Title:
Swim Training Device and Method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The swim training device includes a pole for use in compression between a belt worn on the waist of the swimming user and a floating base.



Inventors:
Lessard, Michel (Beauceville, CA)
Application Number:
12/475870
Publication Date:
12/03/2009
Filing Date:
06/01/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B31/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, TAM M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GrayRobinson, P.A. (ATTN: STEFAN V. STEIN/ IP DEPT. 401 E. Jackson Street, Suite 2700 (33602) Post Office Box 3324, TAMPA, FL, 33601-3324, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A swim training device for use by a swimming user, the swim training device comprising a floating base, a pushing member to be worn on a waist of the swimming user, and a pole having a first end opposite a second end, for use between the pushing member and the floating base, the second end being receivable in the pushing member on the waist of the swimming user, and the first end being receivable in the floating base, whereby, during use of the swim training device, the swimming user exerts a pushing force on the pole via the pushing member, the pushing force is transmitted to the floating base via the pole, and the floating base is maintained in position by a longitudinal counteracting force opposite the pushing force.

2. The swim training device of claim 1 wherein the pole has a central section between the first end and the second end, the central section being offset from an imaginary axis extending between the first end and the second end to be out from interference with the swimming user during use.

3. The swim training device of claim 1 wherein the floating base has a pushing force gauge to generate a pushing force signal indicative of a magnitude of the pushing force.

4. The swim training device of claim 3 wherein the floating base slidingly receives the first end of the pole.

5. The swim training device of claim 4 wherein the pushing force gauge has a pressure gauge positioned to receive the pushing force from the slidingly received first end of the pole.

6. The swim training device of claim 3 further comprising a timer to generate a time signal.

7. The swim training device of claim 6 further comprising a controller to generate a cumulative distance signal based on the pushing force signal and on the time signal.

8. The swim training device of claim 3 further comprising a visual indicator configured and adapted to indicate at least a value based on the pushing force signal.

9. The swim training device of claim 1 wherein a resilient member is provided between the slidingly received first end of the pole and the floating base

10. The swim training device of claim 1 wherein the pole has a density operatively equal to the density of water.

11. The swim training device of claim 1 wherein the pushing member comprises a receiving member configured and oriented for catching the second end of the pole in one direction, and being released therefrom when moved in the opposite direction,

12. The swim training device of claim 11 wherein the receiving member is mounted on a garment wearable by the user.

13. The swim training device of claim 1 wherein the floating base has two axially coinciding transversally-oriented bores, one in each opposite side thereof, in combination with at least one rod configured and sized for insertability into the transversally-oriented bores.

14. The swim training device of claim 13 in combination with a cord having a V-shaped section having two ends each attachable to an end of a respective one of the rods when inserted in the corresponding bore, and a third end connected between the two ends, securable to an anchorage point behind the swimming user.

15. The swim training device of claim 1 wherein the pole is removable from both the floating base and the belt.

16. The swim training device of claim 1 wherein the central section is straight and parallel to the imaginary axis.

17. A swim training device comprising an elongated pole having a floating base at one end and being receivable at the waist of a user at an other end.

18. The swim training device of claim 17 wherein the pole has a central section between the first end and the second end which is offset from an imaginary axis extending between the first end and the second end to be out from interference with the user during use.

19. The swim training device of claim 17, further comprising a pushing member wearable on a waist of the swimming user and adapted for receiving the second end.

20. A method of training a swimmer, the method comprising: providing an elongated pole having a first end and a second end, opposite the first end; the swimmer exerting a longitudinal pushing force on the second end of the pole during stationary swimming; and exerting a longitudinal counteracting force on the first end of the pole, equal in magnitude but opposite to the pushing force, thereby maintaining the swimmer stationary.

Description:

PRIORITY CLAIM

This application claims priority of U.S. provisional application No. 61/057,962, filed Jun. 2, 2008, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND

Many different swim training devices have been presented over the last decades. Although known swim training devices have been satisfactory to a certain degree, there remains room for improvement.

SUMMARY

In accordance with one aspect, there is provided swim training device including a pole for use in compression between the swimming user and a floating base positionable at a substantially fixed position on a body of water. As the user swims, the user exerts a pushing force on the pole, which is counteracted upon by the floating base which is maintained in a fixed position. The user can thereby swim while remaining within a substantially limited space, while remaining substantially unhindered by the swim training device.

In accordance with another aspect, there is provided A swim training device for use by a swimming user, the swim training device comprising a floating base, a pushing member to be worn on a waist of the swimming user, and a pole having a first end opposite a second end, for use between the pushing member and the floating base, the second end being receivable in the pushing member on the waist of the swimming user, and the first end being receivable in the floating base, whereby, during use of the swim training device, the swimming user exerts a pushing force on the pole via the pushing member, the pushing force is transmitted to the floating base via the pole, and the floating base is maintained in position by a longitudinal counteracting force opposite the pushing force.

In accordance with another aspect, there is provided a swim training device for use by a swimming user, the swim training device comprising a floating base and a pole having a first end connectable to the floating base and a second end, opposite the first end, the second end being receivable on a waist of the user.

In accordance with another aspect, there is provided a swim training device comprising an elongated pole having a floating base at one end and being receivable on a waist of the user at an other end.

In accordance with another aspect, there is provided a method of training a swimmer, the method comprising: providing an elongated pole having a first end and a second end, opposite the first end; the swimmer exerting a longitudinal pushing force on the second end of the pole during stationary swimming, and exerting a longitudinal counteracting force on the first end of the pole, equal in magnitude but opposite to the pushing force, thereby maintaining the swimmer stationary.

DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

In the appended figures,

FIG. 1 is a side view showing an example of a swim training device in use in a pool;

FIG. 2 shows a pushing member of the swim training device of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side view showing the pole of the swim training device of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the pole of FIG. 3;

FIGS. 5A, 5B, and 5C are side, front and top views of a floating base of the swim training device of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a top view showing the swim training device of FIG. 1 in use in a lake;

FIGS. 7A, 7B, 7C and 7D are views of an alternate embodiment to the floating base of the swim training device of FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is a bloc diagram showing components of the floating base.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 shows an example of a swim training device 10. In FIG. 1, the swim training device 10 is shown in use in a pool 12 by a swimming user 14. The swimming user 14 exerts a pushing force 18 against the swim training device 10. The swim training device 10 abuts against a wall 20 of the pool 12 which, in turn, exerts a counteractive force 22. The counteractive force 22 is equal in magnitude but opposite the pushing force 18. The counteractive force 22 thereby maintains the swim training device 10 and the swimming user 14 are substantially maintained stationary in position. Henceforth, during use, the swimming user does not advance and can thus simulate long-distance swimming in a relatively small area.

The swim training device 10 generally comprises a pushing member 24 which is worn on the waist of the user 14, an elongated pole 26, and a floating base 28. The elongated pole 26 has a first end 30 connected to the floating base 28, a second end 32 opposite the first end 30 and received in the pushing member 24 on the user's waist, and a central portion 34. An imaginary axis 36 extends between the first end 30 and the second end 32 of the pole 26, and the central section 34 is offset from the axis 36, thereby being maintained out from interference with the swimming movements of the swimming user 14. In this example, the central section 34 is straight and parallel to the axis 36. The offset distance 35 is selected to be sufficient to allow relatively unhindered movement of the swimming user while also allowing use of the device 10 in relatively shallow water.

Turning to FIG. 2, the pushing member 24 configured to be worn on the waist of the user 14 is shown in greater detail. In this example, the pushing member 24 includes a belt 38 for attachment to the waist of the user, and a pocket 40 which is oriented towards the torso of the user and which is configured to receive the second end 32 of the pole 26 during use. For illustrative purposes, in this embodiment, both the belt 38 and the pocket 40 are made of neoprene. In alternate embodiments, a rigid or semi-rigid receptacle can be used instead of a pocket 40, for example. In this embodiment, the pushing member 24 is configured for receiving the second end 32 of the pole 26 when moved thereon in the pushing orientation, and allows transmission of a compressive pushing force 18 (FIG. 1) to the pole 26, but can be easily released from the second end 32 of the pole 26 when moved in the opposite direction, thereby providing a sensation of freedom and liberty of movement to the user 14.

In this particular embodiment, and for illustrative purposes only, the pole 26 measures about 6 feet, and the first and second ends 30, 32 are sloped at the same angle relative to the center portion by about 8° which allows the center portion 34 of the pole 26 to be inclined at about 8° in use and thereby transition between the depth of the waist of an average user during normal use and the level of the floating base 28, while allowing the user 14 to exert the pushing force 18, which is exerted substantially horizontally, in a substantially horizontal manner, and the first end 30 of the pole 26 to transmit the pushing force 18 to the floating base 28 also in a substantially horizontal manner. In alternate embodiment, this angle can vary depending on the length of the pole, on the expected depth of the first end of the pole during normal use and on the expected level of the second end of the pole during normal use.

The pole 26 is shown in greater detail in FIG. 3. In this example, the second end 32 can be fitted with a plastic knob 32 to prevent damage to the neoprene pocket 40 when received in the pushing member 24 on the waist of the user 14. The pole 26 can be made of two or more separable portions (42, 44, 45), which helps in stowing the swim training device 10 when not in use. The separable portions 43, 44, 45 can be connectable in any suitable manner, such as by using male/female joints. FIG. 4 illustrates an example of a joint 47 between separable portions. In this example, the pole 26 is hollow, and the joints are made substantially water resistant. Henceforth, the air trapped within the pole at least partially compensates for the weight of the pole and the pole can thus have an overall density close to or operatively equal to the density of water. This helps in giving a feeling of freedom and unhinderance to the user during swimming because a significantly buoyant pole or significantly sinking pole may exert an undesired force on the user and/or floating base. Nonetheless, a buoyant or slightly sinking pole may be appropriate in certain embodiments. The first portion 42 of the pole bears the first end 30.

Turning to FIGS. 5A to 5C, the floating base 28 is shown in greater detail. In this embodiment, the floating base 28 has a female tube 60 which acts as a slide and slidingly receives the first end 30 of the pole. A pushing force gauge provided in the form of a pressure gauge (not visible) in this embodiment, is provided in the end of the female tube 60 and can sense pressure applied thereon by the pole, from the pushing force exerted by the user, and is connected to a visual indicator 68 to indicate the value to the user. A resilient member 62, more specifically a compression spring in this case, is provided between the first end of the pole and the pressure gauge. This is optional but contributes to provide more comfort to the user and can help in obtaining a more stable reading on the pushing force gauge. In this embodiment, the floating base 28 also has a transversal tube 71 with two opposite ends, on each one of which a corresponding floater 73 is mounted. This configuration contributes in providing a relatively stable base for using the device. Further, in this embodiment, each one of the ends of the transversal tube 71 has a corresponding bore 80, 82, and reinforcing rods 77, 79 are used.

Turning to FIG. 8, the swim training device 10 is shown used in the wilderness with an adapter 85 including two rods 86, 88 and a Y-shaped cord 90. The left side rod 86 can be inserted into the left side bore 80, and the right side rod 88 can be inserted into the right side bore 82 of the floating base 28, and so all the components can be provided as parts of a kit. The Y-shaped cord 90, having a “V” shaped section 92, can be attached to the ends of the two rods 86, 88 which extend from the bores 80, 82. The tail 94 of the Y-shaped cord 90, having the third end 95, can be anchored. In this manner, the swim training device 10 can be used in a wilderness body of water such as a lake 96, with the anchorage point on the shore 98.

It will be understood that using the swim training device 10 shown in the drawings, the swimming user can execute various types of swimming. For example, for swimming on the back, the pushing member can be turned and placed on the back of the user. For indicative purposes, in the illustrated embodiment, the swim training device can allow continuous swimming of a user in an area having only about twelve (12) feet in length. The adapter, including the “Y” shaped cord and the rods give even more flexibility to the swim training device, allowing its use in practically any body of water.

Turning now to FIGS. 7A to 7D, another embodiment of a floating base is shown. In this example, a female mount 152 (FIG. 7D) is provided to receive a male member at the first end 30 of the pole 26. The female mount 152 is pivotally connected to a sliding member 154. The pivotal connection 156 has a transversally oriented pivot axis 158 (which is through-plane with respect to the view of FIG. 7D), and allows pivoting of the pole 26 about the pivot axis 158 relative to the sliding member 154. As will be described further below, the sliding member 154 is arranged for sliding longitudinally within the floating base 28, and the pole 26 can thus be said to be pivotable relative to the floating base 28 about the pivot axis 158.

Shown more particularly in FIG. 7C, the floating base 128 can be said to have a floating body 159 having a longitudinally oriented slide 160 shaped and configured for slidingly receiving the sliding member 154. A resilient member 162, such as a compression spring, for example, can be used in the floating body 59, at the end of the slide 60, to resiliently receive the sliding member 54. A compression spring typically exerts a reactive force which is substantially proportional to the amount of compression, or length reduction, it has received. Henceforth, the pushing force 18 exerted by the user 14 on the sliding member 154 in the slide 160 via the pole 26 can be calculated, or approximated, by determining the amount of compression of the spring. A pushing force gage can be used to this end. In this example, a sliding piston is provided between the resilient member 162 and the sliding member 154, in the end of the slide 160, and the pushing force gage 164 has a rheostat connected to the piston. In this example, an indicator 168 is mounted on a transversally extending indicator slide 169 formed in the floating body 159 of the floating base 28. The indicator 168 is connected to the pushing force gauge 164. Further, in this example, a transversally extending left side bore 180 is provided in the rear of the floating body 159, near an abutment edge 181 thereof, and a right side bore 182 is provided in the right side of the floating body 159, the right side bore 182 and the left side bore 180 being along a common bore axis 184 in this example. To provide in a kit for using the device on a lake or the like, two extension rods can be inserted in the corresponding bores 180, 182, or alternately, a single extension rod can be inserted through and extend equally out both bores 180, 182, for example.

For illustrative purposes, in the example shown in FIG. 7A to 7D, the floating body measures about thirty (30) centimetres in depth by about sixty (60) centimetres in width and has a thickness of about six (6) centimetres. It can be made of hollowed-out plastic, or in any another suitable floating material. It can alternately conveniently be provided in the form of a floating suitcase of dimensions which can house all the components of the kit.

As shown in FIG. 8, the pushing force gauge 164 can generate a pushing force signal 170 indicative of a magnitude of the pushing force 18. The pushing force signal 170 can be transmitted to an indicator 168 for indication to a user. Further, because the magnitude of the pushing force 18 is at least somewhat proportional to the speed the swimming user would achieve without the training device 10, the pushing force signal 170 emitted by the pushing force gauge 164 can be converted into a swimming speed indication which can be indicated on the indicator 168. The indicator 168 can also receive a time signal 172 from a timer 174 to show to the user for how long swimming activity has taken place. Further, a controller 176 can be used in combination with the timer 174 and the pushing force gauge 164, to calculate a cumulative distance based on the pushing force signal 170 and the time signal 172, and generate a cumulative distance signal 178 sent to the indicator 168. The indicator 168 illustrated in the example is a visual indicator, though it will be understood that an audible indicator can be used as well, in combination with the visual indicator or alone. In some embodiments, a user interface can be provided to interact with the controller.

In alternate embodiments, the gage and indicator are optional. The length and the shape of the pole can be adapted for specific needs, though it may be preferable in some embodiments to maintain a shape and configuration in which the pole is kept at least substantially out from reach of the swimming movements of the arms of the user. Various alternate embodiments to the pushing member can be provided, for example, the pushing member can be provided in the form of a garment, or as a fabric band to be attached to a garment such as a swimming suit or belt, for example. Various additional functions to the ones described above can be incorporated to the floating base. Also, instead of having two transversal bores and two rods, a single bore traversing the floating base and a single rod can be used. Another resilient member than a spring can be used. Various other modifications and variants to the embodiments described and illustrated herein are possible, in view of alternate applications.

The scope is thus indicated by the appended claims