Title:
Splits and flexibility pads
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides a stretching or flexibility pad to be strapped around the knees, bare heels and outside of shoe heels comprising neoprene padding embedded with ball bearings to enhance the flexibility capacity and range of movement of the wearer.



Inventors:
Schlichtig, Michael (Ellicott City, MD, US)
Application Number:
12/658148
Publication Date:
08/05/2010
Filing Date:
02/03/2010
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/455
International Classes:
A41D13/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
COLLINS, ANDREW WARREN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ruth Eure (Boulder, CO, US)
Claims:
1. An athletic protective pad, embedded with ball bearings, to be strapped around the knees, bare heels or outside of shoe heels comprising neoprene padding embedded with ball bearings to enhance the flexibility capacity and range of movement of the wearer.

2. The pad of claim 1, further comprising straps to attach the pad around the knees, ankles or shoes to the user.

3. The pad of claim 2 wherein the straps further comprise hook and loop fastening means.

4. The pad of claim 1 comprised of neoprene or other suitable material padding which measures approximately one half inch in thickness, and further comprising reinforced plastic material which measures approximately one third inch in thickness for receiving the ball bearings which are embedded in a molded, internal race or track system.

5. The pad of claim 4 wherein the ball bearings are ergonomically positioned to afford optimal comfort for users, where the pad itself is ergonomically molded in the wearing position of the knee and heel.

6. The pad of claim 4, wherein neoprene padding is positioned on the interior side of each pad to redirect moisture or sweat to the exterior side of the pads and to provide additional padding while stretching.

Description:

CLAIM OF PRIORITY

This patent application claims priority under 35 USC 119(e) (1) from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/206,703 filed Feb. 3, 2009, of common inventorship herewith entitled, “Splits and Flexibility Pads.”

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention pertains to the industry of athletic equipment and more specifically to the field of athletic equipment body protection and even more specifically to the field of athletic equipment body protection in the form of wearing a stretching device offering ergonomically fitted—ball bearing pads, on the body, centrally at the area of the knees and heels.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The prior art has put forth several designs for athletic equipment body protection in the form of a stretching or flexibility pad to be worn on the body, centrally at the area of the knees and heels.

These include:

U.S. Pat. No. 4,651,123 to Hull describes a knee pad device characterized by a flexible, arcuate pad member, attached both above and below the knee.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,453,477 to Bainbridge et al describes protective padding for sports gear comprising a porous, breathable pad for use as protective padding.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,637,034 to Worden describes a weight distributing knee pad which includes a lower leg support.

None of these prior art devices describe the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide an ergonomically fitting stretching or flexibility pad to be strapped around the knees, bare heels and outside of shoe heels. The Splits & Flexibility Pads comprise neoprene padding embedded with ball bearings in a raised and/or molded track to enhance the flexibility capacity and range of movement of the wearer. With a ball bearing track system, friction, stress and excess muscle strain is reduced on the exerciser and provide an accelerated stretching capability.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of two versions of the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows the side view of the two versions of the present invention.

FIG. 3 shows the inside view worn against the body of the two versions of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present-day interest in physical education, fitness and great enthusiasm for diets, exercising and jogging, dates from the late sixties when Major Kenneth Gordon published his bestseller ‘Aerobics’. Since that time the sporting way of life has been popularized by cult figures like Jane Fonda, Victoria Principal and Sylvester Stallone.

The favorite American participation sports today are baseball, basketball, soccer and football. Jogging has also become very popular recently. There are also many different kinds of competitions in sports. You may compete by yourself, as part of a team, or both. For instance, a swimmer or a wrestler might compete individually, but the person's score may also contribute to the team score. If baseball or soccer is your sport, you might be the lucky one to score a goal or a run, but it usually takes a team effort to win the game. What all sports competitions have in common is that all of the competitors want to win, where usually only one person or team does. As a result, individuals and teams utilize every possible advantage to increase the chances of winning. Winning a competitive advantage can be the direct result of increased ranges of muscle development, flexibility and stretching efficiently for all competitors at all levels of competition. The present invention, hereinafter referred to as the Splits & Flexibility Pads was invented to give an individual more flexibility when exercising, playing sports, competitions and exercising.

The Splits & Flexibility Pads are ergonomically designed pads or state-of-the-art exercise sliders that would be manufactured by establishments in the Fabricated Rubber Products Industry. The pads are designed to be strapped around the knees, ankles and shoes and would be secured to the user by any appropriate means, such as Velcro™ straps or other securing devices, for example. The Splits & Flexibility Pads are comprised of neoprene or other suitable material padding which measures approximately one half inch in thickness, further comprising reinforced plastic material which measures approximately one third inch in thickness for receiving the ball bearings which are embedded in a molded, internal race or external raised track system. As an individual option, the side design for the installation of a secondary type of securing strap system. The Splits & Flexibility Pads will be equipped with two design types for the user: (1) a metal clasp with soft leather strap for use over clothing, and (2) a flexible fabric/Velcro™ material where a soft material is used against the users skin.

The ball bearings are ergonomically positioned to afford optimal comfort for users, where the Splits & Flexibility Pads itself is molded at the point of impact area isolating the ergonomically wearing position of the knee and heel. The ball bearings track system also aid to facilitate and distribute movement of the user against almost any surface type, such as a hardwood floor or carpeting, by reducing friction of the pad and knee and heel impact areas against various types of surfaces.

The neoprene padding material is positioned on the interior side of each pad to redirect moisture or sweat to the exterior side of the pads providing additional padding while stretching and exercising. The reinforced plastic material on the outside of each pad is similar to furniture slider pads and suitable for inside or outside use. The innovative features incorporated in the design of the Splits & Flexibility Pads increase a user's flexibility, a competitive edge that would be most advantageous in individual, team, group, collegiate, professional sports, martial arts, dance, exercise and fitness and other athletic and competitive activities.

The pads of the present invention are also useful for break dancers, or other dancers, acrobats, gymnasts or performers to enhance the amount of rotation in a turn.

It is also contemplated that the material used in the present invention be made from recyclable material.

Materials suitable for use in Splits & Flexibility Pads include: chloropolyethylene rubber, chlorosulfunated polyethylene rubber, epichlorohydrin rubber, Hydrin® rubber, ethylene acrylic rubber, Vamac® rubber, ethylene propylene rubber, fluorocarbon, fluoroelastomer rubber, Viton®, Fluorel®, fluoroilicone, fluorovinylmethylsiloxane rubber, highly saturated nitrile, hydrogenated acrylonitrile butadiene, isobutylene isoprene rubber, butyl, bromobutyl, chlorobutyl rubber, natural polyisoprene rubber, natural rubber, acrylonitrile butadiene, nitrile rubber, buna N rubber, polychloroprene rubber, Neoprene® rubber, polyacrylate, acrylic rubber, polybutadiene rubber, silicone, polydimethylsiloxane rubber, styrene butadiene rubber, synthetic polyisoprene, synthetic natural rubber, polyester, polyether urethane rubber and carboxylated nitrile rubber, all available from Robinson Rubber Products, Minneapolis, Minn., for example.

The Splits & Flexibility Pads will also have purpose in medical and rehabilitation services and facilities. Purpose of Splits & Flexibility Pads in this context is to increase strength/development of certain specific muscle groups that free-standing and bulky exercise equipment may not offer. Offering an ergonomically, state-of-the-art knee and heel pad provides a seamless stretch and development of individual muscle and muscle groupings without strain, stress and potential damage of knee parts affecting mobility and back regions associated with excessive stretching utilizing incorrect stretching methods or wrongly using exercise and rehabilitation equipment.

The Splits & Flexibility Pads would be molded in sizes for adult men, adult women and children. A carrying case will be designed specifically for use with the Splits & Flexibility Pads would be available so users can carry all three types of pads in one durable, transportable bag. The bag is advantageous to traveling athletes or the casual exerciser traveling to the gym. Emblazed on each Splits & Flexibility Pads and carrying case would have the inventor's logo and additional imprint space for a customers' logo, organizational logo, and collegiate logos. The Splits & Flexibility Pads will also be offered to the collegiate and professional leagues where the Splits & Flexibility Pads is offered is specific colors of collegiate or national league colors and logos.

Although this invention has been described with respect to specific embodiments, it is not intended to be limited thereto and various modifications which will become apparent to the person of ordinary skill in any art or sport discipline are intended to fall within the spirit and scope of the invention as described herein taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings and the appended claims.





 
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