Title:
Gymnastic apparatus, particularly for exercising extensor muscles of inferior limbs thighs muscles and gluteus muscles
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The gymnastics apparatus, particularly for exercising the extensor muscles of the inferior limbs, thigh muscles and gluteus muscles, comprises a support frame for a gradually-yielding resistant element suitable for contact with a pelvic-abdominal region of the torso of a user moving from an initial position, in which the lower limbs of the user are bent, to a final orthostatic position, the resistant action of the resistant element being directed along a direction transversal to the longitudinal axis of the thigh bones of the user in movement.



Inventors:
Salvioli, Mario (Cognento-Modena, IT)
Application Number:
11/919676
Publication Date:
03/26/2009
Filing Date:
04/12/2006
Assignee:
Nobiltec Compfort S.R.L.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B23/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20100081549PHYSICAL TRAINING SYSTEM AND DEVICE AND METHODS OF USE THEREOFApril, 2010Thompson
20090098988Abdonminal ExerciserApril, 2009Kennedy
20080026919Press armJanuary, 2008Lundquist et al.
20100009822Exercise Device and System, and Methods of Using SameJanuary, 2010Holleman
20090156368Exercise device and its arm restJune, 2009Ketomaki
20030073550Foot tendon exercising apparatusApril, 2003Hsu
20090221405SHAKING MECHANISM OF A TREADMILLSeptember, 2009Wang
20090048075VIBRATIONAL ERGOMETERFebruary, 2009Quarz
20080318738CROSSOVER EXERCISE RECUMBENT BIKEDecember, 2008Chen
20030064867Frame of exerciser bikesApril, 2003Chen
20090093346CROSS TRAINER EXERCISE APPARATUSApril, 2009Nelson et al.



Primary Examiner:
JALALZADEH ABYANE, SHILA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DYKEMA GOSSETT PLLC (1301 K STREET, NW Suite 1100 West, WASHINGTON, DC, 20005, US)
Claims:
1. Gymnastics apparatus (1), particularly for exercising the extensor muscles of the inferior limbs, thigh muscles and gluteus muscles, comprising a support frame (2) for at least one gradually-yielding resistant element (3) suitable for contact with the pelvic-abdominal region of the torso of a user (U) moving from an initial position, in which the lower limbs of the user (U) are at least partially bent, to a final substantially orthostatic position, said resistant element (3) being associated with said support frame (2) through the interposition of mechanical contrast means (7) suitable for contrasting the movement of said user (U), wherein said mechanical contrast means comprise a rotating structure (8) which is provided for supporting said resistant element (3) and is hinged to said support frame (2) around a swinging axis (11) substantially parallel to the rotation axis of the thigh bones around the user's knees, so that the direction of rotation of said structure (8) around said swinging axis (11) agrees with the rotation direction of said thigh bones around the user's knees and the resistant action of said resistant element (3) on said pelvic-abdominal region is kept directed along a direction substantially transversal to the longitudinal axis of the thigh bones of said user (U) during all the time of his movement from said initial to said final position.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein, during said movement, the direction of said resistant action is kept substantially orthogonal to the longitudinal axis of the thigh bones of said user (U).

3. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said rotating structure (8) comprises a U-shaped element (8), the ends of which are hinged around said swinging axis (11) to two columns (9) of said frame (2), and in that wherein said resistant element (3) is connected to the portion of said U-shaped element (8) opposite to the respective hinged ends.

4. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said rotating structure (8) is associated with means, in particular comprising a curvilinear guide (15), which are such as to permit a substantially perpendicular contrast force to be applied to said rotating structure (8).

5. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein in said initial position the user (U) is substantially sitting.

6. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein in said initial position the user (U) is substantially crouched.

7. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said frame (2) comprises at least one platform (4) onto which the user (U) can rest his/her feet.

8. 8.-9. (canceled)

10. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said resistant element comprises at least one belt (3) which can be positioned at least partially around said pelvic-abdominal region.

11. Apparatus according to claim 10, wherein said belt (3) features at least one padded section (10).

12. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said mechanical contrast means (7) comprise at least one heavy body (12), associated with said rotating structure (8) and able to contrast its oscillation around said swinging axis (11).

13. Apparatus according to claim 12, wherein said heavy body (12) is associated with said rotating structure (8) by placing a flexible connection part (13) in between, supported by a system of pulleys (14).

14. 14.-16. (canceled)

17. Apparatus according to claim 1, comprising at least one auxiliary resistant element (16), gradually yielding, that can be positioned in contact with the shins of said user (U) in movement from said initial crouched position to said final position, and able to contrast the rotation of said lower limbs around the user's ankles.

18. Apparatus according to claim 17, wherein said auxiliary resistant element (16) is associated with said frame (2) by placing auxiliary mechanical means (17) in between.

19. Apparatus according to claim 17, wherein said auxiliary mechanical means (17) comprise at least one support lever (18) of said auxiliary resistant element, hinged to said frame (2) around an auxiliary swinging axis substantially parallel to the rotation axis of said lower limbs around the ankles of the user, and at least one auxiliary heavy body, associated with said lever and able to contrast its oscillation around said auxiliary swinging axis.

20. Apparatus according to claim 1, comprising means of contrast of the backward extension around the hip of at least one thigh of said user (U) starting from said final position.

21. Apparatus according to claim 1, comprising means of contrast of the abduction around the hip of one thigh of said user (U) starting from said final position.

22. Apparatus according to claim 1, comprising means of contrast of the backward bending of at least one lower limb of said user (U) starting from said final position.

23. Apparatus according to claim 1, comprising means of contrast of the forward rotation around the hip of at least one lower limb kept bent of said user (U) starting from said final position.

24. Apparatus according to claim 1, comprising at least one (19, 20) of said means of contrast comprises at least one fastening body (19) at the end of at least one of the lower limbs of said user (U) and recalling means (20) of said fastening body (19) towards a part of said frame (2) in front of said user (U).

25. Apparatus according to claim 24, wherein said fastening body (19) is an ankle support.

26. Apparatus according to claim 24, wherein said recalling means (20) comprise at least one flexible element connecting said fastening body (19) to said heavy body, associated with said frame (2) by placing guide means (21) in between.

27. Apparatus according to claim 26, wherein said guide means (21) comprise at least one pair of first rollers (22), associated with said frame (2) in a way that enables them to turn around substantially horizontal and parallel axes and between which the corresponding flexible element (20) is located, and at least a second roller (23), associated with said frame (2) in a way that enables it to turn around a substantially vertical axis located close to said first rollers (22).

28. Apparatus according to claim 27, wherein said first rollers (22) are substantially horizontal.

29. Apparatus according to claim 27, wherein said second roller (23) is substantially vertical.

30. Apparatus according to claim 24, wherein at least one (19, 20) of said means of contrast comprises a pair of said fastening bodies (19), one for each end of the lower limbs of said user (U).

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention refers to a gymnastics apparatus, particularly for exercising the extensor muscles of the inferior limbs, thigh muscles and gluteus muscles.

BACKGROUND ART

Various gymnastics apparatus are known for toning up the extensor muscles of the lower limbs and, in particular, the gluteus muscles.

One of these consists in lifting a barbell loaded with various different weights where the user, initially with knees bent and the barbell held over the head, stands up, overcoming the force of the weights.

A similar exercise can be performed using special machinery featuring two padded horizontal levers which, arranged resting on the shoulders of the user, initially crouched, are lifted as far as the orthostatic position in contrast to a system of resistant counter-weights.

Alternatively, gymnastics apparatus are known consisting of a support frame for a seat sliding horizontally and associated, by means of a cable, a chain or the like, to one or more contrast weights.

In front of the seat is a vertical plate integral with the frame against which the user, sat on the seat with the lower limbs initially bent, can rest his/her feet to push the seat and cause this to run horizontally in contrast to the resistant force exercised by the weights.

Apparatus very similar to these, featuring a seat integral with the frame and a sliding plate, make it possible to perform completely identical exercises.

These exercises of known type are not without drawbacks, among which the fact that to perform them, unfortunately, the user's lower limbs and back, especially the spinal column and torso muscles, have to be at least partially loaded, in some cases applying strong pressure on the spinal discs.

For this reason therefore, during and after the exercise, troublesome and/or painful consequences can ensue.

It should furthermore be noted that in these types of exercises, the direction of the load remains constantly aligned with the direction of conjunction between the pelvis and the ankles of the user.

This means the resistant moment which contrasts the extension of the lower limbs of the user is reduced considerably as the user gradually comes closer to the final position, at which point the extensor muscles are practically unused and the entire load is placed on the bone structure of the body.

The effectiveness of the exercise and the development of the extensor muscles are therefore partial.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

The main aim of the present invention is to eliminate the drawbacks complained of above relating to the known state of the art by devising a gymnastics apparatus, particularly for exercising the extensor muscles of the inferior limbs, thigh muscles and gluteus muscles, that makes it possible to achieve results, expressed in terms of the upgrading of muscle tone, decidedly superior with respect to those obtained by means of traditional exercises, without exercising harmful loads on the spine and back muscles of the user.

As part of such technical aim, another purpose of the present invention is to achieve the previous aims with a simple structure, of relatively practical implementation, safe use and effective operation, as well as of a relatively low cost.

This aim and these purposes are all achieved by this gymnastics apparatus, particularly for exercising the extensor muscles of the inferior limbs, thigh muscles and gluteus muscles, characterized in that it comprises a support frame for at least one gradually-yielding resistant element suitable for contact with the pelvic-abdominal region of the torso of a user moving from an initial position, in which the lower limbs of the user are at least partially bent, to a final substantially orthostatic position, the resistant action of said resistant element being directed along a direction substantially transversal to the longitudinal axis of the thigh bones of said user in movement.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further characteristics and advantages of this invention will appear even more evident from the detailed description of some preferred, but not exclusive, embodiments of a gymnastics apparatus, particularly for exercising the extensor muscles of the inferior limbs, thigh muscles and gluteus muscles, illustrated by way of non limiting example in the accompanying drawings, wherein:

the figures from 1 to 3 show, in a succession of perspective views, a first form of embodiment of the apparatus according to the invention during use by a user;

the figures from 4 to 9 show, in a succession of side views, schematic and partial, a second form of embodiment of the apparatus according to the invention during use by a user;

the figures from 10 to 15 show, in a succession of side views, schematic and partial, a third form of embodiment of the apparatus according to the invention during use by a user;

the figures from 16 to 18 show, in a succession of side views, schematic and partial, a fourth form of embodiment of the apparatus according to the invention during use by a user;

the FIG. 19 is a perspective view showing a fifth form of embodiment of the apparatus according to the invention;

the FIG. 20 is a perspective view showing a detail of the form of embodiment of the invention in FIG. 19.

WAYS OF CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

With special reference to such figures, a gymnastics apparatus has been generally designated by reference numeral 1, particularly for working out extensor muscles of the lower limbs, thighs and glutei.

The apparatus 1 comprises a frame 2 supporting the gradually-yielding resistant element 3 able to be placed in contact with the pelvic-abdominal region of the torso of a user U.

During use of apparatus 1, the user U starts moving from an initial position, crouched or sitting, in which his/her lower limbs are bent, to a final orthostatic position.

In such movement, the resistant action of the resistant element 3 is directed along a direction substantially transversal to the longitudinal axis of the thigh bones of the user U.

Preferably, the frame 2 comprises a horizontal platform 4, onto which the user U can climb and rest his/her feet, and grip means 5 for the hands able to facilitate the user in performing the exercise.

These grip means can have different shapes and sizes.

In the particular form of embodiment of the invention shown in the figures from 1 to 3, for example, these consist of a pair of uprights associated with the platform 4 in front of the user U who is using the apparatus 1.

It is possible, however, that the grip means 5 are of the type with one or more handles, as schematically shown in figures from 4 to 18.

Alternative embodiments cannot however be excluded that are without the grip means 5, the movement of the user U from initial position to final position being completed without the help of supporting points for the hands.

The frame 2 also comprises a seating surface 6 for the user U who wants to start the exercise from an initial sitting position.

Preferably, this surface is adjustable in height to allow the user U to set the height of movement start; in some cases, the movement can start from a crouched position, without the help of the seating surface 6.

The resistant element 3 is associated with the frame 2 by means of the inter-positioned mechanical means 7 that contrast the movement of the user U from initial position to the final exercise position.

Such mechanical means comprise a structure 8, with a U shape, the ends of which are hinged to two small columns 9 that extend vertically from the platform 4 of the frame 2.

The hinging of the structure 8 is such as to enable it to swing around a swinging axis substantially parallel to the rotation axis of the thighs of the user U on his/her knees. The structure 8 supports the resistant element 3, which, advantageously, consists of a belt featuring at least one padded section 10 and which can be positioned around the pelvic-abdominal region of the user U, so as to wrap around his/her lower abdominal quadrant and iliac crests.

The opposite ends of the belt 3 are associated with the portion of the structure 8 substantially opposite the points of hinging 11 to the small columns 9.

Practically speaking, during the exercise, the movement of the user U from the initial position to the final position drags the belt 3 and the structure 8 in rotation around the swinging axis in a direction of rotation which agrees with the direction of rotation of the thighs of the user U.

The mechanical means 7 also feature a heavy body 12, consisting, for instance, of a pack of gym weights, associated with the structure 8 and able to contrast the swinging motion around the swinging axis.

Such heavy body is connected to the structure 8 by means of a flexible connection part 13, consisting of a chain, a cable, or the like, supported by a system of pulleys 14. In particular, one end of the connection part 13 is kept substantially vertical and supports the heavy body 12.

The opposite end, on the other hand, is engaged around a curvilinear guide 15, integral with the structure 8, the curvature centre of which coincides substantially with the hinging points 11; such curvilinear guide permits applying to the structure 8 a contrast force substantially perpendicular to it, preventing part of such force being placed on the small columns 9 during movement, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the exercise.

Depending on the length of the belt 3, of the structure 8 and of the small columns 9, the work load exercised by the resistant element 3 in contrast to the movement of the user U can be differentiated.

In the form of embodiment shown in the figures from 1 to 3, for example, the rotation of the structure 8 follows the movement of the pelvis of the user U and the belt 3, similarly to the resistant action this transmits, does not change to any great extent its direction in space, keeping itself substantially parallel to itself.

In the form of embodiment schematically shown in the figures from 4 to 9, on the other hand, the direction of the resistant force exercised by the belt 3 is kept substantially orthogonal to the longitudinal axis of the thigh bones of the user U, transmitting a constant resistant moment to the lower limbs during the entire exercise. Furthermore, once in orthostatic position the user U can complete extensor muscle toning by pushing the pelvis forward and moving back one of his/her lower limbs (FIG. 9).

Another form of embodiment of the apparatus 1, distinguished by a different sizing of the belt 3, of the structure 8 and of the small columns 9, is represented schematically in the figures from 10 to 15.

In all three previously described and illustrated embodiments, the movement of the user U starts from a seated position in which the direction of the longitudinal axes of the shin-bones is substantially vertical; in such circumstances, the exercise consists of the sole rotation of the thighs with respect to the legs, which, instead, remain practically straight and vertical during the entire movement.

Conversely, in the case of the initial position being substantially crouched, with the longitudinal axis of the shin-bones tilted backwards and the ankles positioned behind the knees, then the extension of the lower limbs also involves the rotation of the legs around the ankles as schematically shown in the embodiment represented in the figures from 16 to 18.

In such embodiment, besides the resistant element 3 and the mechanical means 7 able to contrast the movement of the pelvic-abdominal region of the user U, there are an auxiliary resistant element 16, gradually yielding and that can be positioned in contact with the calves of the user U in movement, and auxiliary mechanical means 17, that contrast the rotation of the lower limbs around the ankles.

Such auxiliary mechanical means comprise, for example, a lever 18 supporting the auxiliary resistant element 16, hinged to the frame 2 behind the user U and which can be turned around an auxiliary swinging axis parallel to the rotation axis around the ankles.

The lever 18 is associated with an auxiliary heavy body, not shown in the figures, able to contrast its oscillation around the auxiliary swinging axis.

In a further form of embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 19 and 20, in which for the sake of simplicity the resistant element 3, the structure 8 and the small columns 9 are not shown in detail, there are a pair of fastening bodies 19, associable with the ends of the lower limbs of the user U, and recalling means 20 of the fastening bodies 19 towards a part of the platform 4 located in front of the position of use of the user U.

The fastening bodies 19 consist of two ankle supports, one for each lower limb of the user U.

The recalling means 20 consist in a pair of flexible elements, of the cable type or the like, which connect the fastening bodies 19 to the heavy body 12 and are associated with the frame 2 by placing guide means 21 in between.

For each flexible element 20, the guide means 21 comprise a pair of first rollers 22, associated with the frame 2 in a way that enables them to turn around substantially horizontal and parallel axes and between which the corresponding flexible element 20 is located, and a second roller 23, associated with the frame 2 in a way that enables it to turn around a substantially vertical axis located close to the first rollers 22.

The recalling action of the heavy body 12 is such as to pull the ankle supports 19 towards the rollers 22 and 23; to prevent the ankle supports 19 ending up in between the rollers 22 and 23, to the flexible elements 20 are associated a number of retention pawls 24.

In this form of embodiment, the ankle supports 19 and the recalling means 20 are used to perform further lower limb movement exercises once the orthostatic position has been reached.

The ankle supports 19 and the recalling means 20, in particular, can act as:

    • means of contrasting the backward extension around the hip of the thighs of the user U; this further movement is performed by the user U starting from orthostatic position and moving back alternately first one lower limb and then the other overcoming the recall force exercised on the ankle supports 19;
    • means of contrasting the abduction around the hip of the thighs of the user U; during the backward extension of the thighs, the user alternately moves his/her lower limbs away from the sagittal plane thereby training the muscles relating to such movement;
    • means of contrasting the backward bending of the lower limbs: such movement consists in alternately bending one leg and then the other with respect to the thigh, turning these around the knees;
    • means of contrasting the forward rotation around the hip of the lower limbs kept bent; with one lower limb still in orthostatic position, the other lower limb, in bent position, is brought up against the stomach of the user U.

In practice it has been found that the described invention achieves the intended purposes.

In particular, it should be noted that the use of a resistant element applied to the pelvic-abdominal region of the user permits loading only the lower limbs to be trained and prevents part of the resistant force being unloaded on the back and, in particular, on the spinal column of the user.

Furthermore, the effectiveness of the exercises performed by means of the invention is definitely increased with respect to those of known type, inasmuch as the extensor muscles, and in particular the gluteus muscles, can be fully trained and toned up even when the user is in erect position.

The invention thus conceived is susceptible of numerous modifications and variations, all of which falling within the scope of the inventive concept.

Furthermore all the details can be replaced with others that are technically equivalent. In practice, the materials used, as well as the shapes and dimensions, may be any according to requirements without because of this moving outside the protection scope of the following claims.

The disclosures of the Italian Patent Application no. MO2005A0001111, the priority of which is claimed by this application, are incorporated herein by reference.





 
Previous Patent: LEG LIFT DEVICE AND ASSOCIATED METHOD

Next Patent: Body sense