Title:
SWIMMING TRAINING DEVICE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device for improving the swimming performance of a user. The device includes an upper layer made of a translucent or transparent material, a middle layer disposed adjacent the first layer and made of a reflective material, and a lower layer disposed adjacent the second layer. The third layer is made of an opaque material. Additionally, a line is disposed along a length of at least one of the upper, middle, and lower layers to assist the user in determining a position of the user, so as to correct movements of the user.



Inventors:
Tabena Isern, Juan Cruz (Caracas, VE)
Alfonzo-larrain, Roberto (Caracas, VE)
Application Number:
13/553306
Publication Date:
01/23/2014
Filing Date:
07/19/2012
Assignee:
TABENA ISERN JUAN CRUZ
ALFONZO-LARRAIN ROBERTO
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B35/00
View Patent Images:
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Foreign References:
JP2007185214A
Primary Examiner:
WINTER, GREGORY J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OBLON, MCCLELLAND, MAIER & NEUSTADT, L.L.P. (1940 DUKE STREET, ALEXANDRIA, VA, 22314, US)
Claims:
1. A device for improving the swimming performance of a user, comprising: an upper layer made of a translucent or transparent material; a middle layer disposed adjacent the first layer and made of a reflective material; a lower layer disposed adjacent the second layer, the third layer being made of an opaque material; and a line disposed along a length of at least one of the upper, middle, and lower layers to assist the user in determining a position of the user, so as to correct movements of the user.

2. The device according to claim 1, further comprising marks disposed on one of the upper, middle, and lower layers to assist the user in determining the position of the user, so as to correct movements of the user.

3. The device according to claim 1, wherein the upper layer, the lower layer, or both the upper layer and the lower layer are made of an acrylic material.

4. The device according to claim 1, wherein the line includes a lighting system.

5. The device according to claim 4, wherein the lighting system is an LED lighting system.

6. The device according to claim 5, wherein each LED is operated independently, so as to display as a continuous water drop effect at a predetermined speed, and wherein the speed is set with a speed controller.

7. The device according to claim 1, further comprising means for fastening the device to a bottom of a swimming pool.

8. The device according to claim 1, further comprising weights attached to at least one of the upper, middle, and lower layers.

9. The device according to claim 1, further comprising means for fastening the device to a bottom of a swimming pool, the means for fastening simultaneously functioning as weights, which prevent movement of the device with respect to the bottom of the swimming pool.

10. An assembly apparatus, comprising: a plurality of the devices according to claim 1, the plurality of devices being configured to be assembled together.

11. The assembly apparatus according to claim 10, wherein the plurality of devices are joined together by one or more of magnets, hooks, and VELCRO® fasteners.

12. The assembly apparatus according to claim 11, wherein the plurality of devices are joined together by a VELCRO® fastener.

13. The device according to claim 2, wherein the upper layer, the lower layer, or both the upper layer and the lower layer are made of an acrylic material.

14. An apparatus, comprising: an first layer made of a translucent or transparent material; a second layer disposed adjacent the first layer and made of a reflective material; a third layer disposed adjacent the second layer such that the second layer is sandwiched between the first layer and the third layer, the third layer being made of an opaque material; and a marking disposed along a length of at least one of the first, second, and third layers, the marking enabling the user to determine a position of the user, so as to correct movements of the user.

15. The apparatus according to claim 14, wherein the marking includes a line disposed substantially in the center of one of the first, second, and third layers.

16. The apparatus according to claim 14, wherein the marking includes a plurality of marks having geometric shapes, the plurality of marks being intermittently disposed along the length of one of the first, second, and third layers.

17. The apparatus according to claim 14, wherein the marking includes a line disposed substantially in the center of one of the first, second, and third layers, and a plurality of marks intermittently disposed along the length of one of the first, second, and third layers.

18. The apparatus according to claim 14, further comprising a lighting system that corresponds to the marking, the lighting system displaying a successive display of lights indicating a swimming speed for a user.

19. The apparatus according to claim 14, wherein a material of the third layer is such that the material functions as a weight to permit the apparatus to rest against a bottom of a swimming pool and hinder movement of the apparatus with respect to the swimming pool.

20. An apparatus, comprising: an elongated layer including a reflective surface; and a line extending substantially in a center of and lengthwise along the elongated layer, the line being printed on, stuck on, or embedded within the elongated layer, wherein the elongated layer and the line are made of a material resistant to breaking or other deterioration induced by submersion in water.

Description:

BACKGROUND

Many devices exist that are directed to the problem of assisting swimmers in improving their performance. Most of these devices include elements which require the strapping of the swimmer's limbs to various moving elements of the apparatus which provides an artificial character to the instruction and forces rather than guiding the swimmer through the proper motions.

One particular device is described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,693,570 (Kryder). The device of Kryder comprises a mirror assembly including two sheets of shatter resistant acrylic plastic having reflective characteristics. The acrylic plastic sheets are held together by a peripheral channel-like framework engaging the exposed edges of the sheet members. The framework includes means for suspending the mirror assembly from a wall or the like. Due to its lightweight construction, the mirror assembly of Kryder is portable and easily positioned for use without requiring special mounting equipment. For example, the mirror assembly may be hung on a wall suspended from a rope or wire having the ends thereof extending through channel in the fashion of a picture or the like. Nevertheless, the device of U.S. Pat. No. 4,693,570 is devised to be applied or used in various sports, so it is limited when considering extra elements that might assist in a specific sport, such as swimming.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The embodiments discussed herein relate to a device for assisting a user (e.g. a swimmer) in training or performing an activity inside a swimming pool.

In one embodiment, the device includes a reflective surface and marks which allow the user to follow his body movements for improving his performance.

In another embodiment, the device further includes luminous means which permits the user to follow his body movements for improving his performance

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded drawing showing the elements of one embodiment of the disclosed device;

FIG. 2 is a side view showing part of the device of FIG. 1 and depicting three layers positioned adjacent to each other so that they are in facing contact;

FIG. 3 is a representation of a path made up of devices of FIG. 1 adjacently placed in the bottom of a swimming pool and showing the main function of line 5 and marks 8 in assisting the swimmer;

FIG. 4 is a side view of FIG. 3 showing the main function of line 5 and marks 8 in assisting the swimmer;

FIG. 5 is an exploded drawing showing the elements of a second embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a path of devices of FIG. 5 adjacently placed in the bottom of a swimming pool and showing the main function of one possible embodiment (star-like LED system) for line 5′ in assisting the swimmer.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The device 1 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 includes a body including three layers piled one over the other. In FIG. 1 one embodiment of the device is depicted to show the main elements defining the same. The device 1 comprises three layers. The upper layer 2 is a clear sheet made of a translucent or transparent material. The material could be made of a polymer, such as plastics, acrylics, polycarbonates, etc., metallic materials, carbon fiber, fiberglass, and in general, composite materials. The material of layer 2 is resistant to breakage and it allows for detailing marks or elements thereon, or in the layer 3 just below layer 2. Layer 2 may include one or more additional elements such as lines, angles, and shapes in order to assist the swimmer to improve his performance. The device of FIG. 1 comprises a line 5 covering part of the surface of layer 2. More preferably, line 5 goes from one end to the other of the device 1 to cover the whole length of layer 2. Line 5 is placed near the center of layer 2. Line 5 allows the swimmer to check the changes in his body position during a swimming activity and to thereby be able to correct it. The swimmer must avoid crossing line 5 so he can keep his body aligned and move faster with less effort. Line 5 is particularly helpful for improving freestyle and butterfly swimming techniques. Layer 2 may also include marks 8 along with line 5, or the marks 8 may be alone without line 5. Marks 8 may include numbers, letters, symbols, geometric shapes, or similar characters and may be placed along the surface of layer 2, assisting the swimmer to assess his movements, especially the strokes. The number, shape, size, position, and distance between marks 8 may change according to the user or exercise. Line 5 and marks 8 may be printed on the surface of layer 2, may be placed or printed inside the body of layer 2, or may be made of a material that can be stuck onto and removed from layer 2 in order to reposition the line 5 or the marks 8 according to convenience of the user or swimmer. Additionally, layer 2 may include weights 7 to prevent the device 1 from moving along the bottom of the swimming pool and thus, changing the “right” path to be followed by the user or swimmer.

The second or middle layer 3 is a reflective sheet made of a mirror-like material of varying intensities, from clear glass to darker shades, but always allowing the swimmer to see his own reflection. Layer 3 is placed below layer 2 in facing contact with layer 2, as shown in FIG. 2. Layers 2 and 3 may be joined together to each other by glue, means of acrylic cement, polymeric adhesive, or any suitable means that doesn't radically hinder the swimmer from seeing his own reflection.

The lower and third layer 4 may be an opaque sheet or material. The material may be made of a polymer, such as plastics, acrylics, polycarbonates, etc., metallic materials, carbon fiber, fiberglass, and in general, composite materials. Layer 4 is placed below layer 3 in facing contact with layer 3, as shown in FIG. 2. Layers 3 and 4 are joined together to each other by glue, means of acrylic cement, polymeric adhesive, or any suitable means. The layer 4 is usually in direct contact with the bottom of the swimming pool, however, layer 4 may include suitable means 6 for sticking up from or being fastened to the bottom of the swimming pool. The means 6 can be double-side tape, hooks, VELCRO® system, or similar means. Additionally, layer 4 might include weights similar to weights 7 shown in FIG. 1 to prevent the device 1 from moving along the bottom of the swimming pool and thus, changing the “right” path to be followed by the user or swimmer. In a special embodiment, means 6 and weights are the same element. In another possible embodiment, weights 7 are attached to the sides of the device 1 so they do not hinder the user from seeing his own reflection.

It is noted that all layers of the device are made of a material resistant to breaking or other deterioration induced by submersion in water.

In an alternative embodiment, the device may include fewer than three layers. For example, the line and/or marks may be incorporated in a single layer having at least one reflective surface. Or, a double-layered device may include the lines and/or marks in an upper layer disposed on a lower layer, and either layer may have a reflective surface or coating thereon.

In FIG. 5, a preferred embodiment of the device is shown, in which line 5, as disclosed herein, has been replaced by a lighting system. More preferably, the lighting system is an LED lighting system 5′, which indicates a speed to the user, as the lights move along the piece continuously at a preset rate. This embodiment is also shown in FIG. 6 where the LED lighting system 5′ is depicted as a discontinuous line of star-like luminous elements. Each LED of the LED lighting system 5′ is operated independently, so as to display as a continuous water drop effect at a predetermined speed, and the speed can be set according to the user's needs or interests via a speed controller such as an RGB speed controller. LED lighting system 5′ can be set on the surface of layer 2. More preferably, LED lighting system 5′ is set inside the body of layer 2, and most preferably, inside the body of layer 2 and in direct contact with layer 3.

The dimensions of device 1 may be adapted according to the swimming pool or the athlete's requirements. Preferably, the dimensions of the device 1 (Length×Width) are about 2′×0.8′, 2.6′×0.82′, or 3.28′×0.98′, for example. Preferably, the thickness of the device 1 ranges from about 0.2″ to 2″.

In one preferred embodiment, more than one device 1 can be joined to form an arrangement of a multi-piece long line (path) of the desired length as partially shown in FIGS. 3, 4, and 6. In this embodiment, multiple devices 1 are joined together by appropriate means to keep them together, such as magnetic means, hooks, etc. More preferably, the multiple devices 1 are joined by one or more VELCRO® fasteners.

It is to be understood that the device as here disclosed, is not limited in scope to the drawings and/or specification. It will be clear that while the forms of the invention disclosed herein are intended to fulfill the requirement of clearness and sufficiency, the invention is susceptible of embodiments in various other forms. For instance, in one embodiment, the lower layer 4 could be made of a metallic material so as to fulfill the purpose of weight 7 for keeping the device 1 in the desired position.