Title:
Physical training equipment
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A weight is disclosed for use in performing physical training exercises. The weight comprising an elongate cylindrical flexible-walled bag filled with a flowable solid and having at least axially spaced two handles projecting from the cylindrical surface of the bag. The packing density of the flowable solid within the bag is such that the maximum sag at the center of the bag when it is supported by its ends does not exceed 5% of the length of the bag.



Inventors:
Bellamy, Mark James Brian (Hereford and Worcester, GB)
Application Number:
10/513486
Publication Date:
08/25/2005
Filing Date:
05/01/2003
Assignee:
BELLAMY MARK J.B.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B21/06; A63B21/00; A63B21/02; A63B21/065; A63B21/072; A63B69/00; (IPC1-7): A63B21/06
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050148447Pelvic muscle exercise deviceJuly, 2005Nady
20060122044Folding collapsible exercising apparatusJune, 2006Ho
20070087914Exercise bell device and methods of use thereofApril, 2007Connelly et al.
20040162194Exercise machine with adjustable range of motionAugust, 2004Habing
20040198573Dynamic balance boardOctober, 2004Brydson et al.
20050245373Stretching machineNovember, 2005Kelley et al.
20090062086STRENGTH SYSTEM WITH PIVOTING COMPONENTSMarch, 2009Dalebout et al.
20080085819Multi-degree-of-freedom (MDOF) muscle training machineApril, 2008Yang
20080220945Body training machineSeptember, 2008Chen
20040009846Hand exerciser with enhanced strengthening abilityJanuary, 2004Smith
20030008755Auxiliary exerciser for an exercise apparatusJanuary, 2003Konjevic



Primary Examiner:
HWANG, VICTOR KENNY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHERNOFF, VILHAUER, MCCLUNG & STENZEL, LLP (Portland, OR, US)
Claims:
1. 1-10. (canceled)

11. A weight for use in performing physical training exercises, comprising an elongate cylindrical flexible-walled bendable bag filled with a flowable solid and having at least two handles that are flexibly attached to the bag and project from the cylindrical surface of the bag at points that are axially spaced from one another, characterised in that the packing density of the flowable solid within the bag is such that the maximum sag at the centre of the bag when it is supported by its ends does not exceed 5% of the length of the bag:

12. A weight as claimed in claim 11, wherein the flowable solid is sand.

13. A weight as claimed in claim 11, wherein the flowable solid comprises rounded particles having a diameter in the range from 1 mm to 5 mm.

14. A weight as claimed in claim 11, wherein the bag is padded.

15. A weight as claimed in claim 11, having two handles that extend either parallel to the axis of the bag.

16. A weight as claimed in claim 11, having two handles that extend circumferentially.

17. A weight as claimed in claim 16, wherein the handles form part of a continuous web that passes round the entire circumference of the bag.

18. A weight as claimed in claim 11, wherein the bag has an outer skin and a separate inner skin.

19. A weight as claimed in claim 18, wherein the outer skin is formed of a plastics material.

20. A weight as claimed in claim 11, wherein the bag is formed with a resealable opening to enable the bag to be emptied and refilled with the flowable solid.

Description:

The present invention relates to equipment for use in performing physical training exercises.

It is known to exercise by lifting weights usually constructed as barbells or dumbbells consisting of metal disks secured to a metal bar. The present invention seeks to provide a weight for use in performing physical exercises that is a both safer and more versatile than conventional weights.

According to the present invention, there is provided a weight for use in performing physical training exercises, comprising an elongate cylindrical flexible-walled bendable bag filled with a flowable solid and having at least two handles that are flexibly attached to the bag and project from the cylindrical surface of the bag at points that are axially spaced from one another, wherein the packing density of the flowable solid within the bag is such that the maximum sag at the centre of the bag when it is supported by its ends does not exceed 5% of the length of the bag.

The flowable solid is made of incompressible particles, and in this respect, the bag differs from punch bags, such as described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,261,210, which are filled with a compressible material such as rubber. The flowable solid is preferably sand but may alternatively use pea gravel which comprises rounded particles having a maximum diameter of around 5 mm. The flowable solid may comprise less coarse material with a particle size as small as 1 mm but very fine materials would prove difficult to contain effectively within the bag.

The bag is preferably also padded. The thickness of the padding is preferably such as to permit the surface of the bag to be depressed by 5 to 25 mm. The padding softens impact with the bag and allows the bag to be carried comfortably across the shoulders of the user.

When exercising with conventional barbells or dumbbells, exercises are designed to work on one or only a few muscles through movements in only one plane. If a bag of the invention is used in the same way as conventional dumbbells, the instability resulting from the bendable nature of the bag and the movement in the handles requires the athlete to use many more different muscles to control the movement of the bag.

The bag of the invention can additionally be used to perform many exercises that are not safe or comfortable with dumbbells. For example, the bag can be carried across the shoulders while performing such exercises as jumping, running, climbing up and down stairs, bending forwards, bending sideways and rotating about the hip.

The padding of the bag also permits it to be thrown and caught safely in the same way as a medicine ball.

The handles of the bag may extend either parallel to its axis or circumferentially. In the latter case, it is preferred that the handles form part of a continuous web that passes round the entire circumference of the bag to provide additional strength and place less reliance on the stitching of the handles to the material of the bag.

Preferably, the bag is of several skins. The inner skin is conveniently a polypropylene fabric as commonly used for sacks used to package and store heavy building materials such as sand and gravel. Such a fabric is inexpensive and well suited to the task of containing the flowable solid. The outer skin may suitably be formed of a plastics material or of leather. Between the two skins, a compressible layer may be used to provide the desired padding. The compressible layer may be a felt or a closed cell foam.

To permit the bag to be filled with the flowable solid, it is preferred to provide the outer skin with an opening having a resealable fastener, such as a zip fastener, a lace fastener or a hook and eye fastener (Velcro®).

The opening may extend parallel to the axis of the bag or circumferentially. As a further alternative, the bag may be formed with a removable end cap that is held in position by means of a suitable resealable fastener.

The invention will now be described further, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first bag, embodying the invention,

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the invention, and

FIG. 3 is a transverse section through the bag of a still further embodiment of the invention.

The exercise bag 10 shown in FIG. 1 has an outer casing 12 made of a suitable plastics material or leather onto which are sewn two handles 14. The casing has an opening 16 closed by a resealable fastener, such as a zip or Velcro®, through which the bag is filled with a flowable solid, preferably sand or pea gravel. As will be described in further detail by reference to FIG. 3, the bag 10 may have an inner-casing or bladder for increased strength and better containment of the flowable solid.

The bag 20 of FIG. 2 has an outer casing 22 and differs from the bag of FIG. 1 in two respects. First, the handles 24 extend axially rather than circumferentially and second, in place of an opening, the bag 20 has a removable end cap 28 attached to the body of the bag by a resealable fastener.

The size of an exercise bag will of course depend on the desired weight and the diameter of the bag can be increased as necessary to accommodate greater quantities of the flowable solid. The length of the bag should preferably be greater than 600 cm in order to afford sufficient space for two handles and less than 1200 cm to avoid it becoming unwieldy.

The packing density of the pea gravel or sand is important because the bag should be slightly bendable but should not sag in the middle under the weight of the contained flowable solid. The maximum sag at the centre of the bag when it is supported by its ends should not exceed 5% of the length of the bag. Thus it should be possible to raise one end of the bag when lying on a horizontal surface by a distance equal only to about one tenth of the length of the bag before its opposite end commences to tilt. The bag is thus able to bend sufficiently to rest on a user's shoulders without applying pressure directly to the spine.

The flexibility of the bag and the fact that the handles can flex relative to the bag have the effect that its centre of gravity will move around as it is lifted and will call upon the user to use a larger range of muscles to control the movement.

FIG. 3 shows a section through an alternative embodiment of the invention. The bag 30 of FIG. 3 has an outer casing 32 made of a suitable plastics material, such as high density of polythene. The outer casing is lined with a padding 36 which is preferably a resilient closed-cell foam. The bag 30 has an inner skin 40 and is made of a woven polypropylene fabric, such as used in the building trade to carry sand. The inner skin 40 is filled with sand 42 of which the particle size is about 1 mm. It is possible to use finer material in addition but if the particle size is too small it may bleed out of the bag. The use of particles larger than 5 mm, on the other hand, would make the bag uncomfortable to carry across the shoulders.

In the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 2, the handles 14 and 2 are sewn to the outer casing, which is not preferred because the stitching will be subjected to severe stresses and may give way. Instead, in FIG. 3, the gripped part of the handle 34 (which is itself suitably upholstered) passes through slits in the outer casing 32 and the padding 36 and is attached to a web 38 that encircles the entire girth of the bag 30. For additional strength, it is possible to sew the handle 34 to the casing. Though FIG. 3 shows the web 38 inside in the outer casing 32, it is further possible to place the web 38 outside the outer casing 32, this being the construction that offers the maximum strength.

The outer casing can be formed by folding over and sewing or welding the opposite sides of a flat sheet or it may be formed from a seamless extruded plastics tube. The opening 16 in FIG. 1 is better suited to the former method of construction of the casing, while the end cap 28 of FIG. 2 is better suited to an extruded tube and makes for an inexpensive construction in that it can totally avoid the need for sewing.

The padding of the casing makes the bag more comfortable to carry and reduces the risk of injury by impact, which is ever present when using barbells or dumbbells. The padding may be between 5 mm and 25 mm thickness to permit a similar degree of flexibility in the surface of the bag. Thus the padding is sufficient to prevent the individual particles of the flowable solid from being discerned.

The ideal separation of the handles of the bag will depend on the size of the user and the exercise being performed. To enable the bag to be used in different ways and by different users, it is possible to provide more than two handles and these may either be axially aligned with another or they may be staggered around the circumference of the bag.

An elongate padded and slightly flexible bag as described above has been found to provide a significant advantage over dumbbells and other devices used in the prior art for resistance training in that it allows exercise regimes to be designed to improve the performance of all the muscles that are used by a particular athlete rather than just a few of the relevant muscles. The exercises can be tailored to the sport in which the athlete specialises and can involve a wide range of body movements as earlier described.