Title:
Paddle and ball arm exercise apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A flexible paddle and ball exercise apparatus consisting of a paddle, having a front and back face, attached to a handle by a flexible neck providing flexion of the paddle on impact by a weighted rubber ball. The weighted rubber ball attached at one end to an elastic shock cord for repeated impact against the front face of the paddle. The elastic shock chord is attached to the paddle at the second end having a T shaped barb that passes through the paddle, having a center hole throughout and attached to a barb retainer by a snap fit means on the back face of the paddle. The elastic shock chord and weighted rubber ball having various combinations of length and weight for quick and easy interchanging use providing different levels of difficulty for the user.



Inventors:
Bazinet, Sandra J. (Colchester, CT, US)
Application Number:
11/411497
Publication Date:
11/23/2006
Filing Date:
04/27/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B67/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHIU, RALEIGH W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MARK E. POCHAL (MYSTIC, CT, US)
Claims:
1. An improved paddle and ball arm exercise apparatus, which comprises: a paddle having a front and back face; a handle; a flexible neck attaching the handle to the paddle for forward and backwards flexion of the paddle; a weighted ball; and an elastic shock cord having a first end attached to the weighted ball and a means for attachment to the paddle at a second end, the elastic shock cord capable of elongating and contracting to propel the weighted ball outwards and towards the paddle for repetitive impact against the front face.

2. The improved paddle and ball arm exercise apparatus of claim 1, wherein the paddle is rectangular in shape.

3. The improved paddle and ball arm exercise apparatus of claim 2, wherein the paddle is made of ABS plastic.

4. The improved paddle and ball arm exercise apparatus of claim 1, wherein the handle is round in shape and is consists of longitudinal grooves.

5. The improved paddle and ball arm exercise apparatus of claim 1, wherein the weighted ball is multiple sizes.

6. The improved paddle and ball arm exercise apparatus of claim 5, wherein the weighted ball is rubber.

7. The improved paddle and ball arm exercise apparatus of claim 1, which further comprises: the weighted ball having a center hole throughout and a counter bore at one end; the first end of the elastic shock cord positioned within the center hole; a stop sleeve crimpled to the first end; and, the stop sleeve retracted to rest within the counter bore.

8. The improved paddle and ball arm exercise apparatus of claim 1, wherein the means of attachment of the second end of the elastic shock cord to the paddle further comprises: a barb retainer attached to the back face of the paddle, the barb retainer having a center hole in communication with the center hole of the paddle; a T shaped barb attached to a second end of the elastic shock cord, the barb inserted through the paddle and the barb retainer and secured by a snap fit means within the barb retainer.

9. The improved paddle and ball arm exercise apparatus of claim 1, wherein the elastic shock cord consists of multiple lengths.

10. The improved paddle and ball arm exercise apparatus of claim 9, wherein the elastic shock cord consists of polypropylene, nylon and cotton.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/681,767 which was filed on May 18, 2005.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to an arm exercise apparatus, more specifically in combination a flexible paddle and weighted ball attached by an elastic shock cord.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Paddle and attached return balls have been known for many years for use primarily as amusement toys. In most cases the paddles are made of a wood material and use light weight resilient balls attached by various types of tethering lines. Generally, the prior art addresses the problems of frequent breaking of the tethering line and clumsy and difficult adjustment of the length of the tethering line.

The present invention has for its primary objective to provide an arm strengthening device utilizing an improved flexible paddle, elastic shock cord and weighted rubber ball. Additional uses of the present invention include therapeutic benefits in the manner of physical therapy, sports training, stress reduction, and hand-eye coordination.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a durable arm strengthening apparatus that is safe to the user and provided different levels of difficulty and arm strengthening and is capable of withstanding repetitive impact with a weighted rubber ball.

A further object of the invention is to provide utility in physical therapy, sports training, stress reduction, improved hand-eye coordination and amusement to the user.

A further object of the invention is to utilize a barb retainer attached to a paddle face providing a means for connecting a barbed end of a elastic shock cord and weighted ball for a secure attachment and at the same time allow for easy and quick removal and replacement of various combinations of elastic shock cord length and weighted rubber ball size.

A further object of the invention is to provide various combinations of elastic shock cord lengths and weighted rubber ball sizes to provide different levels of difficulty and arm strengthening.

A further object of the invention is to provide a thin sized paddle attached to a handle by a flexible neck allowing paddle flexing when the weighted rubber ball impacts against the paddle face thereby absorbing the impact of the ball reducing the impact on the user's arm reducing risk of injury.

A further object of the invention is the method of attaching the weighted rubber ball to the elastic shock cord by crimping a stop sleeve to the elastic shock cord or alternatively, molding the weighted rubber ball directly to the elastic shock cord.

In accord with the invention, an arm strengthening device is comprised of a paddle, in the preferred embodiment constructed of ABS plastic providing exercise to the arm of a user by repetitive impact against the paddle by a weighted rubber ball attached to the paddle by an elastic shock cord.

The paddle attached to a handle by a flexible neck providing shock absorption with flexion of the paddle upon striking of the weighted ball. The paddle further having a thin width dimension in combination with the flexible neck acting as a shock absorber allowing use of varying weighted rubber balls and repetitive use without breaking the paddle or injuring the user's arm.

In the preferred embodiment, the handle is generally rounded with longitudinal grooves providing a good gripping surface, balance and weight saving features.

The weighted ball is attached to the paddle by an elastic shock cord having one barbed end forming a T shape dowel after threaded through an opening in the paddle and secured to the barb retainer by a snap fit means.

The weighted ball, in one embodiment, is molded to a second end of the elastic shock cord. In another embodiment, the weighted ball is attached by drilling a hole through the center of the weighted ball and drilling a counter bore on one end of the weighted ball. The second end of the elastic shock cord is fed through the center hole until approximately two inches remain. A stop sleeve is crimped to said second end and the stop sleeve and elastic shock cord is pulled back until the stop sleeve rests within the counter bore opening of the weighted rubber ball. Clear epoxy or similar material is applied to seal the remaining opening of the weighted rubber ball.

The elastic shock cord in the preferred embodiment is constructed of polypropylene, nylon and cotton, although other similar suitable materials may be used.

The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following description of preferred embodiments and accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a back elevational view of a paddle, flexible neck and handle.

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of a paddle and weighted ball connected by a elastic shock cord and connector means to the paddle.

FIG. 2A is a cross-sectional view of a paddle barb retainer mounted on the back face of the paddle.

FIG. 3 is an isolated view of elastic shock cord inserted within weighted ball and stop sleeve at one end and a T shaped barb at the opposite end of the elastic shock cord.

FIG. 4 is a cross-section of the stop sleeve resting in the weighted ball having a counter bore.

FIG. 5 is an isolated view of the T shaped barbed end of the elastic shock chord.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is principally described in FIG. 1 in terms of a generally rectangular shaped paddle (20) having a front and back face (21a &b). The paddle is constructed of ABS plastic, in the preferred embodiment, but may be made of other suitable materials. The paddle (20), in the preferred embodiment is 5.83″ by 5.83″ in size for a greater impact area with the front face (21a). The paddle (20) is attached to a handle (23) by a flexible neck (22). The flexible neck (22) causing the paddle (20) to flex on impact with the front face (21a) by a weighted rubber ball (28) in use, reducing the force of the impact on the user and preventing breaking of paddle (20) from handle (22).

The flexible neck (22) further provides use of various sizes of weighted rubber balls in conjunction with a thin lightweight paddle (20) to provide a durable exercise apparatus.

The handle (23) is generally round in shape and contains longitudinal grooves (23a) in the preferred embodiment, for improved grip control during use and providing balance and lightweight properties.

The present invention further encompasses an elastic shock cord (27) constructed of the preferred materials, polypropylene, nylon, and cotton. The elastic shock cord (27) is various lengths in combination with different size weighted rubber balls to provide different levels of difficulty for the user.

The elastic shock cord (27) at one end has a barbed end (31), made of nickel in the preferred embodiment, that is inserted through an aperture through the center of paddle (20). After insertion through the aperture, the barbed end (31) opens to form a T shaped dowel (31a), illustrated in FIG. 5, which is connected to a paddle barb retainer (26) mounted on the back face (21b) of paddle (20) by a snap fit means.

This preferred method of attachment of the elastic shock cord (27) to paddle (20) provides a secure means of attachment and at the same time a means for quick and easy removal if the user desires different combinations of weighted rubber ball (28) and length of the elastic shock cord (27).

In further accord with the invention, FIGS. 3 & 4 is illustrative of the preferred method of attachment of weighted rubber ball (28) to the second end of the elastic shock cord (27). Weighted rubber ball (28) having a hole through the center, and a counter bore (32) at one end, the second end of elastic shock cord (27) is inserted through the center hole and stop sleeve (30) is crimped onto the second end of elastic shock cord (27), illustrated in FIG. 3. Stop sleeve (30) and elastic shock cord (27) are retracted until stop sleeve (30) rests within counter bore (32), illustrated in FIG. 4. An alternate method of attachment of the weighted ball (28) to the elastic shock cord (27) is by molding them together.

In further accord with the invention, the handle (23) is gripped by either the left or right hand of the operator. The paddle front face (21a) can be pointed in any direction. Paddle (20) is moved by anchoring the elbow of the user and using a forearm motion to propel the weighted rubber ball (28) away from the paddle (20). The elastic shock cord (27) connecting the weighted rubber ball (28) and paddle, elongates and contracts allowing the weighted rubber ball (28) to impact against the paddle (20) in repeated sessions. The elastic shock cord (27) elongates until the outward force no longer overcomes the contracting force forcing the elastic shock cord (27) to contract thereby propelling the weighted rubber ball (28) back to the direction of the paddle.

Increasing the length of the elastic shock cord (27) and/or using a smaller weighted rubber ball (28) increases the difficulty in repeated impacting of the paddle and weighted rubber ball. Use of different combinations of the elastic shock cord length (27) and size of weighted ball (28) is possible by quick removal of the barbed end (31) from the barb retainer (26).

Although this invention has been shown and described with respect to some embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in this art that various changes in form and detail thereof may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the claimed invention.