Title:
Neck Trainer and Method of Use
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A neck trainer for alleviating head, neck, and shoulder pain, and stretching, strengthening, and developing the core muscles of the neck includes an annular headband section configured to fit snugly on a forehead of the user, around a head of the user and above ears of the user; and an annular weight section delineated from and connected to the annular headband section, above the annular headband section. The annular weight section with the headband section is vertically spaced upwardly so that the annular weight section is disposed substantially at a top of or above the forehead of the user, increasing the moment of force provided by the annular weight section when the user moves the user's head, alleviating head, neck, and shoulder pain, and stretching, strengthening, and developing the core muscles of the neck.



Inventors:
Flavell, Scott (La Jolla, CA, US)
Carpentier, Thomas (La Jolla, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/743610
Publication Date:
11/06/2008
Filing Date:
05/02/2007
Assignee:
WHITE SKY LLC (La Jolla, CA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/124
International Classes:
A63B23/025; A63B21/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
TECCO, ANDREW M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PROCOPIO, CORY, HARGREAVES & SAVITCH LLP (525 B STREET SUITE 2200, SAN DIEGO, CA, 92101, US)
Claims:
1. A method of using a neck trainer for alleviating head, neck, and shoulder pain, and stretching, strengthening, and developing the core muscles of the neck, comprising: providing a neck trainer including an annular headband section separated from and below an annular weight section; donning the neck trainer on the user's head so that the headband section fits snugly on the user's forehead and around the user's head, above ears of the user, wherein the headband fits annularly around the user's head without covering a crown of the user's head and without covering the user's head below the user's ears; spacing the annular weight section with the headband section upwards towards the crown of the user's head so that the annular weight section is disposed substantially at a top of or above the forehead of the user without covering a crown of the user's head and without covering the user's head below the user's ears; using the neck trainer to alleviate head, neck, and shoulder pain, and strengthen and develop the core muscles of the neck.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the neck trainer is made of a neoprene and nylon material.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the neck trainer is stitched together to separate the annular headband section from the annular weight section.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the annular weight section includes carbon steel grit as a weight material.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein using the neck trainer includes performing exercises including at least one of pivoting the user's head from side to side, pivoting the user's head forward and rearward, and pivoting and rotating the user's head a circular motion.

6. A neck trainer for alleviating head, neck, and shoulder pain, and stretching, strengthening, and developing the core muscles of the neck, comprising: an annular headband section configured to fit snugly on a forehead of the user, annularly around a head of the user and above ears of the user without covering a crown of the user's head and without covering the user's head below the user's ears; an annular weight section delineated from and connected to the annular headband section, above the annular headband section, wherein the annular weight section with the headband section is vertically spaced upwardly towards the crown of the user's head so that the annular weight section is disposed substantially at a top of or above the forehead of the user without covering the crown of the user's head and without covering any of the user's head below the user's ears, increasing the moment of force provided by the annular weight section when the user moves the user's head, alleviating head, neck, and shoulder pain, and stretching, strengthening, and developing the core muscles of the neck

7. The neck trainer of claim 6, wherein the neck trainer is made of a neoprene and nylon material.

8. The neck trainer of claim 6, wherein the neck trainer is stitched together to separate the annular headband section from the annular weight section.

9. The neck trainer of claim 6, wherein the annular weight section includes carbon steel grit as a weight material.

10. The method of claim 1, wherein annular weight section includes a continuous evenly distributed weighted material throughout the annular weight section.

11. The neck trainer of claim 6, wherein annular weight section includes a continuous evenly distributed weighted material throughout the annular weight section.

12. The method of claim 1, wherein the annular weight section is narrower than the annular headband section.

13. The neck trainer of claim 6, wherein the annular weight section is narrower than the annular headband section.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to core neck muscle development and training devices.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

90% of all neck and shoulder pain is temporary and not chronic. The most common cause of this pain is related to everyday stress, poor posture, or a combination of both. The most common way to attempt to alleviate this pain is with medication. Another way to alleviate pain in this area is by strengthening and stretching the muscles in or around the head, neck, and shoulders. More specifically, the group of muscles targeted are Longissimus Capitis, Suboccipital, Emispmalis Capitis, Longissimus Cervicis and Levator Scapula. Free weights, dumbbells, and exercise/weight machines are known for building and training various muscles in the body. Despite the wide variety of exercise strengthening devices, neck muscle strengthening devices for strengthening the core muscles of the neck are not well known or widely used. The inventors have determined that a need exists for a simple neck trainer and easy to use method that alleviates head, neck, and shoulder pain, and strengthens and develops the core muscles of the neck.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, an aspect of the invention involves a neck trainer for alleviating head, neck, and shoulder pain, and strengthening and developing the core muscles of the neck. The neck trainer includes an annular headband section configured to fit snugly on a forehead of the user, around a head of the user and above ears of the user; and an annular weight section delineated from and connected to the annular headband section, above the annular headband section. The annular weight section with the headband section is vertically spaced upwardly so that the annular weight section is disposed substantially at a top of or above the forehead of the user, increasing the moment of force provided by the annular weight section when the user moves the user's head, strengthening and developing the core neck muscles of the user.

When the neck trainer is worn by the user, the neck trainer provides a slight amount of weight that is equally distributed on top of the head, creating gravitational down-force. This down-force releases the connective tissues and muscles in the back of the head, neck, shoulders and upper ribs (which swell due to everyday stress and poor posture). This release allows blood to flow more freely and unrestricted through the major arteries from the head down the spinal column to the arms. Thus, pain in those areas is reduced or eliminated. Most headaches that develop as a result of restricted blood flow to the brain due to aggravated or swollen muscles will also be alleviated.

Another aspect of the invention involves a method of using a neck trainer for stretching, strengthening, and developing the core neck muscles of a user. The method includes providing a neck trainer including an annular headband section separated from and below an annular weight section; donning the neck trainer on the user's head so that the headband section fits snugly on the user's forehead and around the user's head, above ears of the user; spacing the annular weight section with the headband section so that the annular weight section is disposed substantially at a top of or above the forehead of the user; and using the neck trainer to strengthen and develop the core neck muscles of the user.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of an embodiment of the neck trainer and illustrates the neck trainer on the head of a user.

FIG. 2 is another front elevational view of the neck trainer of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of the neck trainer of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a rear elevational view of the neck trainer of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a right side elevational view of the neck trainer of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of the neck trainer of FIG. 1.

FIG. 7 is a top plan view of the neck trainer of FIG. 1.

FIG. 8 is a left side elevational view of the neck trainer of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference to FIGS. 1-8, an embodiment of a neck trainer 100 will be described. The neck trainer 100 is made of a combination nylon and neoprene flexible material that is stitched together to form upper annular weight section 110 and lower annular headband section 120. The combination nylon and neoprene flexible material includes an inner layer of nylon material, an outer layer of nylon material, and an intermediate neoprene layer of material between the inner and outer nylon layers of material.

The upper annular weight section 110 carries a fine carbon steel grit. Carbon steel grit is desirable because of its similarity in density to lead, but is much safer than lead. The granular size of carbon steel grit is well suited in the tubular portion of the upper annular weight section 110, creating greater comfort for the user. A high concentration or density of grit particles are carried in the upper annular weight section 110. The upper annual weight section 110 forms an uninterrupted annular weight with a substantially uniform cross section. In the embodiment shown, the neck trainer 100 includes a width W of about 3 in. (width of upper annual weight section 110 is about 1.0 in. and width of the lower annular headband section 120 is about 2.0 in.). In alternative embodiments, the width of the upper annual weight section 110 ranges from 0.75 in. to 1.5 in. and the width of the lower annular headband section 120 ranges from 1.5 in. to 2.5 in. Thus, in such alternative embodiments, the width W of the neck trainer 100 ranges from 2.25 in. to 4.0 in. The combination of elastic material and the sleeve-like design allow users of every head size to utilize one size neck trainer 100 (i.e., one size fits all).

In the embodiment of the neck trainer 100 shown, the upper annular weight section 110 includes 1 lb. of carbon steel grit. In alternative embodiments, neck trainer(s) comes in different weights (e.g., 0.5 lb, 0.75 lb, 1.0 lb., 1.25 lb, 1.5 lb, 1.75 lb, 2.0 lb, etc.).

The lower annular headband section 120 is connected to the upper annular weight section 110 by the nylon/neoprene flexible material and annular stitching 130. In the embodiment shown, the annular stitching 130 delineates the lower annular headband section 120 from the upper annular weight section 110. On an outer surface of the neck trainer 100, the neck trainer 100 includes an annular indent in the area of the annular stitching 130. In alternative embodiments, the lower annular headband section 120 is connected to (and delineated from) the upper annular weight section 110 by other connection means such as, but not by limitation, an adhesive. Further, in another embodiment, the lower annular headband section 120 and the upper annular weight section 110 include completely separate constructions/members, which are made of the same material (e.g., neoprene/nylon) or different materials, and are joined together by stitching, adhesive, or other connection means.

The headband section 120 is a continuous annular sleeve that fits over forehead F and around head H, above ears E, of user U. The neoprene material of the headband section 120 has a flexibility and slight elasticity that enables the neck trainer 100 to be secured to the patient's head H, while accommodating different-sized heads. Not only does the headband section 120 secure the upper annular weight section 110 to the user's head H so that the neck trainer 100 does not fall off the user's head H, the headband section 120 also serves as a vertical spacer that spaces the upper annular weight section 110 a distance D upwardly, higher on the user's head H (compared to head weight devices in the past that rested lower on the user's head H). The headband section 120 causes the upper annular weight section 110 to be located on/around a user's head H, substantially at or above a top of a user's forehead F. Spacing the upper annular weight section 110 higher on the user's head H increases the moment of force (compared to other head weight devices in the past) when the user U pivots one's head H from side to side, pivots one's head H forward/rearward, and/or pivots/rotates one's head H in a circular motion. This increases the workout on the core muscles of the user's neck, alleviating head, neck, and shoulder pain, and stretching, strengthening, and developing the core muscles of the neck.

In alternative embodiments, the neck trainer 100 includes alternative constructions. For example, in alternative embodiments, the neck trainer includes a hat, baseball cap, and/or cap configuration where a headband section keeps the neck trainer above the user's ears E on the user's head H, and a cap or top section covers a top T of the user's head H. In one or more implementations of these alternative embodiments, the cap or top section, which resides substantially at the top of or above the forehead F, includes the upper annular weight section 110.

The neck trainer 100 will now be described in use. The neck trainer 100 is placed on a user's head H. Then, the annular headband section 120 is pulled downwardly around the user's head H so that the elasticity in the annular headband section snugly fits onto the user's head H, over the forehead F and around the user's head, above the user's ears E. The headband section 120 vertically spaces the upper annular weight section 110 a distance D upwardly, higher on the user's head H (compared to other head weight devices in the past that rested lower on the user's head H). In this position, the upper annular weight section 110 is located on/around a user's head H, substantially at or above a top of the user's forehead F.

With the neck trainer 100 donned on the user's head H, with the upper annular weight section 110 located substantially at or above a top of the user's forehead F, the user U undergoes normal everyday activity where some movement of the head H and neck occurs. This normal everyday activity, the increased weight of the neck trainer 100 and the increased moment of force of the upper annular weight section 110, alleviates head, neck, and shoulder pain, and strengthens and develops the core muscles of the neck. To increase effectiveness of the neck trainer 100, a user rotates one's head H with the neck trainer 100 thereon gently front to back and side to side after wearing the neck trainer for at least 10 minutes.

When the neck trainer is worn by the user, the neck trainer provides a slight amount of weight that is equally distributed on top of the head, creating gravitational down-force. This down-force releases the connective tissues and muscles in the back of the head, neck, shoulders and upper ribs (which swell due to everyday stress and poor posture). This release allows blood to flow more freely and unrestricted through the major arteries from the head down the spinal column to the arms. Thus, pain in those areas is reduced or eliminated. Most headaches that stem from lack of blood to the brain are also eliminated.

In another implementation of the above method, the user U performs one or more exercises with the neck trainer 100 donned where the user U pivots one's head H from side to side, pivots one's head H forward/rearward, and/or pivots/rotates one's head H in a circular motion.

Thus the neck trainer 100 is a convenient, easy, simple device and method for alleviating head, neck, and shoulder pain, and stretching, strengthening, and developing the core muscles of the neck.

While the particular devices and methods herein shown and described in detail are fully capable of attaining the above described objects of this invention, it is to be understood that the description and drawings presented herein represent presently preferred embodiments of the invention and are therefore representative of the subject matter which is broadly contemplated by the present invention. It is further understood that the scope of the present invention fully encompasses other embodiments that may become obvious to those skilled in the art having the benefit of this disclosure and that the scope of the present invention is accordingly limited by nothing other than the appended claims.