Title:
Grip pad
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pad is provided for use in gripping a portion of a bar that defines a longitudinal axis. The pad is for interposing between the bar and a user's hand at the palm and fingers. The pad includes a first surface that defines a first outer edge and that faces the user's palm and fingers. The pad includes a second surface that defines a second outer edge and that faces the bar. The pad includes a cushioning body between the first and second surfaces. The pad body defines, along a direction parallel to the longitudinal axis of the bar, a substantially flat shape, and the pad body defines, in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the bar, a substantially curved shape.



Inventors:
Barnard, Dillon C. (Portland, OR, US)
Application Number:
11/588957
Publication Date:
08/23/2007
Filing Date:
10/27/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45F5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
TOMPKINS, ALISSA JILL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KOLISCH HARTWELL, P.C. (PORTLAND, OR, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A pad for use in gripping a portion of a generally bar-shaped object, wherein the bar-shaped object defines a longitudinal axis, and wherein the pad is to be interposed between the bar-shaped object and a user's hand at the palm and fingers, the pad comprising: a first surface defining a first outer edge, the first surface for facing the user's palm and fingers; a second surface defining a second outer edge, the second surface for facing the bar-shaped object; and a cushioning body between the first and second surfaces, the body defining, along a direction parallel to the longitudinal axis of the bar-shaped object, a substantially flat shape, and the body defining, in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the bar-shaped object, a substantially curved shape.

2. The pad of claim 1 wherein the substantially curved shape of the body subtends an arc of at least about 75 degrees

3. The pad of claim 1 wherein the substantially curved shape of the body subtends an arc of no more than about 150 degrees.

4. The pad of claim 1 wherein the body of the pad has a thickness of about 3/32 of an inch.

5. The pad of claim 1 wherein the body and the surfaces of the pad consists of a single, substantially unitary, neoprene material.

6. The pad of claim 1 wherein the body of the pad is formed of a material having a hardness of at least about 25 Shore A.

7. The pad of claim 1 wherein the body of the pad is formed of a material having a tensile strength of at least about 500 psi.

8. A pad for use in gripping a portion of a generally bar-shaped object, wherein the pad is to be interposed between the bar-shaped object and a user's hand at the palm and fingers, the pad comprising: a first surface defining a first outer edge, the first surface for facing the user's palm and fingers; a second surface defining a second outer edge, the second surface for facing the bar-shaped object; and a cushioning body between the first and second surfaces, wherein the first outer edge defines a generally oval shape defining a long axis and a short axis perpendicular to the long axis, the generally oval shape sized to extend, with the hand held open and the long axis disposed across the hand and the short axis disposed along the hand, from an upper side adjacent the first proximal joints of the fingers to a lower side adjacent the heel of the palm.

9. The pad of claim 8 wherein the body defines, along the long axis of the generally oval shape, a substantially flat shape.

10. The pad of claim 8 wherein the body defines, along the short axis of the generally oval shape, a substantially curved shape.

11. The pad of claim 10 wherein the substantially curved shape of the body subtends an arc of at least about 75 degrees

12. The pad of claim 10 wherein the substantially curved shape of the body subtends an arc of no more than about 150 degrees.

13. The pad of claim 8 wherein the generally oval shape of the first outer edge is sized to extend from an inner side beyond the index finger of the hand to an outer side beyond the little finger of the hand.

14. The pad of claim 8 wherein the long axis of the generally oval shape is about 4.5-inches in length.

15. The pad of claim 8 wherein the short axis of the generally oval shape is about 3.75-inches in length.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/731,108, filed on Oct. 27, 2005, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein its entirety for all purposes.

BACKGROUND

Various types of pads and gloves have been used to improve grip, e.g., when gripping the bar of a barbell or dumbbell. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,775,756 discloses a straight-edged pad with a domed shape that is wrapped around a bar. The pad is typically made of a rubber with a natural adhesion and is somewhat stretched as it is wrapped around the bar so that the edges overlap and the pad sticks to the bar on its own. Other pads, such as those shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,487,412, 5,479,660 and 5,831,950 include straps to attach the pad to the user's hand or wrist. U.S. Pat. No. 5,771,901 discloses a rigid plate to distribute the weight that a rider puts on a bicycle handlebar.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT DISCLOSURE

The present disclosure relates to a pad for use in enhancing one's grip, e.g., in weightlifting. Additionally, the pad may be used in any endeavor where a participant grips a bar or handle, e.g., in riding a bicycle, rowing, playing tennis, holding a fishing rod, or in using a tool such as a hammer or shovel. The pad is typically not coupled to the user's hand by straps or other means, but is designed to nestle in the palm of the user's hand and remain there with the hand in an ordinary relaxed position. In use, the pad wraps around the bar between the user's hand and the bar. The pad is typically provided with a substantially oval outer edge to cover all portions of the bar where the hand would otherwise be in contact with the bar. The pad is preferably shaped to generally conform to the shape of the bar, including a curvature about the bar and a substantially flat shape along the bar. The pad may be used to enhance the grip of any handle having a roughly cylindrical shape around which one's fingers and thumb can be wrapped.

DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a pad in accordance with an embodiment of a device in accordance with the present disclosure, the pad being flattened from a nominal curvature to show the short and long axes of a generally oval shape defined by an outer edge.

FIG. 2 is a cross-section, taken along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1, showing the pad's body, outer edge, and palm-facing and bar-facing surfaces.

FIG. 3 is a color picture of a pad in accordance with an embodiment of a device in accordance with the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a pad, shown generally at 10, in accordance with an embodiment of a device in accordance with the present disclosure, includes a palm-facing surface 12, which preferably is provided with a convex curvature. A bar-facing surface 14 is opposite palm-facing surface 12, and has a concave curvature that is complementary to the convex curvature of surface 12. Surfaces 12 and 14 are the outer faces of a cushioning body 16 that extends between the surfaces. Body 16 has a thickness or width W typically of about 3/32 of an inch.

Pad 10 is typically formed of a closed-cell, foam rubber material, for example chloroprene or neoprene. Pad 10 may be molded of a hypoallergenic, neoprene material that is selected to improve grip under wet conditions. Such material is preferably formulated for a hardness of about 25 Shore A and a tensile strength of about 500 psi, and to combine with dyes so that the pad may be produced in any color. Pad 10 has an outer edge 18 that preferably has a generally oval shape. The oval shape may be a substantially elliptical shape or other curved shape, or may include a combination of straight portions and/or curved portions. Outer edge 18 extends between an outer edge 20 of palm-facing surface 12 and an outer edge 22 of bar-facing surface 14. Outer edge 18 preferably has a maximum width (across the palm), designated as LA in FIG. 1 of about 4.5 inches (slightly wider than the typical hand width). Outer edge 18 preferably has a maximum height (from heel of hand to furthest finger joint), designated as SA in FIG. 1, of about 3.75 inches. In other words, the oval shape of outer edge 18 has a long axis LA, and a short axis SA, which is typically perpendicular to the long axis LA.

In FIG. 1, pad 10 is shown positioned on a hand HA, shown in dotted lines. As can be seen, the generally oval shape of pad 10, and its sizing, are preferably selected so that the pad extends across the palm and is slightly wider than the palm, extending along long axis LA beyond the index finger IF on an inner side 24 and beyond the little finger LF on an outer side 26. The pad's shape and dimensions are preferably selected to extend along short axis SA from the heel HL of hand HA (to the right of thumb T in FIG. 1) at a lower side 28 to the first proximal joints (PJ) of each finger at an upper side 30. Typically, long axis LA of pad 10 is centered on the location in the palm of the hand where calluses would typically form.

As shown in FIG. 2, the palm-facing, convex surface 12 generally corresponds to the bar-facing concave surface 14 and the surfaces subtend an arc or angle A of about 75 to about 150 degrees of arc. The curvature is typically circular but may alternatively be elliptical or other curvature and may subtend angles greater or less than 75 to 150 degrees. The curvature of the surface is about the long axis LA of the pad, which axis is parallel, in use, to a longitudinal axis of the bar. Thus, the curvature is along the short axis SA of the pad and follows the natural curve of the hand in a typical resting position with the fingers slightly curled.

Surfaces 12, 14 are preferably substantially flat along the long axis LA. Thus, bar-facing surface 14 conforms to the shape of a bar (not shown) by being curved from upper to lower side to extend around the generally cylindrical shape of the bar and by being flat from inner to outer side to extend along bar. Typically the pad is molded to have this shape, but such shape may be obtained by any suitable means.

The natural retention of the pad in the hand by virtue of its shape may be enhanced by providing palm-facing surface 12 with a smooth surface, typically by polishing the dye surface in the mold to a smoothness of about RMS 32 micro-inches. Alternatively or in addition, the pads themselves, particularly the palm-facing surface, may be polished to a smooth surface that shows a fine gloss. Pad 10 may be formed by injection molding or compression molding. Injection molding and the use of the polished internal mold surfaces are believed to result in smoother, more uniform, and more impermeable, non-porous surfaces on pad 10. Such pad surfaces are believed to have better performance under wet conditions and to discourage bacterial growth on the pad surface.

The pads may also be printed or molded with a logo or other information, which may be raised, as seen in FIG. 3, or depressed or otherwise affixed to the pad.

The device of the present disclosure may also be described as:

A pad for use in gripping a bar, wherein the bar defines a longitudinal axis, the pad configured for interposing between the bar and a user's hand at the palm and fingers, the pad including:

    • (a) a first surface defining a first outer edge, the first surface for facing the user's palm and fingers;
    • (b) a second surface defining a second outer edge, the second surface for facing the bar; and
    • (c) a cushioning body between the first and second surfaces, the body defining, along a direction parallel to the longitudinal axis of the bar, a substantially flat shape, and the body defining, in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the bar, a substantially curved shape.
    • The substantially curved shape of the body may be substantially arcuate, subtending an arc of between about 75 degrees and 150 degrees.

The invention may also be described as:

A pad for use in gripping a bar, the pad configured for interposing between the bar and a user's hand at the palm and fingers, the pad including:

    • (a) a first surface defining a first outer edge, the first surface for facing the user's palm and fingers;
    • (b) a second surface defining a second outer edge, the second surface for facing the bar; and
    • (c) a cushioning body between the first and second surfaces,
    • wherein the first outer edge defines a generally oval shape defining a long axis and a short axis perpendicular to the long axis, the generally oval shape sized to extend, with the hand held open and the long axis disposed across the hand and the short axis disposed along the hand, from an upper side adjacent the first proximal joints of the fingers to a lower side adjacent the heel of the palm.

The generally oval shape of the first outer edge may also be sized to extend from an inner side beyond the index finger of the hand to an outer side beyond the little finger of the hand. The size of the outer edge may be about 4.5-inches along the long axis between the inner and outer edges and about 3.75-inches along the short axis between the upper and lower edges.

The substantially curved shape of the body may be substantially arcuate and subtend an arc of between about 75 degrees and 150 degrees.

The first, palm-facing surface of the pad may be substantially smooth.

The body of the pad may be made of a hypoallergenic, neoprene material optimized for enhanced grip under wet conditions, and having a thickness of about 3/32″, a hardness of about 25 Shore A, and a tensile strength of about 500 psi.

While the invention has been disclosed in its preferred form, the specific embodiments thereof as disclosed and illustrated herein are not to be considered in a limiting sense as numerous variations are possible. Applicants regard the subject matter of the invention to include all novel and non-obvious combinations and subcombinations of the various elements, features, functions, and/or properties disclosed herein. No single feature, function, element, or property of the disclosed embodiments is necessarily essential. Any claims in an application claiming priority to this application will define certain combinations and subcombinations that are regarded as novel and non-obvious. Other combinations and subcombinations of features, functions, elements, and/or properties may be claimed through amendment of the claims or presentation of new claims in any subsequent or related application. Such claims are also regarded as included within the subject matter of applicants’ invention irrespective of whether they are broader, narrower, or equal in scope to the original claims.