Title:
Device for exercising the hand and massaging other parts of the body
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device comprising two rollers, mounted onto a frame comprised of two tubular bars set opposite to and parallel with each other into either end of a perpendicular central bar. Setting the two rollers onto this frame, which has the appearance of a broad capital “I”, involves each roller having a single thin metal rod fitted precisely through the center of their cores, thus creating spindle points. [In an alternative embodiment of the roller design, the spindles are two shorter rods set protruding perpendicularly from ‘lids’ which snap firmly onto a central cylinder.]

The identical top and bottom bars of the “I” frame are hollow. Both house an identical set of internal components—a dowel pin/spring/dowel pin {in that order}. They fit snugly in their respective tube-bars, but not tightly, as they enjoy independent slidable action within when device is compressed {10}.

Each of the four steel spindle points protrudes about one centimeter from either end of both rollers. These protrusions allow the rollers to ‘ride’ on the dowel pins at the four extremities of the “I” frame. All four extremities are sealed using small end-caps pressing spindles to dowel pins. [In an alternative embodiment of the tube-bar, a bevel-ended ‘closed sandwich’ design negates the use of any end-caps.]

Each tube-bar has two 5 mm to 10 mm long narrow ‘nicks’ {14} precision-scored out from their undersides at either end, inline with each other, allowing the metal spindles their free inward clench travel. Each end-cap has a commensurate slot-hole {16} that aligns over these nicks when pressed home onto the tube-bars. [In an alternative embodiment of the tube-bar, the underside piece alone of the two-piece sandwich design has two 5 mm to 10 mm long narrow ‘nicks’ {18} for the spindle travel.]

In relation to this alternative embodiment tube-bar underside piece: there is a narrow rectangular trough scored at it's midpoint, between and perpendicular to the two end-nicks. This small trough will snugly accommodate a commensurate-size anchor tab {20} that sits proud {slightly raised} inside either grip-end arc of an alternative embodiment center bar [FIG. 4B].




Inventors:
Jennings, Eoin G. (London, GB)
Application Number:
09/978265
Publication Date:
05/09/2002
Filing Date:
10/16/2001
Assignee:
JENNINGS EOIN G.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A61H15/00; A63B21/02; A63B23/16; (IPC1-7): A63B1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DONNELLY, JEROME W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MR. EOIN G. JENNINGS (KINGSBURY, LONDON, GB)
Claims:

I claim:



1. In a hand-exerciser and body massager of the type comprising two rollers sitting rotatably, free to move in free-spin and guided-clench actions, onto a stylized capital “I” shaped frame consisting of two tubular bars affixed opposite each other upon a solid supporting central bar that sits parallel to and between the two rollers, which are secured in place by external end-caps.

2. The hand-exerciser and body massager of claim 1 wherein four spindle points protrude from the ends of the two rollers, those spindles created by a metal rod set through the circumcenter of each roller.

3. The hand-exerciser and body massager of claim 1 wherein said spindles rotate snugly at their four points of contact with the supporting “I” frame, those points being each dowel pin inside the four extremities of the two tubular bars.

4. The hand-exerciser and body massager of claim 3 wherein said dowel pins never touch, as each set of two dowels is separated inside their respective tube-bars by a spring.

5. The hand-exerciser and body massager of claim 3 wherein said tube-bar extremities each have a small elongated ‘nick’ hole wherein the rollers' spindles enjoy guided travel inwards to touch center bar.

6. The hand exerciser and body massager of claim 5 wherein each of the four tube-bar extremities is sealed with a tight external end-cap.

7. The hand exerciser and body massager of claim 6 wherein each end-cap has a commensurate size slot-like through-hole which will align over the tube-bars' elongated extremity ‘nick’ holes.

8. The hand exerciser and body massager of claim 6 wherein the four end-caps serve to hold the two rollers via their spindles onto the sturdy aforementioned “I” frame construction, whereby a human can safely action the free-spin, hand-clench, foot massage uses and other uses of the device.

9. The hand exerciser and body massager of claim 1 wherein the supporting center bar's two inner faces are concave, thus commensurate in arc dimension to ‘accept’ the rollers to be clenched into them.

10. The hand exerciser and body massager of claim 1 wherein it's construction can be made of any plastics materials, metals, wood or glass, or from a combination of any of these materials.

11. The hand exerciser and body massager of claim 1 wherein the end-caps are superfluous to the device if the alternative embodiment ‘enclosing sandwich’ design for the tube-bars is utilized.

12. The hand exerciser and body massager of claim 1 wherein each tube-bar necessarily has to be inserted halfway along it's length into a round hole at either end of the supporting center bar, except when the alternative embodiment center bar comprising two ‘open’ grip ends is utilized.

13. The hand exerciser and body massager of claim 12 wherein a tube-bar can thus simply snap into place upon the alternative embodiment center bar.

14. The hand exerciser and body massager of claim 2 wherein the alternative embodiment roller design is of three pieces, one central cylinder capped at either end by two disk-like lids from which protrude {at their circumcenters} a short metal rod acting as a spindle.

15. The hand exerciser and body massager of claim 1 wherein a separate handle may be attached to the device at the center bar whereby it's use as a body massager may be enhanced.

16. The hand exerciser and body massager of claim 1 wherein any specially modified port on/in the device may allow for transmission of low-level electric pulses whereby the device is harnessed as a manual dynamo.

17. The hand exerciser and body massager of claim 1 substantially as herein described and illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

Description:
[0001] Devices relating to exercising and massaging muscles in the hand allow the user to derive physical satisfaction from rolling, squeezing or otherwise manipulating these devices. The pleasure is in the muscle massage/exercise itself, plus the attendant stress-relieving factors of such activity.

[0002] Chinese Balls, as they are known, are a pair of separate metal jangling spheres that one rolls around in the single palm. However, these balls are relatively heavy, and their design limits the user to rolling them around in the flat of the palm lest they drop.

[0003] U.S. Pat. No. 5,519,918 to Chang [1995] shows what is specifically entitled a {multi-functional} Dumbbell. The specifications of this solo device reveal expensive construction, however, allied to the intention that this dumbbell is necessarily heavy. Also, it omits the use of any center bar between its two rollers. The elaborate component-count and weight, plus its relatively wide grip-span, thus exclude the young, old and arthritic from gainful use of this device. Also, none of the specified sets of interchangeable roller-sheaths in this patent offer a set of simple flat-surface sheaths.

[0004] U.K. Patent GB 393,557 to Lacy [1933] shows a three-roller massage device very specifically mounted {in a spindle-hinge fashion} upon a handle. The non-solid surfaces of this device's rollers are necessarily designed to allow for the secretion of oils onto the recipient's skin. This patent, however, negates any possibility of use of the device as a solo hand exerciser.

[0005] U.S. provisional patent 60/161,652 to Jennings, Eoin [1999]{and U.K. patent GB 2351455 to Jennings, Eoin [2001]} describes a solo twin-roller hand exerciser and body massager, lighter in weight and slightly more compact in size for better portability, using less components and no secreting massage oils, and including a stabilizing solidly affixed [or firmly affixing yet detachable] center bar between {as in parallel-to and independent-of} the two rollers.

SUMMARY

[0006] In accordance with the present invention {Chang}: a heavy dumbbell comprising two non-flat surface rollers which are incapable of free-spin action, and devoid of any stabilizing center bar.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

[0007] Accordingly, besides the objects and advantages of the hand exerciser/body massager described in my above patent {last paragraph of page 2}, several objects and advantages of the presented invention are:

[0008] [a] to provide a hand exerciser/body massager that is not a dumbbell and which is much lighter than any existing [real or patent-stage] similar [as in patent-relevant] device;

[0009] [b] to provide a hand exerciser/body massager that comprises no more than two rollers;

[0010] [c] to provide a hand exerciser/body massager whose twin-rollers have spindle-ends that sit into a simple holder-frame;

[0011] [d] to provide a hand exerciser/body massager whose holder-frame comprises two opposing parallel tubes each containing a contiguous dowel/spring/dowel assembly enjoying independent slidable action within;

[0012] [e] to provide a hand exerciser/body massager whose holder-frame's dual tubes are firmly snapped onto a solidly affixed/firmly affixing yet detachable perpendicular, stabilizing central bar.

[0013] [f] to provide a hand exerciser/body massager whose rollers, thus holder-frame mounted, rotate freely through 360 degrees;

[0014] [g] to provide a hand exerciser/body massager whose roller surfaces will present superior surfaces for the reception of labeling or print [such designs as will be visually enhanced by the free-spin action];

[0015] [h] to provide a hand exerciser/body massager whose rollers can also be of water-tight construction as to have transparent surfaces displaying messages or figurines within, accompanied by non-leaking/non-secreting liquids/oils if desired;

[0016] [i] to provide a hand exerciser/body massager which can be placed on the ground and rolled beneath the unshod foot for sole massage;

[0017] [j] to provide a hand exerciser/body massager whose holder-frame design may allow the complete device to be mounted or affixed upon any notional compatible, portable footrest or platform.

[0018] [k] to provide a hand exerciser/body massager, the energy of whose manipulation as a manual dynamo can be harnessed, if so desired, to generate low-level electrical signals/pulses from the squeeze and/or spin-action of the rollers.

DRAWING FIGURES

[0019] In the drawings, closely related figures have the same number but different alphabetic suffixes.

[0020] FIG. 1A and Reference Numeral 10 show the two different aspects [top view only] of the device, relaxed and compressed respectively.

[0021] FIG. 1B shows front view of the device.

[0022] FIG. 1C shows side view of the device.

[0023] FIG. 2A shows one of the device's two hollow tube-bars, each of which house an identical dowel/spring/dowel assembly.

[0024] FIG. 3A shows one of the two rollers [or ‘barrels’] molded whole around a steel rod.

[0025] FIG. 4A shows the all-supporting ‘solid’ [closed-holed either end] center bar, into which the rollers will be clenched during hand-squeezing action.

[0026] FIG. 5 is an end-cap, one each either end of FIG. 2A [the open-ended embodiment of each tube-bar].

[0027] FIG. 6 is a dowel-pin, one each for either end of FIG. 7.

[0028] FIG. 7 is a spring.

[0029] FIGS. 2B and 2C show a closed-ended ‘sandwich’ design for the hollow tube-bar [no end-caps {FIG. 5} required].

[0030] FIGS. 3B and 3C show a three-piece assembly design for the rollers [FIG. 3A].

[0031] FIG. 4B shows an open-jaw grip-hole design for both ends of the center bar.

[0032] REFERENCE NUMERALS IN DRAWINGS

[0033] 10 Device compressed end-view

[0034] 12 Device with optional handle

[0035] 14 Tube-bar nick-holes to accept spindle-points

[0036] 16 Cap-slots to accept spindle-points

[0037] [18 Slot-like through-holes to accept spindle-points]

[0038] [20 Raised inside-arc tab]

DESCRIPTION—FIGS. 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5, 6 and 7—PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0039] A preferred embodiment of the functionality of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 1A {top view}, FIG. 1B {front view} and FIG. 1C {side view}.

[0040] Each hollow tube-bar [FIG. 2A] is inserted into each hole at the end of the center bar [FIG. 4A]. Once Inserted, they fit tightly exactly halfway along each of their lenghts. Thus assembled, their appearance is as a broad capital “I” shaped frame. A loose set of three contiguous components is then inserted into each hollow tube-bar.

[0041] The components are set in the following order-a dowel pin [FIG. 6], spring [FIG. 7], dowel pin [FIG. 6]; they will enjoy free independent movement within. The sum length of each set is equal to the length of the tube they reside in. The two rollers [FIG. 3A] are then pivotably mounted thus: The four end-caps [FIG. 5] are placed loosely, via their slots, onto the four spindle-points of the rollers. The four caps are then simply pressed home snugly onto the four ends of the two tube-bars, cap-slots ‘16’ aligning with inline tube-bar nick-holes ‘14’. The spindles thus positioned allow their rollers full rotation through 360 degrees.

FIGS. 2B, 2C, 3B, 3C and 4B—ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENTS

[0042] There are various possibilities with regard to the relative disposition of the construction of the device herein described.

[0043] FIGS. 2B and 2C show a hollow cigar-shaped construction for each tube-bar, closed-ended and thus not requiring any end-caps [FIG. 5]. They house the dowel/spring/dowel in exactly the same manner. FIG. 2C differs from FIG. 2B in that it has two underside inline slots ‘18’ at either end, to accept roller-spindles.

[0044] FIGS. 3B and 3C show a special possible construction for the roller. FIG. 3C is a hollow, open-ended cylinder [sheath]. Two FIG. 3B's [‘lids’], each having their own short steel rod firmly set precisely into their circumference centers and protruding perpendicularly there from, snap snugly into the sheath's rims.

[0045] FIG. 4B shows a center bar similar to FIG. 4A, but one that the tube-bars [FIG. 2A or 2B/C] can snap onto.

OPERATION—FIGS. 1A, 1B, 2A, 3A, 4A and REF. NUMERALS 10, 12, 14/18.

[0046] The user grips the device in the hand by the two rollers [FIG. 3A]. The user then flips the device repetitively in the hand for a soothing light massage and exercise of the hand and forearm muscles. The user can also then squeeze the two rollers into the center bar [FIG. 4A or 4B] for a satisfying grip-exercise. The rollers allow this because the tube-bar nick-holes ‘14’ [or ‘18’] let the roller-spindles inserted therein to travel along into ‘10’ the center bar. Repeat such grip-and-release for finger and hand exercise.

[0047] The device can also be placed on the ground and rolled underfoot for a soothing massage of the sole. The device can also be rolled over other parts of the body for massage, with or without the addition of an optional attachable handle ‘12’.

CONCLUSIONS, RAMIFICATIONS AND SCOPE

[0048] This invention provides for a self-contained solo dual-roller hand exerciser and body massaging device that is both portable and light in weight.

[0049] It permits for construction using minimal component amount, and using light materials

[0050] Components are made from plastics materials, wood, metal, glass, or from a combination of all these.

[0051] This durable device can allow for it's surfaces to be utilized for messages or graphics, or a combination of these visuals.

[0052] Although the above description contains many specificities, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but as merely providing illustrations of some of the preferred embodiments of this invention. For example, the invention can have additional little rotatable platter-points [like thumbtacks] inserted at the center bar poles [ends]—or other diametrically opposed balance points on the tube-bar extremities—where the user can hold the device lightly between thumbtip and fingertip, and spin the entire device on this newly created ‘axis.’

[0053] Thus the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents, rather than by the examples given.