Title:
Training equipment
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Training equipment for the back, including a bar being bent, and a pressure-element (5) being fastened in the middle of the curve made from the bend or bends (3, 4) of the bar. Those parts of the bar including the bend or bends (3, 4) and the pressure-element (5) are symmetrical along a plane (I-I) through the bar, and through the middle of the curve. The pressure-element preferably has a size both along the bar and perpendicular to the cross sectional plane of the curve.



Inventors:
Sjobakk, Trond Viggo (Levanger, NO)
Winn, Erik Helmut (Trondheim, NO)
Application Number:
11/064057
Publication Date:
06/22/2006
Filing Date:
02/24/2005
Assignee:
Physiodriver AS
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/139
International Classes:
A63B21/00; A61H1/02; A63B23/02; A63B57/00; A63B71/00; A63B23/00; A63B
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20020094919Energy-efficient running aidJuly, 2002Rennex et al.
20080085820Most muscular replicator/multiflexerApril, 2008Majkrzak
20060166793Assembly of sports equipment fillable with liquid and a gelforming means, and sports equipment for use in this assemblyJuly, 2006Gobel et al.
20050272580Exercise equipmentsDecember, 2005Katumata
20070161473Hybrid belt assemblyJuly, 2007Mcbride
20070281837Controller for magnetic wheelsDecember, 2007Lin
20060223683Multi-functional workout machineOctober, 2006Orona
20030054922Portable starting block assemblyMarch, 2003Ross
20030171194Composite body building exerciserSeptember, 2003Chung
20090069134Dual idler structure for an elliptical trainerMarch, 2009Kuo
20070254781Simulator for Board SportsNovember, 2007Maccarron



Primary Examiner:
DONNELLY, JEROME W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Arlington/LADAS & PARRY LLP (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. Training equipment for the back, comprising: a bar being bent, and a pressure-element (6) being fastened in the middle of the curve being made from the bend or bends (3, 4) of the bar, those parts of the bar comprising the bend or bends (3, 4) and the pressure-element (5) being symmetrical along a plane (I-I) through the bar, and through the middle of the curve.

2. Training equipment according to claim 1, wherein the pressure-element (5) has a size both along the bar and perpendicular to the cross section plane of the curve.

3. Training equipment according to claim 1, wherein bar has two bends (3, 4), wherein the angle (φ) of the bends (3, 4) are equal and in the same plane.

4. Training equipment according to claim 1, wherein the pressure-element (5) is oblong and preferably slightly concave.

5. Training equipment according claim 4, wherein the pressure-element (5) is made of, or coated with a pressure resisting elastic material.

6. Training equipment according to claim 5, wherein the pressure-element (5) is made of silicone.

7. Training equipment according to claim 1, wherein the pressure-element (5) is about 4-12 cm high, preferably 6 cm, 12-25 cm wide, preferably 13 cm, and 2-17 cm thick, preferably 5 cm.

8. Training equipment according to claim 1, wherein the equipment is foldable.

9. Training equipment according to claim 8, wherein the bar is telescopic.

10. Training equipment according to claim 8, wherein the bar is made with a joint (9) behind the pressure-element (5).

11. Training equipment according to claim 1, wherein the equipment is symmetrical along a plane (I-I) through the bar, and through the center point of the curve.

12. Training equipment according to claim 1, which is a main part of larger training equipment, preferably with resistance.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to training equipment to improve the rotation of the back.

The spine is made up of 24 vertebrae, and between every vertebra, there are several joints making movement between every vertebra possible. Movement should be evenly distributed between the joints, but quite often, the movement is more in one joint than in the adjacent joint. This may cause an unbalanced distribution of the mobility of the vertebrae, causing pain and unease. In order to achieve maximum rotation and mobility of the back, all joints should have maximum mobility.

Most humans in the western world today have a lifestyle that is not stimulating the body to maintain and/or increase its flexibility. This may result in a stiff body, and a lot of associated problems. At worst, a stiff body can cause difficulty in daily life, such as turning in bed, and cleaning oneself. Persons that have developed Parkinson and/or Bekhterev's disease will have reduced mobility of the joints due to the illness, and thus, they have an extra need to work on /maintain rotation and mobility.

In golf, one also needs maximum rotation, especially in the back and in the hips to achieve the best golf swing and thereby, the best drive. A lot of golf players struggle with back injuries, because among other things, they rarely warm up, and the golf swing demanding maximum rotation of the whole spine.

Physiotherapists treat patients who have limited rotation of the spine. In order to improve the rotation and/or reduce pain, they perform a press onto the muscles and joints contributing to the rotation-movement. At present, there is no training equipment being developed to improve rotation of the spine, and neither is there any training equipment available to prevent injury and/or strengthen muscles and joints which are not injured.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention, is to provide training equipment to stimulate the spine and the surrounding musculature in order to optimize the rotation.

The invention is directed to equipment which can improve the rotation of the spine.

Training equipment, according to the present invention, comprises a bar being bent so that the ends are in the same plane. In approximately the middle of the curve made by the bend or bends of the bar, there is coupled a pressure-element. In most cases, where the bend or bends are centred on the bar, the pressure-element will be located in the middle of the bar. Further, those parts of the bar including the bend or bends and the pressure-element, should be mirrored through a plane across the bar, along the center line of the curve. The ends of the bar should, preferably, be divergent or parallel, but in the case where the bar is bent evenly in a curve, the ends might also be convergent.

In use, the pressure-element is held against the vertebral column so that one end of the bar will stretch forward under each arm of the person using the equipment (the user). The user grabs the bar close to each end with each hand, and stabilizes the pressure element towards the spine in this way. When the person turns to the right, he should simultaneously pull the end of the bar being held by the left hand, so that the pressure element “rotates the spine” towards right. In this way, the spine will rotate beyond what the users are capable of on their own. The user must, however, not pull so hard that the pressure-element is displaced in relation to the spine. In the same way, the user must pull the end of the equipment being held in the right hand when he rotates to the left.

By “pressure-element” meant is any element which can provide pressure to the spine, when the equipment is being used. In order to achieve the intended function, that is, to contribute to rotation, the element must have a certain size both transverse (width) and longitudinal (height) relative to the spine. That is, along the bar and perpendicular to a cross sectional plane of the bent bar. It is also an advantage if the pressure-element has a certain thickness, and/or is mounted to the bar in such a way that the required distance from the surface of the pressure element to the bar is achieved. For comfort and to avoid pain, the element should further be made of, or at the least coated with, a pressure resisting elastic material.

The pressure-element is preferably oblong with a slight concave surface. The element may advantageously be made of a stiff, but yet elastic material, in order to provide a relatively firm pressure on the spine, but at the same time being elastic so that it can be placed very close to the back, ensuring that it is comfortable. An example of such material are different types of silicone.

The pressure-element has a height, h, being chosen to embrace the right number of vertebrae, and to provide optimal pressure to the spine. If the height h of the pressure-element is too great, it will embrace to many vertebrae, and the pressure provided on each vertebra will be too small. Problems can also arise when the pressure-element is placed close to the back, because the back is not straight. If the height, h, of the pressure-element is too small, one might experience it being uncomfortable, because the pressure is too concentrated, even if the effect of improving the rotation is achieved. The pressure-element also has a width b, and in the same way as the height, it must be compromised. If the pressure-element is too slim, it will not comfortably embrace the vertebrae, and the pressure is too concentrated. The width of the pressure-element will only be limited by practical reasons, and might, in principle, be as wide as the user's back. It has been found that the pressure-element should be between 4-12 cm high, with an optimal height of 6 cm, and between 12-25 cm wide, with an optimal width of 13 cm to be used by most persons. The element also has a thickness, t, and in the same way as the height and the width, it must be compromised. It must be thick enough to provide pressure to the spine without being destroyed, but at the same time, the distance between the bar and the surface of the element should not be so large that involuntary tilting of the pressure-element may occur when the training equipment is being used. By “involuntary tilting”, it is meant that the contact surface of the pressure-element is not in full contact against the spine, but tilts upwards and downwards during use, without the user being able to control it. The coupling between the pressure-element and the bar will also influence the distance between the surface of the pressure element and the bar. It has been found that the distance between the bar and the surface of the pressure element should not exceed 20 cm, and preferably is about 10 cm. The element itself should have a thickness of between 2 and 17 cm, preferably 5 cm.

It is an advantage that the equipment as a whole is symmetrical through a plane across the bar, through the pressure-element and right in the middle of the ends. With an embodiment which is not symmetrical, the user can only stretch one side of the back at a time. When it is desirable to stretch the other side, him or her must let go of the equipment, at least with one hand, then turn it up-side-down, and place it against the back again. Only then is the user ready to stretch the muscles/joints on the other side of the back. The user will thus not be able to turn alternately between left and right, which would be possible with symmetrical equipment.

It is also an advantage that the equipment is symmetrical along the plane through the center of the bar, meaning that the upper and lower parts of the equipment are mirrored. In such a case, the user can just pick up the equipment and use it, without finding right/left or up/down.

In another preferred embodiment, the equipment is made to be collapsible. This may be done in may ways, which would be obvious to a person skilled in the art. In a specially preferred embodiment, the bar is bent in two places with similar or identical angles in the same plane, so that the bar is symmetrical about the center line I-I. It is a further advantage if the ends are divergent instead of parallel, as this will ease the use of the equipment. The parts of the bar, from the bend to the end, and between the bends, may be telescopic.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will in the following be described by means of an embodiment shown in the enclosed figures, in which:

FIG. 1 shows the training equipment unfolded, before use;

FIG. 2 shows a cross section of the pressure-element according to the embodiment shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 shows a specific embodiment of the training equipment of FIG. 1, folded; and

FIG. 4 shows the training equipment placed on a spine, and the influenced vertebrae and joints.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In the illustrated embodiment, the training equipment is shown with two bends. The distance from one end 1, 2 to the closer bend 3, 4 is equal, and corresponds to the distance between the bends. Except for the bends 3, 4, the bar is straight. In the center, between the bends, is a pressure-element in the shape of a pillow 5, coupled to the bar. The pillow 5 is fastened to a clamp 6 (see FIG. 4), which in turn is being fastened to a pipe 7 which slides on the bar between the bends. The pillow is made of relatively hard silicone, which in the illustrated embodiment is of Elastosil RT-625 a+b from Wilh. Wullumsen AS.

FIG. 2 shows a cross section of the pillow 5 according to the embodiment shown in FIG. 1. The pillow has a width, b, and a thickness, t, as shown in the Figure. Furthermore, it is concave, and the angle Θ is about 170-160°, preferably 164°.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the angle φ of the bends are not adjustable, but the bend may of course be made adjustable if desirable. The angle of the bend may be between 160 and 90°, but preferably 120°. Both the angle φ of the bends 3, 4 and the total length of the bar is chosen by considering the length and size of an average user. A shorter user will be able to use the equipment by holding it further from the ends 1, 2, so that it is not necessary to stretch the arms to use the equipment. A taller user must correspondingly bend his or her arms to hold the ends 1, 2 of the bar. The chosen measurements are, however, such that both short and tall users can use the equipment without feeling uncomfortable due to their size.

The ends 1, 2 of the equipment are preferably provided with a coating 8, improving the grip. This coating is applied to the bar from the end 1, 2 and towards the bend, preferably to about halfway. In a preferred embodiment the coating 8 is of rubber and has a rough surface, resulting in a better grip around the bar.

In FIG. 3 shown is an embodiment of the equipment, which is foldable. The bar is telescopic in such a way that the distance from bend 3, 4 to end 1, 2 can be adjusted, and that the distance from bend 3, 4 to pillow 5 can be adjusted. It is further provided with a joint 9 behind the pillow, so that both arms can be placed on one side, meaning that in the folded condition the joint 9 is one end, and the ends 1, 2 of the bar is the other. The pillow 5 is, as said, fastened to a clamp 6, which in turn is fastened to a pipe 7 which slides on the bar. When the equipment is used, pipe 7 is located over joint 9, holding it rigid. When the equipment is folded, pipe 7 is pushed to the side of the middle point, and joint 9 may be bent. The pipe 7 can be locked in different positions, for instance, over joint 9, in many ways, which will be obvious to a person skilled in the art. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, this is solved by the inner diameter of pipe 7 corresponding to the outer diameter of the bar, and that the friction between the inside of pipe 7 and the outside of the bar is so large, that further fastening is not necessary.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the bar is made to be moved into the coating 8 on the ends 1, 2, thereby reducing the length of the bar from bend 3, 4 to end 1, 2, to the length of the coating 8. Correspondingly, the distance between the bends 3, 4 is reduced by providing that at least parts of the bar are telescopic.

It is, of course, an advantage that the equipment can be folded, because it makes it easier to transport, and it occupies less space when not in use. Golf players, who often have a bad rotation of the spine, can store the equipment in their golf bag, and thereby providing a good opportunity to warm up the muscles before, or during, a round of golf.

In FIG. 4, shown schematically is what happens in the spine when the training equipment is used. For a better understanding, only the spine and the training equipment is shown. With the illustrated embodiment of the equipment, about three vertebrae will be influenced at the same time, as shown in FIG. 4. The training equipment is placed against the back of the user, and when him/her turns to the left or right, the pressure-element will interfere with the vertebrae and help these to rotate beyond what the user might do on his/her own. At the same time, the pressure-element pushes and stretches muscles placed around the vertebrae in question.