Title:
Exercise apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An exercise apparatus is disclosed, comprising at least one elastic resistance band, at least one ankle strap removably connectable to the at least one band and at least one handle removably connectable to the at least one band. Significantly, the at least one ankle strap and/or the at least one handle defines an anchoring means for allowing the at least one ankle strap and/or the at least one handle, in use, to be anchored to a support structure. Conveniently, the support structure is a door with the anchoring means being sandwiched between the door and either the door frame or the floor.



Inventors:
Van Straaten, Michael Johannes (Randburg, ZA)
Application Number:
10/940811
Publication Date:
08/04/2005
Filing Date:
09/15/2004
Assignee:
VAN STRAATEN MICHAEL J.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/126
International Classes:
A43B3/12; A63B21/02; A63B21/055; A63B21/16; (IPC1-7): A63B21/02; A43B3/12
View Patent Images:
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20040018923Exercise bench and methodJanuary, 2004Schiff
20090176634Elastic Cord Unit for Pull ExerciserJuly, 2009Wu
20080004161EXERCISE MONITORING DEVICE AND MOTIVATIONAL LOTTERY SYSTEM EMPLOYING SAMEJanuary, 2008Woods
20030224909Dual-function treading exerciserDecember, 2003Lo et al.
20080161174WAIST TRAINING MACHINEJuly, 2008Lo
20090181833FREESTANDING EXERCISE APPARATUSJuly, 2009Cassidy et al.
20040254051Arm and leg erxercise machineDecember, 2004Harrison



Primary Examiner:
HWANG, VICTOR KENNY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DOWELL & DOWELL, P.C. (2560 HUNTINGTON AVE, SUITE 406, ALEXANDRIA, VA, 22303, US)
Claims:
1. An exercise apparatus comprising: at least one elastic resistance band; at least one ankle strap removably connectable to the at least one band; and at least one handle removably connectable to the at least one band, wherein the at least one ankle strap and/or the at least one handle defines an anchoring means for allowing the at least one ankle strap and/or the at least one handle, in use, to be anchored to a support structure.

2. An exercise apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the support structure is a door with the anchoring means being sandwiched between the door and either the door frame or the floor.

3. An exercise apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the ends of each band terminate in a connector having an aperture defined therein for allowing the band to be removably connected to either the handle or to the ankle strap.

4. An exercise apparatus according to claim 1, wherein one of the at least one ankle strap defines a primary ankle strap that, in turn, defines a first anchoring means.

5. An exercise apparatus according to claim 4, wherein the primary ankle strap comprises a strip of nylon material, the ends of which are fitted with complementary hook- and loop-type material for allowing them to be secured to each other.

6. An exercise apparatus according to claim 4, wherein the primary ankle strap includes an anchoring loop, the anchoring loop being arranged to snugly accommodate a metal or plastic anchoring cylinder.

7. An exercise apparatus according to claim 1, wherein each of the at least one handle comprises a cushioned grip member, which is connected to a clip by a pair of flexible straps, with each of the at least one handle defining a second anchoring means.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

THIS invention relates to an exercise apparatus, particularly suited for use in a user's private environment.

Typically, people wishing to exercise have to go to a venue dedicated to exercising and that, accordingly, has all the necessary equipment therein. Although there are a number of exercise apparatuses available that allow a person to exercise in his or her private environment, such as his or her home, these apparatuses are generally relatively bulky, complicated to set up and use, limited in terms of the range of exercises that can be carried out, and not really suited to being easily transported.

It would therefore be desirable to provide an exercise apparatus that addresses the above shortcomings.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention there is provided an exercise apparatus comprising:

    • at least one elastic resistance band;
    • at least one ankle strap removably connectable to the at least one band; and
    • at least one handle removably connectable to the at least one band,
      wherein the at least one ankle strap and/or the at least one handle defines an anchoring means for allowing the at least one ankle strap and/or the at least one handle, in use, to be anchored to a support structure.

Preferably, the support structure is a door with the anchoring means being sandwiched between the door and either the door frame or the floor.

Typically, the ends of each band terminate in a connector having an aperture defined therein for allowing the band to be removably connected to either the handle or to the ankle strap.

In one version, one of the at least one ankle strap defines a primary ankle strap that, in turn, defines a first anchoring means. The primary ankle strap comprises a strip of nylon material, the ends of which are fitted with complementary hook- and loop-type material for allowing them to be secured to each other.

Conveniently, the primary ankle strap includes an anchoring loop, the anchoring loop being arranged to snugly accommodate a metal or plastic anchoring cylinder.

Each of the at least one handle comprises a cushioned grip member, which is connected to a clip by a pair of flexible straps, with each of the at least one handle defining a second anchoring means.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows the various components of an exercise apparatus according to the present invention, the apparatus comprising at least one elastic resistance band, a pair of ankle straps and a pair of handles, with one of the ankle straps defining a first anchoring means and one of the handles defining a second anchoring means;

FIG. 2 shows the exercise apparatus, in use, according to one aspect of the invention wherein the first anchoring means of the apparatus is sandwiched between the top of a door and the uppermost portion of a door frame;

FIG. 3 shows the exercise apparatus, in use, according to yet a further version of the invention wherein the first anchoring means is sandwiched between the bottom of the door and the floor;

FIG. 4 shows an adaptation of the exercise apparatus shown in FIG. 2, wherein only one handle is used in the exercise; and

FIG. 5 shows the exercise apparatus, in use, according to another aspect of the invention wherein the second anchoring means is sandwiched between the bottom of the door and the floor.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring first to FIG. 1, an exercise apparatus 10 according to the present invention comprises at least one elastic resistance band 12, 14, a pair of ankle straps 16, 18 and a pair of handles 20, 22.

The ends of each band 12, 14 terminate in a connector 24 having an aperture 26 defined therein, for allowing the band 12, 14 to be removably connected to either the handle 20, 22 or to the ankle strap 16, 18. This aspect will become clearer further on in the specification.

Ankle strap 16 defines a primary ankle strap that, in turn, defines a first anchoring means. The primary ankle strap 16 comprises a strip of nylon material, the ends of which are fitted with complementary hook- and loop-type material 28, such as Velcro, for allowing them to be secured to each other. Significantly, an anchoring loop 30 is defined towards the middle of the strap, by stitch line 32. The anchoring loop 30 is arranged to snugly accommodate a metal or plastic anchoring cylinder 34. Although FIG. 1 shows the cylinder 34 as being removable, it is clear that the cylinder 34 may be fixed in place within the anchoring loop 30.

Ankle strap 18 defines a secondary, conventional ankle strap comprising a strip of nylon material, similarly also fitted with fastening material 36, such as Velcro. The ends of the straps 16, 18 terminate in channels, 38 and 40, respectively, for receiving D-ring attachments 42 and 44, respectively, which in turn are arranged to releasably carry clips 46 and 48, respectively.

Each handle 20, 22 comprises a cushioned grip member 50, 52, which is connected to a clip 54, 56 by a pair of flexible straps 58, 60. Significantly, the handles 20, 22 define a second anchoring means.

In use, and as shown in FIG. 2, the first anchoring means 16 of the apparatus 10 is sandwiched between the top of a door 62 and the lower edge of a door frame 64. In particular, the strap 16 extends through the gap defined between the door 62 and the door frame 64, with anchoring loop 30 and inserted cylinder 34 being located on the other side of the door 62, so as to provide a secure anchor. In this version, one of the bands 12, 14 is threaded through either the D-ring 42 or the clip 46, and the pair of handles 20, 22 is fitted to the connectors 24 at the ends of the band 12, 14. This enables a user 66 to perform a number of exercises, including biceps curls and side pulls. A more comprehensive list of exercises that the apparatus of the present invention can be used for is provided further on in the specification.

Significantly, the exercise apparatus 10 can quite easily be used in conjunction with conventional training aids, such as an inflatable exercise ball 68, as shown in FIG. 2. This combination is particularly effective, in that since the user 66 is forced to have to balance him- or herself when sitting on the ball 68, the user's lower back and inner abdominal muscles (also known as the core stabilizers) are automatically exercised.

Advantageously, and as shown in FIG. 3, the first anchoring means 16 can be sandwiched between the bottom of the door 62 and the floor to enable additional exercises to be done.

A significant feature of the present invention is its versatility, which allows a wide range of exercises to be performed. In FIG. 4, for example, the user 66 is shown using only one of the handles 20, 22, with the other end of the band 12, 14 being connected to the clip 46 of the first anchoring means 16.

The description so far of the exercise apparatus 10 of the present invention has been limited to using the first anchoring means 16 to anchor the apparatus 10. However, one of the handles 20, 22 is able to define a second anchoring means, thereby essentially allowing both ankle straps 16, 18 to be used. Thus, for example, FIG. 5 shows the exercise apparatus, in use, wherein one of the handles 50, 52 is used to anchor the apparatus 10, by being sandwiched between the bottom of the door 62 and the floor 70. This arrangement enables both ankle straps 16, 18 to be used, and thus enable the user 66 to perform a whole range of leg exercises, such as lying hip flexions as shown in FIG. 5.

A more detailed summary of the various exercises that the apparatus of the present invention can perform is set out below:

    • 1. First anchoring means (i.e. strap 16) located above the door, with both handles being used:
      • a. Arm pullovers, with the user either seated on a ball (as shown in FIG. 2) or standing
      • b. Lateral pulldowns
      • c. Tricep pulls, either seated on a ball or standing
      • d. Front tricep extensions
      • e. Lateral pulldowns
      • f. Tricep pressdowns, either seated on a ball or standing
      • g. Chest pulls
      • h. Abdominal curls, either seated on a ball or kneeling on the floor
      • i. Pectoral presses and flies
    • 2. First anchoring means (i.e. strap 16) located below the door, with both handles being used:
      • a. Shoulder presses
      • b. Bicep curls, as shown in FIG. 3
      • c. Pectoral presses and flies
      • d. Sit-ups
      • e. Abdominal and oblique crunches
      • f. Shoulder extensions
      • g. Lateral pulldowns
      • h. Reverse flies
      • i. Upright rows
    • 3. First anchoring means (i.e. strap 16) in place, whether above, below or along the vertical length of the door, with only one handle being used:
      • a. Side bend
      • b. Forehand
      • c. Backhand, as shown in FIG. 4
      • d. Golf swing
    • 4. First anchoring means (i.e. strap 16) or the second anchoring means (i.e. handle 50 or 52) located above the door, with the ankle strap 18 being used:
      • a. Lying hip extensions
      • b. Lying adductions
      • c. Lying knee extensions
    • 5. First anchoring means (i.e. strap 16) or the second anchoring means (i.e. handle 50 or 52) located below the door, with the ankle strap 18 being used:
      • a. Lying hip flexions, as shown in FIG. 5
      • b. Standing hip extensions
      • c. Leg curls
      • d. Inner/outerthigh pulls
    • 6. Second anchoring means (i.e. handle 50 or 52) in place, with the other handle being used:
      • a. Side bend
      • b. Forehand
      • c. Backhand
      • d. Golf swing

The above is by no means an exhaustive list, but merely illustrates the range of exercises that can be done with the apparatus.

The primary advantage of the apparatus of the present invention is its simplicity, versatility and portability. In particular, it allows a person to conduct a wide range of exercises, at varying intensities, in his or her private environment.