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Publication numberUS20100022367 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/179,789
Publication dateJan 28, 2010
Filing dateJul 25, 2008
Priority dateJul 25, 2008
Publication number12179789, 179789, US 2010/0022367 A1, US 2010/022367 A1, US 20100022367 A1, US 20100022367A1, US 2010022367 A1, US 2010022367A1, US-A1-20100022367, US-A1-2010022367, US2010/0022367A1, US2010/022367A1, US20100022367 A1, US20100022367A1, US2010022367 A1, US2010022367A1
InventorsRobert Wayne MCBRIDE, Siz-Pin Lin, John Buse, Robert D. McDonial, Tyler Rogers
Original AssigneeStamina Products, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Abdominal exerciser
US 20100022367 A1
Abstract
An abdominal exercise device is disclosed that includes a frame and a knee support configured to support both of a user's knees when the user is in a kneeled position. In one embodiment, the knee support is pivotally mounted to the frame. In another embodiment, the knee support swings with respect to the frame. A hand grip is attached to the frame. A user will kneel on the pivotally mounted knee support and grip the hand grip with their hands. By holding the hand grip, the user holds their upper body in a relatively stationary position with respect to the frame. Then, by contracting their abdominal muscles, the user can pivot the knee support upon which their knees rest up toward the can support, thereby providing their abdominal muscles with a work out.
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Claims(35)
1. (canceled)
2. The abdominal exercise device of claim 3, said frame comprising:
a first frame; and
a second frame adjustably mounted to the first frame.
3. An abdominal exercise device, comprising:
a pivoted user support configured to support both knees and/or shins of a user when kneeling thereon, the user support being pivotally mounted to the frame to enable both of the user's knees and shins to be pivotally moved in unison;
a hand support mounted to the frame; and
a resistance enhancer that increases an amount of force required to pivot the user support with respect to the frame.
4. The abdominal exercise device of claim 3, wherein the resistance enhancer comprises a flexible cable that extends across the frame and engages the user support.
5. The abdominal exercise device of claim 4, wherein the user support further comprises a pulley that engages the flexible cable.
6. The abdominal exercise device of claim 3, wherein the resistance enhancer comprises a rod that laterally extends from the pivoted user support and configured to receive a weighted plate.
7. The abdominal exercise device of claim 3, wherein the pivoted user support comprises a knee pad that is rotatably mounted to the pivoted user support.
8. An abdominal exercise device, comprising: a frame, comprising:
a first “U” shaped frame having a top portion; and
a second “U” shaped frame having a top portion, wherein the top portion of the first “U” shaped frame is pivotally mounted to the top portion of the second “U” shaped frame;
a user support configured to support a user when kneeling, the user support being pivotally mounted to the frame; and
a hand support mounted to the frame, wherein the user support pivots toward the hand support.
9. The abdominal exercise device of claim 8, said user support comprising:
a third frame; and
a padded platform attached to the third frame.
10. The abdominal exercise device of claim 8, further comprising a resistance enhancer that increases an amount of force required to pivot the user support with respect to the frame.
11. The abdominal exercise device of claim 10, wherein the resistance enhancer comprises a flexible cable that extends across the frame and engages the user support.
12. The abdominal exercise device of claim 11, wherein the user support further comprises a pulley that engages the flexible cable.
13. An abdominal exercise device, comprising
a frame, wherein said frame is comprised of two secondary frames that can be adjustably positioned with respect to each other;
a pivoted user support configured to support both knees and/or shins of a user when kneeling thereon, the user support being pivotally mounted to the frame to enable both of the user's knees and shins to be pivotally moved in unison; and
a hand support mounted to the frame.
14. An abdominal exercise device, comprising:
a pivoted user support configured to support both knees and/or shins of a user when kneeling thereon, the user support being pivotally mounted to the frame to enable both of the user's knees and shins to be pivotally moved in unison;
a hand support mounted to the frame; and
a forearm support positioned adjacent to the hand support.
15. The exercise device of claim 13, further comprising a resistance enhancer that increases an amount of force required to swing the knee support with respect to the frame.
16. The exercise device of claim 13, further comprising a flexible cable extending across the frame and engaging the knee support, wherein the flexible cable increases an amount of force required to swing the knee support with respect to the frame.
17. The exercise device of claim 13, further comprising a hand support attached to the frame at a location where a user kneeling on the knee support can grip the hand support and pull their body towards the hand support using their abdominal muscles.
18. (canceled)
19. The exercise device of claim 14, further comprising a resistance enhancer that increases an amount of force required to swing the knee support with respect to the frame.
20. The exercise device of claim 14, further comprising a flexible cable extending across the frame and engaging the knee support, wherein the flexible cable increases an amount of force required to swing the knee support with respect to the frame.
21. The exercise device of claim 14, wherein said frame is comprised of two secondary frames that can be adjustably positioned with respect to each other.
22. The exercise device of claim 3, wherein the pivoted user support comprises a padded surface provided with a pair of spaced depressions to support the knees and/or shins of the user.
23. The exercise device of claim 3, wherein the pivoted user support comprises a padded surface provided with a pair of elongated channels to support the knees and/or shins of the user.
24. (canceled)
25. (canceled)
26. An abdominal exercise device, comprising:
a frame;
a user support pivotally connected to the frame, the user support including at least one pad structure arranged to support knees or shins of a user, the user support enabling the knees or shins of the user to be moved in unison while resting thereon;
an upper body support joined with the frame and arranged to be grasped by the hands or arms of the user; and
a damper mechanism operatively connected with the user support, the damper mechanism arranged to dampen pivotal movement of the user support.
27. The abdominal exercise device of claim 26, wherein the frame is in the form of an “A-frame” configuration.
28. The abdominal exercise device of claim 26, where the user support has a “U”, shape.
29. The abdominal exercise device of claim 26, wherein the upper body support comprises a torso support region.
30. The abdominal exercise device of claim 26, wherein the pad structure comprises a single pad.
31. The abdominal exercise device of claim 26, wherein the damper mechanism comprises a pair of elastic chords.
32. The abdominal exercise device of claim 26, further comprising a damping adjuster that adjusts the amount of damping applied by the damper mechanism.
33. An exercise device, comprising:
a frame, the frame having a hand support thereon;
a pivoted support pivotally connected to the frame, the pivoted support comprising an inverted, generally U-shaped structure including a pair of spaced elongated portions and a cross portion, the elongated portions having upper ends thereof forming the pivotal connection with the frame, the cross portion providing support for a pad, the pad having a pair of channels for receiving the knees and/or shins of a user, the pad being pivotally mounted on the cross portion to enable pivoted movement of the pad relative to the cross portion.
34. The exercise device of claim 33, further comprising an adjustable damper that increases an amount of force required to pivot the pivoted support.
35. The exercise device of claim 33, further comprising an adjustable resistor that increases an amount of force require to pivot the pivoted support.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the field of exercise equipment, and more in particular to an exercise device configured to provide an abdominal workout.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In order to promote good health and physical well being, many individuals engage in physical exercise. It is common for individuals who are engaging in physical activities to employ the use of exercise devices to assist in performing exercises. Exercise devices that support individuals in the performance of exercises are common and exist in many varieties. One type of exercise device is an abdominal exercise device, which supports an individual in the performance of abdominal exercises.

The abdominal muscles are a group of 6 muscles that extend from various places on the ribs to various places on the pelvis. They provide movement and support to the trunk, and are often called the core muscles. The most superficial abdominal muscle, the rectus abdominus, gives the “6-pack” ab effect when it is worked to a high degree of fitness. More structurally, the deeper and closer to the spine the particular abdominal muscle is, the more effect over body posture it will have, and this often contributes significantly to a healthy back.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An abdominal exercise device is disclosed that includes a frame and a knee support configured to support both of a user's knees when the user is in a kneeled position. In one embodiment, the knee support is pivotally mounted to the frame, such that it swings with respect to the frame. A hand grip is attached to the frame. A user will kneel on the pivotally mounted knee support and grip the hand grip with their hands. By holding the hand grip, the user holds their upper body in a relatively stationary position with respect to the frame. Then, by contracting their abdominal muscles, the user can pivot the knee support upon which their knees rest up toward the support, thereby providing their abdominal muscles with a work out.

The frame is made of two secondary frames that can be adjustably positioned with respect to each other. These two secondary frames can be positioned in an open or a closed position. In an open position, the frame is configured to allow the user to perform abdominal exercises. In these closed position, the frame is reconfigured to occupy less space so that it may be easily stored.

The exercise device also includes a forearm support positioned adjacent to the hand grip. The forearm support provides a user with additional upper body support while the user contracts their abdominal muscles to pivot the knee support up toward the hand grip.

The exercise device further includes a resistance enhancer that increases an amount of force required to pivot the knee support with respect to the frame. In one embodiment, the resistance enhancer is flexible cable that extends across the frame and engages the knee support.

Other objects, features and aspects of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, the accompanying drawings, and the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The novel features that are considered characteristic of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention itself; however, both as to its structure and operation together with the additional objects and advantages thereof are best understood through the following description of the preferred embodiment of the present invention when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates a rear perspective view of an abdominal exercise device according to one or more embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of an abdominal exercise device according to one or more embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates a side view of an abdominal exercise device according to one or more embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 4 illustrates a side view of an abdominal exercise device according to one or more embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 5 illustrates a rear view of an abdominal exercise device according to one or more embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 6 illustrates a side view of a resistance enhancer on an abdominal exercise device according to one or more embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 7 illustrates a front perspective view of an abdominal exercise device according to one or more embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 8 illustrates a rear perspective view of an abdominal exercise device according to one or more embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 9 illustrates a user performing an exercise on an abdominal exercise device according to one or more embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 10 illustrates a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of an abdominal exercise device according to one or more embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 11 illustrates a front view of an alternative embodiment of an abdominal exercise device according to one or more embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 12 illustrates a top view of an alternative embodiment of an abdominal exercise device according to one or more embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 13 illustrates a bottom view of an alternative embodiment of an abdominal exercise device according to one or more embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 14 illustrates a side view of an alternative embodiment of an abdominal exercise device according to one or more embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 15 illustrates a side view of an alternative embodiment of an abdominal exercise device having a knee support in a raised position according to one or more embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 16 illustrates a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of an abdominal exercise device showing a knee support in a first rotated position according to one or more embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 17 illustrates a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of an abdominal exercise device showing a knee support in a straight position according to one or more embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 18 illustrates a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of an abdominal exercise device showing a knee support in a second rotated position according to one or more embodiments of the invention; and

FIG. 19 illustrates a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of an abdominal exercise device having a hand and forearm support removed according to one or more embodiments of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 illustrates a rear perspective view of an abdominal exercise device 10 according to one or more embodiments of the invention. Abdominal exercise device 10 includes a frame 12. Frame 12 is formed of two secondary frames, a first frame 14 and a second frame 16. Secondary frames 14 and 16 are pivotally attached to each other to form frame 12. Secondary frames 14 and 16 each generally have a “U” shaped configuration. Secondary frames 14 and 16 are pivotally attached to each other to enhance the utility of frame 12. Frames 14 and 16 are able to pivot between open and closed positions. Frame 12 is shown in an open position. When in an open position, frame 12 is configured to be utilized for abdominal exercises by a user. Frames 14 and 16 may then be pivoted such that they are parallel to each other, thereby greatly reducing the volume of space occupied by frame 12. When frames 14 and 16 are pivoted together such that they are parallel to each other, frame 12 is in the closed position. In the closed position, frame 12 occupies a minimum of space, thereby making it easier to store abdominal exercise device 10.

Hinges 18 are located on each side of frame 12. Hinges 18 attach frames 14 and 16 together, thereby enhancing the structural stability of frame 12. Further, hinges 18 limit the degree to which frames 14 and 16 can pivot with respect to each other. Hinges 18 are made of two members 20 that are pivotally joined to frames 14 and 16 by pins 22 and in the center of hinge 18 by pin 24.

Frames 14 and 16 are attached to each other by joints 26. Joints 26 join frames 14 and 16 together and enable them to pivot with respect to each other. Frames 14 and 16 are shown to be made of shaped tubes. The use of shaped tubes is desirable due to their structural strength and ease of manufacture. However, other configurations of members may be used to form frames 14 and 16 that are well know and exist in many varieties.

An upper body support 28 is attached to first frame 14. Upper body support 28 includes a hand support 29 and a forearm support 30, which individually and collectively form a torso support region. Upper body support 28 is also formed of shaped tubing. The tubing used for frames 14 and 16 as well as upper body support 28 can be formed of metal, plastic, a composite material, such as an epoxy coated carbon fiber material, or other structural material. Upper body support 28 may optionally be grasped by the user's arms or hands. In addition, upper body support 28 may optionally include a pad to support the forearms, chest and/or stomach or a user.

A user support 32, also referred to as a knee support, is pivotally mounted to frame 12. User support 32 swings with respect to frame 12. As illustrated, frame 12 generally has an “A-frame” configuration, but can be of other configurations, such as a tripod, four legged support structure or other support structure that is able to pivotally support user support 32 for movement above the ground. User support 32 includes a knee pad 34, which is attached to a third frame 36. Third frame 36 is connected to pivot mounts 38 which are held into position by pins 39. In addition to pivotally mounting third frame 36 to frame 12, pins 39 couple joints 26 together to enable frames 14 and 16 to pivot with respect to each other. User support 32 generally has a “U” shape, but can have other configurations. For example, user support 32 may simply take the form of a sled provided with rollers that roll within an arcuate track mounted on frame 12. Or, user support 32 can simply be a sled that is supported on an arcuate track having rollers. All that is required for user support 32 is some structure that can carry the knee pad 34 and enable arcuate movement of the knee pad 34. As used herein, the term “pivotal” movement should be broadly construed to encompass such arcuate movement, since such movement is typically about some axis of movement.

A user wishing to perform an abdominal exercise will kneel on knee pad 34. Knee pad 34 is shown to have contours that conform to a user's two legs when they are positioned side by side. Knee pad 34 can be formed of a durable hard plastic that is contoured in the molding process. Alternatively, knee pad 34 may be formed of a rigid platform that is then covered with a spongy material, such as foam or other padding, along with a durable cover such as leather or a vinyl material. A contoured or padded surface increases the ergonomic utility of knee pad 34. Specifically, as shown, a padded surface may be provided with a pair of spaced depressions or elongated channels for comfortably receiving the knees and/or shins of a user. Knee pad 34 is shown to comprise a single pad. Knee pad 34 can also comprise two separate pads (one for each knee and/or shin) that are operatively or structurally connected to enable them to move in unison. In one embodiment, the user support 32 is constructed and arranged to carry all or substantially all of the user's body weight. In such an embodiment, the upper body support 28 is spaced away from the user's upper body so as to only provide a stabilizing mechanism when grasped by the user. In an alternative embodiment, the upper body support 28 is close to the user and can support some of the user's upper body weight. All that is required of upper body support 28 is to enable the upper body of a user to be supported during arcuate movement of knee pad 34.

Once the user is kneeling on knee pad 34, the user grasps hand support 29 and rests their forearms on forearm support 30. Together, hand support 29 and forearm support 30 provide the user with the ability to stabilize and hold their torso in a stationary position with respect to frame 12. Then, using their abdominal muscles, the user is able to pivot or swing knee support 32 up toward upper body support 28. The user is able to pivot or swing knee support 32 up toward upper body support 28 by contracting their abdominal muscles. By contracting their abdominal muscles to move knee support 32, the user is performing abdominal exercises.

In use, a user's upper body can remain stationary while the user's lower body moves. The abdominal exercise device 10 enables a user swing their lower body by contracting their abdominal muscles while holding their upper body in a relatively stable configuration that does not require the user to swing his head or neck around.

Attached to each side of third frame 36 are pulleys 40 that are pivotally mounted to third frame 36 by means of pins 42. A flexible cable 44 is attached by pins 46 at looped ends 48 to frames 14 and 16. Flexible cable 44, together with pulleys 40, form a resistance enhancer, also referred to as a damper mechanism, that increases the force required for a user to pivot or swing knee support 32 up towards upper body support 28. Loop ends 48 are formed in flexible cable 44 by means of fasteners 50. Flexible cables 44 may be formed of elastic chords. A user can increase the amount of force required to pivot or swing knee support 32 up toward upper body support 28 by coupling flexible cable 44 to one of the pulleys 40. Two pulleys 40 are shown. Placing flexible cable 44 on the upper pulley 40 provides a higher degree of resistance than placing it on the lower pulley due to the fact that flexible cable 44 is stretched more when placed on the upper pulley 40. For the least amount of resistance, flexible cable 44 is not attached to any pulley 40. It can thus be appreciated that an adjustable amount of damping can be applied to the user support 32. The different pulleys 40 can thus be considered damping adjusters for purposes of this disclosure. Alternatively, the resistance enhancer or damper mechanism can also take the form of, just for example: (1) an adjustable friction device, for example at the pivot hinge 38 of user support 32 or at any region of the user support 32 to generate friction damping; (2) a magnetic or electromagnetic damper mechanism as known in the exercise industry; (3) a friction belt and/or flywheel arrangement; or (4) a handle or lever to enable an exercise trainer or user to exert a dampening force manually on user support 32. In each of these embodiments, damping adjusters may also optionally be provided to adjust the amount of friction, or magnetic damping force that is applied.

FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of an abdominal exercise device according to one or more embodiments of the invention. Abdominal exercise device 10 is shown having a pair of pulleys 40 and a flexible cable 44 on each side of knee support 32. Each flexible cable 44 provides a degree of resistance to the pivotal movement of knee support 32. With two cables 44 each with two pulleys 40, there are six levels of resistance that can be supplied to the knee support 32. The first level of resistance is where neither flexible cable 44 is placed on a pulley 40, thereby placing no resistance on knee support 32. A second level of resistance is placed on knee support 32 by placing a single flexible cable 44 on the lowest pulley 40. A third level of resistance is placed on knee support 32 by placing a single flexible cable 44 on the highest pulley 40. A fourth level of resistance is placed on knee support 32 by placing both flexible cables 44 each on the lowest pulley 40. A fifth level of resistance is placed on knee support 32 by placing one flexible cable 44 on the lowest pulley 40 and the other flexible cable 44 on the highest pulley 40. A sixth level of resistance is placed on knee support 32 by placing both flexible cables 44 on the highest pulley 40.

Note that it is possible to place both flexible cables 44 on pulleys 40 of a similar height so that a similar level of resistance is placed upon both sides of knee support 32, as is shown in FIG. 2. When both flexible cables 44 exert the same amount of resistance on each side of knee support 32, no torsional force is place on knee support 32 that would alter its direction of swing.

It is possible to further alter the amount of resistance placed upon knee support 32 by altering the strength of flexible cables 44. A flexible cable 44 with a high degree of elasticity will produce a small amount of resistance on the motion of knee support 32. Alternatively, a flexible cable 44 with a low degree of elasticity will produce a larger amount of resistance on the motion of knee support 32.

Frame 12 is shown in a fully extended open configuration. In this open configuration, hinges 18 are fully extended such that both hinge members 20 form a continuous linear member. The degree to which first frame 14 can pivot with respect to second frame 16 is restricted by hinges 18.

FIG. 3 illustrates a side view of abdominal exercise device 10 according to one or more embodiments of the invention. Pins 46 extend from the lower portions of frames 14 and 16 to allow for flexible cables 44 to connect to frame 12. Flexible cables 44 connect to pins 46 by having the ends of flexible cables 44 formed into loops 48 that are then held by fasteners 50.

Knee pad 34 is preferably a rigid platform that is covered with a padded material so that the user may comfortably kneel upon knee pad 34. Alternatively, knee pad 34 can be made of a rigid platform that is covered with a rigid or semi-rigid material that is contoured to provide an ergonomic surface for a user to kneel upon.

Frame 12 is shown in an open configuration. To place frame 12 into a closed configuration for storage of the abdominal exercise device 10, a user would remove flexible cables 44 from frame 12 by uncoupling loops 48 from pins 46. The user would then push the center of hinges 18 upward to displace the hinges 18 from their fully open configuration shown in FIG. 3. Then, the user would push first frame 14 towards second frame 16, thereby minimizing the amount of space occupied by frame 12, thereby enabling the usage of a smaller amount of storage space.

FIGS. 1-3 and 7-9 illustrate a first embodiment of an abdominal exercise device 10. FIGS. 4-6 illustrate an alternative embodiment of an abdominal exercise device 52. FIG. 4 illustrates a side view of the abdominal exercise device 52 according to one or more embodiments of the invention. Abdominal exercise device 52 includes a frame 54. Frame 54 is formed of two secondary frames, a first frame 56 and a second frame 58. Secondary frames 56 and 58 are pivotally attached to each other to form frame 54. Secondary frames 56 and 58 are pivotally attached to each other to enhance the utility of frame 54. Secondary frames 56 and 58 are able to pivot between open and closed positions. Frame 54 is shown in an open position. When in an open position, frame 54 is configured to be utilized for abdominal exercises by a user. Secondary frames 56 and 58 may then be pivoted such that they are parallel to each other, thereby greatly reducing the volume of space occupied by frame 54. When secondary frames 56 and 58 are pivoted together such that they are parallel to each other, frame 54 is in the closed position. In the closed position, frame 54 occupies a minimum of space, thereby making it easier to store abdominal exercise device 52.

Frame 58 is provided with a pair of handles 60 at the top portion of frame 58. Handles 60 provide a user with a hand grip to stabilize themselves as they position themselves on abdominal exercise device 52. Handles 60 may be covered with a spongy or high friction material to provide an ergonomic surface for the user to grip.

A joint member 62 is mounted to frame 58. Joint member 62 includes an opening 64. First frame 56 includes an end portion 66 through which a bolt 68 pivotally secures first frame 56 to second frame 58. A plurality of holes 70 are formed along the length of first frame 56.

Flexible cords 72 are stretched between frames 56 and 58. Fasteners 74 secure the ends of flexible cords 72 in order to form loops 76. Flexible cords 72 are attached to frames 56 and 58 by placing loops 76 onto pins 78.

A user support 80, also referred to as a knee support, is pivotally mounted to frame 54. User support 80 swings with respect to frame 54. User support 80 includes a knee pad 82, which is attached to a third frame 84. Third frame 84 is pivotally attached to joint member 62, thereby allowing user support 80 to pivot or swing with respect to frame 54.

Pulleys 86 are attached to each side of user support 80 with pins 88. Pulleys 86 are provided to engage flexible cords 72. When flexible cords 72 engage pulleys 86, the force required to rotate or pivot user support 80 with respect to frame 54 is increased. Third frame 84 includes a cross member 90 that is bolted to third frame 84 with bolt assembly 92. Cross member 90 provides structural support to knee pad 82. Bolts 94 secure third frame 84 to pivot members 96. Pivot members 96 are attached to rods 98 that extend through openings 64 in joint members 62. User support 80 pivots or swings with respect to frame 54 with rods 98 rotating within openings 64.

An upper body support 100 is attached to frames 56 and 58. Upper body support 100 includes members 102 that extend across frames 56 and 58. Holes 104 are provided within members 102 to receive pins 106. Pins 106 engages holes 104 and holes 70 provided in first frame 56, thereby connecting members 102 to frame 54. Pins 106 are removably attached, thereby allowing member 102 to be adjustably positioned with respect to frame 54.

A cross member 108 extends across members 102. Cross member 108 is secured with bolts 110 to members 102. Forearm supports 112 are attached to cross member 108. Forearm supports 112 are platforms that are covered with a spongy material such as foam that is then covered with a durable covering such as vinyl or leather. Hand supports 114 are also attached to cross member 108 and are covered with a spongy and/or frictional material 116 to enhance their ergonomic utility as handles.

A user wishing to perform an abdominal exercise will kneel on knee pad 82. Knee pad 82 can be formed of a durable hard plastic that can be contoured in the molding process. Alternatively, knee pad 82 may be formed of a rigid platform that is then covered with a spongy material, such as foam or other padding, along with a durable cover such as leather or a vinyl material. A contoured or padded surface increases the ergonomic utility of knee pad 82. The user may use handles 60 while positioning themselves onto knee pad 82.

Once the user is kneeling on knee pad 82, the user grasps hand supports 114 and rests their forearms on forearm support 112. Together, hand support 114 and forearm support 112 provide the user with the ability to stabilize and hold their torso in a stationary position with respect to frame 54. Then, using their abdominal muscles, the user is able to pivot or swing knee support 80 up toward upper body support 100. The user is able to pivot or swing knee support 80 up toward upper body support 100 by contracting their abdominal muscles. By contracting their abdominal muscles to move knee support 80, the user is performing abdominal exercises.

Flexible cords 72 are provided to enhance the level of resistance that a user encounters while performing exercises on device 52. As a user improves their physical health and becomes more capable of performing abdominal exercises with device 52, they will wish to increase the resistance on device 52 in order to continue to develop their abdominal muscles. FIG. 4 shows one of the flexible cords 72 engaged to a pulley 86, while the other flexible cord 72 remains free and not engaged to any pulley 86.

FIG. 5 illustrates a rear view of the abdominal exercise device 52 according to one or more embodiments of the invention. Frames 56 and 58 are provided with feet 118 to enhance the stability of frame 54 on a flat surface. Feet 118 may, for example, be formed of a hard plastic or a rubbery material. Note that in this embodiment, device 52 is provided with two forearm supports 112. Forearms supports 112 and handles 114 may be attached at various locations on cross member 108 by means of holes 120.

FIG. 6 illustrates a side view of a resistance enhancer on an abdominal exercise device 52 according to one or more embodiments of the invention. Cross member 90 is mounted to third frame 84 by means of bolt assembly 92. Bolt assembly 92 includes lower and upper plates 124 and 126 which are held together by bolts 128. Knee pad 82 is supported by plate 130.

FIG. 7 illustrates a front perspective view of an abdominal exercise device 10 according to one or more embodiments of the invention. Bulbous caps 132 are placed on the ends of first frame 14. FIG. 8 illustrates a rear perspective view of an abdominal exercise device 10 according to one or more embodiments of the invention. FIG. 9 illustrates a user 134 performing an exercise on an abdominal exercise device 10 according to one or more embodiments of the invention. The user 134 is shown in a kneeling position on knee support 32. The user's hands grasp hand supports 29, while the user's forearms are supported by forearm support 30. The user 134 performs an abdominal exercise by contracting their abdominal muscles by pivoting or swinging knee support 32 up toward hand support 29.

FIG. 10 illustrates a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of an abdominal exercise device 136 according to one or more embodiments of the invention. Abdominal exercise device 136 includes a frame 138 that is generally formed in a tripod configuration. Frame 138 includes feet 140 for engaging a surface. Frame 138 further includes a plurality of tubular sections 142, 144, 146, 148, and 150, which may, in an exemplary embodiment, be formed of metal, carbon fiber, or other material. The use of tubular sections 142, 144, 146, 148 and 150 is merely exemplary. Columns of any cross-section, such as square, or rectangular may be used as well for sections 142, 144, 146, 148 and 150. Tubular sections 142, 146 and 148 are straight. Tubular sections 144 and 150 are curved to form joints between straight tubular sections 142, 146 and 148. Tubular section 150 is connected to a vertical support 152. Vertical support 152 is shown being formed of a rectangular column. The use of a rectangular column is merely exemplary. Vertical support 152 may be formed from a tube, such as section 142. Vertical support 152 is connected to tubular base 154. Feet 156 are mounted to ends of tubular base 154. Feet 140 and 156 provide support for frame 138 with its engagement of a surface such as a floor. Bolts 158 connect vertical support 152 to tubular base 154. Shafts 160 protrude inwardly from each tubular section 146.

Frame 138 pivotally engages knee support 162. Knee support 162 is pivotally attached to shafts 160, which are mounted to frame 138. Knee support 162 include joint sections 164 that engage shafts 160 to form a pivotal joint to enable knee support 162 to pivot with respect to frame 138. Knee support 162 includes a generally “U” shaped frame that is composed of sections 166, 168 and 170. Sections 166 and 170 are straight, and are connected to each other by curved sections 168. Sections 166, 168 and 170 are shown generally having a rectangular cross-section, which is merely exemplary.

Rods 172 extend from each side of knee support 162. Rods 172 are provided so that a user can attach weight plates on either side to increase the amount of resistance required for moving knee support 162 with respect to frame 138 in order to increase the level of exercising difficulty. A knee pad 174 is pivotally attached to frame section 170. Knee pad 174 includes a pair of curved surfaces 176 for a user's knees and legs. Knee pad 174 is capable of pivoting between three positions, as more fully illustrated in FIGS. 13 and 16-18.

An upper body support 178 is removably attached to frame 138. Upper body support 178 includes a pair of hand supports 180 and a pair of forearm supports 182. Upper body support 178 is also formed of shaped tubing. Hand supports 180 may be coated with an ergonomic material to enhance the ability of hand supports 180 to engage a user's hand. Examples of such an ergonomic material include a high friction material for enhanced grip and/or a spongy material to provide for a padded grip. Forearm supports 182 are formed having curved channels to support a user's arms.

Hand supports 180 and forearm supports 182 are connected to cross-beam 184. Cross-beam 184 is mounted to forward-beam 186. Forward-beam 186 is removably attached to vertical support 152 such that the height of forward-beam 186 may be adjusted. A knob 188 is provided to secure the position of forward-beam 186 with respect to frame 138. Knob 188 is configured to engage both frame 138 and forward-beam 186. Removal of knob 188 enables forward-beam 186 to be moved with respect to frame 138.

FIG. 11 illustrates a front view of an alternative embodiment of an abdominal exercise device 136 according to one or more embodiments of the invention. There is spacing between rods 172 and frame 138 to enable knee support 162 to pivot freely within frame 138. Free weights may be placed on rods 172 to increase the amount of force a user would have to employ in order to pivot knee support 162 forward toward the front portion of frame 138. Feet 140 and 156 are positioned such that frame 138 sits level on a surface such as a floor.

FIG. 12 illustrates a top view of an alternative embodiment of an abdominal exercise device 136 according to one or more embodiments of the invention. Curved surfaces 176 formed in knee pad 174 are positioned close together such that a user's legs are close together when the user is kneeling on knee pad 174. Hand and forearm supports 180 and 182 are spaced farther apart to accommodate a user's hands and forearms when the user is kneeling on knee pad 174.

FIG. 13 illustrates a bottom view of an alternative embodiment of an abdominal exercise device 136 according to one or more embodiments of the invention. Knee pad 174 is configured to pivot between three positions. Knee pad 174 may be positioned such that curved surfaces 176 are parallel to the direction of motion of knee support 162. Knee pad 174 may also be pivoted to a position where curved surfaces 176 are angled either to the right or the left of the direction of motion of knee support 162. When knee pad 174 is positioned such that curved surfaces 176 are parallel to the direction of motion of knee support 162, a user is able to exercise their rectus abdominus muscle. When knee pad 174 is pivoted such that curved surfaces 176 are angled to the left or right of the direction of motion of knee support 162, the user is able to exercise their oblique muscles. To facilitate the pivotal movement of knee pad 174, knee pad 174 is pivotally anchored to frame section 170 with pivot plate 190. Pivot plate 190 includes a circular plate 192 that is pivotally mounted to frame section 170 with a rod 194. A spring-loaded knob 196 is attached to frame section 170 and is configured to engage one of three holes 198 formed in pivot plate 190. In this figure, spring-loaded knob 196 is shown to engage the center hole, placing knee pad 174 in a position where curved surfaces 176 are parallel to the direction of motion of knee support 162. Bolts or metal prongs 200 are provided to anchor pivot plate 190 to knee pad 174. Screws 202 anchor plate 204 to frame section 170 to pivotally secure rod 194 to frame section 170. Pulling spring-loaded knob 196 away from circular plate 192 enables circular plate 192 to pivot freely about rod 194. Spring-loaded knob 196 can then engage any one of the three holes 198 to secure knee pad 174 in a desired position for exercise.

FIG. 14 illustrates a side view of an alternative embodiment of an abdominal exercise device 136 according to one or more embodiments of the invention. FIG. 14 shows knee support 162 in a start position where a user would place their knees and legs on knee pad 174 to begin an exercise. FIG. 15 illustrates a side view of an alternative embodiment of an abdominal exercise device 136 having knee support 162 in a raised position according to one or more embodiments of the invention. In FIG. 15, knee support 162 has been raised to a position where a user has fully contracted their abdominal muscles to raise knee support 162 fully toward hand and forearm supports 180 and 182. At this position, the user would then gradually release their abdominal muscle contraction and lower knee support 162 back to the position shown in FIG. 14.

FIG. 16 illustrates a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of an abdominal exercise device 136 showing knee pad 174 in a first rotated position according to one or more embodiments of the invention. Knee pad 174 is rotated to the left of the direction of motion of knee support 162 with pivot plate 190. In this position, a user may exercise their right oblique abdominal muscles. FIG. 17 illustrates a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of an abdominal exercise device 136 showing knee pad 174 in a straight position according to one or more embodiments of the invention. In this position, a user may exercise their rectus abdominus muscle. FIG. 18 illustrates a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of an abdominal exercise device 136 showing knee pad 174 in a second rotated position according to one or more embodiments of the invention. Knee pad 174 is rotated to the right of the direction of motion of knee support 162 with pivot plate 190. In this position, a user may exercise their left oblique abdominal muscles.

FIG. 19 illustrates a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of an abdominal exercise device 136 having hand and forearm supports 180 and 182 removed according to one or more embodiments of the invention. Knob 188 is configured to engage holes 206 formed in vertical-beam 208 that is secured to forward-beam 186. There are a plurality of holes 206 formed in vertical-beam 208, thereby enabling knob 188 to secure vertical-beam 208 at various positions with respect to frame 138. Thus, the relative height of hand and forearm supports 180 and 182 may be adjusted with respect to frame 138. For purposes of shipping, storage, or maintenance, hand and forearm supports 180 and 182 may be removed from frame 138. A plate 210 is attached to vertical support 152. Bolts 212 removable secure vertical support 152 to tubular section 150.

While the invention has been shown and described with reference to a particular embodiment thereof, it will be understood to those skilled in the art, that various changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8043199 *May 6, 2010Oct 25, 2011Jerry BarkerExercise machine
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/140
International ClassificationA63B23/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63B21/0414, A63B21/0552, A63B2208/0214, A63B23/0216, A63B21/00069
European ClassificationA63B23/02A4
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 25, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: STAMINA PRODUCTS, INC., MISSOURI
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MCBRIDE, ROBERT WAYNE;LIN, SIZ-PIN;BUSE, JOHN;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:021293/0721;SIGNING DATES FROM 20080625 TO 20080630