US 20080185799 A1
The present invention provides a training device for attaining proper body alignment for jumps. The device comprises footwear (for example, a skate) and an ankle wrap. The ankle wrap may be a permanent part of the skate or may be releasably attached to the skate. The ankle wrap is constructed of neoprene and comprises a repositionable holder, an instep strap, a hook and loop two-part fastening system, and two lateral portions. The repositionable holder has a hook and loop two-part fastening system and a mesh pocket that holds a sound box. When the jumper achieves proper ankle contact, a sound is emitted from the sound box. Such sounding alerts the jumper that proper body alignment was achieved.
1. A training device for achieving proper body alignment during jumps, comprising:
an ankle wrap attached to the footwear; and
a sound-producing device;
wherein the sound-producing device is comprised of a button, a speaker, a power supply, and an electrical circuit.
2. The training device of
3. The training device of
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10. The training device according to
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13. A training device for achieving proper body alignment during jumps, comprising:
a repositionable holder;
an instep strap;
a hook and loop two-part fastening system; and
two lateral portions.
14. The training device of
15. The training device of
16. The training device according to
17. The training device of
18. The training device according to
19. The training device of
20. A method of achieving proper body alignment during ice-skating jumps, the method comprising the steps of:
putting on ice skates;
attaching an ankle wrap to the ice skate on the landing foot of the skater;
jumping while simultaneously rotating;
positioning ankle and feet such that optimal ankle contact is achieved; and
causing a sound to be emitted as a result of the ankle contact;
wherein the ankle wrap comprises a repositionable holder, an instep strap, a hook and loop two-part fastening system; and two lateral portions.
This invention relates generally to training devices for figure skating.
A figure skater's rate of rotation during a jump significantly increases when proper ankle contact is achieved. In order to achieve proper ankle contact, the skater must employ efficient body alignment during the jump. However, during such jumps, due to the rapid rotation of the skater's body (as well as other dynamics of a jump), it is extremely difficult for the skater be sufficiently aware of his or her body alignment. Consequently, there is a need for a device to assist a skater in his or her body alignment awareness. A search of the prior art shows that no such device is known.
It is a primary objective of the present invention to provide a device that can be used by a figure skater to attain proper body alignment during jumps. More particularly, it is an objective of the present invention to provide a device (an ankle wrap) that attaches to a skate in order to assist a skater in attaining proper body alignment during a jump.
Computer software was used to evaluate, in great detail, the most efficient body alignment for a skater during triple and quadruple jumps. The gathered data assisted the development of the present invention. The data was used to formulate a table showing airtime, rotation rate, and body position needed to complete skating jumps.
The present invention was developed experimentally. A variety of materials were tried in conjunction with a skate. The materials were placed over the outside anklebone of the skater's landing foot where the optimal ankle contact must occur. Some of the difficulties encountered were finding a way to secure the invention to a skate (providing safe and accurate placement), developing a sound box that had adequate volume and duration of sound, and creating a device that was sufficiently durable.
To address the aforementioned difficulties and other concerns, the ankle wrap is comprised of neoprene, Velcro, elastic, and mesh. Neoprene provides sufficient durability for the ankle wrap. The Velcro is used to safely secure the ankle warp to the skate on the landing foot of the skater jumper). A Velcro and mesh pocket is positioned over the outside anklebone of the skater. Inside the mesh pocket is a pressure-sensitive sound box that emits a prerecorded sound, alerting the skater and the coach when proper ankle contact has been achieved. The mesh allows for the emitted sound to be easily heard. If the skater (jumper) makes foot contact, but not proper ankle contact, there is no sound emitted from the sound box. Thus, the skater is alerted that proper alignment was not achieved.
Preferred and alternative embodiments of the present invention are described in detail below with reference to the following drawings:
An instep strap 12 secures to one of the lateral portions 11A, 11B near the boundary between the first and second lateral portions. The free end of the instep strap 12 bears a first part 13, consisting of the hook part of a hook and loop fastening system. In the illustrated embodiment, the first part 13, of the hook and loop fastening system secures to a lower surface of the first lateral portion 11A. The instep strap 12 secures to the first lateral portion 11A and the second part 11A. The instep strap 12 may be elastic.
The sound-producing device 17 is secured in the mesh pocket 15 with a hooks tab 20 of a two-part fastening system. The mesh pocket 15 has a hook and loop fastening system at the top 15B to ensure containment of the sound-producing device 17. The reverse side of the repositionable holder 14 has a hook fastening system 22 as part of a two-part fastening system. This hook portion 22 secures the repositionable holder 14 to the ankle warp. On each end of the elastic of the repositionable holder 14 is a hook and loop fastening system. The ends 16A and 16B of the repositionable holder secure around the ankle wrap 10.
The repositionable holder 14 receives a sound-producing device 17 having a button or like structure that causes the sound-producing device 17 to produce sound when contacted. In the preferred embodiment, the mesh pocket 15 is formed of mesh material such that the sound-producing device 17 is audible. The mesh pocket 15 is slightly larger than the sound-producing device 17, such that the position of the position of the sound-producing device within the mesh pocket is adjustable. Inasmuch as skates are of varying sizes, it is advantageous to adjust the position of the sound-producing device 17 within the pocket to position the sound-producing device 17 properly with respect to the skater's feet.
While the preferred embodiment of the invention has been described, various alternative embodiments of the invention are possible without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, the lateral portions of the ankle wrap may form a loop that is permanent over the skate before the user inserts the foot into the skate (i.e., the ankle wrap may be permanently attached to the skate). In addition, the invention is not limited to skates, but contemplates all kinds of footwear, including, but not limited to, shoes and boots. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is not limited by the disclosure of the preferred embodiment.