US 20090075784 A1
This device comprises two upward extending arms and mounting brackets which attach to the handrails of any treadmill and afford the user an opportunity to exercise the upper body in an action similar to cross country skiing.
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This application claims the benefit of provisional patent application No. 60/971,919, filed Sep. 13, 2007 by the present inventor.
1. Field of Invention
This invention relates to sports and exercise equipment, specifically to treadmills.
2. Prior Art
Treadmills used for workouts and fitness are generally equipped with side handrails or horizontal bars which the users can hold on to for support if desired. Recently some treadmills have been marketed that are also equipped with moveable arms which simulate ski poles. These arms permanently attached to the frame of the treadmill afford the user a cross training type of exercise in which the arms are used in an action similar to cross country skiing at the same time that the user is walking or running on the treadmill. Thus, both the upper body and the lower body are exercised.
A number of patents have been granted for upper body exercise devices that supplement lower body exercise equipment. All of these that were found in the prior art are designed to attach to a specific design or model of equipment. This fact differentiates them in a significant way from the device disclosed in this patent application, which has means to attach universally to most models and designs of treadmills. An aerobic and anaerobic treadmill exercise system disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,527,245 to Dalebout, et al (1996) consists of independently moveable arms, an arm lift apparatus, and an overhead pull type apparatus used in conjunction with a treadmill. U.S. Pat. No. 5,803,874 to Wilkenson (1998) has poles mounted to opposite sides of the foot contact surface of a leg exercising unit or to a self contained unit that would fit under various types of leg exercise units. Handrails on treadmills would interfere with the operation of this device. Another device for exercising the upper body simultaneously with the lower body is disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 2004/0204294 A2 to Wilkenson, et al (2004). This device consists of a dual cable system permanently attached to the back end of a treadmill. A cross training device for a pedal and ellipse generator exercise system is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 7,022,049 B2. This device is designed specifically for permanent attachment to this exercise system.
Many treadmills on the market today do not come with a cross training feature. And many treadmills that have been sold in the past of which there are a very large number do not have a cross training feature. It is likely that people who have acquired a traditional treadmill without a cross training feature would benefit from having such a capability added. This invention is a cross training conversion device which attaches to the handrails of most treadmills and provides this capability.
This invention consists of two upward extending arms and mounting brackets which fasten to the two handrails of a treadmill. Each bracket is attached to a handrail near its upper end toward the front of the treadmill. The bracket secures the arm to the handrail and serves as a pivot point about which the arm can be rotated. The upper ends of the arms may be equipped with handle grips that the user can take hold of to push and pull the arms in a motion similar to that used in cross country skiing. Each bracket has means for adjusting the frictional resistance of the arm to rotation thus requiring different levels of exertion and exercise by the user
There are a number of ways that the mounting brackets can be attached to the handrails with universal application including: different bolting arrangements, strap and ratchet type buckles, spring loaded clamps, and screw tightening clamps. The brackets for two handrails may be mounted with an interconnecting strut to provide greater stability or they may be mounted alone without any interconnection.
A rotatable horizontal handle with a grip may be attached at a 90 degree angle to the upper end of each arm. This handle consists of a bolt within a moveable sleeve. The advantage of this embodiment is that it may provide additional comfort for the user. The sleeve will rotate as the arm is moved back and forth thus preventing minor strain on the user's hand and wrist that might otherwise result from holding on to the vertical arm as it is moved backward and forward in an arc.
The main purpose of this device is to provide an attachment that will fit all types and brands of treadmills that do not have a cross training feature and to give them that capability. Of course, new treadmills manufactured in the future could be equipped with cross training arms and brackets that attach to their handrails. Mounting holes or keyways in the handrails of future treadmills for attaching cross training devices could be provided so that this feature could be offered as an optional accessory. In any case, the mounting of cross training capability to handrails of treadmills whether manufactured in the past or in the future is novel with this invention. And all such applications are intended to be covered by this patent.
This device comprises two arms that are attached, one to each of the two handrails of an exercise treadmill to give the treadmill the cross training capability of simulating exercise of the upper body in cross country skiing.
The bracket 10 is bolted to handrail 12 with two bolts 13 and 14. Bolt 13 fits into a round hole in bracket 10 and a similar hole in flange 15. Bolt 14 fits within a slot in bracket 10 and fits within a similar slot in flange 15. These slots enable horizontal adjustment of the attachment to fit different widths or diameters of handrails. Bolts of different lengths are used to adjust vertically for different thicknesses or diameters of handrails. A piece of cloth or soft rubber (not shown) can be placed between the flanges of the bracket and the handrail to protect the handrail when the attachment is bolted tight.
Another means for attaching the bracket to a wide range of different handrails comprises a screw-type clamp as shown in
Yet another means for attaching the bracket to a wide range of different handrails comprises a spring-type clamp as shown in
A major purpose of this device is to provide cross training capability to treadmills already manufactured or treadmills produced in the future that do not have this capability. Another application of this invention is on treadmills that could have cross training attachments permanently mounted to the handrails in the manufacturing process. There are numerous ways that could be accomplished. One of the ways, another embodiment of the device, shown in
Each washer has on its reverse side a nub which fits into a recess in the part next to it. Nub 35 fits into recess 36 in bracket 10, and the nub 37 fits into recess 38 in arm 9. Nub 39 fits into recess 40 in nut 34 and nub 41 fits into recess 42 in arm 9. When the nut 34 is tightened, the nubs held within the recesses constrain the washers from slipping except at their flat wearing surfaces. The nubs and recesses are merely an example of ways these parts can be keyed together to prevent movement relative to each other. All four washers are of exactly the same design, so the same part fits in all four locations. And, they can be easily removed and replaced after extended wear. In lieu of the specially designed washers described above, frictional resistance pads glued or otherwise attached to both sides of the arm 9 at the location of the washers comprise another embodiment of the device. The purpose of these designs is to provide a mechanism for adjusting the force required to move the arms back and forth as if in cross country skiing. By tightening the nut 34 to various positions, the resistance to movement is changed as is the level of exertion and exercise required by the user of the treadmill.