Title:
Method and apparatus for passively exercising abdominal muscles
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention includes for passively exercising a person's abdomen to strengthen the person's abdominal muscles and improve the person's posture. The apparatus includes an adjustable pole to be positioned in or near a doorway. An obstruction extends from the pole in front a portion of the doorway. The distance of the obstruction from the pole is adjustable to set the portion of the doorway which is covered. According to the method, the apparatus is positioned to obscure a portion of a doorway. The person must tighten his or her abdominal muscles and stand straight to slide past the obstruction. Thus, the person receives passive reminders to stand straight and to exercise his or her abdominal muscles.



Inventors:
Gebelein, Paul Garrett (Ithaca, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/249023
Publication Date:
04/12/2007
Filing Date:
10/12/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/144
International Classes:
A63B1/00; A63B26/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BAKER, LORI LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Law, Office Brett Dorny OF. N. (386 WEST MAIN STREET, SUITE 12A, NORTHBOROUGH, MA, 01532, US)
Claims:
1. An apparatus for passively exercising a user's abdominal muscles and improving the user's posture, the apparatus comprising: a pole to be positioned vertically near a doorway; an obstruction extending horizontally from the pole into a portion of the doorway such that the user must stand straight and tighten the user's abdominal muscles to slide through the doorway.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the pole is adjustable as to height.

3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said pole includes: an outer tube; an inner tube diameter slidably positioned within the outer tube; and a connector for setting a position between the outer tube and inner tube.

4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the connector includes a screw extending through a threaded aperture in the outer tube so that an end of the screw can abut the inner tube.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the obstruction includes at least on arm extending horizontally from the pole.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the at least one arm is adjustable with respect to a distance between the pole and an end of the arm.

7. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein a position where the arm extends from the pole is vertically adjustable.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the obstruction includes: at least two arms extending horizontally from the pole at different vertical positions; and a obstruction pole connected to ends of the at least two arms away from the pole.

9. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a quick release latch connecting the obstruction to the pole to allow the obstruction to be moved from with the portion of the doorway.

10. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the quick release latch allows the obstruction to rotate about the pole.

11. A method for passively exercising a user's abdominal muscles and improving the user's posture, the method comprising the steps of: positioning an obstruction in a portion of a doorway; tightening abdominal muscles to slide past the obstruction through the doorway.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein the step of positioning the obstruction includes: positioning a vertical pole having an obstruction extending horizontally therefrom near a doorway so that the obstruction extends into the doorway.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the vertical pole is positioned between the floor and ceiling adjacent the doorway.

14. The method of claim 12, wherein the vertical pole is positioned within a frame of the doorway.

15. The method of claim 12, wherein the vertical pole is adjustable in height.

16. The method of claim 12, further comprising the step of adjusting a vertical position of the obstruction.

17. The method of claim 12, further comprising the step of adjusting a horizontal position of the obstruction.

18. A system for passively exercising a user's abdominal muscles and improving the user's posture, the system comprising: a doorway through which the user is to pass; an obstruction extending horizontally a portion of the doorway such that the user must stand straight and tighten the user's abdominal muscles to slide through the doorway.

19. The system of claim 18, wherein the obstruction is attached to the doorway.

20. The system of claim 19, wherein the obstruction is formed from a plurality of connected parts so that the portion of the doorway into which the obstruction extends is adjustable.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to exercise devices and procedures. More particularly, it relates to an exercise device for passively exercising abdominal muscles to improve posture.

2. Discussion of Related Art

A variety of different personal exercise devices are currently on the market designed to tighten the person's abdominal muscles. These devices are intended to remove fat and provide the user with a slimmer appearance. All of the currently available exercise devices require that the user perform an exercise procedure with the device to move the abdominal muscles in a desired manner. The desired motions operate to strengthen the abdominal muscles and remove excess fat. However, these devices require significant time, thought and effort in performing the exercises. Users often forget, procrastinate, or avoid performing the exercises. The devices end up stored and unused. Furthermore, while these devices operate to strengthen muscles they do not operate to improve posture of the user.

A need exists for an exercise device which helps a user improve posture. A need exists for an exercise device which operates with minimal effort by the user. A need exists for an exercise device which strengthens abdominal muscles without strenuous exercise.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention includes a method of and apparatus for passively exercising a person's abdomen to strengthen the abdominal muscles and thereby improve the person's posture. The invention includes an exercise device positioned in a doorway. The device prevents the user from walking directly through the doorway. The user must tighten his or her abdominal muscles and stand straight to pass through the doorway.

According to one aspect of the invention, the apparatus includes an adjustable pole to be positioned vertically in or near a doorway. The apparatus includes a second vertical pole attached to and positioned away from the adjustable pole. According to one aspect of the invention, the second vertical pole is attached to the adjustable pole with two horizontal arms. According to another aspect of the invention, the horizontal arms telescope to adjust the distance between the adjustable pole and the second pole. According to an aspect of the invention, the adjustable pole is adjustable to fit within a door frame. According to another aspect of the invention, the adjustable pole is adjustable to fit between the floor and ceiling near a door frame. According to an aspect of the invention, the apparatus is positioned in or near a doorframe so that the horizontal arms and second pole block a portion of the doorframe. In order to pass through the doorway, the user must take a deep breath and tighten up his or her abdominal muscles in order to slide his or her body sideways to pass through the doorway.

According to one aspect of the invention, an exercise method operates to passively exercising a person's abdomen. The method strengthens the abdominal muscles and improves the person's posture. According to an aspect of the invention, the method includes the steps of positioning an obstruction within a portion of a doorway, tightening the abdominal muscles, and sliding through the doorway.

According to another aspect of the invention, the method includes positioning an adjustable pole between the floor and ceiling within or near a doorframe. According to another aspect of the invention, the method includes positioning an obstruction connected to the adjustable pole within the doorframe. According to another aspect of the invention, the obstruction is positioned at a height such that the person must tighten his or her abdominal muscles to pass through the doorway.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of a doorway obstruction according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of a doorway obstruction according to another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention provides an exercise device for passively exercising a person's abdomen to strengthen the person's abdominal muscles and improve the person's posture. As illustrated in FIG. 1, an embodiment of the invention includes an appartus 10 to be positioned within a doorframe 1. The apparatus 10 includes a vertical pole 14 which is adjustable in height. The pole 14 is a telescoping member made up of two tubular poles. A smaller diameter inner pole 18 is positioned within a larger diameter outer pole 16. The outer pole 16 has an aperture therethrough in order for a set screw or tightening knob 20 to be place through the aperture and turned until the tail of the screw bears tightly against the inner pole 18. The telescoping nature of the pole 14 accommodates different heights between the floor 2 and the ceiling 3. Other known mechanisms can be used to adjust the height of the pole 14 and to hold it in place. For example, adjustable springs can be used within the tubular poles 16, 18.

The pole 14 slidingly accepts two telescoping arm attachment rings 26, 26′ which are attached to telescoping arms 28, 28′. In a preferred embodiment of the invention the telescoping arms include three sections, the main outer section 30, the middle section 32 and the inner slide-by arm supporting section 34. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the inner slide-by arm supporting section 34 is formed as a single piece with a vertically positioned slide-by arm 36. Alternatively, the slide-by arm 36 could be formed of a separate piece and attached to the telescoping arms 28, 28′. Additionally, a single telescoping arm could be used. A positioning ring 40 is connected to the pole 14 to set a height of the telescoping arms. The positioning ring 40 includes a set screw 41 for holding it to the pole. The positioning ring 40 can be moved to any position on the pole to keep the telescoping arms 28, 28′ in position. Of course, other mechanisms can be used to position the telescoping arms 28, 28′ on the pole 14. Additionally, the slide-by arm 36 could be supported by other structures than telescoping arms. For example, the arms could be solid.

According to a preferred use of the invention, the pole 14 is positioned between the floor 2 and ceiling 3 near a doorway 1. The height of the pole 14 is adjusted so that it is held tightly between the floor 2 and ceiling 3. The height of the telescoping arms 28, 28′ can be adjusted using the positioning ring 40. Furthermore, the length of the telescoping arms 28, 28′ is adjusted to position the slide-by arm 36 within a portion of the doorway 1. The portion of the doorway 1 to be obstructed is selected based upon the size of the doorway and the size of the user 4. The slide-by arm 36 should be positioned so that the user 4 must tighten his or her abdominal muscles and stand straight in order to pass through the unobstructed portion of the doorway. In a preferred method, the apparatus is positioned in a high traffic doorway. In this manner, the user 4 is required to stand straight and tighten his or her abdominal muscles several times a day. Thus, the user is passively reminded to exercise his or her muscles and to improve his or her posture. As a safety feature, the telescoping arms 28, 28′ may rotate on the pole 14 so that the apparatus may be easily moved from the doorway. Alternatively, a quick release latch (not shown) can be used to hold the telescoping arms in position, but to allow easy release and rotation.

FIG. 2 illustrates another embodiment of the present invention. The apparatus 100 of the second embodiment is similar to that of the first embodiment. It includes a vertical pole 50 positioned within a doorway 1. In the first embodiment discussed above, the vertical pole 14 is adjustable to fit between the floor 2 and ceiling 3 or to fit within the doorway 1. In the second embodiment, the pole 50 is shorter. It includes fixtures 51, 52 for attaching the pole 50 to the side of the doorway 1. The horizontal arms 28, 28′ are attached to the pole 50 in the same manner as for the first embodiment. Other embodiments of the invention could attach the horizontal arms 28, 28′ to the doorway in different manners. However, in all embodiments, a portion of the doorway is obstructed so that the user must tighten his or her abdominal muscles and stand straight to pass through the doorway. Additionally, for safety reasons, the attachment of the horizontal arms 28, 28′ should include a release to easily remove the obstruction from the doorway.

Having disclosed at least one embodiment of the present invention, various adaptations, modifications, additions, and improvements will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art. Such adaptations, modifications, additions and improvements are considered part of the invention which is only limited by the several claims attached hereto.