Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20060270535 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/140,120
Publication dateNov 30, 2006
Filing dateMay 27, 2005
Priority dateMay 27, 2005
Publication number11140120, 140120, US 2006/0270535 A1, US 2006/270535 A1, US 20060270535 A1, US 20060270535A1, US 2006270535 A1, US 2006270535A1, US-A1-20060270535, US-A1-2006270535, US2006/0270535A1, US2006/270535A1, US20060270535 A1, US20060270535A1, US2006270535 A1, US2006270535A1
InventorsMichael Casey
Original AssigneeInventor's Management Group, Inc., An Ohio Corporation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wheeled abdominal exerciser
US 20060270535 A1
Abstract
An abdominal exercise device, comprising a strut, at least one wheel attached to one end of the strut, a handle attached to the other end, and a leg pivotally attached to the strut in between. The distal end of the leg rests on a flat surface. In one embodiment, the strut may further comprise a semi-flexible region with the benefit, among other things, of causing the handle to move in an arc-like path and thereby facilitate the abdominal exercise. A further embodiment may additionally comprise one or more resistive elements attached to the strut and the leg to provide additional resistance during the abdominal exercise.
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(25)
1. An abdominal exercise device, comprising:
a strut having a first end, a second end, and a semi-flexible region in between;
at least one wheel rotatably attached to the first end of the strut;
a handle formed on or attached to the second end of the strut; and
a leg pivotally attached to the strut between said first and second ends of the strut and having a distal end that rests on a flat surface.
2. An abdominal exercise device of claim 1 wherein the leg further comprises at least one foot member that may be held in place by the user during an exercise.
3. An abdominal exercise device of claim 1, further comprising a resistive element attached at one end to the strut and attached at another end to the leg.
4. An abdominal exercise device of claim 3 wherein said resistive element further comprises a variable locking block that attaches to one of more than one positions along a portion of the strut or leg to provide a predetermined amount of resistance during an exercise.
5. An abdominal exercise device of claim 1 wherein the leg further comprises at least a first length and a second length, the first length being attached to the strut and extending in a first direction, and the second length extending from the first length in a second direction that is substantially different than the first direction so that the device is sufficiently slender in profile to be used by a user while sitting on a stationary chair or bench.
6. An abdominal exercise device of claim 1 wherein the leg is attached to the strut below the semi-flexible region of the strut.
7. An abdominal exercise device, comprising:
a strut having a first end and a second end;
at least one wheel rotatably attached to the first end of the strut;
a handle formed on or attached to the second end of the strut; and
a leg having a pivot attachment end and a foot end,
wherein said pivot attachment end is pivotally attached to the strut between said first and second ends of the strut, and
wherein said foot end is held stationary at one place on a flat surface during an exercise.
8. An abdominal exercise device of claim 7 wherein the leg further comprises at least one foot member that may be held in place against a flat surface by the user during an exercise.
9. An abdominal exercise device of claim 7 further comprising a semi-flexible region between the first and second ends of the strut to facilitate the abdominal exercise.
10. An abdominal exercise device of claim 9 wherein the leg is attached to the strut below the semi-flexible region of the strut.
11. An abdominal exercise device of claim 7, further comprising a resistive element attached at one end to the strut and attached at another end to the leg.
12. An abdominal exercise device of claim 11 wherein said resistive element further comprises a variable locking block that attaches to one of more than one positions along a portion of the strut or leg to provide a predetermined amount of resistance during an exercise.
13. An abdominal exercise device of claim 7 wherein the leg further comprises at least a first length and a second length, the first length being attached to the strut and extending in a first direction, and the second length extending from the first length in a second direction that is substantially different than the first direction to facilitate the use of the device by a user while sitting on a stationary chair or bench.
14. A method for exercising the abdominal muscles, comprising the steps of:
sitting on a stationary chair or bench;
holding a strut by the upper torso, hands or arms of the user, said strut comprising a first end; a second end; at least one wheel rotatably attached to the first end; a handle formed on or attached to the second end; and a leg pivotally attached between said first and second ends;
bending forward from the waist up to a crunch position causing the wheel of the strut to roll forward;
returning to an at least partially upright position, and
alternating between the crunch position and the at least partially upright position thereby performing one or more abdominal crunches.
15. A method of claim 14, further comprising the step of holding a portion of the leg in place against a flat surface during the abdominal exercise.
16. A method of claim 14, further comprising the step of causing a semi-flexible region between the first and second ends of the strut to bend during the abdominal exercise.
17. A method of claim 16 wherein the leg is attached to the strut below the semi-flexible region of the strut.
18. A method of claim 14, further comprising the step of exerting a tensile force on a resistive element attached at one end to the strut and at another end to the leg.
19. A method of claim 14, further comprising the step of first adjusting a variable locking block at one end of said resistive element to cause the device to exert a predetermined amount of resistance during an exercise.
20. A method for exercising the abdominal muscles, comprising the steps of:
leaning forward on a wheeled strut to a forward position using the upper torso, hands or arms of the user such that the wheeled strut itself rolls forward, said wheeled strut comprising a first end; a second end; at least one wheel rotatably attached to the first end; a handle formed on or attached to the second end; and a leg pivotally attached between said first and second ends;
returning to an at least partially upright position, and alternating between the forward position and the at least partially upright position thereby performing one or more abdominal crunches.
21. A method of claim 20, further comprising the step of holding a portion of the leg in place against a flat surface during the abdominal exercise.
22. A method of claim 20, further comprising the step of causing a semi-flexible region between the first and second ends of the strut to bend during the abdominal exercise.
23. A method of claim 22 wherein the leg is attached to the strut below the semi-flexible region of the strut.
24. A method of claim 20, further comprising the step of exerting a tensile force on a resistive element attached at one end to the strut and attached at another end to the leg.
25. A method of claim 20, further comprising the step of first adjusting a variable locking block at one end of said resistive element to cause the device to exert a predetermined amount of resistance during an exercise.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to abdominal exercise devices and in particular, an abdominal exercise device that comprises a wheeled strut that can be operated by a user when in a seated position in a common chair or bench.

In previous roller type abdominal exercisers, a user is required to kneel on the floor and extend outward to perform sit-ups or other exercises. Floor model abdominal exerciser devices have been available in commerce for years, including a number that incorporate wheels. The problem with a floor model exerciser is that it is difficult for the average user to kneel down and extend outward to perform the instructed exercises. In addition, the prior art models are very strenuous on the user's lower back and knees. Many of them also uncomfortable and may even be difficult on the sinuses because they require the user to be face down for much of the exercise.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is an abdominal exercise device, comprising a strut, at least one wheel attached to one end of the strut and a handle attached to the other, and a leg pivotally attached to the strut in between and having a distal end that rests on a flat surface. In one embodiment, the strut may further comprise a semi-flexible region with the benefit, among other things, to cause the handle to move in an arc-like path and thereby facilitate the abdominal exercise. A further embodiment may additionally comprise a resistive element attached to the strut and the leg to provide additional resistance during the abdominal exercise.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of an exercise device in keeping with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 in an upright position.

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 in a forward position.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

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

The present invention overcomes the difficulties described above with respect to previous abdominal exercises having wheels by a novel configuration that allows the user to sit in a chair of any kind and be able to perform exercises without ever engaging the user's knees, placing excessive strain on the lower back, or causing the user to be face down during most of the exercise. As a result, all the benefits to the abdominal muscles can be achieved with the present invention without any of these and other disadvantages of the various previous floor models. Additionally, the present invention is very light and compact, and can easily be lifted up and moved to a chair, bench, or couch of the user's choice. Also, it can be folded into a very small space for storage.

Referring to FIG. 1, the present invention is an abdominal exercise device that comprises a strut 10 having a first end 12 and a second end 14. At least one wheel 30 is rotatably attached to the first end 12 of the strut 10. A leg 40 is pivotally attached to the strut 10 between said first and second ends of the strut and having a distal end 48 that is designed to rest on a flat surface. The distal end of the leg may optionally further comprise one or more foot members that the user can step or rest the foot of a chair on to hold it in place during an exercise.

The abdominal exercise may also include a resistive element 60 such as a spring or rubber band designed to create a resistive force against any angular movement of the strut 10 about the pivot attachment point 41 away from the foot end 48 of the leg 40. The resistive element is attached at one end 62 to the strut 10 and at the other end 64 to the leg 40. The resistive element may also further comprise a variable locking block 66 at either end 62 or end 64 that can be selectively positioned along either the strut 10 or leg 40 to provide a predetermined amount of resistance during a given exercise. Moreover, the exercise may comprise several different resistive elements of different strengths for the user to select from, given the amount of resistance the user wants to encounter for a given exercise.

As shown in FIG. 2, in one embodiment, the leg 40 may also further comprise a first length 44 that extends in a first direction and a second length 46 that extends in a second, noticeably different direction. The first and second lengths are connected at a bend or other such curvature in the leg 40. The first length 44 is attached at pivotal attachment end 42 to the strut 10, and the second length 44 extends from the bend in a second direction that is substantially different than the first direction down to the distal or foot end 48 of the leg 40. The two lengths separated by a bend is effective for making the entire device sufficiently slender in profile that a user can nestle the device right up to a chair or bench so that the user can perform his or her abdominal exercises using the device from a seated position in the chair or bench of choice (not shown). For the purposes of the present invention, the term “chair” shall mean any typical seating arrangement in a house, such as a couch, bench, nook, or even the even of a bed or the like.

Also, one or more foot members 50 may be affixed on the foot end 48 of the leg 40. These foot members 50 may be designed to be held in place by the user's own feet, or they may be designed to be held in place by the feet of the chair or bench on which the user is sitting during the exercise.

The strut 10 may also optionally include a semi-flexible region 20 in between the first and second ends of the strut 10. The semi-flexible region 20 is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 as being above the point of pivotal attachment 41 of the pivot leg 40, but the present invention equally contemplates that the semi-flexible region 20 could also reside on the strut 10 below pivot attachment point 41.

A handle 16 may optionally be formed on or attached to the second end 14 of the strut 10. The handle 16 is shown as a crossbar configuration, but a number of other handles are contemplated as part of the present invention, including more user-friendly shaped handles to be held by the user's hands or placed under the user's arms or armpits during an exercise, or a pad, strap, or belt designed to engage the user's chest or shoulder area. The results would be the same: the user operates the exercise device by bending or leaning forward from either a sitting or standing position. The resistance, however small, is felt by the user in the abdomen area after a predetermined number of repetitions between this forward position and a partially upright position. Consequently, for the purposes of this patent application, the term “handle” shall mean all of the foregoing structures for manipulation of the strut by the hands, arms, or body of the user.

In the operation of one embodiment of the present invention, a user begins by first selecting the type and strength of the resistive element 60 appropriate for a given exercise and given strength of the user and adjusting the variable locking block 66 to a particular locking position along either the strut 10 or leg 40 so that the range of resistive force exerted by the resistive element 60 in opposition to the angular movement of the strut 10 is the range the user prefers for a given exercise. Also, where a pad or strap is used for the handle 16, the user would then position his or her chest or shoulders on the pad or strap him or herself to the strut 10. In either embodiment, the user then initiates an exercise from a sitting position on either a stationary chair or bench or the like, the user takes hold of the strut 10 by the handles 16 of at the second end 14, holding the handles 16 either with the upper torso, the hands or arms of the user.

The user then bends his or her entire upper body forward from the waist to a forward or crunch position causing the wheel 30 of the strut 10 to roll forward. The user returns to an upright position, or a partially upright position, and then alternates between these two positions, the crunch position and the upright position, to perform a series of abdominal crunches. During the crunches, the user may also press down on the one or more foot members 50 on the leg 40 against the floor or other flat surface in order to hold the leg 40 firmly in one place.

In one embodiment, there is a semi-flexible region along a portion of the length of the strut 10, either above or below the pivot attachment point 41. In such an embodiment, the user would then cause the semi-flexible region 20 to flex or bend with each abdominal crunch to the position shown in FIG. 3. The flexing of the semi-flexible region 20 of the strut 10 adds to the resistance that the user feels during each crunch, but it also affects the overall path of the handle 16 during each abdominal crunch. For example, the path of the handle 16 in the absence of any semi-flexible region 20 is essentially a straight line that is angled sharply downward. The path of the handle 16 when there is a semi-flexible region 20 at some point along the length of the strut 10, in contrast, is an arc. Since the movement of the user's upper body during the abdominal exercise is also an arc, the semi-flexible region 20 provides the added benefit of providing a pleasing movement during the abdominal exercises, a movement that is more in concert with the natural angular movement of the user's upper body when performing the abdominal exercises.

In another embodiment, there is a resistive element 60 that extends between the strut 10 and the leg 40 such that when the strut 10 is manipulated to rotate away from the foot end 48 of the leg 40, the resistive element 60 exerts a tensile force in the opposition direction creating a load for the user during the exercise.

Another embodiment is configured to be operated by a user from a standing position from which the user leans forward bending at the waist, back, or ankles. The configuration is the same as described above, except that the strut 10 and/or leg 40 are longer so as to reach a user's hands or upper body when standing. After adjusting the variable locking block 66 according to the user's preference and positioning the handle, pad or straps 16, the user leans forward on the handle 16 of the wheeled strut 10 to a forward position, manipulating the strut 10 with the upper torso, the hands, or the arms of the user. Such leaning movement causes the wheel itself to roll forward. The user experiences the countervailing force of the resistive element 60, as well as a countervailing from the semi-flexible region 20 of the strut 10. The user also experiences the arc-like travel of the handle 16 caused by the combination of the leaning movement and the bending of the semi-flexible region 20.

The user returns to an upright position, or an at least partially upright position, and the user then alternates between the forward and upright positions thereby performing one or more abdominal crunches.

When the user is done exercising, he or she can easily fold up the device into a small space by collapsing the leg toward the strut. The resulting profile for storage is a little more than a folded lawn umbrella, and can easily be stored in a corner of a closet or the like. Also, the overall weight of the device is less than five pounds, and can therefore be easily lifted and moved to the user's chair or bench of choice, and can easily be transported in the trunk or back seat of even a small car to a different location.

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

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7819788 *Aug 18, 2009Oct 26, 2010Wei-Teh HoExercise apparatus for exercising the muscles of the limbs, waist and abdomen
US8123290Jun 17, 2009Feb 28, 2012BreezzAngel, LLCPortable cooling device
US20130072364 *Sep 21, 2011Mar 21, 2013Yi-Tzu ChenPush-up exerciser
WO2013038129A1Sep 13, 2012Mar 21, 2013Kevin ChiltonAn exercise device
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/140, 482/121, 482/123
International ClassificationA63B21/02, A63B26/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2208/0233, A63B21/1411, A63B21/023, A63B2071/027, A63B21/0557, A63B2210/50, A63B21/0552, A63B2208/0204, A63B2208/0228, A63B22/20, A63B21/0421, A63B23/0211, A63B21/00061, A63B21/1415
European ClassificationA63B21/14A2, A63B21/14A4, A63B22/20, A63B21/055D
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 27, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: INVENTOR S MANAGEMENT GROUP, INC., OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CASEY, MICHAEL E.;REEL/FRAME:016634/0270
Effective date: 20050520