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Publication numberUS20040185990 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/391,495
Publication dateSep 23, 2004
Filing dateMar 17, 2003
Priority dateMar 17, 2003
Publication number10391495, 391495, US 2004/0185990 A1, US 2004/185990 A1, US 20040185990 A1, US 20040185990A1, US 2004185990 A1, US 2004185990A1, US-A1-20040185990, US-A1-2004185990, US2004/0185990A1, US2004/185990A1, US20040185990 A1, US20040185990A1, US2004185990 A1, US2004185990A1
InventorsRob Orescan, Charles Bareilles
Original AssigneeRob Orescan, Bareilles Charles Ball
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Portable exercise apparatus and method
US 20040185990 A1
Abstract
A portable exercise apparatus sufficiently lightweight and compact to easily fit into a travel bag for use at remote locations, comprising a rigid telescoping pole that can be temporarily locked at an intermediate length depending on the exercise, an elastic member having handles on each end and removably and slidably coupled to the pole through an attachment collar. The attachment collar has an inwardly facing gripping surface for gripping a portion of the outer surface of the pole and an outward facing coupling ring for encircling a portion of the elastic member and thereby causing the elastic member to be removably and slidably coupled to the pole.
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Claims(23)
What is claimed is:
1. A portable exercise apparatus comprising:
a. a rigid lightweight pole comprising at least a first pole section and a second pole section,
wherein said first pole section has an outer surface and an inner surface defining a hollow, and
wherein said second pole section has an outer surface that is generally concentric with the inner surface of said first pole section, is configured to at least partially retract into the hollow of said first pole section, and may be temporarily locked relative to said first pole section at an unextended position, at a fully extended position, and at one or more intermediate positions as desired by a user;
b. an elastic member having a first end and a second end;
c. a first handle strap fixed to said first end of said elastic member;
d. a second handle strap fixed to said second end of said elastic member; and
e. an attachment collar comprising an inwardly facing gripping surface for removably mounting on and gripping a portion of said outer surface of either the first or second pole section at a desired position along said pole section, and an outward facing coupling ring for encircling a portion of said elastic member and thereby causing said elastic member to be removably coupled to said pole;
wherein said pole when fully unextended is sufficiently small in size and light in weight to easily be placed and carried in a golf bag or suitcase; and
wherein said pole when extended or partially extended coupled with said elastic member may be used to perform exercises in locations remote from a gym environment.
2. The portable exercise apparatus of claim 1 wherein said attachment collar further comprises
a first strap portion extending in a first direction and having an inner surface and an outer surface;
a second strap portion extending in a direction opposite said first direction and having an inner surface and an outer surface; and
a middle loop portion intermediate said first and second strap portions configured to house a portion of said outward facing coupling ring.
3. The portable exercise apparatus of claim 2 wherein said inwardly facing gripping surface is disposed only on the inner surface of said first strap portion and wherein the inner surface of said second strap portion comprises an attachment mechanism for attaching to a mating mechanism on the outer surface of said first strap portion so that said attachment collar can be tightened as necessary before an exercise and loosened as necessary to move said collar attachment between various exercises of different configurations.
4. The portable exercise apparatus of claim 3 wherein said attachment mechanism and said mating mechanism comprise a hook and loop type fastener.
5. The exercise attachment collar of claim 1 wherein said coupling ring has an inner dimension that is sufficiently large to encircle a portion of said elastic member and allow said elastic member to freely slide within said ring and that is sufficiently small to preclude said handle straps to pass therethrough.
6. The portable exercise apparatus of claim 1 wherein a user may pull on one of said handle straps for a given exercise and encounter a predetermined amount of resistance for said exercise, or alternatively the user may pull on both of said handle straps at the same time and in the same direction in order to increase the amount of resistance for said exercise.
7. The portable exercise apparatus of claim 1 wherein said pole further comprises a traction surface on at least one end to increase the friction force encountered by the ground or by the user's hand during the exercise.
8. The portable exercise apparatus of claim 1 wherein said each of said handle straps further comprises a handle grip section for receiving the palm of a hand or the bottom of a foot of the user, said handle grip section being at least partially rotatable relative to said handle strap so that a desired orientation of said hand or foot may be maintained throughout the exercise.
9. The portable exercise apparatus of claim 1 wherein each of said first and second pole sections of said pole has a generally cylindrical shape.
10. The portable exercise apparatus of claim 1 wherein said second pole section of said pole can be locked relative to said first pole section of said pole by twisting said second pole section about a quarter turn relative to said first pole section.
11. The portable exercise apparatus of claim 1 wherein said coupling ring is made of a single continuous loop of resilient material and said attachment collar is sewn around a portion of said coupling ring so that the attachment collar and coupling ring combination is durable and substantially resistant to breaking for a long useful life.
12. The portable exercise apparatus of claim 1 wherein said pole weighs less than two pounds.
13. The portable exercise apparatus of claim 1 wherein said attachment collar, elastic member, and handle straps combined weigh less than one-half pounds.
14. The portable exercise apparatus of claim 1 wherein said pole measures less than four feet in length when said second pole section is fully unextended.
15. An exercise attachment collar for use with a lightweight pole and an elastic tubing member having handle straps thereon, comprising
a first strap portion extending in a first direction and having an inner surface and an outer surface;
a second strap portion extending in a direction opposite said first direction and having an inner surface and an outer surface; and
a middle loop portion intermediate said first and second strap portions configured to house a portion of an outward facing coupling ring;
an inwardly facing gripping surface mounted on said inner surface of said first strap portion for removably mounting and gripping an outer surface of said pole at a desired position along the pole,
an outward facing coupling ring partially held in place by said middle loop portion for engaging said elastic tubing member and thereby causing said elastic tubing member to be removably coupled to said pole;
an attachment mechanism on said inner surface of said second strap portion and
a mating mechanism on said outer surface of said first strap portion so that the attachment collar can be tightened as necessary before an exercise and loosened as necessary after said exercise in order to insure a sufficiently tight fit between said attachment collar and said pole.
16. The exercise attachment collar of claim 15 wherein said attachment mechanism and said mating mechanism comprise a hook and loop type fastener.
17. The exercise attachment collar of claim 15 wherein said coupling ring has an inner dimension that is sufficiently large to encircle a portion of said elastic tubing member and allow said elastic tubing member to freely slide therethrough and that is sufficiently small to preclude said handle straps to pass therethrough.
18. The portable exercise apparatus of claim 15 wherein said coupling ring is made of a single continuous loop of resilient material and said attachment collar is sewn around a portion of said coupling ring so that the attachment collar and coupling ring combination is durable and substantially resistant to breaking for a long useful life.
19. A method of exercising comprising the steps of
a. removing from a golf bag or suitcase a rigid telescoping pole;
b. extending said telescoping pole to a desired length for a selected exercise;
c. locking said telescoping pole at said desired length;
d. removably attaching an elastic member to said pole at a desired location along the length of said pole;
e. holding a first end of said pole in a first hand;
f. placing the other end of said pole on the ground;
g. applying sufficient downward pressure on said first end of said pole so that said other end of said pole does not slip along the ground during the exercise; and
h. extending one end of said elastic member away from said pole in order to stretch or exercise the body of the golfer as a result of the resistance exerted by the elastic member as the elastic member is extended.
20. The method of claim 19 wherein a user may pull on one end of said elastic member to encounter a predetermined amount of resistance for said exercise, or alternatively the user may pull on both ends of said elastic member at the same time and in the same direction in order to increase the amount of resistance for said exercise.
21. The method of claim 19 wherein said pole further comprises a traction surface on at least one end to increase the friction force encountered by the ground or by the user's hand during the exercise.
23. The method of claim 19 further comprising the step of twisting one end of said pole about a quarter turn relative to the other end of said pole to lock the telescoping pole at a desired length.
24. The method of claim 19 wherein each end of said elastic member further comprises a handle grip section for receiving the palm of a hand or the bottom of a foot of the user, said handle grip section being at least partially rotatable relative to said handle strap so that a desired orientation of said hand or foot may be maintained when extending said elastic member during an exercise.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention relates to portable exercise devices, and in particular, to portable exercise devices that are light and compact for use in remote locations, such as on a golf course.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] While the popularity of exercise has continued to increase over the years as more and more people take joy in the health and athletic benefits associated with it, there has been a recent trend towards functional exercises. Functional exercises focus on providing benefits that specifically relate to our every day lives. They also help to improve on existing health issues, such as post surgical rehabilitation to a knee, shoulder or hip injury. In addition, these types of exercises are designed to be preventative care in nature and are low impact on joints and muscles so as to minimize the risk of injury during exercise. Examples of these types of exercises are core fitness (the region of the body from the abdomen to the thighs), stretching and balance, which are embodied in such exercise classes as yoga and Pilates. Apparatuses often associated with these types of exercises include the wobble board, balancing discs, exercise ball, resistance bands.

[0005] The popularity of golf has increased as well. The golf swing places a great deal of stress on the body, specifically the back, abdomen, hips and shoulders. Strengthening and conditioning these areas of the body are crucial in order to optimize one's golf game because it allows a golfer to hit a ball farther, straighter and more solid due to better neuro-muscular actions. In other words, appropriate stretching and balance exercises help the golfer to play golf at a higher level.

[0006] Warming up prior to an activity is an important aspect of any type of activity or exercise, especially a physical exercise. People's busy lives limit the time spent on warming up prior to exercise, and as a result, their bodies are more inclined to become injured during exercise.

[0007] The effects of aging on the body, minor aches, loss of range of motion, and muscle fatigue lead to a decreased ability to properly exercise. As we age our bodies slow down, thus making it more difficult to maintain and sustain rigorous physical activity.

[0008] Over 50 billion dollars are spent per year on back-related injuries in the United States, and it is estimated that 75% of all Americans experience back pain in their lifetime. Many of these injuries are related to muscle imbalances, sprains, strains, and disccopathies. These injuries, in addition to causing pain and discomfort, lead to decreased range of motion of the joint complex and minimized elasticity of the muscle.

[0009] The need for developing an exercise apparatus with specific exercises to provide neurological, physiological, biomechanical benefits to counter these types of ailments is great. Further, the need is for an apparatus that is easy to use (no complex parts), portable, lightweight and should provide strength and conditioning at a low impact to minimize injury during exercise and it should focus on functional routines specifically embracing core, stretching and balance type activities. Moreover, there is a need for the apparatus to be able to be used by people of all ages, elite athletes and couch potatoes alike.

[0010] The device should pertain to those who perform sports that require specific use of a twisting, swinging motion such as golf. The need is high for an exercise device to assist in optimizing one's game by strengthening, conditioning and preparing the muscles used during golf is high.

[0011] Additionally, the device should provide a quick and easy way for people to warm-up prior to tough physical exercise, such as between swings during a session of golf. The device should stimulate the correct neuro-physical pathways and get the blood flowing to major core areas of the body and do so in a minimal amount of time.

[0012] There have been a number of approaches made to achieve an exercise apparatus that can provide directed functional exercises for golfers or tennis players:

[0013] The invention in U.S. Pat. No. 6,013,013, issued to Wolf, is not portable. In U.S. Pat. No. 6,102,809, issued to Nichols, the invention is not configured to have a place for the user to hold the cross bar for torso exercises, nor does this apparatus incorporate any leg exercises. In U.S. Pat. No. 6,217,495 issued to Yalch, the invention provides no attachment for other exercises to be executed and is limiting in the scope of exercises offered.

[0014] Other configurations for an exercise apparatus have been attempted to incorporate a bar or a bar connected to elastic tubing. U.S. Pat. No. 5,873,805, issued to Ayres, discloses a specific process for permanently attaching an elastic tubing to a bar at a single, unmovable middle point on the wall of the bar. The configuration in Ayers does not allow for the elastic member to be easily removed from the bar or moved from one point to another point along the length of the bar. There is only one handle on the end of the elastic tubing, and thus many of the diverse exercises that can be accomplished by the apparatus of the present invention cannot be accomplished by Ayers. Also, the bar in Ayers is too short to accomplish many of the diverse exercises that can be accomplished by the apparatus of the present invention.

[0015] In U.S. Pat. No. 3,606,321 issued to Macoulis, the invention is directed to simulating leg cycling action. The device disclosed is limited in scope of exercises that can be performed requiring, among other things, for the user to use both legs to work the device and for the user to be seated throughout the exercise. Macoulis does not contemplate exercises that involve only one leg or for the user to be standing during the workout, and thus the device does not exercise the muscles of the torso or the selected leg, or exercises that allow the user to stand, such as in instances where there is no chair to sit in during the exercise. Moreover, Macoulis also discloses only a fixed attachment point for the elastic tubing.

[0016] In U.S. Pat. No. 5,190,512 issued to Curran, the pole is also long and not collapsible involves only a tethered harness attachment to the user's waist. Further, the invention discloses a thumbscrew to adjust the length of the bar, which in considerably more cumbersome than the present invention's locking mechanism. Additionally, no leg exercises are described, and the pole is not meant to use the ground as a part of the exercise.

[0017] In U.S. Pat. No. 5,776,041 issued to Fisher, the pole is not collapsible and the attachments are not easily moved to different locations along the length of the pole or removed from the pole. Also, the pole does not appear to be intended to use the ground as part of the exercises. Moreover, the invention does not pertain to stretching or rotation exercises that provide athletic and essential neurological enhancements as described below.

[0018] In U.S. Pat. No. 5,788,608 issued to Wilkinson, the invention does not provide for using the ground in combination with the elastic member to provide a wide array of leg, arm, and torso stretching exercises of the present invention as described below. Also, it does not disclose any mechanism for removably attaching an elastic member to the shaft at various locations.

[0019] Thus, what is needed in an exercise device that comprises a telescoping bar that is lightweight for carrying to remote locations that may be used alone as well as with an elastic tubing that may be removably attached to the bar at any place along the length of the bar and capable itself of being used separately as well.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0020] The present invention is an exercise device and the method for using the device in which the device is sufficiently lightweight and compact that it can be easily fit into a golf bag, suitcase, or other travel bag for use at remote locations, and which comprises a rigid lightweight pole having a first pole section and a second pole section. The first pole section has an outer surface and an inner surface defining a hollow, and the second pole section has an outer surface that is generally concentric with the inner surface of the first pole section. The second pole section is configured to at least partially retract into the hollow of the first pole section, and thereby telescope to a fully extended position, a fully unextended position, or one or more intermediate positions as desired by a user. The two pole sections can then be temporarily locked relative to one another at a length desired by the user for a given exercise or for storing and traveling.

[0021] The device also comprises an elastic member having a first end and a second end, a first handle strap fixed to the first end of the elastic member, a second handle strap fixed to the second end of the elastic member, and an attachment collar for mounting to the pole and slidably coupling the elastic member to the pole. The attachment collar itself comprises an inwardly facing gripping surface for removably mounting on and gripping a portion of the outer surface of either the first or second pole section at a desired position along the pole section, and an outward facing coupling ring for encircling a portion of the elastic member and thereby causing the elastic member to be removably and slidably coupled to the pole.

[0022] With this combination of elements, the portable exercise device offers a surprisingly large multitude of possible exercises in a very compact and lightweight package that may easily be carried to remote locations for stretching exercises outside of the gym environment.

[0023] These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from a review of the following specification and accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0024]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention.

[0025]FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 with the attachment collar detached from the extendable pole.

[0026]FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an attachment collar for one embodiment of the present invention.

[0027]FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the attachment collar of FIG. 3 showing the middle loop and stitching around the coupling ring.

[0028]FIG. 5 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention showing the configuration and positioning of the attachment collar for a hamstring curl exercise.

[0029]FIG. 6 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention showing the configuration and positioning of the attachment collar for a side shoulder raise exercise.

[0030]FIG. 7 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention showing the configuration and positioning of the attachment collar for a sub-scapula exercise.

[0031]FIG. 8 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention showing the configuration and positioning of the attachment collar for a triceps extension exercise.

[0032]FIG. 9 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention showing the configuration and positioning of the attachment collar for an exercise of the latissimus dorsi muscles.

[0033]FIG. 10 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention showing a forward bend rotation stretching exercise.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

[0034] The detailed description set forth below in connection with the appended drawings is intended as a description of presently preferred embodiments of the invention and is not intended to represent the only forms in which the present invention may be constructed and/or utilized. The description sets forth the functions and the sequence of steps for constructing and operating the invention in connection with the illustrated embodiments. However, it is to be understood that the same or equivalent functions and sequences may be accomplished by different embodiments that are also intended to be encompassed within the spirit and scope of the invention.

[0035]FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate one embodiment of the present invention, in which there is a portable exercise device comprising a rigid lightweight pole 20 having a first pole section 22 and a second pole section 32. The first pole section 22 in FIG. 1 has an outer surface 24 that is cylindrical in shape, but may be of any number of other general shapes, such as square or rectangular cross sections. The first pole section 22 is at least partially hollow having an inner surface defining the hollowed portion of first pole section 22.

[0036] The second pole section 32 has an outer surface 34 that is generally concentric with the inner surface of the first pole section 22. The second pole section 32 is configured to partially retract into the hollow of the first pole section 22 so that the pole 20 may retract to a length suitable for storage in a golf bag, suitcase, or other such portable bag or container. That is, the embodiment of FIG. 1 is designed to be convenient for the user to carry the device to locations that are remote from a gymnasium, such as a golf course, office, hotel room, or the like. For this reason, the overall length of the pole 20 when fully retracted is generally less than five feet in this embodiment, and preferably less than four feet, and the weight of the pole is less than three pounds, and preferably less than one-and-a-half pounds.

[0037] Also, for the present invention, more than two telescoping sections may be employed, allowing for a greater maximum length when fully extended and even a smaller package for traveling when fully unextended. The present application describes two telescoping pole sections for ease of illustration and description only. One should notice that additional telescoping sections can be employed as contemplated by the present invention, and where two sections are described, what is meant is at least two such sections.

[0038] The pole 20 is preferably equipped with a cam lock device between the two pole sections so that the pole may be temporarily locked in the fully unextended position, in the fully extended position, or at any length in between simply by twisting the second pole section 32 about a quarter turn in either direction relative to the first pole section 22. The cam lock causes a friction locking effect that locks the second pole section 32 with respect to the first pole section 22 at a desired length for a given workout. Between exercises, the user may twist the second pole section 32 about a quarter turn in the opposite direction to unlock the second pole section 32 so that the length of the pole can be changed for the next exercise or for storing back in the bag or suitcase for traveling.

[0039] Alternatively, the two pole sections could be equipped with other standard temporary locking mechanisms. For example, the first pole section could comprise a series of holes designed and positioned to receive one or more spring-loaded detents (not shown) that cause a locking action between the first and second pole sections. The user would then have to press down in the detents so that the second pole could be unlocked relative to the first pole and the length of the pole could then be changed for the next exercise or for storing away. Presently, lock configuration is preferable since it is comparatively easy to use, it provides a locking force that is sufficient for the forces the pole 20 is likely to encounter during the exercises contemplated by the present invention, and it allows the user to set the length of the pole 20 to an infinite number of lengths rather than just a finite set of lengths.

[0040] The pole 20 when fully unextended is thus designed to be sufficiently small in size and light in weight to be easily and conveniently placed and carried in a golf bag, suitcase, or other carrying bag. When it is fully or partially extended, and coupled with the elastic member 40, discussed in more detail below, the pole 20 may be used to perform exercises in locations remote from a gym environment.

[0041] The pole 20 is also preferably equipped on each end 21 and 31 with one or more traction surfaces 25 and 35 respectively to increase the friction force between the user's hand and the pole 20. Several of the exercises contemplated with the present exercise device include placing one end of the telescoping pole 20 on the ground or floor where the exercise(s) is to be performed. To facilitate these exercises as well, traction surfaces 25 and 35 are also positioned on the distal ends of the pole 20. This increases the friction force between the pole 20 and the ground or floor surface.

[0042] As shown in FIG. 2, the exercise device also comprises an elastic member 40, such as a rubber band, an elastic tubing, but could also include a coil spring or the like and remain within the scope of the present invention. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, handles 50 and 54 are preferably attached to the ends of the elastic tubing. The handle 50 shown in the embodiment of FIG. 1 comprises a loop of resilient material. One portion of the handle loop 50 is attached to the elastic member, while a handle grip section 52 is attached to another portion of the handle loop 50 for receiving the palm of a hand or the bottom of a foot of the user. The grip 52 of handle 50 and grip 56 of handle 54 could be of any suitable material conducive to gripping by hand but also sufficiently sturdy to withstand the sole of a shoe. Presently, the handle grip 52 shown in FIG. 1 is black rubber tubing that encircles a portion of the handle loop 50.

[0043] The tubing of the handle grip 52 provides another benefit, namely, it allows the user's hand to remain at a given orientation throughout an exercise. That is, for several of the contemplated exercises, the user grips the handle grip 52 with one hand and pulls on the elastic member 40. As the user extends the elastic member 40 in this way, the angle between the user's arm or forearm and the elastic member 40 changes.

[0044] Without the tubing used for the handle grip 52, the user would instead grip just the handle loop 50 itself, and the user handle loop 50 would get twisted during this action. The user would experience the twisting effect and may have a tendency to rotate his or her wrist to compensate. Whether or not the user rotates his or her wrist to compensate for this twisting effect, the twisting effect could be considerable and would be quite distracting during many of the exercises. Also, the twisting action, over time, would cause the handle loop 50 to wear out and may cause the handle loop to eventually fail.

[0045] By the addition of the handle grip tubing, the handle loop 50 does not twist as the user performs an exercise, and the user does not experience any twisting. Instead, the handle grip 52 is free to rotate about the portion of the handle loop 50 that it encircles. As a result, regardless of the beginning and ending orientation of the elastic member 40 and the user's arm or forearm for a given exercise, the user can repeatedly perform the complete exercise without ever feeling the need to rotate the wrist—or the foot—for exercises involving placing the foot inside the handle loop 50.

[0046] The elastic member 40 shown in FIG. 2 is removably attached or coupled to the telescoping pole 20 by a coupling ring 82 mounted to the pole. The ring 82 may be removable and movable along the length of the pole 20 by a removable attachment collar 60. As shown in FIG. 3, the removable attachment collar 60 is preferably made of a resilient strap material. It comprises a first strap portion 62 and a second strap portion 70 extending in opposite directions and separated by a middle loop portion 80 intermediate the first and second strap portions that houses a portion of the coupling ring 82.

[0047] In a preferred embodiment, the coupling ring 82 is made of a single continuous polymeric or composite loop, and the middle loop 80 of the attachment collar 60 is sewn around a portion of the coupling ring 82. In this way, the coupling ring 82 is durable and substantially resistant to breaking thus allowing for a long useful life. The stitching 81 of the middle loop 80 of the attachment collar 60 is likewise durable as it may span the entire width of the attachment collar 60. As shown in FIG. 4, the stitching 81 is disposed perpendicular to any stresses exerted on it by the exercises contemplated by the present invention, and thus the stresses are distributed evenly along the stitching so as to reduce the effect of the stresses on the stitching 81 and on combination of the attachment collar 60 and coupling loop 82.

[0048] The coupling ring 82 in the preferred embodiment has an inner dimension that is sufficiently large to loosely encircle a portion of the elastic member 40 and allow the elastic tubing to freely slide within the ring 82. This inner dimension also is, in the preferred embodiment, sufficiently small to preclude the handle loop straps 50 and 54 to pass through. As a result, the elastic member 40 and the handle loops will not be easily removed or lost from the attachment collar 60. Therefore, the combination of the elastic member 40, handle loop straps 50 and 54, and the attachment collar 60 in this embodiment is always available as a unit always readily available to be easily attached to the extendable pole 20 at a desired location for an exercise, easily moved to another location for another exercise, and easily removed from the pole 20 and stored away in the travel bag or suitcase when it is not needed.

[0049] The attachment collar 60 further has a self attachment means, such as buttons, latches, clasps, or a hook and loop type fastener, commonly referred to as VelcroŽ. That is, the inner surface 72 of the second strap portion 70 comprises an attachment mechanism 79 for attaching to a mating mechanism 69 on the outer surface 68 of the first strap portion 62. A hook and loop fastener, such as that shown in FIG. 4, is presently preferred since, by using a hook and loop fastener, the attachment collar 60 can be tightened as necessary around the pole 20 for a given exercise, and it may be loosened as necessary to remove the collar 60 or moved it to a different location for a different exercise.

[0050] The attachment collar 60 also has an inwardly facing gripping surface 66 that is disposed on the inner surface 64 of the first strap portion 62. Once tightened around the pole 20, the attachment collar 60 is held in place by the friction force between the gripping surface 66 and the outer surface 25 and/or 35 of the pole 20. The gripping surface 66 is preferably a rubber or neoprene sheet sewn, glued, or otherwise affixed to the inner surface 64 of the first strap portion 62.

[0051] Since the elastic member 40 can freely slide through the coupling loop 82, the user can either pull on one of the handle loops 50 or 54 for an exercise, or the user can pull on both of the handle loops 50 and 54 for the exercise. If the user pulls on just one of the handles, the handle on the other end of the elastic member 40 will be pulled into contact with the coupling ring 82, and the user stretches the entire length of the elastic member 40 and encounters a resistance for the exercise that is a function of the length of the elastic member 40.

[0052] If, on the other hand, the user pulls on both handle loops 50 and 54 at the same time and in the same direction, the mid point of the elastic member 40 will be pulled into contact with the coupling ring 82, and the user effectively stretches two parallel halves of the elastic member 40 at the same time and encounters a much greater resistance as the two halves of the elastic member 40 are stretched. That is, due to the free sliding coupling arrangement between the pole 20 and the elastic members 40, the user has two distinct options for the amount of resistance he or she encounters in each exercise, along with two correspondingly distinct options for the range of motion that he or she can have during each exercise.

[0053] For a given exercise, therefore, the user may begin by removing the telescoping pole 20 from a golf bag, suitcase, or other travel bag (not shown). The user extends the telescoping pole 20 to a desired length for a selected exercise by pulling on the second pole section 32 in an axially outward direction relative to the first pole section 22.

[0054] When the user has extended the pole 20 out to the desired length, the user locks the length of the pole 20 by twisting the second pole section 32 about a quarter turn relative to the first pole section 22. Alternatively, the user may have to position the second pole section 32 relative to the first pole section 22 in such a way that one or more spring-loaded detent members (not shown) in the second pole section 32 extend radially outward into one or more holes in the first pole section 22 to lock the two pole sections at a desired length.

[0055] Then, the user removably attaches an elastic member 40 to the pole 20 at a desired location along the length of the pole 20, such as by wrapping an attachment collar 60—which is coupled to the elastic member 40—to the outer surface 26 or 34 of the pole 20, and tightening the collar 60 around the pole 20 with sufficient force to insure that the collar 60 will not slide during the exercise.

[0056] The user then holds one end 21 of the pole 20 in one hand, and places the other end 31 of the pole 20 on the ground or floor or other generally flat surface, applying a sufficient downward pressure on the pole 20 so that the pole 20 does not slip along the ground or floor during the exercise. The user then extends one or both ends of the elastic member 40 away from the pole 20 with either his or her free hand or foot. In doing so, the user stretches or exercises the arm, leg, or torso of his or her body as a result of the resistance exerted back on the hand or foot by the elastic member 40 as it is extended. Throughout this exercise, the user is able to keep his or her free hand or foot in a single orientation without rotating it because of the ability of the handle grips 50 and 56 to rotate about the portion of the handle loop 50 they encircle.

[0057] By performing these steps, a surprisingly great multitude of exercises become available to the user. For example, the user can thereby perform quad extensions wherein the user places the attachment collar 60 six to twelve inches from one end 21 of the telescoping pole 20 and places this end 21 of the pole 20 on the ground about twelve inches to the side of her left foot, holds the other end of the pole 20 with her left hand, standing with her feet shoulder distance apart, keeping her knees slightly flexed in an athletic position. She then places her left foot in the handle loop 50 and, looking away from the pole 20, raises her left knee up so that it is parallel to the ground while balancing on the other foot. While keeping her hip still, the user then slowly extends her left leg so that it is also parallel to the ground. This is repeated several times for the left leg and then for the right leg. For optimal results, the user should ordinarily try to avoid using the pole 20 for balance or as a weight-bearing tool.

[0058] Additionally, as shown in FIG. 5, the user can perform hamstring curls in which the user stands with her feet shoulder distance apart, keeping knees slightly flexed in an athletic position, positions the attachment collar 60 around the pole 20 about six inches from one end 21 of the pole 20, places this end 21 of the pole 20 with attachment side on the ground about twelve inches to the side of her left foot, and holds the upper traction surface 25 with her left hand. She then places her left foot in the handle loop 50 and, while balancing on right leg, slowly lifts the back of her left foot towards her buttocks bending the left leg at the knee, repeating several times for each leg.

[0059] This same stance can then be used to perform so-called glute contractions, in which, instead of bending the left leg at the knee, the user keeps the left leg straight and extends her left foot back away from the pole 20, so as to contract the gluteus maximus muscles.

[0060] The user can also readily perform abductor exercises by standing with his feet shoulder distance apart, keeping his knees slightly flexed in an athletic position, holding one of the traction surfaces 25 on one end 21 of the telescoping pole 20 with the left hand, and again placing the other end 31 of the pole 20 about twelve inches to the side and a few inches in front of his left foot. The attachment collar 60 can be moved up along the pole 20 to about six to twenty-four inches from the end of the pole 20. He then places his right foot in the handle loop 50 or through both handle loops 50 and 54, balances on his left leg and, keeping his right leg straight, extends his right foot to the front so that it remains in the same plane as the pole 20. The exercise then involves him slowly extending his right foot to the right away from the telescoping pole 20 and across his other leg as far as possible. This once again can be repeated several times for the right foot.

[0061] The left foot can then be placed in the handle loop 50 with the pole 20 still placed as described in the foregoing paragraph. The user then balances on his right leg and, keeping his left leg straight now, extends his left foot to the front so that it is in the same plane as the pole 20. This complementary exercise then involves him slowly extending his left foot to the right, away from the telescoping pole 20 and away from his other leg as far as possible, and repeating several times for the left foot.

[0062] Arm exercises include forward and side shoulder raises. The front shoulder raise includes the same stance as discussed above, but instead of placing the foot in the handle loop 50, the user places her right hand in the handle loop 50 and, keeping her right arm straight and in front of her torso, slowly lifts her right hand over her head as high as possible, repeating several times. The side shoulder raise, shown in FIG. 6, is similar, but instead of keeping her right arm in front of her torso, she slowly lifts her right arm outward to the side of her torso. For maximum resistance by the elastic member 40, the attachment collar 60 can be attached to the pole 20 as close to the ground as possible. For a lighter stretching exercise, the attachment collar 60 attached higher up on the pole 20.

[0063] The device configured as illustrated in FIG. 7 can also be used to perform sub-scapula exercises. Here, the attachment collar 60 is placed about halfway up the pole 20 or higher depending on the height of the user, and depending on the amount of resistance the user wants. The user then performs the steps for the front shoulder raise, except that the right arm is angled directly away from the user's torso with the forearm bent forward 90°. The user then rotates her right arm so that at the end of this rotation her forearm is bent upward 90°, and this motion is repeated several times.

[0064] A bicep curl may also be performed. The stance and configuration of the device is similar to the front shoulder raise above, except that the attachment collar 60 positioned as low as possible along the pole 20, and that the right elbow is tucked in close to the user's torso. The right arm is not kept straight but rather is allowed to bend at the elbow. This causes the right bicep to be exercised. The attachment collar 60 can be attached higher up on the pole 20 to reduce the amount of resistance experienced during the exercise, and the user can grasp both handle loops 50 and 54 rather than just one to multiply the amount of resistance during the exercise.

[0065] By bending forward at the waist, as illustrated in FIG. 8, the user can perform triceps extensions. Triceps extensions are performed by standing with her feet shoulder distance apart, keeping her knees slightly flexed in an athletic position, holding the upper end 21 of the pole 20 with her left hand, placing the other end 31 of the pole 20 on ground about twenty-four inches in front of her right foot, and placing the attachment collar 60 about one or two feet above the ground. The user then grasps one or both handle loops 50 and/or 54 with the right hand and, keeping her back straight, bends forward 90° at the waist so that her back is parallel to the ground. Keeping her right elbow tucked in near her right side of her body, she slowly extends her hand away from the pole 20, thereby exercising her triceps.

[0066] The user can also exercise his latissimus dorsi muscles by placing the entire pole 20 lengthwise on the ground in front of and perpendicular to his feet and stepping on the pole 20 with his left foot as shown in FIG. 9. Keeping his back straight, he bends forward 90° at the waist so that his back is parallel to the ground, grasps one or both of the handle loops 50 and/or 54 with his right hand, and pulls his right hand towards the right side of his body as high as possible and away from the pole 20, bending his right arm at the elbow.

[0067] The additional benefit of the present invention also includes not only that the elastic member 40 may be easily moved from place to place along the length of the extendable pole 20, but further that the elastic member 40 may also be entirely removed from the pole 20. This allows the user to perform many additional well-known exercises that use a device having two handles connected by elastic tubing or a spring. It also allows the user to perform many well-known stretches and exercises that use a straight pole. These include oblique exercises, shoulder stretches, standing torso rotations, forward bending torso rotations, and chest stretches. A forward bend rotation stretching exercise is illustrated in FIG. 10.

[0068] That is, by having the attachment collar 60 made so that it may be attached to the extendable pole 20 in various locations, whole sets of exercises and stretching exercises are made available to the user. And additionally, by having the pole 20 separable from the elastic member 40 and attachment collar 60 combination, two additional sets of exercises and stretching exercises are made available to the user, namely exercises that use the pole 20 alone and exercises the utilize the elastic member 40 alone.

[0069] At all times, however, the elastic member 40 is preferably never removed from the attachment collar 60 so that there are preferably only two separate pieces, the pole 20 and the elastic member/attachment collar combination. In this way, assembly of the device is made quick and simple, providing for the largest possible combination of exercises while also providing a particularly easy to use, lightweight, compact, and portable exercise system for use in locations remote from a gym. All of the above exercises are made available with just two components, used separately for some of the exercises, and used together for the other exercises. Also, for many of the exercises described above, the two components are used in combination and making full use of the ground or other flat surface in contact with one of the traction surfaces 25 and 35 of the pole 20 so that the portable components of the device are as compact as possible.

[0070] While the present invention has been described with regards to particular embodiments, it is recognized that additional variations of the present invention may be devised without departing from the inventive concept.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7087003 *Feb 9, 2005Aug 8, 2006Carol KatterjohnExercise system and method
US7288052 *Jul 9, 2004Oct 30, 2007Vicklyn GuillaumeExercise device
US7850582 *Dec 10, 2007Dec 14, 2010Smith Francis JFlexible exercise device and related systems
US8047974Aug 3, 2010Nov 1, 2011Kanelos Stephen AExercise apparatus and methods of assembling and using the same
US20130012851 *Jan 10, 2013John FahmieVersatile massage therapy pole
US20130310233 *May 19, 2012Nov 21, 2013Kevin James DahlquistTubular exercise device with selective foot and ankle mounting
US20130324378 *May 31, 2012Dec 5, 2013Limitless Wellness Project LlcRemovably Mounted Exercise Station
WO2011139931A1 *May 1, 2011Nov 10, 2011Core Energy Fitness Systems, LlcDynamic anchor strap for use with a pole for stretching exercise
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/126, 482/121
International ClassificationA63B59/00, A63B69/36, A63B57/00, A63B21/055, A63B23/035, A63B21/16
Cooperative ClassificationA63B21/0557, A63B2210/50, A63B2208/0204, A63B2209/10, A63B21/0552, A63B21/0442, A63B21/16, A63B2059/0085, A63B23/0355, A63B69/36
European ClassificationA63B23/035F, A63B21/055D, A63B69/36