Title:
SWIMSUIT HAVING COMPRESSION PANELS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A swimsuit is provided having a hip and thigh portion and a chest portion. Various compression panels may be attached to an inside surface of the hip and thigh portion as well as the chest portion for reducing muscle vibration of the chest muscle, thigh muscle and gluteal muscles. Various urethane layers may be attached external to the hip and thigh portion and the chest portion.



Inventors:
Di Lorenzo, Joseph (Laurel Hollow, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/188001
Publication Date:
02/12/2009
Filing Date:
08/07/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D7/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
TOMPKINS, ALISSA JILL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STETINA BRUNDA GARRED & BRUCKER (ALISO VIEJO, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A swimsuit for reducing muscle vibration of a swimmer, the swimsuit comprising: a hip and thigh portion; and left and right thigh compression panels fabricated from a material which is less easily stretchable compared to the material of the hip and thigh portion, the left and right thigh compression panels attached to the hip and thigh portion from upper lateral hip areas, across the thigh areas, to lower medial thigh areas; wherein the left and right thigh compression panels pushes against quadracep muscles of the swimmer when the hip and thigh portion is worn by the swimmer for reducing muscle vibration while the swimmer is swimming.

2. The swimsuit of claim 1 further comprising a urethane layer disposed externally to the hip and thigh portion and on a front side of the hip and thigh portion.

3. The swimsuit of claim 1 wherein the left and right thigh compression panels are elongate strips.

4. The swimsuit of claim 3 wherein each of the left and right thigh compression panels have a narrowing configuration.

5. The swimsuit of claim 3 wherein each of the left and right thigh compression panels have a constant width.

6. The swimsuit of claim 1 wherein the left and right thigh compression panels are positioned over and compress the rectus femoris.

7. The swimsuit of claim 1 wherein the left and right thigh compression panels are positioned over and compress at least one of the rectus femoris, vastos intermedius, vastos lateralis, and vastos medialis.

8. The swimsuit of claim 1 further comprising left and right buttock compression panels positioned over and compress gluteal muscles.

9. The swimsuit of claim 8 wherein the left and right buttock compression panels are positioned over and compress the gluteus maximus muscle.

10. The swimsuit of claim 7 wherein the left and right buttock compression panels are positioned over and compress at least one of a gluteus minimus, a gluteus maximus and a gluteus medius.

11. The swimsuit of claim 7 wherein the left and right buttock compression panels and the left and right thigh compression panels are attached to an inside surface of the hip and thigh portion.

12. The swimsuit of claim 1 wherein the hip and thigh portion comprises: a plurality of fit panels, the left thigh compression panel extending across one or more of the fit panels, the right thigh compression panel extending across one or more of the fit panels.

13. The swimsuit of claim 11 wherein an outer periphery of the left thigh compression panel is attached to an outer periphery of the fit panel over which the left thigh compression panel is extended over.

14. A swimsuit for reducing muscle vibration of a swimmer, the swimsuit comprising: a hip and thigh portion; and left and right buttock compression panels fabricated from a material which is less easily stretchable compared to the material of the hip and thigh portion, the left and right buttock compression panels attached to the hip and thigh portion from upper lateral buttock areas to lower medial buttock areas; wherein the left and right buttock compression panels pushes against gluteal muscles of the swimmer when the hip and thigh portion is worn by the swimmer for reducing muscle vibration while the swimmer is swimming.

15. The swimsuit of claim 1 further comprising a urethane layer disposed externally to the hip and thigh portion and on a front side of the hip and thigh portion.

16. A swim suit for reducing muscle vibration of a swimmer, the swimsuit comprising: a chest portion; and first and second chest compression panels extending diagonally across the swimmer's chest in a crisscross configuration; wherein the first and second chest compression panels pushes against pectoral muscles of the swimmer when the chest portion is worn by the swimmer for reducing muscle vibration while the swimmer is swimming.

17. The swimsuit of claim 1 further comprising a urethane layer disposed externally to the chest portion and on a front side of the chest portion.

18. The swimsuit of claim 14 wherein the first and second compression panels are positioned over and compress pectoralis major muscles.

19. The swimsuit of claim 14 wherein the first and second compression panels are positioned over and compress at least one of a major pectoral muscle and a minor pectoral muscle.

20. The swimsuit of claim 14 wherein the first and second compression panels are elongate strips.

21. The swimsuit of claim 17 wherein the elongate strips have a narrowing configuration.

22. The swimsuit of claim 17 wherein the elongate strips each have a constant width.

23. The swimsuit of claim 14 wherein the first and second chest compression panels are attached to an inside surface of the chest portion.

24. A swim suit for reducing friction while swimming, the swimsuit comprising: a chest portion; and a hip portion; a first generally smooth and generally non water absorbent material disposed externally to the chest portion and on a front side of the chest portion.

25. The swim suit of claim 24 further comprising: a thigh portion; a second generally smooth and generally non-water absorbent material disposed externally to the thigh portion and on a front side of the thigh portion.

26. The swim suit of claim 24 wherein the first material is a polyurethane material.

27. The swim suit of claim 24 wherein the first material is generally stretchable.

28. The swim suit of claim 24 wherein the first material is a coating on the chest portion.

29. The swim suit of claim 24 further comprising a base layer attached to the chest portion, the base layer being coated with the first material.

30. The swim suit of claim 24 further comprising a base layer attached to the hip portion, the base layer being coated with the first material.

31. The swim suit of claim 25 further comprising a base layer attached to the thigh portion, the base layer being coated with the second material.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This is a continuation in part application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/787,735, filed Apr. 17, 2007, the entire content of which is incorporated herein by reference.

STATEMENT RE: FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND

The present invention is related to a swimsuit having compression panels positioned over one or more muscle groups of a swimmer to reduce muscle vibrations of specific muscle groups and an external urethane panel to reduce the hydrodynamic drag of the swimmer.

Technical wear for competitive swimmers attempt to reduce, minimize or eliminate various impediments that cause a competitive swimmer to lose a race. For example, hydrodynamic drag is a major factor in the speed of a competitive swimmer. As such, technical swimwear does exist which attempt to reduce the hydrodynamic drag on a swimmer such that the swimmer is able to increase his/her speed without any additional expenditure of energy or strength. For example, technical swimwear may incorporate material which does not absorb water or is designed to provide less hydrodynamic drag.

Technical wear additionally attempts to conserve the swimmer's energy such that the conserved energy may be directed to propelling the swimmer through the water. For example, it has been found that as the swimmer swims through the water, his/her muscles vibrate causing a loss of energy which could have been used to propel the swimmer through the water. As such, it would be desirable to prevent and/or minimize muscle vibration.

BRIEF SUMMARY

The swimsuit of the present invention specifically addresses the needs discussed above, discussed below and those that are known in the art.

The swimsuit may comprise a hip portion, an optional thigh portion, and an optional chest portion. The hip and thigh portion may be fabricated to have left and right thigh compression panels attached to an inside surface of the hip and thigh portion which compress thigh muscles and reduce thigh muscle vibrations of the swimmer. Additionally, the hip and thigh portion may also have buttock compression panels attached to the inside surface of the hip and thigh portion to reduce gluteal muscle vibration while the swimmer is swimming.

The chest portion may be fabricated from a unitary material with or a separate material from the hip and thigh portion. Additionally, the chest portion may have first and second chest compression panels attached to an inside surface of the chest portion diagonally with respect to each other in a criss-cross configuration. The chest compression panels reduce muscle vibrations of the chest while the swimmer is swimming.

The compression panels discussed herein may have an elongate configuration, linear or curved configuration. The compression panels may also be fabricated from an elastic material having a spring constant greater than the material from which the hip and thigh portion and the chest portion is fabricated. The elasticity of the compression panel may be sufficiently strong so as to compress the muscle to reduce or minimize muscle vibration.

The compression panels may preferably be attached to an inside surface of the hip and thigh portion and/or chest portion. However, it is also contemplated that the compression panels be attached to an outside surface of the hip and thigh portion and/or chest portion.

The swimsuit may also have one or more external urethane panels attached to the hip portion, optional thigh portion and the optional chest portion. The external urethane panels may be used to reduce the hydrodynamic drag of the swimmer in the water. It is also contemplated that the urethane panels may be replaced with a base layer coated with a generally non-water absorbent material forming a generally smooth exterior surface. Preferably, the base layer and the replacement material are generally stretchable. It is also contemplated that the replacement material may be directly coated onto one or more of the hip portion, optional thigh portion and the optional chest portion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other features and advantages of the various embodiments disclosed herein will be better understood with respect to the following description and drawings, in which like numbers refer to like parts throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a right front perspective view of a swimsuit having compression panels for reducing muscle vibrations;

FIG. 2 is a right rear perspective view of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front view of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 1 with a cut out showing buttock compression panels and portions of thigh compression panels;

FIG. 4 is a rear view of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a front view of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a rear view of the swimsuit with a cut out showing thigh compression panels and chest compression panels;

FIG. 7 is a front view of a second embodiment of a swimsuit;

FIG. 8 is a front view of the second embodiment of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a side view of the second embodiment of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 7;

FIG. 10 is a front view of a fourth embodiment of a swimsuit;

FIG. 11 is a rear view of the third embodiment of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a side view of the third embodiment of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 10;

FIG. 13 is a front view of a fourth embodiment of a swimsuit;

FIG. 14 is a rear view of the fourth embodiment of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a side view of the fourth embodiment of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 13;

FIG. 16 is a front view of a fifth embodiment of a swimsuit;

FIG. 17 is a rear view of the fifth embodiment of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 16;

FIG. 18 is a side view of the fifth embodiment of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 16;

FIG. 19 is a front view of a sixth embodiment of a swimsuit;

FIG. 20 is a rear view of the sixth embodiment of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 19;

FIG. 21 is a side view of the sixth embodiment of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 19;

FIG. 22 is a front view of a seventh embodiment of a swimsuit;

FIG. 23 is a rear view of the seventh embodiment of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 22;

FIG. 24 is a side view of the seventh embodiment of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 22;

FIG. 25 is a front view of an eighth embodiment of a swimsuit;

FIG. 26 is a rear view of the eighth embodiment of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 25;

FIG. 27 is a side view of the eighth embodiment of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 25;

FIG. 28 is a front view of a ninth embodiment of a swimsuit;

FIG. 29 is a rear view of the ninth embodiment of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 28;

FIG. 30 is a side view of the ninth embodiment of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 28;

FIG. 31 is a front view of a tenth embodiment of a swimsuit;

FIG. 32 is a rear view of the tenth embodiment of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 31;

FIG. 33 is a side view of the tenth embodiment of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 31;

FIG. 34 is a front of an eleventh embodiment of a swimsuit;

FIG. 35 is a rear view of the eleventh embodiment of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 34;

FIG. 36 is a side view of the eleventh embodiment of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 34;

FIG. 37 is a front view of a twelfth embodiment of a swimsuit having an external urethane layer disposed on a frontal side of the swimsuit;

FIG. 38 is a rear view of the twelfth embodiment of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 37; and

FIG. 39 is a side view of the twelfth embodiment of the swimsuit shown in FIG. 37.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to FIGS. 1-6, a swimsuit 10 is provided for reducing muscle vibration of a swimmer to allow the swimmer's strength and energy to be focused on the race and not lost due to muscle vibration. In particular, the swimsuit may have various compression panels 28a, b (see FIG. 6), 38a, b (see FIG. 3), 42a, b (see FIG. 6) attached to a hip and thigh portion 14 or a chest portion 40 at a chest area, thigh areas, and buttock area to reduce or minimize muscle vibrations of the chest, thigh and buttocks muscles. Additionally, the compression panels 28a, b, 38a, b, 42a, b may be attached to the hip and thigh portion 14 and the chest portion 40 on an inside surface 30, 44 of such portions 14, 40 to minimize the hydrodynamic drag on the swimsuit 10.

The hip and thigh portion 14 and/or chest portion 40 may be fabricated from various materials. By way of example and not limitation, the hip and thigh portion 14 and/or chest portion 40 may be fabricated from a stretchable material, an elastic material, fabric, cotton, nylon, spandex, and/or blends thereof. Additionally, the compression panels 28a, b, 38a, b, 42a, b may be fabricated from various materials. By way of example and not limitation, the compression panels 28a, b, 38a, b, 42a, b may be fabricated from a stretchable material, an elastic material, fabric, cotton, nylon, spandex, and/or blends thereof. Also, the compression panels 28a, b, 38a, b, 42a, b may be fabricated from a material which is less easily stretchable compared to the material from which the hip and thigh portion 14 and/or chest portion 40 is fabricated.

Referring now to FIG. 1, a first embodiment of a swimsuit 10 is shown. The hip and thigh portion 14 of the swimsuit 10 may have left and right tubular members 24a, b which fit around the left and right thighs of the swimmer. Additionally, the hip and thigh portion 14 may also have an upper tubular member 26 sized to fit around the hips of the swimmer. The left and right tubular members 24a, b are attached to a lower end of the upper tubular member 26 such that the tubular members 24a, b and 26 may be worn by the swimmers in a similar manner compared to a pair of shorts. The left and right tubular members 24a, b may be sized to fit snuggly about the thighs of the swimmer as well as the upper tubular member 26 may be sized to fit snuggly around the hips of the swimmer.

Preferably, the hip and thigh portion 14 may be fabricated from an elastic material and sized such that the hip and thigh portion 14 slightly expands when worn by the swimmer such that the hip and thigh portion 14 may conform to the curves of the swimmer's body.

Left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b may be attached to an inside surface 30 of the hip and thigh portion 14, as shown in FIG. 6. By way of example and not limitation, the left thigh compression panel 28a may extend from an upper left lateral hip area 32a (see FIGS. 1, 5 and 6), across a left thigh area 34a (see FIGS. 1, 5 and 6), to a lower left medial thigh area 36a (see FIGS. 5 and 6). Similarly, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, a right thigh compression panel 28b may be attached to an inside surface 30 (see FIG. 6) of the hip and thigh portion 14 which extends from an upper right lateral hip area 32b, across a right thigh area 34b, to a lower right medial thigh area 36b. The left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b may be positioned over and compress any one or combination of the following thigh muscles, including but not limited to, a rectus femoris muscle, vastos intermedius muscle, vastos lateralis muscle, and vastos medialis muscle. Since the left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b are positioned over one or more of these muscles when the swimsuit 10 is worn by the swimmer, the muscle(s) over which the left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b are positioned are compressed to reduce vibration of such muscle(s) while the swimmer is swimming. Hence, the swimmer loses less energy and strength during competition. Such conserved energy and strength may be directed and focused to propelling the swimmer forward to win the race.

The left compression panel 28a may be sewn to the inside surface 30 (see FIG. 6) of the hip and thigh portion 14. In particular, left compression panel 28a may be defined by the bottom end 27a (see FIGS. 1, 5 and 6), seam lines 29a, b (see FIGS. 1, 2, 5 and 6), and seam line 29c (see FIGS. 1 and 3). As can be seen from FIG. 6, the left compression panel 28a may comprise two smaller panels 31a, b. In this regard, it is contemplated that one or more of the compression panels 28a, b, 38a, b and 42a, b may comprise one or more panels for providing better compression to the muscle group at issue and/or to provide a better conforming fit. Alternatively, the compression panels 28a, b, 38a, b, and 42a, b may extend across one or more smaller panels. The right compression panel 28b may have the same structure as the left compression panel 28a.

The bottom ends 27a, b may have an elastic band attached thereto. The elastic bands may pull the left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b down such that the left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b may apply compressive forces on one or more of the thigh muscles.

In addition to or in the alternative, referring now to FIG. 3, left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b may be attached to an inside surface 30 of the hip and thigh portion 14. The left compression panel 38a may be defined by seam lines 39a, b, c, d. Also, the right compression panel 38b may be defined by seam lines 39a, e, f, g. The left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b may be positioned over and compress gluteal muscles of the swimmer when the swimsuit 10 is worn by the swimmer. The left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b press against the gluteal muscles so as to reduce vibration of the gluteal muscles while the swimmer is swimming. Such reduction of muscle vibration reduces energy loss due to gluteal muscle vibration such that the swimmer has more energy and strength to direct to winning the race. More particularly, the left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b may be positioned over a portion of at least one or more of a gluteus minimus muscle, gluteus maximus muscle and a gluteus medius muscle. Also, the left buttock compression panel 38a may extend from an upper left buttock area 41a to a lower medial buttock area 43a of the left buttock. The right button compression panel 38b may extend from an upper right buttock area 41b to a lower medial buttock area 43b of the right buttock.

The left thigh compression panel 28a may be joined to the left buttock compression panel 38a in that they both share a common seam line 29c and 39b (see FIG. 3). Similarly, the right thigh compression panel 28b may be joined to the right buttock compression panel 38b in that they both share a common seam line 39e (see FIG. 3).

Referring to FIG. 6, the swimsuit 10 may also comprise a chest portion 40. The chest portion 40 fits around the chest of the swimmer 12. Preferably, the chest portion 40 may be fabricated from an elastic material and sized such that the chest portion 40 slightly expands when worn by the swimmer such that the chest portion 40 may conform to the curves of the swimmer's body. It is contemplated that the chest portion 40 may be independent from the hip and thigh portion 14 or fabricated as a unitary piece with the hip and thigh portion 14.

The chest portion 40 may have first and second chest compression panels 42a, b attached to an inside surface 44 of the chest portion 40. The first chest compression panel 42a may extend from an upper left area 48a (e.g., adjacent left shoulder) of the chest to a lower right area 50b (e.g., lower right ribs) of the chest when the chest portion 40 of the swimsuit 10 is worn by the swimmer. The second chest compression panel 42b may extend from an upper right area 48b (e.g., adjacent right shoulder) of the chest to a lower left area 50a (e.g., lower left ribs) of the chest of the swimmer when the chest portion 40 of the swimsuit 10 is worn by the swimmer. The first and second compression panels 42a, b may extend diagonally across the swimmer's chest in a criss-cross configuration, as shown in FIG. 6. The first chest compression panel 42a may be positioned over and compress a portion of at least one or more of a left major pectoral muscle and a left minor pectoral muscle. Similarly, the second chest compression panel 42b may be positioned over and compress a portion of at least one or more of a right major pectoral muscle and a right minor pectoral muscle.

The first chest compression panel 42a may be sewn to the inside surface 44 of the chest portion 40 as shown by seam lines 45a, b, c, d. The second compression panel 42b may also be sewn to the inside surface 44 of the chest portion as shown by seam lines 45e, f, g, h. When the second compression panel 42b is attached to the inside surface 44 of the chest portion 40, seam lines 45f and 45h also sew the first compression panel 42a to the inside surface 44 of the chest portion 40. Conversely, it is contemplated that the second compression panel 42b be attached to the inside surface 44 of the chest portion first before the first compression panel 42a is attached to the inside surface 44 of the chest portion 40. Also, seam lines 45b, d attaches the second compression panel 42b to the inside surface.

The chest portion 40 may have a tubular configuration so as to fit snugly around the chest of the swimmer. Moreover, the chest portion 40 may have left and right apertures 46a, b (see FIGS. 1 and 2) through which the swimmer may insert his/her left and right arms. The left and right arm apertures 46a, b may be sized to fit snuggly about the shoulder of the swimmer. In particular, the left and right peripheries 47a, b of the left and right arm apertures 46a, b may fit snuggly about the under armpit of the swimmer and extend over the shoulders of the swimmer. Additionally, the peripheries 47a, b of the left and right arm apertures 46a, b may have an elastic band to resist pulling from the first and second chest compression panels 42a, B. In this manner, elastic bands attached to the peripheries 47a, b pull the first and second chest panels 42a, b such that the first and second compression panels 42a, b are able to compress the chest muscles of the swimmer to reduce muscle vibration. The first and second chest compression panels 42a, b are not shown as being attached to the peripheries 47a, b of the arm apertures 46a, B. However, it is contemplated that the first and second chest compression panels may be extended so as to be attached to the peripheries 47a, b of the arm apertures 46a, B.

Referring now to FIGS. 7-9, a second embodiment of the swimsuit 10 known as a Male Jammers is shown. The swimsuit 10 may comprise only the hip and thigh portion 14 and may have left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b and/or left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b attached to the hip and thigh portion 14. The figures presented herein may only show the left thigh compression panel 28a by hatching for the purposes of clarity. Likewise, the figures may only show the left buttock compression panel 38a for the purpose of clarity.

The left thigh compression panel 28a (shown by hatching over fit panels 54c, d) may extend from a left lateral hip area 32a (see FIG. 9) across a left thigh area 34a (see FIG. 7) and terminate at a left lower medial thigh area 36a (see FIG. 7). More generally, the left thigh compression panel 28a may extend diagonally across and compress any one or combination of the following thigh muscles, including but not limited to, rectus femoris muscle, vastos intermedius muscle, vastos lateralis muscle, and vastos medialis muscle. Similarly, the right thigh compression panel 28b may extend from a right lateral hip area 32b, across a right thigh area 34b and terminate at a right lower medial thigh area 36b. More generally, the right thigh compression panel 28b may extend diagonally across one or a combination of the following thigh muscles, including but not limited to, a rectus femorus muscle, vastos intermidius muscle, vastos laterus muscle, and vastos medialis muscle. Since the left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b are positioned over one or more of these muscles when the swimsuit 10 is worn by the swimmer, the muscle(s) over which the left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b are positioned and are compressed to reduce vibration of such muscle(s) while the swimmer is swimming. Hence, the swimmer loses less energy and strength during competition. Such conserved energy and strength may be directed and focused to propelling the swimmer forward to win the race.

In addition to, or in the alternative, left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b (see FIG. 8) may be attached to the hip and thigh portion 14. The left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b may be vertically positioned with respect to the spine of the swimmer over a portion of at least one or more of a gluteus minimus muscle, gluteus maximus muscle and a gluteus medius muscle. The left buttock compression panel 38a is shown by the hatching placed over the fit panel 54g. An outer periphery of the left buttock compression panel 38a may be attached to the outer periphery of fit panel 54g. The right buttock compression panel 38b, although not shown, may have a mirror configuration to the left buttock compression panel 38a. Also, the right buttock compression panel may coincide or extend over fit panel 54m. Accordingly, the right buttock compression panel 38b may define an outer periphery which may be attached to the outer periphery of the fit panel 54m. Alternatively, the left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b may be fabricated from a unitary material having an inverted v-shape configuration. The outer periphery of the collective left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b may be attached to the seam lines 56f, 56m, 56g, 56n, upper end 58 of the upper tubular member 26 and bottom ends 27a, b.

The swimsuit 10 shown in FIGS. 7-9 may be fabricated from a plurality of fit panels 54a-m attached (sewn, stitched, adhered, etc.) to each other at seam lines 56a-n. The swimsuit 10 conforms to the swimmer's body better than a swimsuit having fewer fit panels. The reason is that the fit panels 54a-m may be customized to fit and form around the shape of the muscles of the swimmer, instead of relying on the elastic nature of the swimsuit material to conform to the swimmer's body shape. The fit panels 54b-e may have a generally spiral configuration about a left leg of the swimmer. The fit panels 54h-k about a right leg of the swimmer may have a reverse spiral configuration compared to that of fit panels 54b-e.

The left thigh compression panel 28a may extend across or coincide with fit panel 54c, fit panel 54d, or fit panel 54c and d (see FIG. 7). If the left thigh compression panel 28a extends across or coincides with fit panel 54c, then the outer periphery of the left thigh compression panel 28a is attached to seam lines 56b, 56c, 56g, and a bottom end 27a of the left tubular member 24a. If the left thigh compression panel 28a extends across or coincides with the fit panels 54c and 54d, then the outer periphery of the right thigh compression panel 28a may be attached to the fit panels at seam line 56b, 56d, bottom end 27a, seam line 56g and upper end 58 of upper tubular member 26. More broadly, it is also contemplated that the left thigh compression panel 28a may extend across or coincide with one or more of the fit panels 54b-e.

The right thigh compression panel 28b may have the same configuration as the left side compression panel 28a but in a reverse orientation. The right thigh compression panel 28b may coincide with fit panels 54i, fit panel 54j, or fit panels 54j and i. More broadly, it is also contemplated that the right thigh compression panel 28b may coincide with one or more of the fit panels 54h-k.

Referring now to FIGS. 10-12, a third embodiment of the swimsuit 10 known as a male tight is shown. The swimsuit 10 of the fourth embodiment may have or incorporate all of the features discussed in relation to the second embodiment (see FIGS. 7-9) of the swimsuit. Also, the left and right tubular members 24a, b may extend to the calves or ankles or the swimmer. In this regard, the left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b may also extend to the calves or the ankles of the swimmer. As shown in FIG. 10, the left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b may extend below the knees of the swimmer. If the left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b coincides with at least fit panels 54e and 54k, then the left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b may extend to the calves or ankles of the swimmer.

Referring now to FIGS. 13-15 a fourth embodiment of the swimsuit 10 known as a male zip short is shown. The swimsuit shown in FIGS. 13-15 may have a plurality of fit panels 54a-f, g-l, and m-s. The fit panels 54a-s may be attached (sewn, stitched, adhered, etc.) to each other at seam lines 56a-r. The swimsuit 10 may additionally have left and right arm apertures 46a, b defined by left and right inner peripheries 60a, b as well as a neck aperture 62 defined by an inner periphery 64.

The swimsuit 10 may have a left thigh compression panel 28a which may coincide with fit panel 54b, 54c or fit panels 54 b and c. In the event that the left thigh compression panel 28a coincides with fit panels 54b and 54c, the left thigh compression panel 28a will extend from bottom end 27a to a left back area of the swimmer, as shown in FIG. 14. Moreover, the left thigh compression panel 28a will contact the left buttock compression panel 38a at intersection point 70a (see FIG. 14). In contrast, as shown in FIGS. 1-6, the left thigh compression panel 28a shares a common seam line 29c (see FIG. 3) with the left buttock compression panel 38a. It is also contemplated that the left thigh compression panel 28a may coincide with one or more of the fit panels 54b, c, d. The fit panels 54b-d may have a spiral configuration and the left thigh compression panel 28a may have a corresponding spiral configuration. The swimsuit 10 may also have a right thigh compression panel 28b which coincides with one or more of the fit panels 54h-j in a similar manner to the left thigh compression panel 28a. By way of example and not limitation, the right thigh compression panel 28a may coincide with fit panel 54h, fit panel 54i, or fit panels 54h and i. The right thigh compression panel 28a may have a mirror configuration compared to the left thigh compression panel 28b.

The swimsuit 10 may also have a left buttock compression panel 38a which coincides with fit panel 54h. The left buttock compression panel 38a may extend from a waist of the swimmer (i.e., at seam line 56g) to about the left knee of the swimmer (i.e., bottom end 27a). It is also contemplated that the left buttock compression panel 38a may coincide with fit panel 54f, fit panels 54f and e, or fit panels 54f, e and d.

The swimsuit 10 may additionally have a right buttock compression panel 38b (not shown for purpose of clarity) which may have a mirror configuration compared to the left buttock compression panel 38a. Although now shown, it is contemplated that the chest portion 40 of the swimsuit shown in FIGS. 13-15 may have chest compression panels 42a, b. It is contemplated that first and second chest compression panels 42a, b may be incorporated into the swimsuit shown in FIGS. 13-15 as discussed herein.

Referring now to FIGS. 16-18, a fifth embodiment of the swimsuit 10 known as a male zip longjohn is shown. The swimsuit 10 of the fifth embodiment may have or incorporate all the features discussed in relation to the fourth embodiment of the swimsuit 10. Also, the left and right tubular members 24a, b may extend to the calves or ankles of the swimmer. In this regard, the left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b may also extend to the calves or the ankles of the swimmer. As shown in FIG. 16, the left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b may extend below the knees of the swimmer. If the left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b coincides with at least fit panels 54d and 54j, then the left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b may extend to the calves or ankles of the swimmer.

Referring now to FIGS. 19-21, a sixth embodiment of the swimsuit 10 known as a male racier is shown. The swimsuit 10 may comprise a plurality of fit panels 54a-j attached to each other at seam lines 56a-j and bounded by upper end 58 and left and right peripheries 66a, b of left and right leg openings 68a, b. The sixth embodiment of the swimsuit 10 may have only buttock compression panels 38a, b. The left buttock compression panel 38a may coincide with fit panels 54d, e, fit panel 54d or fit panel 54e. More broadly, it is contemplated that the left buttock compression panel 38a may coincide with one or more of the fit panels 54b-f.

Also, the right buttock compression panel 38b may coincide with fit panels 54g, h, fit panel 54g or fit panel 54h. More broadly, it is contemplated that the right buttock compression panel 38b may coincide with one or more of the following fit panels 54f-j. The left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b preferably may be separated by a gap therebetween. Also, the left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b may be curved outwardly instead of being vertically oriented as shown in FIGS. 14 and 17. It is also contemplated that the swimsuit 10 may have a compression panel which surrounds the entire upper tubular member 26 such that the compression panel coincides with fit panels 54a-j. The compression panel, in this instance, is attached to the swimsuit 10 at the upper end 58 and the inner periphery 66a, b.

Referring now to FIGS. 22-24, a seventh embodiment of the swimsuit 10 known as a zip back short John is shown. The swimsuit 10 may have left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b, left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b and/or first and second chest compression panels 42a, b. The swimsuit 10 may comprise a hip and thigh portion 14 and a chest portion 40. The hip and thigh portion 14 may be joined to the chest portion 40 so as to form a one piece swimsuit.

The hip and thigh portion 14 may comprise a plurality of fit panels 54a-o attached to each other at seam lines 56a-p.

The left thigh compression panel 28a may coincide with fit panel 54d, fit panel 54e, or fit panel 54d and 54e. The right thigh compression panel 28b may coincide with fit panel 54k, fit panel 54l, or fit panel 54k and 54l. The left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b may have reverse spiral configurations. Moreover, the left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b may share a common point 70a, b with the left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b. It is also contemplated that the left thigh compression panel 28a may coincide with one or more fit panels 54c, d, e or f and the right thigh compression panel coincide with one or more fit panels 54j, k, l, m. It is also contemplated that a compression panel coincides with the fit panels 54c, d, c, f, g and h such that the compression panel compresses the entire circumference of the swimmers left leg. Also, it is contemplated that a compression panel coincide with fit panels 54j-o such that the compression panel circumscribes the entire right leg of the swimmer. The compression panels surrounding or circumscribing the left and right legs of the swimmer simultaneously functions as a thigh compression panel 28a, b and buttock compression panels 38a, b.

The swimsuit 10 may have a left buttock compression panel 38a which extends across fit panel 54h. It is also contemplated that the buttock compression panel may extend across one or more fit panels 54f-h. Additionally, the right buttock compression panel 38b may extend across one or more fit panels 54m-o.

The swimsuit 10 may additionally have first and second chest compression panels 42a, b incorporating all of the features discussed in relation to the swimsuit shown in FIGS. 1-6

Referring now to FIGS. 25-27, an eighth embodiment of the swimsuit 10 is shown. The eighth embodiment of the swimsuit 10 may incorporate all of the features discussed in relation to the seventh embodiment discussed in relation to FIGS. 23-25. The eighth embodiment of the swimsuit 10 incorporates a hip and thigh portion 14 which may extend passed the knees of the swimmer to the calves or ankles of the swimmer. In this regard, the left and night buttock compression panels 38a, b may extend to the calves or ankles of the swimmer. Also, if the left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b extends over at least fit panels 54m, f, then the left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b may extend to the calves or ankles of the swimmer.

Referring now to FIGS. 28-30, a ninth embodiment of the swimsuit 10 is shown. The ninth embodiment of the swimsuit 10 may have left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b as described in relation to the seventh embodiment of the swimsuit 10. Moreover, the ninth embodiment of the swimsuit 10 may also incorporate first and second chest compression panels 42a, b as discussed in relation to the swimsuit shown in FIGS. 1-6. The left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b may have a similar configuration as that described in relation to the seventh embodiment of the swimsuit 10. In the seventh embodiment of the swimsuit 10, the left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b extends upwards to a rear of the swimmer and contacts the left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b at intersection points 70a, b, as shown in FIG. 23. In contrast, in the ninth embodiment of the swimsuit 10, the left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b extends to the rear of the swimmer, contacts the left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b at intersection points 70a, b and extends upward to the back of swimmer. However, due to the design of the swimsuit 10 shown in FIGS. 28-30, the upper periphery at the rear of the chest portion 40 does not extend upward to a neck of the swimmer. Rather, it terminates at the mid-back portion of the swimmer. Also, the ninth embodiment of the swimsuit 10 may also have an aperture 74. Accordingly, the left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b do not extend as far upward as the seventh embodiment of the swimsuit 10.

Referring now to FIGS. 31-33, a tenth embodiment of the swimsuit 10 is shown. The swimsuit 10 may comprise a plurality of fit panels 54a-o attached to each other at seam lines 56a-p. The left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b may coincide with one or more of the following fit panels 54c, d, c, f and g as well as fit panels 54j, k, l, m, n, respectively. The left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b may coincide with fit panels 54h, o, respectively. The tenth embodiment of the swimsuit may additionally incorporate the first and second chest compression panels 42a, b discussed in relation to FIGS. 1-6 above. The swimsuit 10 may have left and right shoulder straps 72a, b and rear opening 74. The left and right thigh compression panels 38a, b may terminate at the rear opening 74. Alternatively, if the left and right thigh compression panels coincide additionally with fit panels 54c, j, then the left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b may extend up to the rear upper end of the chest portion 40. The compression panels may also be disposed adjacent at inner surface of the swimsuit 10 or fit panels 54 or disposed adjacent an outer surface of the swimsuit 10 or fit panels 54.

Referring now to FIGS. 35-37, an eleventh embodiment of the swimsuit 10 is shown. The eleventh embodiment of the swimsuit 10 may have left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b and/or first and second chest compression panels 42a, b. The first and second chest compression panels 42a, b may incorporate all of the features discussed in relation to the first and second chest compression panels 42a, b discussed in relation to FIGS. 1-6 above. The left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b may coincide with one or more of the fit panels 54b, c or 54e, f. Preferably, the left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b are mirror configurations of each other. It is also contemplated that the left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b may coincide with one or more fit panels 54b-d or 54e-g. It is also contemplated that one compression panel may coincide with fit panels 54a-g.

The compression panels discussed herein may have an elongate configuration. These compression panels may also have a constant width, narrowing width, or widening width. It is also contemplated that the configuration of the compression panels may have a linear or curved configuration.

In an aspect of the swimsuit 10, the same may have a zipper 52 (see FIG. 2) extending from an upper head periphery 54 of the chest portion 40 to a lower back portion. The swimmer may wear the swimsuit 10 by unzipping the zipper 52. The swimmer may then place his/her left and right legs into left and right tubular members 24a, b. The left and right arms of the swimmer may then be inserted into left and right arm apertures 46a, b. Thereafter, the zipper 52 may be zipped up. Also, the swimsuit 10 may have a draw string (see FIG. 7).

In an aspect of the swimsuit 10 described herein, although the compression panels have been described as coinciding with various fit panels in that the outer periphery of the compression panel is attached to the outer periphery of certain fit panels, it is not required that the entire outer periphery of the compression panel be attached to the entire outer periphery of the particular fit panels. Rather, as long as only a portion of the outer periphery of the compression panel is attached to a portion of the outer periphery of the fit panels, then the compression panel may be characterized as coinciding with those particular fit panels. By way of example and not limitation, the opposed distal ends of the first and second chest compression panels 42a, b, the left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b and the left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b may be attached to the fit panels or the swimsuit 10. The compression panels 28a, b, 38a, b and 42a, b preferably provides a compression force against certain muscles of the swimmer in the longitudinal direction of the compression panels 28a, b, 38a, b and 42a, b.

In those embodiments of the swimsuit 10 having a hip and thigh portion 14, left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b may be positioned over and compress any one or combination of the following thigh muscles, including but not limited to, a rectos femorus muscle, a femorus muscle, vastos intermidius muscle, vastos laterus muscle, and vastos medialis muscle. Preferably, the left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b extend diagonally across one or more of the above mentioned thigh muscles for reducing vibration of such muscles while the swimmer is swimming. The left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b may be attached to the inside surface of the hip and thigh portion 14, or to outer surface of the hip and thigh portion 14.

In those embodiments of the swimsuit 10 having a hip and thigh portion 14, left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b may be positioned over and compress one or more of the following gluteal muscles, including but not limited to, a gluteus minimus muscle, a gluteus maximus muscle and a gluteus medius muscle. The left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b may be positioned generally over the buttocks of the swimmer, extend vertically from the waist of the swimmer and extend downward over the gluteal muscle of the swimmer and terminate at a knee, calves or ankle of the swimmer. Alternatively, the left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b may extend outwardly from the waist to the lower portion of the gluteal muscles.

In those embodiments of the swimsuit 10 having a chest portion 40, first and second chest compression panels may be positioned over and compress one or more of the following muscles, including but not limited to, left and right major pectoral muscles and left and right minor pectoral muscles. Preferably, the first and second chest compression panels 42a, b extend diagonally across the swimmer's chest in a criss-cross configuration.

In those embodiments having left and right tubular members 24a, b, it is contemplated that a compression panel extend or circumscribe entire left and right leg of the swimmer and be attached to the left and right tubular members on an inside surface or outside surface thereof. The compression panel may compress the gluteal muscles or thigh muscles to reduce vibration thereof during swimming.

In an aspect of the swimsuit 10, the chest portion and the hip and thigh portion may be fabricated from multiple fit panels to provide a better conforming fit to the swimmer's bodyshape.

In an aspect of the swimsuit 10, a urethane layer 80 may be disposed exteriorly to one or more portions of the swimsuit 10. The urethane layer 80 may include but is not limited to a polyurethane thermoplastic elastomer and the like. Preferably, the urethane layer 80 covers a majority of a frontal side of the chest portion 40 and may optionally cover a portion of a frontal side of a crotch area of the swimsuit 10. By way of example and not limitation, the urethane layer 80 may be exteriorly attached to the chest portion 40. The outer periphery of the urethane layer 80 may be sewn, bonded or otherwise attached to the seam lines of a fit panel of the chest portion 40. Moreover, it is contemplated that the urethane layer 80 may be disposed exteriorly on the hip and thigh portion 14. By way of example and not limitation, the urethane layer 80 may coincide with various fit panels on tubular member 24a as well as the corresponding fit panels 54 of the opposite tubular member 24b. Preferably, the urethane layer 80 is disposed exteriorly to the left and right tubular members 24a, b of the hip and thigh portion 14 in a symmetrical manner. Preferably, the urethane layer 80 extends longitudinally from a lower portion of the swimsuit 10 to an upper portion of the swimsuit 10. The urethane layer 80 may reduce hydrodynamic drag between the water and the swimmer as the swimmer swims through the water such that the swimmer expends less energy fighting the hydrodynamic friction as the swimmer races through the water.

The swimsuit 10 shown in FIGS. 37-39 may have a plurality of fit panels 54a-e, 54f-j and 54k-p. These fit panels 54a-p may be attached (sewn, stitched, adhered, etc.) to each other at seam lines 56a-e, 56f-j, and 56k-q. The swimsuit 10 conforms to the swimmer's body better than a swimsuit having fewer fit panels. The reason is that the fit panels 54a-p may be customized to fit and form around the shape of the muscles of the swimmer, instead of relying on the elastic nature of the swimsuit material to conform to the swimmer's body shape. As discussed in the prior embodiments, the fit panels 54a-e may have a generally spiral configuration about the left leg of the swimmer. The fit panels 54f-j disposed about a right leg of the swimmer may have a reverse spiral configuration compared to that of the fit panels 54a-c. The swimsuit 10 shown in FIGS. 37-39 may have optional compression panels as discussed herein. For example, left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b may respectively coincide with one or more of the fit panels 54a, b and one or more of the fit panels 54f, g. The left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b may respectively coincide with one or more fit panels 54d, e and one or more fit panels 54i, j. The left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b and the left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b may be attached to an internal side of the respective fit panels. Optionally, first and second chest compression panels 42a, b may be incorporated into the chest portion 40 of the swimsuit 10 on an internal side of the respective fit panels.

The swimsuit 10 shown in FIGS. 37-39 may additionally have a urethane layer 80 generally disposed on a frontal side of the swimsuit 10 exterior to one or more of the fit panels 54. By way of example and not limitation, the chest portion 40 may have a urethane layer 80a which coincides with fit panel 54k. In particular, the outer periphery of the urethane layer 80a may be attached to the seam lines 56k, q, the inner periphery 64 of the neck aperture 62 as well as the crotch seam line 82. Moreover, it is contemplated that the left and right tubular members 24a, b may each have a urethane layer 80b, c. In particular, the urethane layer 80b may coincide with fit panel 54b. In this regard, the urethane layer 80b may extend in a spiral configuration about the swimmer's left leg. Optionally, the urethane layer 80b may coincide with fit panels 54a or 54a, b, or 54a, b, c. Similarly, the fit panel 80c may have a mirror configuration as compared to the fit panel 80b. In use, as the swimmer swims through the water, the urethane layers 80a, b and c reduce hydrodynamic drag between the swimmer and the water as the swimmer swims through the water. Since the swimmer experiences less hydrodynamic drag, the swimmer is able to swim at a faster rate. Additionally, in the event that the compression panels are incorporated into the swimsuit 10, the swimmer's muscles are less likely to vibrate during a race. Such reduced vibration permits the swimmer to focus his or her energy on winning the race.

Although the swimsuit 10 shown in FIGS. 37-39 is configured for a female, it is also contemplated that the swimsuit 10 may be configured for a male body. Additionally, the urethane layers 80a, b and c may be incorporated into the other embodiments of swimsuits 10 shown in FIGS. 1-36. The urethane layers 80a, b and c shown in relation to FIGS. 37-39 are merely exemplary and are not meant to limit urethane layers 80a, b and c to the specific type of swimsuit shown in FIGS. 37-39.

The swimsuit 10 may comprise a plurality of fit panels 54 such that the swimsuit 10 conforms to the wearer's body. Alternatively, the swimsuit 10 may have a front panel attached to a rear panel wherein the swimsuit 10 relies more on the elastic nature of the front and rear panel than the contoured fit of the plurality of fit panels discussed above. The swimsuit 10 may optionally incorporate the chest compression panels 42a, b, optionally incorporate the left and right thigh compression panels 28a, b and optionally incorporate the left and right buttock compression panels 38a, b. Additionally, as discussed above, the swimsuit 10 may also incorporate one or more urethane panels 80a, b and c. In the event that the urethane panels 80a, b and c are incorporated along with the compression panels 28a, b, 38a, b and 42a, b, the urethane panels 80a, b and c may be disposed exterior to the fit panels 54 and the compression panels 28a, b, 38a, b and 42a, b. It is also contemplated that in the event that the urethane panels 80a, b or c are incorporated along with the compression panels 28a, b, 38a, b and 42a, b into the swimsuit 10, the urethane panels 80a, b and c may be disposed exterior to the fit panels 54 and the compression panels 28a, b, 38a,b and 42a, b. In the event that the urethane panels 80a, b or c are incorporated into the swimsuit 10 but the compression panels 28a, b, 38a, b and 42a, b are not incorporated into the swimsuit 10, then the urethane panels 80a, b and c should be attached to the swimsuit 10 exterior to the fit panels 54.

The swimsuit 10 shown in FIGS. 37-39 is described as having urethane panels 80a, b and c. However, it is also contemplated that the panels 80a, b and c may be fabricated from other types of material as long as they exhibit similar properties compared to the urethane panels 80a, b, c for the purposes of reducing hydrodynamic drag of the swimmer as the swimmer swims through the water. By way of example and not limitation, the panels 80a, b and c may be fabricated by coating a base layer (e.g., combination 70% nylon and 30% lycra material) with a material that forms a generally non water absorbent barrier. Alternatively or additionally, the material coated on the base layer may form a generally smooth surface wherein the generally smooth surface is disposed exterior to the swimsuit and directly contacts the water during use. By way of example and not limitation, the external surface of the urethane layer 80 may be preferably smoother compared to the material of the fit panels 54. The non water absorbent characteristic as well as the smooth characteristic of the coating assists in reducing the hydrodynamic drag of the swimmer while swimming. Moreover, the coating may be stretchable. To this end, by way of example and not limitation, the material may be a polyurethane material and may be coated onto a stretchable woven fabric such as a combination 70% nylon and 30% lycra base layer.

It is also contemplated that the material coated onto the base layer may form a generally rough exterior surface. It is also contemplated that the material for reducing hydrodynamic drag may be directly coated to the fit panels or a portion thereof. In this instance, the compression panels may be attached to the interior of the swim suit. The material for reducing hydrodynamic drag may be disposed on the exterior of the fit panels or the swim suit.

The above description is given by way of example, and not limitation. Given the above disclosure, one skilled in the art could devise variations that are within the scope and spirit of the invention disclosed herein. Further, the various features of the embodiments disclosed herein can be used alone, or in varying combinations with each other and are not intended to be limited to the specific combination described herein. Thus, the scope of the claims is not to be limited by the illustrated embodiments.