Title:
Rowing exercise apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rowing exercise apparatus includes a main frame having front and rear ends, a seat frame mounted on the main frame, two oars connected movably to the main frame and each having an end, an oar-coupling grip releasably interconnecting the ends of the oars, and a resistance unit mounted on the main frame and connected to the oars.



Inventors:
Lai, Fen-ying (Taichung City, TW)
Application Number:
11/213859
Publication Date:
11/30/2006
Filing Date:
08/30/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/06; A63B21/008; A63B22/20; A63B23/00; A63B23/02; A63B23/12
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MATHEW, FENN C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP (PO Box 10500, McLean, VA, 22102, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A rowing exercise apparatus comprising: a main frame having front and rear ends; a seat frame mounted on said main frame; two oars connected movably to said main frame and each having an end; an oar-coupling grip releasably interconnecting said ends of said oars; and a resistance unit mounted on said main frame and connected to said oars.

2. The rowing exercise apparatus of claim 1, wherein said oar-coupling grip includes two grip members which have first ends connected detachably to each other, second ends attached respectively to said ends of said oars, and a releasable connecting unit interconnecting detachably said grip members.

3. The rowing exercise apparatus of claim 2, wherein said main frame includes a main beam, said seat frame including a seat slider connected slidably to said main beam, and a seat member fixed to said seat slider, said seat slider including two coupling members projecting leftward and rightward, respectively, from said seat slider, said second ends of said grip members being respectively attachable to said coupling members after being detached from said oars.

4. The rowing exercise apparatus of claim 2, wherein each of said grip members has a first tube, said first tube of one of said grip members having a sleeve end, said first tube of the other one of said grip members having an insert end insertable into said sleeve end, each of said sleeve and insert ends having a through hole, said connecting unit including a resilient piece inserted into said insert end and having a first protrusion projecting releasably into said through holes in said sleeve and insert ends.

5. The rowing exercise apparatus of claim 2, wherein each of said grip members has a second tube formed with a sleeve end and a second protrusion projecting inwardly from said sleeve end, said connecting unit including a connector having an insert tube, said insert tube having two opposite insert ends inserted respectively into said sleeve ends of said second tubes of said grip members, each of said insert ends being formed with an axially extending guide hole, and a positioning hole that extends circumferentially from and that is in spatial communication with said guide hole, said second protrusion extending into said positioning hole through said guide hole to thereby engage releasably said positioning hole, said insert tube further having an annular flange projecting outwardly from said insert tube between said positioning holes.

6. The rowing exercise apparatus of claim 2, wherein each of said grip members has a third tube, said third tube of one of said grip members having a sleeve end, said third tube of the other one of said grip members having an insert end, said connecting unit including an internal thread formed in said sleeve end, and an external thread formed on said insert end and engaged releasably to said internal thread.

7. The rowing exercise apparatus of claim 1, wherein each of said oars includes a first section having a first end connected pivotally to said main frame and a second end opposite to said first end, and a second section having a first end connected pivotally to said second end of said first section, said first section being rotatable toward or away from said main frame for folding, said second section being rotatable toward or away from said first section for folding.

8. The rowing exercise apparatus of claim 7, further comprising a first retaining bracket connected to a bottom end of said main frame, said first retaining bracket including a first intermediate plate part fastened to said main frame, and two first curved end parts extending outwardly and respectively from two opposite sides of said first intermediate plate part to retain said first sections of said oars, respectively, when said first sections of said oars are folded.

9. The rowing exercise apparatus of claim 8, further comprising a second retaining bracket connected to said bottom end of said main frame, said second retaining bracket including a second intermediate plate part fastened to said main frame, and two second curved end parts extending outwardly from two opposite sides of said second intermediate plate part to retain said second sections of said oars, respectively, when said second sections of said oars are folded.

10. The rowing exercise apparatus of claim 7, wherein said resistance unit includes a single hydraulic cylinder having one end connected pivotally to said rear end of said main frame and the other end connected pivotally to both of said first sections of said oars.

11. The rowing exercise apparatus of claim 7, wherein said resistance unit includes a pair of hydraulic cylinders each having one end connected pivotally to said rear end of said main frame and the other end connected pivotally to a respective one of said first sections of said oars.

12. The rowing exercise apparatus of claim 7, further comprising a pivot unit which includes a first pivot frame connected to a bottom end of said main frame between said front and rear ends, and a second pivot frame connected pivotally to said first pivot frame to rotate about a first pivot axis which is substantially horizontal and which is transverse to said main frame, said second pivot frame being connected pivotally to at least one of said first ends of said first sections of said oars.

13. The rowing exercise apparatus of claim 12, wherein said first end of each of said first sections of said oars has a pivot pin which connects pivotally said first end to said second pivot frame, and a locking unit to lock releasably each of said first sections against rotation relative to said second pivot frame.

14. The rowing exercise apparatus of claim 13, wherein said locking unit includes a locking notch formed in said second pivot frame, a locking pin which projects from said first end in a direction transverse to said pivot pin and which extends removably through said locking notch, and a knob threadedly attached to said locking pin.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to exercising equipment, more particularly to a rowing exercise apparatus.

2. Description of the Related Art

FIGS. 1 to 3 show a collapsible rowing boat simulator 10 which is disclosed in British Patent No. GB2389319. The rowing boat simulator 10 includes a main frame 11 having a beam 111, a T-shaped front leg support 112 and a rear leg support 113, a U-shaped slider 12 mounted slidably along the beam 111, a seat 13 fixed to the slider 12, a middle support 14 fixed to a bottom portion of the beam 111, a pair of T-shaped tubes 15 sleeved rotatably on the middle support 14 and located respectively on two opposite sides of the beam 111, a pair of oars 16 connected pivotally and respectively to the T-shaped tubes 15, a pair of pivot seats 17 connected pivotally and respectively to the T-shaped tubes 15, a pair of handgrips 18 connected pivotally and respectively to the oars 16, and a pair of hydraulic cylinders 19 connected between the pivot seats 17 and the rear leg support 113.

The oars 16 and the handgrips 18 canbe folded inwardly so as to rest on or adjacent to the beam 111 with the handgrips 18 superimposed on the oars 16, thereby facilitating storage and transport of the rowing boat simulator 10.

In operation, the user sits on the seat 13 with each hand grasping the respective handgrip 18, and pulls the handgrips 18 together with the oars 16 rearwardly. As a result, the T-shaped tubes 15 rotate to thereby operate the pair of hydraulic cylinders 19 and create a resistance force. With this rowing boat simulator 10, the user can perform motions that simulate two-oared rowing of aboat on the water. However, the user is unable to simulate rowing with a single oar held by two hands.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, the main object of the present invention is to provide a rowing exercise apparatus that permits a user to perform an exercise that simulates rowing of a boat using a single oar or two oars.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a rowing exercise apparatus that permits a user to perform other exercises in addition to rowing exercises.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a rowing exercise apparatus that includes oars which can be folded and held firmly in a folded position.

According to this invention, a rowing exercise apparatus comprises a main frame having front and rear ends, a seat frame mounted on the main frame, two oars connected movably to the main frame and each having an end, an oar-coupling grip releasably interconnecting the ends of the oars, and a resistance unit mounted on the main frame and connected to the oars.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a collapsible rowing boat simulator disclosed in British Patent No. GB2389319;

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the collapsible rowing boat simulator of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 1, but with oars and handgrips folded;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a rowing exercise apparatus according to the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a partly exploded perspective view of the preferred embodiment;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional view of an oar-coupling grip of the preferred embodiment;

FIG. 7 is an exploded perspective view of the preferred embodiment, but without a seat frame;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view of an assembly of the seat frame and a main beam of the preferred embodiment;

FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view of an alternative structure of the oar-coupling grip;

FIG. 10 is an exploded perspective view of another alternative structure of the oar-coupling grip;

FIGS. 11 to 15 illustrate a series of exercises that can be performed using the preferred embodiment;

FIG. 16 is a view similar to FIG. 4, but with a seat slider having two coupling members for attachment with grip members of the oar-coupling grip;

FIG. 17 is a view similar to FIG. 16, but with the grip members attached to the respective coupling members;

FIG. 18 illustrates an exercise that can be performed using the rowing exercise apparatus of FIG. 17;

FIG. 19 is a partly exploded view showing that first and second retaining brackets are additionally provided in the preferred embodiment;

FIG. 20 illustrates first and second sections of oars retained on first and second retaining brackets, respectively;

FIG. 21 is a sectional view illustrating how the first sections of the oars are retained on the first retaining bracket;

FIG. 22 is a sectional view illustrating how the second sections of the oars are retained on the second retaining bracket;

FIG. 23 is an exploded perspective view of another preferred embodiment, illustrating a pair of hydraulic cylinders provided in the rowing exercise apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 24 is an assembled perspective view of the rowing exercise apparatus of FIG. 23; and

FIG. 25 illustrates an application of the oar-coupling grip of the present invention to a conventional rowing exercise apparatus.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Before the present invention is described in greater detail, it should be noted that like elements are denoted by the same reference numerals throughout the disclosure.

Referring to FIGS. 4 to 8, a preferred embodiment of a rowing exercise apparatus according to the present invention is shown to comprise a main frame 20, a seat frame 30, a pivot unit 40, two oars 60, an oar-coupling grip 70, and a resistance unit 90.

The main frame 20 includes an elongated main beam 21 having front and rear ends 211, 212, a front support 22 screwed to the front end 211 of the main beam 21, a rear support 23 screwed to the rear end 212 of the main beam 21, a counter unit 24 mounted on top of the front end 211 of the main beam 21, an elongated fixed rod 25 extending through the counter unit 24, and two foot supports 26 sleeved on the fixed rod 25 and positioned at two opposite sides of the counter unit 24. The main beam 21 is provided with two slide rails 213 that are located respectively on two opposite lateral sides of the main beam 21 and that extend along the length thereof.

The seat frame 30 includes a substantially U-shaped seat slider 31 connected slidably to the main beam 21 and having two spaced-apart side plates 311 and an intermediate plate 312 interconnecting the side plates 311, a seat member 32 screwed to the intermediate plate 312, and a plurality of rollers 33 connected rotatably to inner sides of the side plates 311 of the seat slider 31 in a conventional manner, so that the seat slider 31 together with the seat member 32 can move slidably along the main beam 21.

The pivot unit 40 includes a first pivot frame 41 and a second pivot frame 42. The first pivot frame 41 has a fixed plate 411 screwed to a bottom end of the main beam 21 between the front and rear ends 211, 212 thereof, and a U-shaped pivot seat 412 that is fixed to a bottom face of the fixed plate 411. The pivot seat 412 includes a pivot pin 43 having a first pivot axis (A) which is substantially horizontal and transverse to the main beam 2l. The second pivot frame 42 is connected pivotally to the first pivot frame 41, and is rotatable about the first pivot axis (A). In particular, the second pivot frame 42 has a trunk body 422 in the form of a tube having a polygonal cross section, a top sleeve 421 integral with the trunk body 422 and connected pivotally to the pivot seat 412 through the pivot pin 43, two opposite lateral branch parts 423 projecting oppositely from the trunk body 422, and a rear branch part 424 projecting rearwardly from the trunk body 422. Each of the lateral branch parts 423 has a substantially U-shaped cross section. The trunk body 422 is rotatable about the first pivot axis (A) through the connection of the pivot pin 43 to the top sleeve 421.

Each of the oars 60 includes a first section 61 and a second section 62. The first section 61 has a first end 611 connected pivotally to a corresponding one of the lateral branch parts 423 through a pivot pin 64 so that the first section 61 can move along with the trunk body 422 to rotate about the first pivot axis (A). The second section 62 has a first end 621 connected pivotally to a second end 612 of the first section 61 to rotate about a second pivot axis (B) which is perpendicular to the first section 61.

A pivot connecting unit 63 includes a first connecting seat 631 fixed to the second end 612 of the first section 61, a second connecting seat 632 fixed to the first end 621 of the second section 62, and a pin 633 extended along the second pivot axis (B). The pin 633 is integral with the second connecting seat 632, and extends through the first connecting seat 631. A screw nut 634 engages threadedly the pin 633 so that the second connecting seat 632 is pivoted to the first connecting seat 631, and a decorative cap 635 is sleeved on the first connecting seat 631 so as to cover the screw nut 634. Therefore, the first sections 61 are rotatable toward or away from the main frame 20, and the second sections 62 are rotatable toward or away from the first sections 61. This allows for easy conversion between folded and ready-to-use states.

A locking unit is provided on the first end 611 of each first section 61 to lock releasably each of the first sections 61 against rotation relative to the second pivot frame 42 or the main frame 20. The locking unit includes a locking notch 425 formed in the second pivot frame 42, a locking pin 66 which projects from the first end 611 of the first section 61 in a direction transverse to the pivot pin 64 and which extends removably through the locking notch 425, and a locking knob 65 threadedly attached to the locking pin 66. The locking knob 65 is operable to rotate between a tightened position which retains the locking pin 66 in the locking notch 425, and a loosened position which permits removal of the locking pin 66 from the locking notch 425.

The oar-coupling grip 70 includes two connector heads 71, two grip members 72 and 73, and a releasable connecting unit 74. Each connector head 71 has a first sleeve portion 711 sleeved on a second end 622 of the second section 62 of the respective oar 60, and a second sleeve portion 712 that is substantially perpendicular to the first sleeve portion 711. The grip member 72 has a first tube 721, which, in turn, has a sleeve end 723 and an insert end 722. The insert end 722 of the grip member 72 is inserted removably into the second sleeve portion 712 of one of the connector heads 71, and has a reduced cross section as compared to that of the first tube 721. A through hole 724 is formed in the sleeve end 723. The grip member 73 has a first tube 731. The first tube 731 has a first insert end 733 insertable into the sleeve end 723 of the grip member 72 and formed with a through hole 734, and a second insert end 732 inserted removably into the second sleeve portion 712 of the other connector head 71. Each of the first and second insert ends 733, 732 has a reduced cross section as compared to that of the first tube 731.

The releasable connecting unit 74 interconnects detachably the grip members 72 and 73, and includes a resilient piece 741 inserted into the first insert end 733 and having a first protrusion 742 that projects outwardly from the through hole 734 in the first insert end 733.

When the first insert end 733 is inserted into the first tube 721, the protrusion 742 extends into the through hole 724 in the first tube 721, thereby interconnecting the grip members 72 and 73. When the protrusion 742 is pressed inwardly from the through hole 724, the grip member 72 can be pulled away from the grip member 73, thereby releasing the connection between the grip members 72, 73.

In this embodiment, the resistance unit 90 includes a single hydraulic cylinder 91 having one end 911 connected pivotally to the rear branch part 424 of the trunk body 422 through a pivot member 93. A third pivot frame 92 is provided on the rear end 212 of the main beam 21, and includes a fixed plate 921 screwed to the bottom end of the main beam 21 at the rear end 212 thereof, and a pivot seat 922 fixed to a bottom end of the fixed plate 921. A second end 912 of the hydraulic cylinder 91 is connected pivotally to the pivot seat 922 through a pivot pin 94.

Referring to FIG. 9, an alternative oar-coupling grip 80 is shown to include the pair of the connector heads 71, two grip members 82, and a connecting unit 83. Each grip member 82 includes a second tube 821 having a sleeve end 823, a second protrusion 824 projecting inwardly from the sleeve end 823, and an insert end 822 that is inserted removably into the second sleeve portion 712 of the corresponding connector head 71.

The connecting unit 83 includes an insert tube 831 which has two opposite insert ends 835 inserted removably and respectively into the sleeve ends 823 of the second tubes 821 of the grip members 82. Each of the insert ends 835 is formed with an axially extending guide hole 832, and a positioning hole 833 that extends circumferentially from and that is in spatial communication with the guide hole 832. The insert tube 831 further has an annular flange 834 projecting outwardly from the insert tube 831 between the positioning holes 833.

To assemble the oar-coupling grip 80, the sleeve ends 823 of the second tubes 821 are respectively sleeved on the insert ends 835 of the insert tube 831 with the protrusions 824 moving along the respective guide holes 832. When the sleeve ends 823 of the second tubes 821 abut against the annular flange 834, the grip members 82 are rotated in opposite directions so that the protrusions 824 engage the respective positioning holes 833, thereby positioning the grip members 82 onto the insert tube 831 and preventing the same from moving axially.

To separate the grip members 82 from each other, the grip members 82 are rotated so as to release the protrusions 824 from the respective positioning holes 833 and move to the guide holes 832, so that the grip members 82 can be pulled away from the insert tube 831.

Referring to FIG. 10, another alternative oar-coupling grip 84 is shown to include the pair of the connector heads 71, two grip members 85, 85′, and a connecting unit 87. Each grip member 85, 85′ has a third tube 851, 851′. The third tube 851 has a sleeve end 853, and an insert end 852 that is inserted removably into one of the connector heads 71. The third tube 851′ has a first insert end 853′, and a second insert end 852′ that is inserted removably into the other connector head 71.

The connecting unit 87 includes an external thread 871 formed on the first insert end 853′, and an internal thread 872 formed in the sleeve end 853 to engage releasably the external thread 871.

Referring to FIG. 11, in a state where the grip members 72 and 73 have been removed from the oars 60, the user uses his two hands to respectively grasp the oars 60 and perform a rowing exercise. The rowing exercise as such simulates rowing of a boat using two oars.

Referring to FIG. 12, when the grip members 72 and 73 are attached to the oars 60 and interconnected, the user may perform an exercise that simulates rowing with a single oar held by two hands.

In FIG. 13, the user holds the grip members 72 and 73 with his two hands to perform a lifting action. The user's feet are placed on the foot supports 26 during this exercise.

In FIG. 14, the user faces rearward with his legs resting on the floor, and holds the oar-coupling grip 70 with his two hands to move the same forwardly and rearwardly.

In FIG. 15, the user grasps the oar-coupling grip 70 to provide additional resistance during a sit-up exercise.

While performing the exercises shown in FIGS. 11 to 15, the knob 65 is tightened and the locking pin 66 is retained in the locking notch 425 so that the first end 611 of each first section 61 is locked against rotation relative to the main frame 20.

Referring to FIGS. 16 to 18, according to another preferred embodiment of the present invention, the seat slider 31 may include two coupling members 100 respectively projecting leftwards and rightwards from the side plates 311 of the seat slider 31. The insert ends 722 and 732 of the grip members 72, 73 are inserted respectively and removably in the coupling members 100 after being detached from the second ends 622 of the second sections 62 of the oars 60. In the exercise that may be performed with this particular configuration of the rowing exercise apparatus, the user is positioned in front of the rowing exercise apparatus with his hands gripping respectively the grip members 72 and 73, after which the seat frame 30 is pushed and pulled to and fro along the length of the main beam 21. This exercise can strengthen abdominal muscles.

Referring to FIGS. 19 to 22, according to still another embodiment of the present invention, the rowing exercise apparatus of the present invention may further comprise a first retaining bracket 110 and a second retaining bracket 120. The first retaining bracket 110 includes a first intermediate plate part 111 fastened to the bottom end of the main beam 21, and two first curved end parts 112 extending outwardly and respectively from two opposite sides of the first intermediate plate part 111. The second retaining bracket 120 includes a second intermediate plate part 121 fastened to the bottom end of the main beam 21 between the pivot unit 40 and the first retaining bracket 110, and two second curved end parts 122 extending outwardly and respectively from two opposite sides of the second intermediate plate part 121. The second curved end parts 122 are disposed higher than the first curved end parts 112.

When the first and second sections 61, 62 of the oars 60 are rotated toward the main beam 21, the first sections 61 of the oars 60 can be supported by the first curved end parts 112, and the second sections 62 of the oars 60 can be retained by the second curved end parts 122. As such, the first and second sections 61, 62 of the oars 60 can be securely retained adjacent to the main beam 21 when folded.

Note that prior to folding of the oars 60 toward the main beam 21, the knob 65 is loosened from the locking pin 66 so as to permit removal of the locking pin 66 from the locking notch 425, thereby permitting folding movement of the first end 611 of each first section 61.

Referring to FIGS. 23 and 24, according to yet another preferred embodiment of the present invention, the resistance unit 90 may include two hydraulic cylinders 91 each connected to one of the oars 60. This embodiment utilizes a pivot unit 40′ which includes a first pivot frame 41′, and a pair of second pivot frames 42′ connected pivotally to the first pivot frame 41′. Each hydraulic cylinder 91 is connected pivotally to the third pivot frame 92′ at the rear end of the main beam 21, as well as to the second pivot frames 42′.

An accessory box (not shown) maybe fixed to the front support 22 so as to facilitate storage of the grip members 72 and 73, 82, 85 and the connecting unit 74, 83, 87. Hence, loss of these components may be avoided.

The oar-coupling grip 70 of the present invention may be applicable to any conventional rowing exercise apparatus. One conventional rowing exercise apparatus is shown in FIG. 25 and is designated by numeral 130. The rowing exercise apparatus 130 includes a main frame 140, a seat frame 150 connected slidably to a main beam 141 of the main frame 140, two oars 160 connected pivotally to two opposite ends of a front support 142 of the main frame 140, and two hydraulic cylinders 170 connected pivotally and respectively between the front support 142 and the oars 160. The oar-coupling grip 70 is connected between ends of the oars 160.

From the above description, the advantages of the rowing exercise apparatus of the present invention may be summarized as follows:

1. The grip members 72 and 73 of the oar-coupling grip 70, or the grip members 82 of the oar-coupling grip 80, or the grip members 85, 85′ of the oar-coupling grip 84, are detachably connected to the oars 60. When the grip members 72 and 73, 82 or 85, 85′ are connected to the oars 60, the user may perform an exercise which simulates rowing with two hands holding a single oar, in addition to exercises other than the rowing exercise. When the grip members 72 and 73, 82 or 85, 85′ are removed from the oars 60, the user may perform an exercise which simulates rowing with two hands holding the respective oars 60.

2. Because the side plates 311 of the seat slider 31 are provided with the coupling members 100 for insertion of the grip members 72 and 73 or the grip members 82 or 85, 85′ when removed from the oars 60, the rowing exercise apparatus of the present invention permits the user to perform an exercise for conditioning the abdominal muscles.

3. The rowing exercise apparatus of the present invention is further provided with first and second retaining brackets 110, 120 for securely retaining the first and second sections 61, 62 of the oars 60 on the main beam 21 when folded toward the main beam 21.

While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent arrangements.