Title:
Facial exercise device and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A facial exercise device permits different muscle groups in a user's face to be exercised. The device includes an elastic strap assembly configured to grip a user's head, and a pair of pad assemblies that contact the user's face. The strap assembly preferably defines tensioned strap junctions that press the pad assemblies firmly against the user's face. Each junction is formed by three lengths of strap that radiate in different angular directions so that lateral forces applied by the straps to the pad tend to cancel. The pad assemblies displace along tensioned straps to permit positioning to accommodate different users and to exercise different muscle groups.



Inventors:
Lorelli, Anita (Toronto, CA)
Sava, Jacqueline Laura (Toronto, CA)
Application Number:
10/913692
Publication Date:
10/13/2005
Filing Date:
07/26/2004
Assignee:
Anita Lorelli
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/11
International Classes:
A63B21/02; A63B23/03; A63B21/055; (IPC1-7): A63B23/03; A63B21/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090111663Elliptical exercise machineApril, 2009Kuo
20100056345Body building system with shrouded weight stackMarch, 2010Liu
20090075791VARIABLE RESISTANCE SYSTEMMarch, 2009Kissel et al.
20010051561METHOD AND MEANS FOR EXERCISING HAND AND WRIST MUSCLESDecember, 2001Boorstein
20060135332Foldable stretching monitorJune, 2006Larson
20050227838Core-barOctober, 2005Friesen
20070105695Exercise apparatus for exercising lower limbsMay, 2007Susta
20020042330Leg stretching and kick exercise deviceApril, 2002Pemjean
20070232453Fatigue and Consistency in ExercisingOctober, 2007Hanoun
20060258511Climbing wall structure and method of constructionNovember, 2006Postma
20100056348Portable Mountable Upper-Body Exercise DeviceMarch, 2010James et al.



Primary Examiner:
GINSBERG, OREN ISAAC
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATTERSON + SHERIDAN, L.L.P. (Houston, TX, US)
Claims:
1. A facial exercise device comprising: an assembly of elastic straps configured to grip a user's head; a pad assembly comprising (a) a pad with a skin-gripping surface, and (b) fastening means fastening the pad to the strap assembly for displacement along a strap in the strap assembly, the fastening means positioning the pad assembly such that the strap assembly presses the skin-gripping surface of the pad against the user's face.

2. The facial exercise device of claim 1 in which the pad comprises: a generally circular core; and, a cap shaped to fit about the core and defining the skin-gripping surface.

3. The facial exercise device of claim 1 in which the fastening means comprise: a fastening element defining a guide structure through which the strap extends in a predetermined plane; and, a rotary connection coupling the fastening element to the pad such that the pad rotates relative to the fastening element about a rotational axis generally perpendicular to the plane.

4. The facial exercise device of claim 3 in which the fastening means comprise: a post attached to the fastening element in alignment with the rotational axis; and, a recess formed in the pad and receiving the post, the recess and post shaped to interlock along the rotational axis and to rotate relative to one another about the rotational axis.

5. The facial exercise device of claim 4 in which: the fastening element comprises a generally planar base to which the post is fastened; and, the base comprises a pair of slots defining the guide structure, each of the slots surrounding the strap.

6. A facial exercise device comprising: means defining a strap assembly configured to grip a user's head, the strap assembly comprising a first and second strap junctions from which at least three lengths of strap radiate in different angular directions; and, first and second pad assemblies associated respectively with the first and second junctions of the strap assembly, each of the pad assemblies comprising (a) a pad with a skin-gripping surface, and (b) fastening means securing the pad to the associated junction such that tension in the associated junction presses the skin-gripping surface of the pad against the user's face.

7. The facial exercise device of claim 6 in which the strap assembly comprises a multiplicity of elastic straps each having a first end and a second end, the first ends of the straps are joined to one another to define the first junction, the second ends of the straps are joined to one another to define a second junction.

8. The facial exercise device of claim 6 in which, in each of the pad assemblies, the pad comprises: a generally circular core; and, a cap shaped to snap fit about the core and defining the skin-gripping surface.

9. The facial exercise device of claim 6 in which, in each of the pad assemblies, a single strap of the strap assembly defines two of the strap lengths radiating for the associated pad assembly, and the fastening assembly comprises: a fastening element defining a guide structure through which the single strap; and, a rotary connection coupling the fastening element to the pad such that the pad rotates about an axis relative to the fastening element.

10. The facial exercise device of claim 9 in which the rotary connection comprises: a post attached to the fastening element in alignment with the rotational axis; and, a recess formed in the rear face of the base and receiving the post, the recess and post shaped to interlock along the rotational axis.

11. The facial exercise device of claim 10 in which, in each of the pad assemblies, the fastening means comprise: a fastening element comprising a planar base, a post aligned with a rotational axis, a guide structure comprising a pair of slots formed in the base through which the elastic loop extends in a plane transverse to the rotational axis, and another slot in the base that retains one of the ends of the strap; and, the pad comprises a recess receiving the post, the recess and post shaped to interlock along the rotational axis.

12. A facial exercise device comprising: a strap assembly comprising an elastic loop and an elastic strap configured to grip a user's head in mutually transverse planes; and, a pair of pad assemblies, each of the pad assemblies comprising: (a) a pad with a skin-gripping surface; (b) fastening means fastening the pad to the strap assembly for displacement along the elastic loop, the fastening means positioning the pad such that the strap assembly presses the skin-gripping surface against the user's face; the elastic strap have one end fixed to one of the pad assemblies and an opposite end fixed to the other of the pad assemblies such that the strap ends displace with the pad assemblies.

13. The facial exercise device of claim 12 in which, in each of the pad assemblies, the fastening means comprise: a fastening element having a rotational axis and a guide structure through which the elastic loop extends in a plane transverse to the rotational axis; and, a rotary joint connecting the fastening element to the pad for relative rotation about the rotational axis.

14. The facial exercise device of claim 13 in which, in each of the pad assemblies, the rotary joint comprises: a post attached to the fastening element in alignment with the rotational axis; and, a recess formed in the pad and receiving the post, the recess and post shaped to interlock along the rotational axis.

15. The facial exercise device of claim 14 in which, in each of the pad assemblies, the pad comprises: a generally circular base with a forward surface and a rear surface, the recess located in the rear surface of the base; and, a cap shaped to snap fit onto the base over the forward surface and defining the skin-gripping surface.

16. The facial exercise device of claim 12 in which, in each of the pad assemblies, the fastening means comprise: a fastening element comprising a planar base, a post aligned with a rotational axis, a guide structure comprising a pair of slots formed in the base through which the elastic loop extends in a plane transverse to the rotational axis, and another slot in the base that retains one of the ends of the strap; and, the pad comprises a recess receiving the post, the recess and post shaped to interlock along the rotational axis.

17. A facial exercise device comprising: a pad assembly for engaging a face; and, means defining an elastic strap assembly configured to grip the user's head, the assembly defining a first elastic strap connected to the pad assembly and configured to locate about the user's head substantially in a first plane, and a second strap connected to the pad assembly and configured to locate about the user's head substantially in a second transverse plane transverse thereby pressing the pad assembly against the user's face in response to tension in the straps.

18. The facial exercise device of claim 17 in which the pad assembly comprises: a flexible bridging member with first and second ends; and, first and second skin-gripping pads attached respectively to the first and second ends of the bridging member.

19. The facial exercise device of claim 18 in which each of the first and second elastic straps has a first end fastened directly to the first end of the bridging member and a second end fastened directly to the second end of the bridging member.

20. The facial exercise device of claim 18 in which: the bridging member comprises first and second apertures located respectively at the first and second ends of the bridging member; and, the strap assembly comprises an endless elastic loop, the loop extending through the first and second apertures and defining the first and second straps relative to the bridging member.

21. The facial exercise device of claim 17 in which: the first elastic strap is endless; the pad assembly is mounted to the first strap for displacement circumferentially along the first strap; and, the second elastic strap has one end attached to the pad assembly for displacement together with the pad assembly.

22. The facial exercise device of claim 21 in which the pad assembly comprises a fastening element spaced from the pad, the fastening element retaining the one end of the second strap and defining a guide structure through which the first strap extends in a predetermined plane.

23. The facial exercise device of claim 21 in which the pad assembly comprises a rotary connection coupling the pad and the fastening element for relative rotation.

24. The facial exercise device of claim 17 in which each of the first and second elastic straps comprises adjustment means for adjusting circumferential length of the strap.

25. A facial exercise device comprising: a pair of pad assemblies each comprising a face-gripping pad; means defining a strap assembly configured to grip the user's head, the strap assembly comprising: (a) a bridging strap extending between the first and second pad assemblies; and, (b) a pair of elastic straps, each of the pair of elastic straps connected to one end of the bridging strap to define therewith one junction to which one of the pad assemblies is mounted, each of the pair of elastic straps connected to an opposite end of the bridging strap to define therewith another junction to which the other of the pad assemblies is mounted, the pair of elastic straps configured to locate about the user's head with one of the pair substantially in one plane and the other of the pair substantially in another transverse plane thereby to press the pad assemblies against the user's skin.

26. The facial exercise device of claim 25 in which each of the pad assemblies comprises: an opening through which the bridging strap extends in one direction; and, one or more openings from which the pair of elastic straps extend in a generally opposite direction; whereby spacing between the pair of pad assemblies is manually adjustable.

27. The facial exercise device of claim 26 in which each of the pair of elastic straps comprises adjustment means for adjusting the length of the strap.

28. The facial exercise device of claim 25 in which each of the face-gripping pads comprises a core and a cap shaped to snap fit over the core, the cap defining an operative face-engaging surface of the pad.

29. A method of exercising facial muscles with a device comprising an elastic strap assembly and a pair of pad assemblies fastened to the elastic straps, comprising: selecting a group of muscles to be exercised; installing the strap assembly on a person's head such that elastic straps are tensioned to press the pad assemblies against the person's face; positioning the pad assemblies on the person's face to resist contraction of the selected group of muscles; and, contracting the selected group of muscles.

30. The method of claim 29 in which the strap assembly comprises an elastic loop to which a pair of the pad assemblies is fastened and a strap with one end fixed to one of the pair of pad assemblies and an opposite end fixed to the other of the pair of pad assemblies, in which the installing of the strap assembly comprises: encircling the person's head with the elastic loop; partially encircling the person's head with the strap such that the strap is transverse to the loop and gripping the person's head.

31. The method of claim 29 in which the strap assembly comprises one elastic strap to which a pair of the pad assemblies is fastened and a pair of elastic straps, each of the pair of straps having one end fastened to one end of the one strap thereby to define a junction from which at least three lengths of strap radiate in different angular directions, each of the pair of straps having another end fastened to the other end of the one strap thereby to define another junction from which at least three lengths of strap radiate in different angular direction, in which the installing of the strap assembly comprises: placing the one strap across the person's face proximate to the muscles to be exercised; and, partially encircling the person's head with each of the pair of straps such that each of the pair of straps grips the person's head at spaced apart position.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to devices for exercising muscles in the human face.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Various facial exercise devices have been proposed. Many are designed to exercise a specific group of muscles.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,507,493 to Robins discloses a one-piece exercise mask whose shape conforms closely to the contours of the area around the user's eyes. The mask bears against the face to resist contraction of certain muscle groups surrounding the eyes.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,189,141 to Rooney discloses a facial exercise mask that covers the entire face with stretch fabric except for cut-outs at the eyes, nose and mouth. Pockets in the mask hold weights to resist contraction of various facial muscles.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,650,182 to Ross discloses a device for exercising muscles associated with the jaw. The device includes an elastic support band that encircles the user's head, a chin cup, and a pair of vertical elastic straps that fasten with hooks to opposite ends of the chin cup.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,179,747 to Jelly discloses a facial exercise devices adapted to exercise muscles associated with a user's jaws. The device has an upper collar that seats around the top of the head, a lower collar that locates around the neck, and a chin cup. Elastic members extend upward and downward from the two collars to press the chin cup firmly against the user's chin.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,277,053 to Desembrana describes a combined face exercise device and magnetic stimulator. The device has a band that surrounds the head and cheeks of the user and extends down to the chin. Fabric-like hook and loop fasteners fasten the lower ends of the band to a chin strap, which has cheek portions adapted to receive magnets. The device purports to exercise the facial muscles associated with the user's jaws while simultaneously stimulating blood flow in those muscles.

Devices other than facial exercisers have been proposed that are configured to locate about a user's head. U.S. Pat. No. 5,700,238 to Hyson describes a goggle-like mask that carries pads for dispensing analgesics or other medication to the eyes and seals against the face to prevent medication from escaping. U.S. Pat. No. 6,039,710 to Kelley et al describes a facial support with multiple straps that locate about the head to provide support for the user's cheeks. U.S. Pat. No. 6,193,740 to Rodriguez describes an adjustable head band that encircles the forehead and back of the head and holds eye pillows against the user's eyes.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect, the invention provides a device adapted to exercise muscles in a person's face and consequently tone the skin. The device comprises an assembly of elastic straps configured to grip the user's head, and a skin-gripping pad fastened to the strap assembly so that tension in the assembly presses the pad into engagement with the user's face. The pad can be selectively positioned and pressed against the user's face to provide resistive forces against muscle and skin movement. The strap assembly preferably comprises straps that orient in mutually perpendicular planes about the user's head to ensure stable seating. The strap assembly may also be structured to define a junction with lengths of strap radiating in different angular directions. The tensioned straps produce a force normal to the skin surface that presses the pad against the user's face but lateral forces applied by the tensioned straps tend to cancel, providing more reliable positioning and stability as the straps of the assembly stretch and contract during exercise. Although a single pad can technically be used, the device will normally incorporate two pad assemblies to allow for simultaneous exercise of corresponding muscle groups on both sides of the face.

In another aspect, the invention provides a facial exercise device comprising a strap assembly with an elastic strap configured as an endless loop that locates about a user's head. A pair of pad assemblies are mounted for displacement along the loop, allowing the spacing of the pad assemblies to be adjusted according to facial features and muscles groups to be exercised. For purposes of this specification, the term “loop” refers to a strap initially formed as an endless band or initially formed with distinct ends that are joined with a releasable cord lock or other fastening means to form an endless band. The strap assembly includes another strap that bears against the user's head, whose ends are fastened to the pad assemblies for movement together. In preferred form, each pad assembly includes a fastener that orients the elastic loop in a predetermined plane, and cooperates with the pad assembly to form a rotary joint allowing the associated pad to rotate about an axis transverse to the plane. This permits minor adjustments to the orientation of the straps on the user's head without dislodging the pads.

Other aspects of the invention will be apparent from a description below of preferred embodiments and will be more specifically defined in the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be better understood with respect to drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is perspective view of a facial exercise device;

FIGS. 2a and 2b are an exploded side view and a fragmented plan view, respectively, of a pad assembly associated;

FIGS. 3-5 diagrammatically illustrate how the device can be used to exercise different sets of facial muscles;

FIG. 6 is perspective view of a second facial exercise device;

FIGS. 7-9 diagrammatically illustrate how the second device can be used to exercise different sets of facial muscles;

FIG. 10 is perspective view of a third facial exercise device;

FIGS. 11-13 diagrammatically illustrate how the third device can be used to exercise different sets of facial muscles;

FIG. 14 is perspective view of a fourth facial exercise device;

FIG. 15 is fragmented view of a pad assembly of the fourth device and its mounting relative to straps;

FIGS. 16-18 diagrammatically illustrate how the fourth device can be used to exercise different sets of facial muscles

FIG. 19 is perspective view of a fifth facial exercise device;

FIG. 20 is fragmented view of a pad assembly of the fifth device and its mounting relative to straps;

FIGS. 21-23 diagrammatically illustrate how the fifth device can be used to exercise different sets of facial muscles.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Reference is made to FIG. I which illustrates a facial exercise device 10. The device 10 includes a strap assembly 12 and a pair of identical pad assemblies 16, 18. The strap assembly 12 includes a strap 22 configured as an endless elastic loop (also referred to as loop 22), and another strap 24 with distinct ends 26, 28. In an operative orientation the loop 22 and strap 24 orient in mutually transverse planes, reliably gripping the user's head 14. For example, in FIG. 3, the strap 24 is oriented in a generally vertical plane and extends under the user's chin 30. The loop 22 is substantially horizontal and crosses the user's nose 32. Tension in the strap assembly 12 then presses the pad assemblies 16, 18 against the user's face 20. The length or circumference of the straps 22, 24 can be adjusted for different users with conventional toggle fasteners 29 but other devices such as cord locks, side release web locks, tri-glides or cam buckles can be used. If holes are provided in the elastic strap, buttons or snap can be used.

The pad assemblies 16, 18 are fastened to the strap assembly 12 for displacement along the elastic loop 22. The ends 26, 28 of the strap 24 are fixed to the pad assemblies 16, 18 and displace with the pad assemblies 16, 18. This permits the spacing of the pad assemblies 16, 18 to be conveniently adjusted to suit to a particular user's facial features or to exercise different sets of facial muscles.

The pad assembly 18 is shown in greater detail in FIGS. 2a and 2b. It includes a pad 34 with a two-part construction: a generally circular plastic core 35 and a plastic cap 36 that provides a skin-gripping surface 37 and can be removed for cleaning or replacement. The core 35 and cap 36 are radially symmetric about the axis 38 shown in FIG. 2a. The side wall of the cap 36 conforms generally in shape to the periphery of the core 35, and has an annular undercut 39 that permits the cap 36 to snap fit onto the core 35. The core 35 and cap 36 might alternatively be formed with complementary screw threads.

The pad assembly 18 includes a plastic fastener 40 that secures the pad assembly 18 to the straps 22, 24. The fastener 40 has a flat triangular base 41 and a central post 42 with an expanded head 44. The post 42 is shown aligned with the axis 38 along which the components are exploded and which is also the rotational axis of the fastener 40 and the pad 34. The core 35 has a central recess 46 molded in its rear face that receives the post 42 along the axis 38. The recess 46 conforms in shape shape to the post 42, particularly the expanded head 44. This arrangement permits the fastener 40 to interlock axially with the core 35, and also defines a rotary joint that permits the pad 34 to rotate about the axis 38 relative to the straps 22, 24. The post might alternatively be threaded into or molded with the core 35, and received in an aperture in the base 41 of the fastener 40. The post can be secured with a snap fit, nut, clip or the like. The rotary connection may be formed in other conventional ways.

The base 41 of the fastener 40 is molded with a slot 48 that retains one end 28 of the strap 24. The strap end 28 is simply extended through the slot 48, doubled over, and then sewn, heat-welded or glued. Rivets, snap fasteners, or button and hole arrangements may alternatively be used. A pair of slots 50 receive the loop 22 and permit the fastener 40 to slide along the loop 22. The slots 50 also serve as a guide structure that orients the loop 22 in a plane transverse to the rotational axis 38, facilitating pad rotation and keeping the pad 34 properly oriented for contact with the user's face 20.

Various materials may be used in the pad assembly 18. The core 35 and the fastener 40 are preferably molded of polypropylene, but polyethylene, nylon, acetal, polycarbonate, acrylic or polystyrene could be used. The cap 36 is preferably molded of santoprene, a relatively soft plastic, which is hypoallergenic and has good skin-gripping properties. The core 35 may be molded of santoprene to allow use without the cap 36. The skin-gripping surface 37 is preferably treated by fine electrode discharge machining to enhance its gripping properties but sandblasting or vapor honing might be used to impart surface texture. Alternatively, the surface 37 may be molded with ribs or other gripping structures. Although santoprene is preferred for defining skin-gripping surfaces, others materials may be substituted for purposes of the invention, including urethanes, polyesters, polyvinyl chloride, rubber and silicone.

Referring again to FIG. 2b, it will be noted that the straps 22, 24 form a y-junction at the pad assembly 18. The junction is defined by three lengths 54 of the straps 22, 24 joined at the fastener 40 and radiating from the junction in different angular directions. The tensioned lengths 54 of strap press the pad 34 securely against the user's face 20. The lateral forces exerted by the lengths 54 of strap on the pad 34 tend to cancel so that the pad 34 tends to remain properly positioned as the straps 22, 24 extend and contract during exercise.

The facial exercise device 10 has greater versatility than prior art devices. In the operative orientation shown in FIG. 3, the pad assemblies 16, 18 are positioned over the user's cheeks just below the eyes in order exercise muscles under the eyes and at the cheeks. The most effective position for such purposes is below the outside corner of each eye. These muscles include the caput intra orbital that pulls the cheeks upward; the elevator anguli oris that pulls the angle of the mouth upward toward the eyes and nose; the zygomaticus major that draws the angle of the mouth out and upward toward the eyes; the orvicularis oculi inferior and the palpebral that close the lower eyelids. The elastic loop 22 is oriented in a generally horizontal plane, extending fully around the user's head 14 and across the user's nose 32, and the strap 24 is oriented in a generally vertical plane and under the user's chin 30. The user simply contracts the muscles by pulling the cheeks upward, and holds for a few seconds. This exercise may be performed for 10-15 repetitions or until the muscles are fatigued.

In FIG. 4, the device 10 is configured to exercise forehead muscles including the frontalis muscle that raises the forehead and the levator talpevrae superoris that raises the upper eyebrow area. The elastic loop 22 encircles the user's head 14, extending around the forehead, sides, and back, and the pad assemblies 16, 18 are positioned on the forehead, one over each of the user's eyes. The user contracts the forehead muscles by raising his or her eyebrows and holds for a few seconds. This may be repeated 10-15 times or until muscles are fatigued.

In FIG. 5, the device is configured to exercise muscles of the chin, jaw, cheeks and neck, including the masseter muscle and the digastricus which assists in opening the jaw. The pad assemblies 16, 18 are displaced along the elastic loop 22 until separated by a few centimeters, and positioned below the user's chin 30. The strap 24 is oriented in a horizontal plane, encircling the back of the user's neck. The elastic loop 22 is oriented in a plane that extends upward, and locates against the top of the user's head 14. The lateral forces applied by the straps 22, 24 to each of the pad assemblies 16, 18 substantially counterbalance, and the pads sit comfortably on the user's face 20. Muscles are contracted by opening the mouth, and held for a few seconds. Once again, the user will typically perform 10-15 repetitions.

Reference is made to FIG. 6 which illustrates another facial exercise device 60. The device 60 includes a strap assembly 62 formed from a single loop 64 of elastic strap and a toggle fastener 66. The device 60 uses a compound pad assembly 68 with a flexible plastic base 74 formed with expanded oval ends 76, 78 and a narrow bridging member 80 extending between the opposing ends 76, 78. The base 74 may alternatively be formed of cloth or elastic materials. Oval skin-engaging pads 82, 84 are adhered to the opposing oval ends 76, 78. The strap 64 is threaded through slots 86, 88 at opposing ends of the base 74 effectively dividing the endless loop 64 into two distinct straps 70, 72. The pad assembly 68 can be displaced along the loop 64 for different exercise routines.

The device 60 can be used to exercise different sets of muscles in the face. In FIG. 7, the pad assembly 68 is positioned with its bridging member 80 spanning the user's nose 32, and the pads 82, 84 below the user's eyes for exercise of muscles under the eyes and at the cheeks (only the pad 84 being apparent in FIG. 7). The straps 70, 72 and the bridging member 80 define three tensioned lengths 90 of strap (numbered only in FIG. 7) that define a y-junction 92 (indicated only in FIG. 7). The junction 92 presses the pad 84 reliably into engagement with a selected spot on the user's face 20. FIG. 8 shows the device 60 configured for exercising the muscles of the forehead, and FIG. 9 shows the device 60 configured for exercise of muscles of the chin, jaw, cheeks and neck. These exercises and others described below are performed using the facial movements and repetitions described above with reference to the device 10.

Reference is made to FIG. 10 which illustrates another facial exercise device 94. The device 94 is similar in construction to the device 60, and components common to the devices 60, 94 have been identified with the same reference numbers. The distinguishing feature of the device 64 is that the bridging member 74 is no longer formed with clearance holes, and the elastic loop 64 is simply sewn to the opposing ends 76, 78 of the plastic base. As apparent in FIGS. 11-13, the device 94 can be used to selectively exercise different groups of facial muscles.

Reference is made to FIG. 14 which illustrates another facial exercise device 100. The device 100 comprises an elastic strap assembly 102 that includes a short elastic strap 104 that tensions across the user's face 20, and a pair of longer elastic straps 106, 108 that locate about the sides and back of the user's head 14. The short strap 104 has opposing ends 110, 112. Each of the longer straps 106, 108 has one end 114 or 116 sewn to the end 110 of the short strap 104, forming a y-junction 118. Each of the longer straps 106, 108 has an opposing end 120 or 122 similarly fastened to the other end 112 of the short strap 104, forming another y-junction 124. A pair of pad assemblies 126, 128 are fastened to the strap assembly 102 at the y-junctions 118, 124.

The pad assembly 128 is typical and more apparent in the view of FIG. 15. The pad assembly 128 includes a flexible plastic base 130 with a rounded rectangular periphery. A skin-gripping pad 132 is fastened with an adhesive to the plastic base 130 but may be sewn or heat welded depending on the materials used in the pad. An aligned pair of slots 136 are formed along one end of the plastic base 130, traverse to the lengthwise axis of the base 130, and pass the ends 120, 122 of the longer straps 106, 108. The short strap 104 is threaded through a single slot 138 formed along an opposing lengthwise end of the base 130 and then through a central pair of transverse slots 140. The slots 140 are parallel and dimensioned to pass the y-junction 124, allowing for gross lateral positioning of the pad assemblies 126, 128. When tensioned, the y-junctions 118, 124 permit reliable positioning of the pad assemblies 126, 128, substantially as discussed above.

The versatility of the facial exercise device 100 is apparent in FIGS. 16-18. In FIG. 16, the pad assemblies 126, 128 are positioned below the user's eyes for exercise of muscles of the cheeks. In this configuration, the short strap 104 is tensioned horizontally across the user's nose 32. The longer straps 106, 108 locate respectively against the back of the user's head 14 and below the user's chin 30. In FIG. 17, the pad assemblies 126, 128 are placed on the user's forehead immediately over each eye, to exercise muscles of the forehead. The short strap 104 is now tensioned horizontally across the user's forehead, and the longer straps 106, 108 once again locate against the back of the user's head 14 and below the user's chin 30. In the configuration of FIG. 18, the device 100 allows the user to exercise muscles of the chin, jaw, cheeks, and neck. The short strap 104 is tensioned across the user's chin 30, and the longer strap 106 extends over the head 14 and the other strap 108 bears against the back of the neck.

Reference is made to FIG. 19 which illustrates yet another facial exercise device 150. The device 150 is similar in general construction to the device 100 and uses the same strap assembly 102. Components common to the devices 100, 150 are consequently indicated with like reference numbers. The principal difference resides in the construction of pad assemblies 152, 154. The pad assembly 154 is typical and more apparent in the view of FIG. 20.

The pad assembly 154 comprises a generally oval pad 156 of santoprene/. A cloth backing 158 overlays the pad 156 and may be sewn, adhered or otherwise fastened to the periphery of the pad 156. The pad assembly 154 is configured to mount about the y-junction 124 formed by the short bridging strap 104 and the head-encircling straps 106, 108. The pad assembly 154 defines an opening 160 from which the short bridging strap 104 extends in one lateral direction, and a pair of openings 162, 164 (though a single opening can be used) from which the two straps 106, 108 extend generally in the opposite lateral direction. This arrangement permits the pad assemblies 152, 154 to be displaced laterally to adjust their spacing. As apparent in FIGS. 21-23, the device 150 can be used to exercise various muscles in the face, essentially as described with reference to the device 100 above.

It will be appreciated that particular embodiments of the invention have been described and that modifications may be made therein without departing from the scope of the appended claims.