Title:
Systems and methods for improving golf or baseball swings
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A swing exercising device includes a base; a handle coupled to the base; and means for attaching a ball to the base.



Inventors:
Nguyen, Hai Minh (San Jose, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/919852
Publication Date:
02/16/2006
Filing Date:
08/16/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/423, 473/430
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAMBERS, MICHAEL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Tran Filing (Saratoga, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A swing exercising device, comprising: a base; a handle coupled to the base; means for attaching a ball to the base.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein said means for attaching a ball comprises a coiled spring fastened to one side of the base, whereby when the ball is struck, the coiled spring returns the ball to its resting position.

3. The device of claim 1, wherein said base includes an opening and wherein said means for attaching a ball comprises a pivotable arm inserted into said opening, wherein when the ball is struck, the arm allows the ball to orbit around said opening above said base.

4. The device of claim 1, wherein said means for attaching a ball comprises: a retainer secured in the base; a coiled spring fastened to the retainer; and a string coupled to the coiled spring, whereby when the ball is struck, the coiled spring and string return the ball to its resting position.

5. The device of claim 4, comprising a tube mounted on top of the base and adapted to receive said string therethrough.

6. The device of claim 1, wherein said means for attaching a ball comprises: a stand projecting above the base; an arm projecting from the stand; and a ring rotatably coupled to the arm.

7. The device of claim 6, comprising a distance indicator coupled to the stand.

8. The device of claim 6, comprising a string coupled to the ring.

9. The device of claim 1, wherein said ball is a golf ball.

10. The device of claim 1, wherein said base is rectangular in shape.

11. The device of claim 1, wherein said means for attaching a ball comprises: a first hollow tube; and a second tube rotatably coupled to and slideably engaging the first hollow tube to adjust a ball height setting.

12. The device of claim 11, comprising an arm coupled to the second tube.

13. The device of claim 12, wherein the ball is mounted on one end of the arm, comprising a counterweight coupled to the other end of the arm.

14. The device of claim 11, comprising a spring coupled to the arm and the ball.

15. The device of claim 11, wherein the tubes are rectangular tubes.

16. The device of claim 11, wherein the tubes are cylindrical tubes.

17. The device of claim 11, comprising: a counter ball; a spring coupled to the counter ball; and a string coupled to the spring and to the ball.

18. The device of claim 1, wherein said base is elongated in shape.

18. The device of claim 11, comprising: an arm coupled to the second tube; a stopper coupled to one end of the arm; a ring positioned on the arm between the second tube and the stopper; and a string coupled to the ring and the ball.

20. The device of claim 11 wherein the ball is a baseball.

Description:

The present invention relates to a swing exercise device.

Golfing is a sport which requires practice. A well practiced golf swing is an important element of successful golfing. Improvements in swing technique, and practice of that technique, are required in order for a golfer to improve his or her performance. However, green fees are expensive and a golfer does not always have convenient access to a golf course or driving range in which to practise. Consequently, there exists a need for a device which allows a golfer to practise his or her golf swing within a confined area such as a back yard or garage.

A primary consideration in the design of such a device is safety. Golf balls when driven at full force are potentially lethal projectiles, and when used within a confined space represent a potential danger not only to people within the immediate vicinity, but also to the golfer. Thus a golf swing practice device must prevent the golf ball from becoming a dangerous projectile once the golf ball is hit by quickly arresting the motion of the golf ball so as to dissipate the golf ball's energy. The device must also minimize the possibility of potentially dangerous rebounding of the golf ball from the device. Advantageously, a golf swing practice device must be constructed of a minimum of materials to reduce manufacturing cost, and must be easily assembled and disassembled for convenience of use.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,180,167 to Felix discloses a golf swing practice device with a netting supported from a frame to provide a wedge-shaped pocket. The length of the sides of the wedge are adjustable to permit the open end of the wedge to be rotated by rotating the portion of the frame supporting the open end of the wedge with respect to the portion of the frame supporting the length of the wedge to permit a golfer to stand within the opening while avoiding the frame of the opening with his swing.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,599,021 to Lary shows a sports swing exercise device composed of a weight attached to a shaft by means of a spring. When the shaft is swung, the muscles used in the swing are not only strengthened with repeat use, they are stretched toward full articulation with the spring as it eases the transition of momentum and inertia at the ends of the swing from one direction to its opposite.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,129,637 to Wang notes that golf ball swinging practice structures are also available. One such product is comprised of a rotary assembly mounted on a support, with a golf ball assembly pivot mounted to the rotary assembly; furthermore, the rotary assembly consists of an upper and lower shell, each having a semicircular recess along the inner walls and two ribs, respectively, and positioned in between the two pairs of ribs is a bearing mounted on the relatively small diameter tip of the support and secured in place by a lock pin; the inner sides of the upper and lower shell form a containment cavity, and there is an insertion slot in the containment cavity of the lower shell; the golf ball assembly consists of a pliable plastic rod, a retainer, and a golf ball, of which a sphere is formed on the upper end of the pliable plastic rod which enables a restraining insertion into the containment cavity of the rotary assembly. Wang in turn discloses a golf practice device with a base having on the top surface a section of artificial turf and a positioning support. A rod is pivot mounted to the front end of the positioning support and the leading end of the rod is pivot mounted to a ball to form the directional control mount. The rod of the directional control mount is inserted such that the ball enters a threaded section, at the bottom end of which is the connection rod of a swivel mount having an internal spherical-shaped space, and until the threaded section is situated laterally against the ball of the direction control mount. This enables assembly to the swivel mount so that the ball of the direction control mount is contained in the swivel fitting of the swivel assembly. The swivel mount and the connection rod at the top and bottom ends of the swivel assembly are structurally coordinated with a golf ball at the bottom end of another rod forming the golf ball assembly.

SUMMARY

In one aspect, a swing exercising device includes a base; a handle coupled to the base; and means for attaching a ball to the base.

Implementations of the above aspect may include one or more of the following. The means for attaching a ball can include a coiled spring fastened to one side of the base, whereby when the ball is struck, the coiled spring returns the ball to its resting position. The base includes an opening and wherein said means for attaching a ball comprises a pivotable arm inserted into said opening, wherein when the ball is struck, the arm allows the ball to orbit around said opening above said base. The means for attaching a ball can also include a retainer secured in the base; a coiled spring fastened to the retainer; and a string coupled to the coiled spring, whereby when the ball is struck, the coiled spring and string return the ball to its resting position. A tube can be mounted on top of the base and adapted to receive said string therethrough. The means for attaching a ball can also include a stand projecting above the base;an arm projecting from the stand; and a ring rotatably coupled to the arm. A distance indicator can be coupled to the stand. A string can be attached to the ring. The ball can be a golf ball. The base can also be rectangular in shape to resemble a brief-case.

The means for attaching a ball can also include a first hollow tube; and a second tube rotatably coupled to and slideably engaging the first hollow tube to adjust a ball height setting. An arm can be connected to the second tube. The ball can be mounted on one end of the arm with a counterweight coupled to the other end of the arm. A spring can be connected to the arm and the ball. The tubes can be rectangular tubes or cylindrical tubes.

The above means can include a counter ball; a spring coupled to the counter ball; and a string coupled to the spring and to the ball. The base is elongated in shape. In another device, an arm can be connected to the second tube; a stopper coupled to one end of the arm; a ring positioned on the arm between the second tube and the stopper; and a string can be connected to the ring and the ball. The ball can be a baseball.

Advantages of system may include one or more of the following. The system promotes exercises that require swinging. The system enables users to build strength and endurance. The system provides a portable device that can be used away from the sports field of play to strengthen and condition muscles at any time the athlete may desire. Other advantages include enabling the user to increase power, strength, stamina and range of motion during the sports swing. The system saves time in retrieving balls and is convenient to users as they don't have to walk long distances to retrieve balls. As a result, the users can have more time to practice and to focus on the art of hitting the balls.

Further advantages of our invention will become apparent from a consideration of the drawings and ensuing description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1-9 show various embodiments of systems to improve swings.

DESCRIPTION

As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure.

Referring to FIG. 1, a first exemplary embodiment of the structure of a swing exerciser is shown. The swing exerciser includes an enclosure 10 having a handle 12 on one side and a pipe 14 on a second side of the enclosure 10. Attached to the pipe 14 is a spring 16. At the end of the spring 16 is a ball 18. The ball 18 can be a golf ball or can be a rubber facsimile of the golf ball. During practice, the swing exerciser is placed on a flat surface. When utilized to practice the golf swing, the golf club is aligned with the golf ball and after the golf ball is hit, the impacted golf ball flies off, but is restrained by the spring 16 and spins around the pipe 14 until the golf ball returns to its original rest position, at which time another swing can be practiced.

Turning now to FIG. 2, a second exemplary embodiment of the structure of a swing exerciser is shown. The swing exerciser includes an enclosure 20 having a handle 22 on one side and a pipe 24 pivotally inserted through an opening 26 on the top surface of the enclosure 20. Attached to the pipe 24 is a ball 28. The ball 28 can be a golf ball or can be a rubber facsimile of the golf ball. During practice, the swing exerciser is placed on a flat surface. When utilized to practice the golf swing, the golf club is aligned with the golf ball and after the golf ball is hit, the impacted golf ball causes the pipe 24 to spin around the opening 26 until the golf ball returns to its rest position, at which time another swing can be practiced.

FIG. 3 shows a third embodiment with an enclosure 30 having a handle 32 on one side and a pipe 39 on a top side of the enclosure 30. Projecting through the pipe 39 is a spring 36. At one end of the spring 36 is a ball 38, and the other end of the spring 36 is attached to a retainer 34 to secure the spring 36 to the enclosure 30. The ball 38 can be a golf ball or can be a rubber facsimile of the golf ball. During practice, the swing exerciser is placed on a flat surface. When utilized to practice the golf swing, the golf club is aligned with the golf ball and after the golf ball is hit, the impacted golf ball flies off, but is restrained by the spring 36 and spins around the pipe 39 until the golf ball returns to its original rest position, at which time another swing can be practiced.

FIG. 4 is a fourth embodiment. The embodiment of FIG. 4 is similar to the embodiment of FIG. 3, but without the pipe. In FIG. 4, an enclosure 40 has a handle 42 on one side and an opening on another side of the enclosure 40. Projecting through the opening is a string 47. At one end of the string 47 is a ball 48, and the other end of the string 47 is attached to a spring 46, which in turn is attached to a retainer 44 to secure the spring 46 to the enclosure 40. The ball 48 can be a golf ball or can be a rubber facsimile of the golf ball. During practice, the swing exerciser is placed on a flat surface. When utilized to practice the golf swing, the golf club is aligned with the golf ball and after the golf ball is hit, the impacted golf ball flies off, but is restrained by the spring 46 and string 47 and spins around the opening until the golf ball returns to its original rest position, at which time another swing can be practiced.

Turning now to FIG. 5, a fifth embodiment is shown. An enclosure 50 has a handle 52 on one side and a stand 54. Optionally, a distance indicator 53 is mounted on the stand 54. An arm 55 projects horizontally from the stand 54. A ring 56 is rotatably mounted on the arm 55. A pipe 57 is connected to the ring 56, and a string 59 is attached to the other end of the pipe 57. A ball 58 is attached to the remaining end of the string 59. During practice, the swing exerciser is placed on a flat surface. When utilized to practice the golf swing, the golf club is aligned with the golf ball and after the golf ball is hit, the impacted golf ball is restrained by the string 59 and spins around the arm 55 until the golf ball returns to its original rest position, at which time another swing can be practiced. A sensor can be mounted on either the stand 54 or the arm 55 to predict the flight distance of the ball and reports the distance on the distance indicator 53.

FIGS. 6-9 show various embodiments for baseball training. In FIG. 6, a base 60 is provided to rest on a flat surface. A pipe 62 projects from the base 60. The pipe 62 can be plastic or rubber in one embodiment. A second pipe 63 is inserted into the pipe 62. The second pipe 63 can be rubber of plastic in one embodiment. The second pipe 63 can rest on one end of the pipe 62, or can be elevated to a desired height above the pipe 62 using suitable techniques known to those skilled in the art, including a screw, latch, key or flange to secure the top of the second pipe 63 at a predetermined height. A pipe top piece 64 is positioned on the top of the second pipe 63 and the top piece 64 receives an arm 65 therethrough. The arm 65 can be plastic, rubber, wood, or metal, among others. Attached to one end of the arm 65 is a ball 68. Additionally, attached to the other end of the arm 65 is a counterweight 66. During practice, the baseball exerciser is placed on a flat surface. When utilized to practice the baseball swing, the bat is aligned with the ball and after the ball is hit, the impacted ball spins around the pipe 62/63 until the ball returns to its original rest position, at which time another swing can be practiced.

In FIG. 7, a base 70 is provided to rest on a flat surface. A pipe 72 projects from the base 70. The pipe 72 can be plastic or rubber in one embodiment. A second pipe 74 is inserted into the pipe 72. The second pipe 74 can be rubber of plastic in one embodiment. The second pipe 74 can rest on one end of the pipe 72, or can be elevated to a desired height above the pipe 72 using suitable techniques known to those skilled in the art, including a screw, latch, key or flange to secure the top of the second pipe 74 at a predetermined height. A pipe top piece 75 is positioned on the top of the second pipe 74 and the top piece 75 is connected to an arm 76 which can be plastic, rubber, wood, or metal, among others. Attached to one end of the arm 76 is a spring 77, which in turn is connected to a ball 78. During practice, the baseball exerciser is placed on a flat surface. When utilized to practice the baseball swing, the bat is aligned with the ball and after the ball is hit, the impacted ball spins around the pipe 72/74 until the ball returns to its original rest position, at which time another swing can be practiced.

Turning now to FIG. 8, another baseball practice device is shown. As in FIG. 7, a base 80 supports a pipe 81. A second pipe 82 is inserted into the pipe 81 to allow height adjustment. The second pipe 82 has openings through both ends of the pipe 82. In the end that is inserted into the pipe 81, a counterweight ball 87 (which can be made from steel or iron, for example), is connected to a spring 86. The second end of the spring 86 is in turn connected to one end of a string 84. The other end of the string 84 is then connected to a ball 88 for practice. During practice, the baseball exerciser is placed on a flat surface. When utilized to practice the baseball swing, the bat is aligned with the ball and after the ball is hit, the impacted ball flies off, but is restrained by the string/spring/and counterweight ball. The spring 86 eventually returns the ball 88 to its original rest position, at which time another swing can be practiced.

FIG. 9 shows yet another embodiment of a baseball practice device. In FIG. 9, a base 90 is provided to rest on a flat surface. A pipe 91 projects from the base 90. The pipe 91 can be plastic or rubber in one embodiment. A second pipe 92 is inserted into the pipe 91. The second pipe 92 can be rubber of plastic in one embodiment. The second pipe 92 can rest on one end of the pipe 91, or can be elevated to a desired height above the pipe 91 using suitable techniques known to those skilled in the art, including a screw, latch, key or flange to secure the top of the second pipe 92 at a predetermined height. The top end of the pipe 92 receives an arm 93 therethrough. The arm 93 can be plastic, rubber, wood, or metal, among others. A lock or stopper 95 is positioned at one end of the arm 93. Slidably attached between the arm 93 and the lock 95 is a ring 94. Attached to the ring 94 is a support structure 96, which in turn is connected to a string 97. The string 97 is connected to a ball 68. In another embodiment, the string 97 can also be a spring. Additionally, attached to the other end of the arm 93 is a counterweight 99. During practice, the baseball exerciser is placed on a flat surface. When utilized to practice the baseball swing, the bat is aligned with the ball and after the ball is hit, the impacted ball spins around the arm 93 until the ball returns to its original rest position, at which time another swing can be practiced.

Specific ways to swing the device are as many as are the training desires of people using the device. The device can be swung through a full swing and allowed to stretch the muscles as for improving the fulll safe articulation range of the athlete. The device can be swung partially through a swing then stopped and swung in the reverse direction and back again many times to rapidly loosen and stretch muscles, ligaments, tendons that helps ready the muscles for athletic activity. By repeating the swinging motion many times, the muscle tissue used in the desired swing path of the athlete is strengthened.

While the above description contains many specifications, these should not be construed as limitations on the scope of the invention, but rather as an exemplification of one preferred embodiment thereof. For example, the weight 22 may be of many different sizes, weights, shapes and materials, as may the shafts 12, grip 13 and spring 11. Further, the means of attachment of the spring 11 to the shaft 12 and the weight 22 may be accomplished by many other methods than a straight pin, the channel in the weight 18 may assume many different shapes, depths and sizes, the filler material 16 may be epoxy, steel, or other material, and so forth. Accordingly, the scope of the invention 10 should be determined not by the embodiments illustrated, but the appended claims and their legal equivalents.