Title:
Abdonminal Exerciser
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to an exercise machine in which the person exercising straps their feet to a moveable carriage which is guided by a track. When grasping the handholds the person exercising can pull their feet from the front position to the rear position, exercising upper body together with stomach and back muscles.



Inventors:
Kennedy, Kathleen (Boca Raton, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/869826
Publication Date:
04/16/2009
Filing Date:
10/10/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B23/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20030045406Reorientable pulley systemMarch, 2003Stone
20100064413EXERCISE CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIESMarch, 2010Koelle et al.
20050272565Safety device for treadmillsDecember, 2005Hao
20080132390In-Water Training and Rehabilitation DeviceJune, 2008Tokuma
20060240954Human lower limb performance enhancement outfit systemsOctober, 2006Shahinpoor
20080108483Multi-grip dumbbellMay, 2008Fife
20070111867Strength and conditioning device and method of conditioningMay, 2007Pullaro
20050159279Body support for exercising and stretchingJuly, 2005Stangler
20100062818REAL-TIME INTERACTION WITH A VIRTUAL COMPETITOR WHILE PERFORMING AN EXERCISE ROUTINEMarch, 2010Haughay Jr. et al.
20030236150Twist exerciserDecember, 2003Huang
20080015095Multipurpose exercise systemJanuary, 2008Savsek et al.



Primary Examiner:
BAKER, LORI LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Buckingham, Doollkttle & Burroughs, LLP (5355 Town Center Road, Suite 900, BOCA RATON, FL, 33486-1069, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An exercise machine comprising: at least one track configured to guide a carriage; a carriage configured to travel along said at least one track wherein said carriage is further configured to accept the feet of a user of said exercise machine, wherein the carriage allows the travel and the feet are configured to be placed on the carriage surface while travel of the carriage along the track enables the feet to go from a prone position, through a position directly under the body to a supine position; and two handholds wherein said two handholds are disposed such that one handhold is positioned on either side of said at least one track, and further wherein said at least two handholds are configured to accept the hands of the user and are configured to support the weight of the user.

2. The exercise machine of claim 1 which further comprises two supports, wherein said two supports extend to either side of said track and connect said at least one track to said two handholds.

3. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein said carriage is configured to pivot.

4. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein said carriage contains at least one positioner for positioning of a user's foot.

5. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein the track is made up of one or more rails.

6. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein the support is affixed to the track.

7. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein the handholds have a clamp to fix the position of the handholds.

8. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein the handholds are adjustable in height.

9. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein the carriage is configured to allow adjustment of the resistance to the motion of the carriage along the track.

10. An exercise machine comprising: a track configured to guide a carriage; a carriage configured to travel along the track, wherein the carriage allows the travel and a user's feet are configured to be placed on the carriage surface while travel of the carriage along the track enables the feet to go from a prone position, through a position directly under the body to a supine position; the carriage having fasteners and being configured to pivot as it travels along the track; a support from the track; and at least two handholds disposed along the support wherein the at least two handholds are configured to be moveable to different positions along the support.

11. The exercise machine of claim 10 wherein said carriage is configured to pivot.

12. The exercise machine of claim 10 wherein said carriage contains at least one positioner for positioning of a user's foot.

13. The exercise machine of claim 10 wherein the track is made up of one or more rails.

14. The exercise machine of claim 10 wherein the support is affixed to the track.

15. The exercise machine of claim 10 wherein the handholds have a clamp to fix the position of the handholds.

16. The exercise machine of claim 10 wherein the carriage is configured to allow adjustment of the resistance to the motion of the carriage along the track.

17. An exercise machine comprising: a track configured to guide a carriage; a carriage configured to travel along the track, wherein the carriage allows the travel and a user's feet are configured to be placed on the carriage surface while travel of the carriage along the track enables the feet to go from a prone position, through a position directly under the body to a supine position; and the carriage being configured to pivot, handholds mounted on a support.

18. The exercise machine of claim 17 wherein the support is tubular metal.

19. The exercise machine of claim 18 wherein the support is a tubular metal affixed to the track.

20. The exercise machine of claim 1 wherein the carriage allows travel without support to the buttocks.

21. The exercise machine of claim 10 wherein the carriage allows travel without support to the buttocks.

22. The exercise machine of claim 17 wherein the carriage allows travel without support to the buttocks.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention relates generally to an exercise assistance machine. More specifically, the invention relates to an abdominal exercising machine.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Exercising is often and frequently accomplished with the help of an exercise machine that provides support and guides the motion of the exerciser's arms and legs so that the desired motion is obtained.

Some machines such as cycling machines provide resistance by using wind drag, while other machines use weight, either external or the weight of the exercising person, to provide resistance. One of the most difficult body areas to exercise is the abdomen and back muscles. This invention solves that problem by providing intensive exercise for the abdomen and back muscles using a simple machine to guide motion of the legs from a front to rear position.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a machine used to assist the user in exercising the user's abdominal muscles, along with other muscle groups including the back, legs and upperbody.

In general, the invention features an exercise machine in which the feet of the user are positioned on a moveable apparatus, referred to herein as a carriage, which rides on one or more rails or tracks, and handholds which allow the exerciser to support their upper body. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the user starts with their legs extended to the front, then lifting the body with the handholds, the user pulls their feet back into a contracted position under their body. The user then extends their feet behind them until their legs are straight, being substantially in a push-up position. The exercise repeats the motion in the opposite direction, pulling their legs forward until they are contracted underneath the user's body, then extending them forward in front of their body. The user then repeats the motions, alternating forward and backward.

When using the exercise machine of certain embodiments of the present invention, the user exercises the upper body by supporting their own weight and exercises the legs, abdomen and back muscles, by the forward and backward motion.

Among the advantages of the invention may be one or more of the following: the resistance provided by the moving carriage may be adjusted to provide different exercise experiences. The location and height of the handholds may be adjusted to provide different exercise experiences. The unit is light weight, and can be collapsed for ease of storage, thereby encouraging its use in a home setting. Another aspect of the invention is the carriage guiding the exerciser's feet can be adjusted to provide more or less resistance to meet the needs of the user.

It is an object of this invention to provide an exercise assistance machine for assisting a user in exercising the abdominal muscles, as well as other muscles.

These and other objects of the present invention will become more readily apparent from a reading of the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numerals indicate similar parts, and with further reference to the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The preferred embodiment of the invention, illustrative of the best mode in which applicant has contemplated applying the principals is set forth in the following description and is shown in the drawings and is particularly and distinctly pointed out and set forth in the appended claims. The invention may take physical form in certain parts and arrangements of parts, numerous embodiments of which will be described in detail in the specification and illustrated in the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a top elevational view of an embodiment of the exercise machine of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of an embodiment of the exercise machine of the invention;

FIG. 3 is a top elevational view of an embodiment of the exercise machine of the invention with a user's feet extended to the front;

FIG. 4 is a top elevational view of an embodiment of the exercise machine of the invention with a user's feet underneath the user; and

FIG. 5 is a top elevational view of an embodiment of the exercise machine of the invention with a user's feet extended to the rear.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to the drawings wherein the showings are for purposes of illustrating numerous embodiments of the invention only and not for purposes of limiting the same, the figures illustrate the novel idea of an abdominal exerciser and its use.

As seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, various embodiments of exercise machine 1 of the present invention include carriage 8, at least one track 2, and at least two handholds 6. Generally, carriage 8 is configured to travel along at least one track 2. At least two handholds 6 are available for a user of exercise machine 1 to support their body weight while operating exercise machine 1. During operation of exercise machine 1 of a preferred embodiment, user 30, shown in FIGS. 3-5, positions themselves between handholds 6, with their feet positioned on carriage 8, legs extended in front of their body. User 30 draws their legs inward, such that their legs are bent beneath them, then extends their legs backwards, such that there front is facing downwards and their legs are fully extended behind them.

In certain embodiments of the invention, as shown in FIG. 1, carriage 8 may include foot positioners 12 to guide the user in the placement of their feet on carriage 8. Foot positioners may take the form of indentations, markings, or any other indication capable of indicating the proper location and positioning of the user's feet while using the exercise machine. In other embodiments of the invention, foot positioners may also include straps or other means of affixing the user's feet to the carriage. Foot positioners are not required, however, and certain embodiments of the invention may not utilize any foot positioners on the carriage. In certain embodiments of the invention the carriage may be coated in a rough coating to prevent the user's feet from slipping from the carriage during use.

In embodiments of the invention, carriage 8 is configured to travel along at least one track 2. In certain embodiments of the invention, the carriage may pivot as it is moved by the user, such that the weight of the user's body being supported by the carriage is substantially perpendicular to the direction of the pivot of the carriage. In a preferred embodiment, the carriage may ride along the track by using wheels 9 which are guided by the track 2, as shown in FIG. 1. In further embodiments, the carriage may guide along the track by using ball bearings, or a specialized track system that allows the carriage to glide using any number of means including magnetism, or a groove and track system, or any other track system that allows the carriage to move over the at least one track.

The tracks 2 shown in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1 are rails attached by a cross-member 17 to provide greater stability and end blocks 15 to keep the carriage from disengaging from the track 2. Alternatively, in further embodiments, the track can be a grove cut into a surface which supplies the guidance to the wheel 8. If the wheel is traveling on a track 2 that consists of a rail, the wheel 8 can have a concave end surface 18 which keeps the wheel 8 on the rail. The wheels 9 and axle 10 can have their resistance to motion varied by a damper 11 to the axle 10 or the wheel 8. This allows the user to adjust the resistance needed to move the carriage and increases difficulty in exercising.

At least one track 2 can also be accomplished using a single rail or guide wires to align the travel of the carriage. It is further foreseen that more than one track can be utilized. In embodiments having more than one track, the carriage would be configured to integrate with the number of tracks. For example, an embodiment having two tracks would further have two wheels or other means of guiding the carriage on the underside of the carriage, one for each track. Other embodiments are within the scope of the following claims. For example, other configurations of the tracks and carriage can be used.

In certain embodiments of the invention it is foreseen that a base or a surround may be attached to track 2. The base or surround is not essential for the operation of the exercise machine, but may be included for aesthetic reasons or to increase the stability of the unit. In certain embodiments the base may extend down the entire length of the track, or may extend down only a portion of the track.

Most embodiments of the invention have two handholds, one for each of the user's hands. One handhold will be positioned on either side of the at least one track. In embodiments of the invention, the handholds 6 can pivot as the user's position changes, such that the handholds are perpendicular to the force exerted on them by the user's body weight. In further embodiments of the invention, then handholds 6 can be locked with a clamp 7 to keep them in position while the user is exercising. In yet further embodiments of the invention the handholds 6 need not be affixed to the track 2 with supports 4, and can be free standing units with the bottom support for the handhold 6 being a rectangular platform or tubular metal configured in the shape of a T or H, or other form to provide support and stability.

In certain embodiments of the invention, the handholds may have padding or other additional features to add to the comfort to the user during use of the exercise machine. In further embodiments, the handholds may further have indentations or other indications to guide the proper positioning of the user's hands. In further embodiments, the handhold can further be adjustable as to height to accommodate the user regardless of the attachment to track 2 or base. Another variation would allow the handholds to travel freely on the supports 3 making the difficulty greater for the user. In certain embodiments the supports 3 can be reinforced by an end piece 5.

The embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 1 shows optional hinges 13 or joints 13 that allow for ease in disassembly or folding of the exercise machine for ease in storage. By the user supporting the user's body with the handholds 6, the entire upper body is exercised. The repetition of the motion of moving the carriage from its position of 3(a) to 3(c) provides exercise to legs, abdomen and back.

The operation of the exercise machine is illustrated in FIGS. 3-5. An embodiment of exercise machine 1 of the invention, allows a user to position oneself between handholds 6, facing towards the carriage 8. It is foreseen that in various embodiments of the invention, the user may be positioned towards the front of the machine, or the back of the machine, as long as the users feet are able to be positioned on the carriage.

FIG. 3 illustrates user 30 of the exercise machine of an embodiment of the invention in the starting position. The user positions the user's feet on the carriage 8. After positioning their feet on the carriage, the user then grasps the handholds 6, to support the upper body of the user. After positioning their hands on the handholds, the user then flexes user's legs inwardly to cause the carriage to ride along the track 2. During use, the user pulls their legs inward towards the user. In the preferred embodiment using wheels to guide the carriage over the track, the wheels 9 are held on axle 10 which allows the carriage surface 16 to pivot as the carriage is moved by the user from position 3(a) to position 3(b) at which point the carriage 8 is under the user's body, as shown in FIG. 4. The user then proceeds to extend user's legs to move the carriage to position 3(c) at which point the user is in the push-up position, as illustrated in FIG. 5. As the carriage is moved from its initial position, the carriage 8 will pivot on its axle 8 to adjust for the angle between the user's body and the carriage 8 position.

It is further foreseen that during the operation of embodiments of the invention the user can move the carriage only between two of the positions, such as, for example, between 3(a) and 3(b) back to 3(a). The user can also move the carriage from position 3(b) to 3(c) and back to 3(b) doing what is commonly called squat thrusts, which again strengthens and exercises the abdomen and leg muscles. The user can move the carriage between any two points on the machine to target the desired muscle groups.

In the foregoing description, certain terms have been used for brevity, clearness, illustration and understanding; but no unnecessary limitations are to be implied therefrom beyond the requirements of the prior art, because such terms are used for descriptive purposes and are intended to be broadly construed. Moreover, this invention has been described in detail with reference to specific embodiments thereof, including the respective best modes for carrying out each embodiment. It shall be understood that these illustrations are by way of example and not by way of limitation.