US 20060252612 A1
A Smith Machine comprising a barbell displaceable between a pair of guide rails, wherein the barbell comprises one or more grip-arms laterally extending therefrom.
25. A weight lifting aid comprised of
a cylindrically shaped barbell engaging member having a recess extending along a main axis thereof, and
at least one handle having a first end attached to said cylindrically shaped barbell engaging member and having a second unattached end.
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The present invention is concerned with an exercise machine and more particularly with a so-called Smith Machine and an improvement therefore.
Body fitness has become increasingly popular with people of all ages and one common way to practice is by using exercise machines e.g. in a gym or at home.
Fitness and expected health benefits are generally accomplished through practicing of a continuous exercise program depending, among others, on age, state of health, personal goals, type of equipment and facilities, etc.
One type of exercise is primarily associated with body building and/or strengthening and training of certain muscle groups. Such exercise may be carried out using free weights or equipment and machinery designed for these purposes, and such equipment is often referred to as universal equipment.
The universal equipment is often presented in a number of separate machines specifically designed to exercise one or more groups of muscles.
One of the most common exercise routines requiring an individual to move his knees between extending and bent positions as he maintains his balance over his feet is the so-called ‘squat exercise’, wherein an individual raises and lowers his upper body between upper and lower positions as he moves between a standing position and a squat position. When the squat exercise is desired to be performed with weights, a bar having weights (often referred to as a barbell’) secured at each of its ends and which may be balanced and held across the neck of the individual as the individual moves between the standing position and the squat position. While performing this exercise, the barbell is grasped by the individual's hands while defending until thighs are just past parallel to the floor. Then back to a standing position with the assistance of the arms, extending knees and hips until legs are straight. While performing this exercise, one should keep his head forwards, back straight and feet flat on the floor with equal distribution of weights through forefeet and heel.
The squat exercise above described and variations thereof are typical examples of exercise performed by the so-called Smith Machine. Another type of exercise performed by this machine is the so-called ‘lunge exercise’. This exercise is carried out by placing the barbell on the individual's lower neck and getting into a start position wherein one foot extends forward and one foot backwards. The back leg is positioned such that when the individual lunges down his leg is vertical to the ground, i.e., not at an angle. While using a Smith Machine, the barbell is placed on the thicker muscle part of the trapeze use muscle and then, the barbell is unlocked by slightly lifting the barbell and rotating it in a counter clock direction disengaged from its arresting position. Then, individual lunges down until the knee of the rear leg is close to the floor. Then, the individual stands back up and returns to the starting position with several repetitions on one leg and then on the other leg.
A large variety of Smith Machines and other exercising machines are available on the market and have been disclosed through the years.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,744,560 discloses an exercising and body fitness assembly (of the time often referred to as a multi-trainer) comprising, among its other exercising features, also a lift bar (barbell) fittable with a plurality of weights as known, per se.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,184,992 is also directed to a multi-station physical exercise apparatus comprising, two barbell disk carrying carriages each of which being independently movable along a pair of vertical rails and suited, among others, for carrying out the above exercises.
However, the above referred to exercising machines are fitted with a barbell which for some individuals may be a problem to grip at the position behind their neck (e.g. owing to sport or other injuries, lack of flexibility, etc.). Even more so, the squat exercises may be relatively difficult for some people to perform because of the balance required during the exercise routine.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,569,133 discloses an exercise apparatus for performing squat exercises wherein the resistance i.e. working load/weights, is borne by a yoke assembly positionable about the neck of the user, said yoke assembly including a horizontally-disposed portion positionable across the neck of the user and carriage member portions secured to guideways for slidable movement therealong, and further, the apparatus comprises grip means connected to the post capable of being gripped by the hands of the user throughout the performance of squat exercise for stabilizing the user and helping him to maintain his balance over his feet.
It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved exercising machine of the type generally referred to as a Smith Machine, for performing effective exercising i.e. loading a desired group of muscles whilst preventing unintended load from other groups of muscles and furthermore, avoiding or minimizing issues of lack of balance and potential damage to different groups of muscles.
The present invention calls for a Smith Machine comprising a barbell displaceable between a pair of generally parallely extending guide rails, wherein said barbell comprises one or more grip-arms laterally extending therefrom. Also the invention suggests a pair of arms fitted on the barbell for gripping while performing different exercises with a Smith Machine.
According to the present invention there is provided a Smith Machine comprising a barbell having a longitudinal axis and displaceable between a pair of parallely extending guide rails, said barbell comprising a pair of grip-arms laterally extending therefrom and spaced apart from one another to conveniently be gripped by an individual extending between said grip-arms.
The grip-arms according to the present invention serve also for locking/unlocking (arresting/un-arresting) from locking pins associated with one or two supporting frame members of the machine.
According to a second aspect of the present invention there is provided a barbell for use with a Smith Machine comprising a pair of parallely extending guide rails slidingly supporting the barbell; wherein said barbell comprises a pair of grip-arms laterally extending therefrom and spaced apart from one another to conveniently be gripped by an individual.
According to a third aspect of the present invention there is provided a grip-arm for articulatingly positioning over a barbell of a Smith Machine such that it laterally extends therefrom. Typically, two such grip-arms are articulated on the barbell at a spaced apart relationship so as to be conveniently gripped by an individual.
The invention according to the present invention may include several modifications, for example:
In order to understand the invention and to see how it may be carried out in practice, several embodiments will now be described, by way of non-limiting examples only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
Attention is first directed to
Parallel extending at each side of the Smith Machine 10 there are provided a pair of rails 30 which in the present example extend substantially vertically.
The frame 12 is a rigid construction stably positioned on the ground which if necessary, may be secured to the ground, e.g. by bolts.
Slidingly mounted on each rail 30 there is a carriage 34 in the form of a cylindric/linear bearing 36 supporting a barbell 40 though allowing for its rotation, at least partially.
Barbell 40 is fitted with a pair of hooks 42 adapted for engagement with pins 46 laterally projecting from frame 16, so as to arrest the barbell 40 at any desired level. Engagement of hooks 42 with pins 46 takes place by rotating the barbell 40 in the direction of arrow 50 whilst disengagement thereof is facilitated by slightly elevating the barbell 40 and simultaneously rotation thereof in an opposite direction, i.e. in the direction of arrow 52.
Barbell 40 is of typical diameter corresponding with some international standards, e.g. in the range of about 28-32 mm, and so-called in the art an Olympic Bar. Free ends 60 of the barbell are thickened and are fitted with a non slip coating (e.g. rubber, etc.) and further comprise a stopper ring 64 for supporting weights (not shown) as known in the art.
While not in use, a plurality of weights are supported over weight supports 68 laterally projecting from the rear frame 12.
As can further be seen in
It is appreciated that the Smith Machine illustrated in
Turning now to
It is seen that the grip-arms 70 are formed with a knurled portion 80 which, however, may be fitted with a gripping pad, e.g. made of elastic material, sponge-like material, etc.
As can further be seen in
This arrangement allows for a rapid mounting or dismounting of the grip-arms depending on needs of the individual and on the exercise to be performed, namely, the spacing between the grip-arms 70 may be increased or narrowed per demand. Furthermore, when not in use, the grip-arms 70 may be loosened and displaced to a position adjacent either or both the post 16 or altogether removed. Still furthermore, the angular position of the grip-arms 70 may be altered so as to suit different requirements of different individuals.
With further reference now being made to
The technique of the squat exercise calls for exercising the ties and gluteus according to which the individual stands with his feet just in front of the barbell with a distance of approximately 40-60 cm between the feet (turned slightly outwards). While keeping one's head up the body is lowered with a straight back until reaching a position where the angle of the knees is slightly under 90° whereupon the individual pushes upwards without moving his back forward.
It is seen in
With further reference to
In the embodiment of
Whilst several embodiments have been shown and described, it is to be understood that it is not intended thereby to limit the disclosure of the invention, but rather it is intended to cover all modifications, embodiments and arrangements falling within the spirit and the scope of the invention, mutatis mutandis.
For example, it should be appreciated the Smith Machine represented in some of the Figs. And described with reference thereto, is a mere example and any other type of Smith Machine may be used as well. Furthermore, whilst several exercises have been discussed in connection with the present invention, it is to be realized that the artisan may use the grip-arms for any exercise and at any respective position thereof.