Title:
Swing Training Device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A tethered swing training device that attaches to one or more cords. The cords, at ends opposite to the swing training device may be elastic and anchored to a fixed object or attached to a pulley and weight system. The swing training device includes cutouts and engagement members that are recessed within the cutouts. The engagement members allow for attachment of a cord to provide resistance for training and warm-up exercises.



Inventors:
Sanchez, Terry James (Vacaville, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/187283
Publication Date:
02/11/2010
Filing Date:
08/06/2008
Assignee:
Sanchezone, Inc. (Vacaville, CA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BAKER BOTTS L.L.P. (Dallas, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A swing training device, comprising: an elongated member having a handle portion and a cord attachment portion extending from the handle portion; the cord attachment portion having a major surface and one or more cut-outs; and one or more cord engaging members attached to the cord attachment portion and recessed within corresponding cutouts of the one or more cutouts, wherein the cord engaging members are confined within corresponding extended surface areas of the one or more cutouts.

2. The swing training device of claim 1 wherein the elongated member has a bat-like shape.

3. The swing training device of claim 1 further comprising an elastic cord including first and second clips attached at opposing ends of the elastic cord.

4. The swing training device of claim 3 further comprising a second elastic cord including first and second clips attached at opposing ends of the second elastic cord.

5. The swing training device of claim 1 wherein the one or more cord engaging members are semi-circular in profile in regions extending through the one or more corresponding cutouts.

6. The swing training device of claim 1 wherein the handle portion has a narrower profile than the cord attachment portion.

7. The swing training device of claim 1 wherein the cord attachment portion has a substantially cylindrical profile.

8. The swing training device of claim 1 wherein two or more of the cord engaging members corresponding to a first cut-out of the one or more cut-outs.

9. The swing training device of claim 8 wherein two or more of the cord engaging members extend perpendicularly to a central axis of the cord attachment portion.

10. A swing training device, comprising: a first elongated half member having a first outer surface and an inner surface, wherein the first elongated half member includes a first cut-out portion; a second elongated half member having a second outer surface and an inner surface, wherein the second elongated half member includes a second cut-out portion and is physically configured to attach to the first elongated half member thereby creating an elongated member having a handle portion and a cord attachment portion; the cord attachment portion having a major surface defined by the first and second outer surfaces and a cut-out defined by the first and second cut-out portions; and a cord engaging member engaged at the inner surface of the first elongated half member and extending within the area defined by the first cut-out portion.

11. The swing training device of claim 10 wherein the first elongated half member comprises a one or more features extending from the inner surface; wherein the cord engaging member is engaged by the one or more features.

12. The swing training device of claim 11 wherein the cord engaging member comprises a ring-shaped member, and wherein the one or more features are configured to engage the ring-shaped member.

13. The swing training device of claim 10 wherein the elongated member has a bat-like shape.

14. The swing training device of claim 10 further comprising an elastic cord including first and second clips attached at opposing ends of the elastic cord.

15. The swing training device of claim 10 wherein the one or more cord engaging members are semi-circular in profile in regions extending through the one or more corresponding cutouts.

16. The swing training device of claim 10 wherein the handle portion has a narrower profile than the cord attachment portion.

17. The swing training device of claim 10 wherein the cord attachment portion has a substantially cylindrical profile.

18. A swing training device resembling a baseball bat, comprising: a handle portion, and a bat portion extending from the handle portion; wherein the bat portion includes a major surface, and a cutout defining an extended surface substantially continuous with the major surface; and a ring engaged in the bat portion, wherein a segment of the ring extends through the cutout, and wherein the segment is recessed within the cutout portion confined by the extended surface.

19. The swing training device of claim 18 further comprising an elastic cord including first and second clips attached at opposing ends of the elastic cord.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure generally relates to exercise devices and, in particular embodiments, to swing training and warm-up devices useful for baseball and other sports.

BACKGROUND

A variety of swing training and warm-up devices are known in the field for baseball and golf. Furthermore, it is desirable to warm-up prior to one's turn at-bat. Typically, the only place a batter can warm up before an at-bat is in the on deck circle. Normally, the dugout is not a large enough area to safely swing a bat for the purposes of warming up before a turn at bat. Furthermore, some league rules do not allow a player to warm-up outside the dugout before his/her turn at bat.

Recently, it has been determined that warming up with weighted bats or two or more bats is counter productive to the “fast twitch ” muscles necessary to react to fast-pitched balls, because swinging of the heavy bat causes body mechanics to be out of balance when swinging the heavier-than-normal bat. Warming up with resistance tubing attached to a baseball bat handle can warm up the “fast twitch ” muscles specifically without negatively affecting your body swing mechanics.

SUMMARY

The present invention provides methods, apparatuses and systems directed to a tethered swing training device that attaches to one or more cords. The cords, at ends opposite to the swing training device may be elastic and anchored to a fixed object, or non-elastic and attached to a pulley and weight system. The swing training device includes one or more cutouts and engagement members that are recessed within the cutouts. The engagement members allow for attachment of a cord to provide resistance for training and warm-up exercises. As discussed below, the cutouts and engagement members recessed within the cutouts provide aesthetic, mechanical and safety advantages over known swing training devices.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1A to 1D are perspective diagrams illustrating an example swing training device, according to one embodiment of the invention, from different views.

FIGS. 2A and 2B are perspective, exploded views of the example swing training device.

FIG. 3A is a top plan view of the example swing training device; FIG. 3B is a side, sectional view of the example swing training device; and FIGS. 3C and 3D are perspective detail views illustrating features of the inner surfaces and components of the example swing training device.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged cutaway view of the example swing training device illustrating the configuration of the cutouts and engagement members.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing attachment of the example swing training device to an anchor point.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view illustrating use of the example swing training device.

FIG. 7 is an exploded perspective view of another embodiment of the inventive swing training device.

FIGS. 8A and 8B are perspective views of another embodiment of the swing training device.

DESCRIPTION OF EXAMPLE EMBODIMENT(S)

FIGS. 1A to 1D provide perspective views of swing training device 50 from various viewing angles. As FIGS. 1A to 1D illustrate, swing training device 50 includes a handle portion 52 and a cord attachment portion 54 extending from the handle portion. Cord attachment portion 54 has a major surface 55 that, in a particular embodiment, is generally cylindrical in shape. The handle portion 52 and cord attachment portion 54 can be configured to have the overall shape of a baseball bat, as the various Figures illustrate. As FIGS. 1A and 1B show, cord attachment portion 54 further includes cutouts 65 to accommodate cord engagement members 60 recessed within the cutouts 65.

FIGS. 2A and 2B demonstrate that swing training device 50, in some embodiments, may comprise a first elongated half member 56 and a second elongated half member 58 that combine to create the device. FIGS. 2A and 2B also illustrate how swing training device 50 is assembled using bolts 62 and nuts 64. Either one of first elongated half member 56 or second elongated half member 58 may include recessed bores that are contoured to engage nut 64 to prevent it from rotating as bolt is tightened to complete the assembly. First elongated half member 56 and second elongated half member 58 may be plastic components that are injection molded. First elongated half member 56 comprises outer surface 81 and inner surface 83. Second elongated half member 58 comprises outer surface 82 and inner surface 84. First elongated half member 56 further includes cutout portions 66a, while second elongated half member 58 includes cutout portions 66b. Furthermore, FIGS. 1A, 2A, 3B and 3C together show that one or both of first elongated half member 56 and second elongated half member 58 include attachment features 67 extending from inner surfaces 83, 84, respectively, that engage engagement members 60. As FIGS. 3B and 3C illustrate, attachment features 67, in one particular embodiment, generally conform to the inner lower profile of respective engagement members 60. In one implementation, attachment features 67 may extend only from one of first elongated half member 56 or second elongated half member 58. In other embodiments, attachment features 67 may extend from both first elongated half member 56 and second elongated half member 58 and mate together to engage engagement members 60.

Engagement members 60 may be closed structures, such as circular rings, polygons or free-form shapes. In one embodiment, engagement members 60 may be made of metal, such as stainless steel, aluminum and the like. In other embodiments, the engagement members 60 may be made of plastic. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1A to 1D, 3B and 3C, engagement members 60 have a substantially straight lower section, opposing sections that extend perpendicularly at opposite ends of the straight lower section, and an upper curved portion that extends within the cutouts 65 when swing training device 50 is assembled. Engagement members 60 may take many forms, such as open structures. For example, the straight lower section of engagement member 60 illustrated in FIG. 3B may include a break or gap. Additionally, FIG. 7 shows a unitary engagement member 61 that is configured to present three engagement points at cutouts 65 when swing training device 50 is assembled. Still further, as FIGS. 3C and 3D illustrate, cutout portions 66a, 66b each include semi-circular cutouts 69a, 69b (respectively) to create corresponding holes in cutouts 65 that accommodate engagement members 60 when first elongated half member 56 and second elongated half member 58 are coupled together.

FIG. 4 illustrates how engagement members 60 extend within cutouts 65 to present engagement points. Lines 89 illustrate extended surfaces in the regions over cutouts 65. In other words, cord attachment portion 54 includes a major surface 55 that substantially defines the overall shape of portion 54, such as being generally cylindrical or some other shape. The extended surfaces can be conceptualized as virtual surfaces that would have been physically realized, but for cutouts 65. As FIG. 4 shows, the engagement members 60 are configured to extend over the cutouts 65 and within the extended surfaces corresponding to the cutouts 65.

FIG. 5 demonstrates how swing training device 50 may be utilized in connection with cord 70. Cord 70, in one embodiment, is an elastic member that includes clips 72, 74 at opposite ends. For example, cord 70 can be a rubber band or tube, or bungee material. FIG. 5 shows that clip 74 may attach to swing training device 50 at one of the engagement members 60, while clip 72 may attach to an anchor point, such as a fence (such as those typically found in a youth sports or little league dug out. A user may use any of the available engagement members 60 as desired to experience different moments and forces during use of the device. Still further, additional cords 70 can be used (attached at other engagement members 60) to increase the force experienced by the user. Clips 72, 74 on both ends of the cord 70 allow the hitter to quickly adjust the force by changing the moment resulting from attaching the stretch tubing either further away or closer to the hands of the hitter. Clips on both ends of the cord 70 also allow the anchor end of the cord 70 to be quickly attached to different heights to accommodate the height of the player or the type of swing desired for a warm-up session.

The configuration of the cutouts 65 and engagement members 60 provides both aesthetic and safety advantages to known swing training devices. For example, the cutouts 65 and recessed engagement members 60 allow the overall shape of the swing training device 50 to more closely resemble a baseball bat, thereby increasing its appeal to consumers. Furthermore, recessing the engagement members 60 also provides safety advantages in that the engagement members 60 do not extend substantially beyond the overall surface contour of the swing training device 50. Other inventions use metal rings that are outside the surface of the bat making injury more possible. If the bat is not held firmly and is allowed to recoil back and hit the user any external protrusion could cause a higher impact point force. Having the engagement members 60 at approximately the same outer surface of the bat decreases the chance of injury caused by accidental recoil of the bat. Should the bat recoil back and hit the user with the engagement members 60 recessed to the major surface of the bat, the impact will be spread over a greater surface area and therefore the impact force will be lower. In addition, recessing engagement members 60 also reduces the moment or rotational forces, relative to a device where the cord 70 would attach further from the center line of the swing training device 50, that a user would experience when attempting to rotate his or her wrists during a practice swing or motion.

FIG. 6 demonstrates how a user may employ the device for training, warm-up and/or exercise purposes. When warming up with heavy bats, the added weight tends to pull and push a user's body around as a result of the heavy weight swinging. This has been proved to be counter productive to training the body for the correct swing mechanics and reinforces incorrect swing mechanics. By swinging a bat with resistance tubing the user is working the correct swing mechanics and not reinforcing motions inappropriate for good bat swing. Clips 72, 74 on both ends of the stretch tubing allow for quick and easy attach and detach to either the swing training device 60 and/or a fence or other anchor point. For example, the anchor point may comprise one or more eyelets of a strap that is wrapped around a poll or tree. Stronger hitters may want the cord 70 to be attached closer to the end of the bat to increase the resistance force to the user. Weaker hitters may want the cord 70 attached closer to the hand area to create a smaller moment and result in less force needed to warm up. Taller hitters may want to attach the opposite end of the cord 70 higher on the fence, while shorter hitters may want to attach the cord at a lower point based on their height. If a pitcher is throwing curve balls, the hitter may want to warm up with more of an upper cut in order to hit the curve ball. This may require positioning the end of the cord 70 lower on the fence for warming up an upper-cut swing. In addition, if the pitcher is throwing mostly fast balls, the hitter may want to warm up with a more level swing or a slightly downward swing, the position of cord 70 can be easily and quickly adjusted for this situation using the clips 72, 74.

FIGS. 8A and 8B illustrate an alternative embodiment of the swing training device. In the embodiment shown, swing training device 150 includes a single, large cutout 165 within the cord attachment portion 154. Engagement members 161 extend within the cutout 165 to present features to which a cord 70 can attach. In contrast to the embodiments described above, engagement members 161 extend perpendicularly relative to the central or main axis of the swing training device. In the embodiment shown, engagement members 161 are attached to cord attachment 154 at holes 170.

The present invention has been explained with reference to specific embodiments. For example, while embodiments of the present invention have been described as operating in connection with an elastic cord, the present invention can be used in connection with a weight and pulley system or any other mechanism that can provide desired mechanical resistance. Other embodiments will be evident to those of ordinary skill in the art. It is therefore not intended that the present invention be limited, except as indicated by the appended claims.