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Publication numberUS20040162194 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/631,666
Publication dateAug 19, 2004
Filing dateJul 31, 2003
Priority dateFeb 14, 2003
Also published asCA2436479A1
Publication number10631666, 631666, US 2004/0162194 A1, US 2004/162194 A1, US 20040162194 A1, US 20040162194A1, US 2004162194 A1, US 2004162194A1, US-A1-20040162194, US-A1-2004162194, US2004/0162194A1, US2004/162194A1, US20040162194 A1, US20040162194A1, US2004162194 A1, US2004162194A1
InventorsDouglas Habing
Original AssigneeHabing Douglas J.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Exercise machine with adjustable range of motion
US 20040162194 A1
Abstract
An exercise machine, components of an exercise machine, methods of operating an exercise machine, and methods related to building an exercise machine that allow for the performance of multiple different upper torso strength exercises, where the range of motion of a user utilizing the machine during the performance of an exercise is confined in the performance of a particular upper torso press exercise, but is altered to a different range of motion, and confined to that new range of motion, when the machine is configured to perform a new exercise.
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Claims(20)
1. An exercise machine comprising:
a first arm being rotatable about a first axis of rotation by applying force to a first handle connected to said first arm; and
a second arm being rotatable about a second axis of rotation by applying force to a second handle connected to said second arm;
wherein said first axis of rotation and said second axis of rotation are non-parallel and lie in a rotational plane;
wherein said first handle is moveable along a first extension vector; and
wherein said second handle is moveable along a second extension vector, said first extension vector and said second extension vector lying in an extension plane and being non-parallel to each other and to both said first and said second axis of rotation.
2. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein said extension plane is non-parallel with said rotational plane.
3. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein said extension plane is inclined relative to said rotational plane.
4. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein said extension plane is declined relative to said rotational plane.
5. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein said extension plane is parallel to said rotational plane.
6. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein said rotational plane and said extension plane intersect at an angle of 45 degrees or less.
7. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein said rotational plane and said extension plane intersect at an angle of 30 degrees or less.
8. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein said rotational plane and said tube plane intersect at an angle of about 20 degrees.
9. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein the angle between said extension vectors, is greater than the angle between said axes of rotation.
10. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein said first arm can move independently to said second arm.
11. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein said exercise machine is used to exercise a human being's upper torso.
12. An exercise machine comprising:
a first handle rotatable about a first axis of rotation, said first handle being moveable along a first extension vector wherein said first extension vector forms a first line on a first cone formed about said first axis of rotation wherein said first line has a first endpoint which is closer to said first axis of rotation than a second endpoint of said first line is to said first axis of rotation; and
a second handle rotatable about a second axis of rotation, said second handle being moveable along a second extension vector wherein said second extension vector forms a second line on a second cone formed about said second axis of rotation wherein said second line has a second endpoint which is closer to said second axis of rotation than a second endpoint of said second line is to said second axis of rotation;
wherein said first cone and said second cone intersect;
wherein said first axis of rotation and said second axis of rotation lie in a rotational plane;
wherein said first extension vector and said second extension vector lie in an extension plane; and
wherein said extension plane intersects said rotational plane.
13. The exercise machine of claim 12 wherein said extension plane is inclined relative to said rotational plane.
14. The exercise machine of claim 12 wherein said extension plane is declined relative to said rotational plane.
15. The exercise machine of claim 12 wherein said extension plane is the same plane as said rotational plane.
16. The exercise machine of claim 12 wherein said rotational plane and said extension plane intersect at an angle of 45 degrees or less.
17. The exercise machine of claim 12 wherein said rotational plane and said extension plane intersect at an angle of 30 degrees or less.
18. The exercise machine of claim 12 wherein said rotational plane and said tube plane intersect at an angle of about 20 degrees.
19. The exercise machine of claim 12 wherein said exercise machine is used to exercise a human being's upper torso.
20. A method of constructing an exercise machine comprising:
supplying a frame;
providing a first axis of rotation;
providing a second axis of rotation intersecting said first axis of rotation at an intersection point;
defining a first extension vector along which a first handle of said exercise machine can extend, said first extension vector being a line on the surface of a first cone, said first cone having said first axis of rotation as its axis, and said first line having an endpoint closer to said first axis of rotation than any other point on said first line;
defining a second extension vector along which a second handle of said exercise machine can extend, said second extension being a line on the surface of a second cone, said second cone having said second axis of rotation as its axis, and said second line having an endpoint closer to said second axis of rotation than any other point on said second line;
defining an extension plane including said first extension vector and said second extension vector;
defining a rotational plane including said first axis of rotation and said second axis of rotation;
assembling said exercise machine by:
aligning said extension plane to be non-parallel to said rotational plane;
connecting said first handle to a first arm and said first arm to said frame such that said first arm and said first handle rotate about said first axis of rotation; and
connecting said second handle to a second arm and said second arm to said frame such that said second arm and said second handle rotate about said second axis of rotation.
Description
BACKGROUND

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This disclosure relates to the field of exercise machines. In particular, to exercise machines designed to perform multiple upper torso press-type strength exercises.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] Over recent years, as physical fitness has become an ever more popular pursuit, there have evolved a plurality of exercise machines upon which exercises can be performed by a user. One type of exercise machine is the strength machine which is designed to improve muscle strength and tone by having the user utilize certain muscle groups to pull, push or otherwise perform work on some type of resistance mechanism built into the machine.

[0005] As the nature of exercise has become more fully understood, different types of exercise machines have been developed to provide for more effective training. Originally, strength training was performed by the lifting of free-weights. While simple to understand and operate, free-weights had inherent dangers in their use, and, although conceptually simple, were often hard to use correctly without trained instruction. In order to get the best toning or shaping results out of particular exercises, it is desirable that muscle groups be isolated so that the intended muscle group is exercised by the exercise, as opposed to exercising an unintended muscle group. With free-weights it was often not possible to perform exercises that isolated the intended muscle groups, and even if it was possible, it was often difficult to know how to perform the exercises correctly without specific instruction. As strength machines have evolved, they have tried to increase both the safety of performing different exercises, and the effectiveness of the exercise to isolate different muscle groups.

[0006] To most effectively isolate and exercise particular muscle groups, it is desirable that the exercise machine be arranged so that the user is limited in their range of motion to that which effectively performs the desired exercise on the desired muscle groups. This is generally performed by the selection and arrangement of two components of the machine. Firstly, there is a bench, seat or other structure which supports the user's body. For some exercises, this may be as simple as the floor upon which the machine rests, while for others adjustable benches may be provided to position portions of the user's body to appropriate pieces of the exercise machine. This component helps to get the user in a comfortable position where they can operate the moving portions of the machine, and place them in a position relative to the moving parts of the machine so that they manipulate those parts to perform the exercise.

[0007] The other component is the moving portion of the machine and is generally in the form of “arms” or other objects which are arranged in a manner to be engaged by the user at a certain point (such as a grip or handle), and then be moved by the user in a manner such that the grip follows a predetermined path and the motion of the grip is resisted by the machine. When the two components of the machine are used together correctly, the user is therefore positioned in such a manner that when the grip is moved by the user in the predetermined path, and the particular muscle group to be exercised is utilized to move the grip in that path. This results in the user both isolating a muscle group and performing the exercise motion safely.

[0008] The difficulty with the design of strength machines, however, is that they generally need to be both flexible to perform many exercises, and limited to force a user to perform an exercise correctly. Specifically, different types of exercise can have preferential ranges of motion of the grips or handles. With free-weights, the user can freely position the weights relative to their body, allowing them to perform numerous exercises, but at the same time, the user is not forced to perform any of these exercises correctly because the weights can be freely maneuvered. Strength machines on the other hand can often be designed to force a particular motion from the user, but this both limits the number of exercises which can be performed on the machine, and can force compromises in the preferred motion of an exercise to allow the exercise to be performed on the machine. This is particularly true when space for exercise machines is limited, such as for most individuals in their homes, and even for the majority of gyms or workout facilities.

[0009] Many strength machines, therefore, have had to settle for imperfect range of motion for some or all of the exercises they are intended to be used for in order to be able to incorporate the exercises into a single apparatus. In particular, upper torso press-type machines have generally been forced to have a limited and static range of motion for multiple exercises. Generally, the upper torso press type exercises included the chest (bench) press, the lateral (incline) press, and/or the shoulder press. To position the user for these types of exercises, the machine needs to, in some manner, compensate for the dimensions of the human body being different depending on the direction it is positioned. Specifically, a user is almost always taller than he or she is wide. Machines will generally adjust to compensate for the altered positioning of the user's body between the different exercises (as it is generally easiest to adjust the user and grip relative to each other to position the user for performing a new exercise). Further, for press exercises, a converging path of the hands (where the hands begin separated and move together as they are moved from the body) is preferable to a non-converging path. Typically, this general type of path is performed using a converging path machine. While these machines are adjustable, the relative range of motion between different exercises is generally constant.

[0010] While current converging path machines adjust to perform the different exercises, they maintain the same range of motion for the different exercises. Basically, the handles or grips are simply moved to a new position where they are then moved by the user in the same manner as they were for the previous exercise. As it is preferable for different exercises to be performed with different ranges of motion to compensate for the shape of the human body, it is therefore desired in the art to have a strength machine which allows for the adjustment of the range of motion available to the user such that the motion of the user is confined to a particular range of motion for any single exercise, but the range of motion is different for different exercises.

SUMMARY

[0011] Because of these and other previously unknown problems in the art, disclosed herein is an exercise machine, components of an exercise machine, and methods related to building an exercise machine that allow for the performance of multiple different upper torso strength exercises, where the range of motion of a user utilizing the machine during the performance of an exercise is confined in the performance of a particular upper torso press exercise, but is altered to a different range of motion, and confined to that new range of motion, when the machine is configured to perform a new exercise.

[0012] Described herein, in an embodiment, is an exercise machine comprising: a first arm being rotatable about a first axis of rotation by applying force to a first handle connected to the first arm; and a second arm being rotatable about a second axis of rotation by applying force to a second handle connected to the second arm; wherein the first axis of rotation and the second axis of rotation are non-parallel and lie in a rotational plane; wherein the first handle is moveable along a first extension vector; and wherein the second handle is moveable along a second extension vector, the first extension vector and the second extension vector lying in an extension plane and being non-parallel to each other and to both the first and the second axis of rotation.

[0013] In an embodiment of the exercise machine, the extension plane is non-parallel with the rotational plane, the extension plane is inclined relative to the rotational plane, the extension plane is declined relative to the rotational plane, the extension plane is parallel to the rotational plane, the rotational plane and the extension plane intersect at an angle of 45 degrees or less, the rotational plane and the extension plane intersect at an angle of 30 degrees or less, the rotational plane and the extension plane intersect at an angle of about 20 degrees, and/or the angle between the extension vectors is greater than the angle between the axes of rotation.

[0014] In another embodiment of the exercise machine, the first arm can move independently to the second arm and/or the exercise machine is used to exercise a human being's upper torso.

[0015] In still another embodiment, there is disclosed herein, An exercise machine comprising: a first handle rotatable about a first axis of rotation, said first handle being moveable along a first extension vector wherein said first extension vector forms a first line on a first cone formed about said first axis of rotation wherein said first line has a first endpoint which is closer to said first axis of rotation than a second endpoint of said first line is to said first axis of rotation; and a second handle rotatable about a second axis of rotation, said second handle being moveable along a second extension vector wherein said second extension vector forms a second line on a second cone formed about said second axis of rotation wherein said second line has a second endpoint which is closer to said second axis of rotation than a second endpoint of said second line is to said second axis of rotation; wherein said first cone and said second cone intersect; wherein said first axis of rotation and said second axis of rotation lie in a rotational plane; wherein said first extension vector and said second extension vector lie in an extension plane; and wherein said extension plane intersects said rotational plane.

[0016] In yet another embodiment of the exercise machine, the extension plane is inclined relative to the rotational plane, the extension plane is declined relative to the rotational plane, the extension plane is the same plane as the rotational plane, and/or the exercise machine is used to exercise a human being's upper torso.

[0017] In a still further embodiment, there is described herein, A method of constructing an exercise machine comprising: supplying a frame; providing a first axis of rotation; providing a second axis of rotation intersecting said first axis of rotation at an intersection point; defining a first extension vector along which a first handle of said exercise machine can extend, said first extension vector being a line on the surface of a first cone, said first cone having said first axis of rotation as its axis, and said first line having an endpoint closer to said first axis of rotation than any other point on said first line; defining a second extension vector along which a second handle of said exercise machine can extend, said second extension being a line on the surface of a second cone, said second cone having said second axis of rotation as its axis, and said second line having an endpoint closer to said second axis of rotation than any other point on said second line; defining an extension plane including said first extension vector and said second extension vector; defining a rotational plane including said first axis of rotation and said second axis of rotation; assembling said exercise machine by: aligning said extension plane to be non-parallel to said rotational plane; connecting said first handle to a first arm and said first arm to, said frame such that said first arm and said first handle rotate about said first axis of rotation; and connecting said second handle to a second arm and said second arm to said frame such that said second arm and said second handle rotate about said second axis of rotation.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[0018]FIG. 1 depicts an embodiment of a perspective view of an exercise machine incorporating an embodiment of arms allowing for adjustable range of motion. The exercise machine is set up to perform a lateral press exercise.

[0019]FIG. 2 depicts a side view of the exercise machine of FIG. 1.

[0020]FIG. 3 depicts a top view of the exercise machine of FIG. 1.

[0021]FIG. 4 depicts a front view of the exercise machine of FIG. 1

[0022]FIG. 5 depicts a perspective view of the exercise machine of FIG. 1 set up to perform a chest (bench) press exercise.

[0023]FIG. 6 depicts a perspective view of the exercise machine of FIG. 1 set up to perform a shoulder press exercise.

[0024]FIG. 7 depicts the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 6 in a front view, with the upper portion of the arms shown in the position where they are placed for a lateral press with the positions for a chest press and a shoulder press shown in dashed line. The extension vectors are also shown.

[0025]FIG. 8 depicts the resistance frame of the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 6 in a side view, with the upper portion of the arms shown in the position where they are placed for a lateral press, with the positions for a chest press and a shoulder press shown in dashed line. The axes of rotation and extension vectors are also shown.

[0026]FIG. 9 depicts the resistance frame of the embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 6 in a top view, with the upper portion of the arms shown in the position where they are placed for a lateral press, with the positions for a chest press and a shoulder press shown in dashed line. The axes of rotation and extension vectors are also shown.

[0027]FIGS. 10A, B, C and D depict various views of an embodiment of a lower arm for allowing adjustable relative range of converging motion.

[0028]FIGS. 11A, B, C, D, E and F depict various views of an embodiment of an upper arm for allowing adjustable relative range of converging motion.

[0029]FIG. 12 depicts the embodiment of the resistance frame shown on FIGS. 1 through 6 in a perspective view, with the left arm in the raised position, and the right arm in the lowered position.

[0030]FIG. 13 shows an alternative embodiment of an exercise machine incorporating an embodiment of arms allowing adjustable relative range of motion set up to perform a lateral press exercise. The axes of rotation and extension vectors are again drawn in for reference.

[0031]FIG. 14 shows an alternative embodiment of an exercise machine incorporating an embodiment of arms allowing adjustable relative range of motion set up to perform a shoulder press exercise. The axes of rotation and extension vectors are again drawn in for reference.

[0032]FIGS. 15A, B, and C illustrate the different ranges of motion for different exercises as viewed from the back. FIG. 15D illustrates the different ranges of motion of FIGS. 15A, B, and C in an overlapping depiction. FIG. 15E shows an embodiment of the motions of FIG. 15D in a three-dimensional view.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

[0033] Although the exercise machines, arms, systems, and methods described below are discussed primarily in terms of their application to a particular layout of exercise machine(s), one of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that what is described herein could be used in a plurality of different exercise machines of different layouts designed to have certain desired footprints and space considerations. These can include, but are not limited to, home and commercial exercise machines of all price ranges. Also, while the exercise machines are primarily discussed as performing arm press-type exercises (such as the chest press, incline press, and shoulder press), they could be readily adapted for use with other types of press exercises, other types of exercises (such as, but not limited to, pull exercises), or exercises involving other portions of the body (such as, but not limited to, the legs). Further, additional components, to provide for additional exercises could be added to any of the machines discussed herein that either use the same mechanical arms, or use different mechanisms for providing another exercise on the same frame. Therefore, the below described preferred embodiments should not be used to limit the scope of the disclosed invention.

[0034] The advent of the strength machine has made the positioning of the body for weightlifting easier as it is no longer required that the user always “lift” weights (e.g. move in a direction opposing the Earth's gravitational field-to get resistance) but can now push or pull on a handle in any direction. This push or pull motion is then mechanically translated to the “lifting” or other resistance. Many exercises are still traditionally performed on a strength machine with the user pushing in a direction away from the surface upon which the machine rests, as is discussed in conjunction with an embodiment disclosed herein, but one of ordinary skill in the art would understand that strength machines can have multiple different layouts to perform similar exercises. What matters is that the user's position relative to the range of motion that the machine will provide while the exercise is performed be predetermined for that particular exercise. Therefore, the concepts related to adjusting the range of motion between different exercises as discussed herein could readily be adapted to machines of different types based on the below disclosed embodiments. In particular, while the discussion herein presumes the handles move generally vertically, the invention encompasses handles moving in any direction, so long as the range of motion relative to the user is as discussed.

[0035] During this discussion, there will be numerous references to a machine's “range of motion.” Generally, this term will be used to refer to the available motion that can be traversed by the portion of the machine the user is intended to grasp or otherwise manipulate to perform the exercise (these will generally be “handles”) when the machine is configured for performance of that exercise. The machine's range of motion therefore is interrelated to the motions the hands (in the case of a torso press exercise) or other portion of the body when the user is using the machine. In most strength machines, the machine is designed so that the mechanisms can only move such that the user is forced to move the portion of the machine they interact with in a prescribed way (a particular path of motion) to move the mechanisms at all. In this way, the available range of motion of the machine attempts to dictate that the user perform the exercise correctly.

[0036] In the broadest sense, a strength machine, such as exercise machine (10), includes four components. There is some form of resistance which the user will work against, there is a place where the user is placed to interact with the machine, there is a mechanism for transferring the work of the user to the resistance, and there is a frame to support the structure. These general components are described in greater detail with regards to FIGS. 1 through 6.

[0037] Within these general constraints it will be recognized that there are a large number of strength machine designs and the machines described herein represent only a couple of embodiments of the invention. In an embodiment, some or all of the frame may be shared by other mechanisms for transferring work from the user to the resistance mechanisms, resistance mechanisms may be shared by mechanisms for transferring work, and the place for the user to interact with the machine may be moveable between different mechanisms for transferring work, or may be positionable to access different mechanisms. Further, mechanisms may be adjustable to accommodate users of different size, shape, or ability.

[0038]FIGS. 1 through 6 show various different views of an exercise machine (10). The exercise machine (10) is primarily for use in performing exercises to strengthen and/or tone the muscles of the torso and/or arms. Generally, the exercise machine (10) comprises a frame (50) which is generally manufactured of steel, aluminum, carbon fiber, or other strong and rigid construction materials. In particular, the frame (50) is generally made of hollow tubes composed of these materials. For the purposes of this disclosure, it should be recognized that a tube can have any shape as a cross-section and can be either hollow or solid. Therefore the term “tubes” as used herein should be considered to include any solid or hollow structure having any cross-sectional shape. In a preferred embodiment, the tubes are hollow and have a cross-section generally in the shape of a race track. The frame (50) is generally comprised of two major sections. The first section is the resistance frame (105) which provides for most of the apparatus used to provide the resistance for the exercise and the moving components of the exercise machine (10). The second portion is the bench frame (107) which may be separable from the resistance frame (105) as is the case in the depicted embodiment. The bench frame (107), in the depicted embodiment, generally includes the components of the exercise machine (10) for holding or supporting the user to perform the exercise.

[0039] Resistance frame (105) comprises a first base member (101) which serves as the primary support for the remaining components and rests upon a surface where the exercise machine (10) is to be placed. In the depicted embodiment, first base member (101) is generally T-shaped to provide for a stable base, however other shapes of the first base member (101) could be used as would be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art. Attached to first base member (101) is an upright portion of frame (50). The upright portion and first base member (101) generally define the overall shape of the resistance frame (105).

[0040] Resistance frame (105) generally includes the weights (151) or other resistance object(s) for providing resistance to the user's movement so that the movement requires work and results in exercise. Resistance is created by weights (151) being lifted in an upward direction forcing the movement of the mass of the weights (151) against the force of a gravitational field (e.g. as shown in FIG. 12). As would be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art, the lifting of weights (151) is not the only way to create work and other resistance object(s) could be used instead of or in addition to weights (151). These include, but are not limited to, flexible tubes or other shapes where work is used to bend, pneumatic or hydraulic pistons where work is used to extend or contract, elastic or rubber devices where work is used to extend, or any combination of resistance objects. Weight support bars (153) are provided which run through holes in the weights (151). As weight support bars (153) are generally perpendicular to the base (101), when the weights (151) are lifted, they are forced to be lifted in a generally linear manner, and are not allowed to swing which could render the exercise machine (10) unstable.

[0041] Weights (151) are generally lifted through an application of force onto the arms (205R) and/or (205L). Arms (205R) and/or (205L) then move in a prescribed way and transfer the work performed by the user to the resistance mechanism upon which the work is performed. The arms (205R) and/or (205L) are generally connected, via mechanical process, to the weights in a manner where a predetermined motion of the arms (205R) and/or (205L) is translated into motion for raising the weights (151). In the depicted embodiment, the mechanical process comprises the arms (205R) and/or (205L) pulling a cable or cables (155) (shown in FIG. 2) attached thereto at cable attachments (255R) and (255L) when the arms are pushed at handles (403L) and (403R) in a generally upward direction. The cables' (155) motion is translated by pulleys (157) until it is transferred to weights (151) in a lifting motion. One of ordinary skill in the art would, however, understand that cables (155) are not necessary and other processes could be used so that moving arms (205R) and/or (205L) requires the performing of work by the user. Handles (403L) and (403R) provide the general point of contact between the arms (205R) and (205L) and the user. The motion traced by handles (403L) and (403R) is therefore the range of motion of a particular layout of the machine.

[0042] The second portion of the frame (50) is the bench frame (107). Bench frame (107) includes a second base member (103). In the depicted embodiment, the second base member (103) is generally I-shaped and is designed to interact with first base member (101) by sliding over the long portion of first base member's (101) T-shape. The bench frame (107) is generally placed in a position where the user can reach the handles (403R) and (403L) of the arms (205R) and (205L) so as to be able to perform the work which comprises the exercise. In particular, the bench frame (107) is generally positioned so that a user on the bench (171) can reach the arms (205R) and/or (205L) comfortably and to place the arms (205R) and/or (205L) in a predetermined starting point relative to the user's body for performing the exercise. As a general matter, this positioning will generally require the handles (403R) and (403L) to be near the upper portion of the user's torso.

[0043] Attached to bench frame (107) is bench (171) which is designed to hold the user's body when the user is exercising on the machine. To provide for the ability to perform different exercises on the machine, and for the user's comfort when using the machine, the bench (171) may be adjustable relative to the bench frame (107). In the depicted embodiment the bench (171) has two portions, the back portion (173) and the seat portion (175). The back portion (173) is provided on rotator (177). Rotator (177) is positioned so that the back portion (173) can be rotated through a plurality of different positions and angles relative to the second base member (103). This allows a user on the bench (171) to lie prone (as in FIG. 5), be seated leaning back (as in FIGS. 1 through 4), or be seated more upright (as in FIG. 6). Generally, the user will lie or sit on the bench with their head at the position of the bench (171) furthest from the seat portion (175) and will lie face up with their back pressed against back portion (173). (A user seated in another embodiment of bench (171) is shown in dashed line form in FIGS. 13 and 14). A user so situated is therefore positioned such that the different positioning of the bench (171) will allow the user to perform different exercises.

[0044] Even with the rotator (177) rotating the back portion (173), additional components may be provided to allow for additional adjustment of the user's positioning to perform the different exercises. For instance, the seat portion (175) may be shiftable horizontally or vertically to allow for adjustment of that portion relative to the frame (50). Alternatively or additionally, the seat portion (175) may contain an automatic adjustment mechanism so that the seat portion (175) maintains its angular alignment relative to horizontal while the back portion's (173) angle is being adjusted. In another embodiment, the angle of seat portion (175) relative to back portion (173) can be altered with the back portion (173) in any position. This type of adjustment allows users of different builds to adjust the seat so that the desired exercise can be performed. For instance, a larger user may need more space under the handles (403R) and (403L) than a smaller user.

[0045] The position of the bench (171) will preferably be lockable so that when the bench (171) is placed in a particular position, it can be held there rigidly until the user wishes it to move. This type of locking may be performed through a plurality of methods, as would be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art. These can include, but are not limited to a spring pin, clip or other locking pin-type mechanism attached to or engaging with the bench frame (107) and engaging one or more of a plurality of holes (179) in the rotator (177). The holes (179) may correspond to predetermined positions for particular exercises. In this way, the user can move the bench (171) to a predetermined position, lock it into place, and have a bench (171) positioned for a user to perform a particular exercise. One of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that bench (171) need not be a structure of the machine, but could be a structure used as a bench when operating the machine. For instance, in an embodiment, the floor of a room could be a “bench.”

[0046]FIGS. 13 and 14 show a user positioned as they would be for performing an exercise in an alternative embodiment of an exercise machine (70). The user here is at the resting stage (or the position with the arms lowered and the user not currently performing any work). To perform the exercise, the user would push generally away from their body. As the user did so, the user would exert a force on arms (205R) and/or (205L) which would result in a performance of work to raise some number of weights (751). From the raised position, the user then has to exert a force to lower the arms (205R) and/or (205L) in a controlled manner (the user could simply release the handles (403R) and/or (403L) or relax the muscles in their arm(s) but that would be undesirable from an exercise standpoint and potentially dangerous). Once lowered, a single repetition of the exercise has been completed and the user can repeat this motion as many times as desired.

[0047] Different exercises relate to different muscles exercised and therefore relate to the relative positioning of the user relative to the allowed range of motion of the handles (403R) and (403L). In particular, a chest (bench) press will generally be performed with the user prone (with the bench positioned as in FIG. 5), an incline press with the user leaning back (with the bench positioned as in FIGS. 1 through 4), and a shoulder press with the user seated more upright (with the bench positioned as in FIG. 6). These positions are chosen because the general motion of handles (403R) and (403L) in FIGS. 1-12 is generally upward, slightly back, and converging relative to the plane of second base member (103). In the embodiment of FIGS. 13 and 14 the user's positioning is slightly different because the general direction of the handles' range of motion is slightly different, but the relative positioning of the user's torso to the machine's motion is generally the same.

[0048] To be more specific, in a chest press, the user will generally push straight out from the chest with the hands generally beginning close to the front of the torso and moving outward from the torso in a motion directed slightly towards the head from the perpendicular to the plane of the torso. In an incline press the user will generally start with the hands at the upper portion of the torso (around the collar bone) and be pushed at an angle relative to the plane of the torso and towards the head. In a shoulder press, the hands will generally start at or around the shoulders, and be pushed in a direction generally parallel to the plane of the torso and over the head. This motion is generally the same regardless of the actual position of the user (e.g. laying down vs. sitting upright). For clarity, a user will be described as moving “upward” when they move their body from performing a chest press to a lateral press and then to shoulder press. This definition is purely for clarification and like all definitions herein should not be used to limit the scope of a term as would be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art.

[0049] The adjustment of the bench (171) allows for a general positioning of the user relative to the handles (403R) and (403L) in a manner that generally positions the user's body to perform the different exercises. In particular; changing the position of the bench changes the user's shoulder's position relative to the range of motion of the handles so that the user is generally pushing in the desired direction. However, the interrelationship of the user's body to the positioning of the handles (403R) and (403L) involves numerous variables. FIGS. 15A through 15D provide an indication of the ranges of motion and the changes in the range of motion preferred between the different exercises.

[0050] Research has shown that for a chest press it is best if the hands begin the exercise in front of and below the shoulders. For a lateral press, the hands are moved slightly further apart and higher on the chest. For a shoulder press exercise, it is preferred if the hands begin at a position out from the shoulders (e.g. the hands are beside to the outside and slightly in front of the shoulders). Further, it is preferable in these exercises if the user's hands are raised to a converging point centered above the user when the user has fully extended. Therefore, it is desirable that the starting positions of the handles (403R) and (403L) be wider horizontally as the user moves to a more upright position. At the same time, with regard to the motion of the hands, it is also desirable that the convergent point of the hands be closer to the user in a chest press exercise than in an incline press exercise which is in turn closer than in a shoulder press exercise, so that the user can extend an increasing distance with each respective exercise. Further, it is also preferable that the arc length available to the user in a shoulder press be greater than in an incline press which is in turn greater than that available in a chest press. These increases are preferable as going from a chest press, to a lateral press, to a shoulder press, the user generally has greater available motion as their shoulders can provide for additional movement on top of the extension of their arms (in particular the rotation of the shoulder provides for a larger range of motion). To put this another way, the range of motion for a first exercise can be a first predetermined value, while the range of motion for a second exercise can be a second predetermined value different from the first and so on for any number of exercises. As the handles (403L) and (403R) are preferably intended to trace the preferred path of the hands, they would therefore trace a similar pattern.

[0051] In order to understand what the desired motion of each exercise looks like, FIGS. 15A-D provide various abstract representations of motion as viewed from the back or as if one was looking towards the handles from the weights (151) in the embodiment of FIG. 1 (looking down from behind or on top of the user's head or placing the line of the user's shoulders parallel to the plane of the page of the figure). These FIGS. are not intended to be to scale. FIG. 15A shows the motion of a chest press. The dashed circles represent circular paths which could be traveled by each hand if allowed to freely move. The solid portions of the arc represent the portions actually traveled. In particular, at the convergent point of the solid arcs, the handles have been raised by the user to the apex of the exercise and are now touching (or close to touching), the handles are at the bottom of FIG. 15A when the exercise is just being begun. That is the start of the exercise. This starting point will generally be defined by the machine and will usually be the resting state of the machine. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, the resting state is generally obtained because weights (151) are stacked on base member (101) and are therefore in a steady state. Further, arms (205R) and/or (205L) may be held in the start point by plates or other objects that would prevent their motion beyond the start point. While FIG. 15A shows the hands traversing a circular path to get the desired convergent motion, one of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that each arc could actually be linear or of any other arc shape including but not limited to, hyperbolic arcs, parabolic arcs, or elliptical arcs; in the linear case, the solid arc portion essentially forms two sides of a triangle. Such arrangements comprise other embodiments of the invention and where herein the term “arc” is used it should be understood that the arc could be linear or of any arc shape.

[0052]FIG. 15A provides for various references as to its size and shape. In particular, the starting points of the handles (403R) and (403L) are separated by a first separation (913). First separation (913) will generally correspond to a distance generally equal to about the width of the user's torso in the preferred case. First separation (913) is generally chosen so that most users utilizing the machine (10) will be able to comfortably reach handles (403R) and (403L) when their hands are positioned in front of their torso. Further, the converging point of the handles (the apex of the exercise) is at a first height (903) this height will generally be chosen so that the user comfortably extends their arms to the first height (903) when they extend their arms from their torso in a chest press exercise. The height (903) will therefore often correspond to the approximate length of the user's arms. FIG. 15A also includes two arc lengths (923R) and (923L) which correspond to the length of the arcs traversed by the handles (403R) and (403L) respectively. Mathematics would show that the interrelationship of the arc lengths (923R) and (923L), the first separation (913), and the first height (903) are dependent on the radius of the circles used and the first distance (973) of the axes (933L) and (933R) of the arcs from each other. In this case, as each hand follows an essentially mirrored motion, the circles are both the same and therefore each have a radius equal to R1.

[0053]FIG. 15B provides a similar diagram to FIG. 15A but now looks at the exercise motion that is used for a lateral press. The reader should recognize that there are various changes in the preferable motion of the handles as the user moves from a chest press to a lateral press. In particular, as the hands move more upward toward the shoulder, they generally move slightly further apart. Therefore, in the starting position, the separation between the handles (403R) and (403L) should be slightly larger than for a chest press. Therefore the second separation (915) is shown slightly larger than the first separation (913). Further, at the angled position of a lateral press, the shoulders are able to provide some translation as the arms are extended. The second height (905), therefore, is also preferably slightly greater than the first height (903) as the shoulders are providing for additional height. Similarly the second arc lengths (925R) and (925L) are preferably slightly larger than first are lengths (923R) and (923L) to accommodate the additional range of motion available to the user through the rotation of their shoulder. The circles of FIG. 15B achieve the above changes through a selection of differences. In particular, radiuses R2 of each circle are larger than the radiuses R1 and the axes of rotation (935R) and (935L) have also been separated by a larger second distance (975). One of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that the starting point of the handles in FIG. 15B is also moved vertically “up” the circles from FIG. 15A. This motion accommodates the physical repositioning of the user's body between the two exercises. One of the ordinary skill in the art would understand, however, that in alternative environments, the same amount or more of a larger arc could be used. In FIGS. 15A and 15B changes between positions are exaggerated for clarity and to show concepts. Therefore, the exact magnitude of changes depicted is not necessary.

[0054]FIG. 15C provides the exercise motion that is used for a shoulder press. The change from FIG. 15B to FIG. 15C is generally similar to the change from FIG. 15A to FIG. 15B. Again, as the hands continue to move upward toward the shoulder, they generally move still further apart. Therefore, in the starting position, the distance between the handles (403R) and (403L) preferably increases in a shoulder press compared to a lateral press. Therefore the third separation (917) is slightly larger than the second separation (915). Also, at the steeper angled position of a shoulder press, the shoulders are able to provide still more rotation making third height (907) preferably greater than second height (905). Similarly, the third arc lengths (927R) and (927L) also are preferably larger than second arc lengths (925R) and (925L) to accommodate the additional range of motion available to the user through the increased translation of their shoulder. As in the difference from FIG. 15A to FIG. 15B, the circles drawn by FIG. 15C therefore have radiuses R3 which are greater than R2 and the axes of rotation (937R) and (937L) are separated by the larger third distance (977). The dimensions are again exaggerated to show concept.

[0055] As should be apparent from FIGS. 15A, 15B, and FIG. 15C, the radius R3 is greater than the radius R2 which is in turn greater than the radius R1 and the axes of rotation (933R) and (933L) are separated by a first distance (973) which is less than the second distance (975) separating axes of rotation (935R) and (935L) which is in turn less than the third distance (977) separating axes of rotation (937R) and (937L). By increasing the radius of the available arcs, the arc length is increased between exercises. In particular, in a shoulder press, the handles travel a smaller portion of a larger circle than in the incline press, which in turn has a similar relationship to the circles of a chest press. This allows for an increasing arc length, that is still easily controlled and deals with changes of the user's body position in space.

[0056] The FIGS. 15A, 15B, and 15C show an abstract interpretation of possible motion for each exercise. However, as has been discussed previously, when the user adjusts relative to the direction that the arms (205R) and (205L) move, the user's shoulders may also move relative to the position of the machine (10) and particularly move the desired starting point of the exercise in three-space. To allow the user to grasp and manipulate the handles (403R) and (403L) when the bench (171) is adjusted for the different exercises, the arms (205R) and (205L) are preferably adjustable. Specifically, the arms (205R) and (205L) need to be able to extend longitudinally to reach the user's chest as it moves upward when moving between the different exercises (moving from FIG. 5 to FIG. 1 to FIG. 6). In particular, as is clear from FIGS. 1, 5, and 6, as the user switches from a prone to an angled to a more upright position, the position of the upper portion of the user's torso moves both horizontally away from the resistance frame (105), and moves vertically higher. The handles (403R) and (403L) therefore adjust so that they can be extended to be horizontally extended and vertically higher. This change of position allows the handles (403R) and (403L) to be placed at the start of each particular exercise in a position generally in front of the user. This adjustment is preferably performed simultaneously with the adjustment of the range of motion shown in FIGS. 15A-C. That is, the starting points of the handles (403R) and (403L) needs to be upward and extended while simultaneously maintaining the relationships of FIGS. 15A-C.

[0057] For the purpose of this discussion, the motion of a handle when being extended will be described as traversing an “extension vector.” In the preferred embodiment, motion of the handles along the extension vector is the only motion of the handles selected by the user at the time of exercise. The extension vector will therefore need to traverse the starting points of any exercise to be performed on the machine.

[0058] To help make this discussion clearer, the following additional definitions will generally be used. There is an extension vector associated with each arm (403R) and (403L) of the machine. This extension vector will connect three points of either arm (403R) and (403L) which will generally be the position of the hand at the start of the chest press exercise, the start of the incline press exercise, and the start of the shoulder press exercise or a subset thereof if fewer exercises are performed on the machine (or will include these points plus others if additional exercises are included). Further, the vector will have a direction associated with moving through the exercises' starting points, in the order above (although its direction may be reversed). An embodiment of two extension vectors (750L) and (750R) are shown in FIGS. 7-9. One of ordinary skill in the art would understand that the extension vectors (750L) and (750R) are only some possible extension vectors. In alternative embodiments of exercise machines the extension vectors can have different magnitudes and orientations depending on the relative positioning of the handles, arms, bench or other components.

[0059] The “axis of rotation” defines the line of points that a handle at any given extension on the extension vector would rotate about. An embodiment is also shown in FIG. 9 as (305R) and (305L). Again this axis of rotation is exemplary and in other embodiments the line could have an alternative direction or magnitude. In still another embodiment, the axis of rotation could be defined by a single point and a singular circle thereabout. Finally, an “exercise arc” relates to the arc traversed by the handle for any given exercise. That is, it is the world of arcs traversed that includes the arcs shown in FIGS. 15 A-C. From the above it should be seen that if the extension vector rotates about the axis of rotation in the exercise arcs, all the conditions have been met. It should be recognized that these definitions are done solely for clarification and should not be interpreted to limit these terms as they would be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art.

[0060] Particularly, in the case of a linear arc or in another embodiment of an arc, the axis of rotation may provide rotation in a plane other than in the plane of the page shown in FIGS. 15A-15C. Therefore, in an alternative embodiment the axis of rotation may be arranged so that there does not appear to be any rotational movement relative to the plane of FIGS. 15A-15C or is different rotational movement relative to the plane, but there is rotational movement in an alternative plane.

[0061] FIGS: 15D-E show the three arcs of FIGS. 15A-C together to represent an exemplary relationship between them. In addition, the figures show a relationship between exemplary extension vectors, user's position and axes of rotation which provides for the desired exercise arc. The interrelationship of FIGS. 15D-E are not intended to be limiting, but are chosen to show how one embodiment of the invention can work. In alternative embodiments, non-overlapping conical shapes for movement could alternatively be used as could overlapping or non-overlapping circular, elliptical, parabolic, hyperbolic, or other arcs. The exemplary motion of FIGS. 15D-E, therefore, is intended to merely show one example of the interrelationship of the axes of rotation and the extension vectors.

[0062] The third dimension of FIG. 15D is directly into the page. Therefore, in FIG. 15D the arc from FIG. 15B is deeper in the page than the arc from FIG. 15A, and the arc from FIG. 15C is deeper still. Further, FIG. 15D helps to clarify what is meant by a smaller portion of a larger circle in the previous discussion. In FIG. 15D, the arcs for the chest press include about a quarter of the available circle, for a lateral press, the amount is increasingly less than a quarter of a circle, and for a shoulder press is significantly less than a quarter of the available circle. However each circle's radius has increased. Presuming a sufficient increase, the available arc length is therefore increased. As should be clear from FIGS. 6-8 and the prior discussion, when the user changes between exercises, the position that the handles (403R) and (403L) at their starting point adjusts to accommodate the moving position of the user's shoulders. In particular, as is clear in FIG. 8, as the user switches between exercises, the handles (403L) and (403R) will need to move both upward and extend relative to the frame of the machine. This corresponds to the forward and upward movement of the users shoulders when they are on bench (171) and changing between the associated exercises. FIG. 15D therefore adjusts the exercise arcs into the page and “upward” relative to each other. It should be recognized that the use of “upward” here is arbitrary and it corresponds to the upward motion of the user. In particular, if FIG. 15D is rotated 90 degrees the arcs are still moved “upward,” as nothing has changed. Further, in other embodiments the position of the user's shoulders between exercises may have a different relative relationship. For these embodiments, the interrelationship of FIGS. 15A-C may be different from that shown in FIG. 15D.

[0063] To provide for the interrelated motions of FIG. 15D it is best to think of a range of motion of the handles in any position. This is generally shown in FIG. 15E. The extension vector is any preselected line connecting at least two points on the surface of the cone and having one endpoint closer to the axis of rotation than the other endpoint. In an embodiment, the extension vector may be a trace of the cone (as shown in FIG. 15E), but that is by no means necessary. Obviously, the handle would not need to traverse all this line and in most cases will not, but will traverse a portion of it. For any given position on that line, the handle will then rotate (on the surface of the cone or inside the surface of the cone depending on the extension vector's placement) in an exercise arc about the axis of rotation. The simple one hand case therefore makes clear that as the handle moves down the extension vector the radius of the circle generally increases. The two hand motion is created by having similar cones for each hand which intersect and have intersecting axes. In particular, the angle separating the two axes of rotation is preferably less than the angle formed at the vertex of each cone between the axis of rotation and the sides of the cone and the angle between the two extension vectors. This is shown in FIG. 15E. The user (particularly the user's shoulders) is then placed inside the area of intersection of the two cones, so as to be able to manipulate the handles in the prescribed manner. As is also clear from FIGS. 15D-E, there is preferably a relationship between the plane including the extension vectors (the extension plane) and the plane including the axes of rotation (the rotational plane). In order to decrease the amount of the circle traversed when the handle is traversing a larger circle, the extension plane may be inclined relative to the rotational plane in an embodiment. Such arrangement deals with the adjustment of the user between exercises as previously discussed. Inclined here is used to state that if one moves on the plane in the general direction of the extension vector, the distance between the two planes increases. In this way, the smaller angular portion of the larger available arc is being utilized. As discussed previously, the difference in the range of motion can be differently controlled using the same or larger arc portions in alternative embodiments. In these alternatives, the extension plane could be parallel (same portion of arc for all exercises) or declined (increased portion of arc as arc size increases) relative to the rotational plane. In the depicted embodiment, however, the extension plane is inclined relative to the rotational plane as shown in FIGS. 15D-E. The incline angle (830) is preferably less than 45°, still more preferably less than 30° and most preferably about 20°.

[0064] To have the motion of two intersecting cones shown in FIGS. 15D-E for the handles, the following relationships of components of the exercise machine (10) are preferred. In particular, each arm (205R) and (205L) has an axis of rotation (305R) ad (305L). Moving toward where the axes cross the handle position, the axes are diverging (non-parallel). Further, it is preferred that the extension vectors be both non-parallel to each other and non-parallel to both the axes of rotation. It is further preferred that the extension plane be inclined relative to the rotation/plane.

[0065] From FIG. 15E the above can be generalized from interrelated conical motion that the adjustable range of motion can preferably be obtained by controlling four different variables as the arms (403R) and (403L) are extended to move to the positions where they are used for the three different exercises. Firstly, as the arms (205R) and (205L) extend, the handles preferably move apart from each other and outward from the associated axis of rotation. Secondly, the axes of rotation about which the handles rotate are preferably non-parallel and directed outward in the same manner with the movement of the handles, but at a shallower angle. Thirdly, the extension vectors of the handle are preferably directed forward relative to the user. Finally, the extension plane is preferably generally inclined relative to the rotational plane. In alternative embodiments, similar relationships between the various vectors, planes, and axes may be obtained, even if resulting motion is not conical in shape.

[0066] The shadow positions of FIGS. 7, 8, and 9 show generally how in an embodiment of the invention the handles move to obtain positioning for the different exercises related to that shown in FIG. 15E. As described, the handles (403R) and (403L) moving apart and away from the axis of rotation so as to increase the radius of the circles. This can be accomplished by having the arm form an angle of between 0° and 90° with the axes of rotation. Such an arrangement is shown clearly in the view of FIG. 9 where the arms (and the extension vectors) each project outward by an angle (803) from the axis of rotation for the appropriate arm. The outward projection is also visible in FIG. 7. Further, by angling the axis of rotation from the user (basically the bench (171)) the separation of the radius is accomplished. FIG. 8 shows that the extension plane is also inclined relative to the rotational plane by having the extension vector form an angle (830) with the rotational plane. From these FIGS., it can be seen that preferably both the axes of rotation and extension vectors are never parallel, and define the appropriate planes.

[0067] In the alternative embodiment of FIGS. 13 and 14, the extension vectors and axes of rotation maintain the above relationships relative to each other, but the relative position of the machine has been changed making the projection appear to be more horizontal.

[0068]FIGS. 10 and 11 specifically depict the design of an embodiment of right arm (205R) shown in the exercise machines of FIGS. 1 through 9 and 12 through 14 that maintains the relationships discussed above. However, the right arm (205R) depicted in FIGS. 10 and 11 is by no means the only shape of arm which may be used and other shapes of arms may be used which also maintains the above relationships. Further, it is preferable that the right arm (205R) and left arm (205L) be arranged in a manner that they can move independently of each other, but having interlocked arms where movement of one arm necessitates movement of the other could also be used.

[0069] The left arm (205L) is essentially a mirror image of the right arm (205R). It would therefore be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art about how to adapt the discussion below and FIGS. 10 and 11 concerning the structure of right arm (205R) to making left arm (205L). To provide for reference to the components of the arms, the same reference numbers will be used on the right arm (205R) as the left arm (205L) while letters will denote the particular arm being discussed. E.g., (403R) indicates the handle specifically on the right arm (205R) while (403L) indicates the handle specifically on the left arm (205L).

[0070] The right arm (205R) is composed of two primary subparts. The lower arm (301R) which is shown in multiple different views in FIG. 10 and the upper arm (401R) which is shown in multiple different views in FIG. 11. The two portions are extensibly engaged with each other so that the total length of the resultant arm (205R) may be shortened or lengthened by the user. This provides for the movement of the handle (403R) to the different points on the extension vector. Lower arm (301R) includes a pivot point about which the arm rotates. The pivot point is created by having a pivot tube (303R) which is allowed to rotate about (or to rotate with) a smaller inner core (not visible) or other rotational object. The rotation is relative to a portion of the frame (50) so that there is a fixed axis of rotation (305R) of the lower arm (301R). As represented in FIGS. 1 through 9 and 12 through 14 as appropriate, this axis of rotation (305R) is arranged to project outward from the position of the user and to be non-parallel with axis (305L).

[0071] Attached to pivot tube (303R) is lever tube (307R). Lever tube (307R) is arranged to be generally radially extended from the axis of rotation (305R) to provide for a lever motion along a radial of-the axis of rotation (305R). Essentially, the far end (309R) of the lever tube (307R) can be moved in an arc about the axis of rotation (305R) and lever tube (307R) acts as a lever rotating about the axis of rotation (305R). Generally, the primary axis of the lever tube (307R) will be arranged so as to be at an angle (304R) with the pivot tube (303R). In the depicted embodiment, angle (304R) is 90 degrees. Such arrangement is by no means necessary, however.

[0072] Associated with the lever tube (307R) is cable connection (255R) which is located toward the far end (309R) of the lever tube (307R). Cable connection provides for the connection between the lever tube (307R) and the weights (151) as discussed earlier. The arrangement of the cable connection (255R) is selected in the depicted embodiments to allow for the movement of weights (151) a particular set distance, as can be seen from the FIGS. (particularly FIG. 12). Because the cable (159) is connected near the far end (309R) of the lever arm (307R) from the axis of rotation (305R), for a small arc rotation about the axis of rotation (305R), there is a significant angular distance moved by the far end (309R) which is then translated to a significant pulled distance of the cable (159) and raised distance of the weights (151).

[0073] The pivot tube (303R) and the lever tube (307R) therefore comprise the mechanical lifting apparatus for physically raising the weights. To adjust the resulting position of the handle (403R), connection tube (311R) is then rigidly attached to the lever tube (307R). The connection tube (311R) in the depicted embodiment generally has two portions, the first of these is the adjustment tube (315R) and the second is the extension tube (317R). The exact positioning of these two tube portions will depend on the particular relationship of the axis of rotation (305R) relative to the user. In particular, the portions are best described by the function that they perform. The extension tube (317R) preferably defines, along its major axis, the direction of the extension vector discussed above (that is the axis of the extension tube (317R) is parallel to the extension vector as the upper arm (401R) will extend therefrom and all other connections are preferably rigid). Therefore the extension tube (317R) is positioned such that the plane passing through both the left extension tube (317L) and right extension tube (317R) (the tube plane) is generally parallel with the extension plane. Further, the extension tube (317R) will also generally have a major axis projecting upward and forward relative to the user and outward from the axis of rotation.

[0074] The adjustment tube portion (315R), is used so as to allow the extension tube (317R) to be attached to the lever tube (307R). In an embodiment, the adjustment tube (315R) may be unnecessary as it may be possible to position the extension tube (317R) in the correct position and have it rigidly attach to the lever tube (307R) without the need for an adjustment tube (315R). The adjustment tube (315R) is arranged so as to have its primary axis at an angle (319R) relative to the axis of rotation (305R) and is also arranged so as to be generally perpendicular to the primary axis of the lever tube (307R) in the depicted embodiment. The angle (319R) will generally be less than 90 degrees and is preferably around 60 degrees. The angle (313R) between the extension tube (317R) and the adjustment tube (315R), however, will generally be greater than 90 degrees. This can help extension tube (317R) to project outward from the axis of rotation (305R) as is shown in FIG. 9. In addition, the primary axis of the extension tube (317R) will generally form an angle (321R) with the primary axis of the lever tube (307R) as shown in FIG. 10C. The extension tube (317R) may also include a hole (327R) or other mechanism for use in locking.

[0075]FIG. 11 provides multiple images of an embodiment of the upper arm (401R). The upper arm (401R) is comprised of a main tube (405R) and handle (403R). The main tube (405R) may be bent at an angle (407R), may include two separate tubes attached together at angle (407R), or may be a single straight piece depending on the embodiment. The main tube (405R) may also include holes (427R). In practice, the main tube (405R) of the upper arm (401R) is generally designed to be moveably attached to the extension tube (317R) of the lower arm (301R) and generally provides the linear extension when the arm (205R) is extended in the direction of the extension vector. In a preferred embodiment, the main tube (405R) is designed to slide into the open end (323R) of the extension tube (317R) and be extensibly engaged thereto. The tubes therefore slideably engage each other in a linear fashion and the resulting right arm (205R) can be shortened or lengthened through the engagement of the upper arm (401K) and lower arm (301R). This slideable engagement is represented by the shadow positions of FIGS. 7 through 9. Each of the extension tube (317R) and the main tube (405R) each contain holes (327R) and (427R) respectively. These holes have been placed,to go through the outer surface of the tubes. The holes can also be positioned in a predetermined manner so as to allow for positioning of the extension tube (317R) and main tube (405R) at predetermined points relative to each other to create an arm of a predetermined length. When the upper arm portion (401R) is slid relative to the lower arm portion (301R), there are certain relative positions where the holes of both overlap. At these points a pin or other retaining device (such as but not limited to, a cotter pin, a spring clip, a screw, or a bolt) can be placed through the matching sets of holes to retain the two arm portions (301R) and (401R) in their relative positions. These positions will then correspond to the predetermined positions of the handle (403R) to perform particular exercises.

[0076] Also included in upper arm portion (401R) is handle (403R). In the depicted embodiment handle (403R) is generally “L” shaped or bent into angle (431R). This is only one of many embodiments of handle (403R) as handle (403R) can assume virtually any shape. Handle (403R) is generally gripped by the user in their hand and is the contact point for the transference of the force generated by the user to the machine to perform the work to lift the weights (151). The depicted design of the handle (403R), is preferred because it allows for a more natural grip for performing the desired exercises (the grip portion of the handle (403R) runs both somewhat parallel to the main axis of the bench (171) and perpendicular to it allowing a selection of different grip points). Further, the handle (403R) is positioned using angles (409R), (419R), and (429R) relative to the main tube (405R). These angles will generally all be greater than 90 degrees to place the handle (403R) in a generally forward position and angled back into the bench (171) area so that they can easily be reached by a user on the bench (171), even as the arm (205R) is projecting outward from the bench.

[0077] The arms (205R) and (205L) as described in FIGS. 10 and 11 allow for the different positioning of the handles (403R) and (403L) so they can be grasped to perform the different exercises, and to change the range of motion of the handles (403R) and (403L) while still keeping the handles' (403R) and (403L) motion within desirable positioning for the different exercises as discussed above.

[0078] For reference, FIG. 12 shows an embodiment of the arms of FIGS. 10 and 11 with one arm raised and the other arm lowered, one can see how the motion of the handles (403R) and (403L) would generally correspond to that indicated by the motion in FIG. 15 by comparing the starting and finishing positions as shown.

[0079]FIGS. 13 and 14 show the use of the arms (205R) and (205L) on an alternative exercise machine (70). Exercise machine (70) is a commercial machine where multiple exercises can be performed using only a single collection of weights (751). In this case, the axes of rotation (705R) and (705L) (not visible) has been moved so as to project toward the surface of the Earth (as opposed to the projection away from the surface of the Earth shown in the other depicted embodiment), and have been moved so as to rotate at a vertically higher point on the frame (57). The arms (205R) and (205L), however, still are of the same shape and construction as described in conjunction with FIGS. 10 and 11. Further, the extension plane is still inclined relative to the rotational plane and the relative range of motion is maintained for the various different exercises. The extension vectors (703R) and (703L) (not visible) project outward from the bench (771) and outward from the axes of rotation (705R) and (705L) (not visible). In this embodiment, the frame (57) prevents the bench (771) and from lying flat for performing a chest press exercise. However, the principles of the machine's motion are similar as to those in the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 1 through 9 and 12 and the relationships are still maintained. The alteration of the absolute direction of rotation therefore has not affected the interrelationship discussed herein.

[0080] While the invention has been disclosed in connection with certain preferred embodiments, this should not be taken as a limitation to all of the provided details. Modifications and variations of the described embodiments may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, and other embodiments should be understood to be encompassed in the present disclosure as would be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7476184Oct 20, 2005Jan 13, 2009Roger BatcaExercise machine with independently adjustable arms
US7993246Jul 3, 2007Aug 9, 2011Tillis Jeffroy HExercising device
US20120183939 *Nov 7, 2011Jul 19, 2012Nike, Inc.Method and system for automated personal training
US20120183940 *Nov 7, 2011Jul 19, 2012Nike, Inc.Method and system for automated personal training
US20120277891 *Nov 23, 2011Nov 1, 2012Nike, Inc.Method and System for Automated Personal Training that Includes Training Programs
US20130109544 *Oct 27, 2011May 2, 2013Gil ReyesTriceps exercise machine and method of training therefor
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/99, 482/100
International ClassificationA63B21/062, A63B23/02, A63B23/12
Cooperative ClassificationA63B23/12, A63B23/1263, A63B21/062
European ClassificationA63B23/12D2, A63B23/12
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 1, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: TRUE FITNESS TECHNOLOGY, INC., MISSOURI
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HABING, DOUGLAS J.;REEL/FRAME:014806/0347
Effective date: 20040315