Title:
Arm exercise device attached to dashboard
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An arm exercise device is positioned in the area of the dashboard of an automotive vehicle. The device comprises at least three mechanisms positioned behind the dashboard. Each mechanism has an extendable cord attached thereto. Each cord extends through holes formed through the dashboard. An ergonomically-shaped handle is mounted on each cord end exterior of the dashboard. The mechanisms are adapted to provide a steady rate of tension when the cords are pulled outwardly from the dashboard and to retract the cords when the pulling force is released. As contemplated, one the devices would be positioned to the left of the steering column, one at a central point of the dashboard and one to the right of the passenger seat. This arrangement permits the driver and passenger to exercise both arms at convenient intervals.



Inventors:
Martien, William D. (Baltimore, MD, US)
Application Number:
10/459474
Publication Date:
12/16/2004
Filing Date:
06/12/2003
Assignee:
MARTIEN WILLIAM D.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/126
International Classes:
A63B21/008; A63B23/12; A63B21/00; A63B69/06; (IPC1-7): A63B21/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DONNELLY, JEROME W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard C. Litman (112 S. West Street, Alexandria, VA, 22314, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. An arm exercise device positioned adjacent a wall surface of an automotive vehicle, said wall surface having a front face, a rear face, a right end, a left end and a central portion comprising: openings disposed through said wall surface adjacent each respective right end, left end and central portion; and means for performing an arm exercise positioned adjacent said rear face and extending through each respective opening.

2. An arm exercise device as recited in claim 1, wherein said means includes a flexible cord extending through each respective opening, each cord having a proximate end and a distal end and a handle attached to each cord at each respective proximate end.

3. An arm exercise device as recited in claim 2, wherein each respective handle is ergonomically shaped.

4. An arm exercise device as recited in claim 1, wherein said means includes a retraction and tension force producing device positioned adjacent said rear face and disposed adjacent each respective opening.

5. An arm exercise device as recited in claim 4, including means for adjusting said retraction and tension force of each said device, said means for adjusting disposed on said front face of said wall surface.

6. An arm exercise device as recited in claim 1, wherein said wall surface is a dashboard.

7. An arm exercise device positioned adjacent a dashboard of an automotive vehicle, said dashboard having a front face, a rear face, a right end, a left end and a central portion comprising: openings disposed through said dashboard adjacent each respective right end, left end and central portion; first means including a tension and retraction force producing device for performing an arm exercise, said first means positioned adjacent said rear face and extending through each respective opening; and second means for adjusting said retraction and tension force producing device.

8. An arm exercise device as recited in claim 7, wherein said first means includes a flexible cord extending through each respective opening, each cord having a proximate end and a distal end and a handle attached to each cord at each respective proximate end.

9. An exercise device as recited in claim 8, wherein the distal end of each cord is attached to said force producing device.

10. An exercise device as recited in 9, wherein said force producing device is a fluid driven piston.

11. An exercise device as recited in claim 9, wherein said force producing device is a spring-loaded reel.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to exercise devices. More specifically, the present invention is drawn to an arm exercise system incorporated in the dashboard of an automotive vehicle.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] Health experts have recently issued warnings that a majority of the American public is dangerously overweight. This scenario presents a national health hazard, which in turn could adversely affect national productivity and economic well-being. One of the culprits for this dilemma is deemed to be lack of exercise.

[0005] There are many people who don't exercise but would like to. However, after taking care of family and career matters, there simply isn't enough time remaining in the day to exercise. Americans spend a great deal of time in their automobiles. A significant amount of that time is idle time spent waiting at traffic signals or stuck in rush-hour traffic jams. The art would certainly welcome a device whereby a driver (and passenger) might safely partake of some beneficial exercise during these idle moments.

[0006] There are exercise devices in the prior art adapted for use in an automobile. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,013,287 (Dickman) is drawn to a leg exerciser and footrest. The device can only be used for the left leg and would not be feasible for automobiles having standard transmissions and employing a clutch.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 5,681,243 (Criss) shows a device attached to the steering wheel for exercising and strengthening a driver's hands. While effective for the hands, the effect on the cardiovascular system is minimal at best.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 6,159,133 (Shugg) discloses a seat-mounted exercise system. While seemingly all encompassing, the instant system is somewhat complicated. Since part of the system is mounted across the seat back, the driver may experience some degree of discomfort.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 6,183,403 B1 (Dunn) shows an automobile exercise device, which device is mounted to the door jamb and/or seat. The device is suspended across and limits vision through the driver's window. This would likely create a safety hazard.

[0010] None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to disclose an arm exercise device for automobiles as will be subsequently described and claimed in the instant invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0011] The present invention is an arm exercise device, which device is positioned in the area of the dashboard of an automotive vehicle. The device comprises at least three mechanisms positioned behind the dashboard. Each mechanism has an extendable cord attached thereto. Each cord extends through holes formed through the dashboard. An ergonomically-shaped handle is mounted on each cord end exterior of the dashboard. The mechanisms are adapted to provide a steady rate of tension when the cords are pulled outwardly from the dashboard and to retract the cords when the pulling force is released. As contemplated, one of the devices would be positioned to the left of the steering column, one at a central point of the dashboard and one to the right of the passenger seat. This arrangement permits the driver and passenger to exercise both arms at convenient intervals.

[0012] By gripping the handle(s) and repeatedly pulling outward, the user is able to exercise and build muscle mass in the forearms and biceps. It is widely held that repeatedly flexing the arms is also effective as a cardio-vascular exercise. It is apparent that the exercise would aid in reducing tension and could help to counteract the recently prevalent road rage phenomena.

[0013] Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide an exercise device, which device can be installed in the dashboard of an automotive vehicle.

[0014] It is another object of the invention to provide an exercise device, which device can be used in an automotive vehicle during periods while stopped at a traffic light or when stalled in rush-hour traffic jams or the like.

[0015] It is a further object of the invention to provide an exercise device, which device can be installed in the dashboard of an automotive vehicle, which device is unobtrusive.

[0016] Still another object of the invention is to provide an exercise device, which device can be installed in the dashboard of an automotive vehicle, which device is safe and easy to use.

[0017] It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof for the purposes described which are inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing their intended purposes.

[0018] These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of an arm exercise system attached to dashboard of an automotive vehicle according to the present invention.

[0020] FIG. 2 is a partial side view of a first embodiment of an arm exercise device according to the present invention.

[0021] FIG. 3 is a partial side view of a second embodiment of an arm exercise device according to the present invention.

[0022] Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0023] Attention is first directed to FIG. 1 wherein the exercise system of the present invention is generally indicated at 10. System 10 is positioned in the dashboard 12 of an automotive vehicle. The system comprises three cords 14a, 14b, 14c adapted for extension and retraction through holes 12a formed in dashboard 12. As mentioned above, cord 14a is positioned to the left of steering column 16 (shown in phantom lines), cord 14b is located at the center of the dashboard and cord 14c is disposed to the right of the front passenger seat. This arrangement will permit the driver and passenger to exercise both arms. Each cord is fabricated from a suitable non-stretch material and can be colored to match the color scheme of the vehicle's exterior. Each cord terminates in a handle (15a, 15b, 15c). Each handle is ergonomically designed for user comfort and is preferably fabricated from durable plastic material. Tension adjusting members 18a, 18b, 18c, whose functions will be explained below, are mounted on the dashboard adjacent each cord.

[0024] As best seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, mechanisms for providing tension and retraction force on the cords are disposed and anchored behind the dashboard 12. Each cord will have one end thereof attached to a respective mechanism. In FIG. 2, the mechanisms (only one is shown) take on the form of a fluid actuated piston device 20. In FIG. 3, the mechanisms are spring-loaded winding reels 22. Members 20 and 22 are conventional and are not, per se, part of the inventive concept. Each tension-adjusting member (18a, 18b, 18c) is connected to a tension/retraction mechanism for adjusting the tensioning force.

[0025] To exercise, the driver or passenger would merely adjust the tension to a desired level, grasp a handle, pull and release. Although depicted as mounted in the dashboard, it is obvious that the system could be mounted in the rear passenger area of the automobile and the like if desired.

[0026] It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.