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Publication numberUS20070225137 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/387,249
Publication dateSep 27, 2007
Filing dateMar 22, 2006
Priority dateMar 22, 2006
Publication number11387249, 387249, US 2007/0225137 A1, US 2007/225137 A1, US 20070225137 A1, US 20070225137A1, US 2007225137 A1, US 2007225137A1, US-A1-20070225137, US-A1-2007225137, US2007/0225137A1, US2007/225137A1, US20070225137 A1, US20070225137A1, US2007225137 A1, US2007225137A1
InventorsMichael Mednick
Original AssigneeMichael Mednick
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Exercise ball with instructional indicia and method of use
US 20070225137 A1
Abstract
An exercise ball has indicia printed on its exterior surface, including first indicia depicting work-out exercises depicting a a graphic figure in a starting posture a finish posture and second indicia showing the figure in various warm-up exercises and a third indicia in various cool-down postures and movements.
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Claims(16)
1. An exercise apparatus comprising: a ball having an exterior surface and printed on the exterior surface plural first indicia, each one of the first indicia depicting a starting posture as a graphic figure representive of a person engaging in an exercise using the ball, and adjacent thereto, a finish posture of the graphic figure in the exercise, the start and finish postures in side-by-side positions thereby indicating a complete physical fitness exercise motion, the first indicia further including a graphic frontal view of the figure and a graphic rear view of the figure, the frontal and rear views of the figure depicting anatomical portions of the person that are stressed and that receive benefit from the exercise.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein each one of the first indicia further includes a textual name for the exercise.
3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein each one of the first indicia further includes a numerical name for the exercise.
4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein each one of the first indicia further includes a peripheral graphical boundary line surrounding the indicia and further lines separating graphical, textural and numerical elements of the first indicia.
5. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising plural second indicia, each one of the second indicia depicting the graphic figure in a selected posture, and corresponding thereto, a double headed arrow indicating a motion to be engaged in by the person as a warm-up exercise.
6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein each one of the second indicia further includes a textual name for the warm-up exercise.
7. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein each one of the second indicia further includes a numerical name for the warm-up exercise.
8. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein each one of the second indicia further includes a peripheral graphical boundary line surrounding the indicia and further lines separating graphical, textural and numerical elements of the second indicia.
9. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising plural third indicia, each one of the third indicia depicting the graphic figure in a selected cool-down posture.
10. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein at least one of the third indicia further comprises a double headed arrow indicating a motion to be engaged in by the person as a cool-down exercise.
11. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein each one of the third indicia further includes a textual name for the cool-down exercise.
12. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein each one of the third indicia further includes a numerical name for the cool-down exercise.
13. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein each one of the third indicia further includes a peripheral graphical boundary line surrounding the indicia and further lines separating graphical, textural and numerical elements of the third indicia.
14. An exercise apparatus comprising: a ball having an exterior surface and printed on the exterior surface plural first indicia, each one of the first indicia depicting a starting posture as a graphic figure representive of a person engaging in an exercise using the ball, and adjacent thereto, a finish posture of the graphic figure in the exercise, the start and finish postures in side-by-side positions thereby indicating a complete physical fitness exercise motion, the first indicia arranged in side-by-side adjacency around a great circle of the ball.
15. An exercise apparatus comprising: a ball having an exterior surface and printed on the exterior surface plural first indicia, each one of the first indicia depicting a starting posture as a graphic figure representive of a person engaging in an exercise using the ball, and adjacent thereto, a finish posture of the graphic figure in the exercise, the start and finish postures in side-by-side positions thereby indicating a complete physical fitness exercise motion, the first indicia arranged in side-by-side adjacency around a great circle of the ball; and plural second indicia, each one of the second indicia depicting the graphic figure in a selected posture, and corresponding thereto, a double headed arrow indicating a motion to be engaged in by the person as a warm-up exercise; and plural third indicia, each one of the third indicia depicting the graphic figure in a selected cool-down posture.
16. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein the second indicia are arrange in sequence above the first indicia and wherein the third indicia are arrange sequence below the first indicia
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

THE NAMES OF THE PARTIES TO A JOINT RESEARCH AGREEMENT

Not applicable.

INCORPORATION-BY-REFERENCE OF MATERIAL SUBMITTTED ON A COMPACT DISC

Not applicable.

REFERENCE TO A “MICROFICHE APPENDIX”

Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Present Disclosure

This disclosure relates generally to exercise equipment, and more particularly to an exercise ball that has printed on its outer surface one or more graphical indicia showing the sequence and methods of using the ball.

2. Description of Related Art Including Information Disclosed under 37 CFR 1.97 and 1.98

McGinley, U.S. 2003/0235809, discloses a hitting training kit which includes equipment to hit a baseball and instructions to assist a user in learning the technique of hitting a baseball, a portion of the instructions appearing on the baseball bat of the kit to permit the user to review the sequence of user movements for hitting a baseball. Mostardi, U.S. 2004/0102293, discloses a soft, durable, inflatable, exercise device, preferably trapezoidal in shape to enable a user to apply compressive isometric forces against the device to train, strengthen and/or condition major muscles and muscle groups of the human body. Carbonero, U.S. 2005/0119071, discloses a sporting good comprising indicia disposed thereon including at least one figure demonstrating an action to take with the sporting good. The figure is shown in a sequence of positions representing the action whereby a person can view the indicia, and learn and practice the action. Phipps, U.S. 2005/0130805, discloses a device to facilitate stretching before engaging in athletic activities, particularly golf. Two inverted U-shaped members are permanently affixed to the ground using mounting plates or any other potential means. One of the U-shaped members runs underneath the other in a transverse direction generally along the center of each member. The top surfaces of the U-shaped members are designed to provide three differing levels of height thereby allowing a variety of stretches to be performed by the user. An informational sign depicting a variety of stretches may be included. One or multiple users may use this device to help facilitate a variety of stretches to improve flexibility. Williams, U.S. Des 329674, describes a training aid basketball for the right hand. Kawamoto, U.S. Des 397269, describes an exercise mat. Poegel, Jr., U.S. Des 485316, describes a training basketball. Maley, U.S. 5511782, discloses a ball game device and method of using the same comprising a spherical body made of a resilient material preferably durable plastic or rubber and dimensioned to be kicked or struck on a playing surface either indoors or outdoors. The spherical body has eight equally-sized faces all of which are generally flat-surfaced for resting upon the surface. Each face has indicia displayed thereupon which describes and displays an outcome in a baseball game. Base members have words displayed thereon which correspond or are synonyms to the indicia displayed on the spherical body. The face facing upwardly on the surface after the spherical body comes to rest on the surface upon being struck, kicked, or rolled by the user determines the fate of the user in the ball game. Swezey et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,735,776, discloses a versatile bidirectional isometric exercise device in the form of an inflatable flexible exercise ball, about 18 inches in diameter, fitted with a pair of looped handles, secured to diametrically opposite points of the ball, through which arms or legs can be placed for performing specialized exercises that use the ball in a tension mode. The ball is only partially inflated so as to provide soft compliant accommodation to various body surfaces, and can be utilized bidirectionally, i.e. either in compression or in tension, in conjunction with various body parts such as hands, legs, knees, feet, etc., for a broad array of isometric muscle exercises directed to overall body strengthening, particularly for persons prone to and/or desiring protection from the effects of osteoporosis. A sequence of recommended exercises may be depicted directly on the surface of the ball. Attachment of the handles to the main ball portion may be made by sonic welding. In one embodiment an internal bladder is enclosed in a fabric cover, and in one version of this, two hemispheric portions are formed to each provide an integral looped handle. A pressure gauge and/or user-adjustable alarm indicator may be provided to indicate muscular force applied in either compression or tension. Weiss, U.S. Pat. No. 5,816,984, discloses a flexible resistance exerciser which includes a stretchable member having fixable portions and at least one indicator positioned at a preselected location on the stretchable member visible to a user of the exercise equipment and identifying to the user a desirable location on the stretchable member, a relative degree of resistance provided by the stretchable member, fatigue of the stretchable member or any combination thereof. The indicator may take the form of a contrasting colored area, lines, symbols, words and the indicator may change configuration as the stretchable member is stretched. Pettigrew et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,231,459, discloses an instructional golf ball including a spherical body having an outer surface with a plurality of dimples formed therein. Situated on the outer surface of the body is instructional indicia. Such instructional indicia include text for providing guidance as to the manner in which a user should play the golf ball. During use, a user might read the instructional indicia while addressing the golf ball, and address and/or strike the golf ball in the manner indicated by the instructional indicia.

The related art described above shows that it is known to include indicia on sports and athletic equipment that show techniques of using the equipment. McGinley teaches a bat with batting instructions and graphics printed on it. Carbonero teaches a ball having printed on it a sequence of figures to show the several stages in a single physical act so that one can more easily follow the instructions to imitate the act. In fact, Carbonero teaches the use of several figures shown in sequence to demonstrate a complete portion of the use of the ball, i.e., dribbling, passing, shooting and so on. Further Carbonero shows that it is known to place such indicia sequences, themselves in sequence around the object. Kawamoto also teaches physical fitness routines using graphical figures shown at various progressive stages of an exercise on a piece of exercise equipment. Swezey et al shows that pictorial representations of exercises may be placed on a ball. However, the present apparatus extends the use of such graphical instruction on a piece of equipment (sport or exercise) further, by including a graphical demonstration of the portions of the body that take active part in each exercise so as to beneficially instruct the user that certain portions or muscle groups are to be used. A further benefit is that the user is informed prior to taking part in the exercise so that he/she has the option of avoiding exercises that may injure or exacerbate sensitive or weak portions of the user's body. The present apparatus distinguishes also by presenting a full routine including warm-up, work-out and cool-down postures. The present disclosure distinguishes over the prior art providing heretofore unknown advantages as described in the following summary.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This disclosure teaches certain benefits in construction and use which give rise to the objectives described below.

An exercise ball has indicia printed on its exterior surface. The indicia depict graphically a figure demonstrating warm-up, work-out and cool-down exercises and postures. The work-out exercises are shown as a sequence of indicia arrange around a great circle of the ball so as to be able to fit the maximum number of such indicia in a linear sequence, and each shows a figure in a start and in a finish posture with the implication that the exercise corresponds to the body motions that are necessary to move between these two positions or postures when using the ball. The indicia include also graphical representations of the front plan view and rear plan view of a figure showing by shading or otherwise, the parts of the body that benefit from the exercise.

A primary objective inherent in the above described apparatus and method of use is to provide advantages not taught by the prior art.

Another objective is to provide a convenient and handy instructional graphical representation of the exercises one would use with the apparatus.

A further objective is to show a start and a finish graphical figure indicating and teaching exactly how an exercise is to be performed.

A further objective is to show a plan view of the figure indicating the locations of, or muscle that are effected by the exercise.

A further objective is to show the exercises in a linear sequence around the ball so that a user can complete each in sequence without skipping or forgetting to complete any.

A further objective is to show warm-up and cool-down postures and motions in separate indicia on the surface of the ball.

A further objective is to show the warm-up and cool-down exercises each in linear sequence so that one may follow the sequence without forgetting any of the exercises.

A further objective is to show the warm-up, work-out and cool-down exercised as three rows of linear sequences so as to teach a preferred order in which the exercises are to be followed.

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the presently described apparatus and method of its use.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S)

Illustrated in the accompanying drawing(s) is at least one of the best mode embodiments of the present invention In such drawing(s):

FIG. 1 is an elevational view of the presently described apparatus showing one use by a person for exercise;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of a set of exercise indicia thereof;

FIGS. 3 and 4 are further views of the indicia showing a preferred arrangement thereof;

FIG. 5 is a view of the apparatus from one side thereof; and

FIG. 6 is a view of the apparatus from the opposing side thereof.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The above described drawing figures illustrate the described apparatus and its method of use in at least one of its preferred, best mode embodiment, which is further defined in detail in the following description. Those having ordinary skill in the art may be able to make alterations and modifications what is described herein without departing from its spirit and scope. Therefore, it must be understood that what is illustrated is set forth only for the purposes of example and that it should not be taken as a limitation in the scope of the present apparatus and method of use.

Described now in detail is an exercise ball apparatus 2, preferably round in shape, as best shown in FIGS. 1, 5 and 6, but which may take other shapes such as oblong like a football, oblate, or otherwise. The ball 2 has an exterior surface 5 and printed on the exterior surface 5 is a first indicia 10 as shown in FIG. 2. Preferably, the ball 2 has plural first indicia 10 and the use of the word “plural” herein refers to one or more of such indicia, where the indicia preferably take three embodiments and preferably each one of the three types of indicia, as will be described below, may be printed on the ball 2 as one indicia or more than one. The use of the word “printed” shall mean and include all and any means for establishing the indicia on the surface 5 of the ball 2 including printing or screening with ink, forming as a relief into the surface 5, and any other method of establishing the indicia which are referred to herein using the numerals 10, 20 and 30.

Referring now to FIG. 2, each one of the first indicia 10 graphically depicts a starting posture 12 as a graphic FIG. 15 representive of a person engaging in an exercise using the ball 2. Adjacent to the starting posture 12 is a finish posture 14 of the graphic FIG. 15 in the same exercise. The start and finish postures 12, 14 are arranged in side-by-side positions on the surface 5 thereby indicating by association and juxtaposition of these two graphics that a complete physical fitness exercise motion is made between the starting posture 12 and the finish posture 14. In other words, the postures 12 and 14 are such as to quite simply infer a complete exercise, that is, the user is able to assume the starting posture 12 and then move to the finish posture 14 without further assistance, instruction or prior know-how. In some cases, the user will move from the starting posture 12 to the finish posture 14 and then back again to the starting posture 12 repeating this cycle for a number of repetitions. However, in most cases, there is no need to graphically depict this cyclic repetition as the user will know to do this a-priori. Preferably, the words “Start” and “Finish” are placed adjacent to the postures 12 and 14 respectively to further assure the understanding of the postures and their representation as stages in a complete exercise.

Preferably, each one of the first indicia 10 further includes a graphic frontal view 16 of the figure and a graphic rear view 18 of the FIG. 15, where the frontal and rear views 16, 18 of the FIG. 15 depict anatomical portions of the body that receive benefit from the exercise, as for instance by shading, coloration or other graphic techniques as shown in FIG. 2. Preferably, the words “Front” and “Back” are placed adjacent to the views 16 and 18 respectively to further assure the understanding of the views and their representation of the parts of the body that are benefited by the exercise shown by postures 12 and 14.

Preferably, each one of the first indicia 10 further includes a textual name 11 for the exercise as for instance, “Back Hyper Extension,” “Lower Back Lift” or “Arm and Leg Raise,” and a numerical name 13 for the exercise such as “1,”, “2,” “3,” and so forth. The textural and numerical names 11, 13 are important and critical to the successful accomplishment of the apparatus because it provides a means for remembering which exercise has been done and which one is to be done, or which one should be avoided, etc.

Preferably each one of the first indicia 10 further includes a peripheral graphical boundary 17, preferably a surrounding line so as to define the extent of the indicia and further lines 19 separating graphical, textural and numerical elements of the first indicia 10. The boundary line 17 is critical to the use of the apparatus because it visually set each indicia apart so that there is no chance of confusion as to which indicia elements apply to one or another of the exercises. The other lines 19 are critical because they enable the user, at a glance, to be visually guided to the graphical elements within each indicia that provide the information they seek. For instance, when the user wants to conduct him/herself in a particular exercise, after using the apparatus once or twice, the user's eye will go to that portion of the indicia immediately to seek the information desired, i.e., if the user want to check which muscles or areas of the frontal area of the body are involved, the user's eye will go to the upper left graphic in the appropriate indicia box.

The ball 2 preferably further has printed on its surface 5, plural second indicia 20, each depicting the graphic FIG. 15 in a single selected posture, and corresponding thereto, a double headed arrow 22 indicating a motion to be engaged in by the person as a warm-up exercise.

Preferably, each one of the second indicia 20 further includes a textual name 11 for the exercise as for instance, “Lower Back Lift” or “Arm and Leg Raise,” and an alpha-numerical name 13 for the exercise such as “W1,”, “W2,” “W3,” and so forth, where the use of the letter “W” indicates that the indicia 20 is a warm-up exercise.

Preferably, each one of the second indicia 20 further includes a peripheral graphical boundary, preferably a surrounding line 17 so as to define the extent of the indicia and further lines 19 separating graphical, textural and numerical elements of the second indicia 20.

Preferably, the ball has printed on its surface 5, plural third indicia 30, each one of the third indicia 30 depicting the graphic FIG. 15 in a selected cool-down posture. One or more of the third indicia 30 may further comprise a double headed arrow 22 indicating a motion to be engaged in by the person as a cool-down exercise. As with the first and second indicia 10, 20, the third indicia 30 also includes the other elements previously described: textual name 11, numerical name 13, peripheral graphical boundary line 17, and further lines 19 separating graphical, textural and numerical elements of the third indicia 30.

In the preferred embodiment of the apparatus, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the first indicia 10 are arranged in side-by-side adjacency around a great circle (equator) of the ball 2 so that the user may follow a set pattern of exercises in the same sequence as shown on the ball 2, without the possibility of forgetting which exercise is next or of forgetting to complete one or another of the exercises. Of course, placement of the indicia on a great circle enables placement of the most indicia 10 in side by side arrangement.

Preferably, the second indicia 20 are placed in side-by-side arrangement just above the first indicia 10 as an indication that the warm-up exercises are to precede the work-out exercises taught by the first indicia 10. Likewise, the third indicia 30 are preferably placed in side-by-side arrangement just below the first indicia 10 as an indication that the cool-down exercises are to succeed the work-out exercises taught by the first indicia 10.

It is seen that the placement of instructional indicia on an exercise ball surface so as to be in ready reference to the user of the ball, is of great benefit as the user need not carry a paper and pencil or other items while exercising. The critical novel and distinct elements of the present invention are the use of enclosed indicia with placement of start and finish figures of an exercise along with graphical illustration of the portions of the body that are effected by the exercise, the use of sequences of named indicia placed around a great circle of the ball so that one is able to maintain a preferred sequence of exercises without loosing one's place, and the use of warm-up, work-out and cool-down sequences in three rows to assure that the user is able to follow a workout procedure. Generally, we find that information is transmitted to the user of the apparatus by where the indicia are placed, what is shown in each, and how they are named. In this manner, a user may be assured that the exercise program that he/she is to follow, is made easier, more convenient and beneficial without the use of a overseeing trainer.

The enablements described in detail above are considered novel over the prior art of record and are considered critical to the operation of at least one aspect of the apparatus and its method of use and to the achievement of the above described objectives. The words used in this specification to describe the instant embodiments are to be understood not only in the sense of their commonly defined meanings, but to include by special definition in this specification: structure, material or acts beyond the scope of the commonly defined meanings. Thus if an element can be understood in the context of this specification as including more than one meaning, then its use must be understood as being generic to all possible meanings supported by the specification and by the word or words describing the element.

The definitions of the words or drawing elements described herein are meant to include not only the combination of elements which are literally set forth, but all equivalent structure, material or acts for performing substantially the same function in substantially the same way to obtain substantially the same result. In this sense it is therefore contemplated that an equivalent substitution of two or more elements may be made for any one of the elements described and its various embodiments or that a single element may be substituted for two or more elements in a claim.

Changes from the claimed subject matter as viewed by a person with ordinary skill in the art, now known or later devised, are expressly contemplated as being equivalents within the scope intended and its various embodiments. Therefore, obvious substitutions now or later known to one with ordinary skill in the art are defined to be within the scope of the defined elements. This disclosure is thus meant to be understood to include what is specifically illustrated and described above, what is conceptually equivalent, what can be obviously substituted, and also what incorporates the essential ideas.

The scope of this description is to be interpreted only in conjunction with the appended claims and it is made clear, here, that each named inventor believes that the claimed subject matter is what is intended to be patented.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8376912Feb 2, 2011Feb 19, 2013Ball It, Inc.Facial muscle exercise ball-like device and method
US20120184414 *Jan 15, 2011Jul 19, 2012Michelle OsbornExercise ball
WO2010075490A2 *Dec 23, 2009Jul 1, 2010Gasper GuarrasiPortable article with indicia thereon to facilitate performing an exercise
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/148, 482/92
International ClassificationA63B23/00, A63B21/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2208/0247, A63B2071/0633, A63B41/00, A63B23/0216, A63B23/0244, A63B23/0233, A63B23/0227
European ClassificationA63B23/02A8, A63B23/02A4, A63B23/02B, A63B23/02S