Title:
EXERCISE DEVICE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An exercise device for exercising a user's body. The exercise device includes a roll portion extending between two roll ends thereof and having a surface substantially in the form of a hyperboloid of one sheet adapted for engagement with the body. The roll portion is substantially symmetrical in relation to a longitudinal axis thereof, and includes a bore substantially coaxial with the longitudinal axis. The device includes an elongate member extending between two member ends thereof extending through the bore so that the member ends are substantially equally spaced apart from the roll ends respectively proximal thereto, and the roll portion is rotatable about the elongate member. The device also includes one or more fastening mechanisms rotatably attaching the roll portion to the elongate member.



Inventors:
Hurst, Frederick B. (Guelph, CA)
Application Number:
11/972434
Publication Date:
07/10/2008
Filing Date:
01/10/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B21/00
View Patent Images:
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20040097351Trunk exercise deviceMay, 2004Tornabene
20090137370Endless Cord Exercise Machine with Rotary Viscous DampersMay, 2009Kushnir
20070232459Leg brace for stiltsOctober, 2007Lin
20040224822Timer for breathing exercisesNovember, 2004Verheem
20100062912LEG EXERCISER DEVICEMarch, 2010Summers
20050026757Aerial exercising device and methodFebruary, 2005Creary
20070142186Portable martial arts practice dummyJune, 2007Macnab



Primary Examiner:
JALALZADEH ABYAN, SHILA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MILLER THOMSON LLP (ONTARIO AGRICENTRE SUITE 301 100 STONE ROAD WEST, GUELPH, ON, N1G 5L3, CA)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An exercise device for exercising a user's body, the exercise device comprising: a roll portion extending between two roll ends thereof and comprising a surface substantially in the form of a hyperboloid of one sheet adapted for engagement with the body, the roll portion being substantially symmetrical in relation to a longitudinal axis thereof; the roll portion additionally comprising a bore substantially coaxial with the longitudinal axis; an elongate member extending between two member ends thereof extending through the bore such that the member ends are substantially equally spaced apart from the roll ends respectively proximal thereto, the elongate member having an outer diameter smaller than the bore to permit rotation of the roll portion about the elongate member; and at least one fastening mechanism rotatably attaching the roll portion to the elongate member.

2. An exercise device according to claim 1 in which the roll portion additionally comprises at least one substantially cylindrical part disposed proximal to at least one of said roll ends, said at least one substantially cylindrical part including an engagement surface positioned radially outwardly relative to the longitudinal axis at least as far as the surface of the roll portion proximal to said roll ends.

3. An exercise device according to claim 1 in which said roll ends are at least partially defined by end surfaces respectively extending radially outwardly from the bore relative to the longitudinal axis.

4. An exercise device according to claim 3 in which the end surfaces are substantially planar and substantially orthogonal to the longitudinal axis.

5. An exercise device according to claim 1 in which the surface of the roll portion comprises a material having a durometer value of between approximately 20 Shore A and approximately 40 Shore A.

6. An exercise device according to claim 5 additionally comprising at least two support elements mounted on the elongate member adjacent to said roll ends, each of said at least two support elements extending at least as far from the longitudinal axis as the surface of the roll portion proximal to said roll ends.

7. An exercise device according to claim 6 in which said at least two support elements comprise a material having a durometer value of between approximately 41 Shore A and approximately 100 Shore A.

8. An exercise device according to claim 1 in which the surface of the roll portion comprises a material having a durometer value of between approximately 35 Shore A and approximately 100 Shore A.

9. An exercise device according to claim 1 in which: the elongate member comprises at least one notch disposed proximal to at least one of said roll ends when the roll portion is mounted on the elongate member; and said at least one fastening mechanism comprises an engagement body movable between an engaged condition, in which at least a part of said engagement body is positioned in said at least one notch to hold said at least one fastening mechanism in said at least one notch such that said at least one fastening mechanism at least partially rotatably attaches the roll portion to the elongate member, and a disengaged condition, in which said engagement body is positioned out of said at least one notch and said at least one fastening mechanism is removable from the elongate member.

10. An exercise device according to claim 9 in which said at least one fastening mechanism additionally comprises a biasing means for biasing said engagement body to the engaged condition.

11. An exercise device according to claim 1 in which: the exercise device comprises two fastening mechanisms; the elongate member comprises a plurality of apertures disposed between each of said roll ends and said member ends disposed proximal to said roll ends respectively when the roll portion is mounted on the member; and each said fastening mechanism comprises an engagement body movable between an engaged condition, in which at least a part thereof is disposed in a selected one of said apertures such that each said fastening mechanism at least partially rotatably attaches the roll portion to the elongate member, and a disengaged condition, in which the engagement body is positioned out of said apertures and said fastening mechanism is removable from the elongate member.

12. An exercise device according to claim 11 in which said at least one fastening mechanism additionally comprises a biasing means for biasing said engagement body to the engaged condition.

13. An exercise device according to claim 11 in which each of said two fastening mechanisms is positioned between a selected one of the roll ends and the member end proximal thereto respectively, and additionally comprising at least two preselected weight elements positioned between the respective roll ends and the respective fastening mechanisms.

14. An exercise device according to claim 1 in which the roll portion is approximately 11.25 inches (approximately 28.6 cm.) long and the distance of the surface from the longitudinal axis varies from approximately 2.5 inches (approximately 6.4 cm.) to approximately 4 inches (approximately 10.05 cm.).

15. An exercise device according to claim 1 in which the roll portion additionally comprises at least one preselected weight.

16. An exercise device for exercising a user's body, the exercise device comprising: a roll portion extending between two roll ends thereof and comprising a substantially concave surface substantially symmetrical relative to a longitudinal axis thereof, the concave surface being adapted for engagement with the body; the roll portion additionally comprising a bore substantially coaxial with the longitudinal axis; an elongate member extending between member ends thereof received in the bore, the elongate member having an outer diameter smaller than the bore to permit rotation of the roll portion about the elongate member; and at least one fastening mechanism rotatably attaching the roll portion to the elongate member.

17. An exercise device according to claim 16 in which the roll portion additionally comprises at least one substantially cylindrical part disposed proximal to at least one of said roll ends, said at least one substantially cylindrical part including an engagement surface positioned radially outwardly relative to the longitudinal axis at least as far as the substantially concave surface proximal to said roll ends.

18. An exercise device according to claim 16 in which said roll ends are at least partially defined by end surfaces respectively extending radially outwardly from the longitudinal axis.

19. An exercise device according to claim 16 in which the substantially concave surface comprises a material having a durometer value of between approximately 20 Shore A and approximately 100 Shore A.

20. A kit of parts for an exercise device for exercising a user's body, the kit comprising: a roll portion extending between two roll ends thereof and comprising a substantially concave surface substantially symmetrical relative to a longitudinal axis thereof, the concave surface being adapted for engagement with the body; the roll portion additionally comprising a bore substantially coaxial with the longitudinal axis; an elongate member extending between member ends thereof receivable in the bore, the elongate member having an outer diameter smaller than the bore to permit rotation of the roll portion about the elongate member; and at least one fastening mechanism adapted for rotatably attaching the roll portion to the elongate member.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/879,546, filed on Jan. 10, 2007.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention is related to an exercise device for exercising a user's body.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many exercise devices are known which are intended to strengthen selected parts of a user's body. Also, various devices are known which are intended to engage the user's body with a component thereof having a particular configuration, i.e., to achieve a desired result. For instance, U.S. Pat. No. 3,419,268 (Bellet) discloses an “in-bed exerciser and/or cushion” which includes layers of plastic foam for engagement with the user's body, according to the user's preferences. However, the Bellet device has some disadvantages. For example, the entire device is rotated by the user when the plastic foam portion of the device is engaged with the user's body.

Therefore, there is a need for an improved exercise device.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In its broad aspect, the invention provides an exercise device for exercising a user's body. The exercise device includes a roll portion extending between two roll ends thereof and having a surface substantially in the form of a hyperboloid of one sheet adapted for engagement with the body. The roll portion is substantially symmetrical in relation to a longitudinal axis thereof and includes a bore substantially coaxial with the longitudinal axis. The exercise device also includes an elongate member extending between two member ends thereof extending through the bore so that the member ends are substantially equally spaced apart from the roll ends respectively proximal thereto, and the roll portion is rotatable about the elongate member. In addition, the exercise device includes one or more fastening mechanisms rotatably attaching the roll portion to the elongate member.

In another aspect, the exercise device additionally includes two or more support elements mounted on the elongate member adjacent to the roll ends. Each of the support elements extends at least as far from the longitudinal axis as the surface of the roll portion proximal to the roll ends.

In yet another of its aspects, the invention provides a kit of parts for an exercise device for exercising a user's body. The kit includes a roll portion extending between two roll ends thereof and including a substantially concave surface substantially symmetrical relative to a longitudinal axis thereof, the concave surface being adapted for engagement with the body. The roll portion also includes a bore substantially coaxial with the longitudinal axis. In addition, the exercise device has an elongate member extending between member ends thereof receivable in the bore, the elongate member having an outer diameter smaller than the bore to permit rotation of the roll portion about the elongate member. The exercise device also includes one or more fastening mechanisms adapted for rotatably attaching the roll portion to the elongate member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is better understood with reference to the attached drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side view of an embodiment of the exercise device of the invention, including a roll portion rotatably mounted on an elongate member and fastening mechanisms holding the roll portion thereon;

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of an embodiment of a roll portion of the invention;

FIG. 3A is another side view of one of the fastening mechanisms on the member of FIG. 1, drawn at a larger scale;

FIG. 3B is a cross-section of a portion of the exercise device of FIG. 1, drawn at a larger scale;

FIG. 4 is a cross-section of an embodiment of the roll portion of the invention, drawn at a smaller scale;

FIG. 5 is a cross-section of an alternative embodiment of the roll portion of the invention;

FIG. 6 is a cross-section of an alternative embodiment of the exercise device of the invention, drawn at a smaller scale;

FIG. 7 is a cross-section of another alternative embodiment of the exercise device of the invention;

FIG. 8A is a side view of an actuator in the fastening mechanism of the invention in a disengaged condition, drawn at a larger scale;

FIG. 8B is a side view of the actuator of FIG. 8A in an engaged condition;

FIG. 9 is a side view of an alternative embodiment of the exercise device of the invention, drawn at a smaller scale;

FIG. 10A is a cross-section of a portion of an alternative embodiment of the exercise device of the invention, drawn at a larger scale;

FIG. 10B is a side view of the exercise device of FIG. 10A;

FIG. 11 is a side view of an alternative embodiment of the exercise device of the invention, drawn at a smaller scale;

FIG. 12A is a cross-section of a portion of the exercise device of FIG. 11 showing an alternative embodiment of the fastening mechanism of the invention, drawn at a larger scale;

FIG. 12B is a cross-section of the exercise device of FIG. 12A showing the fastening mechanism of FIG. 12A in a disengaged condition;

FIG. 13 is a cross-section of an alternative embodiment of the exercise device of the invention;

FIG. 14 is a schematic illustration of a user using an embodiment of the exercise device of the invention;

FIG. 15 is another schematic illustration of a user using an embodiment of the exercise device of the invention;

FIG. 16 is another schematic illustration of a user using an embodiment of the exercise device of the invention;

FIG. 17 is another schematic illustration of a user using an embodiment of the exercise device of the invention;

FIG. 18 is another schematic illustration of a user using an embodiment of the exercise device of the invention;

FIG. 19 is another schematic illustration of a user using an embodiment of the exercise device of the invention;

FIG. 20 is another schematic illustration of a user using an embodiment of the exercise device of the invention;

FIG. 21 is another schematic illustration of a user using an embodiment of the exercise device of the invention;

FIG. 22 is another schematic illustration of a user using an embodiment of the exercise device of the invention;

FIG. 23 is another schematic illustration of a user using an embodiment of the exercise device of the invention;

FIG. 24 is another schematic illustration of a user using an embodiment of the exercise device of the invention;

FIG. 25 is another schematic illustration of a user using an embodiment of the exercise device of the invention;

FIG. 26 is another schematic illustration of a user using an embodiment of the exercise device of the invention;

FIG. 27 is another schematic illustration of a user using an embodiment of the exercise device of the invention;

FIG. 28 is another schematic illustration of a user using an embodiment of the exercise device of the invention;

FIG. 29 is another schematic illustration of a user using an embodiment of the exercise device of the invention;

FIG. 30 is another schematic illustration of a user using an embodiment of the exercise device of the invention; and

FIG. 31 is another schematic illustration of a user using an embodiment of the exercise device of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Reference is first made to FIGS. 1-10B to describe an embodiment of an exercise device of the invention referred to generally by the numeral 20. The exercise device 20 is for exercising a user's body, as will be described. The exercise device 20 preferably includes a roll portion 22 extending between two roll ends 24, 26 thereof. In one embodiment, the roll portion 22 preferably includes a surface 28 substantially in the form of a hyperboloid of one sheet adapted for engagement with the user's body. It is also preferred that the roll portion 22 is substantially symmetrical in relation to a longitudinal axis 30 thereof, and the roll portion 22 preferably includes a bore 32 substantially coaxial with the longitudinal axis 30 (FIGS. 3B, 4). Preferably, the exercise device 20 also includes an elongate member 34 extending between two member ends 36, 38 thereof. The elongate member 34 preferably extends through the bore 32 so that the member ends 36, 38 are substantially equally spaced apart from the roll ends 24, 26 respectively positioned proximal thereto. In one embodiment, the elongate member 34 preferably has an outer diameter 40 which is smaller than the bore 32, to permit rotation of the roll portion 22 about the elongate member 34. It is also preferred that the exercise device 20 includes one or more fastening mechanisms 42 rotatably attaching the roll portion 22 to the elongate member 34. As can be seen in FIG. 1, in one embodiment, the exercise device 20 preferably includes two fastening mechanisms 42, 44, each positioned proximal to the roll ends 24, 26 respectively.

As can be seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, the roll portion 22 preferably includes one or more substantially cylindrical parts 46, 48 disposed proximal to the roll ends 24, 26. It is preferred that the cylindrical parts 46, 48 include an engagement surface 50, 52 positioned radially outwardly relative to the longitudinal axis 30 at least as far as the surface 28 of the roll portion 22 proximal to the roll ends 24, 26. The substantially cylindrical parts 46, 48 are advantageous in certain exercises, as will be described.

Preferably, the roll ends 24, 26 are at least partially defined by end surfaces 54, 56 respectively extending radially outwardly from the bore 32 relative to the longitudinal axis 30. It is also preferred that the end surfaces 54, 56 are substantially planar and positioned substantially orthogonally to the longitudinal axis 30. Substantially planar end surfaces 54, 56 permit other elements of the exercise device 20 to be located on the member 34 relatively close to the roll ends, but without interfering with rotation of the roll portion 22 about the member 34, as will also be described.

It is preferred that the member 34 is at least partially tubular, to minimize its weight. However, those skilled in the art will appreciate that, if preferred, the member 34 may be a solid (or substantially solid) bar. The roll portion 22 includes a main part 57 on which the surface 28 is positioned. As is known, and as will be described, the main part 57 may be integrally formed with the surface 28. However, those skilled in the art will appreciate that many arrangements may be suitable.

The surface 28 of the roll portion 22 preferably consists of any suitable material or materials. The surface may be relatively hard or soft. For instance, the user may wish to utilize a relatively soft surface, depending on the exercise. Preferably, in one embodiment, the surface 28 includes a material having a durometer value of between approximately 20 Shore A and approximately 40 Shore A. In this embodiment, any suitable relatively soft material may be used. However, it is preferred that the material is an integral skin polyurethane foam. The roll portion having the surface made of or including such integral skin foam can be formed with the appropriate resiliency and “softness” using a blow molding process, as is known in the art.

In the embodiment in which the surface 28 of the roll portion 22 is relatively soft, the exercise device 20 preferably additionally includes support elements 58, 60 mounted on the elongate member 34 substantially adjacent to the roll ends 24, 26 (FIGS. 9, 10A, 10B). Each of the support elements 58, 60 preferably extends at least as far from the longitudinal axis 30 as the surface 28 of the roll portion 22 proximal to the roll ends 24, 26. As will be described, the support elements 58, 60 are advantageous in exercises where the user wishes to enjoy the benefits of the relatively soft surface 28 but also use the device 20 to support some or all of the user's weight.

Preferably, the support elements 58, 60 are made of material or materials having a durometer value of between approximately 41 Shore A and approximately 100 Shore A. Any suitable material may be used, however, it is preferred that the support elements 58, 60 are made substantially of integral skin polyurethane foam. The support elements including such integral skin foam can be formed with the appropriate “hardness” using a blow molding process, as is known in the art.

Alternatively, the user may wish to utilize a relatively hard surface, for example, due to a particular exercise in which the user intends to use the exercise device. In one embodiment, it is preferred that the surface 28 of the roll portion 22 be relatively hard. In such embodiments, the surface 28 includes one or more materials having a durometer value of between approximately 35 Shore A and approximately 100 Shore A. Any suitable relatively hard material may be used. However, it is preferred that the material is an integral skin polyurethane foam. The roll portion having the surface made of or including such integral skin foam can be formed with the appropriate “hardness” using a blow molding process, as is known in the art.

As is known, the surface of the roll portion may be relatively smooth or may, in the alternative, include one or more textures as preferred. In general, it is preferred that the surface of the roll portion be relatively smooth where the exercise device is intended to be used in a hospital or nursing home environment, because such a surface is easier to clean.

The various components of the exercise device 20 may be made to have selected colors. As is known in the art, for example, components made of integrated skin polyurethane foam may be caused to have such color, or colors, as desired. This permits components to be made which are color-coded, for example, a relatively hard roll portion may be blue, and a relatively soft roll portion red, to enable the user to readily distinguish them.

In one embodiment, the elongate member 34 includes one or more notches 62 disposed proximal to the roll ends 24, 26 when the roll portion 22 is mounted on the elongate member 34. Also, the fastening mechanism 42 preferably includes an actuator 63 with an engagement body 64 positioned therein and movable between an engaged condition (FIG. 8B) and a disengaged condition (FIG. 8A). In the engaged condition, at least a part 66 of the engagement body 64 is positioned in the notch 62 so that the fastening mechanism 42 is secured to the member 34, to at least partially rotatably attach the roll portion 22 to the elongate member 34. In the disengaged condition, the engagement body 64 is positioned out of the notch 62 and the fastening mechanism 42 is removable from the elongate member 34.

The fastening mechanism 42 and the notch 62 represent one arrangement for rotatably attaching the roll portion 22 to the elongate member 34. As will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, the roll portion 22 may be rotatably fastened to the member 34 using many different arrangements, which are within the scope of the invention as claimed.

Preferably, the fastening mechanism 42 additionally includes a biasing means 68 for biasing the engagement body 64 to the engaged condition. For example, the biasing means 68 may be a spring. Preferably, the engagement body 64 is provided in the actuator 63 in which the biasing means 68 is positioned, as is known in the art. Those skilled in the art would be aware of the details of operation of the fastening mechanism 42 and the various alternative arrangements which may be used, and it is therefore unnecessary to provide further particulars thereof. For example, a spring-loaded actuator such as the actuator used to retract an ink cartridge in a retractable ballpoint pen would be suitable.

In one embodiment, and as shown in FIGS. 5-7, the main part 57 of the roll portion 22 preferably includes one or more cavities 78. Each cavity 78 may, if desired, be filled, in whole or in part, with a material to provide one or more preselected weights 79 to the roll portion 22. The weight 79 may be formed of any suitable material. It is preferred that the weight 79 is formed of cast iron, which is conveniently provided in any suitable shape.

Those skilled in the art will appreciate that, if preferred, the roll portion 22 may be used with the cavities 78 vacant, in whole or in part. In one embodiment, the user may wish to obtain roll portions 22 having different total weights, based on the different weights positioned in the cavities in different roll portions.

As described above, the support elements 58, 60 preferably are used when the surface 28 of the roll portion 22 is relatively soft and the exercise device 20 is to be used on a surface, but substantial support is required to be provided by the device. The support elements 58, 60 preferably are positioned proximal to the roll ends 24, 26, but spaced apart from the roll ends, as will be described (FIGS. 9, 10A, and 10B). This is important as a practical matter because the roll portion 22, being relatively soft, tends to bulge outwardly at its ends when the roll portion is pressed against the user's body. Locating the support elements 58, 60 in this way permits the support elements 58, 60 to support the roll portion 22 (e.g., where the support elements 58, 60 are engaging a hard surface) without interfering with the rotation of the roll portion 22 about the elongate member 34. In these circumstances, the end surfaces 54, 56 preferably are planar, to minimize the possibility of such end surfaces engaging the support elements 58, 60 as the roll portion 22 rotates. In one embodiment, it is preferred that the support elements 58, 60 are securely attached to the fastening mechanisms 42 by any suitable means. For example, the support elements 58, 60 may be glued to the fastening mechanism.

For convenience, only the support element 60 is shown in FIGS. 10A and 10B. It will be understood that the same description is equally applicable to the support element 58.

As can be seen in FIG. 10B, in one embodiment, the support element 60 includes a finger bay 70 to permit the user to engage the actuator with the user's fingers. As shown in FIG. 10A, it is preferred that the fastening mechanism 42 include a fastening mechanism body 72 in which the actuator 63 is mounted. Preferably, the body 72 includes a ridge 74 against which the support element abuts (FIG. 10A). The support element preferably is spaced apart from the roll portion by the ridge 74.

In one embodiment, shown in FIG. 10A, the exercise device 20 includes a secondary tube 84 receivable inside a tube 80. In this embodiment, the tube 80 does not extend to the end of the roll portion 22. However, as described above, the tube 80 is an integral part of the roll portion 22, because the main part 57 is formed around the tube 80.

In this embodiment, the main part 57 preferably includes a stop portion 85 which (in part) serves to hold the tube 80 in position in the roll portion 22. In practice, the stop portion 85 has been found to be advantageous where (as in FIG. 26) the user wishes to balance on an end of the roll portion 22. In these circumstances, the stop portion 85 provides padding, making it more comfortable for the user to sit on the end of the roll portion 22 than would be the case if the tube 80 extended to the end.

The secondary tube 84 is held in place on the member 34 by one or more set screws 87. Preferably, the secondary tube 84 is rotatable about the member 34, and the tube 80 is rotatable about the secondary tube 84 and the member 34. If desired, the user may remove the roll portion 22 and use the exercise device without the roll portion, but with the support elements 58, 60 mounted on the member 34.

In use, the roll portion may be formed of any suitable material. As described above, it is convenient to form at least a part of the surface of the roll portion of integral skin polyurethane foam. Preferably, in order to strengthen the roll portion 22, the roll portion 22 may be formed with the tube 80 to define the bore 32 (FIGS. 3B, 4). For example, if the surface 28 of the roll portion 22 is intended to include integral skin polyurethane foam, then the tube 80 preferably is positioned in the mold (not shown) for the roll portion before the polyurethane foam is placed in the mold. In this way, the roll portion 22 is formed using blow molding techniques (as is known in the art), with the tube 80 forming an integral part of the roll portion 22. Preferably, an inner surface 82 of tube 80 defines the bore 32.

The tube 80 may be made of any suitable material. However, it has been found that the tube 80 may be made of any suitable plastic, e.g., ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). If preferred, the inner surface 82 may be covered with a suitable friction-minimizing material.

The exercise device 20 may be provided as a kit, and certain parts of the exercise device may be used separately, if desired. For example, if desired, the member 34 may be used with the support elements 58, 60 alone, i.e., in the absence of the roll portion 22 (see, e.g., FIGS. 18, 24, and 26). The member 34 preferably is made of any suitable material. For example, in one embodiment, the member 34 includes a metal tube. The member 34 preferably includes handle portions 83 between the roll ends 24, 26 and the member ends 36, 38 on each side of the roll portion 22, as can be seen, for example, in FIGS. 6 and 7. In the exercises in which the roll portion is rotated about the member, the user holds the exercise device by the handle portions of the member (see, e.g., FIGS. 14-17, 20-23, and 27-30). In one embodiment, the exercise device may include a suitable covering 98 for the handle portions (FIG. 9), as will be described.

Many portions of the body are substantially or generally convex, e.g., each leg. Accordingly, in one embodiment, the surface 28 is substantially concave, so that the such concave surface is substantially symmetrical relative to the longitudinal axis 30 of the roll portion 22. The substantially concave surface 28 has been found to be advantageous because it can be used to conveniently and relatively comprehensively engage various portions of the user's body, and because such portions typically are generally convex in profile. For example, the user may wish to engage the substantially concave surface 28 with the trunk of the user's body. Alternatively, the user may wish to engage the substantially concave surface 28 with the user's arms and/or legs. It will therefore be understood that the surface 28 of the roll portion 22 preferably is generally (or at least partially) concave to achieve the results desired, i.e., the surface 28 preferably, but need not necessarily, be substantially in the form of a hyperboloid of one sheet.

As will be described, the user may prefer, for example, to engage the trunk of the user's body with a relatively soft roll portion, and also may prefer to engage the user's limbs with a relatively hard roll portion. Alternatively, the user may prefer to engage the trunk with a relatively hard roll portion. The device may be provided with a variety of roll portions (i.e., with varying degrees of hardness and softness, and with or without weights therein) so that the user may adjust the exercise device as desired, by changing roll portions.

The roll portion may have any dimensions as desired. However, it has been found that the following are suitable dimensions for most adult users:

    • The roll portion 22 may have a length of approximately 11.25 inches (approximately 28.6 cm.);
    • The distance of the substantially concave surface from the longitudinal axis varies from approximately 2.5 inches (approximately 6.4 cm.) to approximately 4 inches (approximately 10.05 cm.).
      Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the roll portion may be formed having a variety of dimensions as required, depending on the user's preferences and characteristics.

An additional embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGS. 11-13. In FIGS. 11-13, elements are numbered so as to correspond to like elements shown in FIGS. 1-10B.

In an alternative embodiment, an exercise device 120 of the invention includes fastening mechanisms 142 positioned at each roll end 124, 126 of the roll portion 122 when the roll portion is mounted on an elongate member 134. As can be seen in FIG. 12A, the fastening mechanisms 142 preferably hold washers 186 in position. The washers 186 are intended to maintain the roll portion 122 in a substantially central location on the elongate member 134 (as shown in FIG. 11), while permitting rotation of the roll portion 122 about a longitudinal axis 130 of the roll, the longitudinal axis 130 being coaxial with the member 134.

As shown in FIGS. 12A, 12B, and 13, in one embodiment, the member 134 preferably is a bar made of any suitable material. The bar provides a relatively strong member for use where, for example, externally mounted weights 194 are also positioned on the member (FIG. 13), as will be described.

As can be seen in FIGS. 12A and 12B, in one embodiment, the fastening mechanism 142 preferably includes a biasing means 188 which biases an engagement portion 190 to an engagement position, in which the engagement portion 190 is positioned in a slot 192 (FIG. 12A). When the fastening mechanism 142 is to be disengaged, the user moves the engagement portion 190 to a disengaged position (FIG. 12B), so that the fastening mechanism 142 can then be removed (i.e., temporarily) from the member 134. In another embodiment, the engagement portion 190 is threadably engaged with the fastening mechanism body 164. Various alternative structures for the fastening mechanism 142 will occur to those skilled in the art.

As shown in FIGS. 12A and 12B, the member 134 preferably includes a plurality of the slots 192 in which the engagement portion 190 is receivable. Preferably, the slots 192 are positioned at a variety of distances from the proximal roll ends 124, 126 of the roll portion respectively, when the roll portion is positioned on the member 134. As can be seen in FIG. 13, this permits the user to position the fastening mechanisms 142 at positions in which the fastening mechanisms 142 are spaced apart from the ends 124, 126 of the roll portion 122 by a distance selected to enable the user to locate one or more weights 194 between the fastening mechanisms 142 and the proximal ends of the roll portion respectively.

The exercise device 120 preferably also includes handle tubes 191, each of which is positionable coaxial with the member 134 in the handle portion 183. Each handle tube 191 has a hole 193 in it alignable with one of the slots 192. Preferably, the tube 191 is movable inwardly or outwardly on the member 134 when the fastening assembly 142 is moved (e.g., to accommodate different weights 194, or to adjust for no weights), so that the handle tube 191 provides support to the handle cover 198 regardless of the position of the fastening mechanism 142 relative to the end of the member 134.

It is preferred that the weights 194 are conventional weights, e.g., weights made for use on a conventional barbell. The spacing apart of the fastening mechanism 142 from the roll portion, by a preselected distance, is intended to permit a variety of weights to be positioned therebetween on the member 134 to enable the user to add or take away weights 194 from the exercise device 120 as desired. In these circumstances, it is advantageous if the end surfaces 154, 156 of the roll portion 122 are substantially planar, because this reduces the possibility of the end surfaces 154, 156 engaging the weights 194 as the roll portion 122 rotates.

Although a variety of arrangements are possible, in one embodiment, the exercise device 120 preferably includes a securing subassembly 195 for securing the weight(s) 194 in position, when weight(s) 194 are included. Preferably, the securing subassembly 194 includes an adjuster washer 196 which is threadably engaged on a sleeve 197, to hold the weight 194 in position (FIG. 13).

As shown in FIGS. 11-13, the exercise device includes handle covers 198 which are adapted to permit the user to grasp and hold the handle portions 183 of the elongate member 134. Preferably, the handle covers 198 fit snugly over the handle tubes 191. As is known in the art, the handle covers 198 preferably are made of a material which provides a surface suitable for gripping by the user, and each is mounted so that the handle cover 198 is held substantially stationary relative to the elongate member 134.

In one embodiment, shown in FIGS. 12A, 12B, and 13, the exercise device 120 includes a secondary tube 184 receivable inside a tube 180. Preferably, the tube 180 is an integral part of the roll portion 122, i.e., the main part 157 preferably is formed around the tube 180, as described above.

It is also preferred that the main part 157 includes a stop portion 185 which (in part) serves to hold the tube 180 in position in the roll portion 122. In practice, the stop portion 185 has been found to be advantageous where (as in FIG. 26) the user wishes to balance on an end of the roll portion 122. In these circumstances, the stop portion 185 provides padding, making it more comfortable for the user to sit on the end of the roll portion 122 than would be the case if the tube 180 extended to the end.

The secondary tube 184 is held in place on the member 134 by one or more set screws 187. Preferably, the secondary tube 184 is rotatable about the member 134, and the tube 180 is rotatable about the secondary tube 184 and the member 134. If desired, the user may remove the roll portion 122 and use the exercise device 120 without the roll portion 122, and with weights 194 mounted on the member 134.

Sample Exercises

The following are a selection of the various exercises which may be done with the exercise device of the invention. Although the exercise device is designated with reference numeral 20 in FIGS. 14-23, 25, and 27-31, it will be understood that this is for convenience only, and the embodiment of the exercise device designated with reference numeral 120 could be used in such exercises instead of the exercise device 20, if preferred.

Those skilled in the art will appreciate that a number of well-known exercises (not shown) may be done using the exercise device of the invention. However, the exercises illustrated in FIGS. 14-31 are exercises which may not be done (or at least, not done well, or conveniently) with the exercise devices of the prior art.

Rolling Curl

This exercise is illustrated in FIG. 14.

In this exercise, the user positions the roll portion at the user's waist, on the front of the user's body 95. The user moves the exercise device upwardly, with the roll portion engaged with the front of the trunk of the user's body 95.

In general, it is preferred, for this exercise, that the surface of the roll portion be relatively soft. In this exercise, the elbows of the user are flexed.

Rolling Leg Lift

This exercise is illustrated in FIG. 15.

In this exercise, the user moves the roll portion back and forth on the user's legs while the user is lying down (i.e., on the user's back), as shown in FIG. 15. The direction of motion of the exercise device is shown by the arrows in FIG. 15.

In this exercise, it is preferred that the roll portion have a relatively hard surface. The elbows and the hips of the user are flexed in this exercise.

Flexed Leg Roll Up

This exercise is illustrated in FIG. 16.

In this exercise, while the user is lying down (i.e., on the user's back), the user moves the exercise device from the user's waist upwardly on the user's legs, approximately to the user's knees. While this is done, the roll portion remains engaged with the user's legs. The user also may then bring the exercise device back to the initial starting point.

In this exercise, it is preferred that the roll portion have a relatively hard surface. The elbows of the user are extended in this exercise.

Back Row Roll

This exercise is illustrated in FIG. 17.

In this exercise, the user moves the exercise device up the user's back, generally from the area of the upper legs or the buttocks to approximately the middle of the user's back, while the roll portion is kept engaged with the user's body. The user also may then bring the exercise device back down to the initial starting point.

In this exercise, it is preferred that the roll portion have a relatively soft surface. In this exercise, the shoulders are extended, the elbows are flexed, and the scapula is elevated.

Back Press

This exercise is illustrated in FIG. 18.

In this exercise, the user positions two roll portions under the user's arms. The user then pushes the trunk of the user's body upwardly, using the arms. In this exercise, the arms are exercised in a shoulder horizontal abduction.

In this exercise, it is preferred that the roll portions used each have a relatively hard surface.

Stomach Lifts

This exercise is illustrated in FIG. 19.

In this exercise, while the user is lying down (i.e., on the user's back), the exercise device, which is positioned on the user's stomach, is raised by the user, using the abdominal muscles.

In this exercise, it is preferred that the roll portion have a relatively soft surface.

Sit-Up High

This exercise is illustrated in FIG. 20.

In this exercise, the user positions the exercise device underneath the user's body at approximately the centre of the user's body, as shown in the illustration on the left side of FIG. 20. The user then sits up, using the abdominal muscles.

In this exercise, it is preferred that the roll portion have a relatively hard surface.

Side Bend

This exercise is illustrated in FIG. 21.

In this exercise, the user is positioned lying on his or her side, and first positions the exercise device underneath the user, at approximately the middle of the user's body. The user then raises the user's legs upwardly, providing a trunk lateral flexion.

In this exercise, it is preferred that the roll portion have a relatively hard surface.

Teeter-Totter

This exercise is illustrated in FIG. 22.

In this exercise, the user lies on the floor (i.e., on the user's back) and positions the exercise device underneath the user's body, at approximately the middle of the user's body. The user then attempts to balance on the exercise device, keeping the trunk of the user's body and the user's legs substantially aligned. In this exercise, trunk flexion and hip flexion are involved.

In this exercise, it is preferred that the roll portion have a relatively hard surface.

Legs Up

This exercise is illustrated in FIG. 23.

In this exercise, the user lies on the floor with the exercise device under the user's back, near the base of the spine. The user raises the user's legs, as shown in FIG. 23. This exercise involves trunk flexion and hip flexion.

In this exercise, it is preferred that the roll portion have a relatively hard surface.

Saddle Balancing

This exercise is illustrated in FIG. 24.

In this exercise, the user sits on the roll portion, generally aligned lengthwise with the roll portion. The user balances on the roll portion. This exercise involves trunk flexion and hip flexion.

In this exercise, it is preferred that the roll portion have a relatively hard surface.

Balancing Side Saddle

This exercise is illustrated in FIG. 25.

In this exercise, the user sits on the roll portion, facing to a side (see FIG. 25). The user balances on the roll portion. In this exercise, trunk flexion and hip flexion is involved.

In this exercise, it is preferred that the roll portion have a relatively hard surface.

Barstool Balancing

This exercise is illustrated in FIG. 26.

In this exercise, only the roll portion is used. It is preferred that the roll portion have a relatively hard surface.

In this exercise, the roll portion is positioned with a roll end thereof on the floor. The user sits on the other roll end, and balances. This exercise involves trunk flexion and hip flexion.

Rolling Front Squat

This exercise is illustrated in FIG. 27.

In this exercise, the user stands close to a wall, with the exercise device positioned generally at the user's waist. The user squats, holding the elongate member of the exercise device substantially stationary relative to the wall. When the user squats, the roll portion is engaged with the front of the user's trunk, and the roll portion accordingly rotates about the elongate member of the exercise device. This exercise involves hip extension and knee extension.

In this exercise, it is preferred that the roll portion have a relatively soft surface.

Rolling Back Squat

This exercise is illustrated in FIG. 28.

In this exercise, the user stands with his back facing the wall, with the exercise device positioned between the user and the wall, preferably at the user's waist. The user squats, and the roll portion generally tends to move downwardly on the wall with the user.

In this exercise, it is preferred that the roll portion have a relatively soft surface.

Legs Up Roll

This exercise is illustrated in FIG. 29.

In this exercise, the user first lies on the floor, with the user's legs raised. The exercise device is positioned generally at the user's waist. As shown in FIG. 29, the user pushes the exercise device up the user's legs, while maintaining the legs generally in the same position. This requires that the user raise the user's shoulders and head somewhat.

In this exercise, it is preferred that the roll portion have a relatively soft surface.

Sitting Roll-Up

This exercise is illustrated in FIG. 30.

While sitting in a chair, the user first positions the exercise device at the user's feet, bending over to hold the handles of the exercise device. As the user sits up, the user draws the exercise device over the user's knees and into the user's lap. Finally, the user can move the exercise device upwardly, over the user's trunk. This exercise involves trunk extension, hip extension, shoulder extension, and elbow flexion.

In this exercise, it is preferred that the roll portion have a relatively soft surface.

Striking

This exercise is illustrated in FIG. 31.

As shown in a lower view (i.e., the lower view as presented in FIG. 31), the exercise device is held by a person while the user strikes the roll portion with the user's hands, i.e., preferably the user's fists. In this situation, it is preferred that the roll portion is relatively soft, and the device preferably does not include support elements or externally-mounted weights.

As shown in the other view (i.e., the upper view as presented), the exercise device is held by a person while the user kicks the roll portion. As in the other exercise shown in FIG. 31, it is preferred that the roll portion is relatively soft. It is also preferred that the exercise device not include support elements or externally-mounted weights.

From the foregoing it will be apparent that, in exercises where the roll portion is required to roll between a surface and the user's body, the substantially cylindrical parts of the roll portion may be engaged with the surface or, depending on the configuration of the exercise device which is used, possibly not so engaged. For instance, in the exercise illustrated in FIG. 20, the user may select a relatively hard roll portion, and also may choose to use the exercise device without the support elements (or the externally-mounted weights, as the case may be). In this situation, the substantially cylindrical parts of the roll portion have been found to be advantageous because they tend to cause the device to roll in a generally straight direction. The surface parts of the substantially cylindrical parts may be adapted for engaging the surface.

However, the user may, alternatively, choose to use the exercise device 20 with support elements 58, 60. In this case, the exercise device 20 rests on the support elements, and if the roll portion includes substantially cylindrical parts, then those parts do not engage the surface.

In another alternative, the user may choose to use the exercise device 120 with externally-mounted weights. In this situation, the exercise device 120 rests on the weights 194.

Any element in a claim that does not explicitly state “means for” performing a specific function, or “step for” performing a specific function, is not to be interpreted as a “means” or “step” clause as specified in 35 U.S.C. § 112, para. 6.

It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the invention can take many forms, and that such forms are within the scope of the invention as claimed. Therefore, the spirit and scope of the appended claims should not be limited to the descriptions of the preferred versions contained herein.