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Publication numberUS20070027008 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/352,019
Publication dateFeb 1, 2007
Filing dateFeb 10, 2006
Priority dateFeb 10, 2005
Also published asWO2006086604A2, WO2006086604A3
Publication number11352019, 352019, US 2007/0027008 A1, US 2007/027008 A1, US 20070027008 A1, US 20070027008A1, US 2007027008 A1, US 2007027008A1, US-A1-20070027008, US-A1-2007027008, US2007/0027008A1, US2007/027008A1, US20070027008 A1, US20070027008A1, US2007027008 A1, US2007027008A1
InventorsMichael Levinson, Mitchell Babkes
Original AssigneeThane International, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Abdominal exercise device
US 20070027008 A1
Abstract
An abdominal exercise device including an upper abdominal lever member having engagement ends and an intermediate section for contacting a body of an individual and a lower abdominal lever member having engagement ends and an intermediate section for contacting a body of an individual with spring-biased resistance hubs releasably locked into said engagement ends of said upper lever member and lower lever member engagement ends, wherein operation of the lever members when rotated about the resistance hubs provides a scissor-like movement of respective upper and lower lever members connected to the resistance hub. The resistance hubs include a plurality of interchangeable resistance hub pairs of varying resistance.
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Claims(12)
1. An abdominal exercise device comprising:
an upper abdominal lever member having engagement ends and an intermediate section for contacting a body of an individual;
a lower abdominal lever member having engagement ends and an intermediate section for contacting a body of an individual;
spring-biased resistance hubs releasably locked into said engagement ends of said upper lever member and lower lever member engagement ends
wherein operation of said lever members when rotated about said resistance hubs provides a scissor-like movement of respective upper and lower lever members connected to said resistance hub.
2. The device of claim 1 wherein said intermediate regions include foam rubber.
3. The device of claim 1 wherein said intermediate regions are contoured to brace the body of an individual.
4. The device of claim 1 wherein said resistance hubs include a plurality of resistance hub pairs of varying resistance.
5. The device of claim 4 wherein said resistance hubs pairs are interchangeable to vary resistance between lever members.
6. The device of claim 4 wherein said resistance hub pairs include indicia to relative resistance strengths.
7. The device of claim 1 wherein said engagement ends and resistance hubs include indicia to facilitate assembly.
8. The device of claim 1 wherein said lower lever member has an intermediate section contoured to brace against a front and inner thigh region of an individual.
9. The device of claim 1 wherein said upper lever member has a U-shaped configuration to brace the chest region of individuals of different heights and girth.
10. The device of claim 1 wherein said upper and lower lever members are contoured to a body of an individual to permit hands-free use of said device.
11. The device of claim 1 wherein when used with an individual said resistance hubs are maintained in spaced apart relation to said invidual.
12. The device of claim 1 wherein said upper and lower lever members contact a body of an individual away from an abdominal region.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/651,520 filed Feb. 10, 2005, which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to devices that provide assistance in the exercise of an individual, and, more particularly, to an improved ergonomic abdominal exercise device that has reduced manufacturing costs and yet provides considerable versatility in its ability to be adjusted to the needs of the individual.

2. Description of the Related Art

Currently, there are a variety of abdominal exercise devices available to individuals and which have differing features. Perhaps one of the more common devices employs one or more piston members with handles to be grasped by the user disposed about the piston members. One problem with that design crunch device is, of course, that the addition of handles adds to the overall weight and size of the device and the location of the handles is often uncomfortable to the users and requires that arm muscles also be employed during resistance training thereby reducing the benefit of the device to the abdominal muscles. Nevertheless, there remains a great need for individuals to exercise their abdominal muscles groups that are under-utilized in the daily life of many individuals living in a modern society. There is, therefore, an on-going and continuous need to develop new exercise technology and, in particular, new abdominal exercise devices.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An abdominal exercise device including an upper abdominal lever member having engagement ends and an intermediate section for contacting a body of an individual and a lower abdominal lever member having engagement ends and an intermediate section for contacting a body of an individual with spring-biased resistance hubs releasably locked into said engagement ends of said upper lever member and lower lever member engagement ends, wherein operation of the lever members when rotated about the resistance hubs provides a scissor-like movement of respective upper and lower lever members connected to the resistance hub.

The resistance hubs include a plurality of interchangeable resistance hub pairs of varying resistance.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other aspects, advantages and novel features of the invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of the invention when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIGS. 1A-C are perspective views of an exercise device according the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of a resistance hub according to the present invention;

FIGS. 3A and B are side views of a resistance hub according to the present invention;

FIG. 4 is an arrangement of springs organized by gauge size according to the present invention;

FIG. 5A is partial side view of a resistance hub connecting to a lever member according to the present invention;

FIG. 5B is a partial side view of a resistance hub having a biased button according to the present invention;

FIG. 5C is a partial view of a lever member according to the present invention; and

FIGS. 6-9 are perspective of views of the exercise device of the present invention in use with an individual.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

With reference to FIGS. 1A-C for purposes of illustration, a device 20 for assisting in the exercise abdominal muscles of a person that comprises a unitary upper lever member 22. That unitary upper lever member includes engagement ends 24 and 26 and an intermediate section 28 for contacting the body of an individual. A unitary lower lever member 30 includes engagement ends 32 and 34 and an intermediate section 36 for contacting the body of an individual. Advantageously, the upper lever member and lower lever member engagement ends 24, 32 and 26, 34 are removably locked into respective biased resistance hubs 38 and 40 that operate to provide a scissor-like movement of respective upper and lower engagement ends connected to the resistance hub. Removal of the resistance hubs 38 and 40 allows for the use of one or more resistance hubs of differing resistances to be used. This allows for individuals to change the resistance between the upper and lower lever members as needed for different exercise routines, different users or as improvements in fitness of an individual progresses.

The upper lever member 22 is generally U-shaped with the intermediate section 28 being sized to accommodate individuals of differing heights and girths. The upper lever member can be made of a tubular metal material such as aluminum or steel. As can be seen, particularly in FIG. 1A, the unitary upper lever member is a single piece of metal tubing so as to minimize the weight and to allow the ready shaping into the presently desired configuration and comprises an intermediate section of tubing surrounded by a body cushioning foam rubber material 42.

The lower lever member 30 is mostly U-shaped with the intermediate section 36 sized to accommodate individuals of differing heights and girths. The lower lever member can also be made of a tubular metal material such as aluminum or steel. As can be seen, particularly in FIG. 1, the unitary lower lever member is a single piece of metal tubing so as to minimize the weight and to allow the ready shaping into the presently desired configuration and comprises an intermediate section 36 of tubing surrounded by a body cushioning foam rubber material 44. The presently desired configuration is shaped to contour and brace against the front and inner thigh regions of the legs of an individual. By contacting the individuals legs in these regions it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the overall diameter of the individual's legs are rendered independent of the operation of the lower lever member 30. In other words, the lower lever member will work with individuals regardless of their leg size.

The resistance hub 48 (FIG. 2) includes a molded plastic casing 50 or other lightweight, easy to manufacture casing material. The casing components include a pair of interconnecting hub centers 52 and 54 with stem covers 56 and 58 extending there from and projecting tangentially from the hub center circumference and a pair of matching stem covers 60 and 62 to interconnect with the stem covers 56 and 58 on the hub centers 52 and 54. The casing components when assembled surrounds a coiled spring 64 in which opposing ends 66 and 68 of the spring are moveable towards each other in the direction of spring coil resistance about the radial center of the coil. The casing that surrounds the opposing spring coil ends 66 and 68 form hub stems that are moveable as well. Snap lock pin engagements secure the casing components in which a large pin 70 and pin receptacle 72 form an axle that extends generally through the center of the spring coil about which the moveable casing components are rotated. One or more snap lock pin engagements 74 are secured into the opposing casing stem covers to lock them against the spring ends. Indicia 76 (FIG. 2) indicating the relative resistance of the resistance hubs to each other may be affixed to the hub casing where the users may choose to use a hub with a resistance indicia that conforms to their preferred workout routine or abilities. The assembled casing has two-hub stems 77-78 tangentially protruding from a hub center 79. It should be noted (FIG. 4) that resistance hubs manufactured in this manner may accommodate and include spring coils of differing gauge wire 80-83 to provide varying resistances to the user.

Engagement ends 90 (Figs. A-B) of both the upper and lower lever members are free of foam to allow for easy engagement and withdrawal of a resistance hub 92 having cylindrical hub stems 94 adapted to be telescopically received into the engagement ends 90 in the direction of arrow 96. Locking mechanisms ensure that once a resistance hub stem 94 is received into the corresponding engagement end 90 it can be locked into place. A locking mechanism of the type suitable for this purpose includes an outwardly biased button 98 along the resistance hub arm that is received by an aperture 100 in the engagement end 90. In a preferred embodiment the biased button is formed into the hub stem casing 94 on a free-ended tab 102 formed from a slotted section of the casing stem wall. Furthermore, each casing stem includes a stop ring 104 having a diameter wider than the lever member tubing to ensure telescopic insertion of the hub stem that is no further than need to lock-in the button 98 with the aperture 100 in the engagement end 90. Each engagement end 90 and corresponding hub stem 94 includes matching assembly indicia 106 and 108 to facilitate the assembly of the upper and lower lever members to a resistance hub.

In operation (FIGS. 1A-C), when the upper and lower lever members 22 and 30 are assembled with resistance hubs 38 and 40 the upper and lower lever members 22 and 30 are folded to together about the axles of the resistance hubs 38 and 40. Folding of the upper and lower lever members 22 and 30 in this way must overcome the resistance maintained by the springs in the hubs 38 and 40. Interchanging of the resistance hubs 38 and 40 with different spring gauges changes the amount of force required to fold the lever members together. Resistance indicia on the resistance hubs provide the relative resistance of the spring in each of the resistance hubs relative to one and another.

With reference to FIGS. 6-9, the exercise device 120 of the present invention may be used to provide abdominal resistance exercises to an individual 122 in a sitting position. When the upper torso 124 is moved down (FIG. 6), the device 120 may be used to isolate and exercise the upper abdominal muscles of the individual. When the legs 126 (FIG. 7) are brought up to the torso 124, the device 120 may be used to isolate and exercise the lower abdominal muscles of the individual.

In addition to functioning to exercise the upper and lower abdominal muscles, the exercise device of the present invention can also be used to exercise other specific muscle groups. For example, the side abdominal muscles (Obliques), the Triceps, Pectorals, Gluteus and Quadriceps in the legs can be specifically isolated and exercised. This is accomplished by leaning the body of the individual toward and/or favoring one side or the other, and by positioning the device into positions that would affect these other muscle groups.

It will further be appreciated that the exercise device of the present invention (FIGS. 8 and 9) is configured with the upper and lower lever members 130 and 132 to provide a hands-free abdominal exercise in which the torso conforming upper lever member 130 and the front 134 and inner thigh 136 bracing region of the lower lever member 132 cooperate with the foam padding 138 to maintain the position of the exercise device relative to the individual abdominal crunch routines that allows for the arms 142 of the individual 140 to be positioned as needed to augment or complement the exercise such as overhead or along the sides. The individual contacts the lever members 130 and 132 at locations of the body away from the abdominal region and the resistance hubs 144 and 146 are maintained in a spaced apart relation to the individual such that this combination of features, either alone or combination, allows for greater natural and free movement of the abdominal muscles during resistance exercises.

It should be noted that the upper and lower lever members may alternatively be of non-unitary construction.

Although the invention has been described in terms of exemplary embodiments, it is not limited thereto. Rather, the appended claims should be construed broadly, to include other variants and embodiments of the invention, which may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and range of equivalents of the invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7901327 *Apr 8, 2008Mar 8, 2011Luther Calvin Hargis, legal representativeDevice and method for cervical curvature restoration
US7955237 *Sep 10, 2008Jun 7, 2011Lise BissonExercise apparatus for the upper body
US8790227Mar 16, 2012Jul 29, 2014Meister Management, Inc.Exercise apparatus and methods
US20120184419 *Jan 18, 2012Jul 19, 2012Xiangjun ZhuSlimming machine
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/121, 482/127, 482/140
International ClassificationA63B21/045, A63B26/00, A63B21/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63B21/023, A63B23/0222, A63B23/0211, A63B21/1492, A63B21/02, A63B21/0004
European ClassificationA63B21/00D2, A63B21/02
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Feb 1, 2013ASAssignment
Effective date: 20101004
Owner name: THANE INTERNATIONAL, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:NEXBANK, SSB, AS ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT AND COLLATERAL AGENT;REEL/FRAME:029740/0510
Dec 22, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: NEXBANK, SSB, TEXAS
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:THANE INTERNATIONAL, INC.;REEL/FRAME:018668/0481
Effective date: 20061220
Feb 10, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: THANE INTERNATIONAL, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:LEVINSON, MICHAEL;BABKES, MITCHELL;REEL/FRAME:017561/0472
Effective date: 20060210