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Title:
TRAINING AID DF
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2006/111768
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A training aid comprising a plurality of elastic modules connected together in the form of a hoop or rope. The training aid further comprises a windmill, a display LED and means for emitting light, sound, smoke, water and bubbles.

Inventors:
POWER CHRISTOPHER (GB)
Application Number:
PCT/GB2006/001472
Publication Date:
October 26, 2006
Filing Date:
April 21, 2006
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
POWER CHRISTOPHER (GB)
International Classes:
A63B19/00; A63B5/20; A63B21/055; A63H33/18; A61H7/00; A61H15/00; A63B21/00; A63B21/06; A63B22/00; A63B23/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2003097175A12003-11-27
Foreign References:
DE29622471U11997-03-06
DE20206819U12002-10-02
US4915666A1990-04-10
US6431939B12002-08-13
US20020103059A12002-08-01
US3958802A1976-05-25
EP0982050A12000-03-01
US5490806A1996-02-13
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Claims:
CLAIMS
1. A flexible, extendible training aid comprising at least one module, the or each module having two ends, one or both ends having a connecting means, wherein one end of a module is connected via the connecting means to the other end of said module, or to an end of an adjacent module.
2. A flexible, extendible training aid comprising at least one module, the or each module having two ends, wherein one end of the or each module has a male connecting means and the other end of the or each module has an associated female connecting means, wherein the male connecting means of a module is connected to the female connecting means of said module, or the female connecting means of an adjacent module.
3. A training aid according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the training aid forms a hoop structure.
4. A training aid according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the training aid forms a rope.
5. A training aid according to any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the or at least one module comprises an outer cover.
6. A training aid according to claim 4, wherein the outer cover is made of a plastics material such as PU or PVC.
7. A training aid according to claim 4, wherein the outer cover is made of rubber.
8. A training aid according to any one of claims 4 to 6, wherein the outer cover is textured.
9. A training aid according to claim 7, wherein the outer cover is ribbed.
10. A training aid according to any one of claims 4 to 8, wherein the outer cover comprises a hollow tube.
11. A training aid according to claim 9, wherein the hollow tube is filled with a weighting material such as water or sand.
12. A training aid according to claim 10, wherein the hollow tube is filled from the end of the or each module.
13. A training aid according to claim 12, wherein the at least one module comprises an inner stop cord.
14. A training aid according to claim 12, wherein the inner stop cord is used to limit the maximum extension of the hoop as rope.
15. A training aid according to any preceding claim, wherein the or at least one module comprises an inner resilient means.
16. A training aid according to claim 14, wherein the resilient means is a spring.
17. A training aid according to claim 15, wherein the inner spring is made of metal.
18. A training aid according to claim 15, wherein the inner spring is made of a plastics material.
19. A training aid according to claim 15, wherein the inner spring is made of rubber.
20. A training aid according to any preceding claim, wherein at least one end of the or each module is connected to a handle.
21. A training aid according to claim 19, wherein the handle is a skipping rope handle or exercise grip handle.
22. A training aid according to any preceding claim, wherein the aid further comprises an electronic attachment.
23. A training aid according to any preceding claim, wherein the aid further comprises a switching means.
24. A training aid according to claim 22, wherein the switching means is used to activate the electronic attachment in response to rotation of the hoop, to cause the emission of a signal.
25. A training aid according to claim 23, wherein the signal is in the form of a light or sound.
26. A training aid according to claim 23, wherein the signal is in the form of smoke, water or bubbles dispensed from the aid.
27. A training aid according to claim 23, wherein the signal is in the form of propulsion of a windmill attachment that is attached to the aid.
28. A training aid according to claim 23 wherein the switching means activates a display means such as an LCD.
29. A training aid as hereinbefore described as disclosed in the accompanying drawings.
Description:
TRAINING AID

The present invention relates to a training aid and more specifically to a hoop for games and exercise.

Hoops are used to play games, for example, a Hula Hoop™ is a well-known toy. Similarly, hoops can be used as exercise aids, for example the Slim Go Hoop™. In use, a hoop is placed over a part of the body, for example, the waist, neck or wrist. The hoop is suspended and kept in motion by the rotating movements of a user.

Existing hoops are rigid in structure and comprise a single continuous hoop of plastic or similar material. For example, the Hula Hoop™ is a single, tubular piece of plastic formed into the shape of a circle. The hoop may be rigid or flexible.

Existing hoops are formed by bending one long piece of tubing into the shape of a circle and joining together the ends. Alternatively, the hoops may be formed by connecting a number of segments of essentially rigid tubing into the shape of a circle.

The Slim Go Hoop™ is disclosed in Korean Patent Application Number 0154384. The hoop is a continuous flexible hoop which can be stretched and comprises an inner metal spring and an outer cover. However, formation of a continuous hoop limits the diameter and weight of the hoop that can be manufactured. The hoop is less portable and can only be used in a single formation. Once the hoop is formed there is no scope for modification.

The Hula Hoop™ is disclosed in United States patent US4380885 and comprises detachable arc segments. The number of segments, which are connected to form a complete hoop, is optional. However, although different numbers of arc segments can be connected to form the hoop, the segments are essentially rigid and cannot stretch or bend, for example, one segment cannot be bent to connect with itself. When formed the hoop is rigid and does not stretch when in use.

The present invention sets out to provide a hoop which alleviates the problems described above by providing an improved hoop for games and exercise.

Accordingly, in one aspect, the invention provides a flexible, extendible training aid comprising at least one module, the or each module having two ends, one or both ends having a connecting means, wherein one end of a module is connected via the connecting means to the other end of said module, or to an end of an adjacent module.

A second aspect of the present invention provides a flexible, extendible training aid comprising at least one module, the or each module having two ends, wherein one end of the or each module has a male connecting means and the other end of the or each module has an associated female connecting means, wherein the male connecting means of a module is connected to the female connecting means of said module, or the female connecting means of an adjacent module.

Preferably, the training aid forms a hoop structure.

Alternatively, the training aid forms a rope.

A module may be used alone or connected to other modules. The use of independent modules in the present invention allows a user to tailor the length, width and weight of the hoop or rope according to the part of the body they wish to exercise, their weight, their height, their arm span or the level of difficulty or resistance they require.

The diameter of the hoop or the length of the rope can easily be adjusted from person to person or body part to body part, simply by adding or removing modules.

Unlike existing hoops, the user has the option of connecting all of the ends of one or more modules to each other to form a hoop or to leave the ends open to form an exercise rope, which may be used for activities such as skipping or stretching.

The flexible hoop or rope stretches during use, depending upon the speed of a user's movements, which increases the movement necessary, the exertion required and effectiveness of the hoop or rope as an exercise aid.

The modular assembly is portable and can be disconnected into modules and packed into a confined space, such as a carrier bag or backpack.

Preferably the at least one module comprises an outer cover.

More preferably, the outer cover is made of a plastics material such as PU or PVC.

Alternatively the outer cover is made of rubber.

Optionally, the outer cover is textured.

The outer cover of the or each module can be textured, for example ribbed, to massage the user, increase user comfort or control friction during use.

In one embodiment the outer cover comprises a hollow tube.

Preferably the hollow tube is filled with a weighting material such as water or sand.

Adding weight to the hoop or rope allows a user to adapt the hoop or rope according to the user's size, strength, age and ability.

Preferably, the hollow tube is filled from the end of the or each module.

Preferably, the at least one module comprises an inner stop cord.

The inner stop cord is used to limit the maximum extension of the hoop or rope and control the level of difficulty for a user.

Preferably, the at least one module comprises an inner resilient means.

More preferably the resilient means is a spring.

Preferably the inner spring is made of metal.

Alternatively the inner spring is made of a plastics material or rubber.

The diameter, weight and spring constant of the spring are selected according to a user's size, strength, age and ability.

In one embodiment, at least one end of the or each module is connected to a handle.

Optionally, the handle is a skipping rope handle or exercise grip handle.

In one embodiment, the hoop or rope further comprises an electronic attachment.

Preferably, the hoop or rope further comprises a switching means.

A switching means is used to activate an electronic attachment in response to rotation of the hoop, to cause for example a flashing light or sound emission. It is also possible to activate means to dispense smoke, water or bubbles or the propel of a windmill attachment

Alternatively, a display means may be activated, such as a LCD.

The invention will now be described by way of example only by reference to the accompanying drawings in which: -

Figure 1 shows a cross sectional view of one embodiment according to the present invention in the form of a four-module hoop assembly;

Figure 2 shows a cross sectional view of the connecting means of the modular hoop assembly of Figure 1;

Figure 3 shows a cross sectional view of a single module hoop assembly;

Figure 4 shows a cross sectional view of two modules connected to form a modular hoop assembly;

Figure 5 shows a cross sectional view of a second embodiment of the modular hoop assembly;

Figure 6 shows a cross sectional view of a third embodiment of the modular hoop assembly;

Figure 7 shows a cross sectional view of a fourth embodiment of the modular hoop assembly, including an electronic display means;

Figure 8 shows a cross sectional view of a fifth embodiment of the modular hoop assembly, including a skipping rope handle;

Figure 9 shows a cross sectional view of a sixth embodiment of the modular hoop assembly, including an exercise handle; and

Figure 10 shows a shows a cross sectional view of a seventh embodiment of the modular hoop assembly, including an electronic display means and a switching means.

Referring now to Figure 1, which illustrates an embodiment in the form of a modular hoop assembly according to the present invention comprises four modules. Each module comprises an inner spring 1 and an outer spring 2. The inner spring 1 is made of metal or a flexible material such as latex rubber. The outer spring 2 is made of a plastics material such as PVC or PU or from rubber. Each end of the outer spring 2 is connected to a fixing sleeve 3. The fixing sleeve 3 is also made of plastics material such as PVC or PU or from rubber.

Each module comprises a female connecting means 4 at one end and a male connecting means 5 at the opposing end. The inner spring 1 of each module is connected by a fixing means 6 to the male and female connecting means 4, 5 at the respective ends of the module. An inner stop cord 7 connects to the male and female connecting means 4, 5 at a fixing point 8. The inner stop cord is made of a non-extendible material.

As shown in Figure 2, a male connector jack pin 9 provides a push fit connection with a connector socket 10 when the male connecting means 5 of a module mates with the female connecting means 4 of an adjacent module.

It is understood that the male connector jack pin 9 and connector socket 10 can be replaced with any suitable connecting means, for example, a unisex connecting means, a clip or screw attachment.

In use, the inner spring 1 is both flexible and retractable. The extension and retraction of each module allows the hoop to be used for stretching exercises and for hopping and skipping. The outer spring 2 acts as an outer sleeve to protect the hoop. The fixing sleeve 3 ensures that the outer spring 2 of each module is securely connected. The inner stop cord 7 limits the maximum possible extension of the hoop in use.

As shown in Figure 3 the modular hoop assembly can be formed from a single module. A single inner stop cord 7 passes around the hoop assembly. The male connecting means 5 connects to the female connecting means 4 of the same module. The modular hoop assembly formed from a single module can be used for throwing game, for example, the hoop can be used as a Frisbee. A user would be able to scoop their arm through the hoop in order to catch it.

As shown in Figure 4 the modular hoop assembly can be formed from two modules. Two inner stop cords 7 passes around the hoop assembly. The male connecting means 5 of one module connects to the female connecting means 4 of a second module and vice versa.

Figure 5 shows an alternative embodiment of the present invention, wherein tubing 11 is used rather than the inner spring 1 of previous embodiments. The tubing 11 can be rubber or latex.

Figure 6 shows an third embodiment of the present invention wherein tubing 11 is used rather than the inner spring 1 of previous embodiments. This embodiment does not include an outer spring 2.

Referring to Figure 7, there is shown a fourth embodiment of the present invention wherein an LCD unit 12 is connected between the male connecting means 5 of a first module and the female connecting means 4 of a second module. The LCD unit 12 has a display screen 13, male connecting means 5b and female connecting means 4b. The female connecting means 4b of the LCD unit mate with the male connecting means 5 of the first module. The male connecting means 5b of the LCD unit are configured to mate with the female connecting means 4 of the second module. The LCD unit is shown by way of example and it is understood that other electronic attachments can be connected to the modular hoop assembly.

Referring to Figure 8 there is shown a fifth embodiment of the present invention comprising an attachment means 14 for attachment of the module to a skipping rope handle. The attachment means 14 are attached to the male connecting means 5 of the module. As an alternative to use of the modular assembly as a hoop the assembly is used as a skipping rope, either by one person or in a team game.

Referring to Figure 9 there is shown a sixth embodiment of the present invention comprising an exercise handle attachment 15. The exercise handle attachment 15 is attached to the male connecting means 5 of the module. As an alternative to use of the modular assembly as a hoop or as a skipping rope, it is possible to use the assembly for stretching exercises and for toning exercises where the resilience of the inner spring offers resistance to a user's movements.

Referring to Figure 10 there is shown a seventh embodiment of the present invention comprising an LCD attachment 12 and display screen 13 and a switching mechanism 16. In use, the switching mechanism 16 is activated when the inner stop cord 7 is pulled tight to approximately its maximum length. The mechanism 16 acts as an on/off switch for the LCD attachment 12. Similar embodiments use the switching mechanism 15 to activate other electronic attachment 12.

It will be understood that the foregoing is merely exemplary of embodiments of the invention and that modification may be made without departing from the true scope of the invention as defined in the accompanying claims.