Title:
Exercise/stretching apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Physical interaction apparatus which includes a wall and a floor presenting a surface of a hook or loop component of a hook and loop fastening system. Also provided is at least one interface that may include a glove, footwear and sports implements which includes an outer surface presenting the other hook or loop component of the hook and loop fastening system. Each interface can be selectively and releasably attachable by a person wearing such, to the surface of the wall and floor and allow the person to apply an action force countered by the wall or floor in a reactionary manner.



Inventors:
Toal, Christopher Charles (Auckland, NZ)
Application Number:
11/826685
Publication Date:
01/22/2009
Filing Date:
07/17/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B21/00
View Patent Images:
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20070021271Portable runners starting blockJanuary, 2007Held
20050187071Repositioning device, garment, and posture molding method and training instruction method using themAugust, 2005Yamashita et al.
20090011911Exercise soft pad with ventilationJanuary, 2009Lee
20060247100Agility training ladderNovember, 2006Harker
20070243979Foot and leg exercising device providing passive motion benefitsOctober, 2007Hand
20060040803Exercise deviceFebruary, 2006Perez Jr.
20030027695Fully functional weight training and bodybuilding equipmentFebruary, 2003Lee
20100004096STATE-OF-EXERCISE MEASURING APPARATUS AND BIOMETRIC APPARATUSJanuary, 2010Inoue



Primary Examiner:
BIDDER, ALLANA LEWIN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JACOBSON HOLMAN PLLC (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
1. Physical interaction apparatus for the purposes of allowing a person to perform physical training and stretching of the muscles said physical interaction apparatus comprising and/or including; a wall including; a. a flat primary wall surface of one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system, and b. at least one peripheral surface of one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system that is the same as that of said primary wall surface, said peripheral surface being peripheral to at least part of said primary wall surface and is presented in a direction non-parallel to said primary wall surface, at least one user interface that includes an outwardly presented surface consisting of the other one of the hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system so as to allow its selective and releasable attachment to said primary wall surface and peripheral surface, to allow a person to engage therewith to receive resistance to a user applied force parallel to the engaged surface of said primary wall surface or peripheral surface, via said user interface.

2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said user interface is selected from one or more of; i. a wearable item selected from one of a) at least one glove and at least one footwear, b) two gloves and c) two footwear, and ii. a sports implement.

3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 2 wherein said sports implement is selected from any one of more of; i. a ball, ii. a football, iii. a bat, iv. a hockey stick, v. a racket, vi. an oar, vii. a paddle, viii. a javelin, ix. a shot-put, x. a discus, xi. a human dummy, xii. climbing holds, xiii. ski poles, xiv. climbing ropes, xv. climbing blocks, and xvi. weight lifting bar.

4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the user interface may include a panel for engagement and wherein a flexible elongate member extends from said panel to which a hand or foot of the person can engage.

5. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein there is also provided a floor which includes a floor surface of one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system that is the same as that of the primary wall surface, and with which the user interface can also selectively and releasably engage.

6. Apparatus as claimed in claim 5 wherein a floor peripheral surface is provided of one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system that is the same as that of said primary wall surface, said floor peripheral surface being peripheral to at least part of said floor surface and is presented in a direction non-parallel to said floor surface and with which the user interface can also selectively and releasably engage.

7. Apparatus as claimed in claim 7 wherein said floor surface is provided adjacent said primary wall surface such that a said person can be upwardly supported by said floor surface and simultaneously interact with the primary wall surface.

8. Apparatus as claimed in claim 6 wherein the floor peripheral surface is defined by a rim about the floor surface that projects downwardly from said floor surface.

9. Apparatus as claimed in claim 6 wherein said floor peripheral surface includes an undercut zone that extends beneath the floor surface and is exposed to allow engagement by a said user interface.

10. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said peripheral surface extends from said primary wall surface in a direction away from the direction of the normal of said primary wall surface.

11. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said peripheral surface is defined by a rim about the upper edge and side edges of the primary wall surface.

12. Apparatus as claimed in claim 2 wherein two of said gloves are provided one for each hand of a said person.

13. Apparatus as claimed in claim 2 wherein said footwear is a bootie and wherein two of said booties are provided one for each foot of said person.

14. Apparatus as claimed in claim 13 wherein said footwear and booties are worn by a user when also interacting with an other of the user interface.

15. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said wall surface is inclined to the vertical with the normal to said wall surface projecting above the horizontal.

16. Apparatus as claimed in claim 5 wherein said primary wall surface and said floor surface abut each other.

17. Apparatus as claimed in claim 5 wherein said floor surface is inclined to the horizontal with the normal to said floor surface having a component of direction projecting away from the said wall surface.

18. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said wall being a wall unit comprising of wall panel with which said one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system is engaged, said wall panel engaged to a support structure to be supported as a unit by a permanent fixed structure.

19. Physical interaction apparatus for the purposes of allowing a person to perform physical training and stretching of the muscles said physical interaction apparatus comprising and/or including; a wall including a flat primary wall surface of one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system, and at least one user interface that includes an outwardly presented surface consisting of the other one of the hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system so as to allow its selective and releasable attachment to said primary wall surface to allow a person to engage therewith to receive resistance to a user applied force parallel to the engaged surface of said primary wall surface, via said user interface, said user interface selected from any one of more of; i. a ball, ii. a football, iii. a bat, iv. a hockey stick, V. a racket, vi. an oar, vii. a paddle, viii. a javelin, ix. a shot-put, x. a discus, xi. a human dummy, xii. climbing holds, xiii. ski poles, xiv. climbing ropes, xv. climbing blocks, and xvi. weight lifting bar.

20. Apparatus as claimed in claim 19 wherein said wall includes at least one peripheral surface of one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system that is the same as that of said primary wall surface, said peripheral surface being peripheral to at least part of said primary surface and is presented in a direction non-parallel to said primary wall surface, wherein the other one of the hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system of the user interface, allows its selective and releasable attachment to said primary wall surface and peripheral surface.

21. Apparatus as claimed in claim 19 wherein said apparatus further comprises and/or includes a wearable item selected from one of a) at least one glove and at least one footwear, b) two gloves and c) two footwear that may be worn by the user simultaneous to their using the user interface.

22. Apparatus as claimed in claim 19 wherein the user interface may include a panel for engagement to said primary wall surface and wherein a flexible elongate member extends from said panel to which a hand or foot of the person can engage.

23. Apparatus as claimed in claim 19 wherein there is also provided a floor which includes a floor surface of one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system that is the same as that of the primary wall surface, and with which the user interface can also selectively and releasably engage.

24. Apparatus as claimed in claim 23 wherein a floor peripheral surface is provided of one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system that is the same as that of said primary wall surface, said floor peripheral surface being peripheral to at least part of said floor surface and is presented in a direction non-parallel to said primary wall surface and with which the user interface can also selectively and releasably engage.

25. Apparatus as claimed in claim 23 wherein said floor surface is provided adjacent said primary wall surface such that a said person can be upwardly supported by said floor surface and simultaneously interact with the primary wall surface.

26. Apparatus as claimed in claim 23 wherein the floor peripheral surface is defined by a rim about the floor surface that projects downwardly from said floor surface.

27. Apparatus as claimed in claim 23 wherein said floor peripheral surface includes an undercut zone that extends beneath the floor surface and is exposed to allow engagement by a said user interface.

28. Apparatus as claimed in claim 20 wherein said peripheral surface extends from said primary wall surface in a direction away from the direction of the normal of said primary wall surface.

29. A sports implement selected from one of i. a football, ii. a ball iii. a bat, iv. a hockey stick, v. a racket, vi. an oar, vii. a paddle, viii. a javelin, ix. a shot-put, x. a discus, xi. a human dummy, xii. climbing holds, xiii. ski poles, xiv. climbing ropes, xv. climbing blocks, and xvi. weight lifting bar, wherein the improvement comprises the implement including a surface defined by one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system.

30. A sports implement as claimed in claim 29 wherein the surface is defined by the hook component.

31. A sports implement as claimed in claim 29 wherein the sports implement is to be used in association with a fixed reaction surface of the other of the hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system, and wherein the surface defined said hook component and loop component of said implement is provided to said implement in a location such that said implement can become releasably engaged to said reaction surface and allow a user to hold said implement in a condition that simulates a position of use of the implement in its normal mode of use in sport.

32. A sports implement to be used in association with a fixed reaction surface of one of the hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system, said sports implement including a surface defined by the other of said hook component and loop component such that said implement can become releasably engaged to said reaction surface and allow a user to hold said implement in a condition that simulates a position of use of the implement in its normal mode of use in sport.

33. A sports implement as claimed in claim 32 wherein the sports implement is selected from any one of; a. a ball, b. football, c. a bat, d. a hockey stick, e. a racket, f. an oar, g. a paddle, h. a javelin, i. a shot-put, j. a discus, k. a human dummy, l. climbing holds, m. ski poles, n. climbing ropes, o. climbing blocks, and p. weight lifting bar.

34. A method of stretching/exercising a human body utilising at least one fixed reaction surface of one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening systems, said method including: providing at least one sports implement to be used in association with said fixed reacting surface wherein said implement includes a surface defined by the other of said hook component and loop component, engaging said surface of said implement to said reaction surface whilst said user is holding said implement in a condition that simulates a position of use of the implement in its normal mode of use in sport, and applying a force by said user to said implement.

35. A method as claimed in claim 34 wherein the implement is selected from; a. a ball, b. football, c. a bat, d. a hockey stick, e. a racket, f. an oar, g. a paddle, h. a javelin, i. a shot-put, j. a discus, k. a human dummy, l. climbing holds, m. ski poles, n. climbing ropes, o. climbing blocks, and p. weight lifting bar.

36. Physical interaction apparatus for the purposes of allowing a person to perform physical training and stretching of the muscles said physical interaction apparatus comprising and/or including; a floor including a flat primary floor surface of one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system, and at least one user interface that includes an outwardly present surface consisting of the other one of the hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system so as to allow its selective and releasable attachment to said primary floor surface to allow a person to engage therewith to receive resistance to user applied force parallel to the engaged surface of said primary floor surface or peripheral surface, via said user interface, said user interface selected from any one or more of; a. a ball, b. a football, c. a bat, d. a hockey stick, e. a racket, f. an oar, g. a paddle, h. a javelin, i. a shot-put, j. a discus, k. a human dummy, l. climbing holds, m. ski poles, n. climbing ropes, o. climbing blocks, and p. weight lifting bar.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates to a physical interaction apparatus. In particular although not solely the present invention relates to a physical exercise and/or stretching apparatus.

BACK GROUND OF THE INVENTION

A multitude of devices for exercising are available to the public. Such devices come in many formats and each are designed to allow a user to exercise a specific group or several groups of muscles. However many such devices do not offer the user the facility to conduct pre-exercise stretching to reduce the likelihood of the incidence of muscle damage during exercise. While a person is able to conduct such stretching without the use of specialized equipment, by for example leaning against a wall to apply pressure to the calf muscles or other leg muscles to stretch such muscle groups, such unaided stretching may not allow the person to provide sufficient pressure to their muscle groups. Unaided stretching may also not allow a person to stretch particular muscle groups as a result of being unable to achieve certain physical positions.

It is also known that in order to effectively stretch some muscle groups, people often pair up to provide assistance in stretching certain muscle groups. The person assisting can aid the person stretching by isolating parts of the body, supporting certain parts of the body or immobilizing certain parts of the body to allow the person stretching to achieve the desired stretching result. However a person who is wishing to stretch certain muscle groups of such a kind may not necessarily have another person available to them to aid in the stretching. Likewise for conducting certain exercises, it may be desirable to immobilize certain parts of the body so as to provide a stationary point of the body against which a force can be applied. Sit ups are one example where it is desirable for the feet of the person to be immobilized. Press ups are another example where both the hands and the feet are immobilized.

Some exercise machines such as exercycles and steppers, can isolate target muscles.

The disadvantage of using machines is that they do not offer much variety as one machine may only be used for one purpose. Another problem is that machines are often designed for the average person, and may be uncomfortable or impossible to use for a very tall or very short person or disabled persons.

Free weights such as dumbbells and barbells, on the other hand, allow the body to assume more ‘natural’ positions, allowing the simulating of real-life movements more accurately. It encourages a person to employ stabilizer muscles properly and to use correct body alignment. Free weights also offer much more variety and can be used in lots of different ways to target different muscle groups.

Free weight exercises are normally suitable for most exercisers, but often beginners need a lot of guidance to ensure they are using proper form and technique. People who do not have the necessary skills may develop serious injuries by training incorrectly.

Our United States patent U.S. Pat. No. 7,022,055 describes an exercise apparatus that can assist in exercising and stretching that solves some of the above mentioned problems.

However certain sports require specific positioning of hands and/or feet of a body of a person. Stretching or exercising certain muscles in a manner that simulates the actions or positions of certain sports is not readily facilitated by the invention of U.S. Pat. No. 7,022,055. This is because in U.S. Pat. No. 7,022,055 the apparatus provides substantially plainer surfaces for interaction by a user. A user wearing for example gloves, is only able to position the hands of the body on the wall or floor surfaces in a co-plainer relationship to each other. Accordingly U.S. Pat. No. 7,022,055 lacks the versatility to facilitate stretching and/or exercising over a larger range of movement and motions and positions.

Accordingly it is an object of the present invention to provide physical interaction apparatus for exercising and/or stretching which can be utilised by an individual without assistance of another person or to at least provide the public with a useful choice.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide stretching apparatus that can be utilised by a person to stretch more muscle groups than by unassisted stretching or to at least provide the public with a useful choice.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide exercising apparatus that aids in overcoming some of the problems as mentioned above or at least to provide the public with a useful choice.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly in a first aspect of the present invention consists in physical interaction apparatus for the purposes of allowing a person to perform physical training and stretching of the muscles said physical interaction apparatus comprising and/or including;

a wall including;

a. a flat primary wall surface of one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system, and

b. at least one peripheral surface of one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system that is the same as that of said primary wall surface, said peripheral surface being peripheral to at least part of said primary wall surface and is presented in a direction non-parallel to said primary wall surface,

at least one user interface that includes an outwardly presented surface consisting of the other one of the hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system so as to allow its selective and releasable attachment to said primary wall surface and peripheral surface, to allow a person to engage therewith to receive resistance to a user applied force parallel to the engaged surface of said primary wall surface or peripheral surface, via said user interface.

Preferably said user interface is selected from one or more of;

i. a wearable item selected from one of a) at least one glove and at least one footwear, b) two gloves and c) two footwear, and

ii. a sports implement.

Preferably said sports implement is selected from any one of more of;

i. a ball,

ii. a football,

iii. a bat,

iv. a hockey stick,

v. a racket,

vi. an oar,

vii. a paddle,

viii. a javelin,

ix. a shot-put,

x. a discus,

xi. a human dummy,

xii. climbing holds,

xiii. ski poles,

xiv. climbing ropes,

xv. climbing blocks, and

xvi. weight lifting bar.

Preferably the user interface may include a panel for engagement and wherein a flexible elongate member extends from said panel to which a hand or foot of the person can engage.

Preferably there is also provided a floor which includes a floor surface of one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system that is the same as that of the primary wall surface, and with which the user interface can also selectively and releasably engage.

Preferably a floor peripheral surface is provided of one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system that is the same as that of said primary wall surface, said floor peripheral surface being peripheral to at least part of said floor surface and is presented in a direction non-parallel to said floor surface and with which the user interface can also selectively and releasably engage.

Preferably the said floor surface is provided adjacent said primary wall surface such that a said person can be upwardly supported by said floor surface and simultaneously interact with the primary wall surface.

Preferably the floor peripheral surface is defined by a rim about the floor surface that projects downwardly from said floor surface.

Preferably said floor peripheral surface includes an undercut zone that extends beneath the floor surface and is exposed to allow engagement by a said user interface.

Preferably said peripheral surface extends from said primary wall surface in a direction away from the direction of the normal of said primary wall surface.

Preferably said peripheral surface is defined by a rim about the upper edge and side edges of the primary wall surface.

Preferably two of said gloves are provided one for each hand of a said person.

Preferably said footwear is a bootie and wherein two of said booties are provided one for each foot of said person.

Preferably said footwear and booties are worn by a user when also interacting with an other of the user interface.

Preferably said wall surface is inclined to the vertical with the normal to said wall surface projecting above the horizontal.

Preferably said primary wall surface and said floor surface abut each other.

Preferably said floor surface is inclined to the horizontal with the normal to said floor surface having a component of direction projecting away from the said wall surface.

Preferably said wall being a wall unit comprising of wall panel with which said one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system is engaged, said wall panel engaged to a support structure to be supported as a unit by a permanent fixed structure.

In a second aspect the present invention consists in physical interaction apparatus for the purposes of allowing a person to perform physical training and stretching of the muscles said physical interaction apparatus comprising and/or including;

a wall including a flat primary wall surface of one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system, and

at least one user interface that includes an outwardly presented surface consisting of the other one of the hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system so as to allow its selective and releasable attachment to said primary wall surface to allow a person to engage therewith to receive resistance to a user applied force parallel to the engaged surface of said primary wall surface, via said user interface,

said user interface selected from any one of more of;

i. a ball,

ii. a football,

iii. a bat,

iv. a hockey stick,

v. a racket,

vi. an oar,

vii. a paddle,

viii. a javelin,

ix. a shot-put,

x. a discus,

xi. a human dummy,

xii. climbing holds,

xiii. ski poles,

xiv. climbing ropes,

xv. climbing blocks, and

xvi. weight lifting bar.

Preferably said wall includes at least one peripheral surface of one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system that is the same as that of said primary wall surface, said peripheral surface being peripheral to at least part of said primary surface and is presented in a direction non-parallel to said primary wall surface, wherein the other one of the hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system of the user interface, allows its selective and releasable attachment to said primary wall surface and peripheral surface.

Preferably said apparatus further comprises and/or includes a wearable item selected from one of a) at least one glove and at least one footwear, b) two gloves and c) two footwear that may be worn by the user simultaneous to their using the user interface.

Preferably the user interface may include a panel for engagement to said primary wall surface and wherein a flexible elongate member extends from said panel to which a hand or foot of the person can engage.

Preferably there is also provided a floor which includes a floor surface of one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system that is the same as that of the primary wall surface, and with which the user interface can also selectively and releasably engage.

Preferably a floor peripheral surface is provided of one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system that is the same as that of said primary wall surface, said floor peripheral surface being peripheral to at least part of said floor surface and is presented in a direction non-parallel to said primary wall surface and with which the user interface can also selectively and releasably engage.

Preferably said floor surface is provided adjacent said primary wall surface such that a said person can be upwardly supported by said floor surface and simultaneously interact with the primary wall surface.

Preferably the floor peripheral surface is defined by a rim about the floor surface that projects downwardly from said floor surface.

Preferably said floor peripheral surface includes an undercut zone that extends beneath the floor surface and is exposed to allow engagement by a said user interface.

Preferably said peripheral surface extends from said primary wall surface in a direction away from the direction of the normal of said primary wall surface.

In a third aspect the present invention consists in a sports implement selected from one of;

i. a football,

ii. a ball,

iii. a bat,

iv. a hockey stick,

v. a racket,

vi. an oar,

vii. a paddle,

viii. a javelin,

ix. a shot-put,

x. a discus,

xi. a human dummy,

xii. climbing holds,

xiii. ski poles,

xiv. climbing ropes,

xv. climbing blocks, and

xvi. weight lifting bar,

wherein the improvement comprises the implement including a surface defined by one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system.

Preferably the surface is defined by the hook component.

Preferably the sports implement is to be used in association with a fixed reaction surface of the other of the hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system, and wherein the surface defined said hook component and loop component of said implement is provided to said implement in a location such that said implement can become releasably engaged to said reaction surface and allow a user to hold said implement in a condition that simulates a position of use of the implement in its normal mode of use in sport.

In a fourth aspect the present invention consists in a sports implement to be used in association with a fixed reaction surface of one of the hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system, said sports implement including a surface defined by the other of said hook component and loop component such that said implement can become releasably engaged to said reaction surface and allow a user to hold said implement in a condition that simulates a position of use of the implement in its normal mode of use in sport.

Preferably the sports implement is selected from any one of;

a. a ball,

b. football,

c. a bat,

d. a hockey stick,

e. a racket,

f. an oar,

g. a paddle,

h. a javelin,

i. a shot-put,

j. a discus,

k. a human dummy,

l. climbing holds,

m. ski poles,

n. climbing ropes,

o. climbing blocks, and

p. weight lifting bar.

In a fifth aspect the present invention consists in a method of stretching/exercising a human body utilising at least one fixed reaction surface of one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening systems, said method including;

providing at least one sports implement to be used in association with said fixed reacting surface wherein said implement includes a surface defined by the other of said hook component and loop component,

engaging said surface of said implement to said reaction surface whilst said user is holding said implement in a condition that simulates a position of use of the implement in its normal mode of use in sport, and

applying a force by said user to said implement.

Preferably the implement is selected from;

a. a ball,

b. football,

c. a bat,

d. a hockey stick,

e. a racket,

f. an oar,

g. a paddle,

h. a javelin,

i. a shot-put,

j. a discus,

k. a human dummy,

l. climbing holds,

m. ski poles,

n. climbing ropes,

o. climbing blocks, and

p. weight lifting bar.

In a further aspect the present invention consists in physical interaction apparatus for the purposes of allowing a person to perform physical training and stretching of the muscles said physical interaction apparatus comprising and/or including;

a floor including a flat primary floor surface of one of a hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system, and

at least one user interface that includes an outwardly present surface consisting of the other one of the hook component and loop component of a hook and loop fastening system so as to allow its selective and releasable attachment to said primary floor surface to allow a person to engage therewith to receive resistance to user applied force parallel to the engaged surface of said primary floor surface or peripheral surface, via said user interface, said user interface selected from any one or more of;

a. a ball,

b. a football,

c. a bat,

d. a hockey stick,

e. a racket,

f. an oar,

g. a paddle,

h. a javelin,

i. a shot-put,

j. a discus,

k. a human dummy,

l. climbing holds,

m. ski poles,

n. climbing ropes,

o. climbing blocks, and

p. weight lifting bar.

This invention may also be said broadly to consist in the parts, elements and features referred to or indicated in the specification of the application, individually or collectively, and any or all combinations of any two or more of said parts, elements or features, and where specific integers are mentioned herein which have known equivalents in the art to which this invention relates, such known equivalents are deemed to be incorporated herein as if individually set forth.

As used herein the term “and/or” means “and” or “or”, or both.

As used herein “(s)” following a noun means the plural and/or singular forms of the noun.

The term “comprising” as used in this specification means “consisting at least in part of”. When interpreting statements in this specification which include that term, the features, prefaced by that term in each statement, all need to be present but other features can also be present. Related terms such as “comprise” and “comprised” are to be interpreted in the same manner.

“user interface” is used to describe a device that will act intermediate of the person and a reaction surface.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is now described by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which;

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the fixed structure of part of the interaction apparatus being a wall and floor reaction surface,

FIG. 2 is a side view of FIG. 1,

FIG. 3 is a side view of a variation of FIG. 1,

FIG. 4 illustrates an alternative arrangement wherein there are a plurality of reaction surfaces provided as a station about which a number of people can be positioned.

FIG. 5-10 illustrate different forms of tools that may be utilised in conjunction with the reaction surface structure(s),

FIG. 11 is a side view of a reaction surface structure with which a ball is engaged and wherein fingers of a person wearing gloves is engaged,

FIG. 12 is a view of a bootie that may be used as part of the present invention,

FIG. 13 is a view of a glove that may be used as part of the present invention,

FIG. 15 illustrates a person using the apparatus the present invention wherein a tool is engaged to the wall surface,

FIG. 16 illustrates the tool in a different position allowing the person to exercise a different part of the body,

FIG. 17 illustrates the tool of FIG. 5 engaged to a wall surface,

FIG. 18 illustrates the climbing blocks of FIG. 10 and the tool of FIG. 5 being utilised,

FIG. 19 illustrates a ball such as that of FIG. 6 engaged to the wall surface wherein a person is able to assume a throwing position and engage with the ball,

FIG. 20 illustrates a hockey stick engaged to the surface,

FIG. 21 illustrates a handle engaged to the surface to allow for a person to engage the handle to for example simulate a position assumed in tennis,

FIG. 22 illustrates a ball 39 engaged to a surface allowing a person to assume a position such as that as may be assumed in soccer, and

FIG. 23 also illustrates a ball 39 engaged to the wall surface to allow a person to assume a position that may be assumed during a game of soccer.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The interaction apparatus includes at least one tool and at least one reaction surface structure which is or is fixed or otherwise supported by or to a fixed structure of a building. With the use of body engaged and/or graspable tools, action forces may be applied by a users body to the surface(s) directly and/or the surface(s) via the tool. In the most preferred form the reaction surfaces include both a wall surface 2 and a floor surface 3 positioned adjacent each other so that both can be engaged by a user simultaneously.

The reaction surfaces are covered at least in part and preferably entirely by one component of a hook and loop fastening system. The other component of the hook and loop fastening system is carried by the gloves and booties to which reference will be made hereinafter. The floor surface is planar and preferably also the wall surface is planar, but these may alternatively be of other shapes.

In the most preferred form the reaction surfaces are covered by the loop part of the hook and loop fastening system. The loop part is softer to the touch so that any contact of the skin of a person with the surfaces will not subject the person to any significant abrasion. It is well known that the loop component of a hook and loop fastening system is not as soft to the touch.

In the most preferred form the reaction surfaces are covered entirely by a component of the hook and loop fastening means and the area of coverage is sufficient so that a person can assume many different positions adjacent the surfaces would still remain in contact with the component on the surface.

For example the wall surface may be of a height of approximately 3 m above surrounding ground. This is of a sufficient height to allow the average person to stand adjacent the wall surface 2 and stretch upwardly without stretching beyond the upper boundary 11 of the wall surface 2. Most preferably the height is at least 1.5 m but being higher allows for more positions to be assumed. The width (in direction B) (with reference to FIG. 2) of the wall section 2 is also sufficient to allow for a diverse range of positions to be assumed by a user of the invention. For example, in a preferred form the wall is planar and of a width which is sufficient to allow for a person to stand adjacent the wall and to spread both arms outwardly without both finger tips of each hand extending beyond the boundary of the wall surface 2.

Width expansion of reaction surfaces may occur with addition of more structures.

The width (in direction B) of the reaction surfaces may be sufficient so as to allow for a plurality of users to be standing on/adjacent the surfaces for their simultaneous use thereof.

Preferably the reaction surfaces are retrofitable to an existing structure of a building. For example the reaction surfaces may be part of a structure fabricated of sheets of ply wood to define a unit having a surface or surfaces onto which the loop component of the hook and loop fastening system is affixed (such as by adhesion). The fabricated ply wood structure can then be bolted or otherwise affixed to a fixed wall and/or floor structure of a building. It is important that the reaction surfaces remain securely fixed although it is envisaged that such affixing can be temporary in case the reaction surfaces are to be transportable. Adjacent units may be secured together by fasteners such as bolts or screws. With an extensive coverage area of the loop component of the hook and loop fastening means onto the plywood surfaces, a diverse arrange of positions can be assumed by the user of the system.

With the provision of both a floor and wall surface, a person can receive support to all of the limbs by the reaction surfaces of the present invention.

It is envisaged that only a wall surface 2 may be provided for the purposes of providing a reaction surface of the interaction means of the present invention. Such a wall extends to a sufficient height (e.g. greater than 1.5 m) from the adjacent ground on which a person may stand to allow for a person standing adjacent the wall to assume a diverse range of positions including the engagement of their hands and/or feet onto the wall surface 2. The fixed structure may be a wall or floor of a building.

However the combination of wall and floor surfaces provides for a much more versatile arrangement and greater reaction surfaces.

It is envisaged that the reaction surfaces may come in a collapsible form so that both the wall and floor surfaces are removable from each other to allow for convenient storage and transportation. Indeed each wall and floor surface unit may itself be collapsible into more portions. Each wall unit for example may be broken down into two or more components for the purposes of convenient storage and/or transportation. Likewise the floor surface unit may do the same. It is envisaged that the present invention may be utilised in home situations where the convenience of storage and assembly is an important factor.

The interaction apparatus may include body engaged attire such as outerwear articles to be worn by the user, and/or other tools such as graspable tools which may come in the form of known sports equipment or may come in a customised form.

The user may be wearing at least one glove 26 and preferably also at least one bootie 28. Preferably a user will be wearing two gloves and two booties. A glove is for example shown in FIG. 13. The glove may be of a fingerless or finger kind (and possibly but less preferably of a mitten kind). Its main purpose is to remain securely fixed to the hand of a person. With the provision of the other component of the hook and loop fastening system to the component provided on the reaction surfaces (2, 3) can allow for the glove to become affixed to the reaction surfaces. The glove may be entirely covered with the hook component or this may be pattern applied. For example strips or panels 9 of the hook component may be sewn onto the body 20 of the glove in locations where the glove is likely to make contact with a reaction surface (whether floor or wall 3, 2). Such regions may include the fingers, and on the palm side of the hand as well as the like surfaces on the other side of the hand. It is important that a glove of a size appropriate for the size of a users hand is selected so that a tight fit is achieved. When a person is applying pressure to a reaction surface via the glove, it is important that the glove does not move significantly relative to the hand.

With reference to FIG. 12, there is shown a bootie 28 which can be worn by the user of the present invention. The bootie will engage onto the foot of a user and has disposed onto exterior surfaces thereof, regions of a component of a hook and loop fastening system. Again most preferably and since the reaction surfaces 2, 3 are provided with the loop component of the system, the booties are provided with the hook component of the hook and loop fastening system. The booties may include strips of the hook component on the soles and preferably also on the upper surfaces of the bootie. Such strips or panels 8 will allow for the bootie to become fixed onto the reactions surfaces (whether it be the wall surface 2 or the floor surface 3).

Positions by a user of the invention can be assumed by both the hands and the feet so that these touch and become affixed to the wall surface 2 of the device. It may only be the wall surface which is provided as the reaction surface of the present invention. However to increase versatility a floor surface 3 is also provided. In such a case, the user may have their feet or a foot engaged onto the floor surface and the hands or hand engaged onto the wall surface or vice versa or various combinations.

Likewise tools other than the gloves and/or booties may be used for engagement with the wall surface and/or floor surface or both. The wall surface or floor surface or both may be engaged by one or more of the tools separately or simultaneously. Such tools may be sports equipment such as a hockey stick, tennis racket, soccer ball, rugby or American football, a golf club, examples of which are shown in FIG. 6-9.

With reference to for example, the soccer ball 39 of FIG. 6 there is shown a zone 40 on the surface of the soccer ball that is provided with a region of the hook or loop component of the hook and loop fastening system. Where, in the preferred form the surface or surfaces 2, 3 are of the loop component of hook and loop fastening system, the zone 40 is preferably the hook component.

With reference to FIGS. 11 and 15-23, it can be seen that such tools can become fastened to either the wall or floor surface 2, 3 and a person can then interact with the tool. The surfaces provide a large zone at which such tools can be placed so as to position the tool in a location relative to a person approximate the surface so as to simulate positioning of such tools in use in sport. A person can then interact with their body (for example by grasping the ball or club or racket or kicking or positioning their legs and/or feet against the tool) for the purposes of stretching and/or exercising their body when the body is in a position that may simulate body position when such tools are used in sport. The person may or may not also be wearing the glove(s) or bootie(s) for engagement to wall and/or floor surfaces.

The tools may include a zone such as the zone 40 for engagement with the floor or wall surfaces and may also include a zone such as the zone 41 presented for engagement by any glove or bootie that a person may be wearing. This is an optional feature wherein the glove and the zone 41 are complementary. This can allow for a releasable engagement to be established wherein for example the glove, with the loop component of a hook and loop fastening system, can engage with a zone 41 of a loop component of a hook and loop fastening system. In this manner, the tool can be releasably fastened to a floor or wall surface via the zone 40 and can be releasably engaged by gloves and/or booties via the zone 41. The golf club of FIG. 9 illustrates a similar configuration wherein two zones are provided. However the tennis racket of FIG. 9 does not include a secondary zone with which a releasably fastened engagement between a glove being worn by a person can engage with the racket. The sports tools may be regular sports tools modified by applying the hook/component thereto. A peel back adhesive surface may be utilised to adhere the component.

With reference to FIG. 10, there is shown a block that includes a zone 40 or engagement to the wall surface. The block 43 is a climbing block that can offer a foot and/or hand hold for a person who may be using the wall as a climbing surface. The block 43 can be positioned in any desired location on the wall to allow for a person to practice certain climbing moves or to merely offer climbing simulating exercises. A number of blocks may be used to allow for a person to climb up the wall or for a person to traverse the wall.

With reference to FIG. 5, a dedicated tool 46 is shown. This tool includes a fastening zone 40 that includes the hook component of a hook and loop fastening system to allow for this zone to engage with the wall or floor. It is engaged to a substrate 47 from which a flexible member 48 extends. The flexible member 48 may be a rope that can be grasped by a user to allow for that user to perform stretches and/or exercises to receive resistance to such, as a result of the engagement of the zone 40 for a surface or floor.

The hook of the hook and loop fastening system that may be used is a product called CS 1200™ Hook provided by 3M. This product of 3M provides a high shear strength between the two components of the system yet under tension, allows for a convenient removal. Table 1 shows the performance specs of this product as published by 3M on their current website.

TABLE 1
Closure Performance with 3M ™
Typical Product CharacteristicsNonwoven Loop
180° Hook to Loop Peel Force4.5 N/25 mm3M TM-3740
Dynamic Shear Force 60 N/25 × 25 mm3M TM-3749

The wall surface may alternatively be curved both vertically and horizontally. For example the wall surface may be provided by a vertical pillar.

Another product that may be used to act as the hook component is the 3M™ product DUAL LOCK™. This product is a low profile reclosable fastener that includes mushroom shaped fastener components. The mushroom shaped components can lock with loop components of a complimentary surface. Such a surface may indeed be carpet or other fabric material that presents loops with which the mushroom shaped components can engage. Some information about the nature of the DUAL LOCK™.

TABLE 2
DUAL LOCK ™ RECLOSABLE FASTENERS
3M ™ Scotchmate ™ SJ3527 (loop) engaged to
3M ™ Dual Lock ™ Reclosable Fastener SJ3540
(Type 250)(b)
TENSILE<6.9 kN/m2
Dynamic Tensile
Engagement Strength
Dynamic Tensile 242 kN/m2
Disengagement(c)
SHEAR 855 kN/m2
Dynamic Shear
(1″ × 1″ overlap(c)
Static Shear Holding
Power

As a result, the shear direction holding force between for example the gloves or the booties and the reaction surfaces 2, 3 is extremely high when compared to the tension force. Accordingly it is convenient for a person to pull the tool off the surfaces by a force substantially normal to the surface however a sliding of the gloves and booties relative to the surface is highly resisted. Hence a person utilising the present invention can move about on the surface relatively conveniently without any significant strain being placed on the muscles of the user. However when a shear force is applied by the user, the gloves and/or booties will remain firmly in place. This hence reduces the possibility of injury. Action forces can hence be applied to the reaction surfaces in a shear direction.

To offer greater versatility for the engagement of a tool or tools with the floor surface 3 and/or wall surface 2, one or both of the wall and/or floor surface defining structures, also define peripheral surfaces that include one of the components of a hook and loop fastening system. With reference for example to FIG. 1, the upper peripheral edge 51 of the wall 2 may include a loop component. The upper peripheral surface 51 may be completely the loop component to allow for example the tool 46 to engage therewith. This allows for a person to receive a reaction force from a particular angle that may allow from the tool 46 to be used, to allow for the person to perform exercises in a position that may not be possible if the tool were merely to engage with the floor surface 3 or wall surface 2. Likewise one or both of the side peripheral zones 52 of the wall 2 may carry the loop component. Similarly with respect to the floor 3 its side periphery 54 on one or both of the sides may include such loop component. Likewise an undercut surface 57 that projects in a direction opposite to the floor surface 3 may also include the loop component to allow for engagement of a tool such as the tool 46 for the purposes of providing resistance to a person exercising and/or stretching in a certain position.

In order to encourage the association of a person with the wall surface 2, the wall surface is preferably inclined to the vertical. The incline is such that the Normal (N) of the surface has an upward component of direction. The resultant angle X which the wall surface 2 makes to the vertical is greater than 0° and for example less than 30°. A person standing adjacent the wall surface with their feet at or proximate the wall surface base 10 will need to lean over centre to their general upright direction in order for the body to make contact with the surface 2. This is shown in FIG. 3. A person facing the wall hence needs to lean forward. A person with their back to the wall, will need to be leaning backwards in order to make contact with the surface. The angling of this wall surface 2 hence encourages both a psychological tendency to lean towards the wall as well as a physical tendency. Assuming that all other things are equal, a person engaged for example with their hands to the wall surface 2 is more likely to stay engaged and have a feeling of engagement or association with the wall, than were the wall to have a normal which was horizontal or had a downward component (i.e. an overhanging wall). It is hence desirable for the wall to have an angle to the vertical greater than 0° and where the normal of the surface has a component directed upwardly. It is also envisaged that the wall surface 2 may be utilised for suspending a person by engagement of the gloves to the wall surface. By having a wall sloping in a manner as described, the body of the person will be biased as a result of gravity towards the wall thereby giving the feeling of engagement. This would not be the case were the wall to be overhanging or a wall which is purely vertical.

Where the present invention also includes a reaction surface which is a floor surface 3, such a surface is preferably sloping to the horizontal as shown in FIG. 3. In the most preferred form the slope is downwardly from the intersecting point 4 between the wall surface 2 and the floor surface 3. The angle Y that the floor surface makes with the horizontal is preferably greater than 0° and for example less than 30°. While the floor surface 3 need not be of a slope relative to the horizontal, it is preferred since a person standing on the floor surface 3 will then need to adjust their stance in order to remain standing upright adjacent the wall 2. For example a person facing the wall surface 2 will need to lean forward when standing flat footed on the floor surface 3. In order to remain standing upright, such a leaning forward will additionally encourage a tendency for the person to lean or fall towards a wall surface 2 engendering a feeling of security. This will encourage the making of contact of a person with the wall surface 2 and/or wall surface engaged tool. The wall and floor where a person is to simultaneously be able to touch the surface of both preferably have a normal to each surface lie in the same plane which a vertical plane.

The floor surface may likewise be provided as part of a structure that may be a unit and for example be fabricated from a ply wood material. When viewed from the side as shown in FIG. 1, both the wall surface and floor surface 2, 3 are provided as part of wall and floor units. The wall and floor units are preferably independent items which are able to be abutted together. It is envisaged that alternative configurations may be adopted by the wall and floor unit where such are not touching each other. For example the wall unit may be elevated above the floor unit and there may be provided a gap there between. There may hence not be an intersection point 4 between the wall and floor units. The floor surface extend preferably from the wall surface at least 1 m outwardly there from. Preferably this distance is between 1 m and 2.4 m.

Furthermore while in the most preferred form the wall surface 2 and preferably the floor surface 3 are substantially planar, such surfaces need not be entirely planar. Indeed the surfaces may include apertures there through, particularly the wall surface 2 may include apertures to provide further assistance for holding the hand or the feet of a person. The surface may also include up stands which are provided in places tailored to assist in allowing for certain positions to be assumed by a user.

With reference to FIG. 15-23 there are shown examples of different positions that a person may assume in order to provide stretching forces to the muscles. The reaction surface or surfaces of the present invention may also be engaged by a person wearing gloves and/or booties or via other tools in a manner so that exercising can be performed. Many of the positions illustrated will also allow a person to conduct exercises. This can be achieved without the aid of another person.

As used herein “floor” should not be restricted to only structural floor and “wall” can include other upright supports (whether skeletal or panelled). As used herein “complementary attachment means” and use in conjunction with said means are preferably means to allow attachment to or from said floor or wall surface to enable an exerciser to manipulate the muscles or him or herself via releasable engagement.





 
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