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Publication numberUS20050227833 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/817,737
Publication dateOct 13, 2005
Filing dateApr 2, 2004
Priority dateApr 2, 2004
Publication number10817737, 817737, US 2005/0227833 A1, US 2005/227833 A1, US 20050227833 A1, US 20050227833A1, US 2005227833 A1, US 2005227833A1, US-A1-20050227833, US-A1-2005227833, US2005/0227833A1, US2005/227833A1, US20050227833 A1, US20050227833A1, US2005227833 A1, US2005227833A1
InventorsWilliam Wilkinson
Original AssigneeWilkinson William T
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wearable exercise apparatus
US 20050227833 A1
Abstract
An accessory for facilitating upper body exercise of a user comprising at least one elongated resilient member for attachment on the body of the user for providing resistance to a natural forward arm swing of the user. Each resilient member has a securing member at one end and a user engagement at the opposite end. Each resilient member is sized to be secured to the user's clothing, to a detachable member, or to a loop on an optional belt, in a position on a first side of a midline of the user's body, to be engaged by the user's hand on a second side of the midline of the user's body, and to be guided by a second receiving member rearward of and on the second side of the user's body. A pair of resilient members may be packaged with the belt and a carrying case.
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Claims(44)
1. An accessory for facilitating upper body exercise of a user, the accessory comprising:
a) one or more elongated resilient member adapted to provide resistance to a natural forward arm swing of the user, each elongated resilient member comprising a first end connected to a securing member adapted to secure the resilient member to a first receiving member connected to a user's body, and a second end having a user engagement adapted to be engaged by a user's hand or wrist, each elongated resilient member sized to be secured in a position on a first side of a midline of the user's body, to be engaged by the user's hand or wrist located on a second side of the midline of the user's body, and to be guided by a second receiving member connected to the user's body behind the user on the second side of the midline.
2. The accessory of claim 1, further comprising a carrying case adapted to contain the one or more elongated resilient members when the members are not secured to the user's body, the carrying case comprising a securing member adapted to secure the carrying case to a third receiving member connected to the user's body.
3. The accessory of claim 2, further comprising a belt adapted to be worn around the user's waist, the belt comprising the first, second, and third receiving members and comprising an adjustment mechanism adapted to allow the belt to adjust to a range of waist sizes.
4. The accessory of claim 1, comprising two elongated resilient members, one adapted to be secured to the first receiving member and guided by the second receiving member, and another adapted to be secured to a fourth receiving member and guided by a fifth receiving member.
5. The accessory of claim 4, further comprising a belt adapted to be worn around the user's waist, the belt comprising the first, second, third, fourth and fifth receiving members and comprising an adjustment mechanism adapted to allow the belt to adjust to a range of waist sizes.
6. The accessory of claim 5, wherein the belt comprises a first end having a buckle, and a second end adapted to be threaded through the buckle.
7. The accessory of claim 6, wherein the belt comprises a first region adjacent the second end comprising one portion of a microhook/microloop fastener, and a second region adjacent the first region comprising a mating portion of the microhook/microloop fastener.
8. The accessory of claim 5, wherein the belt has a length, a lower edge and an upper edge, the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth receiving members distributed along the length of the belt and positioned closer to the lower edge than the upper edge.
9. The accessory of claim 4, wherein the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth receiving members comprise belt loops.
10. The accessory of claim 1, wherein one or more of the receiving members comprises a detachable receiving member.
11. The accessory of claim 10, wherein the detachable receiving member comprises a pointed end for piercing a user's clothing, means for safely securing the pointed end, and means for receiving the securing member of the resilient member.
12. The accessory of claim 11, wherein the pointed end of the detachable member comprises one end of a post member having an opposite flat end, the means for safely securing the pointed end comprises a cap member adapted to interface with the post member to removably secure the post to the clothing, and the means for receiving the securing member comprises a loop member adapted to be secured to the post member.
13. The accessory of claim 2, wherein the carrying case comprises an enclosure defined by a front wall, a back wall, opposite side walls, a bottom, and an openable top, the case comprising a cover flap that extends from the back wall, wraps over the top, and is securable on an outer surface of the front wall.
14. The accessory of claim 13 wherein the carrying case cover flap comprises a first region comprising one portion of a microhook/microloop fastener, and the outer surface of the front wall comprises a second region comprising a mating portion of the microhook/microloop fastener for securing the cover flap to the front wall.
15. The accessory of claim 13, further comprising a divider within the enclosure of the carrying case.
16. The accessory of claim 15, wherein the carrying case divider extends from side to side and has an adjustable position relative to the front of the enclosure.
17. The accessory of claim 16, wherein the carrying case comprises a first region on each of the opposite side walls of the carrying case enclosure comprising one portion of a microhook/microloop fastener and a second region on each side of the divider comprising a mating portion of the microhook/microloop fastener for facilitating the adjustable position of the divider.
18. The accessory of claim 13, wherein the carrying case further comprises at least one pocket on an outer surface of at least one of the side walls of the enclosure.
19. The accessory of claim 18, wherein the carrying case enclosure is sized to receive a compact disc player and at least one pocket on the side wall of the carrying case is sized to receive a cellular phone.
20. The accessory of claim 18, wherein the pocket on the side wall of the carrying case further comprises a closure flap for securing an item within the pocket.
21. The accessory of claim 18, wherein the at least one pocket on the side wall of the carrying case is sized to receive a water bottle.
22. The accessory of claim 21, wherein the carrying case pocket sized to receive the water bottle is elastic to accommodate water bottles of multiple sizes.
23. The accessory of claim 1, wherein the securing member comprises a clip.
24. The accessory of claim 1, wherein the elongated resilient member comprises surgical tubing.
25. The accessory of claim 24, wherein the surgical tubing has a 3/16 inch outside diameter and a 1/16 inch inside diameter.
26. The accessory of claim 1, wherein the elongated resilient member has a ratio of stretched length to unstretched length of in an approximate range of 3:1 to 2:1.
27. The accessory of claim 1, wherein the elongated resilient member has an unstretched length in an approximate range of 12 to 24 inches.
28. The accessory of claim 27, wherein the elongated resilient member has an unstretched length in an approximate range of 16 to 18 inches.
29. The accessory of claim 2, wherein the elongated resilient member, the carrying case, or both comprise reflective or luminescent materials.
30. The accessory of claim 1, wherein the user engagement on the elongated resilient member is adapted to be engaged with an open, loose grip.
31. The accessory of claim 30, wherein the user engagement comprises a padded loop, a flared grip, or a mitt.
32. The accessory of claim 1, wherein both the first end and the second end of the user engagement comprise clips and the user engagement is adapted to be clipped to the second end of the user engagement.
33. The accessory of claim 32, comprising a plurality of interchangeable user engagements adapted to be clipped to the second end of the user engagement.
34. The accessory of claim 33, comprising a plurality of interchangeable elongated resilient members adapted to provide variable resistance.
35. The accessory of claim 5, wherein the belt comprises a plurality of receiving members distributed about the circumference of the belt adapted to provide at least two receiving members suitable to be the first receiving member and at least two receiving members suitable to be the third receiving member, to enable provision of different degrees of resistance to the user's forward arm motion depending upon to which receiving member the securing member is attached.
36. The accessory of claim 1, wherein the elongated resilient member comprises a strengthening feature at each end.
37. The accessory of claim 36, wherein the elongated resilient member comprises surgical tubing and the strengthening feature comprises an overlap construction.
38. An accessory for facilitating upper body exercise of a user, the accessory comprising:
a) two elongated resilient members for providing resistance to a natural forward arm swing of the user, each elongated resilient member comprising a first end connected to a securing member and a second end having a user engagement adapted to be engaged by a user's hand or wrist, a first elongated resilient member sized to be secured to a first receiving member connected to a user's body on a first side of a midline of the user's body, to be engaged by an hand or wrist of the user on a second side of the midline of the user's body, and to be guided by a second member connected to the user's body behind the user on the second side of the midline, and a second elongated resilient member sized to be secured to a third receiving member connected to a user's body on the second side of the user's midline, to be engaged by the user's hand or wrist on the first side of the user's midline, and to be guided by a fourth receiving member rearward connected to the user's body behind the user on the first side of the midline;
b) a carrying case adapted to contain the elongated resilient members when the members are not secured to the user's body, the carrying case comprising a securing member adapted to secure the carrying case to a fifth receiving member connected to the user's body; and
c) a belt adapted to be worn around the user's waist, the belt comprising the first, second, third, fourth and fifth receiving members and comprising an adjustment mechanism adapted to allow the belt to accommodate a range of waist sizes, the belt comprising a plurality of receiving members distributed along a length of the belt and adapted to provide at least two receiving members suitable to be the first receiving member and at least two receiving members suitable to be the third receiving member, to enable provision of different degrees of resistance to the user's forward arm motion depending upon to which receiving member the securing member is attached.
39. A method of exercise, comprising performing a lower body exercise while wearing an accessory for providing upper body exercise, the accessory comprising at least one elongated resilient member, the elongated resilient member comprising a first end having a securing member and a second end having a user engagement, the method comprising:
a) securing each elongated resilient member to a first receiving member on a first side of a midline of the user's body and using a second receiving member as a guide for receiving a portion of the resilient member intermediate the first and second ends on a second side of the user's body midline and behind the user;
b) engaging each elongated resilient member user engagement with the user's hand or wrist on the second side of the user's body;
c) performing the lower body exercise while swinging the arms such that the resilient member provides resistance to a natural forward arm swing.
40. The method of claim 39, wherein the lower body exercise comprises walking, jogging, running, aerobics, or a workout on a lower body exercise machine.
41. The method of claim 39, comprising securing the resilient members to one or more pre-existing receiving members on the user's clothing.
42. The method of claim 41, wherein the pre-existing receiving members comprise belt loops, the method comprising using a first belt loop as the first receiving member and using a second belt loop as the second receiving member for each resilient member.
43. The method of claim 39, comprising securing the one or more receiving members to the user's clothing prior to attaching the resilient members, each receiving member comprising a pointed end for piercing a user's clothing, means for safely securing the pointed end, and means for receiving the securing member of the resilient member.
44. The method of claim 39, wherein the accessory further comprises a belt adapted to be fixed to the user's body and comprises an adjustment mechanism adapted to allow the belt to be fixed around a waist of the user's body within a range of waist sizes, the belt comprising a plurality of belt loops, the method further comprising the steps of affixing the belt around the user's waist and using a first belt loop as the first receiving member and using a second belt loop as the second receiving member for each resilient member.
Description
TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates to exercise apparatus, and more particularly to wearable apparatus for providing upper-body exercise while walking, running, or engaging in other lower-body exercise activities.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The exercise and fitness industry continues to be an area of high growth, marked by a proliferation of exercise machines. Many lower-body exercise machines have some type of mechanism to enable simultaneous exercising of the arms and/or upper body. Machines with such mechanisms for exercising both the legs or lower body and arms or upper body are often referred to as “dual action” or “total body” exercise machines. The applicant has numerous patents and patent applications relating to devices for providing total body exercise, including but not limited to U.S. Pat. No. 5,632,708 and pending applications Ser. Nos. 10/033,108 and 10/611,763, all of which are incorporated herein by reference. The applicant also has patents and pending applications for exercise devices for use while walking or running, including but not limited to U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,137,272 and 5,484,366, and pending application Ser. No. 10/613,693, all of which are also incorporated by reference.

The increased work associated with total body exercise raises the user's metabolism and heart rates more quickly as compared to lower-body workouts alone, and maintains the higher metabolism and heart rate throughout the workout. Such workouts are therefore more efficient, providing more exercise in less time. The arm exercise features also strengthen, tone, or shape the arm muscles during the aerobic workout.

In providing an upper body exercise component, it is particularly desirable to provide a source of resistance behind a user that allows the user's arm to perform a forward swinging motion in a natural, free-swinging arm position while providing adequate resistance to that motion to facilitate an upper body workout. This concept is found throughout the applicant's most recent pending applications listed above. While some devices known in the art, such as the devices patented by the applicant in U.S. Pat. No. 5,484,366 and claimed in pending application Ser. No. 10/613,693, are designed to provide some degree of resistance to a natural forward arm movement, designs that are particularly cost-effective, lightweight, and simple are desirable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One aspect of the invention comprises an accessory for facilitating upper body exercise of a user. The accessory comprises at least one elongated resilient member, each elongated resilient member comprising a first end connected to a securing member adapted to secure the resilient member to a first receiving member connected to a user's body, and a second end having a user engagement adapted to be engaged by a user's hand. Each elongated resilient member is sized to be secured in a position a first side of a midline of the user's body, to be engaged by the user's hand on a second side of the midline of the user's body, and to be guided by a second receiving member rearward and on the second side of the user's body such that the resilient member provides resistance to a natural forward arm swing of the user. The accessory may further comprise a carrying case adapted to contain the elongated resilient members when the members are not secured to the user's body. The carrying case comprises a securing member adapted to secure the carrying case to a third receiving member fixed to the user's body. The accessory may still further comprise a belt adapted to be fixed to the user's body, the belt comprising the first, second, and third receiving members and comprising an adjustment mechanism adapted to allow the belt to be fixed around a waist of the user's body, within a range of waist sizes.

In one embodiment, the one or more of the receiving members may comprise a pointed end for piercing a user's clothing, means for safely securing the pointed end, and means for receiving the securing member of the resilient member. The pointed end may comprise one end of a post member having an opposite flat end, wherein the means for safely securing the pointed end comprises a cap member adapted to interface with the post member to removably secure the post to the clothing, and means for receiving the securing member comprises a loop member adapted to be secured to the post member.

In one embodiment, the carrying case comprises an enclosure defined by a front wall, a back wall, opposite side walls, a bottom, and an openable top, the case comprising a cover flap that extends from the back wall, wraps over the top, and is securable on an outer surface of the front wall. The case may further comprise a divider within the enclosure that extends from side to side and has an adjustable position relative to the front of the enclosure. The carrying case may further comprise at least one pocket on an outer surface of at least one of the side walls of the enclosure.

Another aspect of the invention comprises an accessory for facilitating upper body exercise of a user, the accessory comprising two elongated resilient members, a carrying case, and a belt. Each elongated resilient member comprises a first end connected to a securing member and a second end having a user engagement adapted to be engaged by a user's hand such that the resilient member provides resistance to a natural forward arm swing of the user. A first elongated resilient member is sized to be secured to a first receiving member fixed to a user's body on a first side of a midline of the user's body, to be engaged by an arm or wrist of the user on a second side of the midline of the user's body, and to be guided by a second receiving member rearward and on the second side of the user's body. A second elongated resilient member is sized to be secured to a third receiving member fixed to a user's body on the second side of the user's midline, to be engaged by the user's wrist or hand on the first side of the user's midline, and to be guided by a fourth receiving member rearward and on the second side of the user's body. The carrying case is adapted to contain the elongated resilient members when the members are not secured to the user's body and comprises a securing member adapted to secure the carrying case to a fifth receiving member fixed to the user's body. The belt is adapted to. be fixed to the user's body, comprises an adjustment mechanism adapted to allow the belt to be fixed around a waist of the user's body within a range of waist sizes, and comprises the first, second, third, fourth and fifth receiving members. The belt comprises a plurality of receiving members distributed along a length of the belt, the plurality adapted to provide at least two receiving members suitable to be the first receiving member and two receiving members suitable to be the third receiving members, to enable provision of different degrees of resistance to the user's forward arm motion.

Still another aspect of the invention comprises a method of exercise for performing a lower body exercise while wearing an accessory for providing upper body exercise, the accessory comprising at least one elongated resilient member, the elongated resilient member comprising a first end having a securing member and a second end having a user engagement. The method comprises securing each elongated resilient member to a first receiving member on a first side of a midline of the user's body and using a second receiving member as a guide for receiving a portion of the resilient member intermediate the first and second ends on a second side of the user's body midline and behind the user. Each elongated resilient member user engagement is then engaged with the user's hand or wrist on the second side of the user's body, and the user performs the lower body exercise, such as walking, jogging, running, or the like, while swinging the arms, such that the resilient member provides resistance to a natural forward arm swing.

The method may comprise securing the resilient members to one or more pre-existing receiving members on the user's clothing, such as belt loops, or securing one or more receiving members as described above to the user's clothing prior to attaching the resilient members, or affixing a belt as described above around the user's waist and using receiving members on the belt.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary elastic member component of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a front view of an exemplary belt component of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a rear view of the belt of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a front view of an exemplary pouch of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a top view of the pouch of FIG. 4, with the front flap opened.

FIG. 6 is a rear view of the pouch of FIG. 4.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an exemplary loop, post and cap arrangement.

FIG. 8A is a perspective view of an exemplary hand loop as mounted on a user's hand, also showing positioning for an exemplary wrist cuff user engagement in dashed lines.

FIG. 8B is a perspective view of an adjustable hand loop.

FIG. 9A is a top view of a flared grip being engaged by a user.

FIG. 9B is a perspective side view of the flared grip of FIG. 9A, also showing an exemplary detachable mechanism for connecting the grip to the elongated member.

FIG. 10 is a plan view of an exemplary mitt form of user engagement.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION

The invention will next be illustrated with reference to the figures. The figures are intended to be illustrative rather than limiting and are included herewith to facilitate the explanation of this invention.

In its basic form, the device comprises one or more elastic members 10, each of which has a user engagement 12, such as for example a handle, loop, or grip, at one end for engagement of or by the user's hand. The elastic members may comprise cords, bands, surgical or other tubing, and the like, that when stretched, produce resistance. At the opposite end, each elastic member 10 comprises an anchoring member, such as a clip 14, for anchoring the member to a receiving member anywhere on the user's clothing or on an accompanying belt, described herein later. Clip 14 can be depressed with a finger for easy fastening and unfastening. Although depicted with a clip as the anchoring member, elastic member 10 may be anchored by any means, but are preferably easily and quickly attachable and detachable from clothing via clips, hook and loop fasteners such as VELCRO®, hooks, posts, buckles, safety pins, or snaps.

The elastic members 10 may be attached to any receiving member, such as a loop, ring, eyelet, or the like. In some embodiments, the receiving member may comprise a fabric loop, such as a belt loop, commonly found in on pants. For occasions when a belt loop is not built into the clothing chosen by the user, the invention may optionally further comprise a belt 18 that has loops 16 in different positions to which the elastic member can be attached. Belt 18 can be easily stored in a pocket if it is not needed, or in optional pouch 20, shown in FIG. 4.

Belt 18 comprises a buckle 19 and strap 17 for putting through the buckle. The forward end of the strap may comprise a microloop portion 15, of a VELCRO® microhook and microloop fastener mechanism, whereas the rear portion of the strap comprises the microhook portion 13, or vice versa. The body 26 of the belt comprises a plurality of loops 16 attached to the belt, preferably distributed all the way around the belt, but most importantly in the portion of the belt that will be positioned behind the user. The loops are preferably positioned closer to the bottom edge 28 of the belt as shown in FIG. 3, rather than being closer to the top edge 30 or centered upon center line C. Positioning closer to the bottom edge enhances the ability of the elastic members clipped to the belt to provide resistance as early in the user's swing as possible.

Another anchor/attachment means for the elastic members may comprise detachable members, such as a hasp or loop 16 a for attachment to a post 22 having a pointed end adapted to pierce the user's clothing and to be safely secured with a post cap 24. Post 22 is preferably put thru the clothing from the inside out so that flat head 21 of the post is mounted inside the user's clothing. A loop clip 26 may then be placed on the post, and a post cap 24 or other top or cover placed on the post. In some embodiments, loop clip 26 may be an integral part of post cap 24. The post and cap may have mating threads or may comprise any technology known in the art for keeping two such components together. Safety pins may also be attached to the clothing, and the elastic member attached/clipped onto the pins. A clamp may also be used for attaching loops or hasps to clothing without loops. The post and pin attachment mechanisms are not as desirable as providing an included belt, however, which does not require puncturing the user's clothing.

Preferably, members 10 are anchored to the rear of the user for promoting a full, forward arm swing and backward arm swing. Positioned in this manner, the members provide resistance mainly on the upswing, or forward swing. The strength of the resistance can be varied by where the elastic cord is anchored to the clothing. The further away the anchor point is from the arm pulling, the greater the resistance. That is, the longer the distance the elastic cord is stretched, the greater the resistance. Thus, it is desirable, for example, to attach the elastic member used by the left hand on a belt loop on the right side of the body, with the positioning being more rightward as more resistance is desired. It is further desired for the elastic member to be guided by a belt loop on the side of the body as well. For example, assuming M is the midline of the user's body as shown in FIG. 3, a user may choose to run the elastic member for the right hand through at least belt loop 16 b (or through all or any of loops 16 c-e) and clip the end to belt loop 16 f. Although not shown, the right hand elastic member may similarly be clipped to 16 b and run through loop 16 f. A user desiring increased resistance can clip to 16 a and 16 g, respectively, whereas a user desiring lesser resistance can clip to 16 c and 16 e, respectively. This type of arrangement provides a guide for member 10 closer to the side of the body from which the arm is pulling, while enabling attachment at a more distant point to maximize the resistance over the entire range of motion. Providing a guide on the same side of the body as the arm pulling keeps the elastic member under control during the backswing and during the transition from backswing to foreswing.

The resistance can also be varied by a device that shortens or lengthens the elastic cord. Resistance may also be provided in other forms that can be attached to the clothing and/or belt 18, such as by using devices featuring springs, reels with friction brakes, or the like, having elastic or non-elastic cords. In yet another embodiment, variable resistance may be provided by providing a elastic members, each having a different length.

The handgrip can be of any kind, but is preferably a soft and padded. The handgrip may comprise a soft, padded loop, such as of terry cloth or foam rubber, as is shown in FIGS. 1, 8A and 8B, or may comprise a flared grip 92 such as is shown in FIG. 9. An open grip promotes lower blood pressure and less hand-cramping than a closed grip. An open grip also relaxes the arm muscles to promote a more natural, comfortable swing and better exercise of the arm muscles. The padded softness eliminates irritation, chaffing, and/or blisters, from repetitive motion/arm swings.

In the design shown in FIG. 1, handgrip 12 comprises a section of padding 13 that surrounds a fixed size loop 11 of member 10. A loop is advantageous because it may simply engage the user's hand 80 in a naturally open position as shown in FIG. 8A with the loop passing between the user's thumb 81 and forefinger 82. It should be noted that in any loop embodiment, the loop may be fixed around the user's hand as shown in FIG. 8A, or around the user's thumb. Loop 84 may also be adjustable for sizing and comfort, while allowing for a quick release of the hands. An adjustable loop may be provided by a “cord-through-ring” mechanism 86, such as is shown in FIG. 3B in which cord 10 passes through ring 87. In another embodiment, shown in FIG. 3B of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/611,763, incorporated by reference, the loop may comprise a section of micro-hooks and mating section of micro-loops (or vice versa), that enables the diameter of loop to be adjusted. Any number of equivalent devices for providing adjustability are known in the art and may be provided.

In another embodiment, such as is shown in FIG. 9B, the handgrip end of the elastic member may comprise a clip 90, and each user engagement may have a receiving member 91, such as an eyelet or loop, to allow the user engagement to be switched between or among a plurality of choices, such as the handle as shown in FIG. 1, the loop and ring as shown in FIGS. 8A and 8B, an open-hand grip 92 such as is shown in FIGS. 9A and 9B, or a mitt 100 as shown in FIG. 10 and described below. Elastic members with clips on both ends may be particularly useful for embodiments where elastic members of multiple lengths are provided for varied resistance, so that the user can disconnect the user engagement from a member having a first length and then connect it to a member having a different length, thereby eliminating the need for each length member to have an integral handle, which would be more costly.

Flared grip 92 comprises a flared top 93 and a plurality of indents 94 and 95 and is preferably made of a padded, soft, non-chafing material, such as, for example, a dense foam rubber. Although shown with one indent 94 for the user's thumb and one indent 95 for the remaining fingers, any number of indents may be provided, including but not limited to, no indents, a single indent for the thumb and fingers together, or an indent for each of the thumb and fingers. Flared top 93 distributes the pressure of the forward swing to the top of the hand 80 to the thumb 81 and fore-finger 82, which stop the grip from slipping through the user's hand, as shown in FIG. 9A, and therefore allow the user to use a loose grip.

The use of a padded, non-chafing loop or a flared-top grip for engaging the hand provides an open engagement by the hand that exerts less pressure on the hand or wrist than a closed grip. The open engagement of a padded loop or flared-top grip also avoids the undesirably higher blood pressure that, according to some sources, may be promoted by a closed grip. An open engagement as permitted by the flared-top grip or hand loop also does not tire or cramp the hand or fingers, nor does it rub or chafe the hand or fingers, making exercise over a longer time period possible.

An adjustable and/or padded cuff 88 that merely slips around the user's wrist 85, may also be used to avoid the drawbacks of a closed grip. In another embodiment, shown in FIG. 10, the user engagement may comprise a mitt 100 for receiving the user's hand, having an integral receiving member 102, such as a ring, a loop, or the like, for receiving a clip 90 on the end of an elastic member as shown in FIG. 9B or for direct attachment to the elastic member (not shown). Although shown in the form of a mitten with a single receiving area for all the fingers and a separate receiving area for the thumb, the term “mitt” is also used herein also refers to embodiments (not shown) in which the mitt more resembles a glove with defined fingers.

While the flared-top grip 92, mitt 100, and loop or cuff type grips all offer the advantages of an open engagement, the flared-top grip offers the additional advantage of allowing the user to more quickly disengage the user engagement, by dropping it, if necessary. A loop may be somewhat more difficult to disengage quickly. The flared-top grip user engagement is particularly advantageous over the cuff-type user engagements 88 or mitt type engagements 100, which may tend to snare or catch the hand or arm and in which a user may be more likely to be tangled upon stumbling or falling, creating a potential safety issue. A mitt or cuff type engagement, however, may have cost advantages over a flared-top grip.

Pouch 20, which may be any type of carry sack, pocket, or bag for storing the cords when not in use, has an additional advantage in that it can be used to store/carry other articles such as, but not limited to, portable audio devices and associated CDs, tapes, or memory chips; watches or jewelry; money; keys; snacks; self-defense devices, such as personal safety alarms, whistles, sonic horns and/or MACE® or other types of personal protection sprays; glasses; head bands and/or wrist bands; mobile phones; medicine; and the like.

Pouch 20 as shown in FIGS. 4-6, comprises a front wall 50, a back wall 52, opposite side walls 54 and 56, a bottom 58, and an openable top 60. The pouch further comprises a cover flap 30 that extends from the back wall, wraps over the top, and is securable on an outer surface of the front wall, such as with a strip of VELCRO® microloops 31 for mating with a strip of microhoops 33 (or vice versa), or any type of fastener known in the art. The pouch is preferably constructed of a tough, light, waterproof material such as nylon, and is washable. The pouch is also provided with a clip 32 for easily attaching and detaching it from loops on clothing or on belt 18. Preferably, the pouch is clipped to the clothing or belt in a position behind the user out of the way of the user's swinging arms. If a belt loop on the clothing or belt 26 is not present, a post/clip arrangement as shown in FIG. 7 and described above may be used to pierce the clothing to provide location for attaching the pouch.

As shown in FIGS. 4-6, pouch 20 may comprise a central compartment 34 that can be divided into separate compartments 34 a and 34 b using divider 36. Divider 36 may have microhook strips 38 on its outer edges that interface with microloop strips 40 mounted on the inner surfaces of the sides of compartment 34. This allows the divider to be positioned where desired to change the relative sizes of compartments 34 a and 34 b, or removed completely to leave a single large compartment. Outer pockets 42 and 44 may be used for storing other items to which quick access may be desired. For example, pocket 42, having a securing flap 46 (with a microloop/microhook fastener 47, may be used for storing a mobile phone (not shown), and pocket 44 may be sized for carrying a standard size water bottle, or even provided with an expandable elastic material for holding bottles of varying size.

In general, the length of the elastic member should be chosen so that the target user has a full, comfortable range of arm motion under resistance without the member reaching its maximum stretch point, which can cause stress on the ends of the member and cause breakage, and which may cause overly great resistance for the user at the end of the arm swing. In some embodiments, for example, the ratio of stretched length to unstretched length may be in an approximate range of between 3:1 to 2:1, but the invention is not limited to any particular ratio. In one embodiment, for example, the elastic member may comprise latex surgical tubing having a 3/16 inch outside diameter (OD) and 1/16 inch inside diameter, with a length in an approximate range of 12 to 24 inches, preferably in an approximate range of 16 to 18 inches. It is preferable to provide additional strengthening at the ends of the elastic member, such as by using an overlap technique for surgical tubing as is known in the art and shown in dashed lines in FIG. 1, to prevent breakage at the ends of the member, where stress may be concentrated. As shown in FIG. 1, the overlap technique comprises placing an additional sleeve 110 of tubing (typically the same diameter as the remaining tubing 10) overlapping the portion of the tubing where the connection to the terminal device (user engagement 13, clip 14, etc.) is made.

For safety during nighttime use, the pouch and/or the cords may comprise a reflective material.

The invention is adaptable for users of all ages and sizes, because the resistance strength and the length of the swing can be varied by changing the attachment/anchor point for the elastic members.

The invention is superior to other devices for providing portable upper body exercise, such as dumbbells, poles, wrist weights, and complex belts or reels, because the user can stop using the device of this invention at any time without having to carry extra weight or bulk. In addition to being lightweight and easy to store when not in use, the present invention is inexpensive and provides an open-handed grip.

Although other belts with resistance cords, reels/cords, etc. are known in the art, these known devices do not maximize the resistance over the entire range of motion of a forward arm swing. The present invention allows for the attachment of the cords behind the user, so that the arms engage the resistance over the full swing range of motion which starts in back of the user. The belt supplied as part of the invention includes attachment means, such as loops to the rear of the user.

At least one exemplary embodiment of the device described herein has a number of benefits: it is portable, inexpensive, waterproof, light weight, compact, and convenient. In addition to being easy to put on and take off, it is also adaptable to fit the user's clothing, and can be used when wearing clothing with or without belt loops. The device is adjustable among different anchor points and has adjustable resistance. The device promotes a natural (full and free) arm swing and effectively develops the upper body and increases aerobic workout. The simple construction is inexpensive and reliable, while also being simple to use. Additionally, the pouch is useful for storing valuables, CD players, cell phones, and the like during use, and the use of reflective materials can increase safety for users.

Although the wearable arm/upper body exerciser discussed herein is particularly useful for use while walking or running., it can also be used in conjunction with lower body exercise machines, such as but not limited to treadmills, trampolines, steppers, exercise bikes, elliptical machines, and ski machines, and may also be used during other activities, such as but not limited to aerobics or step aerobics.

Although various embodiments of the invention have been described, it will be understood that the invention is not limited to these embodiments, but is capable of numerous modifications of parts, elements and materials without departing from the invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7293531 *Dec 13, 2005Nov 13, 2007Wacky Walk'r & Petc., Inc.Elastic dog leash and coupler
US7467604 *Sep 15, 2005Dec 23, 2008Swing River, LlcHands free dog leash which enables the dog to move side to side through a pulley attachment and which includes anti-tangling swivel mechanisms and safety mechanisms
US7892157 *Oct 2, 2006Feb 22, 2011Arnett Darren LExercise apparatus and method
US7998034 *Nov 18, 2010Aug 16, 2011Cobo Juan ARunner arm training apparatus
US8002244 *Dec 13, 2005Aug 23, 2011Donald Butler CurchodHigh load block construction and connection
US20130143724 *Dec 6, 2011Jun 6, 2013Meridian Research And Development, Inc.Double loop exercise strap
WO2006020855A2 *Aug 12, 2005Feb 23, 2006David L BegertMulti-sport swing training apparatus
WO2011111927A2 *Jan 7, 2011Sep 15, 2011Park chong-kunWalking aid
WO2013144684A1 *Mar 31, 2012Oct 3, 2013Garcia Rico Gabriel EduardoSystem for retaining elastic bands with attachment and anchoring elements for performing strength and resistance exercises
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/124, 482/139
International ClassificationA63B21/00, A63B21/055, A63B71/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B21/00069, A63B21/0555, A63B21/1403, A63B21/1434, A63B21/0557, A63B21/00185, A63B21/1419, A63B71/0036, A63B21/0004, A63B21/1442, A63B21/0442, A63B21/0552, A63B21/1438, A63B21/00061
European ClassificationA63B21/00U, A63B21/14A8H, A63B21/14A5, A63B21/14A8, A63B21/00D, A63B21/14A8W, A63B21/14A, A63B21/04C, A63B21/055D