FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE
This disclosure relates to a range of motion, health and therapy device and system. In particular, the device measures and tracks mobility/flexibility progression and corrects mobility in users. The disclosure involves methods of using the device for health and improving range of motion.
Health professionals, strength and conditioning trainers, coaches and the like share the common goal of assisting their patients/clients/athletes (i.e. subjects) in improving flexibility and range of motion in the body. To effectively can measure a subject's flexibility and mobility and thereafter track progression in an easy and non-invasive way would be desirable.
It can be quite difficult to determine how a subject is objectively improving on a day to day basis and even more difficult to train/teach a subject a set of exercises or movements so that it is either performed correctly or repeated properly when not in the presence of the teacher. There is also a need to consistently apply range of motion movements and determine whether the body is aligned and symmetrically mobile/flexible.
Those aiming to improve their health or perhaps heal from an injury would benefit from a device which easily provides instant feedback and quantifiable measurement during a particular physical movement, such that corrections can be rapidly implemented and improvement immediately tracked and documented for future reference.
Physical therapists, trainers, coaches desire a tool to direct subjects in a reliable and repeatable way and to objectively assess and measure the flexibility in a subject very easily.
Accordingly, there is a need for a device to assist both trainers in teaching, and subjects in performing, stretches, exercises, range of motion and physical mobility movements/positions in repeatable and correct ways. At the same time, there is a need for a device that objectively and immediately measures a subject's status and progress during positions and movements.
In various embodiments, an exercise device is provided. The exercise device may comprise a mat and a plurality of indicators. The mat may have a top surface. The plurality of indicators may be disposed on the mat (e.g., on the top surface).
In various embodiments, the indicators may be, for example, a plurality of numbers and/or a plurality of colors. The indicators may designate a plurality of symmetric zones. The indicators may also designate a plurality of non-symmetric zones. The indicators may be a plurality of demarcated symbols. The indicators may be numerical demarcations, symbolic demarcations, visual demarcations, and/or the like. mat is an interlocking floor panel.
In various embodiments, the mat may be a portion of a system that is the floor of an exercise area. The plurality of indicators on the mat may interface with a floor system comprising additional indicators
In various embodiments, an exercise device is provided. The exercise device may comprise elastomeric base member and a plurality of indicators. The plurality of indicators may be disposed on the elastomeric base member. Moreover, the plurality of indicators may be recognizable by a user in response to receiving an instruction to perform a movement.
In various embodiments, the plurality of indicators may be numerical demarcations, symbolic demarcations, visual demarcations, and/or the like. Moreover, the user may engage the exercise device in a repeatable fashion.
The forgoing features and elements may be combined in various combinations without exclusivity, unless expressly indicated herein otherwise. These features and elements as well as the operation of the disclosed embodiments will become more apparent in light of the following description and accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The subject matter of the present disclosure is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of the specification. A more complete understanding of the present disclosure, however, may best be obtained by referring to the detailed description and claims when considered in connection with the drawing figures, wherein like numerals denote like elements.
FIG. 1 illustrates a front perspective view of a range of motion device/tool in the form of a mat, according to various embodiments of the present disclosure.
FIG. 2 illustrates a rear perspective view of the range of motion tool of FIG. 1, according to various embodiments of the present disclosure.
FIG. 3 illustrates a side perspective view of the range of motion tool, according to various embodiments of the present disclosure.
FIG. 4 illustrates an enlarged view of a segment of the range of motion tool from FIG. 3, according to various embodiments of the present disclosure.
FIG. 5 illustrates a top view of a range of motion tool, according to various embodiment of the present disclosure.
FIG. 6 illustrates a top view of range of motion tool in the form of a resistance band, according to various embodiment of the present disclosure.
FIG. 7 illustrates an enlarged view of a segment of a range of motion tool from FIG. 6, according to various embodiment of the present disclosure.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS
The detailed description of exemplary embodiments herein makes reference to the accompanying drawings, which show exemplary embodiments by way of illustration. While these exemplary embodiments are described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the inventions, it should be understood that other embodiments may be realized and that logical, chemical and mechanical changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the inventions. Thus, the detailed description herein is presented for purposes of illustration only and not of limitation. For example, the steps recited in any of the method or process descriptions may be executed in any order and are not necessarily limited to the order presented. Furthermore, any reference to singular includes plural embodiments, and any reference to more than one component or step may include a singular embodiment or step. Also, any reference to attached, fixed, connected or the like may include permanent, removable, temporary, partial, full and/or any other possible attachment option. Additionally, any reference to without contact (or similar phrases) may also include reduced contact or minimal contact.
Before any embodiments of the invention are explained in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the following drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or of being carried out in various ways.
Objects of disclosure described herein include a device for educating students/subjects in correctly exercising, stretching or performing range of motion movements/positions, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure. The device comprises a pattern applied to a substrate such as a workout/yoga mat or gym flooring/tiles or applied as a removable overlay over a substrate such as a tape or a sticker application. The pattern comprises an indicator. The indicator may have a plurality of demarcation so that a user may be oriented to the patter. The indicators may be colors, numbers, letters, symbols, and/or any other suitable indicator. For example, the indications may be numerically incremental demarcations, for example, an ascending pattern of numbers. The pattern further comprises a set of marked segments next to the incremental demarcation, each segment measuring a distance of an equal number of units of the incremental demarcation, for example 8 to 10 units. The device serves as a valuable and reliable tool to measure flexibility and help subjects repeat movements and positions in a proper way by identifying where the body is positioned on the pattern.
In various embodiments and with reference to FIGS. 1-5, device 10 may be exercise pad or mat. FIG. 1 illustrates a front perspective view of the mat, which may be, for example, a workout mat, yoga mat or a portable, roll-able mat, and/or the like. Device 10 may also be interlocking floor with a plurality of indicators. In this regard, a plurality of devices 10 may be arranged so that the floor of an exercise area includes a plurality of work stations, each comprising an area of interlocking floor including a plurality of indicators.
As shown on the device 10, a pattern may be applied to a surface of the mat or embedded on the surface of the mat. The pattern may comprise an incremental marking 15 strip along the center of the mat. In the embodiment as shown, the incremental markings increase numerically in ascending order from 1 through 72 units. In this example, the mat is incrementally marked in 1 inch increments. As further shown, every other increment is shown in visibly contrasting indication, for example by color or pattern. In this embodiment, the even numbers 20 are indicated in one color (e.g., red) while the odd numbers 25 are indicated in another contrasting color (e.g., black).
On each side of the incrementally marked strip 15, there may be segmented portions of the pattern. On a first side 30 of the device 10 there may be a plurality of equally spaced segments 45 and directly opposite, on the second side 35 of the device 10, are a plurality of equally spaced segments 45. Segments 45 may be spaced apart at any suitable distance (e.g., 6 inches apart, 8 inches apart, 12 inches apart, 16 inches apart, 24 inches apart, and/or the like), and marked by set of clearly visible dividing lines 40. In this regard, device 10 may be divided into a plurality of identifiable zones.
As illustrated in FIG. 2, a rear perspective view of the device shows the marking pattern through the edge of the mat. The incremental numerical pattern ascends over the entire length of the mat (e.g., 60 inches, 72 inches, 84 inches, and/or the like). Other lengths of the incremental pattern, longer or shorter, which may be measured in other measuring units, are also contemplated.
FIG. 3 illustrates another side perspective view of the device, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure. The dimensions of the pattern can have any suitable range. For example, the range may be from 72 inches×24 inches; 84 inches×24 inches; 72 inches×30 inches; 72 inches×28 inches and/or the like. Longer or shorter lengths and width combinations, for example upwards to 90 inches and so forth are contemplated within the present disclosure. At 24 inches in width, the segments 45 may extend about 10 inches toward each incremental marking strip and span 8 inches apart. The parameters of the segments 45 are configured to conveniently fit the user's foot or hand within the segment spaces. Moreover, the segments 45 may be symmetrically or non-symmetrically positioned on each side of the incremental marking 15 so that the mat maybe used for symmetrical or non-symmetrical activities (.e.g., as an advantage to working the body in a symmetrical manner, such as symmetrical stretching, in a symmetrical embodiment and/or as an advantage to working the body in a non-symmetrical manner, such as non-symmetrical balance work, in a non-symmetrical embodiment).
In various embodiments, device 10 may comprise a mat having any suitable thickness. For example, the thickness may be ⅛ inch, ¼ inch, ⅜ inch, ¾ inch, 3 mm, 4 mm, 5 mm, 6 mm, and/or the like. As shown in the enlarged view in FIG. 4, the incremental numbers are clearly indicated on the surface and alternating with a contrasting color.
FIG. 5 illustrates the device according to another embodiment of the present disclosure, in which a top view of the pattern is shown. As shown on each side of the incremental demarcation strip 15, in each upper distal corner of the segments 45, there is provided indicator (e.g., a number, symbol, color, pattern, and/or the like) that labels and identifies the segment. Along the first side of the pattern, there may be a first set of segment indicators/numbers 50 located in a first corner of each segment. Similarly, along the second side of the pattern, there may be a second set of segment indicators/numbers 55 located in a second corner of each segment. While numbers 50, 55 are shown for the segment indicators, other indicators may be used for example other symbols, letters, characters, patterns, color blocking for example, can provide indication to label the segments and/or any other suitable indicator as described herein or otherwise contemplated. Similarly, with respect to the incremental markings along the demarcation strip 15, other variations showing a pattern (e.g., ascending units for example an order of numbers or other symbols, letters, characters or color and printed patterns) with incremental demarcations or changes may be utilized. Within each segmented section 45, the indicators may repeat (e.g., 1 through 8 units) in each segment. In addition, the incremental markings may be placed in other locations along the mat, for example closer to one or the other side of the mat.
In various embodiments and with reference FIG. 6, the device may be implemented as a resistance exercise band 60. Resistance band 60 (e.g., a wide latex band) may be patterned with indicators and/or incremental markings 68 through the length of the band. The increments may be positioned in any suitable fashion (e.g., one inch increments 68 or variable length increments). The band 60 may also be divided into a plurality of segments 62, with a divider 65 separating each segment. For example, each segment 62 is dividing into eight inch segments. Each segment 62 may further be identified by a segment indicator 64. The segment indicator 64 may allow the user to grip the band at a specified section that is easily identified by the user. In this regard, the indicators allow the user to grip band 60 at a precise location.
In various embodiments, resistance band 60 may include patterns spans that extend through any suitable length (e.g., 40 inches), including looped bands or disconnected bands. As shown in FIG. 6, the incremental markings 68 may ascend, for example, in 8 inch segments through the segments 62: 1 through 8 inches in segment A; 9 through 16 inches in segment B; 17 through 24 inches in segment C; 25 through 32 inches in segment D; and 33 through 40 inches in segment E. In other embodiments, the incremental markings may be applied in any suitable length increments (e.g., 8 to 10 inch increments), but may be more or less in number of units within the segments. The incremental markings, need not ascend from the start of the band to the end of the band, but may repeat in ascending order through each segment 62 for example, each of the segments A, B, C, D, and E may include an incremental marking from 1 through 8.
In various embodiments, FIG. 7 may illustrate an enlarged portion 70 of a segment of band 60. Resistance band 60 segments may comprise a set of dividers 75 indicating a separation of the numerical markings for visibility when gripping the band. The band may further comprise a variety of marking patterns or colors to further differentiate the ascending numerical markings. For example and as shown in FIG. 7, an unbounded portion of the band, i.e. the variable length of the band may include various indicators that a user may use to perform a movement. As the user advances through the range or motion/flexibility exercises and/or positions in stretching the resistance bands, the user can increase intensity by gripping along different points along the band and easily identify the location by the number. This number can then be tracked and the exercise repeated and compared against for improvement, as an example. Maintaining a stretch status or increasing/decreasing in intensity can be precisely determined by the numerical marking on the band. The pattern may be applied by printing on the surface of the resistance band and applied to bands of all resistance levels/gauges. As a user progresses, the user may move on to increasing intensity of resistance and the process repeated and measured as desired.
Embodiments of the present disclosure comprise an objective marking device/tool and system that can be used in a variety of areas including fitness, athletics, sports performance, therapy, health and healing, strength and conditioning, alignment, consistency in stretch and range of motion, and in focused attention to particular areas of body. The incremental numerically ascending markings provide users a convenient and effective tool for tracking and monitoring the user's improvement/progression/regression. The value in quantifiable measurement of flexibility may be useful to both teachers/coaches/trainers/health professionals as well as the user since the precise measurements allows for a correct, reliable and repeatable positioning of the user when performing the stretches/exercises/movements.
Various range or motion routines or exercises can be implemented through use of the device of the present disclosure and facilitated through its use. For example, the device can be used with equipment/apparatuses such as an abdominal wheel, BOSU®, stability ball, cable machine, mini band, resistance band e.g. Thera-Brand®. In the case of the abdominal wheel, the distance along the incremental marking strip along the pattern of the device may be measured to determine a numerical point to which the wheel may be rolled up to, or perhaps between which numbers the wheel may remain during the rolling exercise. Regarding the other above-mentioned apparatuses, the foot positioning/location can be identified on the device of the present disclosure, for example, location at the start of the exercise or a measured stance or distance away from or aligned with the equipment (e.g. cable machine). The device facilitates repetitive movement in the segments 45 of the device, skipping segments, and how far to maintain the step, where to align the body, distance of the roll, the progression of a jump etc. . . . and thereafter repeating the movement. The resistance band may be tied around other equipment in a workout room/gym and then a measured stretching/exercise can be performed.
In other routines, the incremental markings 15 as well as the segments 45 along each side of the markings, facilitate walk out pushups, inchworms and hand walking. The distance of extension of the body/arms or consistency of the hand walking can be measured and improved upon using the patterns on the device. Similarly, yoga techniques can be taught and improved upon using the device in specifically indicating proper location of hands/feet/body.
A variety of stretches can be performed and enhanced using the device. For example, lunges, and leg/hamstring stretches and foam roller stretches can be used with the device, to improve with quantifiable marking, reaching specific goals by specific numerical numbers and to discover possible asymmetry in the body when performing the exercise on each side of the body and thereby correct the movement.
In addition, the device assists in sports related performance for example as used as a golf mat, a user may practice and improve a golf swing stance. Moreover, a trainer/coach can teach using the device as a golf mat so that the precise location of the stance, how wide of a stance, how many inches between the feet, can be repeated and improved upon. The location of placement of the golf ball along or relative to a line on the mat, and at the same time a precise foot stance can benefit a user's golf game. The device can further aid in paddle board techniques in proper stance and improvement. The device pattern can be sized to directly apply upon a paddleboard surface, or event printed upon a paddle board surface for learning or teaching paddleboard stances, foot alignment and balance.
These exercises/stretches/movements have applications in physical therapy, sports medicine, medical field including chiropractic medicine, strength and conditioning, fitness, yoga, a variety of sports including golf, paddle boarding, range of motion and body symmetry, injury rehabilitation, stress reduction and overall health. The present disclosure can therefore be utilized as a system in combination with these physical mobility applications.
The device serves as a reliable teaching/coaching mechanism as the reproducibility of movement/routine is possible. As a user is taught to move the body to reach a certain number along the incremental markings, or to place a foot/hand at particular numeral, the user can immediately understand where the body needs to be positioned and how to repeat the movement precisely in a consistent and proper manner. If the user is moving in the wrong direction/position or sees that the number is not being achieved, a corrective action can be implemented immediately, instead of somewhat guessing that correction is being made. Unknown to many users as well as trainers is the large difference that may be apparent in the symmetry of the user's body when doing the same movement/position on each side of the body. For example, a user may practice a lunge forward placing the right knee at a certain number while placing the tip of the left toe at another (higher) number. When repeating the lunge for the right side of the body, both the user and trainer can precisely and symmetrically align the left knee and tip of the right toe at the same corresponding numerical value along the incremental marking 15. The advantages of reliable positioning and correction of movement/mobility further benefit the improvement in body symmetry when doing a variety of exercises; and thereafter correct overall body symmetry which can improve performance of and relaxation in the body, while avoiding injury. Health professionals and physical therapists can implement the device/system of the present disclosure into a program for patients, quantitatively reach specific goals, achieve results, and easily document improvement over time.
The incrementally demarcated and numerically identified measurement tool of the present disclosure allows for quantifying the flexibility status and allows for tracking changes in flexibility. The device allows a trainer to identify and communicate precise intensity goals to the user which could not be accurately achieved without such a device. A user and trainer would always be guessing or estimating and would find it difficult to pick up where they had left off at the next session. The device of the present disclosure facilitates communication between the trainer and the subject, making it visually and clearly apparent as to where the user should be placing the body in positions/movements/exercises; thereby avoiding the repetitive correction or miscommunication that can often occur between the trainer/health professional and subject.
The device is implemented as a pattern to a variety of substrates and particularly, as discussed above to a mat or flooring (FIGS. 1-5) and to a resistance band (FIGS. 6-7). The pattern on the substrate may further include walkable/horizontal surfaces and verticals surfaces/walls, for example as a wall mounting. The material of the device may be manufactured of exercise, workout or yoga mat type material. The device may be embedded into or on the surface of gym flooring and rubber material, rubber/foam tiles and substrates. For example, the pattern of the device may be imprinted or otherwise applied to the surface or more deeply embedded into the substrate, whether felt top, rubber, foam, tile or other material. A valuable advantage of the device is the pattern portability, especially as a mat which can be set at any location to initiate the sessions of stretching/exercise or moved to place next to other exercise/workout equipment or apparatuses such as machines or weights. The portability of the mat further can facilitate placement of the mat next to a wall such that wall exercises can be utilized. The mat can further be attached vertically to a wall such that other stretches may be performed. The markings including the segments promote proper foot placement and leg positioning/stance (or when against the wall, proper alignment including hand positioning). The device may also be applied as a thin removable pattern, for example as a sticker type or template tape application to a variety of substrates, both horizontal and vertical.
Benefits, other advantages, and solutions to problems have been described herein with regard to specific embodiments. Furthermore, the connecting lines shown in the various figures contained herein are intended to represent exemplary functional relationships and/or physical couplings between the various elements. It should be noted that many alternative or additional functional relationships or physical connections may be present in a practical system. However, the benefits, advantages, solutions to problems, and any elements that may cause any benefit, advantage, or solution to occur or become more pronounced are not to be construed as critical, required, or essential features or elements of the inventions. The scope of the inventions is accordingly to be limited by nothing other than the appended claims, in which reference to an element in the singular is not intended to mean “one and only one” unless explicitly so stated, but rather “one or more.” Moreover, where a phrase similar to “at least one of A, B, or C” is used in the claims, it is intended that the phrase be interpreted to mean that An alone may be present in an embodiment, B alone may be present in an embodiment, C alone may be present in an embodiment, or that any combination of the elements A, B and C may be present in a single embodiment; for example, A and B, A and C, B and C, or A and B and C.
Systems, methods and apparatus are provided herein. In the detailed description herein, references to “one embodiment”, “an embodiment”, “various embodiments”, etc., indicate that the embodiment described may include a particular feature, structure, or characteristic, but every embodiment may not necessarily include the particular feature, structure, or characteristic. Moreover, such phrases are not necessarily referring to the same embodiment. Further, when a particular feature, structure, or characteristic is described in connection with an embodiment, it is submitted that it is within the knowledge of one skilled in the art to affect such feature, structure, or characteristic about other embodiments whether explicitly described. After reading the description, it will be apparent to one skilled in the relevant art(s) how to implement the disclosure in alternative embodiments.
Furthermore, no element, component, or method step in the present disclosure is intended to be dedicated to the public regardless of whether the element, component, or method step is explicitly recited in the claims. No claim element herein is to be construed under the provisions of 35 U.S.C. 112(f), unless the element is expressly recited using the phrase “means for.” As used herein, the terms “comprises”, “comprising”, or any other variation thereof, are intended to cover a non-exclusive inclusion, such that a process, method, article, or apparatus that comprises a list of elements does not include only those elements but may include other elements not expressly listed or inherent to such process, method, article, or apparatus.