Title:
Specialized mass distribution footwear and handwear to modify the internal leverage of athletes
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Athletic performance is enhanced based on methods and articles for customizing the mass distribution of footwear and handwear, as appropriate to the athletic movements involved. The enhancements of such performance can be explained and implemented by analysis of leverage points associated with the musculature of the athlete. The customized mass distribution may be achieved by a carrier mateable or insertable with the footwear or handwear, or by integral manufacture of footwear or handwear whose effectiveness is based on leverage point principles.



Inventors:
Tuttle, Jeffrey John-carl (Clinton Twp, MI, US)
Application Number:
09/957809
Publication Date:
05/29/2003
Filing Date:
09/21/2001
Assignee:
TUTTLE JEFFREY JOHN-CARL
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B5/00; A43B13/14; (IPC1-7): A43B5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HWANG, VICTOR KENNY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Jeffrey Tuttle (STERLING HEIGHTS, MI, US)
Claims:
1. An adapter for customizing the mass distribution of athletic footwear according to performance characteristics of the wearer, comprising: a mass carrier configured to mate with the footwear and adapted to receive mass elements which are selectable in amount and positionable within the carrier in accordance with such performance characteristics.

2. The adapter of claim 1 wherein the mass carrier is mateable with the sole of the athletic footwear.

3. The adapter of claim 1 wherein the mass carrier is insertable within the athletic footwear.

4. The adapter of claim 1 wherein the mass carrier comprises a body having a plurality of spaced openings, each opening being suited for selective receipt of a mass element to customize the mass distribution.

5. An article of athletic footwear customizable to the performance characteristics of the wearer including a member of the footwear having a plurality of spaced openings, each opening being suited for selective receipt of a mass element to customize the mass distribution.

6. A method for determining the customized mass distribution for athletic footwear based on analysis of leverage points comprising the steps of: measuring leverage points for one or more users of the footwear; and modifying the mass distribution of the footwear article to change the leverage points of each associated user to achieve those determined to be optimal.

7. The method of claim 6 wherein the step of modifying the mass distribution is performed by comparison to a predetermined reference.

8. A method of enhancing athletic performance comprising the steps of: a) measuring the performance of one or more persons in a predetermined athletic movement; b) modifying the weight distribution of the footwear worn when performing the predetermined athletic movement; c) repeating the steps (a) and (b) until suitable performance enhancement has been attained.

9. An article of athletic footwear manufactured according to the method of claim 8.

10. An adapter for customizing the mass distribution of athletic handwear according to performance characteristics of the wearer, comprising: a mass carrier configured to mate with the handwear and adapted to receive mass elements which are selectable in amount and positionable within the carrier in accordance with such performance characteristics.

11. The adapter of claim 10 wherein the mass carrier is mateable with the athletic handwear.

12. The adapter of claim 10 wherein the mass carrier is insertable within the athletic handwear.

13. The adapter of claim 10 wherein the mass carrier comprises a body having a plurality of spaced openings, each opening being suited for selective receipt of a mass element to customize the mass distribution.

14. An article of athletic handwear customizable for mass distribution according to the performance characteristics of the wearer including a member of the handwear having a plurality of spaced openings, each opening being suited for selective receipt of a mass element to customize the mass distribution.

15. A method for determining the customized mass distribution for athletic handwear based on analysis of leverage points comprising the steps of: measuring leverage points for one or more users of the handwear; and modifying the mass distribution of the handwear article to change the leverage points of each associated user to achieve those determined to be optimal.

16. The method of claim 15 wherein the step of modifying the mass distribution is performed by comparison to a predetermined reference.

17. A method of enhancing athletic performance comprising the steps of: a) measuring the performance of one or more persons in a predetermined athletic movement; b) modifying the weight distribution of the handwear worn when performing the predetermined athletic movement; c) repeating the steps (a) and (b) until suitable performance enhancement has been attained.

18. An article of athletic handwear manufactured according to the method of claim 17.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] One component of what determines the natural ability of an athlete to perform effectively in a sport is internal leverage. In this case the term ‘internal leverage’ is used to describe the ability of an athlete to effectively utilize his/her muscle power and apply it to the desired sport related motion.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The invention is a method of differentiating, measuring and categorizing the internal leverage of athletes and through specialized mass distribution footwear and handwear change the internal leverage of athletes to suit a particular sport or sport related motion. In particular, the handwear or footwear design is modified through mass addition or subtraction to move the center of gravity of the handwear or footwear toward a particular perimeter area of the handwear or footwear to accomplish specific internal leverage changes.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0003] FIGS. 1-9 are referenced in the detailed description of the invention to aid in the understanding of how the internal leverages of athletes are differentiated, measured and categorized as well as how the footwear and handwear is designed or modified with specialized mass distribution.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0004] I. Leverage Point Definition

[0005] When an athlete performs a single sports motion such as throwing a football, simultaneous muscle contractions and relaxations in many muscles generate the force. Furthermore, each single muscle can contract more or less in different areas of the muscle generating even more complexity in the motion. Considering this, it is nearly impossible to mechanically analyze a motion in terms of individual muscles and their effect on the body as a whole. The concept of ‘leverage points’ is based on mechanical modeling of the body that simplifies the muscle contractions of the body into meaningful groupings that can be used to analyze sports motions. This grouping distinguishes between those muscles or portions of muscles that are activated to aid in the movement and those that are not. The modeling is based on the muscles of the body contracting together on a smooth curved line from the point of force application to a specific set of points around or inside the body. Therefore, the mechanical model of a sport motion becomes one where a force is generated by the application of bending moments, caused by muscle contractions, between fixed points on or around the body and the point of force application. The location of these points on or around the body then generally determines whether each muscle or portion of each muscle has the leverage necessary to aid in the motion through determining the starting points for the bending moments. Thus, leverage points are defined as ‘starting points for bending moments’. FIG. 1 shows an example of two bending moment curves applying forward force in a sports motion, throwing a football.

[0006] II. Natural Leverage Point Location

[0007] Through testing (details follow on testing methods) it is observed that each person has two natural sets of leverage points that are at four points (normally fixed) on or around the body. The upper body leverage point set is the critical factor in the modeling of those force applications, which are supported by the contraction of the stomach muscles. The lower body leverage point set is the critical factors in the modeling of those force applications, which are supported by contractions of the back muscles. Sections IV through XIV deal with the upper body set of leverage points while sections XV-XXII deal with the lower body set of leverage points. The conventions ‘lower leverage points’, ‘upper leverage points’, ‘lower bending moments’, and ‘upper bending moments’ will be used to signify the relation to the lower body leverage points and the upper body leverage points. The location of the leverage points for each person seems to be related to an interaction between skeletal structure and supporting musculature in the spine area, however the basis of this patent is on the observed effects of leverage points rather than the cause. While each person's leverage point locations are unique it is observed that each set of points are generally in a frontal plane approximately through the spine and they are generally a symmetrical pair about the spine. (Note: non-symmetrical spacing is possible and may be an indicator of medical problems)

[0008] III. Bending Moment Curve Location

[0009] The ‘leverage point’ model does define the starting points (leverage points) and ending point (force application point) of the bending moments. However, it does not define the actual curve through the musculature that the bending moment force is applied on. It is observed through testing that the body can apply muscle contraction along any smooth curve starting and ending at the defined points, but that the contraction force will generally be concentrated along the curve that is most efficient for performing the desired motion. Restating in other terms, the body learns to apply the contraction force along the curve that best maximizes the muscle power than can be applied.

[0010] In FIG. 2, the efficient curve runs through the inside of the forearm, directly between the biceps and triceps, and through the lower chest muscle. This allows some contraction of the forearm muscles, a large amount of contraction through the biceps and triceps and contraction along the lower chest muscles all applied along the forward bending moment of the bending moment curve. The inefficient curve runs through the upper wrist muscle and between the chest and shoulder muscles. While this does allow more wrist flip or use of the forearm muscles during the throw, the power applied through the bending moment would be significantly reduced by not utilizing the muscle power of the triceps and biceps in forming a forward bending moment.

[0011] IV. Dominant Upper Bending Moments Due to Motion Direction

[0012] It is observed that while two upper bending moments are involved in any force application supported by the stomach muscles, the direction of the force application can cause one of the upper bending moments to be dominant. In effect, while a body is performing motions that heavily favor one upper leverage point over the other, the mechanical model becomes one where there is only one dominant upper leverage point and thus one dominant upper bending moment line. The rules that govern this ‘favoring’ of one upper leverage point and associated upper bending moment curve over the other point and curve for common motions used in sports are as follows: 1

TABLE I
Motion Direction and Dominant Upper Bending Moment
UpperUpper
LeverageLeverage
PointPoint
FavoredFavored
(and(and
HandassociatedFootassociated
Location/bendingLocation/bending
HandForcemomentForcemoment
UsedDirectioncurve)Leg UsedDirectioncurve)
RHOverhand-RHRHStraightLH
ForwardDown-
Forward
RHUnderhand-LHRHStraightRH
ForwardDown-
Inward
RHOut Right-LHRHStraightLH
ForwardDown-
Outward
RHStraightRHRHStraightEqual
Forward-Forward
InwardPush
RHStraight-Equal
Forward
Push

[0013] * Note: Motions with the opposite hand or leg will have opposite dominant upper bending moments. For example, an overhand-forward motion with the LH will favor the LH upper leverage point. Also, note that the a motion such as a push can be considered a combination of an underhand and overhand motion and thus favors neither leverage point and both upper bending moment curves are utilized in the motion by the body. Also note that certain motions are a combination of two other motions, which must be analyzed separately. For example, the snap of throwing a baseball is a forward push by the hand but a pull back by the elbow.

[0014] V. Effect of Upper Leverage Point Height on Bending Moment Force

[0015] As previously described, a two upper bending moment model for a motion is effectively reduced into a single upper bending moment model if the direction of force application is one that heavily favors a single leverage point. When examining the relative force of the two upper bending moments in a model the other determinant factor is the upper leverage point height. If the force in the motion is being applied through the hands or arms, higher upper leverage points in an individual cause further dominance by the dominant upper bending moment as determined by the motion direction. If the foot or legs are applying the force the reverse is true, less dominance and more even bending moment strength is favored for higher upper leverage points. Conversely, lower upper leverage points favor more even bending moment strengths for arm movements while higher favors more even bending moment strengths for leg movements. FIG. 3 graphically illustrates the dominant and non-dominant upper leverage points and upper bending moments.

[0016] VI. Example: Effect of Force Direction and Upper Leverage Point Height on Bending Moment Strength

[0017] An example of the two factors of section IV and V working together would be throwing a football. Assume the thrower is right handed. In this case the directional force of throwing a football would be considered mostly an overhand force with a small amount of a straight push force. Since a full overhand motion would favor the RH upper leverage point and a straight push would favor equal upper leverage point distribution the action as a whole could be considered mostly favoring the RH upper leverage point. The second step in examining the relative strength of the upper bending moments would be to look at the upper leverage point heights of the individual. Let us assume that the upper leverage points of the individual are high. In this case the high upper leverage points would favor more dominance of the already dominant bending moment. Thus, the RH upper bending moment would become even more dominant and the entire motion would become one that could be approximated by the single bending moment anchored by the RH upper leverage point. In a second case, the individual's upper leverage points could be low on the body. In this case, the low upper leverage points would favor less dominance of the dominant bending moment and thus much more of a two upper bending moment system. FIG. 3 graphically illustrates the dominant and non-dominant upper leverage points and upper bending moments of a subject with high upper leverage points.

[0018] VII. Temporary Upper Leverage Point Movements within the Body

[0019] It was previously mentioned that the location of upper leverage points within an individual is usually fixed. However, when a body is performing a motion such as weight lifting, the body temporarily moves the upper leverage points to allow bending moment curves that better utilize the strong muscle groups. It is observable that the body accomplishes this move of upper leverage points by the utilization of the stomach muscles. The contraction of the upper stomach will move the upper leverage points upward while the contraction of the lower stomach muscles will move the upper leverage points downward. Likewise, the contraction of the outer stomach muscles will move the upper leverage points outward while the contraction of the inner stomach muscles will move the upper leverage points inward. The limitation of temporary leverage point movements within the body is that the stomach muscles of the body are often dedicated or ‘in use’ while a sports motion is being performed. For example, while an athlete may have the stomach muscle strength to pull his/her upper leverage points into the optimal position while throwing it could also lock up his or her torso and inhibit the stomach muscles from creating any rotary motion during the throw.

[0020] An example of the concept of temporary leverage point movement is an explanation of weight lifting prowess. Generally, a natural weight lifter does not have natural upper leverage points that fit the movement well. Rather, they have natural upper leverage points that fit the movement well after a temporary movement. Consider the motion of ‘curling’ in weight lifting. At first consideration it may seem that natural upper leverage points near the shoulders of the individual would be ideal as that would allow the best activation of the bicept muscles. However, in actuality, upper leverage points much lower are ideal. With lower upper leverage points the lifter would tighten his/her upper stomach and temporarily raise the upper leverage points into the shoulder area, simultaneously supporting the spine by the tightening and putting their upper leverage points into the ideal position to best utilize the wrist and biceps muscles. Therefore, whenever an athlete is utilizing his/her stomach muscles he/she is causing a temporary leverage point movement. FIG. 4 demonstrates this temporary leverage point movement.

[0021] VIII. Observation of Upper Bending Moments Effecting Body Balance

[0022] When a bending moment is generated between a force application point and an upper leverage point it affects the balance of the body. Generally, if the vertical height of the power application point is not the same as the vertical height of the upper leverage point, the body will have some recoil momentum in the fore/aft directions. Similarly, if the horizontal position of the power application point is not the same as the horizontal position of the upper leverage point the body will have some recoil momentum in the side to side directions.

[0023] IX. Utilizing an Understanding of Upper Leverage Points to Test Individual's Upper Leverage Points

[0024] When the rules governing the preferred locations of upper bending moment curves and the dominance of upper leverage points and associated bending moment curves are understood, test methods to determine the location of the individuals upper leverage points can be developed. The principles behind the development of test methods are as follows:

[0025] 1. Have the test subject perform a motion that heavily favors a single leverage point.

[0026] 2. Have the subject perform the motion without contraction of the torso muscles and at a quick pace, thus eliminating the possibility that the subject has temporarily moved their upper leverage points.

[0027] 3. Either observe or have the subject observe the recoil momentum and balance effect during the course of the upper bending moment contraction/movement.

[0028] 4. When the power application points have the same vertical height as the upper leverage point of the test subject the upper bending moment contraction causing movement will not cause recoil momentum that effects the fore/aft balance.

[0029] 5. When the power application points have the same horizontal position as the upper leverage point of the test subject the movement will not cause recoil momentum that effects the side to side balance.

[0030] A practical example of a test method to test for the subject's vertical upper leverage point location is as follows:

[0031] Have the subject stand with a loose torso and one arm extended out to the side.

[0032] Swing the right hand in a forward and inward direction (arm out to the right with forward applied force per Table I has a dominance for the upper LH leverage point).

[0033] Have the subject raise and lower their hand or power application point. The vertical-position of the hand, or power application point, where the subject feels or exhibits no fore/aft recoil momentum is the vertical position of the subject's upper leverage points. Similarly, having the subject perform an overhand-forward motion with the RH while to find a position where no side to side recoil momentum is observable would test for the dominant, RH, leverage point.

[0034] X. Cataloguing the Optimal Upper Leverage Point Locations for Specific Sports Motions

[0035] Through the above modeling and analysis it is demonstrated that there are optimal upper leverage point locations for every sports motion. Further, through the principles of upper leverage points and upper bending moments and dominance thereof, test methods can be utilized to determine the upper leverage points of individuals. Thus, it is therefore possible to determine the optimal upper leverage point locations for specific sports or sports motions by testing the upper leverage points of athletes that excel in those sports.

[0036] XII. Altering an Individual's Leverage Point with Footwear Mass Distribution

[0037] Through the above upper leverage point testing methods and cataloguing of optimal upper leverage points the difference in upper leverage point locations between those for a given test subject and the optimal points for a sport or sports related motion can be identified. It can also be observed that if the natural upper leverage points of individuals could be moved then their effectiveness in specific sports motions could be enhanced. Through testing it has been determined that altering the mass distribution of the footwear of the test subject can move the subject's upper leverage points as follows: 2

TABLE II
Effect of Footwear Mass Distribution on Subject's Natural Upper
Leverage Points
ModifiedFootwear AdditionalEffect on Upper
FootwearWeighting LocationLeverage Points
RightInsideLH point Left
LeftInsideRH point Right
RightOutsideLH point Right
LeftOutsideRH point Left
RightFrontLH point downward
LeftFrontRH point downward
RightRearLH point upward
LeftRearLH point upward

[0038] The amount of mass utilized for leverage point movements would generally be in the range of 10 to 100 grams. Also, note that RH and LH upper leverage points can actually cross. Thus the upper leverage point that responds as in Table 1 should define a RH upper leverage point. For example a RH overhand motion always favors the RH upper leverage point even if it is on the left side of the subject's body.

[0039] XIII. Product Design of Specialized Mass Distribution Footwear

[0040] Through leverage point and bending moment analysis it is demonstrated that the natural upper leverage points of a subject are a large contributing factor to the ability of the subject to perform a sport or sport related motion effectively that is supported by the contraction of the stomach muscles. From the principles of leverage points and their effect on the body, test methods to determine subject's upper leverage points can be created. Finally, the analysis and test methods have led to the product of footwear with specialized mass distribution to alter a subject's upper leverage points. The physical form of this product would consist of a product whose center of gravity or CG is off center (center as defined by the CG of standard footwear). This off center CG would generally be achieved by the addition of dense materials (steel, brass, tungsten, lead, other) around the perimeter of the footwear (focused in one area of the perimeter depending on the direction of the leverage point adjustment desired). This off center weighting could be achieved through either a modification to a standard footwear item (shoe, skate, footbed, sole etc.), by producing a footwear item pre-modified with off-center weighting, or pre-modified to have the capability of varying the off-center weight.

[0041] The amount of weight utilized and the perimeter location of the weight addition on the footwear article would be dependent on the magnitude and direction of the leverage point adjustment desired. Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 demonstrate practical methods of designing the weighting or mass distribution scheme for a product.

[0042] XIV. Methods to Design Specialized Mass Distribution Footwear

[0043] Review of the case studies in Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 demonstrate the design method for a product to enhance a subject's performance at a certain sport or sports motion as follows:

[0044] Method A:

[0045] 1) Determine a subject's* upper leverage points through testing.

[0046] 2) Determine the optimal upper leverage point locations through testing those excelling in the sport or from analysis of a motion in terms of upper leverage points and bending moments.

[0047] 3) Add weight to the perimeter of the subject's* footwear items as described in Table II.

[0048] 4) Retest the subject while wearing the weighted footwear items. If the adjusted upper leverage points match those determined in step 2 then continue. If the subject's upper leverage points do not match those determined to be optimal then add or subtract weight according to Table II and repeat step 4.

[0049] 5) Complete, the subjects performance is enhanced for the sport or sports motion

[0050] * Note: In the case of a mass market set weight design for the best average enhancement for a group of subjects, the ‘subject’ may be considered the average subject as determined through group testing.

[0051] The method described above is a formula for product design and thus the results of the formula are the physical claims of the patent. Plugging in a subject's set of upper leverage points in step 1 and then a new set of optimal upper leverage points per step 2 efficiently generates the product in step 5. However, while the above steps are a scheme that utilizes an understanding of upper leverage points to efficiently design a product, a product design whose effectiveness is based on the principles of leverage points can be achieved through performance measurement and a guess and check method for the mass distribution design. An example of such a scheme could be as follows:

[0052] Method B:

[0053] 1) Measure a subject's performance at a particular sport or sports motion.

[0054] 2) ‘Guess’ the appropriate amount and location for perimeter weighting for a footwear item.

[0055] 3) Retest the subject's performance at a particular sport or sports motion. Measure if the performance improves in the sports or sport motion.

[0056] 4) Continue varying the weight and location and charting improvements measured in step 3. Continue ‘guessing and checking’ until the best combination of location and weight amount is determined.

[0057] 5) Complete, the subject is enhanced as possible within the limits of measuring the performance improvement in step 3.

[0058] This second method is a less precise method of generating a product design/weighting scheme utilizing the ‘effects’ of moving upper leverage points without an understanding of the cause of the effects, per the principles of leverage points.

[0059] XV. Dominant Lower Bending Moments Due to Motion Direction

[0060] Similar to the Section IV it is observed that while two lower bending moments are involved in any force application supported by the back muscles, the direction of the force application will cause one of the lower bending moments to be dominant. The rules that govern this ‘favoring’ of one lower leverage point and associated lower bending moment curve over the other point and line for common motions used in sports are as follows: 3

TABLE III
Motion Direction and Dominant Lower Bending Moment
LowerLower
LeverageLeverage
PointPoint
FavoredFavored
(and(and
HandassociatedFootassociated
Location/bendingLocation/bending
HandForcemomentForcemoment
UsedDirectioncurve)Leg UsedDirectioncurve)
RHRight armLHRHRight footRH
forward,down,
pull backreverse kick
RHRight armLHRHRight footRH
forward,down,
pull rightoutward kick
RHRight armRHRHRight footLH
forward,down,
pull leftinward kick
RHRight armLH
forward,
pull up
RHRight armRH
forward,
pull down
RHRight armLH
down, pull
back
RHRight armLH
down, pull
right
RHRight armLH
up, pull
back
RHRight armRH
out to the
right, pull
back

[0061] * Note: Motions with the opposite hand or leg will have opposite dominant lower bending moments. For example, a left arm up motion-pull back will favor the RH lower leverage point.

[0062] XVI. Effect of Lower Leverage Point Height on Bending Moment Force

[0063] As previously described, a two lower bending moment model for a motion is effectively reduced into a single lower bending moment model if the direction of force application is one that heavily favors a single leverage point. When examining the relative force of the two lower bending moments in a model the other determinant factor is the lower leverage point height. If the force in the motion is being applied through the hands or arms, higher lower leverage points in an individual cause further dominance by the dominant lower bending moment as determined by the motion direction. If the foot or legs are applying the force the reverse is true, less dominance and more even bending moment strength is favored for higher lower leverage points. Conversely, lower lower leverage points favor more even bending moment strengths for forces applied through the hands or arms while lower lower leverage points cause further dominance by the dominant lower bending moment for leg movements.

[0064] XVII. Observation of Lower Bending Moments Effecting Body Balance

[0065] When a bending moment is generated between a force application point and a lower leverage point it affects the balance of the body. Generally, if the vertical height of the power application point is not the same as the vertical height of the lower leverage point, the body will have some recoil momentum in the fore/aft directions. Similarly, if the horizontal position of the power application point is not the same as the horizontal position of the lower leverage point the body will have some recoil momentum in the side to side directions.

[0066] XVIII. Utilizing an Understanding of Lower Leverage Points to Test Individual's Lower Leverage Points

[0067] When the rules governing the preferred locations of lower bending moment curves and the dominance of lower leverage points and associated bending moment curves are understood, test methods to determine the location of the individual's lower leverage points can be developed. The principles behind the development of test methods are as follows:

[0068] 1. Have the test subject perform a motion that heavily favors a single leverage point.

[0069] 2. Have the subject perform the motion without contraction of the torso muscles and at a quick pace, thus eliminating the possibility that the subject has temporarily moved their lower leverage points.

[0070] 3. Either observe or have the subject observe the recoil momentum and balance effect during the course of the lower bending moment contraction/movement.

[0071] 4. When the power application points have the same vertical height as the lower leverage point of the test subject the lower bending moment contraction causing movement will not cause recoil momentum that effects the fore/aft balance.

[0072] 5. When the power application points have the same horizontal position as the lower leverage point of the test subject the lower bending moment/movement will not cause recoil momentum that effects the side/side balance.

[0073] A practical example of a test method to test for the subject's vertical upper leverage point location is as follows:

[0074] Have the subject stand with a loose torso balanced on one foot. Have the subject perform an in-out motion with the raised foot. Raise the vertical position of the swinging foot from ground level to as high as the subject can support while balanced on a single foot. The vertical-position of the foot, or power application point, where the subject feels or exhibits no for/aft recoil momentum is the vertical position of the subject's upper leverage points.

[0075] XIX. Cataloguing the Optimal Lower Leverage Point Locations for Specific Sports Motions

[0076] As per section X it is possible to determine the optimal upper leverage point locations for specific sports or sports motions by testing the upper leverage points of athletes that excel in those sports.

[0077] XX. Altering an Individual's Lower Leverage Points with Handwear Mass Distribution

[0078] Through the above lower leverage point testing methods and cataloguing of optimal lower leverage points the difference in lower leverage point locations between those natural for a test subject and the optimal points for a sport or sports related motion can be identified. It can also be observed that if the natural lower leverage points of individuals could be moved then their effectiveness in specific sports motions could be enhanced. Through testing it has been determined that altering the mass distribution of the handwear of the test subject can move the subject's lower leverage points as follows: 4

TABLE IV
Effect of Handwear Mass Distribution on Subject's Natural Lower
Leverage Points
ModifiedHandwear AdditionalEffect on Lower
HandwearWeighting LocationLeverage Points
RightInsideLH point Left
LeftInsideRH point Right
RightOutsideLH point Right
LeftOutsideRH point Left
RightFrontLH point downward
LeftFrontRH point downward
RightRearLH point upward
LeftRearLH point upward

[0079] The amount of mass utilized would generally be in the range of 10 to 100 grams. Also, note that RH and LH lower leverage points can actually cross. Thus the lower leverage point that responds as in Table III defines the RH lower leverage point. For example if the right hand is extended to the right a pulling back motion always favors the RH lower leverage point even if it is on the left side of the subject's body.

[0080] XXI. Product Design of Specialized Mass Distribution Handwear

[0081] Through leverage point and bending moment analysis it has been demonstrated that the natural lower leverage points of a subject are a large contributing factor to the ability of the subject to perform a sport or sport related motion that is supported by the contraction of the back muscles effectively. From the principles of leverage points and their effect on the body, test methods to determine subject's lower leverage points can be created. Finally, the analysis and test methods have led to the product of handwear with specialized mass distribution to alter a subject's lower leverage points. The physical form of this product would consist of a product whose center of gravity or CG is off center (center as defined by the CG of standard handwear). This off center CG would generally be achieved by the addition of dense materials (steel, brass, tungsten, lead, other) around the perimeter of the handwear (focused in one area of the perimeter depending on the direction of the leverage point adjustment desired). This off center weighting could be achieved through either a modification to a standard handwear item (glove, hockey glove, etc.), by producing a handwear item pre-modified with off-center weighting, or pre-modified to have the capability of varying the off-center weight.

[0082] The amount of weight utilized and the perimeter location of the weight addition on the handwear article would be dependent on the magnitude and direction of the leverage point adjustment desired.

[0083] XXII. Methods to Design Specialized Mass Distribution Handwear

[0084] The method steps used in section XIV are applicable to the mass distribution design of handwear with the understanding of the alternate test methods of section XVIII and the effect of mass distribution per Table IV.

[0085] Method A:

[0086] 6) Determine a subject's* lower leverage points through testing.

[0087] 7) Determine the optimal lower leverage point locations through testing those excelling in the sport or from analysis of a motion in terms of lower leverage points and bending moments.

[0088] 8) Add weight to the perimeter of the subject's* handwear items as described in Table IV.

[0089] 9) Retest the subject while wearing the weighted handwear items. If the adjusted lower leverage points match those determined in step 2 then continue. If the subject's lower leverage points do not match then add or subtract weight according to Table IV and repeat step 4.

[0090] 10) Complete, the subject is optimized for the sport or sports motion

[0091] * Note: In the case of a mass market set weight design for the best average enhancement for a group of subjects, the ‘subject’ may be considered the average subject as determined through group testing.

[0092] The method described above is a formula for product design and thus the results of the formula are the physical claims of the patent. Plugging in a subject's set of lower leverage points in step 1 and then a new set of optimal lower leverage points per step 2 efficiently generates the product in step 5. However, while the above steps are a scheme that utilizes an understanding of lower leverage points to efficiently design a product, a product design whose effectiveness is based on the principles of leverage points can be achieved through performance measurement and a guess and check method for the mass distribution design. An example of such a scheme could be as follows:

[0093] Method B:

[0094] 6) Measure a subject's performance at a particular sport or sports motion.

[0095] 7) ‘Guess’ the appropriate amount and location for perimeter weighting for a handwear item.

[0096] 8) Retest the subject's performance at a particular sport or sports motion. Measure if the performance improves in the sports or sport motion.

[0097] 9) Continue varying the weight and location and charting improvements measured in step 3. Continue ‘guessing and checking’ until the best combination of location and weight amount is determined.

[0098] 10) Complete, the subject is enhanced as possible within the limits of measuring the performance improvement in step 3.

[0099] This second method is a less precise method of generating a product design/weighting scheme utilizing the ‘effects’ of moving upper leverage points without an understanding of the cause of the effects, per the principles of leverage points. embedded image embedded image embedded image embedded image embedded image embedded image embedded image