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Publication numberUS20050043151 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/891,472
Publication dateFeb 24, 2005
Filing dateJul 14, 2004
Priority dateAug 19, 2003
Publication number10891472, 891472, US 2005/0043151 A1, US 2005/043151 A1, US 20050043151 A1, US 20050043151A1, US 2005043151 A1, US 2005043151A1, US-A1-20050043151, US-A1-2005043151, US2005/0043151A1, US2005/043151A1, US20050043151 A1, US20050043151A1, US2005043151 A1, US2005043151A1
InventorsEliot Geeting, Michael Rovere
Original AssigneeEliot Geeting, Rovere Michael V.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Exercise machine
US 20050043151 A1
Abstract
An exercise machine comprises a housing and a resistive force apparatus. The housing has a cavity therein and a plurality of exterior faces. The resistive force apparatus is attached to the housing within the cavity. The resistive force apparatus includes a plurality of flexible tension members each having an end accessible at one of said exterior faces of the housing. Each one of the flexible tension members is movable between a respective retracted position and a respective extended position with respect to the housing. Each one of the flexible tension members is biased to its respective retracted position.
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Claims(58)
1. An exercise machine, comprising:
a housing having a plurality of exterior faces; and
a resistive force apparatus attached to the housing, wherein the resistive force apparatus includes a plurality of flexible tension members each having an end accessible at one of said exterior faces of the housing, wherein each one of said flexible tension members is movable between a respective retracted position and a respective extended position with respect to the housing and wherein each one of said flexible tension members is biased to its respective retracted position.
2. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein at least one of said flexible tension members has a first end thereof and a second end thereof each accessible at at least one of said exterior faces.
3. The exercise machine of claim 2 wherein the first end is accessible at a first one of said exterior faces and the second end is accessible at a second one of said exterior faces.
4. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein:
each one of said flexible tension members extends through a respective friction reducing mechanism mounted on the housing;
the respective friction reducing mechanism for each one of said flexible tension members is spaced apart from each other respective friction reducing mechanism; and
the respective friction reducing mechanism for each one of said flexible tension members enables a corresponding one of said flexible tension members to be extended in a plurality of different orientations with limited friction and wear of said flexible tension members.
5. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein:
the resistive force apparatus includes a plurality of guide member assemblies attached to the housing; and
each one of said guide member assemblies has at least one of said flexible tension members at least partially wrapped therearound.
6. The exercise machine of claim 5 wherein:
at least one of said guide member assemblies includes stacked guide members; and
each one of said stacked guide members has at least one of said flexible tension members at least partially wrapped therearound
7. The exercise machine of claim 5 wherein at least a portion of said guide member assemblies includes rotationally mounted guide members.
8. The exercise machine of claim 5 wherein:
each one of said flexible tension members is resilient, whereby elongation of one of said flexible tension members results in a respective resistive force being generated by said one of said flexible tension members; and
a magnitude of said respective resistive force is dependent upon a magnitude of said elongation.
9. The exercise machine of claim 8 wherein a first one of said flexible tension members exhibits a different level of resilience than a second one of said flexible tension members, whereby the first one of said flexible tension members produces a respective resistive force different than a respective resistive force of the second one of said flexible tension members for a given degree of elongation.
10. The exercise machine of claim 9 wherein a first end of each one of said flexible tension members is accessible at a first one of said exterior faces and a second end of each one of said flexible tension members is accessible at a second one of said exterior faces.
11. The exercise machine of claim 10 wherein at least a portion of said guide member assemblies includes rotationally mounted guide members.
12. The exercise machine of claim 7 wherein each one of said flexible tension members engage a same set of said guide member assemblies.
13. The exercise machine of claim 12 wherein:
each one of said guide member assemblies includes stacked guide members; and
each one of said stacked guide members has each one of said flexible tension members at least partially wrapped therearound.
14. The exercise machine of claim 12 wherein at least a portion of said guide member assemblies includes rotationally mounted guide members.
15. The exercise machine of claim 7 wherein:
at least one of said guide member assemblies includes stacked guide members; and
each one of said stacked guide members has at least one of said flexible tension members at least partially wrapped therearound.
16. The exercise machine of claim 15 wherein at least a portion of said guide member assemblies includes rotationally mounted guide members.
17. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein:
each one of said flexible tension members is resilient, whereby elongation of one of said flexible tension members results in a respective resistive force being generated by said one of said flexible tension members; and
a magnitude of said respective resistive force is dependent upon a magnitude of said elongation.
18. The exercise machine of claim 17 wherein a first one of said flexible tension members exhibits a different level of resilience than a second one of said flexible tension members, whereby the first one of said flexible tension members produces a respective resistive force different than a respective resistive force of the second one of said flexible tension members for a given degree of elongation.
19. The exercise machine of claim 18 wherein a first end of each one of said flexible tension members is accessible at a first one of said exterior faces and a second end of each one of said flexible tension members is accessible at a second one of said exterior faces.
20. The exercise machine of claim 17 wherein:
each one of said flexible tension members extends through a respective friction reducing mechanism mounted on the housing;
the respective friction reducing mechanism for each one of said flexible tension members is spaced apart from each other respective friction reducing mechanism; and
the respective friction reducing mechanism for each one of said flexible tension members enables a corresponding one of said flexible tension members to be extended in a plurality of different orientations with limited friction and wear of said flexible tension members.
21. The exercise machine of claim 17 wherein a first end of each one of said flexible tension members is accessible at a first one of said exterior faces and a second end of each one of said flexible tension members is accessible at a second one of said exterior faces.
22. The exercise machine of claim 17 wherein each one of said flexible tension members engage a same set of said guide member assemblies.
23. The exercise machine of claim 22 wherein at least a portion of said guide member assemblies includes rotationally mounted guide members.
24. The exercise machine of claim 22 wherein:
each one of said guide member assemblies includes stacked guide members; and
each one of said stacked guide members has each one of said flexible tension members at least partially wrapped therearound.
25. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein the resistive force apparatus includes one of a weighted flywheel arrangement, a frictional force arrangement and a spring arrangement, which is coupled to one of said flexible tension members for imparting a resistive force thereon.
26. The exercise machine of claim 1, further comprising:
means for promoting translation of the housing with respect to a supporting exercise surface.
27. The exercise machine of claim 26 wherein said means for promoting translation includes at least one of a wheel, a roller and a friction reducing slider member.
28. The exercise machine of claim 26 wherein:
the housing has a plurality of corners;
said means for promoting translation includes a plurality of wheels attached to the housing; and
at least one of said wheels is attached to the housing proximate a respective one of said corners of the housing.
29. The exercise machine of claim 1, further comprising:
an accessory pad configured for being detachably mounted on the housing.
30. The exercise machine of claim 1, further comprising:
an accessory pad including a first section and a second section, wherein the first section is joined to the second section by a flexible link, whereby the first section and the second section are positionable on a supporting exercise surface at various distances from each with the flexible link defining a maximum separation distance therebetween.
31. The exercise machine of claim 1, further comprising:
a support pad exposed at one of said exterior faces of the housing, thereby defining a corresponding support surface;
an accessory pad at least one of being configured for being detachably mounted on the housing and having a plurality of linked sections; and
means for promoting translation of the housing with respect to a supporting exercise surface, wherein said means for enabling translation is attached to at least one of said exterior faces; wherein:
each one of said flexible tension members is resilient, whereby elongation of one of said flexible tension members results in a respective resistive force being generated by said one of said flexible tension members;
a magnitude of said respective resistive force is dependent upon a magnitude of said elongation;
a first one of said flexible tension members exhibits a different level of resilience than a second one of said flexible tension members, whereby the first one of said flexible tension members produces a respective resistive force different than a respective resistive force of the second one of said flexible tension members for a given degree of elongation;
the resistive force apparatus includes a plurality of guide member assemblies attached to the housing;
each one of said guide member assemblies has at least one of said flexible tension members at least partially wrapped therearound;
the accessory pad includes a first section and a second section;
at least a portion of said guide member assemblies includes rotationally mounted guide members; and
the first section is joined to the second section by a flexible link, whereby the first section and the second section are positionable on a supporting exercise surface at various distances from each with the flexible link defining a maximum separation distance therebetween.
32. An exercise machine, comprising:
a housing having a plurality of exterior faces; and
a resistive force apparatus attached to the housing, wherein the resistive force apparatus includes at least one resilient tension member having an end accessible at one of said exterior faces of the housing and being retractably mounted on the housing, wherein elongation of said at least one resilient tension member results in a respective resistive force being generated by said at least one resilient tension member, and wherein a magnitude of said respective resistive force is dependent upon a magnitude of said elongation.
33. The exercise machine of claim 32 wherein:
said at least one resilient tension member extends through a respective friction reducing mechanism mounted on the housing;
the respective friction reducing mechanism for said at least one resilient tension member is spaced apart from each other respective friction reducing mechanism; and
the respective friction reducing mechanism for said at least one resilient tension member enables said at least one resilient tension member to be extended in a plurality of different orientations with limited friction and wear of said at least one resilient tension member.
34. The exercise machine of claim 32 wherein:
the resistive force apparatus includes a plurality of guide member assemblies attached to the housing; and
said at least one resilient tension member is at least partially wrapped around at least a portion of said guide member assemblies.
35. The exercise machine of claim 34 wherein at least a portion of said guide member assemblies includes rotationally mounted guide members.
36. The exercise machine of claim 34 wherein:
at least one of said guide member assemblies includes stacked guide members; and
said at least one resilient tension member is at least partially wrapped around at least a portion of said stacked guide members.
37. The exercise machine of claim 36 wherein at least a portion of said guide member assemblies includes rotationally mounted guide members.
38. The exercise machine of claim 32 wherein:
the resistive force apparatus includes a plurality of resilient tension members; and
a first one of said resilient tension members exhibits a different level of resilience than a second one of said resilient tension members, whereby the first one of said resilient tension members produces a respective resistive force different than a respective resistive force of the second one of said resilient tension members for a given degree of elongation.
39. The exercise machine of claim 38 wherein a first end of each one of said resilient tension members is accessible at a first one of said exterior faces and a second end of each one of said resilient tension members is accessible at a second one of said exterior faces.
40. The exercise machine of claim 38 wherein:
the resistive force apparatus includes a plurality of guide member assemblies attached to the housing; and
each one of said guide member assemblies has at least one of said resilient tension members at least partially wrapped therearound.
41. The exercise machine of claim 40 wherein:
at least one of said guide member assemblies includes stacked guide members; and
each one of said stacked guide members has at least one of said resilient tension members at least partially wrapped therearound.
42. The exercise machine of claim 38 wherein:
each one of said resilient tension members extends through a respective friction reducing mechanism mounted on the housing;
the respective friction reducing mechanism for each one of said resilient tension members is spaced apart from each other respective friction reducing mechanism; and
the respective friction reducing mechanism for each one of said resilient tension members enables a corresponding one of said resilient tension members to be extended in a plurality of different orientations with limited friction and wear of said resilient tension members.
43. The exercise machine of claim 32, further comprising:
means for promoting translation of the housing with respect to a supporting exercise surface.
44. The exercise machine of claim 43 wherein said means for promoting translation includes at least one of a wheel, a roller and a friction reducing slider member.
45. The exercise machine of claim 43 wherein:
the housing has a plurality of corners;
said means for promoting translation includes a plurality of wheels attached to the housing; and
at least one of said wheels is attached to the housing proximate a respective one of said corners of the housing.
46. The exercise machine of claim 32 wherein:
a first one of said resilient tension members exhibits a different level of resilience than a second one of said resilient tension members, whereby the first one of said resilient tension members produces a respective resistive force different than a respective resistive force of the second one of said resilient tension members for a given degree of elongation;
a first end of each one of said resilient tension members is accessible at a first one of said exterior faces and a second end of each one of said resilient tension members is accessible at a second one of said exterior faces;
the resistive force apparatus includes a plurality of guide member assemblies attached to the housing;
each one of said guide member assemblies has at least one of said resilient tension members at least partially wrapped therearound;
at least one of said guide member assemblies includes stacked guide members;
each one of said stacked guide members has at least one of said resilient tension members at least partially wrapped therearound;
each one of said resilient tension members extends through a respective friction reducing mechanism mounted on the housing;
the respective friction reducing mechanism for each one of said resilient tension members is spaced apart from each other respective friction reducing mechanism;
at least a portion of said guide member assemblies includes rotationally mounted guide members; and
the respective friction reducing mechanism for each one of said resilient tension members enables a corresponding one of said resilient tension members to be extended in a plurality of different orientations with limited friction and wear of said resilient tension members.
47. The exercise machine of claim 32, further comprising:
an accessory pad, wherein the housing includes an accessory pad receptacle in an exterior surface thereof and the accessory pad is removably mounted therein.
48. The exercise machine of claim 47 wherein the accessory pad receptacle extends through a bottom face of the housing.
49. An exercise system, comprising:
an exercise machine including a housing and a resistive force apparatus attached to the housing, wherein the resistive force apparatus includes a plurality of flexible tension members each accessible at at least one of a plurality of exterior faces of the housing, wherein each one of said flexible tension members is movable between a respective retracted position and a respective extended position with respect to the housing and wherein each one of said flexible tension members is biased to its respective retracted position;
an accessory pad at least one of being configured for being detachably mounted on the housing and having a plurality of linked sections; and
a force application device removably attached to the housing, wherein the force application device is configured for at least one of being gripped by a first one of a user's appendage and being strapped to a second one of the user's appendage.
50. The exercise system of claim 49 wherein the force application device is configured for facilitating carrying of the exercise machine when attached to the housing and for enabling extension of at least one of said flexible tension members when detached from the housing and attached to at least one of said flexible tension members.
51. The exercise system of claim 49 wherein:
the housing includes an accessory pad receptacle therein and the accessory pad is positionable within the accessory pad receptacle.
52. The exercise system of claim 49 wherein:
the accessory pad includes a first section and a second section; and
the first section is joined to the second section by a flexible link, whereby the first section and the second section are positionable on a supporting exercise surface at various distances from each with the flexible link defining a maximum separation distance therebetween.
53. The exercise system of claim 49 wherein:
each one of said flexible tension members is resilient, whereby elongation of one of said flexible tension members results in a respective resistive force being generated by said one of said flexible tension members; and
a magnitude of said respective resistive force is dependent upon a magnitude of said elongation.
54. The exercise system of claim 53 wherein a first one of said flexible tension members exhibits a different level of resilience than a second one of said flexible tension members, whereby the first one of said flexible tension members produces a respective resistive force different than a respective resistive force of the second one of said flexible tension members for a given degree of elongation.
55. The exercise system of claim 54 wherein a first end of each one of said flexible tension members is accessible at a first one of said exterior faces and a second end of each one of said flexible tension members is accessible at a second one of said exterior faces.
56. The exercise system of claim 53 wherein:
each one of said flexible tension members extends through a respective friction reducing mechanism mounted on the housing;
the respective friction reducing mechanism for each one of said flexible tension members is spaced apart from each other respective friction reducing mechanism; and
the respective friction reducing mechanism for each one of said flexible tension members enables a corresponding one of said flexible tension members to be extended in a plurality of different orientations with limited friction and wear of said flexible tension members.
57. The exercise system of claim 49 wherein the resistive force apparatus includes one of a weighted flywheel arrangement, a frictional force arrangement and a spring arrangement, which is coupled to one of said flexible tension members for imparting a resistive force thereon.
58. The exercise system of claim 49 wherein:
the force application device is configured for facilitating carrying of the exercise machine when attached to the housing and for enabling extension of at least one of said flexible tension members when detached from the housing and attached to at least one of said flexible tension members;
each one of said flexible tension members is resilient, whereby elongation of one of said flexible tension members results in a respective resistive force being generated by said one of said flexible tension members;
a magnitude of said respective resistive force is dependent upon a magnitude of said elongation;
a first one of said flexible tension members exhibits a different level of resilience than a second one of said flexible tension members, whereby the first one of said flexible tension members produces a respective resistive force different than a respective resistive force of the second one of said flexible tension members for a given degree of elongation;
each one of said flexible tension members extends through a respective friction reducing mechanism mounted on the housing;
the respective friction reducing mechanism for each one of said flexible tension members is spaced apart from each other respective friction reducing mechanism;
the respective friction reducing mechanism for each one of said flexible tension members enables a corresponding one of said flexible tension members to be extended in a plurality of different orientations with limited friction and wear of said flexible tension members;
the accessory pad includes a first section and a second section; and
the first section is joined to the second section by a flexible link, whereby the first section and the second section are positionable on a supporting exercise surface at various distances from each with the flexible link defining a maximum separation distance therebetween.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This United States Non-Provisional Utility Patent Application claims priority to co-pending United States Provisional Patent Application having Ser. No. 60/496,232 filed Aug. 19, 2003, entitled “Exercise Machine”, and having a common applicant herewith.

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

The disclosures made herein relate generally to exercise machines and, more particularly, to exercise machines employing flexible tension members to communicate forces to a user.

BACKGROUND

Various types and configurations of exercise machines are known (i.e., conventional exercise machines). Such conventional exercise machines are generally configured for increasing body strength, promoting cardio-vascular fitness, sculpting muscles and/or promoting limberness. Furthermore, such conventional exercise machines are generally configured for use by a single user or small group of users (e.g., within a home) or for consistent use by a large group of users (e.g., use within a health club or gym).

Such conventional exercise machines are known to have limitations that adversely affect their effectiveness, desirability and/or practicality. One limitation is that certain conventional exercise machines are not configured for supporting one or more categories of use (e.g., increasing body strength, promoting cardio-vascular fitness, sculpting muscles or promoting limberness). For example, conventional exercise machines often are intended primarily for either increasing strength or promoting cardio-vascular fitness. Another limitation is that certain conventional exercise machines are configured only for use with a particular part of the body, muscle or muscle group. Another limitation is that certain conventional exercise machines are cumbersome, taking up valuable space. For example, some conventional exercise machines configured for home use often take up a significant portion of space within a room during use and/or when stored between uses. Another limitation is that certain conventional exercise machines detract aesthetically from a space where it resides (e.g., a room of a house), particularly when it is not configured for being stored in an out-of-sight location (e.g., under a bed). Another limitation is that certain conventional exercise machines are not readily and conveniently portable. Such limitation in portability often results in interruptions in an exercise routine due, for example, to travel. Still another limitation is that use of certain conventional exercise machines is complicated and/or intimidating thereby creating a disincentive to begin and sustain an exercise regimen. Yet another limitation is that many conventional exercise machines are relatively expensive to buy and/or maintain, thus limiting their appeal to certain buyers.

Therefore, an exercise machine that overrcomes limitations associated with such conventional exercise machines would be useful and novel.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

In one embodiment, an exercise machine comprises a housing and a resistive force apparatus. The housing has a plurality of exterior faces. The resistive force apparatus is attached to the housing. The resistive force apparatus includes a plurality of flexible tension members each having an end accessible at at least one of the exterior faces of the housing. Each one of the flexible tension members is movable between a respective fully retracted position and a respective extended position with respect to the housing. Each one of the flexible tension members is biased to its respective retracted position.

In another embodiment, an exercise machine comprises a housing, a resistive force apparatus and means for promoting translation of the housing with respect to a supporting exercise surface. The housing has a plurality of exterior faces. The resistive force apparatus is attached to the housing. The resistive force apparatus includes a resilient tension member (i.e., flexible and capable of being elongated) having an end accessible at one of the exterior faces of the housing and being retractably mounted on the housing. Elongation of the resilient tension member results in a respective resistive force being generated by the resilient tension member. A magnitude of the respective resistive force is dependent upon a magnitude of the elongation.

In another embodiment, an exercise system comprises an exercise machine, an accessory pad and a force application device. The exercise machine includes a housing and a resistive force apparatus attached to the housing. The resistive force apparatus includes a plurality of flexible tension members each accessible at at least one of a plurality of exterior faces of the housing. Each one of the flexible tension members is movable between a respective retracted position and a respective extended position with respect to the housing. Each one of the flexible tension members is biased to its respective retracted position. The accessory pad is preferably configured for being detachably mounted on the housing, has a plurality of linked sections and is capable of being placed on the underlying exercise surface to provide adequate padding for an engaged portion of a user's body. One portion of the force application device is configured for being removably attached to one or more of the flexible tension members. Another portion of the force application device is configured for at least one of being gripped by a first one of a user's appendage and being strapped to a second one of the user's appendage.

Accordingly, it is a principal object of the inventive disclosures made herein to provide a novel and advantageous exercise machine and exercise systems that overcome limitations associated with conventional exercise machines and systems. Specifically, exercise machines and systems in accordance with embodiments of the disclosures made herein are configured for supporting one or more categories of use (e.g., increasing body strength, promoting cardiovascular fitness, sculpting muscles or promoting limberness), are configured for exercising/promoting fitness of a plurality of parts of a body, muscles or muscle group, are space-saving (e.g., do not take up valuable space, do not detract aesthetically from an area of use), are readily and conveniently portable, are simple and non-intimidating to use, and are relatively expensive to buy and/or maintain.

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, at least one flexible tension member has a first end thereof and a second end thereof each accessible at at least one exterior face of a housing of the exercise machines.

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, the first end is accessible at a first one of the exterior faces and the second end is accessible at a second one of the exterior faces.

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, each one of the flexible tension members extends through a respective friction reducing mechanism mounted on the housing.

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, the respective friction reducing mechanism for each one of the flexible tension members is spaced apart from each other respective friction reducing mechanism.

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, the respective friction reducing mechanism for each one of the flexible tension members enables a corresponding one of the flexible tension members to be extended in a plurality of different orientations with limited friction and wear of the flexible tension members.

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, a support pad is exposed at one of the exterior faces of the housing, thereby defining a corresponding support surface.

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, the support pad is compliant for providing a cushioned support surface.

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, the resistive force apparatus includes a plurality of guide member assemblies attached to the housing.

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, each one of the guide member assemblies has at least one of the flexible tension members at least partially wrapped around it.

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, at least one of the guide member assemblies includes stacked guide members that each has at least one of the flexible tension members at least partially wrapped around it.

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, each one of the flexible tension members is resilient, whereby elongation of one of the flexible tension members results in a respective resistive force being generated by the one of the flexible tension members.

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, a first one of the flexible tension members exhibits a different level of resilience than a second one of the flexible tension members, whereby the first one of the flexible tension members produces a respective resistive force different than a respective resistive force of the second one of the flexible tension members for a given degree of elongation.

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, each one of the flexible tension members engage a same set of guide member assemblies, which preferably have stacked guide members.

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, the resistive force apparatus includes one of a weighted flywheel arrangement, a frictional force arrangement and a spring arrangement, which is coupled to at least one flexible tension member for imparting a resistive force on the flexible tension member.

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, a means for promoting translation of the housing with respect to a supporting exercise surface is provided

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, the means for promoting translation includes at least one of a wheel, a roller and a friction reducing slider member.

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, the housing of the exercise machine has a plurality of corners, the means for promoting translation includes a plurality of wheels attached to the housing and one or more of the wheels is attached to the housing proximate a respective one of the corners of the housing.

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, an accessory pad is provided in conjunction with the exercise machine.

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, the accessory pad is compliant.

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, the accessory pad is positioned within a recess of the housing.

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, the accessory pad removably resides within a receptacle within the housing.

In at least one embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, the accessory pad includes a first section and a second section joined to the first section by a flexible link, whereby the first section and the second section are positionable on a supporting exercise surface at various distances from each with the flexible link defining a maximum separation distance therebetween.

These and other embodiments and associated objects of the inventive disclosures made herein will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and associated drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is depicts an exercise machine in accordance with an embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein.

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view taken along the line 2-2 in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 depicts a friction reducing means of the exercise machine depicted in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view taken along the line 4-4 in FIG. 2.

FIG. 5A depicts a resilient tension member routing configuration of a resistive force mechanism in accordance with a first alternate embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein.

FIG. 5B depicts a resilient tension member routing configuration of a resistive force mechanism in accordance with a second alternate embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view depicting a force application device in accordance with an embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein.

FIGS. 7A and 7B depict an accessory pad in accordance with an embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, which is interconnected by a flexible link.

FIG. 8 depicts an accessory pad in accordance with an embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, which is interconnected by mating interlinked features.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1 and 2 depict an exercise machine 100 in accordance with an embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein. The exercise machine 100 includes a housing 102, a resistive force apparatus 104 attached to the housing 102, a plurality of wheels 106 attached to the housing 102 and a support pad 107 mounted on the housing 102. The housing 102 has a cavity 108 therein and a plurality of exterior faces 110. The housing 102 preferably has a built-in handle 109 that allows the exercise machine 100 to be easily carried, that assists the user in performing certain exercises and movements, and that enables the exercise machine 100 to be conveniently hung for storage.

Preferably, the housing 102 includes a main housing portion having the cavity 108 therein and a cover portion, which snap together or are otherwise removably connected by means of screws or other type fasteners. The housing 102 serves as a structure that houses the resistive force apparatus 104 in such a way that the components comprised by the resistive force apparatus 104 are essentially concealed and out of the way when not being used. The housing 102 also serves as a platform to support various portions of a user's body (e.g., buttocks, knees, feet, elbows, forearms, hands, etc). Accordingly, the housing 102 is preferably made of a strong, rigid material (e.g., plastic or metal), such that it is durable and able to support the weight of a typical user while the user is performing various exercises and/or movements. Preferably, the housing 102 includes a plurality of pillars 103 that extend between top and bottom walls of the housing 102 and that are positioned for increasing structural support and rigidity of the housing 102.

It is preferable for the housing 102 to be capable of being taken apart after initial assembly to allow for the replacement or repair of internal components (e.g., components comprised by the resistive force apparatus 104). Preferably, the size of the housing 102 strikes a balance between being compact for portability and efficient storage and being large enough to provide enough room for the resistive force apparatus 104 and to serve as a comfortable platform to support various parts of the user's body. For example, one suitable size for the housing 102 has been found to be roughly about 15″ wide by roughly about 15″ long. Other sizes for the housing 102 will be contemplated in view of the disclosures made herein and specific applications.

The resistive force apparatus 104 includes a plurality of resilient tension members 112. Elongation of one of the resilient tension members 112 results in a respective resistive force being generated by that one of the flexible tension members 112. A magnitude of the respective resistive force is dependent upon a magnitude of the elongation.

In one embodiment of the resilient tension members 112, a first one of the resilient tension members 112 exhibits a different level-of resilience than a second one of the resilient tension members 112. For example, the first one of the resilient tension members 112 has a first strain rate (e.g., a strain rate corresponding to a first size shock cord) and the second one of the resilient tension members 112 has a second strain rate (e.g., a strain rate corresponding to a second size of a shock cord), which is different than the first strain rate. In this manner, the first one of the resilient tension members 112 produces a respective resistive force different than a respective resistive force of the second one of the resilient tension members 112 for a given degree of elongation. Thus, by joining the first ends 114 of two or more of the resilient tension members 112, the resistive force apparatus 104 enables an adjustable range of resistive forces to be provided. Examples of such resilient tension members 112 include pieces of shock cord, bungee cord, latex tubing, rubber bands and the like. Thus, such resilient tension members 112 are preferably flexible in addition to being resilient.

Each one of the tension members 112 has a first end 114 accessible at one of the exterior faces 110 of the housing 102 and a second end 116 secured to the housing 102 by a locking means 118 (e.g., a maze lock). The first end 114 of each one of the resilient tension members 112 is movable between a respective retracted position (i.e. proximate a respective face 110 of the housing 102) and a respective extended position with respect to the housing 102. Each one of the resilient tension members 112 is biased to its respective retracted position dependent upon its resiliency and static length (e.g., cut length). The first end 114 of each one of the resilient tension members 112 incorporates a means for attaching a force application device (e.g., a handle and/or foot strap). Such means for attaching the force application device includes a loop, a hook, a clip and other arrangements for enabling attachment to the force application device.

It is advantageous for the second end 116 of each one of the resilient tension members 112 to not have any loops, clips or clamps to hold them in place. In this manner, the resilient tension members 112 can be readily replaced by removing the second end 116 from the locking means 118 and pulling them through the friction reducing means 120. New resilient tension means 112 are installed by reversing this process.

The support pad 107 is mounted on and exposed at a top surface of the housing 102. The support pad 107 thereby defines a corresponding support surface. The purpose of the support pad is to provide cushioning for various parts of a user's body while the user exercises or performs movements using the exercise machine 100. In one embodiment, the support pad 107 is compliant, thus defining a compliant support surface.

Each one of the wheels 106 is preferably attached adjacent to respective corners of the housing 102 at respective positions of the exterior faces 110 of the housing 102. The wheels 106 create a clearance between a bottom surface of the housing 102 and an underlying supporting exercise surface, even when a user of the exercise machine 100 places some or all of their body weight on the exercise machine 100. The wheels 106 are an embodiment of a means for promoting translation of the housing 102 with respect to a supporting exercise surface. Other embodiments of means for promoting translation of the housing 102 include rollers, friction reducing slider member (e.g., made from a low friction material) and the like.

Such means for promoting translation enables the exercise machine 100 to be used as a moving platform that moves along the exercise surface to perform a number of useful exercises that depend upon translation of the housing 102. In this manner, such means for promoting translation allow a user to perform exercises and movements using such moving platform for support and/or a means of resistance. The means for promoting translation reduces friction between the exercise machine 100 and an underlying exercise surface, thus promoting movement of the exercise machine 100 on the underlying surface.

In order to provide for smooth and quiet rolling motion and to prevent scratching or marking of the supporting exercise surface, the wheels 106 are preferably made of urethane, rubber or similar material and are outfitted with bearings. In one embodiment (not shown), the exercise machine 100 incorporates a braking mechanism that selectively prevents rotation of one or more of the wheels 106. In one example, the braking mechanism includes a bar, a lever and/or a pad that contacts (e.g., compresses against) a portion of one or more of the wheels 106 to prevent such one or more wheels 106 from rotating. Alternatively, a rod or bar can be extended to engage a hole or a slot in a hub of one or more of the wheels 106 to prevent the hub from rotating. Such a braking mechanism would allow the user to prevent the exercise machine 100 from moving so that the user can use the housing 102 as a stable, non-moving platform with which to perform certain exercises. In order to avoid the cost and/or complexity of incorporating a separate braking mechanism, it is contemplated and intended that the exercise machine 100 (as depicted in FIG. 1) can be turned over so the support pad 107 rests on and grips the underlying exercise surface. In this position, the wheels 106 do not engage the supporting exercise surface, thereby enabling the user to sit, kneel or otherwise use the bottom of the housing as the stable, non-rolling platform.

Referring now to FIGS. 1-3, each one of the resilient tension members 112 extends through a respective friction reducing mechanism 120 mounted on the housing 102. The respective friction reducing mechanism 120 for each one of the resilient tension members 112 is spaced apart from each other respective friction reducing mechanism 120. The respective friction reducing mechanism 120 for each one of the resilient tension members 112 enables a corresponding one of the resilient tension members 112 to be extended from the housing 102 in a plurality of different orientations with limited friction and wear thereto.

One embodiment of each one of the friction reducing means 120 includes respective spaced-apart pairings of a cylindrical center roller and two flared edge rollers, which spin around respective shafts that are mounted on the housing 102. Another embodiment of each one of the friction reducing means 120 includes spaced-apart pairs of hourglass shaped rollers that spin around respective shafts that are mounted on the housing 102. A stopping member 121 is attached adjacent the first end 114 of each one of the tension members 112 for preventing the first end 114 of each one of the resilient tension members 112 from being pulled through the friction reducing means 120 into the housing 102, thus defining the retracted position of the first end 114 of each one of the resilient tension members 112. Other embodiments (not shown) of the friction reducing means 120 include a set of flared grommets or bushings, a block of low friction material with a series of flared bores and other similar friction reducing arrangements.

It is advantageous for the friction reducing means 120 to be configured for providing functionality regardless of orientation of the housing 102 of the exercise machine 100. In doing so, the friction reducing means 120 allows the exercise machine 100 to be used in any number or orientations (e.g., with the housing face up or turned upside down).

As depicted in FIGS. 2 and 4, the resistive force apparatus 104 includes a plurality of guide member assemblies 122 attached to the housing 102. Each one of the guide member assemblies 122 includes one or more guide members 124 (e.g., pulleys, rollers and/or other rotation guide means) that rotate freely about a respective post 123. Preferably, each respective post 123 is integrally formed with the housing 102 and serves as a load-bearing pillar that extends between a top wall 117 and a bottom wall 119 of the housing 102. In this manner, the load bearing ability of the housing 102 is enhanced greatly by and is dependent upon the quality and spacing of the posts 123.

Assuming that the guide members 124 and the posts 123 are made of common materials (e.g., plastic), sleeves 125 and washers 127 made of low friction material (such as brass) are preferably used to provide smooth, non-galling contact surfaces for the guide members 124. For the guide member assemblies 122 having more than one guide member 124, each guide member 124 is mounted in a stacked manner (i.e., stacked guide members). For the guide member assemblies 122 having a single guide member 124, a spacer 126 is used to take up the free space in order to prevent the guide member 124 from shifting up and down the post 123. Each one of the guide member assemblies 122 has one or more of the resilient tension members 112 at least partially wrapped around them.

It has been discovered that if one of the resilient tension members 112 is elongated in use and then released quickly, its rapid deceleration as the stopping member 121 engages the friction reducing means 120 often causes adequate reverberation to derail it from one of the engaged guide members 124. Thus, in order to avoid or minimize the potential for such derailment, it is desirable and advantageous for the guide members 124 to have deep grooves forming their side walls such that the side wall completely shroud the engaged resilient tension members 112.

FIG. 2 depicts a first embodiment of a resilient tension member routing configuration in accordance with the inventive disclosures made herein, which enables only the first end 114 of each one of the resilient tension members 112 to be accessed for facilitating elongation of the resilient tension members 112. Each one of the resilient tension members 112 wraps around a respective first engaged one of the guide member assemblies 122. In order to minimize wear and prevent derailment, the first engaged one of the respective guide member assembly 122 for each one of the resilient tension members 112 is positioned and/or sized such that the resilient tension members 112 extend essentially parallel to each other between the their respective friction reducing means 120 and the respective first engaged one of the guide member assemblies 122.

As depicted in FIG. 2, each one of the resilient tension members 112 engages a different first engaged one 129 of the guide member assemblies 122 and each one of the first engaged one of the guide member assemblies 122 is of essentially a common effective diameter. Accordingly, the position of each first engaged one of the guide member assemblies 122 is the primary variable for accomplishing such parallel orientation of the resilient tension members (i.e., assuming equal spacing of the respective friction reducing means 120 of each one of the resilient tension members 112).

In FIG. 2, it should be noted that a first one of the resilient tension members 112 that has a highest strain rate (e.g., a ⅜″ diameter shock cord) is routed on guide member assemblies 122 having a single guide member 124 (i.e., a single-stack guide member configuration) and the remaining two resilient tension members 112 (e.g., ¼″ diameter and {fraction (5/16)}″ diameter shock cords) have lower strain rates than the first one of the resilient tension members 112 and are routed on common guide member assemblies 122 having two guide members (i.e., a double-stack guide member configuration). In this manner, loads associated with the resistive forces on the housing are effectively distributed to reduce the potential for binding and premature wear, to promote smooth operation of the resistive force apparatus 104 and to minimize the fatigue of the posts 123.

Each one of the resilient tension members 112 (still referring to FIG. 2) engages a respective plurality of other guide member assemblies 122 (i.e., discrete guide members and/or stacked guide members). The respective total available elongation and respective targeted maximum resistive force for each one of the resilient tension members 112 is at least partially dependent upon a total length of a respective one of the resilient tension members 112. Thus, for each one of the resilient tension members 112, the respective number of guide member assemblies engaged, the spacing between adjacent guide member assemblies 112 and the respective resilient tension member strain rate are variables available for achieving a desired resistive force characteristic in the design of an exercise machine in accordance with an embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein (e.g., the exercise machine 100).

FIG. 5A depicts a second embodiment of a resilient tension member routing configuration in accordance with the inventive disclosures made herein, which enables the first end 114 and the second end 116 of each one of the resilient tension members 112 to be accessed for facilitating elongation of the resilient tension members 112. Accordingly, as depicted in FIG. 5A, the first end 114 of each one of the flexible tension members 112 is accessible at a first one of the exterior faces 110 and a second end 116 of each one of the flexible tension members 112 is accessible at a second one of the exterior faces 110. Such a routing configuration enables simultaneous displacement of the first end 114 and the second end 116 of one or more of the resilient tension members 112. In addition to allowing the user to work both sides of the body at once, such an embodiment allows longer shock cord sections to be used thereby increasing range of motion for exercises and allowing more efficient and consistent utilization of the full length of the resilient tension members 112.

Adjacent each end of the resilient tension members 112, each one of the resilient tension members 112 wraps around a respective first engaged one 129 of the guide member assemblies 122. The first engaged one 129 of the respective guide member assembly 122 adjacent to each end of each one of the resilient tension members 112 is positioned and/or sized such that the resilient tension members 112 extend essentially parallel to each other between the their respective friction reducing means 120 and the respective first engaged one 129 of the guide member assemblies 122. As depicted in FIG. 5A, adjacent each end, each one of the resilient tension members 112 engages a different first engaged one 129 of the guide member assemblies 122 and each one of the first engaged one 129 of the guide member assemblies 122 is of essentially a common effective diameter. Accordingly, the position of each first engaged one 129 of the guide member assemblies 122 is the primary variable for accomplishing such parallel orientation of the resilient tension members 112 (i.e., assuming equal spacing of the respective friction reducing means 120 of each one of the resilient tension members 112.

Each one of the resilient tension members 112 (still referring to FIG. 5A) engages a respective plurality of other guide member assemblies 122 (i.e., discrete guide members and/or stacked guide members). The respective total available elongation and respective targeted maximum resistive force for each one of the resilient tension members 112 is at least partially dependent upon a total length of a respective one of the resilient tension members 112. Thus, for each one of the resilient tension members 112, the respective number of guide member assemblies engaged, the spacing between adjacent guide member assemblies 112 and the respective resilient tension member strain rate are variables available for achieving a desired resistive force characteristic in the design of an exercise machine in accordance with an embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein (e.g., the exercise machine 100).

FIG. 5B depicts a third embodiment of a resilient tension member routing configuration in accordance with the inventive disclosures made herein. Such a routing configuration is advantageous in that it enables each one of the resilient tension members 112 to be relatively long for offering increased elongation capability. Furthermore, all of the resilient tension members 112 have an essentially common length.

Each of the resilient tension members 112 (still referring to FIG. 5B) engages all of the guide member assemblies 122. The first end 114 of each one of the flexible tension members 112 is accessible at a first one of the exterior faces 110 and the second end 116 of each one of the resilient tension members 112 terminates at a locking member 118 (e.g., a post). Adjacent the first end 114 of the resilient tension members 112, each one of the resilient tension members 112 wraps around a common first engaged one 129 of one of the guide member assemblies 122. Each one of the resilient tension members 112 engages a respective plurality of other guide member assemblies 122 (i.e., stacked guide members). Preferably, each one of the other guide member assemblies 122 are located adjacent a respective one of the corners of the housing, thus contributing to each one of the resilient tension members 112 being relatively long.

It should be understood that the purpose of the resistive force apparatus 104 is to provide resistance for a variety of exercises that rely on resistive force. It is preferable for the resistive force apparatus 104 to provide both positive and negative resistance and to provide an assistive force that can be used to assist the user while performing certain movements or exercises. The resilient tension members 112 of the resistive force apparatus 104 retract within the housing 102 so that they are out of sight and out of the way when they are not in use. The retractability of the resilient tension members 112 is advantageous in that it, for example, protects the resilient tension members when they are not in use, makes the exercise machine 100 convenient and simple to use, enhances the appearance of the exercise machine 100 and makes exercise machine 100 easy to transport and store.

Alternatively, the resistive force apparatus 104 can be configured to provide a resistive force by various other ways besides having resilient tension members. In one such alternate embodiment, the resistive force apparatus 104 includes a flexible (i.e., non-resilient) tension member coupled to a means for generating a resistive force that is mounted within the housing 102. One example of such means for generating a resistive force includes a weighted flywheel arrangement that provides increasing resistance as the flexible tension member is pulled faster and that is coupled to a spring-loaded reel, which retracts the flexible tension member and winds it up. A plurality of weighed flywheel arrangements can be selectively coupled together to provide an adjustable range of resistive forces. Another example of such means for generating a resistive force includes a variable friction system that is coupled to a spring-loaded reel arrangement for providing resistance when the flexible tension member is pulled. The spring-loaded reel arrangement then retracts the flexible cable member. Such friction system could consist of a belt, pad or clamp that is adjusted (such as by a turn knob or lever, etc.) to provide an adjustable friction force to a portion of the cable reel. Yet another example of such means for generating a resistive force includes a spring loaded reel arrangement that engages a variable spring force arrangement for providing a resistive force on the flexible tension member. Variability could be accomplished by engaging a variable number of springs within the variable spring force arrangement or by engaging one or more springs at different positions along the spring(s) thereby altering the effective spring rate of the spring(s).

FIG. 6 depicts a force application device 200 in accordance with an embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein, which enables a user to apply a force on a flexible and/or resilient tension member as disclosed herein. The force application device 200 includes a means 205 for being attached to the resistive force apparatus of an exercise machine as disclosed herein. (e.g., a hook configured for being attached to a looped portion of a flexible tension member). The force application device 200 is configured for being gripped by a first one of a user's appendage (e.g., a hand) and/or being strapped to a second one of the user's appendage (e.g., a foot or ankle).

It is preferable that the portion of the force application device 200 that is configured for being gripped (i.e., a hand gripping portion 210) has a length that balances stability for one-handed operation with the ability to be held with both hands to perform certain exercises such as upright rowing, etc. It has been discovered that if the hand gripping portion 210 is too long, it will be unstable for one-handed exercises such as curling, tricep extensions, etc. If it is too short, the user will not be able to hold it effectively with two hands. A length of approximately 6″ is an example of a suitable length for the hand gripping portion 210, which meets this balance.

It is contemplated herein that the hand gripping portion 210 can be made in various ways and out of various materials such as plastic, metal, strapping (such as nylon or polypropylene webbing), or combinations of the foregoing. The hand gripping portion 210 preferably has a cover (such as foam, rubber, etc.) to provide comfort and enhanced gripping. The hand gripping portion 210 also preferably has a swivel device 215 that allows the user to rotate their hand(s) without correspondingly twisting the flexible tension member(s) of the exercise machine.

The portion of the force application device 200 that is configured for being strapped (e.g., strapping portion 220) enables the user to engage the resistive force apparatus with one or both of their feet. The strapping portion 220 includes a strap that is configured for being attached to (e.g., secured around) a foot or ankle to form a simple foot hold. As depicted, the strapping portion 220 includes a first segment 225 and a second segment 230 that are attachable to each other via fastening means such as snaps, hook and loop fastener or the like.

Optionally, the hand gripping portion 210 is used in conjunction with strapping portion 220 to form a stirrup that provides simple yet superior resistance engagement for certain exercises (e.g., seated leg extension). It is contemplated herein that the strapping portion 220 can be made in various ways and out of various materials such as plastic, metal, strapping (such as nylon or polypropylene webbing), or combinations of the foregoing. The strapping portion 220 preferably has a padded portion (such as foam, rubber, etc.) to provide more comfort and grip. The strapping portion 220 can preferably be used to conveniently hang the exercise machine (e.g., from a curtain rod, door knob or similar device) without the need for additional hardware items such as a hook.

The exercise machine 100 may, optionally, include an accessory pad 300, embodiments of which are discussed below and depicted in FIGS. 7A, 7B and 8. The accessory pad 300 preferably consists of two separate sections that can be placed on the underlying exercise surface to provide adequate padding for an engaged portion of a user's body. For example, each section of the accessory pad 300 includes one or more pieces of foam, cushion, sponge or other similar compliant material with, optionally, a covering made of woven material, leather, etc. It is also preferable that each section of the accessory pad 300 has a thickness that approximates the overall height of the exercise machine 100 when the sections of the accessory pad 300 are removed from the housing 102 and are stacked on top of each other. In this manner, the accessory pad 300 facilitates certain exercises (e.g., kneeling inward split where one of the user's knees is placed on top of the stacked sections of the accessory pad 300 and the user's other knee is placed on top of the housing 102 of the exercise machine 100). Optionally, the housing 102 includes a recessed portion (not specifically shown), and the accessory pad 300 is at least partially disposed within the recess for storage. Optionally, the accessory pad 300 is configured for being placed on top of the underside of the housing 102 in order to provide cushion and comfort when the exercise machine 100 has been turned over.

Referring to FIGS. 7A and 7B, an embodiment of an accessory pad 300 is depicted, which includes a first section 305 and a second section 310 that are adjoined by a flexible link 315. A length of flexible material such as cloth, webbing, strapping, elastic webbing or the like is an example of the flexible link 315. In this manner, the first and the second sections (305, 310) can be positioned on an exercise surface at various distances from one another in such a way that they will not slip apart during exercises or movements. The flexible link 315, when sufficiently long, also allows the first and the second sections (305, 310) to be temporarily wrapped around, for example, the housing 102 of the exercise machine 100 for convenient storage and/or shipping. Edges of the first and the second sections (305, 310) have fastening means 320 (e.g., hook and loop fastener, snaps, grommets or the like) for enabling the first and the second sections (305, 310) to be held in place after they have been wrapped around the housing 102.

Referring to FIG. 8, an embodiment of an accessory pad 300 is depicted, which includes a first section 350 and a second section 355 that are configured for being interlinked in side-by-side relationship by respective mating ‘puzzle-like’ features 360. In this manner, the first section 350 and the second section 355 can be joined together without the need for discrete fastening means (e.g., hook and loop fastener, snaps, grommets or the like).

Various alternate embodiments of exercise machines and systems in accordance with the inventive disclosures made herein are contemplated and disclosed herein. In one such alternate embodiment, an exercise machine has a single resilient tension member, one or more accessory pads, an accessory pad receptacle preferably in the underside (i.e., extending through a bottom face of the housing) of the exercise machine housing in which the accessory pad(s) is conveniently stored (e.g., by a friction fit or hook and fastening means), and a handle which is used to carry the exercise machine and/or to perform certain exercises. The handle is permanently attached to the resilient tension member and is configured for being quickly attached to and detached from the exercise machine housing (e.g., by a twisting motion).

In another such alternate embodiment, a pair of exercise machines (e.g., a pair of the exercise machines 100 depicted in FIG. 1) is detachably linked together such that they can be used independently to perform a wide variety of exercises and used in a jointed manner to perform additional exercises. To facilitate interconnection, the each one of the exercise machines comprises interconnection means mounted to the exercise machine housing (e.g., a set of hooks) at respective mating positions. Thus, when the two exercise machines are butted against each other with the first end of the flexible tension members of the first exercise machine facing a mating hook of the second exercise machine, the exercise machines can be interconnected by hooking one or more of the flexible tension members of the first exercise machine to the mating interconnection means of the second exercise machine. In this manner, a resistance/assistance link is provided between the two exercise machines and provides the option of performing various exercises that cannot be performed with a single exercise machine. In addition, the exercise machines could be used at the same time to exercise multiple body parts simultaneously.

In another such alternate embodiment, support legs are provided in place of means for promoting translation of the housing (e.g., wheels). The legs elevate the unit and allow it to be used like a stool with a retracting and adjustable resistance system.

In yet another such alternate embodiment, a housing with means for promoting translation of the housing and linked accessory pad as discussed above is provided, but without a resistive force apparatus. Such an exercise machine could be made taller such that it can be used as a cardio step (e.g., when turned over). Sections of the linked accessory pad can be wrapped around the housing to create additional height for such a cardio step. This simple, inexpensive embodiment could be used to perform a quick, full body workout that targets the major muscle groups and that provides a cardiovascular benefit with just a handful of fun and effective exercises.

In summary, exercise machines in accordance with the inventive disclosures made herein are versatile, relatively inexpensive and lightweight, convenient to store and transport, and can be used to perform exercises that burn fat, that improve cardiovascular health, that strengthen muscles, and that tone and sculpt the upper body, the torso and the lower body. Such exercise machines can be outfitted with wheels for creating a comfortable and stable rolling platform that enable a user to perform other movements and exercises that will stretch ligaments, tendons and muscles, improve flexibility and increase core body strength. A set of linked accessory pads can be used to cushion various parts of the user's body, and the link prevents the accessory pads from slipping apart during exercise and also will allow the pads to be conveniently wrapped around and fixed to the housing of the exercise machine for convenient storage and transportation.

In the preceding detailed description, reference has been made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. These embodiments, and certain variants thereof, have been described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. It is to be understood that other suitable embodiments may be utilized and that logical, mechanical, chemical and electrical changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. For example, functional blocks shown in the figures could be further combined or divided in any manner without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. To avoid unnecessary detail, the description omits certain information known to those skilled in the art. The preceding detailed description is, therefore, not intended to be limited to the specific forms set forth herein, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents, as can be reasonably included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7931570Nov 29, 2006Apr 26, 2011Balanced Body, Inc.Exercise device
US8500611Nov 29, 2006Aug 6, 2013Balanced Body, Inc.Dual track exercise device
EP1979057A2 *Nov 29, 2006Oct 15, 2008Balanced Body Inc.An exercise device
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/114, 482/110
International ClassificationA63B21/055, A63B22/20
Cooperative ClassificationA63B21/0618, A63B22/20, A63B21/0442, A63B2071/025, A63B21/00065, A63B21/00061, A63B21/0552, A63B21/0004
European ClassificationA63B21/00D, A63B22/20, A63B21/055D