Title:
PHYSICAL TRAINING SYSTEM AND DEVICE AND METHODS OF USE THEREOF
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A physical training system wherein power yoga asanas are executed on the resilient mat of a mini-trampoline rebounder, thereby increasing flexibility and balance via incorporation of a challenging and unstable foundational surface, and wherein posture intensity is selectively increased by utilization of on-board resistance cords, either for holding in an isometric contraction, or by performing repetitions.



Inventors:
Thompson, Jaimyn (Atlanta, GA, US)
Application Number:
12/527531
Publication Date:
04/01/2010
Filing Date:
02/15/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/26
International Classes:
A63B5/11
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060100071Golf swing training and exercise methodMay, 2006Elmhirst
20070161479Knee-stretching Device and Treatment MethodsJuly, 2007Harris
20070281831Treadmill having vibration damping function for its handlebarsDecember, 2007Wang
20060094569Exercise machine and method for use in training selected muscle groupsMay, 2006Day
20060276309UNIT OF A FLECTION EXERCISERDecember, 2006Ko
20060240946Communication system using bone conduction speakerOctober, 2006Wakabayashi
20100035731Treadmill Belt With Layer of Thermoplastic Foamed MaterialFebruary, 2010Rohr et al.
20090036274Multi-function excercise machine suitable for home useFebruary, 2009Greene et al.
20050192166Weightlifting system for doing arm curlsSeptember, 2005Shifferaw
20020115538PunchbagAugust, 2002Wen
20090111658LOADING APPARATUS FOR EXERCISE MACHINEApril, 2009Juan



Primary Examiner:
BIDDER, ALLANA LEWIN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BakerHostetler (Cira Centre, 12th Floor 2929 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104-2891, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A physical training device, comprising: a rebounder platform, and a plurality of resistance members, said plurality of resistance members carried by said rebounder platform.

2. The physical training device of claim 1, wherein said rebounder platform further comprises a plurality of ports defined about a perimeter of said platform, and wherein said plurality of resistance members are secured to said rebounder platform proximate said ports.

3. A physical training system, comprising: an elongated mini-trampoline; and a plurality of stretchable cords adapted for removable attachment to said elongated mini-trampoline, wherein at least some of said plurality of stretchable cords have different coefficients of elasticity from one another, wherein a mat surface of said mini-trampoline functions as a generally unstable foundation surface, and wherein said plurality of stretchable cords function as resistance trainers for said physical training system.

4. The physical training system of claim 3, wherein said elongated mini-trampoline is rectangular, further comprising a frame and a plurality of springs.

5. The physical training system of claim 3, wherein said mat surface is comprised of fabric with little or no elasticity.

6. The physical training system of claim 3, wherein said mini-trampoline further comprises a surface treatment to impart non-slip characteristics.

7. The physical training system of claim 3, wherein said mat surface further comprises a surface treatment to impart non-slip characteristics.

8. The physical training system of claim 4, wherein said frame is steel and further comprises a peripheral edge and a plurality of support legs, wherein said plurality of stretchable cords are attached proximate said peripheral edge of said frame.

9. The physical training system of claim 4, wherein a protective covering is installed proximate an upper surface of said plurality of springs.

10. The physical training system of claim 3, wherein said plurality of stretchable cords have different colorations from one another according to said different coefficients of elasticity.

11. The physical training system of claim 3, wherein said plurality of stretchable cords are each generally tubular-shaped and further comprise a handle at a distal end thereof.

12. The physical training device of claim 1, wherein said plurality of resistance members are a plurality of bands, and wherein each said band is a generally flat, continuously circular resilient member.

13. The physical training device of claim 1, wherein said rebounder platform is figure-eight shaped.

14. The physical training device of claim 1, wherein said rebounder platform is oval shaped.

15. The physical training device of claim 1, wherein said plurality of resistance members are permanently fastened to said rebounder platform.

16. The physical training device of claim 1, wherein said plurality of resistance members are selected from the group consisting of bands, cords, pulley arrangements, or weighted members.

17. The physical training device of claim 1, wherein said rebounder platform further comprises one or more accessory features selected from the group consisting of a countdown timer, a clock, a speaker, a sound generator, or an aroma dispenser.

18. The physical training device of claim 1, wherein said rebounder platform is foldably portable.

19. The physical training system of claim 3, wherein said elongated mini-trampoline further comprises a frame and fiberglass rods.

20. A method of physical training, comprising the steps of: a) obtaining a rebounder platform; b) stepping onto said rebounder platform; and c) adjusting body position to define an asana while balancing on said rebounder platform.

21. The method of claim 20, wherein said rebounder platform further comprises resistance training members, and further comprising the steps of grasping said resistance training members, and pulling said resistance training members to impact a muscle group coincident with said asana.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

To the full extent permitted by law, the present Patent Cooperation Treaty Application claims priority to and the benefit of United States Provisional Patent Application entitled “Physical Training System and Device and Methods of Use Thereof,” having Ser. No. 60/901,856, filed on Feb. 16, 2007, on behalf of inventor Jaimyn Thompson, and further claims priority to and the benefit of United States Provisional Patent Application entitled “Physical Training System and Device and Methods of Use Thereof,” having Ser. No. 60/905,130, filed on Mar. 6, 2007, and also on behalf of inventor Jaimyn Thompson.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to physical training devices, and more particularly, to a physical training system and method thereof, wherein a holistic approach to mind/body fitness utilizes ancient yoga discipline and contemporary fitness technology, and wherein a plurality of mental and physical skills can be concurrently emphasized via a fusion of power yoga with a mini-trampoline rebounder system and stretch cords. The device of the present invention is particularly suited for, although not limited to, uses incorporating physical training techniques such as power yoga, core stability, flexibility training, cardiovascular training, resistance training, and mind/body awareness training for progressive strengthening, toning and lengthening of muscles to achieve a defined look, and for increasing strength, balance, speed, agility, endurance and concentration.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Yoga's focus on balance, coordination, strength and flexibility is achieved, in simple form, via specific body movements, and combinations thereof, designed to beneficially influence the mind, spirit, and body. Mental concentration on breathing and muscle movements during steady poses, or asanas, enables well-rounded development.

For example, one beneficial component of yoga is stretching, whereby strength and flexibility are enhanced, muscle tension is decreased, and anxiety and stress are reduced. Another beneficial component of yoga, as a holistic form of exercise, is meditation, bringing increased self-awareness, wherein benefits extend beyond the physical and into mental and emotional realms. It is therefore well accepted that long-term health and wellbeing can be realized from the practice of yoga.

The basic practice of yoga incorporates three main aspects: asanas, or poses, pranayama, or breathing, and meditation. The poses facilitate flexibility and strengthen muscles, improving circulation and organ function, and are performed in coordination with inhalation, exhalation and holding of breath, training the mind to achieve a centered and relaxed calmness. Yoga practice brings rejuvenation by strengthening muscle, enhancing breathing, increasing flexibility, and improving balance.

Yoga poses or postures are traditionally defined from the foundation up, wherein the foundation is the body part touching the floor, such as standing balancing poses, hands and knees, headstand, and the like. Pose stability, specifically held for a targeted elapsed period time, is important, with proper feet placements varying according to targeted purpose and elected difficulty. Thus, variation in foundation placement and introduction of some measure of instability to the support surface could be utilized in order to vary the dynamic intensity of a yoga workout.

Unlike yoga, resistance training focuses primarily on physical development. Resistive training devices, such as bands or cords essentially simulate the effects of weight training by allowing muscles to be isolated and conditioned; however, the variable elastic potential of resistance bands enables total user control over the resistance applied. With resistance cords, a variety of spring constants are available, wherein user selection of cords with greater resistance follows advancement in resistive training abilities, thereby enabling users to continue to effectively stimulate muscle groups via increased resistance.

Elastic potential and elastic kinetic energy forces generated by stretching a resistive cord or band and holding it in position are essentially transferred to the user's muscles. Weight training conversely relies on gravitational potential energy. Thus, isometric training with a resistance cord or band effectively conditions and trains muscles via accelerating, isolating, strengthening, and quickening specific muscle groups.

Unfortunately, no available system enables the combined realization of the benefits of yoga and resistance cord or band training. Therefore, it is readily apparent that there is a need for a physical training system and device and method of use thereof, wherein yoga techniques may be enhanced via introduction of challenging foundation placement, and wherein muscle groups may be resistively targeted.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly described, in a preferred embodiment, the present invention overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages and meets the recognized need for such a device and system by providing a physical training system and device, and methods of use thereof, wherein a holistic approach to mind/body fitness combines ancient yoga discipline with contemporary fitness technology, and wherein a plurality of mental and physical skills can be concurrently emphasized via the fusion of power yoga with a mini-trampoline rebounder system and incorporated stretch cords.

According to its major aspects and broadly stated, in its preferred form, the present invention is a physical training system, wherein power yoga asanas are executed on the resilient mat of a mini-trampoline rebounder, thereby increasing flexibility and balance via incorporation of a more challenging and/or unstable foundation surface, and wherein the posture intensity is selectively increased by utilization of on-board resistance cords, either for holding in an isometric contraction, or by performing repetitions.

More specifically, the device of the present invention in its preferred form is an elongated, oval-shaped mini-trampoline rebounder with a springedly-supported mat surface dimensioned to accommodate a plurality of yoga poses. The peripheral edge of the rebounder, proximate the plurality of springs, is preferably adapted for quick, secure and releasable engagement of resistance training bands or cords, wherein strategic placement of cord installation ports offers an appropriate base site for application of resistive forces to targeted muscle groups during selected postures or repeated motions.

The system and device of the present invention, and the methods of use thereof, also preferably includes a plurality of resistance bands or cords having variable coefficients of elasticity. Band or cord interchangeability facilitates easy and selective adjustment of resistive forces, as desired or necessary for maximizing beneficial muscular realizations during execution, and for achieving beneficial muscular exercise development during practice.

The preferred methodology of the present invention, wherein asanas are maintained on a variable and responsive surface, enables the user to improve core stability, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and tone, muscle length and definition, balance, agility, endurance and concentration.

A feature and advantage of the present invention is the ability of such a system and device, and method of use thereof, to deliver user-selected resistive force to targeted muscle groups.

Another feature and advantage of the present invention is the ability of such a system and device, and method of use thereof, to enable selection and delivery of a plurality of intensity levels, according to the preference of the user.

Another feature and advantage of the present invention is the ability of such a system and device, and method of use thereof, to enable resistance training without requiring complicated resistance mechanisms.

Another feature and advantage of the present invention is the ability of such a system and device, and method of use thereof, to increase the number of calories burned during a workout, relative to a typical power yoga or mini-trampoline workout.

Yet another feature and advantage of the present invention is the ability of such a system and device, and method of use thereof, to accommodate use by virtually any individual of essentially any skill level for a variety of training activities.

Still yet another feature and advantage of the present invention is the ability of such a system and device, and method of use thereof, to facilitate the fusion of power yoga, core stability, cardiovascular and resistance training to progressively strengthen, tone and lengthen muscles.

Still another feature and advantage of the present invention is the ability of such a system and device, and method of use thereof, to provide a fun, innovative and challenging workout that incorporates meditative yoga postures.

Yet another feature and advantage of the present invention is the ability of such a system and device, and method of use thereof, to facilitate the incorporation of many facets of fitness via a holistic training approach.

Yet still another feature and advantage of the present invention is the ability of such a system and device, and method of use thereof, to be safe and versatile, and to be effectively used by a broad spectrum of users.

Still another feature and advantage of the present invention is the ability of such a system and device, and method of use thereof, to facilitate the performance of a revolutionary whole-body workout known as POWER TRAMPOLOGA.

These and other features and advantages of the invention will become more apparent to one skilled in the art from the following description and claims when read in light of the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be better understood by reading the Detailed Description of the Preferred and Alternate Embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawing figures, in which like reference numerals denote similar structure and refer to like elements throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 is an overhead perspective view of a rebounder platform according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, showing a plurality of resistance bands in an installed position;

FIG. 2 is a front, perspective view of the rebounder platform of FIG. 1, showing a resistance cord in an installed position and showing a user in an exemplary posture and stretching the installed resistance cord;

FIG. 3 is a front, perspective view of the rebounder platform of FIG. 1, showing a plurality of resistance cords in an installed position and showing a user in an exemplary posture and stretching the installed resistance cords;

FIG. 4 is a corner, perspective view of the rebounder platform of FIG. 1, showing a plurality of resistance cords in an installed position and showing a user in an exemplary posture and stretching the installed resistance cords;

FIG. 5 is a front, perspective view of the rebounder platform of FIG. 1, showing a resistance cord in an installed position and showing a user in an exemplary posture and stretching the installed resistance cord;

FIG. 6 is a corner, perspective view of the rebounder platform of FIG. 1, showing a user in an exemplary posture with no resistance cords;

FIG. 5 is an overhead view of a rebounder platform according to one alternate embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a plurality of rebounder platforms according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, showing a plurality of users participating in a POWER TRAMPOLOGA workout.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED AND ALTERNATE EMBODIMENTS

To the full extent permitted by law, the present Patent Cooperation Treaty Application claims priority to and the benefit of United States Provisional Patent Application entitled “Physical Training System and Device and Methods of Use Thereof,” having Ser. No. 60/901,856, filed on Feb. 16, 2007, on behalf of inventor Jaimyn Thompson, and further claims priority to and the benefit of United States Provisional Patent

Application entitled “Physical Training System and Device and Methods of Use Thereof,” having Ser. No. 60/905,130, filed on Mar. 6, 2007, and also on behalf of inventor Jaimyn Thompson.

In describing the preferred and alternate embodiments of the present invention, as illustrated in the figures and/or described herein, specific terminology is employed for the sake of clarity. The invention, however, is not intended to be limited to the specific terminology so selected, and it is to be understood that each specific element includes all technical equivalents that operate in a similar manner to accomplish similar functions.

Referring now to FIG. 1, the present invention in the preferred embodiment is physical training system 10 and method thereof, comprising rebounder platform 100 and resistive members 500. In the preferred embodiment, rebounder platform 100 is generally rectangular-shaped, preferably defined by supportive mat surface 110, frame 120, and plurality of springs 130.

Preferably, supportive mat surface 110 is fabric characterized by minimal stretch, wherein forces imparted thereto during use are preferably transferred and absorbed via plurality of springs 130. Therefore, although supportive mat surface 110 may be formed from any material capable of performing as a jump surface, or unstable foundation surface according to the preferred use of the present invention, polypropylene and canvas are preferred. Also, it is preferred that supportive mat surface 110 have a non-slip/non-skid surface treatment in order to prevent a user from slipping during movements, and/or in order to prevent skin burn if unintentional contact with surface 110 occurs. It should be understood that the non-slip/non-skid feature could be imparted to the entire rebounder platform 100, or to any sub-area thereof, as would be desirable for use.

Preferably, frame 120 is steel; however, one skilled in the art should readily recognize that frame 120 could be formed from any suitably supportive construction materials. Frame 120, in its preferred configuration, defines peripheral edge 122 and plurality of support legs 124. Preferably, plurality of springs 130 extends between peripheral edge 122 and supportive mat surface 120, thereby facilitating the resilient instability of rebounder platform 100. Protective spring covering 132 preferably shields plurality of springs 130 from inadvertent user contact.

In the preferred embodiment, plurality of resistance ports 126 are defined proximate peripheral edge 122 of frame 120, wherein resistance members 500 may be selectively secured thereto. Specifically, it is preferred that resistance members 500 comprise plurality of bands 502 and/or plurality of cords 504, wherein each plurality 502 and 504 preferably provides a plurality of selectable resistance members of varying coefficients. Further, and also preferably, resistance members 500 are color-coded, wherein the nature of the resistive qualities of each such band or cord may be quickly and easily recognized, thereby enabling rapid selection according to workout target goals.

Preferably, a plurality of releasable locking fasteners 506 is provided for facilitating removably secure attachment of bands 502 and/or cords 504 to frame 120 at plurality of resistance ports 126. The preferred combination of selectable resistance members 500 for selectable, interchangeable, and secure installation at any one of the plurality of resistance ports 126 enables effective delivery of resistive forces tailored to the desire of a particular user, directed to a targeted muscle group, and focused upon during a selected yoga posture.

Preferably, resistance members 500 comprise bands 502 and/or cords 504, wherein bands 502 are preferably generally flat, continuously circular resistance tools that are grasp-able and/or grip-able at essentially any position about the circumference. By contrast, cords 504 are preferably generally tubular, elongated resistance tools that further comprise handles 508 proximate the distal end thereof. Thus, cords 504 and bands 502 may be selectively preferred, according to the individual stretch dynamic and/or grip and grasp differences attributed thereto, and according to the preferred postures to be engaged during use thereof.

Although physical training system 10 is fully capable of assisting in a wide variety of resistance training techniques via manipulation of resistance members 500, it is preferred that plurality of resistance members 500 are provided as a user-adjustable feature to enhance the range of resistance selection options, wherein selectability of one of the plurality of resistance ports 126 to accommodate a first pose at a first resistance may be quickly and easily followed by selection of a second one of the plurality of resistance ports 126 to accommodate a second pose at a second resistance, if desired.

In the preferred embodiment, both rebounder 100 and plurality of resistance members 500 are utilized. However, as alternately described herein, physical training system 10 can be utilized with poses executed on mat surface 110 without coincident use of resistance members 500, such as shown in FIG. 6.

Referring now to FIGS. 7A and 8, alternate rebounder 101 could alternately define a non-rectangular shape, such as an oval shape, as depicted in FIG. 7A, or a figure-eight shape as depicted in FIG. 8, or any other shape desired that is suitably dimensioned for performance and execution of asanas thereon.

In another alternate embodiment, resistance members 500 could be permanently fastened to rebounder 100, wherein resistance adjustment could alternately be provided for.

In another alternate embodiment, the system and device of the present invention could include resistance delivery members other than bands or cords, such as, for exemplary purposes only, pulley arrangements or weighted members.

In yet another alternate embodiment, the system and device of the present invention could include additional on-board features such as a countdown timer, clock, speaker/sound generator, and/or aroma dispenser.

In an alternate embodiment, the physical training system 10 could be designed to be easily disassembled and/or folded to enable portability.

In another alternate embodiment, fiberglass rods could be utilized in place of, or in addition to, plurality of springs 130.

In preferred use, rebounder 100 is placed on a secure surface, such as the floor, and plurality of resistance members 500 are either preliminarily attached to resistance ports 126 or are positioned proximate rebounder 100 so as to enable quick access and attachment during the workout. The preferred workout, POWER TRAMPOLOGA, proceeds as the user steps up onto mat surface 110, finding balance, and progresses through yoga postures, or asanas.

A user can preferably select one or more resistance members 500 at a time for utilization during a particular pose. For example, if the user is engaged in the “Triangle” pose, the user may selectively intensify the workout by holding cords 504 in an isometric contraction. Alternately, the user may utilize cords 504 to perform repetitions, such as tricep extensions. Depending upon the pose, a wide variety of resistive activities may be incorporated, such as, for exemplary purposes only, bicep curls, squats, lunges, shoulder raises, and the like.

Another exemplary pose is “Warrior II,” exemplarily depicted in FIG. 4, wherein breathing is even, legs are in a lunge position, and arms are extended. In the preferred workout utilizing the preferred device according to the preferred system and method of the present invention, the arms are preferably extended and handles 508 of cords 504 are preferably grasped. While holding the modified posture, the user's deltoids, biceps and triceps are challenged by the resistive force of cords 504. The user's core is automatically engaged as quadriceps, glutes, calves, and hamstrings contract to steady the user in the

“Warrior” position upon rebounder 100. Further, the muscles surrounding the hip, ankle and knee joints contract to maintain equilibrium, thereby therapeutically strengthening these articulations. Additionally, the dynamics of the postures benefit the Achilles tendon. As further examples, and without limitation, FIG. 3 depicts a user accomplishing a “Bent Over Lateral Raise” position, FIG. 5 depicts a user accomplishing a “Right Legged Lunge/Tricep Kickback” maneuver, and FIG. 6 depicts a user performing an “Upward Facing Dog” position, all upon rebounder 100.

It should be understood that the device, system and method of the present invention may optionally be implemented with variation relative to the POWER TRAMPOLOGA workout presented herein; however, the POWER TRAMPOLOGA workout's well-rounded full body workout and meditative benefits are preferred. Additionally, it should be understood that the device, system and method of the present invention is suitable for individual utilization in an isolated environment, for video or webcast interactive performance, and/or for group performance via an in-person instructor.

Having thus described exemplary embodiments of the present invention, it should be noted by those skilled in the art that the within disclosures are exemplary only, and that various other alternatives, adaptations, and modifications may be made within the scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the present invention is not limited to the specific embodiments illustrated herein, but is limited only by the following claims.