs 72a and 72b fit snugly around the user's wrists. Via the wrist cuffs 72a and 72b, the elastic cord 86 restricts the separation of the user's wrists such that they may not be separated more than a maximum distance. Also, the elastic nature of the elastic cord 86 provides tension when a user's wrists are separated a particular distance apart, but not yet to the maximum distance.

As an alternative, a non-elastic cord or other restrictive piece can be used instead of elastic cord 86. While, in operation, this alternative would still restrict a user's wrists to a maximum distance apart, it would not provide tension when the distance of a user's wrists were approaching a maximum distance.

Embodiment 4

A partially-elevated front view of an embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 6. Two wrist cuffs, 92a and 92b are preferably made of strips of flexible material. The wrist cuffs 92a and 92b illustrated in FIG. 6 are of a fabric type with one end of each cuff ending in loops 104a and 104b and the other end extending through buckles 100a and 100b, respectively. Buckles 100a and 100b also extend through loops 104a and 104b, respectively. The external sides of the wrists cuffs 92a and 92b containing the looped ends 104a and 104b comprise a soft-side Velcro 98a and 98b, while the external sides of the non-looped ends of the wrist cuffs 92a and 92b comprise rough-side Velcro material 96a and 96b that can mate with the soft-side Velcro 98a and 98b.

Holes formed by grommets 102a and 102b extend through the loops 104a and 104b of the wrist cuffs 92a and 92b. An elastic cord 106 extends between the two wrist cuffs 92a and 92b and the elastic cord 106 contains hooks 108a and 108b at opposite ends. The hooks 108a and 108b are used to engage rings 110a and 110b, respectively, that encircle loops 104a and 104b through grommets 102a and 102b. Many other known methods may be used for removably attaching the elastic cord 106 to the wrist cuffs 92a and 92b without departing from the spirit of this embodiment. With this embodiment, since the elastic cord 106 is removably attached from both of the wrist cuffs 92a and 92b, a user may use an alternative elastic cord 112. This interchangeability of elastic cords allows a user to pick the optimum cord for the type of activity he or she is performing. Cords can vary via degree (or existence) of elasticity, length, width, and the like.

To operate this embodiment, a user extends his or her arms through the interiors 94a and 94b of the wrist cuffs 92a and 92b. Interiors 94a and 94b are preferably lined with or made from a comfortable material such that operation of the disclosed embodiment minimizes irritation to a users skin. The non-looped ends of the wrist cuffs 92a and 92b are tightened to a tight but comfortable position via the buckles 100a and 100b and pushed back against the main portion of the wrist cuff 92a and 92b such that the rough-side Velcro 96a and 96b mates with the soft-side Velcro 98a and 98b. In this manner, the wrist cuffs 92a and 92b are securely fastened in a tight, but comfortable manner around a user's wrists. Many other methods of fastening the wrists cuffs such as buckles, snaps, hooks, a ratchet-type device, and the like, may be implemented without departing from the spirit of this embodiment. The user then engages the elastic cord 106 (or alternative elastic cord 112) via the hooks 108a and 108b (or 114a and 114b) to the rings 10a and 10b of the wrist cuff 92b such that the elastic cord 106 (or the alternative elastic cord 112) is removably attached to the wrist cuffs 92a and 92b.

In operation, wrist cuffs 92a and 92b fit snugly around the user's wrists. Via the wrist cuffs 92a and 92b, the elastic cord 106 (or alternative elastic cord 112) restricts the separation of the user's wrists such that they may not be separated more than a maximum distance. Also, the elastic nature of the elastic cord 106 (or alternative elastic cord 112) provides tension when a user's wrists are separated a particular distance apart, but not yet to the maximum distance.

As an alternative, a non-elastic cord or other restrictive piece can be used instead of elastic cord 106. While, in operation, this alternative would still restrict a user's wrists to a maximum distance apart, it would not provide tension when the distance of a user's wrists were approaching a maximum distance.

The foregoing structures and methods taught herein are exemplary and the invention is not limited to the particular structures and methods taught herein. It is intended in the appended claims to cover all modifications that do not depart from the spirit and scope of this invention.