Title:
Inclinable Exercise Device With Clamp Mechanism and Method of Using Same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An exercise device including a vertical support member; an adjustable incline having a first end and a second end, the first end of the adjustable incline vertically movable with respect to the vertical support member for setting the incline of the adjustable incline; a user support platform movably attached to the adjustable incline; first and second pulleys coupled to the adjustable incline; one or more cables extendable through first and second pulleys and coupled to the user support platform for movement of the support platform along the adjustable incline through cable movement; and a clamping mechanism at the first end of the adjustable incline that provides a clamping force on the vertical support member to fix the first end of the adjustable incline relative to the vertical support member to set the incline of the adjustable incline.



Inventors:
Campanaro, Thomas J. (Rancho Santa Fe, CA, US)
Mccutcheon, Dan (San Diego, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/049501
Publication Date:
07/03/2008
Filing Date:
03/17/2008
Assignee:
ENGINEERING FITNESS CORP. (San Diego, CA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B21/00
View Patent Images:
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20040018922Resistance training method and apparatusJanuary, 2004Maiuri



Primary Examiner:
DONNELLY, JEROME W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PROCOPIO, CORY, HARGREAVES & SAVITCH LLP (525 B STREET SUITE 2200, SAN DIEGO, CA, 92101, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An exercise device, comprising: a vertical support member; an adjustable incline having a first end and a second end, the first end of the adjustable incline vertically movable with respect to the vertical support member for setting the incline of the adjustable incline; a user support platform movably attached to the adjustable incline; first and second pulleys coupled to the adjustable incline; one or more cables extendable through first and second pulleys and coupled to the user support platform for movement of the support platform along the adjustable incline through cable movement; and a clamping mechanism at the first end of the adjustable incline that provides a clamping force on the vertical support member to fix the first end of the adjustable incline relative to the vertical support member to set the incline of the adjustable incline.

2. An exercise device, comprising: a vertical support member; an adjustable incline having a first end and a second end, the first end of the adjustable incline vertically movable with respect to the vertical support member for setting the incline of the adjustable incline; a user support platform movably attached to the adjustable incline; first and second pulleys coupled to the adjustable incline; one or more cables extendable through first and second pulleys and coupled to the user support platform for movement of the support platform along the adjustable incline through cable movement; and means for clamping at the first end of the adjustable incline for providing a clamping force on the vertical support member to fix the first end of the adjustable incline relative to the vertical support member to set the incline of the adjustable incline.

3. A method of using an exercise device, comprising: providing an exercise device including a vertical support member; an adjustable incline having a first end and a second end, the first end of the adjustable incline vertically movable with respect to the vertical support member for setting the incline of the adjustable incline; a user support platform movably attached to the adjustable incline; first and second pulleys coupled to the adjustable incline; one or more cables extendable through first and second pulleys and coupled to the user support platform for movement of the support platform along the adjustable incline through cable movement; and a clamping mechanism at the first end of the adjustable incline that provides a clamping force on the vertical support member to fix the first end of the adjustable incline relative to the vertical support member to set the incline of the adjustable incline; moving the first end of the adjustable incline vertically relative to the vertical support member to a desired height for a desired incline of the adjustable incline; activating the clamping mechanism to provide a clamping force on the vertical support member to fix the first end of the adjustable incline relative to the vertical support member to set the desired incline of the adjustable incline.

4. The method of claim 3, further including deactivating the clamping mechanism to remove a clamping force on the vertical support member so that the first end of the adjustable incline is freely movable relative to the vertical support member in the vertical direction.

5. The method of claim 4, further including moving the first end of the adjustable incline vertically relative to the vertical support member to a desired height for a desired incline of the adjustable incline; and activating the clamping mechanism to provide a clamping force on the vertical support member to fix the first end of the adjustable incline relative to the vertical support member to set the desired incline of the adjustable incline.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/688,539, filed Mar. 20, 2007, which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/785,541, filed Feb. 24, 2004, now U.S. Pat. No. 7,270,628 and claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application 60/896,592, filed Mar. 23, 2007, U.S. Provisional Application 60/806,146, filed Jun. 29, 2006, and U.S. Provisional Application 60/790,325, filed Apr. 6, 2006. All of these applications/patent(s) are incorporated by reference as though set forth in full.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an inclinable exercise device including a clamping mechanism that eliminates the needs for hooks, notches, holes, pins, or the like in setting the incline angle in the inclinable exercise device, and allows the inclinable exercise device to be inclined at a greater number of angles than was possible in the past.

Another aspect of the invention involves an exercise device including a vertical support member; an adjustable incline having a first end and a second end, the first end of the adjustable incline vertically movable with respect to the vertical support member for setting the incline of the adjustable incline; a user support platform movably attached to the adjustable incline; first and second pulleys coupled to the adjustable incline; one or more cables extendable through first and second pulleys and coupled to the user support platform for movement of the support platform along the adjustable incline through cable movement; and a clamping mechanism at the first end of the adjustable incline that provides a clamping force on the vertical support member to fix the first end of the adjustable incline relative to the vertical support member to set the incline of the adjustable incline.

A further aspect of the invention involves an exercise device including a vertical support member; an adjustable incline having a first end and a second end, the first end of the adjustable incline vertically movable with respect to the vertical support member for setting the incline of the adjustable incline; a user support platform movably attached to the adjustable incline; first and second pulleys coupled to the adjustable incline; one or more cables extendable through first and second pulleys and coupled to the user support platform for movement of the support platform along the adjustable incline through cable movement; and means for clamping at the first end of the adjustable incline for providing a clamping force on the vertical support member to fix the first end of the adjustable incline relative to the vertical support member to set the incline of the adjustable incline.

A still further aspect of the invention involves a method of using an exercise device including providing an exercise device including a vertical support member; an adjustable incline having a first end and a second end, the first end of the adjustable incline vertically movable with respect to the vertical support member for setting the incline of the adjustable incline; a user support platform movably attached to the adjustable incline; first and second pulleys coupled to the adjustable incline; one or more cables extendable through first and second pulleys and coupled to the user support platform for movement of the support platform along the adjustable incline through cable movement; and a clamping mechanism at the first end of the adjustable incline that provides a clamping force on the vertical support member to fix the first end of the adjustable incline relative to the vertical support member to set the incline of the adjustable incline; moving the first end of the adjustable incline vertically relative to the vertical support member to a desired height for a desired incline of the adjustable incline; and activating the clamping mechanism to provide a clamping force on the vertical support member to fix the first end of the adjustable incline relative to the vertical support member to set the desired incline of the adjustable incline.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of an inclinable exercise device including an embodiment of a clamping mechanism that allows the inclinable exercise device to be inclined at a larger number of angles;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of the clamping mechanism illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of a clamping mechanism similar to that shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, but with another embodiment of pulley support bars shown attached to the clamping mechanism, and shows the clamping mechanism in an unlocked position;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of a clamping mechanism similar to that shown in FIG. 3, and shows the clamping mechanism in a semi-locked position;

FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of a clamping mechanism similar to that shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, and shows the clamping mechanism in a locked position.

FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view of an embodiment of an inclinable exercise device including an alternative embodiment of a clamping mechanism that allows the inclinable exercise device to be inclined at a larger number of angles;

FIG. 7 is a partial perspective view of an embodiment of an inclinable exercise device including a further embodiment of a clamping mechanism that allows the inclinable exercise device to be inclined at a larger number of angles;

FIG. 8 is a partial perspective view of the inclinable exercise device shown in FIG. 7, but with the ladder/tower 70 removed;

FIG. 9 is a top plan view of the inclinable exercise device shown in FIG. 7;

FIG. 10 is a front elevational view of the inclinable exercise device shown in FIG. 7;

FIGS. 11 and 12 are cross-sectional views taken along the line shown in FIG. 9, and show the clamping mechanism in an unlocked position (FIG. 11) and a locked position (FIG. 12).

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference to FIGS. 1-5, an embodiment of an inclinable exercise device 50 including an embodiment of a clamping mechanism 60 and method of using the same will be described.

Before describing the clamping mechanism 60, the inclinable exercise device 50 will first be generally described. The inclinable exercise device 50 includes ladder/tower 70 with a pair of vertical support members 35. Although two vertical support members 35 are shown, in an alternative embodiment, the tower 70 includes one or more vertical support members 35. Slide brackets 55 are slidable along the vertical support members 35.

The slide brackets 55 are U-shaped brackets including opposing flanges 80 pivotally coupled to rail brackets 116 of upper rails 112 via cam members 161 and fasteners 156 (e.g., bolts, nuts, washers). Rectangular rubber grip members 155 are disposed on a span of the slide brackets 55 on a rear side of the vertical support members 35 (to assist in gripping the vertical support members 35 with the cam members 161). The cam members 161 are narrow curvilinear members made of a rigid material to transfer the leverage loads efficiently and are lined or coated with an elastomer to improve grip strength. The cam members 161 have a top 162, an abutment side 163, and a bottom 164. Lower rails 101 are pivotally coupled to upper rails 112. A strut 130 is pivotally connected to a base tube 135 at the lower end of the vertical support members 35 and is also pivotally connected to a rail pivot point 123. Lift-assist mechanism 150 is pivotally connect to a pivot point 170 of the strut 130 and is also pivotally connected at an opposite end to approximate mid-points of the upper rails 112 though a pivot bar 180. In the embodiment shown, the lift-assist mechanism 150 is a push-type gas spring. The push-type gas spring provides an upward angled force towards the pivot bar 180, reducing the upward force and work required by a user when raising the height and increasing the angle of the upper rails 112 relative to the ground. This upward force also makes it easier to lower the height and reduce the angle of the upper rails 112 because it reduces the lifting work required of the user.

A user support platform or glideboard 120 with rollers (not shown) rolls along the rails 101, 112.

A pulley arm 154 connects the U-shaped brackets 80 and terminates in opposite pulley support bars 138. Although in the embodiment shown the supports bars 138 are integral with pulley arm 154, in an alternative embodiment, the support bars 138 are separate from the arm 154. Attached to the pulley support bars 138 are pulleys 166.

The pulley support bars 138 extend outward from the U-shaped brackets 80 beyond the outer edge of the upper rails 112. Although not shown, a connector extends through the pulleys 166 and connects to the user support platform 120. The connector may be of any suitable well-known type, but is preferably a cable with handles at each end. The cable extends through the pulleys 166 positioned on the pulley support bars 138 and loops through a third pulley attached to the user support platform 120. The third pulley is positioned along the lateral centerline of the user support platform. This position allows for unilateral (i.e. one arm), bilateral (i.e., two arm) and static equilibrium (i.e. holding the user support platform 28 suspended by keeping a constant force on each handle) use. The cable should preferably be of sufficient length to extend through the pulleys 166 and allow the exerciser to grasp one or both of the handles while the exerciser is on the user support platform 120 and the user support platform 120 is at rest.

In an alternate embodiment, the connector is two separate cables extending through the pulleys 166 with each cable fixedly attached to the user support platform 120.

With reference to FIGS. 3-5, the inclinable exercise device 50 and clamping mechanism 60 will now be described in use. FIG. 3 illustrates the clamping mechanism 60 in an unlocked position. To unlock the clamping mechanism 60, the rails 101, 112 are lifted and the tower 70 is pulled towards the rails 101, 112 so that the cam member 161 no longer contacts the vertical support members 35. In this position, the clamping mechanisms 60 are free to move vertically along the vertical support members 35.

FIG. 4 illustrates the clamping mechanism 60 in a semi-locked position. To put the clamping mechanism 60 in this position, the tower 70 is pushed away from the rails 101, 112 and the rails 101, 112 are let go. This causes the abutment sides 163 of the cam members 161 to contact the vertical support members 35. This does not fully lock the clamping mechanism 60 in position, but holds the clamping mechanism 60 tight enough against the vertical support members 35 until weight on the rails 101, 112 or a hand push downward on the rails 101, 112 drop the rails 101, 112 and put the clamping mechanism 60 into the position shown in FIG. 5. The clamping mechanism 60 would be locked after the centerline CL of the rails 101, 112 is pushed below the fasteners (e.g., bolt) 162, as shown in FIG. 5.

FIG. 5 illustrates the clamping mechanism 60 in a locked position. In this position, the clamping mechanism 60 is locked because the more weight applied to the rails, the tighter the cam members 161 press against the vertical support members 35. In this position, the centerline CL of the rails 101, 112 is pushed below the left fasteners (e.g., left bolt) 156 of the U shaped bracket 80 (CL passes through the U shaped bracket 80). Also, the torque created by the pulley force F from exercising rotates the cam members 161 further against the vertical support members 35, further tightening the clamping mechanism 60 against the vertical support members 35.

With reference to FIG. 6, an alternative embodiment of a clamping mechanism 200 having a U-shaped clamp 210 is shown. The clamp 210 includes a rear L-shaped clamp section 220 integrally joined with a forward L-shaped clamp section 230. The L-shaped clamp sections 220, 230 include respective rubber coatings or covers.

Similar to the method of use described above with respect to FIGS. 3-5, to unlock the clamping mechanism 200 from the vertical support members 35, the rails 101, 112 are lifted and the tower 70 is pulled towards the rails 101, 112 so that the clamp members 220 becomes loose on the vertical support members 35. In this position, the clamping mechanisms 200 are free to move vertically along the vertical support members 35. To lock the clamping mechanisms 200 to the vertical support members 35, the tower 70 is pushed away from the rails 101, 112 and the rails 101, 112 are let go. Weight or downward force is applied to the rails 101, 112. This causes the rear L-shaped clamp sections 220 to move relatively upward along the rear of the vertical support members 35 and the forward L-shaped clamp sections 230 to move relatively downward along the front of the vertical support members 35, tightening the clamping mechanisms 200 against the vertical support members 35 and securing the clamping mechanisms 200 in position.

FIG. 6 also illustrates alternative embodiments of pulley support bars 300, 310.

Although not shown, in another embodiment of the invention, resistance level information is provided along the tower (e.g., on the vertical support members 35) to assist the user in selecting an incline/resistance level for the rails 101, 112.

With reference to FIGS. 7-12, an alternative embodiment of a clamping mechanism 400 will be described. In this embodiment, the upper rails 112 are directly pivotally connected to U-shaped slide bracket 410 via fasteners (e.g., bolts) 420. A broad, curved U-shaped lever 430 is disposed between the U-shaped slide bracket 410. The lever 430 is pivotally attached to the U-shaped slide brackets 410 through fasteners (e.g., bolts 440). Bolts 440 and bolts 445 are used to connect the respective ends of the lever 430 to respective cam members 460. Bolts 445 move within curved slots 448 of U-shaped brackets 410 with pivotal movement of the lever 430. The cam members 460 are disposed in U-shaped slide brackets 410 and move/rotate with pivotal movement of the lever 430. Similar to cam members 161, the cam members 460 are narrow curvilinear members made of a rigid material to transfer the leverage loads efficiently and are lined or coated with an elastomer to improve grip strength. The cam members 460 pivot around bolts 440 and they are spring loaded with torsion springs that urge the lever into the locked position shown in FIG. 12. The torsion springs are disengaged by the lever 430 connected to the cam members 460 by means of bolts 445 and 440.

Unlike the methods described above with respect to FIGS. 1-6, the method of using clamping mechanism 400 does not require the process of lifting and pulling the ladder/tower 70 toward the rails 112. Instead, one lifts the lever 430 to the position shown in FIG. 11, where the clamping mechanism 400 is in an unlocked position (the cam members 460 are disengaged from the vertical support members 35), while vertically suspending the rails 112 at the same time, then move the rails 112 to the desired vertical position/angle and hold the rails 112 while releasing the lever 430 so that the lever 430 is urged by the torsion springs to the locked position shown in FIG. 12, where the clamping mechanism 400 is secured to the vertical support members 35.

An inclinable exercise device with a clamping mechanism such as, but not limited to, clamping mechanism 60, 200, 400 eliminates the needs for hooks, notches, holes, pins, and/or the like in setting the incline angle in the inclinable exercise device, and allows the inclinable exercise device to be inclined at a greater number of angles than was possible in the past. Instead of only being able to incline the rails 101, 112 at only, for example, seven incline levels or resistance levels, the inclinable exercise device with a clamping mechanism allows one to set the rails 101, 112 at a much greater number of incline levels or resistance levels because there are not a select number of hooks, notches, holes limiting the number of incline levels or resistance levels. This gives the user much more control and variety in setting the exercise resistance level.

The above description of the disclosed embodiments is provided to enable any person skilled in the art to make or use the invention. Various modifications to these embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the generic principles described herein can be applied to other embodiments without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Thus, it is to be understood that the description and drawings presented herein represent presently preferred embodiments of the invention and are therefore representative of the subject matter which is broadly contemplated by the present invention. It is further understood that the scope of the present invention fully encompasses other embodiments that may become obvious to those skilled in the art and that the scope of the present invention is accordingly limited by nothing other than the appended claims.





 
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