US 3796431 A
An exercising device is described which contains spherically-shaped weights which are rotatable, allowing the device to be used by rolling the device along a surface such as a floor or wall in addition to lifting in the conventional manner.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Sinyard EXERCISING DEVICE CONTAINING ROTATABLE WEIGHTS  Inventor: James R. Sinyard, Rt. 2, Villa Rica,
 Filed: Apr. 26, 1973 21 App]. N6; 354,656
 US. Cl 272/84, 272/57 J, 272/57 D  Int. Cl A63b 11/04  Field of Search 272/57 1, 60, 79 R, 84;
1 280/ll.l; 16/24, 25
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Rother 280/ll.1 BR
[ Mar. 12, 1974 1 2,821,394 v 1 1951; Barbeau 272/57 J FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 615,324 1/1961 Italy l6/24 Primary ExaminerRichard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-Joseph R. Taylor Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Jones, Thomas & Askew [5 7] ABSTRACT An exercising device is described which contains spherically-shaped weights which are rotatable, allowing the device to be used by rolling the device along a surface such as a floor or wall in addition to lifting in the conventional manner.
5 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures EXERCISING DEVICE CONTAINING ROTATABLE WEIGHTS This invention relates to an improved exercising device. More specifically, this invention is directed to an exercising device which can be used either by rolling the device along a surface such as a floor or wall in any direction or by lifting the device in the manner long known to the art of exercising.
Exercising devices in use today range from the very complex equipment found in gymnasiums and health spas to the simple exercising devices such as the dumbbell and bar-bell normally found in homes and offices. The very complex equipment has the advantage that a single piece of equipment is capable of functioning in different ways. For example, exercises for the arms, legs, chest, and shoulders can often be performed on a single piece of equipment. Along with the advantage of multiple functionality, the use of complex equipment has some serious drawbacks. Because of the intricate nature of the complex equipment, mechanical failure is commonplace, and it is also difficult for people to use the devices without proper professional instructions. The simple exercising devices such as the dumb-bell and bar-bell are advantageous for use in the home or office because of the size and ease of use of such devices. Mechanical failure is also very seldom encountered when using these simple devices. However, these simple exercising devices have normally been used only for a limited number of exercises and the exercises have normally entailed lifting the devices.
Efforts have been made to modify the simple exercising devices such as the dumb-bell and bar-bell in order to make the devices more functionalwith regard to the number and type of exercises for which the devices can be used. For example, U. S. Pat. No. 1,438,804, U. S. Pat. No. 2,821,394, and U. S. Pat. No. 3,134,590 all disclose simple exercising devices in which rotatable discs are attached to the ends of a handle. Exercises that do not require lifting can be performed by pushing these devices along a surface such as a floor or wall. Because the edges of the discs are in one plane, however, it is difficult to change the. direction in which the devicesare being pushed without lifting the devices off the surface and turning the devices in the desired direction. 1
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide an improved exercising device of the dumbbell type. v
It is another object of the present invention to provide an exercising device of the dumb-bell type that is capable of undergoing omnidirectional movement after the device comes into contact with a surface such as a floor or wall, capable of being used in exercises requiring lifting and capable of being altered as to weight.
These objects and other features and advantages of the present invention will be more clearly understood upon consideration of the following specification and the accompanying drawing pertaining to a disclosed embodiment of the invention, in which:
FIG. 1 is a top view of an exercising device constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a side view, partly in section, taken along line 2-2 of the exercising'device of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a side view, partly in section, of an altemative embodiment of an exercising device constructed in accordance with the present invention.
In accordance with the present invention, there is provided an exercising device comprising a handle, a hemispherically-shaped cup attached to each end of the handle, and a spherically-shaped weight contained within each cup. The term hemispherically-shaped cup, both here and throughout the specification, refers either to a cup that is in the shape of a hemisphere in that the side walls of the cup extend exactly to the greatest circumferential distance around the cup or to a cup which the side walls extend past the greatest circumfcrential distance around the cup. Each spherically-shaped weight forms a universal joint with the hemispherically-shaped cup, allowing the weight to rotate freely in any direction. The universal action obtained with this particular, construction allows the exercising device to be pushed in any direction along a surfac such as a floor or wall.
Referring more particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown an exercising device 10 constructed in accordance with the preferred embodiments of the present invention in which spherically-shaped weights 11 are held within hemispherically-shaped cups 12 attached to the ends of handle 13. The inside surfaces of cups 12 have small nodes 14 projecting above the inside surfaces of the cups 125 and the nodes 14 support the weights 11 away from the surfaces and keep the weights 11 within the cups 12. Projecting through holes 17 immediately opposite the openings for the weights 11 are extractorslS which serve to force the weights 11 out of cups 12 when changing weights.
The spherically-shaped weights ll useful in the present invention can be of any suitable composition and construction. Preferably the weights 11 are made of plastic and have holes into which metal plugs can be inserted in order to increase the weight. In this manner a weight 11 of a given circumference can have various weights, depending upon the amount of metal inserted into the holes. Of course, the weights 11 can be solid plastic, solid metal, plastic-coated metal, and the like. The spherically-shaped weights 1! should have a smooth and polished finish in order to decrease the friction between the weights 11 and the nodes 14 and also between the weights 1 l and a surface when the exercising device is used by pushing along the surface.
The hemispherically-shaped cups 12 are preferably either molded hard rubber or plastic but maybe any suitable material that is hard and resilient. The cups 12 can be attached to handle 13 by any suitable means, but preferably the cups 12 and handle 13 are molded as a single piece, resulting in a construction that is sturdy and resistant to damage. As shown in FIG. 2, the
rims of Cups 12 preferably extend beyond the greatest circumferential distance around the cup, and the circumference of each of the rims is less than the circumference of each of weights 11. The cups 12 must have rims that are somewhat elastic and capable of expanding to allow the weights 11 to fit into the cups l2 and then retract. The rims can then partially surround and hold the weights 11 within the cups 12. I
Within the cups 12 are a number of nodes 14 that project above the inside surface of the cups l2 and support the weights 11 away from the: surface of the cups 12. By supporting the weights 11 in this manner, the friction created between the cups l2 and weights 11 when the weights ll rotate is minimized. The nodes 14 are all the same height and the top of all the nodes form a hemisphe'rically-shaped surface with a diameter equal to or slightly larger than the diameter of the spherically-shaped weights 11, allowing the weights 11 to rotate with ease within the cups 12. As shown in FIG. 2 there are some nodes very near the rim of cups l2, and these nodes tend to hold the weights 11 within the cups 12 because these nodes are at positions on the inside surfaces of cups 12 wherein the circumference parallel to the rims is smaller than the circumference of weights 1 1. The nodes 14 are also positioned at a distance from extractors 15 such that there is no interference between the nodes 14 and extractors 15. Preferably, nodes 14 are produced by molding at the same time the cups 12'and handle 13 are molded as a single piece in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention, although the nodes 14 can be individually made and attached in any suitable manner to the inside surfaces of cups 12.
The handle 13 can be of any suitable material, but preferably the handle 13 is of the same preferred composition as the cups 12, being either hard rubber or plastic. Handle 13 can be of any cross-sectional shape, including round, square, oval, and irregular, and preferably has a gripping area 16 formed by a series of grooves within the surface. The length of the handle 13 can vary, depending upon the particular use for the exercising device. For example, if the exercising device is intended for use in exercises that require both hands, such as the exercises normally performed with a large bar-bell, the handle 13 will be relatively long, that is,
from about 24 inches to about 84 inches. If the exercising device is intended for use in exercises that require only one hand, such as the exercises normally performed with a small dumb-bell, the handle 13 will be relatively short, that is, from about 8 inches to about 20 inches.
The extractors 15 that project through holes 17 in the walls of cups 12 are preferably of a very stiff material such as metal, hard rubber, plastic and the like. Preferably the cxtractors 15 are l-shaped plugs as shown in FIG. 2 in which both ends of the plugs are wider than the holes 17 in order to prevent the plugs from becoming disengaged from the cups 12. The ends of the plugs that are inside the cups 12 should have a thickness which is less than the height of nodes 14, allowing the weights 11 to rotate freely without interference from the plugs. The plugs should be located on the cups 12 immediately opposite the rims through which the weights 11 are inserted in order to allow pressure to be asserted against the weights 11 in a direction perpendicular to the plane formed by the rims of cups 12. While the weights 11 are within the cups 12, the ends of plugs within cups 12 remain between weights l1 and the inside surfaces of cups 12 and do not interfere with the rotation of weights 11. Of course, the extractors 15 can be of other suitable shapes and designs other than I-shaped plugs. In order to use the extractors 15 to remove weights 11 from cups 12, pressure is applied to the ends of extractors 15 outside cups 12 in a direction towards the center of cups l2, and the resulting pressure applied to the weights 11 causes the weights to be pushed past the elastic rim and be removed from the cups.
When preparing to use the exercising device 10, the proper weights 11 for the specific exercise are chosen and pressed through the openings in cups 12 until the rims snaparound weights 11, holding the weights securely in place. If the device is to be used for performing exercises in which the device is to be lifted, the exercises are performed in the normal manner. If the device is to be used for performing exercises in which the device is in contact with a surface such as a floor or wall, the device is positioned so that the weights 1.1 are in contact with the surface. Preferably, the rims of the cups 12 should be parallel to the surface in order to evenly distribute the weight on nodes 14. The exercise can be performed without lifting the device off the surface because the weights 11 are freely rotatable in any direction. After finishing an exercise, the weights 11 can be removed by applying pressure to the plugs 15 in order to snap the weights 11 out of cups 12.
An alternative embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 3 and is directed to another means of retaining the spherically-shaped weights within cups 12. The cups 12 are hemispheres and have side walls that extend exactly to the greatest circumferential distance around the cups 12. The rims of cups 12 have a diameter that is greater than the diameter of the weights 1 1 in order to allow the weights 1 1 to be placed in the cups 12 without'expandin the rims. In the rim of each cup 12 there are three sockets 18 (only two of which are shown) for receiving individual retention members 19 that are arcuate and that extend around a portion of each weight 11 to hold the weight 11 within the cup 12. Of course, more than three sockets 18 can be used if desired. The retention members 19 can be held to the cups 12 by connector 20. Instead of having individual retention members 19 are shown in the portion of FIG. 3 that is in section, theexercising device could have ring members 21 in which the largest diameter is equal to the diameter of cups 12 and the smallest diameter is less than the diameter of weights 11. The
ring members 21 can be held to the cups 12 by means of connectors 20 or any other suitable means.
Another alternative embodiment of the present invention is directed to a means for attaching the exercising device to the foot so that exercises involving the use of the leg muscles can be performed. A strap or other suitable holding member can be attached at the points at each end of the handle 13 where the handle 13 contacts the underside of the cups 12 opposite the openings for the weights 11. The foot can be inserted between the handle 13 and the strap and leg exercises performed in the normal manner. Of course, it is possible to attach the exercising device directly to the bottom of a shoe to be worn during exercising. The exercising device can be attached to the shoe by any conventional means such as screws, adhesives, and thelike.
The invention and many of its attendant advantages will be understood from the foregoing description and it will be apparent that various changes may be made in the form, constructiomand arrangement of the parts of the invention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof or sacrificing all of its material advantages, the embodiments hereinbefore described being merely for purposes of illustration.
What is claimed is:
1. An exercising device comprising a generally rectilinear handle, a hemispherically-shaped cup attached to each end of said handle with the openings of both cups facing in the same direction, a spherically-shaped weight contained within each of said cups, and means for retaining each of said weights within its cup whereby each weight can rotate in any direction, the
longitudinal axis of said handle passing generally through the center portion of each of said sphericallyshaped weights.
2. An exercising device as in claim 1, wherein a plurality of nodes project above the inside surface of each of said cups in order to support each of said weights away from the surface of its cup.
3. An exercising device as in claim 1, wherein an extractor for removing its weight from each cup extends through a hole in each of said cups, each hole being opposite the opening formed by the rim in each cup for each weight.
within each rim.