Title:
AB isoflex
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An abdominal exercise device is disclosed to facilitate exercise of the abdominal muscles. The device is comprised of a harness that stabilizes the exercisers hands and feet allowing for total control while contracting the abdominal muscles. The said device consist of two straps that extend parallel beneath the exercisers frame. The two parallel straps are secured by cross straps. The user places the said device on a flat surface. The user sits down and secures feet in the adjustable openings at the lower end and hands in the grips at the opposite end. The user then pulls the straps over their shoulders and is positioned for the exercise. The user then raises the upper body in a “crunch” type exercise. The straps provide resistance to the abdomen and provides support to the users frame when performing an abdominal exercise.



Inventors:
Janora, Peter M. (Colorado Springs, CO, US)
Application Number:
10/054459
Publication Date:
07/24/2003
Filing Date:
01/24/2002
Assignee:
JANORA PETER M.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B21/068; A63B23/02; A63B23/00; (IPC1-7): A63B71/00; A63B26/00
View Patent Images:
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20080071199Adjustable limb exerciserMarch, 2008Wu
20070099766Stationary exercise bicycleMay, 2007Pyles et al.
20060116245Limb weight deviceJune, 2006Palmenco-geller et al.
20080085816FITNESS TRAINING HURDLEApril, 2008Pauletto et al.
20090062091Pull Handles for Gym Training With Adjustable AngleMarch, 2009Daniel
20060270528Rowing exercise apparatusNovember, 2006Lai



Primary Examiner:
BROWN, MICHAEL A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Peter, Janora M. (445 EAST CHEYENNE MTN. BLVD. # 300, COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, 80906, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An abdominal exercise device comprising: a pair of straps that extend parallel beneath the users frame; three cross support straps; a pair of adjustable openings for the feet to stabilize the lower body; a pair of hand grip openings for the hands to stabilize the upper body; a neck support cross strap; a pair of shoulder pads;

2. The abdominal exercise device of claim 1, wherein said device includes a pair of straps with foot and hand grip openings that extend parallel under the users frame locking the hands and feet in a stabilized position.

3. The exercise device of claim 2, wherein the said device includes adjustable velcro foot straps to secure the positioning of the feet and stabilize the body while performing the abdominal exercises.

4. The exercise device of claim 2, wherein the device further includes a pair of short and long hand grips that allow the exerciser to grip the upper end of the harness securely.

5. The exercise device of claim 1, wherein the device further includes three cross straps supporting the structure and positioning of the two longer parallel straps.

7. The exercise device of claim 2, wherein the device further includes the means of adjusting the length of the lower end of the straps to fit the users frame.

8. The exercise device of claim 4, wherein the device further includes alternate lengths for various exercise movements.

9. The exercise device of claim 1, wherein the device allows the user to pull the body upward to perform an abdominal crunch and contracting the upper abdominal muscles.

10. The exercise device of claim 1, wherein the device further includes the means of allowing the exerciser to contract the lower abdominal muscles by raising the lower body at the users hip joint.

11. The exercise device of claim 8, wherein the device allows the user to extend arm forward to opposite side of the body contracting the external obliques muscles in the sides of the torso.

12. The exercise device of claim 1, comprises a neck support strap preventing straining of the neck muscles throughout the movement of the exercise.

13. The exercise device of claim 12, wherein the neck support is comprised of a padded material for comfort.

14. The exercise device of claim 13, wherein the neck support strap is removable for advanced users.

15. The exercise device of claim 1, wherein the device includes a pair of padded shoulder pads attached to the two parallel straps for extra support and comfort.

16. An abdominal exercise device comprising: a pair of cross straps for support; a pair of foot loop openings to stabilize the feet; a pair of handgrips;

17. The exercise device of claim 16, wherein the device further includes two cross straps to support the users frame and provide structure to the said device.

18. The exercise device of claim 16, wherein the device further includes two cross straps with an x in the center to support the users frame.

19. The exercise device of claim 16, wherein the device includes one handgrip on each side.

20. The exercise device of claim 16, wherein the device includes adjustable foot loop openings. Adjustments are made with a single adjustment clip on each side.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to the field of exercise machines primarily for exercising the abdominal muscles. For the purpose of strengthening, toning and defining the muscles targeted.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to an exercise apparatus intended exclusively for exercising the abdominal muscles of a person.

[0003] The abdominal area of a person is comprised of four muscle groups including the rectus abdominis, the external obliques, the internal obliques and the transverse abdominis.

[0004] Because these four muscles are located in the center of the body, the process of isolating and developing them has proven to be a difficult task.

[0005] One popular exercise for the abdominal muscles is known as the “sit-up.” During such an exercise, a person lying in a supine position with knees flexed into an upward position and hands behind the neck, slowly raises and lowers the upper body so as to bring the head toward the stationary knees. Typically, the purpose of these types of abdominal flexion exercises is to require the upper torso to flex in a curling and uncurling manner so as to bring about a strengthening of the muscles of the abdominal region.

[0006] In recent years, the growth of the field of sports medicine has bought with it much criticism of the sit-up and other conventional abdominal exercises. The first wave of criticism revolved around the positioning of the hands and arms while performing the sit-up. These critics claimed that positioning the hands clasped behind the neck put undue stress on the neck and the spine when doing a sit-up. Therefore, to avoid injury to the neck and spine, several alternatives were recommended, including positioning the hands on the ears, hands on top of the head, hands folded across the chest, and hands extended forward. Significantly, a consensus evolved that performing a sit-up with the hands and arms extended fully forward is the position of least stress upon the neck.

[0007] The second attack on the sit-up relied on the theory that the flexion of the lumber and thoracic spine over a significant range of motion might cause strain on the lower back. Accordingly, some in the medical field advocated limiting the range of motion of the spine during abdominal exercises to prevent injury to the lower back and spine. The result of their efforts was a widespread adoption and use of a variation on the sit-up referred to as a “crunch.”

[0008] The crunch is performed when a person lying on his back knees bent and hands folded behind the persons head raises only his shoulders blades off the floor in a forward motion and then lowers his shoulders to the starting position. During the forward-curling motion, the small of the back remains in contact with the floor resulting in an exercise with a limited range of motion. This exercise succeeds in targeting and developing specifically the upper rectus abdominis. The problem that exists with the crunch is the exercisers hand and feet lack proper stability and positioning. There is also the risk of injuring the neck by improper hand placement.

[0009] In response to the criticism against the traditional sit-up exercise, many new machines were developed touting less strenuous means of exercising the abdominal muscles. There are three major drawbacks to such machines, 1) they are large, awkward machines that are used only in a gym setting, 2) they mainly are used for only one of the three muscle groups located in the torso region, 3) they do not isolate the entire torso while locking in the hands for total muscle contraction.

[0010] An effective prior art device for strengthening the abdominal musculature is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,492,520 issued to the inventor of the present invention. The device is known as the “Ab Roller” and has become a very popular home exercise device. The Ab roller provides for a safe effective workout for the upper abdominals. The Ab roller supports the head and neck and limits excessive lumbar movement. Although the Ab roller is an effective exercise device it lacks the ability to effectively train all of the major muscle groups located in the abdominal region.

[0011] There is therefore a need to provide an exercise device that effectively isolates the entire abdominal region. The device must also provide hand and foot support as well as add resistance to get an effective workout.

[0012] In response to these types of machines, many sports health professionals have returned to advocating traditional abdominal exercises capable of being performed on an exercise mat placed on the floor.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0013] The advantages and purpose of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows, and in part will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention. The advantages and purpose of the invention will be realized and attained by means of the elements and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

[0014] To attain the advantages and in accordance with the purpose of the invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, the exercise apparatus of the invention comprises an apparatus in which a person assumes a lying or seated position securing the hands and feet at the ends of the apparatus. The ability to secure the hands and the feet allow for total isolation of the entire torso while providing support and stability to the body.

[0015] The present device solves the problems associated with the Ab Roller by successfully targeting all of the major muscle groups while with the following exercise variations. In the first position the users legs are bent at a 90-degree angle and the two upper end straps are pulled over the shoulders and positioned so that the hands are placed in the front of the shoulders over the body. The users upper torso is raised approximately 45 degrees so that the shoulder blades raise off the ground contracting the upper rectus abdominus. In the second position the user raises the lower body up off the surface and pulls the knees into the lower abdomen thus contracting the lower abdominus rectus. In the third position the lower body and the upper body are simultaneously raised, engaging the upper and the lower rectus abdominus. In the forth position one arm is extended forward to the opposite side of the body raising the same side shoulder blade of the ground approximately 30 degrees contracting the oblique muscles. The foregoing exercises target and isolate the major muscles in the abdominal region while keeping the user in perfect form.

[0016] The present invention provides further advantage that it adds resistance to the muscles being targeted stimulating greater musculature gains.

[0017] The present invention provides further advantage that it does not require significant range of motion flexing the lumbar and thoracic spine causing strain on the lower back.

[0018] The present invention provides further advantage that it does not put undue stress on the neck caused by the exerciser positioning the hands clasped behind the neck.

[0019] It is to be understood that the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not restrictive of the invention, as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0020] The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate the embodiments of the invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention. In the drawings,

[0021] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first preferred embodiment.

[0022] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the second preferred embodiment.

[0023] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the third preferred embodiment

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0024] The detailed description set forth below in connection with the appended drawing is intended as a description of the presently preferred embodiment of the invention. The description describes the functions and sequence of steps for constructing and using the invention in connection with the illustrated embodiments. It is to be understood however that is not intended to represent the only form in which the present invention may be constructed or utilized, and is not intended to limit the invention to the particular form described. On the contrary, it is intended that the description cover all modifications and alternative constructions falling within the scope of the appended claims.

[0025] The purpose of the abdominal exercise device of this invention is to facilitate proper form and isolation while exercising the abdominal muscles, such as by executing a crunch movement, and to provide support to the upper back and neck. The abdominal exercise device of the present invention comprises a harness support assembly upon which a user assumes a supine position bending the knees at approximately a 45-degree angle. The user inserts feet in the adjustable foot straps at the bottom end of the said invention and grips the handgrips at the opposite end. The user now is in position to execute a perfectly isolated abdominal crunch. In the first position the user raises the upper torso approximately 30 degrees of the surface by lifting with the hands and contracting the upper abdominals. The feet are firmly planted on the surface and pushed out slightly to add resistance. In the second position the user firmly grips the handgrips and holds them in a fixed position. The user then slowly raises the lower body, lifting the knees and lower torso up into the abdomen performing a reverse crunch and targeting the lower abdominals. In the third position the user simultaneously performs the movement of the first position and the second position, thus training the upper and lower portion of the abdominals is one movement In the forth position the user lifts one shoulder off the surface, and extends the same side hand across the body target the oblique muscles on the side of the torso. The present invention also utilizes a neck strap for supporting the neck muscles. The neck support strap is removable if an advanced user does not need the added support.

[0026] Referring to FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment, an abdominal exercise device includes a pair of parallel straps 4 and three cross support straps 3,5, the straps are preferably a webbing material for strength and durability. Various materials, thickness and lengths may be used to construct the strap portion of the device. The device includes two pairs of handgrip openings 1 for a long or a short hand position used in alternate exercise variations. A pair a padded shoulder support pads 2 for comfort and a wider support structure covering the shoulder area. The pads may be formed with a suitable material such as foam covered with a cloth material or rubber, for a comfortable contact with the users shoulder. Adjuster clips 6 that lengthen and shorten the exercise device to accommodate a full range of users. The lower end of the device further includes a pair of foot straps 7 to fit comfortably around the toe of the users foot. The purpose is to hold and stabilize the positioning of the feet as well as add resistance and support to the user while performing the specific exercises with the said device. The foot straps are formed with webbing material for durability and velcro to adjust and fasten to the users foot

[0027] Referring to FIG. 2 the above described embodiment may also includes a padded neck support strap 10 formed with webbing and foam padding or other materials of similar matter. The neck strap is removable and preferred to be used by the user who desires to have extra neck support while performing the abdominal exercises. The ends of the straps slide over the top end of the handgrips 1 and rest at the top of the shoulder support pads 2.

[0028] Referring to FIG. 2 is an alternate embodiment of the present invention wherein the users feet are inserted in the foot loops 9 formed with a pair of adjuster clips 8, the desired length can be adjusted by pulling the end of the strap through the adjuster. This alternate embodiment is being considered as a variation of the present invention to be used in military style training.

[0029] Referring to FIG. 3 is an alternate embodiment of the present invention designed with a single handgrip 1. The shoulder pads 12 are formed of rubber and are adjustable. This variation has only two cross straps 13. The foot loops 14 are the same as described in FIG. 2.

[0030] Although the present invention has been illustrated with respect to three embodiments thereof, the invention is not to be so limited since changes and modifications can be made that are within the full scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.





 
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