Title:
Mat
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A mat, adaptable for floor exercises, comprises a pliable sheet having a rectangular periphery. A first alignment strip extends along the longitudinal axis of symmetry of the sheet, while a second alignment strip extends along the transversal axis of symmetry of the sheet. A hand reference zone is disposed at an upper part of the mat, on each side of the first alignment strip and a foot reference zone is disposed at a lower part of the mat, on each side of the first alignment strip. A side reference zone is disposed at the middle of the mat and comprises a vertical and horizontal side strip. Hand and foot reference zones are made of vertical and horizontal hand and foot strips. Above and beneath the horizontal strips of each hand and foot reference zones several parallel targets strips are used. To the left and right of the vertical line of side reference zone several parallel target strips are also used.



Inventors:
Prinzmetal, Jan (Vancouver, CA)
Application Number:
10/166938
Publication Date:
01/23/2003
Filing Date:
06/11/2002
Assignee:
PRINZMETAL JAN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B6/00; (IPC1-7): A63B26/00
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Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
MATHEW, FENN C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FREDERICK KAUFMAN (VANCOUVER, BC, CA)
Claims:

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:



1. Mat, adaptable for floor exercises and other exercises, comprises a sheet to accommodate a person thereon, said sheet having a generally rectangular periphery defined by two parallel side edges and two parallel end edges, the former being longer than and perpendicularly to the latter, one longitudinal and one transversal axes of symmetry intersecting in a center of symmetry of said sheet, to said sheet being added a pair of hand reference means, each of said hand reference means being located at an upper part of said sheet, on each side of said longitudinal axis of symmetry, constitutes a mirror image of the other one; and a pair of foot reference means, each of said pair of foot reference means being located at a lower part of said sheet, on each side of said transversal axis symmetry, constitutes a mirror image of the other.

2. Mat, adaptable for floor exercises and other exercises, comprises a sheet to accommodate a person thereon, said sheet having a generally rectangular periphery defined by two parallel side edges and two parallel end edges, the former being longer than and perpendicularly to the latter, one longitudinal and one transversal axes of symmetry intersecting in a center of symmetry of said sheet, to said sheet being added a first alignment strip extending substantially along said longitudinal axis of symmetry toward said parallel end edges; and a second alignment strip extending substantially along said transversal axis of symmetry toward said parallel side edges a pair of hand reference means, each of said hand reference means being located at an upper part of said sheet, on each side of said longitudinal axis of symmetry, constitutes a mirror image of the other one; and a pair of foot reference means, each of said pair of foot reference means being located at a lower part of said sheet, on each side of said transversal axis of symmetry,

3. Mat, as defined in claim 1 or 2 farther comprising a pair of side reference means, each of said side reference means having generally a center situated on said transversal axis of symmetry, between each one of said parallel side edges and said longitudinal axis of symmetry.

4. Mat, adaptable for floor exercises and other exercises, comprises a sheet to accommodate a person thereon, said sheet having a generally rectangular periphery defined by two parallel side edges and two parallel end edges, the former being longer than and perpendicularly to the latter, one longitudinal and one transversal axes of symmetry intersecting in a center of symmetry, to said sheet being added a first alignment strip extending substantially along said longitudinal axis of symmetry toward said parallel end edges; and a second alignment strip extending substantially along said transversal axis of symmetry toward said parallel side edges; a pair of hand reference zones, each of said hand reference zones being located at an upper part of said sheet, on each side of said first alignment strip, constitutes a mirror image of the other one; and formed by a vertical hand strip parallel to said to said first alignment strip and, consequently, to said longitudinal axis; and a horizontal hand strip parallel to said alignment strip and, impliedly, to said transversal axis of symmetry; a pair of foot reference zones, each of said pair of foot reference zones being located at a lower part of said sheet, on each side of said first alignment strip, constitutes a mirror image of the other one; and formed by a vertical foot strip parallel to said first alignment strip and, consequently, to said longitudinal axis of symmetry; and a horizontal foot strip, parallel to said second alignment strip and, impliedly, to said transversal axis of symmetry.

5. Mat, as defined in clam 4, further comprising a pair of reference zones, each of said reference zones having a center situated on said second alignment strip, between each one of said parallel said edges and said first alignment strip, and including a vertical reference line perpendicular to a horizontal reference line, the former and the latter reference lines intersecting in said center, said vertical reference line being parallel to said first alignment strip, while said horizontal reference line can be identified with said second alignment strip.

6. Mat, as defined in claim 4, further comprising a first plurality of target strips, at least two adjacent target strips of said plurality of target strips being disposed above and beneath each of said horizontal hand and foot strips, parallel to said horizontal hand and foot strips and perpendicular to each said vertical hand and foot strips.

7. Mat, as defined in claim 5, further comprising a first plurality of target strips, at least two adjacent target strips of said first plurality of target strips being disposed above and beneath each of said horizontal hand and foot strips, parallel to said horizontal hand and foot strips and perpendicular to each said vertical hand and foot strips; and a second plurality of target strips used substantially as said first plurality of target strips, but disposed in conjunction with said reference zones and perpendicular to said horizontal reference strips.

8. Mat, as defined in claim 4, wherein said first and second alignment strips and said vertical and horizontal hand and foot strips are permanently attached to said sheet.

9. Mat, as defined claim 4, wherein said first and second alignment strips and said vertical and horizontal hand and foot strips are imprinted.

10. Mat, as defined in claim 4, wherein said vertical and horizontal hand and foot strips are removable so they can be repositioned.

11. Mat, as defined in claim 5, wherein said vertical and horizontal reference lines are permanently attached to said sheet.

12. Mat, as defined in claim 5, wherein said vertical and horizontal reference lines are imprinted.

13. Mat, as defined in claim 5, wherein said vertical and horizontal reference lines are removable so they can be repositioned.

14. Mat, as defined in claim 6, wherein said first plurality of target strips is permanently attached to said sheet.

15. Mat, as defined in claim 6, wherein said plurality of target strips is imprinted.

16. Mat, as defined in claim 6, wherein said plurality of target strips attached to said sheet are removable so they can be repositioned.

17. Mat, as defined in claim 7, wherein said first and second pluralities of target strips are permanently attached to said sheet.

18. Mat, as defined in claim 7, wherein said first and second pluralities of target strips are imprinted.

19. Mat, as defined in claim 7, wherein said first and second pluralities of target strips are removable so they can be repositioned.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates in general to a teaching, training and practice mat and, more particularly, to a mat intended to assist users in developing proper stances, especially during floor exercises or other exercises performed with the mat.

[0003] Visually and conveniently alignments, relative to the center of the body, hands and feet, in order to obtain correct stances, are the most important physical condition for stretching and exercising. Furthermore, muscle alignment is designated to integrate consciously and subconsciously the alignment perception and, thus, to develop a memory for correct and reproducible positions. It is evident that the later cannot possibly develop if the alignment is not correct.

[0004] There are prior art mats that purport to obtain the results achieved by the mat of the present invention. All things considered, the existing knowledge in the field does not provide the specific advantages of the present invention, nor does it properly address the objectives sought to obtain by this invention.

[0005] 2. Summary of the Invention

[0006] It is, thus, one objective of the present invention to provide an improved mat, which allows proper and comfortable alignments. It is another objective of the present invention to provide an easy to use mat, so that the user may orient himself/herself in any manner on the mat while performing exercises. Yet another objective of the present invention is to provide a mat with removable, adjustable strips, so that various users car readily accommodate to the mat.

[0007] In general, the mat, which is adaptable for floor and other exercises, comprises a sheet to accommodate a person thereon. The sheet has a generally rectangular periphery defined by two parallel side edges and two parallel end edges, the former being longer than and perpendicularly to the latter. To the sheet are added a first alignment strip extending substantially along the longitudinal axis of symmetry toward the parallel end edges and a second alignment strip extending substantially along the transversal axis of symmetry toward the parallel side edges. A pair of hand reference zones is used. Each of the hand reference zones is located at an upper part of the mat, on each side of the first alignment strip and constitutes a mirror image of the other one.

[0008] A hand reference zone is formed by a vertical hand strip parallel to the first alignment strip and, consequently, to the longitudinal axis and a horizontal hand strip parallel to the second alignment strip and, impliedly, to the transversal axis of symmetry. A pair of foot reference zones is used. Each of said pair of foot reference zones is located at a lower part of the mat, on each side of the first alignment strip. It constitutes a mirror image of the other one, and is formed by a vertical foot strip parallel to the first alignment strip and, consequently, to the longitudinal axis of symmetry; and a horizontal foot strip, parallel to the second alignment strip and, impliedly, to the transversal axis of symmetry. In one aspect of this invention, a pair of reference zones is used. Each of the reference zones has a center situated on the second alignment strip and includes a vertical reference line perpendicular to a horizontal reference line, the former and the latter reference lines intersecting in a center. The vertical reference line is parallel to the first alignment strip, while the horizontal reference line can be identified with the second alignment strip. In another aspect of the invention, a first plurality of target strips is used. At least two adjacent target strips of the plurality of target strips are disposed above and beneath each of the horizontal hand and foot strips, parallel to the horizontal hand and foot strips and perpendicular to the vertical hand and foot strips.

[0009] In yet another aspect of this invention, a first plurality of target strips is used. At least two adjacent target strips of the first plurality of target strips are disposed above and beneath each of the horizontal hand and foot strips, parallel to said horizontal hand and foot strips and perpendicular to each of the vertical hand and foot strips. A second plurality of target strips is used substantially as the first plurality of target strips, but disposed in conjunction with the reference zones and perpendicular to the horizontal reference zones.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first variant of the mat;

[0011] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a second variant of the mat;

[0012] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a third variant of the mat; and

[0013] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a forth variant of the mat.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0014] Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1 illustrates an exercise mat 10, formed from a pliable sheet 11 and having a size to comfortably accommodate a person thereon. Sheet 11 is formed of any lightweight, cushioning and insulating material, which provides a smooth, unbroken top surface, and has a basically rectangular periphery. The latter is defined by two parallel side edges 12 and two parallel end edges 14, the former being longer than and perpendicular to the latter. One longitudinal and one transversal axes of symmetry 16 and 18, respectively, which intersect in a center of symmetry 20, define geometrically mat 10. In a first variant of the present invention (see FIG. 1), to sheet 11 is added a first alignment strip 22 extending substantially along longitudinal axis of symmetry 16 toward parallel end edges 14 and a second alignment strip 24 extending substantially along transversal axis of symmetry 18 toward parallel side edges 12.

[0015] First and second alignment strips 22 and 24 are intended as a basic reference to allow a user to generally position his/her body with respect to the surface of mat 10. It is obvious, that first and second alignment strips 22 and 24 do not need to be repositioned depending on the size of a user's body, therefore they are not adjustable or removable and, hence, they are permanently secured to or imprinted on sheet 11.

[0016] For proper positioning of hands during floor exercises or other type of exercises using mat 10, for example when a user lies face down with his/her hands on mat 10 in front of and to the sides of the shoulders, mat 10 includes a pair of hand reference zones 26. Each hand reference zone 26 is located at an upper part of mat 10, on each side of first alignment strip 22, and constitutes a mirror image of the other one. A hand reference zone 26, which is used as an alignment reference to the hands, is formed by two perpendicularly intersecting strips: a vertical hand strip 28 parallel to first alignment strip 22 and, consequently, to longitudinal axis of symmetry 16 and a horizontal hand strip 30 parallel to second alignment strip 24 and, impliedly, to transversal axis of symmetry 18 of mat 10. For proper positioning of feet during floor exercises and other type of exercises using mat 10, for example, a forward bend posture when the user sits with one or both legs stretched straight out in front of him/her, mat 10 comprises a pair of foot reference zones 32. Each foot reference zone 32 is located at a lower part of mat 10, on each side of first alignment strip 22, so that one foot reference zone 32 constitutes a mirror image of the other one.

[0017] Each foot reference zone 32 is formed from two perpendicularly intersecting strips: a vertical foot strip 34, parallel to first alignment strip 22 and, consequently, to longitudinal axis of symmetry 16 and a horizontal foot strip 36, parallel to second alignment strip 24 and, impliedly, to transversal axis of symmetry 18 of mat 10.

[0018] Alternatively, first variant comprises only hand and foot reverence zones 26 and 32, respectively. No first and second alignment strips 22 and 24 are used.

[0019] A second variant, (see FIG. 2), is formed from the first variant, to which is added a pair of side reference zones 38 intended for spacing options, such as, for example, kneeling posture, arms resting to the sides or the user lying sideways. Each side reference zone 38 has a center 40 situated on second alignment strip 24 and includes a vertical reference line 42 perpendicular to a horizontal reference line 44, the former and the latter intersecting in center 40. Vertical reference line 42 is parallel to first alignment strip 22, while horizontal reference line 44 can be identified with second alignment strip 24.

[0020] In a third variant of this invention (see FIG. 3), the first described variant further comprises a plurality of target strips 46. Thus, above and beneath each horizontal hand or foot strips 30 and 36 respectively, at least two adjacent target strips 46 are used. Each target strip 46 is located parallel to horizontal hand and foot strips 30 and 36 and perpendicular to each vertical hand and foot strips 28 and 34.

[0021] The utility of target strips 46 resides in the fact that during practice they serve to measure incremental achievements or proposed goals.

[0022] A fourth variant, (see FIG. 4), incorporates, firstly, second variant, wherein a plurality of target strips 46 is used in conjunction with hand and foot reference zones 26 and 32, and, secondly, another plurality of target strips 46 used similarly, but in conjunction with side reference zones 38 and perpendicularly to horizontal reference line 44.

[0023] First and second alignment strips 22 and 24, vertical and horizontal hand strips 28 and 30, vertical and horizontal foot strips 34 and 36, and target strips 46 are substantially identical to each other and, preferably, have a rectangular top view. The above-mentioned strips are formed of any suitable material, preferably of a different color than sheet 11, and can be attached to the latter by sewing, bonding using suitable adhesives, Velcro fastenings or other conventional fabrication technique.

[0024] In order to enable the user of mat 10 to meet specific needs of bodywork, the strips belonging to hand reference zones 26, foot reference zones 32 and side reference zones 38 are so attached, that they can be readily removed and repositioned numerous times. Thus, teaching, training and practice, using mat 10 described and claimed in the present invention, become efficient and comfortable.

[0025] Alternatively, instead of using permanently attached or removable strips, use can be made of strips imprinted on the upper surface of mat 10.