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Publication numberUS20040067830 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/357,939
Publication dateApr 8, 2004
Filing dateFeb 3, 2003
Priority dateMar 7, 2002
Publication number10357939, 357939, US 2004/0067830 A1, US 2004/067830 A1, US 20040067830 A1, US 20040067830A1, US 2004067830 A1, US 2004067830A1, US-A1-20040067830, US-A1-2004067830, US2004/0067830A1, US2004/067830A1, US20040067830 A1, US20040067830A1, US2004067830 A1, US2004067830A1
InventorsMichael Rovere, Eliot Geeting
Original AssigneeRovere Michael V., Eliot Geeting
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Exercise device
US 20040067830 A1
Abstract
An exercise device has a seat pivotally coupled to at least one rocker. A forward support member extends from the seat and has a roller mounted proximate to a forward end thereof. The user sits on the seat and rocks forward and/or backward to exercise muscles of the torso and lower body.
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Claims(24)
What is claimed is:
1. An exercise device comprising:
a forward support member;
a roller mounted proximate to a forward end of the forward support member;
a seat coupled to the forward support member;
at least one rocker pivotally coupled to one of the forward support member and the seat;
a back support coupled to the rocker; and
a handgrip coupled to the rocker.
2. The exercise device of claim 1 wherein the at least one rocker is one of a pair of rockers disposed laterally outboard of the seat.
3. The exercise device of claim 1 further comprising a rocker extension coupled to the rocker.
4. The exercise device of claim 3 wherein the rocker extension is one of a plurality of rocker extensions, each having a length different from all other rocker extensions.
5. The exercise device of claim 3 wherein the rocker extension is coupled to a forward end of the rocker.
6. The exercise device of claim 3 wherein the rocker extension is coupled to a rearward end of the rocker.
7. The exercise device of claim 3 wherein the rocker extension is a first rocker extension coupled to a forward end of the rocker and further comprising a second rocker extension coupled to a rearward end of the rocker.
8. The exercise device of claim 1 further comprising a footrest coupled to the forward end of the forward support member.
9. The exercise device of claim 2 wherein the handgrip is one of a pair of handgrips.
10. The exercise device of claim 9 wherein each of the pairs of handgrips is coupled to a respective one of the pair of rockers.
11. The exercise device of claim 10 wherein each of the pair of handgrips comprises a length of round tubing.
12. The exercise device of claim 11 wherein each of the pair of rockers includes a section of square tubing to receive the length of round tubing of the respective handgrip.
13. The exercise device of claim 12 wherein each of the pair of handgrips comprises a stop means disposed on the length of round tubing to limit rotational movement of the round tubing within the respective section of square tubing.
14. The exercise device of claim 1 wherein the forward support member is adjustable for length.
15. The exercise device of claim 14 wherein the forward support member comprises first and second telescoping sections.
16. The exercise device of claim 1 further comprising an upright member supporting the back support.
17. The exercise device of claim 16 wherein the upright member is adjustable for length.
18. The exercise device of claim 17 wherein the upright member comprises first and second telescoping sections.
19. An exercise device comprising:
a pair of longitudinally parallel rockers;
a seat support member transverse to the pair of rockers and pivotally coupled thereto;
a seat coupled to the seat support member;
a forward support member coupled to the seat support member and extending longitudinally forward thereof;
a roller mounted proximate to a forward end of the forward support member.
20. The exercise device of claim 19 further comprising a back support coupled to the pair of rockers.
21. The exercise device of claim 20 further comprising a cross-member joining the pair of runners and an upright member coupled to the cross-member supporting the back support.
22. The exercise device of claim 19 further comprising a pair of handgrips, each coupled to a respective one of the pair of rockers.
23. The exercise device of claim 19 further comprising a footrest coupled to the forward end of the forward support member.
24. A coupling arrangement between a first member and a second member comprising:
a generally round-sectioned plug attached to the first member;
a polygonal socket attached to the second member adapted to receive the plug;
a stop means disposed on the plug to contact a wall of the polygonal socket upon rotation of the plug within the socket;
whereby the plug may be inserted into the socket in a plurality of rotational orientations but is prevented from rotating freely therein by the stop means.
Description
1. RELATED PROVISIONAL APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims priority of provisional application No. 60/362,457 filed Mar. 7, 2002.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] Our invention relates generally to exercise and fitness devices, and more specifically to a device that enables the user to achieve a balanced torso and lower body workout.

[0004] 2. Background

[0005] Many devices have been invented to assist with physical exercise. Some assist the user in performing exercises that target the abdominal region. Others assist the user in performing exercises that target the back region. A few are intended to target both the abdominals and the back. Some devices are designed to provide a bun and thigh workout. Other devices have been made with nothing more than a cardiovascular benefit in mind. Other devices have been invented which assist the user in stretching. Still other devices have been invented to help massage the back.

[0006] We have invented a single device that assists the user in performing back and abdominal exercises as well as bun and thigh exercises. In addition, this one device can allow the user to at the same time achieve a cardiovascular workout and a soothing back massage. Our device also enables the user to perform movements that stretch the torso.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] The exercise device of the present invention can be used to perform abdominal crunches and back extension exercises. It can also be used to perform bun and thigh exercises. Such exercises can be combined and performed in rapid succession using a back and forth rocking motion to achieve a cardiovascular benefit. The device automatically massages the user's back during exercise, and it utilizes a stretching pad and a pivot locking means that enable the device to be used to stretch the user's torso.

[0008] It is an object of our invention to provide a device that enables the user to exercise both the abdominal region and the back region all in a flowing and coordinated set of movements.

[0009] It is an object of our invention to provide a device that enables the user to perform exercises that target the abdominal region.

[0010] It is an object of our invention to provide a device that enables the user to perform exercises that target the back region.

[0011] It is an object of out invention to provide a device that enables the user to perform bun and thigh exercises.

[0012] It is an object of our invention to provide a device that provides a cardiovascular benefit.

[0013] It is an object of our invention to provide a device that stretches the torso of the user.

[0014] It is an object of our invention to provide a device that automatically massages the back of the user while he or she exercises.

[0015] It is an object of our invention to provide a device that generates a soothing back massage by utilizing the bodyweight of the user.

[0016] It is an object of our invention to provide a device that generates resistance and provides cardiovascular benefit by utilizing the bodyweight of the user.

[0017] It is an object of our invention to provide a device that generates resistance and provides cardiovascular benefit without the need for resistance devices such as weights, springs, pistons or stretch bands.

[0018] It is an object of our invention to provide a device that generates resistance and provides cardiovascular benefit without the need for complex and/or costly mechanical components such as cables, pulleys, gears, chains, sprockets, motors, electricity, gages, scales, hydraulics, or pneumatics.

[0019] It is an object of our invention to provide an exercise device that is fun and easy to use.

[0020] It is an object of our invention to provide an exercise device that has a simple design.

[0021] It is an object of our invention to provide an exercise device that can be folded and/or broken down to provide for efficient storage, packaging and shipping.

[0022] It is an object of our invention to provide an exercise device that by design of its pivot points and adjustments for accommodating different size users, folds to a compact size for storage, packaging and shipping.

[0023] It is an object of our invention to provide an exercise device that is relatively compact and convenient to store, package and ship.

[0024] These and other objects are achieved with an exercise device comprising a forward support member, a roller mounted proximate to a forward end of the forward support member, a seat coupled to the forward support member, at least one rocker pivotally coupled to one of the forward support member and the seat, a back support coupled to the rocker, and a handgrip coupled to the rocker.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0025]FIG. 1A is a perspective view of one embodiment of an exercise device in accordance with the present invention.

[0026]FIG. 1B is another view of the device shown in FIG. 1A.

[0027]FIG. 1C is a detailed view of the connection between the gripping bar and the rocker of the device shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B.

[0028]FIG. 2 illustrates another embodiment of an exercise device in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0029] In the following description, for purposes of explanation and not limitation, specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. However, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced in other embodiments that depart from these specific details. In other instances, detailed descriptions of well-known methods and devices are omitted so as to not obscure the description of the present invention with unnecessary detail.

[0030] FIGS. 1A-1B illustrate an exercise device (1) embodying the present invention. Device (1) generally comprises a forward support member (2), a seat (4), a roller (6), at least one rocker (7), a back support (9) attached to upright (8), and at least one handgrip (11) attached to a handlebar (10). In addition, device (1) comprises a seat support (3) pivotally coupled to the rocker (7) and a footrest (5). Referring briefly to FIG. 2, an exercise device in accordance with the present invention may also include a foot anchoring means (25), a motion limiting means (32), a stretching pad (33) and a pivot locking means (34).

[0031] The purpose of the forward support member (2) is to provide a support structure to which the other components of the device are connected. The forward support member is preferably made of a rigid yet lightweight material such as metal tubing, and it could consist of two telescoping tubular sections that adjust in length using snap buttons, a manual pin or a spring loaded pin to accommodate the size of the user, to provide resistance and range-of-motion adjustment for exercises, and to allow the device to be shortened for efficient packaging shipping and storage.

[0032] The purpose of the seat support (3) is to provide a support structure for the seat, to provide a means for pivotally attaching the rocker, and to elevate the seat above the rocker to provide swing clearance for the front of the rocker and also create a pivot point higher than the user's natural hip pivot point thereby causing the back support to travel up and down the users back while the device is being operated which creates an automatic massaging action when massage rollers are used on the back support. The seat support could consist of lateral extensions attached to the rear end of the forward support member to form a T-shaped structure which supports the seat, as well as downward struts attached to the end of the lateral extensions that provide pivotal attachment means for the rockers. The end of each strut could have a bore through it to accept a bolt, rivet or axle that pivotally attaches the rocker to the seat support. Alternatively, the seat support could be made of sheet metal, plastic or other formed rigid material that would perform the functions listed above and would also act as a guard/shroud to protect the user from pinching his or her fingers between the rocker and the seat or the downward strut.

[0033] The purpose of the seat (4) is to provide a place for the user to sit. The seat is attached to the seat support. The seat could be a one-piece unit comprising a pad made of foam attached to a flat wood platform and then covered in a material such as vinyl, but alternatively, it could be an integral molded plastic or foam part. In order to better grip and position the user, the pad of the seat could have raised regions towards it ends, and a recessed region near its middle, or it could be specifically molded to fit a user's hindquarters. Alternatively, the seat could be a two-piece unit, the front piece being a longer lower section that is attached to the rear end of the forward support member, and the rear piece being a shorter higher section that is attached to a piece of tubing (preferably metal tubing) that telescopes into the rear end of the forward support member. When the two pieces of the seat are butted up against one another, they would serve as an integral, contoured seat for the user. When the rear piece is telescoped out and away from the front piece of the seat, it would act as the stretching pad which provides support for the arch of the user's back as he or she performs stretching movements using the device.

[0034] The purpose of the footrest (5) is to provide a place for the user to put his or her feet while using the device. The footrest is attached to the front end of the forward support member. The footrest could simply consist of a tube or pegs extending laterally from the forward support member. The tube or pegs could be covered in a material such as foam that would cushion the user's feet. Alternatively, the footrest could consist of a flat platform made of metal, plastic or wood. The platform could have a ledge at its bottom end to hold the heels of the user's feet and prevent them from sliding down and off the footrest. The platform is preferably attached to the forward support member at an angle creating a comfortable and ergonomically correct position for the user's feet.

[0035] The device could include a foot anchoring means. The purpose of the foot anchoring means is to firmly anchor the user's feet to the footrest and to assist the user in performing abdominal exercises. Such exercises require the user to pivot his or her upper body forward in order to lift the device off the ground on the front portion of the rocker. Anchoring the user's feet so they do not pull away from the footrest can improve the efficiency and ease of performing the abdominal exercises. The foot anchoring means could consist of a sliding foot bar having a crossbar section made of foam-covered tubular metal that is attached to a sliding collar made of tubular metal sized to fit around the front metal tube of the forward support member. The sliding foot bar could be locked in the desired position by means of a pin, bolt or snap button, or alternatively, by a friction mechanism such as a turn screw that is threaded through the sliding collar and binds against the front metal tube of the forward support member as it is turned. After placing his or her feet on the footrest, the user could move the sliding foot bar snug up against the tops of his or her feet and lock it into position. Rather than the sliding foot bar, the foot anchoring means could consist of a T-bar (preferably made of metal, plastic or wood) that is pivotally attached to the top portion of the footrest and that is adjustable to accommodate the size of the user's feet. Such adjustment could be achieved by a series of holes or slots in the beam of the T-bar that allow the position of the crossbar portion of the T-bar to be changed relative to the top of the user's feet. Slots would allow the user to quickly and easily change the position of the T-bar without the need for removing and installing a pin or operating snap buttons. The crossbar portion of the T-bar could be a rod or round tube, but would preferably be a bar or rectangular tube covered in foam. The crossbar portion of the T-bar is preferably angled so that its surface sits flat against the top of the user's feet thereby helping to prevent it from sliding up the user's feet during use. If the crossbar portion of the T-bar slides up the user's feet, he or she will have to strain his or her feet in an attempt to grip the crossbar portion of the T-bar and this could result in cramps, pain, strain or fatigue in the user's feet or calves. If the T-bar has sufficient weight, gravity will assist in holding it firmly on top of the user's feet. Alternatively, a spring or stretch cord could be used to force the crossbar portion of the T-bar down and against the top of the user's feet.

[0036] The purpose of the roller (6) is to allow the device to move in response to the forward and backward rocking of the rocker. The roller preferably consists of one or more wheels (or other rolling devices) that roll forward as the device is rocked forward on the front portion of the rocker, and that roll backward as the device is rocked backward on the rear portion of the rocker. The wheel is attached to the front end of the forward support member (2) using a bracket, fork, axle or similar means. The wheel will preferably have a tire (not necessarily filled with air) made of a material that will absorb shock (such as rubber, foam, urethane or similar material) and that will roll smoothly, resist wear and prevent damage to the exercise surface when the device is used on a variety of different surfaces including carpeting, tile, cement and hardwood. If desired, roller (6) could be replaced with one or more sliding devices or pivoting or rocking levers with attached swivel feet or pads.

[0037] The device has one or more rockers (7). The purpose of the rocker is to generate body weight resistance in a smooth and flowing manner as the user performs exercises. The rocker could be rigid and made of a material such as tubular metal, metal bar, wood or plastic. Alternatively, the rocker could be flexible and made of a material such as fiberglass or flexible metal, wood or plastic. The rocker has a pivot point, a front portion extending forward from the pivot point, and a rear portion extending backward from the pivot point. Preferably, the pivot point is located towards the front of the rocker, and the rear portion of the rocker will thereby be longer than the front portion of the rocker. The rocker will preferably have a curved shape so that the device will rock rather than “bottom out” or slam onto the exercise surface as the user transitions between lifting the device up on the front portion of the rocker and lifting the device up on the rear portion of the rocker. If the rocker is made of rigid material (such as metal tubing), then the curve will be fixed and cannot be changed. On the other hand, if the rocker is made of flexible material (such as fiberglass), then the curve could be adjustable by incorporating a cable or linkage, or other similar means connecting the ends of the rocker. The linkage, cable or other connecting means would be shortened in order to increase the amount of curve in the rocker, or lengthened in order to decrease the amount of curve in the rocker. By altering the curve of the rocker, the user would be able to change the difficulty level of performing abdominal and back exercises. As the curve of the rocker is increased, so too is the rocking momentum that is generated as the user transitions between lifting the device up on the front portion of the rocker and lifting the device up on the rear portion of the rocker. Such increased rocking momentum will make it easier for the user to perform the exercises and will also make the motion smoother. Another means for changing the resistance or difficulty level of exercises is by adjusting the length of the rocker. This can be accomplished by attaching an extension to the front portion of the rocker to add more resistance for abdominal exercises and by adding an extension to the rear portion of the rocker to add more resistance for back, and bun and thigh exercises; this can also be accomplished by telescoping the front and/or rear portions of the rocker to change their length. The bottom edge of the rocker which contacts the exercise surface may have attached to it a thin strip of material such as rubber, foam, felt or similar material that will absorb shock, provide a smooth ride, prevent damage to the rocker, and prevent damage to the exercise surface. The rocker could be attached to the seat support using a bolt, rivet, axle or similar device. Alternatively, the rocker could be attached directly to a portion of the seat, the forward support member or to a structural member extending from the seat or forward support member thereby providing little or no elevation to the seat. In any case, a bushing or bearing could be utilized to reduce friction and to make the operation of the rocker smoother.

[0038] The device has one or more uprights (8). The purpose of the upright is to provide a structure that connects the back support to the rocker. The upright could be made of a single piece of rigid yet lightweight material such as metal tubing. Alternatively, the upright could be made of two pieces of telescoping metal tubing that allow for telescopic length adjustment. The bottom end of the upright is attached to the rocker. The attachment may incorporate a pivot to allow the upright to pivot toward and away from the front of the device in order to provide adjustment in the user's body angle. Such pivotal adjustment will alter the difficulty level of the exercises, and also allow the user to focus on the back region, on the abdominal region, or on the bun and thigh regions. The pivoting of the upright, in conjunction with the pivot point of the rocker and the collapsibility of the forward support member, would also allow the device to be folded for efficient packaging shipping and storage. The pivotal attachment means could comprise a bracket attached to the rocker and a pin, rivet or bolt connecting the bottom end of the upright to the bottom of the bracket to form a pivot point; and a manual pin, spring loaded pin or snap button that engages an upward portion of the upright and connects it to a series of holes in the top of the bracket to form an adjustable anchoring point. Alternatively, the pivotal attachment means could consist of a locking hinge mechanism connecting the bottom end of the upright to the rocker. The top end of the upright would have a means for attaching to the back support and providing pivotal movement of the back support such as a crossbar section having brackets or extensions at its ends that provide a pivotal connection point for the back support. The crossbar also could have brackets for securing the handlebar thereby enabling the handlebar to move up and down and follow the back support when it is adjusted.

[0039] The purpose of the back support (9) is to provide a comfortable structure for the user to engage the upright and operate the rocker in order to perform abdominal, back, and bun and thigh exercises. The pivot point for the rocker is located below and away from the pivot point of the user's hips, thereby creating a change of position of the user's back relative to the upright as the user pivots his or her body forward and backward in order to operate the rocker while performing abdominal and back exercises. The back support has a means for accommodating such movement. One means is for the back support to simply comprise a pad (e.g., a piece of foam attached to a flat wood platform and then covered in a material such as vinyl) against which the user's back slides as he or she uses the device. The pad could be pivotally connected to the upright which will allow the back support to follow the angle of the user's back and compensate for some of the travel of the user's back along the back support. Alternatively, the back support could consist of a sliding platform that slides up and down the upright on rollers, bearings or a friction reducing material. However, a preferable means is for the back support to have one or more rotating rollers that roll against the user's back thereby accommodating the movement of the user's back relative to the upright while also massaging the user's back automatically while he or she exercises. The roller will preferably have a covering of comfortable material such as foam, rubber or vinyl covered flexible material. The roller can have a variety of surfaces such as smooth, textured, arched or ball-like to add to the stimulating and relaxing feature of the massage. If more than one roller is used, the rollers will preferably be pivotally attached to the upright so they can pivot or rotate as a unit to maintain proper positioning with the user's back while the device is being used, and so they can swing out of the way to reduce binding against the user's lower back so that the user will not be constrained as he or she pivots forward to perform abdominal exercises. The position of the back support is preferably adjustable up and down to accommodate users of different heights and to accommodate the various movements and functions of the device.

[0040] The device could have one or more handlebars (10). The purpose of the handlebar is to provide a means for the user to pull or pivot the rocker forward thereby lifting the device up on the front portion of the rocker in order to perform abdominal exercises and to position the user's hands in a resting position when doing back exercises thereby enabling the user to move back and forth between abdominal and back exercises in a smooth and flowing manner. The handlebar will also help balance and support the user as he or she performs bun and thigh exercises. The handlebar could be made of a rigid material such as metal tubing, plastic or wood, or alternatively, out of a flexible material such as rope, nylon webbing or cable. The handlebar could be attached to the rocker or to the upright. For instance, the handlebar could consist of two gripping bars made of a rigid material (such as metal tubing) that are attached to the top of the upright or to the rocker in such a manner as to allow the gripping bars to rotate laterally. Such a system would provide width adjustment for the user and would allow the gripping bars to be folded laterally for more efficient packaging and storage. Furthermore, since the gripping bars would rotate laterally but would hold firm in all other directions, the gripping bars would also serve as the handgrip discussed below. Each of the two gripping bars could have a section of foam or similar material at its end that provides a comfortable gripping area. Alternatively, the handlebar could be made to be attachable in multiple locations up and down the upright. This would provide a means for altering the leverage and varying the resistance or difficulty level of exercises—this could also be accomplished by attaching the handlebar to the top of the upright which would allow it to follow the upright when it is telescopically adjusted up or down. The handlebar could have a means for allowing it to be gripped in different locations and positions to accommodate users of various sizes and proportions, and to accommodate the varying movements and functions of the device. For example, the handlebar could have handgrips or pegs that could be removably attached at different locations and positions along the handlebar. Alternatively, the handlebar could be a single piece of metal tubing that is bent in a compound shape that provides various locations and positions for the user to comfortably grasp it while performing the various exercises. The compound shape will also allow the handlebar to be installed both right side up and upside down in order to provide more position and location options for the user to grasp it.

[0041] The device could have a handgrip (11). The purpose of the handgrip is to enable the user to hold himself or herself securely in the seat while performing focused back exercises because such exercises will tend to lift the user's hindquarters out of the seat if no anchoring means is provided. As discussed above, the handlebar could be designed to serve the purposes of the handgrip as well. Alternatively, the handgrip could consist of one or more separate handles, grips, bars or holds attached in a location that the user can grasp with his or her hands throughout the entire range of motion of focused back exercises and stretching movements. One suitable location for the handgrip would be on top of the front portion of the rocker.

[0042] The device could have a motion limiting means. The purpose of the motion limiting means is to stop the rocking movement of the device in order to prevent excessive movement that could cause the device to tip over or could cause injury to the user as a result of overextending his or her torso while performing exercises. The motion limiting means could consist of one or more stops, pins, pegs, linkages or cables that limit the movement of the rocker to a desired range. Alternatively, the motion limiting means could consist of a flattened section of the rocker extending from the rear portion of the rocker that engages the exercise surface and prevents further pivoting of the rocker beyond the desired position.

[0043] The device could have a stretching pad. The purpose of the stretching pad is to provide support for the arch of the user's back as he or she performs stretching movements using the device. The stretching pad could be the rear piece of the two-piece seat assembly as described above, or it could be a piece separate from the seat as described here. The stretching pad could be made in a variety of ways. For example, it could simply consist of a pad made from a piece of foam having a curved surface to conform to the arch of the user's back that is attached to a flat wood platform and then covered in vinyl. Alternatively, it could consist of one or more foam-covered rollers. The stretching pad would preferably be attached to the rear end of the forward support member in a manner that would allow it to be adjusted in length and to be completely removed from the device. This could be accomplished by mounting the stretching pad to a piece of metal tubing that telescopes inside the rear end of the metal tubing that comprises the forward support member and that is held in place with a pin, bolt or snap buttons. Thus, the stretching pad could be inserted and removed as needed, and its position could be telescopically adjusted to accommodate the size of the user. Alternatively, the stretching pad could be attached to a portion of the seat or to a structural member extending from the seat.

[0044] The device could have a pivot locking means. The purpose of the pivot locking means is to lock the rocker in a fixed position when the user has pushed against the back support with his or her back, raised the device on the rear portion of the rocker, and arched his or her back in order to get a deep torso stretch. The pivot locking means will maintain the stretching position and allow the user to relax and stretch without having to strain his or her torso to hold the position of the rocker in order to prevent the device from lowering to the exercise surface. The pivot locking means could consist of an automatic ratcheting mechanism or rocker that can be disengaged when the device is being used for exercise or massage, and engaged when stretching is desired. Alternatively, the pivot locking means could consist of a pin, bolt or snap button that is manually inserted by the user, which pin, bolt or snap button would connect the rocker to the forward support member, a portion of the seat or the seat support in a fixed and locked position. Alternatively, the pivot locking means could consist of a clamping means (such as a knob or rocker) that locks the rocker against the forward support member, a portion of the seat, or the seat support and holds it in a fixed position using friction. The pivot locking means could also be accomplished with a friction means at the pivot point consisting of a hand knob that when turned engages a friction clamp between the rocker and the seat support. This friction means could function in several ways including having a spring that separates the surface on the rocker from the surface of the seat support such that when the hand knob is turned it locks the rocker in an infinite number of fixed positions, or the surfaces can be textured or have teeth that do not come in contact until the spring is compressed thereby locking the rocker in one of a number of fixed positions.

[0045] With reference to FIGS. 1-A and 1-B of the attached drawings, the following is a detailed description of a particular embodiment of the invention.

[0046] Device (1) has a forward support member (2) made of two sections of telescoping, square metal tubing-an inner tube (2 a) and an outer tube (2 b). The front end of the inner tube (2 a) is attached to the roller (6) and the footrest (5). The rear end of the inner tube (2 a) telescopes inside the front end of the outer tube (2 b). The front end of the outer tube (2 b) has a hole in it to accept a locking tab (2 c) that engages a series of holes along the inner tube (2 a) to allow length adjustment in the forward support member (2). The locking tab (2 c) is spring loaded so that it can be easily disengaged by pressing down with the user's thumb; and the locking tab (2 c) is conveniently located between the user's legs within arm's reach when the user is seated on the device. The rear end of the outer tube (2 b) is attached to the crossbeam of metal tubing (3 a) of the seat support (3).

[0047] The seat support (3) consists of a crossbeam of metal tubing (3 a) attached to the rear end of the outer tube (2 b) of the forward support member (2). The T-shaped structure formed by the rear end of the outer tube (2 b) of the forward support member (2) and the crossbeam of metal tubing (3 a) provides a support on top of which the seat (4) is mounted. The crossbeam (3 a) is pivotally attached to upwardly projecting struts (7 c) on rockers (7). It is preferable that the pivotal attachment between the crossbeam (3 a) and the rocker struts (7 c) be located as far back as possible relative to the rear portion (4 c) of the seat (4) in order to prevent the front end of the device from pivoting and tipping up from the exercise surface during use.

[0048] The seat (4) is a contoured pad made of foam attached to a sturdy platform of wood or composite material and covered in durable vinyl. The seat (4) is attached to the T-shaped structure formed by the rear end of the outer tube (2 b) of the forward support member (2) and the crossbeam of metal tubing (3 a) of the seat support (3). Seat (4) is preferably narrower than the spacing between rockers (7) so that the user's hands or fingers cannot be pinched between the seat and the rockers as they pivot with respect to each other while the user exercises. Alternatively, or in addition, a shroud made of plastic or similar material may be attached to each side of the seat (4) along its bottom edge covering the open space underneath the seat (4) to prevent the user from pinching his or her fingers between the rockers (7) and the seat (4).

[0049] The footrest (5) comprises a T-bar assembly having a tubular metal crossbar (5 a) attached to the upturned front end of the inner tube (2 a) of the forward support member (2). The tubular metal crossbar (Sa) is covered in foam or a similar material to cushion the user's feet during exercise.

[0050] The roller (6) comprises a wheel having a solid tire (6 a) made of rubber or high density foam. The wheel is attached to bracket (6 c) at the front end of the inner tube (2 a) of the forward support member (2) with an axle bolt (6 b).

[0051] Device (1) has two rockers (7) made of rectangular metal tubing (7 a). They have a curve similar to the runners on a rocking chair. The two rockers (7) are connected to one another by means of a cross-support (7 d) made of metal tubing. Adjacent to the cross-support (7 d) on each of the rockers (7) is attached a vertical support (7 j) that provides a rotational and removable attachment means for the handlebar (10). The bottom edge of each of the rockers (7) may be covered with a thin strip of felt or similar material to prevent scratching the floor surface on which device (1) is operated.

[0052] Rocker extensions (7 b) are attached to each end of the rockers (7). The rocker extensions (7 b) may be made of molded plastic or other suitable material. The rocker extensions may be made to slide into the tubular rockers and may include a button or pin (7 c) that snaps into a cooperating hole in rocker (7). Rocker extensions (7 b) may be provided in a set of graduated lengths to adjust the exercise resistance. As previously described, a longer extension on the front end of the rocker (7) adds more resistance for abdominal exercises, while a longer extension on the rear end of rocker (7) adds more resistance for back, bun and thigh exercises.

[0053] Device (1) has an upright (8) that is made of two pieces of telescoping metal tubing—an outer metal tube (8 a) that forms the upper portion of the upright (8), and an inner metal tube (8 b) that forms the lower portion of the upright (8). The inner metal tube (8 b) telescopes inside the outer metal tube (8 a) to provide height adjustment for the back support (9), and the two pieces are locked in the desired position by means of a snap button (8 c) located towards the top of the inner metal tube (8 b) that engages a series of holes (8 d) along the side wall of the outer metal tube (8 a). The bottom end of the inner metal tube (8 b) is attached to the cross-support (7 d) of the rockers (7). The inner (lower) tube (8 b) may be pivotally connected to cross-support (7 d) so that the angle of upright (8) may be adjusted and/or to allow the upright to be folded down for easier storage. Attached to the top end of the outer (upper) metal tube (8 a) of the upright (8) is a bracket (8 f) to which the back support (9) is attached.

[0054] The back support (9) comprises a single, large foam-covered roller rotatably attached to the bracket (8 f) on the upright (8). Since the back support (9) is attached to the bracket (8 f) on the upright (8), which is in turn attached to the telescoping outer metal tube (8 a) of the upright (8), the height of the back support (9) is changed by the telescopic adjustment of the upright (8).

[0055] The handlebar (10) of the preferred embodiment (1) comprises two gripping bars (10 a) each made of round, metal tubing bent generally in the shape of an “S”. The gripping bars (10 a) are rotatably and removably attached to the rockers (7). The attachment means incorporates a quick release system utilizing a friction-twist mechanism. This is accomplished by inserting the bottom end of each gripping bar (10 a) into a vertical, tubular support (7 j) attached to the top side of each of the rockers (7). The tubular support (7 j) is made of square metal tubing with an inside dimension just slightly larger than the outside diameter of the round, metal tubing of the gripping bars (10 a), thereby providing a clearance fit with minimal play or slop between the tubes.

[0056] With reference to FIG. 1C, the portion of the round metal tubing of the gripping bars (10 a) that slides within the tubular support (7 j) has a stop means (10 c). In the illustrated embodiment, stop means (10 c) comprise a pair of projections on the side wall of the gripping bar (10 a). These projections may comprise welded beads, a nylon through-bushing or a pair of nylon “Christmas tree” fastener buttons. The stop means (10 c) could take many other forms such as a slightly raised ridge or bump formed in the metal tubing of the gripping bars (10 a), or a narrow, thin strip of material (such as nylon) bonded or otherwise attached to the metal tubing of the gripping bars (10 a). Alternatively, the side walls of the portion of round metal tubing of the gripping bars (10 a) that slides within the tubular support (7 j) could be slightly pressed or crushed so as to form a cross-sectional shape of an ellipse. When the stop means (10 c) are aligned with the corners of the square metal tubing of the tubular supports (7 j), the stop means (10 c) are not engaged and the gripping bars (10 a) are quickly and easily dropped into and pulled out of the tubular supports (7 j). However, after the gripping bars (10 a) are dropped into the tubular supports (7 j) and rotated slightly, the stop means (10 c) are engaged and they wedge against the metal tubing of the vertical supports (7 j) thereby providing moderate friction resistance to help hold the position of the gripping bars (10 a) and prevent them from swinging loosely during use and movement of the device. The stop means are easily disengaged by simply rotating the gripping bars in the opposite direction. Such attachment means provides an effective adjustment to accommodate the width of different size users, allows the user to get on and off the device without interference from the gripping bars (10 a), and allows the gripping bars (10 a) to quickly and easily be removed for more efficient packaging, shipping and storage. Furthermore, since the gripping bars (10 a) are able to rotate laterally but will hold firm in all other directions, the gripping bars (10 a) can be used to hold the user in the seat (4) while he or she performs focused back exercises and thereby serve as the handhold means (11).

[0057] The top end of each gripping bar (10 a) is covered in foam (10 b) that provides a handhold (11) for the user's hands. The user can alter the resistance level of the exercises by changing the position at which he or she grasps the gripping bars (10 a). Specifically, grasping the gripping bars (10 a) at their ends will decrease the resistance level of the exercises, while grasping the gripping bars (10 b) more towards their middles will increase resistance.

[0058]FIG. 2 illustrates another embodiment of the present invention in the form of exercise device (20). Device (20) has a forward support member (21) made of two sections of telescoping, square metal tubing-an inner tube (21 a) and an outer tube (21 b). The front end of the inner tube (21 a) is attached to the roller (26) and the footrest (24). The rear end of the inner tube (21 a) telescopes inside the front end of the outer tube (21 b). The front end of the outer tube (21 b) has a pair of holes to accept a pin (21 c) that engages a series of holes (21 d) along the inner tube to allow length adjustment in the forward support member (21). The rear end of the outer tube (21 b) is attached to the underside of the top section of the seat support (22). The rear end of the outer tube (21 b) has a hole in it to accept a pin that engages a series of holes in the square, metal tube (23 c) of the rear piece (23 b) of the seat (23) to allow length adjustment when the rear piece (23 b) of the seat (23) is being used as the stretching pad (33).

[0059] The seat support (22) is a piece of sheet metal having a top section and two side sections (22 a). The top section of the seat support (22) is a platform on top of which the front piece (23 a) of the two-piece seat (23) is mounted. The top section of the seat support (22) has a hole in it to allow the pin of the seat (23) assembly to pass through it. The two side sections (22 a) of the seat support (22) each has a hole towards its bottom to accept the axle bolts (27 c) that pivotally attach the rockers (27) to the seat support (22). The two side sections (22 a) of the seat support (22) has a series of holes to engage the pin of the pivot locking means (34).

[0060] The seat (23) is a two-piece unit consisting of two pads made of two foam pieces attached to sturdy wood platforms and covered in durable vinyl. The front piece (23 a) of the seat (23) is attached to the top section of the seat support (22). The front piece (23 a) of the seat (23) has a raised area at its front and flattens out at its back. This front piece (23 a) of the seat (23) is lower and longer than the rear piece (23 b) of the seat (23). The rear piece (23 b) of the seat (23) is a shorter and higher section than the front piece (23 a) of the seat (23), and it is attached to a T-shaped support structure formed by a piece of square, metal tubing (23 c) that is attached to a crossbeam of metal tubing (23 d). The square, metal tubing (23 c) telescopes into the rear end of the outer tube (21 b) of the forward support member (21). When the two pieces (23 a, 23 b) of the seat (23) are butted up against one another, they serve as an integral, contoured seat for the user. When the rear piece (23 b) of the seat (23) is telescoped out and away from the front piece (23 a) of the seat (23), it acts as the stretching pad (33) which provides support for the arch of the user's back as he or she performs stretching movements using the device. The rear piece (23 b) of the seat (23) is locked into the desired position by means of a pin (not shown) that engages holes in the top section of the seat support (22), the rear portion of the outer tube (21 b) of the forward support member (21), and a series of corresponding holes in the square, metal tube (23 c) of the rear piece (23 b) of the seat (23). The pin has a flattened knob at its end to make grasping and operating the pin easier. The rear portion of the front piece (23 a) of the seat (23) has a small cutout portion to enable the pin to be dropped below the level of the seat (23) to prevent discomfort and injury to the user.

[0061] The footrest (24) comprises a sheet metal platform (24 a) having a bottom ledge (24 b) that will catch the heels of the user's feet and keep them from sliding off the footrest (24). The platform (24 a) is attached to the front end of the inner tube (21 a) of the forward support member (21). The platform (24 a) is covered with a thin layer of rubber to provide grip and comfort, and it is attached to the front end of the inner tube (21 a) of the forward support member (21) at an angle to provide a comfortable and ergonomically correct position for the user's feet. At the top of the platform (24 a) is located a lateral pin (24 c) that holds and serves as the pivot point for the foot anchoring means (25). The top-middle section of the platform has a slot in it that provides room for the beam section (25 a) of foot anchoring means (25) to travel up and down.

[0062] Device (20) has a foot anchoring means (25). The foot anchoring means (25) comprises a T-bar having a beam section (25 a) and a crossbar section (25 b). The beam section (25 a) is made of metal bar and it has a series of angled slots (25 c) sized to accept the pin (24 c) attached to the top of the platform (24 a) of the footrest (24). The crossbar section (25 b) is made of rectangular metal bar, and it is attached to one end of the beam section (25 a) at an angle that will enable it to lie flat against the top of the user's feet. The crossbar section (25 b) is wrapped in foam (25 d) so that it will not cause discomfort as the user pulls against it with his or her feet.

[0063] The roller (26) comprises a wheel (26 a) that is attached with an axle bolt (26 b) to a “U” bracket (26 c) that is attached the front end of the inner tube (21 a) of the forward support member (21).

[0064] Device (20) has two rockers (27) made of rectangular metal tubing (27 a). They have a curve similar to the runners on a rocking chair, and they have rounded end caps (27 b) made of strong plastic. Towards the front end of each of the rockers (27) is located a bore through which is attached a friction reducing bushing. These bushings provide a rotating attachment means for axle bolts (27 c) that pivotally attach the rockers (27) to the two side sections (22 a) of the seat support (22). The two rockers (27) are connected to one another near their rear ends by means of two cross-supports (27 d) made of metal tubing. A “U” bracket (27 e) is mounted to the top-center of the cross-supports (27 d). This “U” bracket (27 e) provides a pivotal attachment means for the upright (28). Along the rear portion of each of the rockers (27) is attached a vertical bushing (27 f) that provides a rotational and removable attachment means for the handlebar (30). The bottom edge of each of the rocker (27) is covered with a thin strip of felt.

[0065] Device (20) has an upright (28) that is made of two pieces of telescoping metal tubing—an outer metal tube (28 a) that forms the lower portion of the upright (28), and an inner metal tube (28 b) that forms the upper portion of the upright (28). The inner metal tube (28 b) telescopes inside the outer metal tube (28 a) to provide height adjustment for the back support (29), and the two pieces are locked in the desired position by means of a pin (28 c) located towards the top end of the outer metal tube (28 a) that engage a series of holes (28 d) along the side walls of the inner metal tube (28 b). The pin 28(c) has a knob at its end to making grasping and operating it easier. The bottom end of the outer metal tube (28 a) is pivotally attached to the rockers (27) by means of the metal “U” bracket (27 e) attached to the top-center of the cross-supports (27 d) of the rockers (27). A bolt connects the bottom end of the outer metal tube (28 a) to the bottom of the “U” bracket (27 e) to form a pivot point. The outer metal tube (28 a) is capable of pivoting between the plates of the “U” bracket (27 e) in a forward direction toward the front of the device and in a backward direction toward the back of the device. The outer metal tube (28 a) is locked in the desired position by inserting a pin (27 g) through one of a series of holes (27 h) in one side of the “U” bracket (27 e), through a hole in a sleeve of small square metal tubing that is attached to the backside of the outer metal tube (28 a) and into a corresponding hole (27 h) in the other side of the “U” bracket (27 e). Attached to the top end of the inner metal tube (28 b) of the upright (28) is a tubular metal crossbar section (28 e). The crossbar section (28 e) also has metal struts (28 f) extending forward from both of its ends that provide a structure to which the back support (29) is attached.

[0066] The back support (29) comprises a set of three foam-covered rollers (29 a) rotatably attached to a frame (29 b) made of sheet metal. The frame (29 b) holds the three rollers (29 a) together as a unit in the proper position relative to one another. The frame (29 b) is pivotally attached to the metal struts (28 f) that extend from the ends of the crossbar section (28 e) of the upright (28). This pivotal attachment is preferably accomplished by means of two bolts (29 c) that extend through holes in the ends of the metal struts (28 f) and attach to the center roller (29 a) such that the frame (29 b) together with the rollers (29 a) pivot as one unit about the center axis of the center roller (29 a). Since the back support (29) is attached to crossbar section (28 e) of the upright (28) which is in turn attached to the telescoping inner metal tube (28 b) of the upright (28), the height of the back support (29) is changed by the telescopic adjustment of the upright (28).

[0067] The handlebar (30) of the device (20) comprises two gripping bars (30 a) made of metal tubing bent generally in the shape of an “S”. The bottom end of each gripping bar (30 a) is attached to the rear portion of one of the rockers (27). The gripping bars (30 a) are rotatably and removably attached to the rockers (27) in such a manner as to allow them to rotate laterally. This is accomplished by inserting the bottom end of each gripping bar (30 a) into a vertical bushing (27 f) attached to the rear portion of the rockers (27). A washer (30 c) welded to each gripping bar (30 a) keeps the gripping bars (30 a) from falling down through the vertical bushings (27 f). A snap button (30 d) located at the tip of the bottom end of each gripping bar (30 a) prevents the gripping bars (30 a) from pulling up and out of the vertical bushings (27 f) while the device is in use but allows the gripping bars (30 a) to be detached from the device as needed. Such attachment means, which allows the gripping bars (30 a) to rotate laterally, provides an effective adjustment to accommodate the width of different size users, allows the user to get on and off the device without interference from the gripping bars (30 a), and allows the gripping bars (30 a) to quickly and easily be removed for more efficient packaging, shipping and storage. Furthermore, since the gripping bars (30 a) are able to rotate laterally but will hold firm in all other directions, the gripping bars (30 a) could also be used to hold the user in the seat (23) while he or she performs focused back exercises. The top end of each gripping bar (30 a) is a section of metal tubing covered in foam (30 b) that provides a comfortable gripping area for the user's hands. The user can alter the resistance level of the exercises by changing the position at which he or she grasps the gripping bars (30 a). Specifically, grasping the gripping bars (30 a) at their ends will decrease the resistance level of the exercises, while grasping the gripping bars (30 a) more towards their middles will increase resistance.

[0068] Device (20) has a motion limiting means (32) that comprises a strong, retractable pin protruding from each of the side sections (22 a) of the seat support (22). As the user rocks the device backward while performing back exercises or stretching movements, the front portion of the rockers (27) contact these pins and the pivoting movement of the rockers (27) is thereby stopped at the desired position in order to prevent the user from tipping the device over or incurring injury by straining or overextending his or her back while performing back exercise or stretching movements. The pins can be retracted in order to allow the rockers (27) to be fully rotated so the device can be folded and collapsed for efficient packaging and storage.

[0069] Device (20) has a stretching pad (33) that comprises the telescoping rear piece (23 b) of the seat (23) as described above.

[0070] Device (20) has a pivot locking means (34) that comprises a strong, retractable pin that slides through a bore in the front portion of each of the rockers (27) and that engages one or more holes (22 c) in the side sections (22 a) of the seat support (22). Each of these pins has a knob at its end to make grasping and operating the pin easier. After the user rocks the device back to stretch and reaches a comfortable position, he or she pushes on the knobs of the pins to insert the pins in the closest set of holes in the side sections (22 a) of the seat support (22). This locks the position of the rockers (27) and allows the user to relax and stretch in comfort without straining to maintain the desired position. When the user is finished stretching, he or she pulls on the knobs to disengage the pins and allows the device to settle to the resting position.

[0071] Referring again to FIGS. 1A and 1B, the operation of device (1) will now be explained. The user first selects and installs rocker extensions (7 b) to provide the desired amount of exercise resistance. To get on the device, the user faces the front of the device (the end with the roller) and sits in the seat (4) centering his or her hindquarters on the seat (4). Once seated, the user places his or her feet on the crossbar section (5 a) of the footrest (5). The length of the forward support member (2) is then adjusted to achieve an angled bend in the user's legs of approximately ninety degrees (90°). This is accomplished by disengaging the locking tab (2 c) that connects the telescoping tubes (2 a, 2 b) of the forward support member (2), sliding the inner tube (2 a) to either lengthen or shorten the overall length of the forward support member (2) as required, and releasing the locking tab (2 c) to lock the telescoping tubes (2 a, 2 b) together in the proper position.

[0072] To perform abdominal/back rocking exercises (for abdominal, back and cardiovascular benefit), the user adjusts the back support (9) to the proper height (generally speaking this will be approximately two-thirds up the user's back, just below the user's shoulder blades) by depressing the snap button (8 c) of the upright (8), raising or lowering the outer metal tube (8 a) of the upright (8) as required, and allowing the snap button (8 c) to lock the inner (8 b) and outer (8 a) tubes of the upright (8) in the desired position. The user adjusts the handlebars (10) to a comfortable width to accommodate his or her body size by pivoting the gripping bars (10 a) laterally to the desired position. The user grasps the foam portion (10 b) of the handlebars (10) in the desired position for comfort and to vary the leverage position thereby adjusting the resistance level. Resistance is decreased by grasping the handlebars (10) higher towards their ends. Resistance is increased by grasping the handlebars (10) lower and more towards their middles. While performing the movements described herein, the user sits in the seat (4), grasps the handlebars (10) and uses them to help keep his or her hind quarters properly positioned in the seat (4) at all times.

[0073] Bending at the waist, the user extends his or her back backward thereby rocking the device back and lifting up the device on the rear extensions (7 b) of the rockers (7). The user bends forward at the waist and releases pressure with his or her back thereby allowing the device to lower to the exercise surface. Bending at the waist, the user pivots forward performing an abdominal crunch while pushing down on the handlebars (10) thereby rocking the device forward and lifting up the device on the front extensions (7 b) of the rockers (7). The user bends backward at the waist and releases pressure with his or her abdominals thereby allowing the device to lower to the exercise surface. The user repeats the movements described above thereby rocking the device backward and forward in a smooth and flowing manner.

[0074] The above movements will effectively exercise the user's back and abdominal muscles. While the user performs these movements, the roller of the back support (9) will roll up and down the user's back thereby providing a soothing back massage for the user while he or she exercises. As these movements are repeated, they will have a cardiovascular benefit as well. The cardiovascular benefit will increase the more rapidly and the longer the user performs these movements.

[0075] To perform abdominal/bun and thigh rocking exercises (for abdominal, bun and thigh, and cardiovascular benefit), the user adjusts the back support (9) to the proper height (generally speaking this will be approximately two-thirds up the user's back, just below the user's shoulder blades) by depressing the snap button (8 c) of the upright (8), raising or lowering the outer metal tube (8 a) of the upright (8) as required, and allowing the snap button (8 c) to lock the inner (8 b) and outer (8 a) tubes of the upright (8) in the desired position. The user adjusts the handlebars (10) to a comfortable width to accommodate his or her body size by pivoting the gripping bars (10 a) laterally to the desired position. The user grasps the foam portion (10 b) of the handlebars (10) in the desired position for comfort and to vary the leverage position thereby adjusting the resistance level. Resistance is decreased by grasping the handlebars (10) higher towards their ends. Resistance is increased by grasping the handlebars (10) lower and more towards their middles. While performing the movements described herein, the user sits in the seat (4), grasps the handlebars (10) in order to maintain balance and control but does not use the handlebars (10) to hold his or her hind quarters in the seat (4).

[0076] The user straightens his or her legs (as if performing a squat exercise) thereby slightly pushing his or her body out of the seat (4) against the back support (9) towards the back of the device. This will cause the device to rock backward thereby lifting up the device on the rear extensions (7 b) of the rockers (7). The user bends at the knees and releases pressure from his or her legs thereby settling back into the seat (4) and allowing the device to lower to the exercise surface.

[0077] Bending at the waist, the user pivots forward performing an abdominal crunch while pushing down on the handlebars (10) thereby rocking the device forward and lifting up the device on the front extensions (7 b) of the rockers (7). The user bends backward at the waist and releases pressure with his or her abdominals thereby allowing the device to lower to the exercise surface. The user repeats the movements described above thereby rocking the device backward and forward in a smooth and flowing manner.

[0078] The above movements will effectively exercise the user's back as well as his or her bun and thigh muscles. As these movements are repeated, they will also have a cardiovascular benefit. The cardiovascular benefit will increase the more rapidly and the longer the user performs these movements.

[0079] To perform focused back exercises (for a more intense back workout), the user adjusts the back support (9) to the proper height (generally speaking this will be approximately two-thirds up the user's back, just below the user's shoulder blades) by depressing the snap button (8 c) of the upright (8), raising or lowering the outer metal tube (8 a) of the upright (8) as required, and allowing the snap button (8 c) to lock the inner (8 b) and outer (8 a) tubes of the upright (8) in the desired position. The user adjusts the handlebars (10) to a comfortable width to accommodate his or her body size by pivoting the gripping bars (10 a) laterally to the desired position. The user grasps the foam portion (10 b) of the handlebars (10) in the desired position for comfort. While performing the movements described herein, the user grasps the handlebars (10) and uses them to help keep his or her hind quarters properly positioned in the seat (4) at all times.

[0080] Bending at the waist, the user extends his or her back backward thereby rocking the device back and lifting up the device on the rear extensions (7 b) of the rockers (7). The user bends forward at the waist and releases pressure with his or her back thereby allowing the device to lower to the exercise surface. The user repeats the movements described above thereby rocking the device between a backward and a neutral position.

[0081] The above exercise movements will effectively focus on the user's back muscles. These movements will also cause the roller of the back support (9) to roll up and down the user's back thereby providing a soothing back massage for the user while he or she exercises.

[0082] To perform focused abdominal exercises (for a more intense abdominal workout), the user adjusts the back support (9) to the proper height (generally speaking this will be approximately two-thirds up the user's back, just below the user's shoulder blades) by depressing the snap button (8 c) of the upright (8), raising or lowering the outer metal tube (8 a) of the upright (8) as required, and allowing the snap button (8 c) to lock the inner (8 b) and outer (8 a) tubes of the upright (8) in the desired position. The user adjusts the handlebars (10) to a comfortable width to accommodate his or her body size by pivoting the gripping bars (10 a) laterally to the desired position. The user grasps the foam portion (10 b) of the handlebars (10) in the desired position for comfort and to vary the leverage position thereby adjusting the resistance level. Resistance is decreased by grasping the handlebars (10) higher towards their ends. Resistance is increased by grasping the handlebars (10) lower and more towards their middles. While performing the movements described herein, the user grasps the handlebars (10) and uses them to help keep his or her hind quarters properly positioned in the seat (4) at all times.

[0083] Bending at the waist, the user pivots forward performing an abdominal crunch while pushing down on the handlebars (10) thereby rocking the device forward and lifting up the device on the front extensions (7 b) of the rockers (7). The user bends backward at the waist and releases pressure with his or her abdominals thereby allowing the device to lower to the exercise surface. The user repeats the movements described above thereby rocking the device between a forward and a neutral position.

[0084] To perform focused bun and thigh exercises, the user adjusts the back support (9) to the proper height (generally speaking this will be approximately two-thirds up the user's back, just below the user's shoulder blades) by depressing the snap button (8 c) of the upright (8), raising or lowering the outer metal tube (8 a) of the upright (8) as required, and allowing the snap button (8 c) to lock the inner (8 b) and outer (8 a) tubes of the upright (8) in the desired position. The user adjusts the handlebars (10) to a comfortable width to accommodate his or her body size by pivoting the gripping bars (10 a) laterally to the desired position. The user grasps the foam portion (10 b) of the handlebars (10) in the desired position for comfort. While performing the movements described herein, the user grasps the handlebars (10) in order to maintain balance and control but does not use the handlebars (10) to hold his or her hind quarters in the seat (4).

[0085] The user straightens his or her legs (as if performing a squat exercise) thereby slightly pushing his or her body out of the seat (4) against the back support (9) towards the back of the device. This will cause the device to rock backward thereby lifting up the device on the rear extensions (7 b) of the rockers (7). The user bends at the knees and releases pressure from his or her legs thereby settling back into the seat (4) and allowing the device to lower to the exercise surface. The user repeats the movements described above thereby rocking the device between a backward and a neutral position.

[0086] With reference to FIG. 2, the user can perform torso stretching movements with device (20). The user pivots the upright (28) forward (towards the front of the device) by removing the connecting pin (27 g), pivoting the outer tube (28 a) of the upright (28) to the desired forward position, and reinserting the pin (27 g) thereby securely locking the outer tube (28 a) to the “U” bracket (27 e). The user adjusts the back support (29) to the proper height (generally speaking this will be approximately two-thirds up the user's back, just below the user's shoulder blades) by removing the pin (28 c) from the upright (28), raising or lowering the inner metal tube (28 b) of the upright (28) as required, and reinserting the pin (28 c) to lock the inner (28 b) and outer (28 a) tubes of the upright (28) in the desired position.

[0087] The user places the stretching pad (33) in the desired position by separating the two-piece seat (23). This is accomplished by removing the pin (23 e) that connects the metal tube (23 c) of the rear piece (23 b) of the seat (23) to the rear end of the outer tube (21 b) of the forward support member (21), sliding the metal tube (23 c) of the rear piece (23 b) of the seat (23) back and away from the front piece (23 a) of the seat (23) to the desired position, and reinserting the pin (23 e) to securely lock the metal tube (23 c) of the rear piece (23 b) of the seat (23) to the rear end of the outer tube (21 b) of the forward support member (21). The user adjusts the handlebars (30) to a comfortable width to accommodate his or her body size by pivoting the gripping bars (30 a) laterally to the desired position. The user grasps the foam portion (30 b) of the handlebars (30) in the desired position for comfort and firmly holds them while simultaneously bending at the waist and extending his or her back backward thereby rocking the device back by lifting up the device on the rear portion of the rockers (27).

[0088] When the desired stretching position has been reached, the user pushes on the knobs of the pins of the pivot locking means (34) to insert the pins in the closest set of holes (22 c) in the side sections (22 a) of the seat support (22). This locks the rockers (27) in place and prevents them from pivoting. The stretching pad (33) will support the user's lower back and the back support (29) will support the user's upper back. [See Photograph 27.] Thus, the user can relax and stretch in comfort without having to strain to maintain the stretching position. When the user is finished stretching, he or she gently pulls up on the handlebars (30) while simultaneously pushing slightly against the back support (29) to release pressure on the pins of the pivot locking means (34), pulls on the knobs to disengage the pins of the pivot locking means (34), and lowers the device to the resting position on the exercise surface.

[0089] It will be recognized that the above-described invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics of the disclosure. Thus, it is understood that the invention is not to be limited by the foregoing illustrative details, but rather is to be defined by the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7172539 *Jan 2, 2004Feb 6, 2007Alice BythewoodAbdominal exercising support apparatus
US7951056 *Oct 28, 2009May 31, 2011Eric RadzwillRockable exercise apparatus
US8651983 *Feb 23, 2012Feb 18, 2014Samuel ChenSwing game
US20130130875 *Mar 5, 2012May 23, 2013Yu-Chih ChouExercise Device with Length Adjustable Leg
US20130143701 *Feb 23, 2012Jun 6, 2013Samuel ChenSwing game
US20140080688 *Sep 17, 2012Mar 20, 2014Wei-Chen WangMultifunctional Fitness Apparatus
EP1658885A1 *Nov 19, 2004May 24, 2006Giuseppe CarboneMultifunction exercice equipment with a rocking base and multiple front handlebar
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/140, 482/51
International ClassificationA63B23/035, A63B23/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63B23/035, A63B23/0211, A63B23/0233
European ClassificationA63B23/035