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Title:
Exercise Mats and Systems
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An exercise mat may include a first portion having first and second opposed ends in a longitudinal direction. The first portion has a lateral dimension in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction. A second portion of the mat has first and second opposed ends in the longitudinal direction. The first end of the second portion may face in a direction of the second end of the first portion. The second portion has a lateral dimension in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction. The lateral dimension of the first portion may be about 50% to about 100% greater that the lateral dimension of the second portion.


Inventors:
Huffman, Paul William (Sterling, VA, US)
Application Number:
11/278676
Publication Date:
10/04/2007
Filing Date:
04/04/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G9/06
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NOVAK DRUCE + QUIGG LLP (10415 SOUTHERN MARYLAND BLVD., DUNKIRK, MD, 20754, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An exercise mat, comprising: a first portion having first and second opposed ends in a longitudinal direction, the first portion having a lateral dimension in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction; a second portion having first and second opposed ends in the longitudinal direction, the first end of the second portion facing in a direction of the second end of the first portion, the second portion having a lateral dimension in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction, the lateral dimension of the first portion being about 50% to about 100% greater that the lateral dimension of the second portion.

2. The exercise mat of claim 1, further comprising a centerline extending in the longitudinal direction through substantially a center of the first portion and the second portion with respect to a lateral dimension of the mat perpendicular to the longitudinal direction.

3. The exercise mat of claim 1, further comprising a pair of sides connecting the first portion to the second portion.

4. The exercise mat of claim 3, wherein each of the sides tapers from the first portion to the second portion.

5. The exercise mat of claim 3, wherein each of the sides extends substantially in a lateral direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction.

6. The exercise mat of claim 1, wherein the lateral dimension of the first portion is about 75% greater that the lateral dimension of the second portion.

7. The exercise mat of claim 2, wherein at least one of the first portion and the second portion further comprises indicia substantially identifying the centerline.

8. The exercise mat of claim 2, wherein the second portion further comprises indicia substantially identifying the centerline.

9. The exercise mat of claim 2, wherein the first portion further comprises at least one pair of indicia, said pair of indicia being disposed substantially symmetrically on opposite sides of the centerline.

10. The exercise mat of claim 2, wherein the first portion further comprises a plurality of pairs of indicia, each indicia of said pairs of indicia being disposed substantially symmetrically on opposite sides of the centerline, each pair of indicia being arranged in relation to the centerline so as to target at least one different body muscle than said other pairs when performing push-up exercises.

11. The exercise system comprising: the exercise mat of claim 1; and a recording media, said recording media comprising instructions pertaining to use of the mat.

12. An exercise mat, comprising: a first portion having first and second opposed ends in a longitudinal direction, the first portion having a lateral dimension in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction; and a second portion having first and second opposed ends in the longitudinal direction, the first end of the second portion facing in a direction of the second end of the first portion, the second portion tapering from the first end thereof to the second end thereof, the second portion having a minimum lateral dimension in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction, said lateral dimension of the first portion being about 50% to about 100% greater that said minimum lateral dimension of the second portion.

13. The exercise mat of claim 12, further comprising a centerline extending in the longitudinal direction through substantially a center of the first portion and the second portion with respect to a lateral dimension of the mat perpendicular to the longitudinal direction.

14. The exercise mat of claim 12, wherein the lateral dimension of the first portion is about 75% greater that the minimum lateral dimension of the second portion.

15. The exercise mat of claim 13, wherein the first portion further comprises indicia substantially identifying the centerline.

16. The exercise mat of claim 13, wherein the second portion further comprises indicia substantially identifying the centerline.

17. The exercise mat of claim 13, wherein the first portion further comprises at least one pair of indicia, said pair of indicia being disposed substantially symmetrically on opposite sides of the centerline.

18. The exercise mat of claim 13, wherein the first portion further comprises a plurality of pairs of indicia, each indicia of said pairs of indicia being disposed substantially symmetrically on opposite sides of the centerline, each pair of indicia being arranged in relation to the centerline so as to target at least one different body muscle than said other pairs when performing push-up exercises.

19. The exercise system comprising: the exercise mat of claim 12; and a recording media, said recording media comprising instructions pertaining to use of the mat.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention is directed generally to exercise mats and systems. More particularly, the present invention is directed to portable exercise mats and systems for facilitating various exercises, including wide-arm pushups.

BACKGROUND

Conventional exercise mats are typically rectangular in shape. In order to minimize floor space during exercise, such mats are typically sized such that their width is slightly wider that the shoulder-to-shoulder distance of an average adult. Some rectangular mats are made smaller in order to more closely match the shoulder-to-shoulder distance of petite women or youths. Other rectangular mats are made wider and/or longer to accommodate larger men.

The aforementioned conventional mats may be used for sit-ups and various other exercises. However, if used for push-ups, these conventional mats may not be wide enough to provide a position for a user's hands. For example, if a user performs wide-arm push-ups, the user's hands will be off the mat and in contact with a floor. It should be understood that the purpose for using the exercise mat may have been to avoid contact with a dirty floor or otherwise undesirable surface.

While some conventional mats may include marketing or advertising indicia, such mats do not include indicia centered along a length of the mat and/or indicia symmetrically spaced on opposite sides of such a centerline. It may be desirable to provide such indicia to aid a user with alignment of the torso, hands, feet, or the like.

It may be desirable to provide an exercise mat having a wide portion for accommodating a user's hands during exercises where the user's arms and hands are extended away from the torso.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to various aspects, the present disclosure is directed to an exercise mat including a first portion having first and second opposed ends in a longitudinal direction. The first portion has a lateral dimension in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction. A second portion of the mat has first and second opposed ends in the longitudinal direction. The first end of the second portion may face in a direction of the second end of the first portion. The second portion has a lateral dimension in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction. The lateral dimension of the first portion may be about 50% to about 100% greater that the lateral dimension of the second portion.

In accordance with various aspect, the present disclosure is directed to an exercise mat including a first portion having first and second opposed ends in a longitudinal direction. The first portion has a lateral dimension in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction. A second portion of the mat has first and second opposed ends in the longitudinal direction. The first end of the second portion may face in a direction of the second end of the first portion. The second portion may taper from the first end thereof to the second end thereof. The second portion has a minimum lateral dimension in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction. The lateral dimension of the first portion may be about 50% to about 100% greater that the minimum lateral dimension of the second portion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary exercise mat in accordance with various aspects of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a front view of the exercise mat of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a front view of another exemplary exercise mat in accordance with various aspects of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a front view of yet another exemplary exercise mat in accordance with various aspects of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an exemplary exercise system in accordance with various aspects of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

An exemplary embodiment of an exercise mat 10 is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. The exercise mat 10 may include a first end 12 and a second end 14. The first and second ends 12, 14 may be disposed at opposite ends of a longitudinal dimension 16 of the mat 10. The mat 10 may also include a longitudinal centerline 18 extending in a direction of the longitudinal dimension 16 (i.e., a longitudinal direction).

The mat 10 may comprise a first end portion 30 and a second end portion 50. According to various aspects, the first end portion 30 may extend from the first end 12 of the mat 10 toward the second end portion 50. The first end 12 and the first end portion 30 may have a lateral dimension 32 extending between a first side 40 and a second side 42. The lateral dimension 32 may be substantially constant along an entire longitudinal dimension 36 of the first end portion 30.

According to various aspects, the second end portion 50 may extend from the second end 14 of the mat 10 toward the first end portion 30. The second end portion 50 may have a maximum lateral dimension 52 extending between a third side 60 and a fourth side 62. The maximum lateral dimension 52 may be substantially constant along at least a portion of a longitudinal dimension 56 of the second end portion 50.

According to various aspects, the lateral dimension 32 may be sized to be slightly larger than a width of a torso of a human being. The maximum lateral dimension 52 may be greater than the lateral dimension 32. For example, the maximum lateral dimension 52 may be selected such that a user can at least partly extend his or her arms and still have his or her hands in contact with the mat 10. According to various aspects, the maximum lateral dimension 52 of the second end portion 50 may be about 50% to about 100% greater than the lateral dimension 32 of the first end portion 30. For example, in some aspects, the maximum lateral dimension 52 may be about 75% greater than the lateral dimension 32.

The mat 10 may comprise a first tapered side 70 and a second tapered side 72. In some aspects, the first tapered side 70 may connect the first and third sides 40, 60, and the second tapered side 72 may connect the second and fourth sides 42, 62. According to some aspects, the mat 10 may comprise a third tapered side 74 and a fourth tapered side 76. The third tapered side 74 may connect the third side 60 and the second end 14, while the fourth tapered side 76 may connect the fourth side 62 and the second end 14.

It should be appreciated that, in some aspects, the first and second tapered sides 70, 72 may comprise a portion of the first end portion 30 and/or a portion of the second end portion 50. In some aspects, the first and second tapered sides 70, 72 may comprise a portion of the mat 10 independent of the first and second end portions 30, 50.

It should be appreciated that, in some aspects, the first and second ends 12, 14 may have substantially the same lateral dimension, for example, if the third and fourth tapered sides 74, 76 are eliminated. In other aspects, the first and second ends 12, 14 may have different lateral dimensions. In any event, the lateral dimension of the second end 14 should not exceed the maximum lateral dimension 52, although in some aspects, the second end 14 may have a lateral dimension substantially equal to the maximum lateral dimension 52.

The mat 10 may include indicia to facilitate proper alignment by a user during exercise, for example, when doing push-ups. In some exemplary aspects, the mat 10 may include first indicia 80 substantially centered on the second end portion 50 with respect to the maximum lateral dimension 52. The first indicia 80 may comprise a line, or it may comprise a shape such as, for example, a diamond (as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2), circle, square, rectangle, triangle, or any desired shape.

Second indicia 82 and third indicia 84 may be substantially symmetrically disposed on opposite sides of the first indicia 80 in reference to the maximum lateral dimension 52. Each of the second and third indicia 82, 84 may comprise at least one marking such as, for example, a line segment or shape. According to various aspects, if different sizes and/or shapes are used, matching sizes and shapes may be substantially symmetrically disposed on opposite sides of the first indicia 80.

The mat 10 may include fourth indicia 86 substantially centered on the first end portion 30 with respect to the lateral dimension 32. The fourth indicia 86 may comprise a line, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, or it may comprise a shape such as, for example, a diamond, circle, square, rectangle, triangle, or any desired shape. The central indicia 80, 86 and/or the symmetrical locations of second and third indicia 82, 84 may facilitate a user's determination of proper hand, torso, and/or foot alignment on the mat 10.

Referring now to FIG. 3, another exemplary embodiment of an exercise mat 110 is shown. The exercise mat 110 may include a first end 112 and a second end 114. The first and second ends 112, 114 may be disposed at opposite ends of a longitudinal dimension 116 of the mat 110. The mat 110 may also include a longitudinal centerline 118 extending in a direction of the longitudinal dimension 116 (i.e., a longitudinal direction). According to various aspects, the first end 12 may have a lateral dimension 132.

According to various aspects, the mat 110 may comprise a wide portion 150. The wide portion 150 may extend from the second end 114 of the mat 110 toward the first end 112. The wide portion 150 may have a maximum lateral dimension 152 extending between a first side 160 and a second side 162. The maximum lateral dimension 152 may be substantially constant along at least a portion of a longitudinal dimension 156 of the wide portion 150.

According to various aspects, the lateral dimension 132 may be sized to be slightly larger than a width of a torso of a human being. The maximum lateral dimension 152 may be greater than the lateral dimension 132. For example, the maximum lateral dimension 152 may be selected such that a user can at least partly extend his or her arms and still have his or her hands in contact with the mat 110. According to various aspects, the maximum lateral dimension 152 of the second end portion 150 may be about 50% to about 100% greater than the lateral dimension 132 of the first end portion 130. For example, in some aspects, the maximum lateral dimension 152 may be about 75% greater than the lateral dimension 132.

The mat 110 may comprise a first tapered side 170 and a second tapered side 172. In some aspects, the first tapered side 170 may connect the first end 112 and the first side 160, and the second tapered side 172 may connect the first end 112 and the second side 162. According to some aspects, the mat 110 may comprise a third tapered side 174 and a fourth tapered side 176. The third tapered side 174 may connect the first side 160 and the second end 114, while the fourth tapered side 176 may connect the second side 162 and the second end 114.

It should be appreciated that, in some aspects, the first and second tapered sides 170, 172 may comprise a portion of the wide portion 150. In some aspects, the first and second tapered sides 170, 172 may comprise portion of the mat 110 independent of the wide portion 150.

It should be appreciated that, in some aspects, the first and second ends 112, 114 may have substantially the same lateral dimension, for example, if the third and fourth tapered sides 174, 176 are eliminated. In other aspects, the first and second ends 112, 114 may have different lateral dimensions. In any event, the lateral dimension of the second end 114 should not exceed the maximum lateral dimension 152, although in some aspects, the second end 114 may have a lateral dimension substantially equal to the maximum lateral dimension 152.

The mat 110 may include indicia to facilitate proper alignment by a user during exercise, for example, when doing push-ups. In some exemplary aspects, the mat 110 may include first indicia 180 substantially centered on the wide portion 150 with respect to the maximum lateral dimension 152. The first indicia 180 may comprise a line, or it may comprise a shape such as, for example, a diamond (as shown in FIG. 3), circle, square, rectangle, triangle, or any desired shape.

Second indicia 182 and third indicia 184 may be substantially symmetrically disposed on opposite sides of the first indicia 180 in reference to the maximum lateral dimension 152. Each of the second and third indicia 182, 184 may comprise at least one marking such as, for example, a line segment or shape. According to various aspects, if different sizes and/or shapes are used, matching sizes and shapes may be substantially symmetrically disposed on opposite sides of the first indicia 180.

The mat 110 may include fourth indicia 186 proximate the first end 112 and substantially centered with respect to the lateral dimension 132. The fourth indicia 186 may comprise a line, as shown in FIG. 3, or it may comprise a shape such as, for example, a diamond, circle, square, rectangle, triangle, or any desired shape. The central indicia 180, 186 and/or the symmetrical locations of second and third indicia 182, 184 may facilitate a user's determination of proper hand, torso, and/or foot alignment on the mat 110.

Referring now to FIG. 4, another exemplary embodiment of an exercise mat 210 is shown. The exercise mat 210 may include a first end 212 and a second end 214. The first and second ends 212, 214 may be disposed at opposite ends of a longitudinal dimension 216 of the mat 210. The mat 210 may also include a longitudinal centerline 218 extending in a direction of the longitudinal dimension 216 (i.e., a longitudinal direction).

The mat 210 may comprise a first end portion 230 and a second end portion 250. According to various aspects, the first end portion 30 may extend from the first end 212 of the mat 210 toward the second end portion 250. The first end 212 and the first end portion 230 may have a lateral dimension 232 extending between a first side 240 and a second side 242. The lateral dimension 232 may be substantially constant along an entire longitudinal dimension 236 of the first end portion 230.

According to various aspects, the second end portion 250 may extend from the second end 214 of the mat 210 toward the first end portion 230. The second end portion 250 may have a maximum lateral dimension 252 extending between a third side 260 and a fourth side 262. The maximum lateral dimension 252 may be substantially constant along at least a portion of a longitudinal dimension 256 of the second end portion 250.

According to various aspects, the lateral dimension 232 may be sized to be slightly larger than a width of a torso of a human being. The maximum lateral dimension 252 may be greater than the lateral dimension 232. For example, the maximum lateral dimension 252 may be selected such that a user can at least partly extend his or her arms and still have his or her hands in contact with the mat 210. According to various aspects, the maximum lateral dimension 252 of the second end portion 250 may be about 50% to about 100% greater than the lateral dimension 232 of the first end portion 230. For example, in some aspects, the maximum lateral dimension 252 may be about 75% greater than the lateral dimension 232.

It should be appreciated that, in some aspects, a portion of the first and second sides 240, 240 may comprise a portion of the first end portion 230 and a portion of the second end portion 250. In some aspects, a portion of the first and second sides 240, 240 may comprise a portion of the mat 210 independent of the first and second end portions 230, 250.

It should be appreciated that, in some aspects, the first and second ends 212, 214 may have different lateral dimensions. In some aspects, for example if tapered sides were added between the second end 214 and the third and fourth sides 260, 262, the first and second sides 212, 214 may have substantially the same lateral dimension. In any event, the lateral dimension of the second end 214 should not exceed the maximum lateral dimension 252, although in some aspects, the second end 214 may have a lateral dimension substantially equal to the maximum lateral dimension 252.

The mat 210 may include indicia to facilitate proper alignment by a user during exercise, for example, when doing push-ups. In some exemplary aspects, the mat 210 may include first indicia 280 substantially centered on the second end portion 250 with respect to the maximum lateral dimension 252. The first indicia 280 may comprise a line, or it may comprise a shape such as, for example, a diamond (as shown in FIG. 4), circle, square, rectangle, triangle or any desired shape.

Second indicia 282 and third indicia 284 may be substantially symmetrically disposed on opposite sides of the first indicia 280 in reference to the maximum lateral dimension 252. Each of the second and third indicia 282, 284 may comprise at least one marking such as, for example, a line segment or shape. According to various aspects, if different sizes and/or shapes are used, matching sizes and shapes may be substantially symmetrically disposed on opposite sides of the first indicia 280.

The mat 210 may include fourth indicia 286 substantially centered on the first end portion 230 with respect to the lateral dimension 232. The fourth indicia 286 may comprise a line, as shown in FIG. 4, or it may comprise a shape such as, for example, a diamond, circle, square, rectangle, triangle, or any desired shape. The central indicia 80, 86 and/or the symmetrical locations of second and third indicia 282, 284 may facilitate a user's determination of proper hand, torso, and/or foot alignment on the mat 210.

Referring now to FIG. 5, an exemplary exercise system 500 is shown. The exercise system 500 may comprise any one of the aforementioned exercise mats 10, 110, 210 and a recording media 510. The exercise mat 10, 110, 210 may be manipulated, for example, by rolling up, folding, or the like, into a bundled configuration, which may be more convenient for transporting, storing, or the like. A band 512 such as, for example, a string, elastic band, cloth band, or the like, may be wrapped around the bundled mat to maintain such a configuration.

According to various aspects, the recording media 510 may comprise a compact disc (CD), video compact disc (VCD), digital video disc (DVD), video cassette, audio cassette, or any known media. The recording media 510 may contain audio and/or visual explanations and/or demonstrations of various exercises that may be performed on the mat. For example, the media 510 may describe the relationship between the various indicia 80, 82, 84, 86, 180, 182, 184, 186, 280, 282, 284, 286 on the respective mat 10, 110, 210 and provide instructions for various exercises that associate the placement of various body parts with certain indicia to maximize the effectiveness of a workout.

It should be appreciated that the second end portion 50, 250 and/or end portion 150 may have edges that are more or less rounded than those illustrated. In some aspects, one or more of those corners may be squared off. It should also be appreciated that the second end portion 50, 250 and/or end portion 150 may have a shape different from those illustrated, such as, for example, a circle, an oval, or the like.

One skilled in the art would appreciate that the mat 10, 110, 210 may be constructed of any known material. For example, in accordance with a user's desires, the mat 10, 110, 210 may be cushioned, firm, soft, etc.

In use, a user positions his or her body over the mat 10, 110, 210 such that at least the user's shoulders and arms are positioned over the second end portion 50, 250 or end portion 150 in the maximum lateral dimension 52, 152, 252. The user's body may extend in the longitudinal direction of the mat 10, 110, 210 such that the user's feet may be positioned proximate the first end 12, 112, 212.

According to various aspects, the user may use the various indicia to assist with aligning his or her torso, hands, feet, toes, etc. The user may align his or her hands with a pair of indicia substantially equally spaced symmetrically on opposite sides of the longitudinal centerline of the mat. It should be appreciated that different pairs of indicia may be used to position the user for various exercises designed to target different muscles. The media 510 may describe and/or demonstrate such positioning and exercises.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made in the exercise mats and systems of the present invention without departing from the scope of the invention. Other embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from consideration of the specification and practice of the invention disclosed herein. It is intended that the specification and examples be considered as exemplary only.





 
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