Title:
Strap Glove
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A glove made from a narrow strap of material, which at a minimum loops around the thumb and one finger. The glove forms a “web” between the thumb and the fingers. The web width can be fixed or adjustable and the strap-glove can be worn over a bare hand or over the top of a conventional glove.



Inventors:
Duby, Dante (El Cajon, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/681054
Publication Date:
09/04/2008
Filing Date:
03/01/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MORAN, KATHERINE M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DANTE DUBY (EL CAJON, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A type of glove comprised of a narrow strap of material encircling a thumb and at least one finger, with a web being formed by said strap between said thumb and said finger(s).

2. The combination of claim 1 and further including a means of adjusting said strap such that said web width can be changed.

3. The combination of claim 2 and further including a means of adjusting said strap such that different thumb and finger thicknesses can be accommodated.

4. The combination of claim 1 and further including a separate loop for each additional finger.

5. The combination of claim 4 and further including a means of adjusting said strap such that said web width can be changed.

6. The combination of claim 5 and further including a means of adjusting said strap such that different thumb and finger thicknesses can be accommodated.

7. The combination of claim 1 and further including a conventional glove that covers the entire hand up to at least the first knuckle of each digit and is attached to said strap material such that said strap web and said conventional glove are one unit.

8. The combination of claim 7 and further including a means of adjusting said strap such that said web width can be changed.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to gloves, more specifically to a special type of glove which assists the muscles of the hand in controlling a grasped item.

One object of the present invention is to improve the support and stability of a grasped item such as a baseball bat, hammer, tennis racket, or similar items with handles. It can be shown that the use of the present invention can reduce the force requirements of maintaining the handle of an item from rocking within the hand, thus reducing the muscle strength requirements within the hand. The advantage of this is greater control of the item being used.

Another object of the present invention is to reduce hand fatigue associated with a repetitive motion when grasping an item with a handle. Since the present invention requires less muscle strength to support and stabilize a grasped item with a handle, less muscle fatigue will result during repetitive motions. The advantage of this is an increase in the amount of time an item can be repetitively used before the muscles of the hand start to give out from fatigue.

Another object of the present invention is to improve the grip when grasping the handle of an item. The improved grip results from multiple factors including an increased surface contact area as well as increased friction when the strap is made with or used in combination with a tacky substance. The advantage of this is reduced slippage of the item within the hand.

Another object of the present invention is to improve the energy transfer from the muscles of the hand to the handle of the item being held. The increased energy transfer is a direct result of all of the factors listed above, the improved support and stability, the reduced hand fatigue, and the improved grip, as well as a reduction in the ability of an item to rock in the palm of the hand. More specifically, this additional factor is a reduction in the amount of flex within the muscles between the thumb and index finger of the hand. The advantage of this improved energy transfer is a noticeable difference in power transferred from the held item to another item being struck. One example would be the improved distance a baseball will travel when struck with a baseball bat which is held using the present invention.

PRIOR ART

Conventional gloves cover the entire hand at least to the first knuckle of each digit. There is generally no increase in support or stability of a grasped item. And, although some gloves can provide for an increased grip with less slippage, they do nothing to improve hand fatigue associated with a repetitive motion. Also, any improvement in energy transfer from the muscles of the hand to the item being held would only be due to a reduction in slippage when the gloves are made to be tackier than a bare hand. Even in cases where padding is added between the thumb and index finger, there is energy lost in that area when the muscles of the hand flex while trying to stabilize a held item.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The glove is formed by looping a narrow strap of material around the thumb and at least one finger. This narrow strap-glove creates a “web” between the thumb and fingers. This web provides added support and stability when grasping the handle of an item. The size of the web can be made fixed or adjustable to accommodate different handle thicknesses and hand sizes. This same adjustment can accommodate different finger and thumb thicknesses. The glove can be made from or coated with a tacky material to reduce slippage and it can be worn over a bare hand or over the top of a conventional glove. The adjustable strap web can also be incorporated into the manufacture of a conventional glove to provide the same features.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows the minimum configuration of the glove encircling only the thumb and one finger.

FIG. 2 shows a configuration of the glove encircling the thumb and two fingers.

FIG. 3 shows a configuration of the glove encircling the thumb and three fingers.

FIG. 4 shows a configuration of the glove encircling the thumb and four fingers.

FIG. 5 shows the adjustable web incorporated into a conventional glove.

FIG. 6 shows the effective palm width leverage advantage using the glove.

FIG. 7 shows the glove in use.

DETAILED DESRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to the drawings for a more detailed explanation of the preferred form of the invention, FIG. 1-FIG. 4 differ only in the number of fingers enclosed by the glove. The function of the glove in all cases remains the same. The side view of the glove 20a shows the number of fingers, in addition to the thumb, to be enclosed, as well as the location of the web 22 and an adjustment pull tab 21. The Functional view 20b shows the glove being worn on a bare hand. This type of glove can also be worn over the top of a conventional glove. The main feature of the glove, the web 22, is provided to increase support and stability in handling an item such as a baseball bat, hammer, tennis racket, or similar items with handles.

FIG. 5 shows the adjustable strap web 22 incorporated directly into a conventional type glove. The web is also adjustable using the same pull tab 21 as shown in the previous figures. This configuration provides the same levels of support as a strap-glove of the previous configurations worn over a conventional glove.

The increased support in controlling these handled items is mainly due to two factors. First, the web 22 effectively increases the width of the palm and second it reduces the strength requirement of the hand muscles. Referring to FIG. 6, when a hand grasps an item with a handle such as that shown in FIG. 7, the palm can be thought of as a fulcrum about which the item tries to rock back and forth over during use. The center of the fulcrum (axis of rotation) is the center of the palm (indicated by the small triangles in FIG. 6); and the palm levers d & d′, which extend from the center of the palm to the edges of the palm, provide the torque needed to resist the rocking of the item. From the standard equation for torque, where torque=(applied force)×(distance from the axis of rotation) it can be shown that the longer the levers d or d′, the less force is required near the edges of the palm to resist this rocking. FIG. 6 shows the length of these levers for both and empty hand (d) and a hand wearing the glove (d′). The effective width of the palm is increased while wearing the glove and therefore the palm lever is increased on either side of the fulcrum. The increased lever lengths increase the amount of torque created from forces at the edges of the palm and therefore reduce the demand on the muscles of the hand in controlling an item from rocking in either direction. Since less muscle force is required, less hand fatigue will result when using an item repetitively and increased stability will result with the same level of muscle force applied.

FIG. 7 shows the glove in use while holding an item. This item can be a baseball bat, hammer, or anything similar that requires the hand to resist the rocking motion of the item in use. Without wearing the glove, the muscles between the thumb and index finger are in direct contact with the rocking item and will flex, particularly when the item is used to strike something else. When this occurs, some of the energy applied to the item is lost in the muscle tissue. The muscles act somewhat like a shock absorber in this respect. However, when the glove is worn, the amount of muscle tissue surrounding the fingers and thumb is significantly less than that of the muscle tissue between the thumb and index finger and therefore the amount of flex that can occur is significantly less also. The result of less flexing is less energy absorption and therefore more energy is transferred to the item being held.

The operational use of a strap-glove is fairly straight forward. The user first slips the glove over a thumb and at least one finger depending on the number of finger holes. The available adjustment for the web can also be used to accommodate different finger thicknesses before putting on the glove. Because of this, the strap-glove can be used over a conventional glove simply by adjusting for larger finger and thumb thickness. Then the item to be used is grasped and the web width is adjusted by pulling on an adjustment tab. In this way different thickness handles can be accounted for while ensuring a snug fit.

Since the glove improves support, stability, muscle fatigue, grip, and energy transfer, a certain degree of performance improvement could be expected in some sports as well. One example would be when using the glove for batting in baseball; since more energy is transferred to the bat, more energy will in turn be transferred to the ball when struck with the bat. Therefore the ball should carry farther as well.