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 numberUS20070117682 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/271,634
Publication dateMay 24, 2007
Filing dateNov 10, 2005
Priority dateNov 10, 2005
Also published asWO2007058859A2, WO2007058859A3
Publication number11271634, 271634, US 2007/0117682 A1, US 2007/117682 A1, US 20070117682 A1, US 20070117682A1, US 2007117682 A1, US 2007117682A1, US-A1-20070117682, US-A1-2007117682, US2007/0117682A1, US2007/117682A1, US20070117682 A1, US20070117682A1, US2007117682 A1, US2007117682A1
InventorsJames Deola
Original AssigneeDeola James A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ball exerciser and method of using the same
US 20070117682 A1
Abstract
The exercise apparatus of the invention is comprised essentially of a substantially spherically shaped ball having a diameter of at approximately eighteen to twenty four inches. A support structure supports the ball so that it is rotatable in substantially any direction. The ball is preferably positioned at least waist high to a person wishing to exercise using said ball. To exercise, the person places his or her hands on opposite sides of the ball and moves them back and forth as the ball rotates about a vertical axis. Alternatively, the person can move his or her hands up and down or in substantially any direction while rotating the ball. Using a variable resistance means, the amount of force needed to rotate the ball can be adjusted so as to increase or decrease the workout. The ball can be used alone or can be positioned in front of a stationary workout apparatus such as a treadmill to be used simultaneously therewith.
Images(5)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(17)
1. An exercise method comprising:
providing a substantially spherically shaped ball;
mounting said ball for rotation about at least one axis;
positioning said ball at a position which is at least about knee high to a person wishing to exercise using said ball;
placing the palm and fingers of a least one hand on the surface of said ball and,
manually rotating said ball about said at least one axis.
2. The exercise method as claimed in claim 1 wherein said ball is mounted for rotation about two orthogonal axes.
3. The exercise method as claimed in claim 1 further including the step of placing the palm and fingers of both hands on the surface of said ball and manually rotating said ball.
4. The exercise method as claimed in claim 3 wherein the step of manually rotating said ball includes repeatedly rotating said ball in alternating directions.
5. The exercise method as claimed in claim 1 wherein said ball is at least approximately eighteen inches in diameter.
6. The exercise method as claimed in claim 1 wherein said ball is located adjacent a stationary leg exercising apparatus and wherein said ball is manually rotated while exercising ones legs.
7. The exercise method as claimed in claim 1 wherein said mounting means includes for resisting the free rotation of said ball.
8. The exercise method as claimed in claim 1 wherein said ball is in the form of a spherical shell at least partially filled with a granular material.
9. The exercise method as claimed in claim 8 wherein said granular material is a magnetically susceptible material.
10. The exercise method as claimed in claim 9 wherein said mounting means includes means for resisting the free rotation of said ball, said means for resisting including magnet means carried by said mounting means.
11. An exercise apparatus comprising:
a substantially spherically shaped ball having a diameter of at least twelve inches;
means for mounting said ball so that it is rotatable about at least one axis;
means for positioning said ball at a position which is at least about knee high to a person wishing to exercise using said ball.
12. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 11 wherein said means for mounting mounts said ball for rotation about two orthogonal axes.
13. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 11 further including means for preventing the free rotation of said ball.
14. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 13 wherein said preventing means is adjustable so that the amount of resistance against rotation of said ball can be adjusted.
15. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 11 wherein said ball is in the form of a spherical shell at least partially filled with a granular material.
16. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 15 wherein said granular material is a magnetically susceptible material.
17. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 16 wherein said mounting means includes means for resisting the free rotation of said ball, said means for resisting including magnet means carried by said mounting means.
Description
    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    The present invention is directed toward an exercise device and more particularly, toward an improved exercise device and method that offers the option of a combined aerobic and anaerobic workout for both the lower and upper body.
  • [0002]
    Physical fitness and exercise have been and continue to be very important aspects of people's lives. To aid people reach their goals with regard to cardio fitness, numerous types of exercise devices are currently available. For example, treadmills, stationary bicycles, ski machines, rowing machines, and stair climbers are just a few of the more popular devices.
  • [0003]
    Many of the above described exercise devices are designed primarily for the legs. Rowing machines, of course, also provide exercise for the upper body although they are normally designed for specific muscle groups. It is also known to provide some stationary exercise devices such as ski machines with moveable handles for exercising ones arms. Such handles, however, provide only for monotonous forward and back movement.
  • [0004]
    Weightlifting is yet another form of exercise and conditioning tool used by many who are concerned with maintaining their health and a desired level of fitness. To aid in this endeavor, free weights as well as many machines are available that exercise and strengthen various muscles, either individually or simultaneously.
  • [0005]
    Devices that combine a cardio workout with muscle toning are also very popular. For example, elliptical machines provide an aerobic workout as well as upper body strengthening. However, because these machines are constructed in such a way that the portion of the machine providing the cardio workout is tied into the muscle toning portion of the machine, the exerciser is forced into always combining the two types of workouts.
  • [0006]
    Therefore, a need exists for an exercise device that gives the exerciser the option of an aerobic workout, an anaerobic workout, or a combination of the two and which provides the user with the ability to vary the muscle groups being worked.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0007]
    The present invention is designed to overcome the deficiencies of the prior art discussed above. It is an object of the present invention to provide an exercise device that provides a combined aerobic and anaerobic workout.
  • [0008]
    It is a further object of the present invention to provide an exercise device that provides an exerciser with the options of a cardio workout combined with muscle toning, a cardio workout, or muscle toning.
  • [0009]
    In accordance with illustrative embodiments demonstrating features and advantages of the present invention, there is provided an exercise device that is comprised essentially of a substantially spherically shaped ball having a diameter of approximately eighteen to twenty four inches. A support structure supports the ball so that it is rotatable in substantially any direction. The ball is preferably positioned at least waist high to a person wishing to exercise using said ball. To exercise, the person places his or her hands in various positions as desired such as on opposite sides of the ball and moves them back and forth to rotate the ball about a any axis. Alternatively, the person can move his or her hands up and down or in substantially any direction while rotating the ball. Using a variable resistance means, the amount of force needed to rotate the ball can be adjusted so as to increase or decrease the workout. The ball can be used alone or it can be positioned in front of a stationary workout apparatus such as a treadmill to be used simultaneously therewith.
  • [0010]
    Other objects, features, and advantages of the invention will be readily apparent from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment thereof taken in conjunction with the drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0011]
    For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there are shown in the accompanying drawings forms that are presently preferred; it being understood that the invention is not intended to be limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.
  • [0012]
    FIG. 1 is a front perspective view a first embodiment of the invention showing the same being used in combination with a treadmill;
  • [0013]
    FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of a stand that forms a part of the first embodiment of present invention;
  • [0014]
    FIG. 3 is a partial front elevational view of the stand of the first embodiment of FIG. 2;
  • [0015]
    FIG. 4 illustrates the pivotable nature of the stand of the first embodiment of the invention;
  • [0016]
    FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of the first embodiment of the invention;
  • [0017]
    FIG. 6 is an exploded view of the base of the stand shown in the foregoing figures, and FIG. 7 is a schematic cross-sectional representation of a second embodiment of the invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0018]
    Referring now to the drawings in detail wherein like reference numerals have been used throughout the various figures to designate like elements, there is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 a first embodiment of an exercise device constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention and designated generally as 10.
  • [0019]
    The exercise device 10 of the present invention essentially includes a substantially spherically shaped ball 12 which preferably has a diameter of between 12 and 36 inches but preferably between 18 to 24 inches. The ball 12 may be made of substantially any material and can be either solid or hollow. Alternatively, and for the reasons discussed more fully below, the ball may be partially or completely filled with particulate material such as sand or magnetically attractable metal fillings or the like.
  • [0020]
    The ball 12 is mounted so that it can be manually rotated utilizing a person's hands. Preferably, the ball can be rotated in any direction. As will become apparent, however, certain benefits can be obtained utilizing the present invention if the ball 12 is mounted to be rotatable about only a vertical axis or about only a horizontal axis. Again, however, it is preferred that the ball 12 be mounted for rotation about at least two orthogonal axes.
  • [0021]
    One example of a support structure 14 for supporting the ball 12 is shown most clearly in FIG. 2. It must be understood, however, that this is by way of example only and essentially any structure that will support the ball 12 for rotation about various axes could also be used with the present invention.
  • [0022]
    The support structure 12 includes a vertically extending post 16 which is attached at its bottom to a horizontally extending leg 18 having feet 20 and 22 secured at either end thereof. While the feet 20 and 22 are shown to be relatively short, it will be understood that the length of these feet can be increased if further support is needed. As shown most clearly in FIG. 6, the length of the leg 18 can be extended if needed utilizing bolts 24 and 26 that extend through appropriate openings in the telescoping leg 18. Similarly, the height of the post 16 can be adjusted by removing bolt 28, moving the post 16 up or down over the telescoping portion 30 and reinserting the bolt 28 through the appropriate openings 32 and 34 in the posts 16 and 30.
  • [0023]
    Extending forwardly of the post 16 is a horizontal bar 36. The bar 36 passes beneath the ball 12 and extends upwardly at the forward end thereof as shown at 38 to terminate in a plate 40 which carries a roller ball 42. The roller ball 42 is mounted for free rotation on the plate 40. Although only one roller ball 42 is shown, it should be readily apparent that more than one roller ball may be use if additional support is required.
  • [0024]
    The forward portion and/or the sides of the ball 12 could be supported in a manner similar to the roller ball 42 at the forward portion of the ball. It is preferred. however, to utilize a pair of curved rollers such as shown at 44 and 46 that are journaled onto the frame 48. The curved rollers 44 and 46 are shaped so as to fit around a portion of the circumference of the ball 12 and are arranged so that the roller 44 lies just above the center line of ball 12 while the roller 46 lies just below the center line. The frame 48 carrying the rollers 44 and 46 is, itself, mounted for rotation about the horizontal axis 50 to the top of the vertical support beam 16 thereby allowing the frame 48 and the rollers 44 and 46 to rotate as shown in FIG. 4. A weight 51 may be provided to bias the frame 48 into a vertical position with rollers 44 and 46 aligned vertically.
  • [0025]
    In order to provide a means for adjusting the amount of resistance required to move the ball 12, the rollers 44 and 46 are linked together through the use of a belt 52 that passes around pulleys 54 and 56 associated with the rollers 44 and 46. A second belt 58 extends between pulley 60 and pulley 62. Pulley 62 is connected to the shaft of a resistance device 64 which can be manually controlled by turning the dial 66. The resistance device 64 may take substantially any form and merely puts more or less resistance on the ability of the pulley 62 to rotate as the dial 66 is turned. Devices of this type are well known in the exercise art. They are frequently used, for example, with stationary bicycles to increase or decrease the tension on the pedals.
  • [0026]
    The exercise ball device shown in FIGS. 2-5 can be used by itself. That is, a person wishing to exercise using the ball can simply utilize the same in the manner to be described hereinafter. Alternatively, the exercise ball 12 can be positioned in front of a stationary exercise device such as a treadmill 68 as shown in FIG. 1. It should be understood that this is by way of example only as the device 10 could be positioned in front of a ski machine, an elliptical walker, a stepping machine or substantially any other similar type of device.
  • [0027]
    Depending on the exercise desired, the ball 12 is preferably positioned vertically at least at the position of the user's knees. In some exercises, the ball 12 may be positioned as high as the person's shoulders or possibly even higher. It is envisioned, however, that most exercises will be performed with the ball located somewhere between the person's waist and shoulders.
  • [0028]
    In use, the person exercising will place the palm and fingers of his or her hands substantially anywhere on the surface of the ball such as, for example, on opposite sides of the ball 12. From that position, the person can then rotate the ball by moving, for example, his or her right hand up while moving the left hand down and then reversing the operation. That is, the person's hands will be moving up and down while rotating the ball. In another exercise, the ball 12 can first be rotated 90 about the axis 50 as shown in FIG. 4 so that the rollers 44 and 46 are arranged vertically. The person exercising can then place his or her hands on the left and right sides of the ball and move his or her arms forward and back in a manner similar to the movement of the poles in a skiing machine. Since the ball 12 is mounted for rotation in substantially any direction, numerous other variations of movements of the hands and arms can be performed. And the amount of resistance required to rotate the ball 12 can be adjusted by turning the dial 66.
  • [0029]
    In an alternate embodiment of the invention as show diagrammatically in FIG. 7, the support structure 114 for the ball 112 has an upper surface that is essentially bowl shaped. The size and shape of the bowl is selected so that the ball 112 closely fits therein. The upper surface of the bowl support may either be very smooth to allow the ball to slide and rotate therein or it may be provided with a number of ball bearings or the like such as shown at 142. The ball 112 may be solid or may be in the form of a spherical shell. In this latter form, the ball may be partially or completely filled with a granular material 200 such as sand or the like. Changing the amount of sand, as desired, can change the force needed to exercise using the device.
  • [0030]
    The granular material 200 may also be a magnetically susceptible material such as iron filings or the like. In this way one or more magnets 202 can be mounted in or near the support 114 to influence the magnetic particles 200 within the ball. The magnets 202 will have an effect on the forces needed to rotate the ball 112. If electromagnets are used as the magnets 202, the forces on the magnetic material 200 and, as a result, the forces on the ball 112 can be adjusted by varying the voltage applied to the coils of the electromagnets.
  • [0031]
    The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential attributes thereof and accordingly, reference should be made to the appended claims rather than to the foregoing specification as indicating the scope of the invention.
Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2896338 *Apr 8, 1958Jul 28, 1959Petersen Mauritz ESatellite globe
US5379271 *Dec 2, 1993Jan 3, 1995Moedt; Philip C.Chronoglobe
US6669611 *Sep 10, 2001Dec 30, 2003Jean-Guy RaymondAbdominal exerciser device
US6746372 *Mar 4, 2003Jun 8, 2004Cheng-Hsiung HsuExercising ball holder
US7044558 *Jan 16, 2004May 16, 2006Ciber ChiuBall chair with a retaining device
US7118517 *Oct 19, 2005Oct 10, 2006Hale Thomas JExercise ball mounted for rotation
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7993250Sep 28, 2010Aug 9, 2011Jerry AbbottExercise apparatus and method of use
US9079067Mar 17, 2010Jul 14, 2015Cordio, LLCExercise machine with stationary bicycle and inflatable seat
US20110077135 *Mar 31, 2011Jerry AbbottExercise apparatus and method of use
US20110217682 *Nov 13, 2010Sep 8, 2011Luke William BlandApparatus that helps and physically prepares new riders to ride
US20110237403 *Mar 17, 2010Sep 29, 2011Cordio, LLCExercise machine with stationary bicycle and inflatable seat
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/51
International ClassificationA63B22/00, A63B71/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B21/4049, A63B23/0355, A63B21/00069, A63B21/0056, A63B21/22, A63B22/0012, A63B23/12, A63B2225/093, A63B21/00192, A63B22/0002, A63B21/0603, A63B22/02, A63B21/015
European ClassificationA63B21/06A2, A63B23/12, A63B21/22, A63B21/015, A63B22/00A