Title:
Rotary exercise apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Provided is a rotating sports apparatus capable of keeping safety even if the user has protruding limbs or the like. The rotating sports apparatus comprises a contour frame (2) forming a regular icosahedron, ball members (3) rotatably supported individually at the outer side positions of the individual vertices of the icosahedron of the contour frame (2), and a pedestal (5) having a hemispherical face (4) inscribing the balls (3) of the contour frame (2). The rotating sports apparatus keeps predetermined spaces between the individual faces of the contour frame (2) and the hemispherical face (4). Thus, the rotating sports apparatus can keep the safety, even in case the limbs or the like of the user (P) protrude more or less during a practice from the individual faces of the contour frame (2).



Inventors:
Okamoto, Etsuji (Saitama, JP)
Application Number:
12/311979
Publication Date:
11/19/2009
Filing Date:
10/12/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B26/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MATHEW, FENN C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WENDEROTH, LIND & PONACK, L.L.P. (1025 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 500, Washington, DC, 20036, US)
Claims:
1. A rotary exercise apparatus comprising: a contour frame defining a regular polyhedron; balls each rotatably supported at a position outside of each of vertices of said contour frame defining a regular polyhedron; and a pedestal having a semispherical surface inscribing said balls of said contour frame therein, and rotatably supporting said contour frame therein.

2. The rotary exercise apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein said polyhedron is a regular icosahedron or a regular dodecahedron.

3. The rotary exercise apparatus as set forth in claim 2, further comprising: a feet fixture for fixating feet of a user at a position inside of a frame of said contour frame defining a regular icosahedron or a regular dodecahedron; and a hands fixture for fixating hands of said user at a position inside of a frame disposed in facing relation to said frame at which said feet fixture is arranged.

4. The rotary exercise apparatus as set forth in claim 3, further comprising: a protection ring for restricting an area in which a body of said user moves, said protection ring being arranged within a plane perpendicular to a plane including said frame at which said feet fixture is arranged and said frame at which said hands fixture is arranged; a belt wound around a body of said user within said protection ring; and a rope for connecting said protection ring to said belt.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a rotary exercise apparatus which a user enters and with which a user rotates for carrying out muscle training and enhancing the sense of equilibrium.

BACKGROUND ART

As a rotary exercise apparatus which a user enters and with which a user rotates for carrying out muscle training and enhancing the sense of equilibrium, those suggested in the patent references 1 to 4 are known, for instance. Each of the rotary exercise apparatuses suggested in the patent references 1 to 3 is comprised of a gimbal comprised of three rings and supported on the ground. A user entering the rotary exercise apparatuses can rotate in any direction merely by moving his/her weight.

The rotary exercise apparatus suggested in the patent reference 4 includes grips disposed at an upper area in a spherical frame comprised of vertical and horizontal frames, and feet fixture disposed at a lower area both in a spherical frame comprised of vertical and horizontal frames. A plurality of hard balls is rotatably mounted over an outer surface of the frame defining a sphere. The spherical frame is rotatably mounted on a pedestal having a semispherical recessed surface corresponding to a semispherical outer surface of the spherical frame.

Patent reference 1: U.S. Pat. No. 4,799,667
Patent reference 2: Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 62-64377
Patent reference 3: Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 57-203947
Patent reference 4: Japanese Utility Model Application Publication No. 52-11455

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

Problems to be Solved by the Invention

In the rotary exercise apparatuses suggested in the patent references 1 to 3, a user puts his/her body within an innermost ring for rotation exercise. In rotation exercise, the three rings rotate relative to one another in the vicinity of one another. Accordingly, if a user's limbs mistakenly protruded out of an innermost ring, the limbs would be dangerously in the orbit path of other rings. In the rotary exercise apparatus suggested in the patent reference 4, since the spherical frame and the semispherical recessed surface are quite close to each other with almost no space between them, it would be dangerous if a user's limbs mistakenly protruded out of the spherical frame.

In view of the above-mentioned problems, it is an object of the present invention to provide a rotary exercise apparatus which is capable of keeping a user safe, even if the user's limbs mistakenly protruded out of a frame.

Solution to the Problems

The rotary exercise apparatus in accordance with the present invention includes a contour frame defining a regular polyhedron, balls each rotatably supported at a position outside of each of the vertices of the contour frame defining a regular polyhedron, and a pedestal having a semispherical surface inscribing the balls of the contour frame therein, and rotatably supporting the contour frame therein. In the rotary exercise apparatus in accordance with the present invention, when the contour frame defining a regular polyhedron is rotating within the semispherical surface of the pedestal, a certain space is formed between each of planes of the contour frame and the semispherical surface. Thus, even if a user's limbs protrude while exercising, out of planes of the contour frame, it would be possible to keep a user safe.

Preferably the polyhedron is a regular icosahedron or a regular dodecahedron. A regular polyhedron includes a regular tetrahedron, a regular hexahedron, a regular octahedron, a regular dodecahedron and a regular icosahedron. Since a regular tetrahedron, hexahedron and octahedron has 4, 8 and 6 vertices, respectively, a number of vertices making contact with the semispherical surface is too small to allow the contour frame to rotate in the semispherical surface, resulting in difficulty in smooth rotation. In contrast, since a regular dodecahedron and icosahedron has 20 and 12 vertices, respectively, it is possible to sufficiently disperse loads acting on the balls disposed at the vertices, ensuring smooth rotation in the semispherical surface.

Preferably the rotary exercise apparatus in accordance with the present invention includes a feet fixture for fixating feet of a user at a position inside of a frame of the contour frame defining a regular icosahedron or a regular dodecahedron, and a hands fixture for fixating hands of the user at a position inside of a frame disposed in facing relation to the frame at which the feet fixture is arranged. In a frame defining a regular icosahedron or dodecahedron, since a pair of frames facing each other is parallel to each other, it is possible to readily mount a feet fixture and a hands fixture at the pair of frames, ensuring that a user entering the contour frame can fix his/her hands and feet, by stretching his/her hands and feet.

Preferably the rotary exercise apparatus in accordance with the present invention includes a protection ring for restricting an area in which a body of the user moves, the protection ring being arranged within a plane perpendicular to a plane including the frame at which the feet fixture is arranged and the frame at which the hands fixture is arranged, a belt wound around a body of the user within the protection ring, and a rope for connecting the protection ring to the belt. The belt wound around a body of a user within the protection ring is connected to the protection ring through the rope. This ensures that since hands, feet and body of a user are caused to stay in the protection ring in a plane including a frame at which the feet fixture is arranged and a frame at which the hands fixture is arranged, even if a user fainted or lost consciousness while exercising, it would be possible to prevent the user from protruding out of the contour frame.

Advantages Provided by the Invention

(1) Since the rotary exercise apparatus may include a contour frame defining a regular polyhedron, balls each rotatably supported at a position outside each vertices of the contour frame defining a regular polyhedron, and a pedestal having a semispherical surface inscribing the balls of the contour frame therein, and rotatably supporting the contour frame therein, a certain space is formed between each of the planes of the contour frame and the semispherical surface. Thus, even if the limbs of a user protruded outside the planes of the contour frame while exercising, it would be possible to keep a user safe.

(2) By designing the polyhedron to be a regular icosahedron or a regular dodecahedron, it is possible to sufficiently disperse loads acting on the balls disposed at the vertices, ensuring smooth rotation in the semispherical surface.

(3) Since the rotary exercise apparatus may include a feet fixture for fixating the feet of a user at a position inside of a frame of the contour frame defining a regular icosahedron or a regular dodecahedron, and a hands fixture for fixating the hands of the user at a position inside of a frame disposed in facing relation to the frame at which the feet fixture is arranged, it is possible to readily mount a feet fixture and a hands fixture at the frames, ensuring that a user entering the contour frame can fix his/her hands and feet, by stretching his/her hands and feet.

(4) Since the rotary exercise apparatus may include a protection ring for restricting an area in which a body of the user moves, the protection ring being arranged within a plane perpendicular to a plane including the frame at which the feet fixture is arranged and the frame at which the hands fixture is arranged, a belt wound around the body of the user within the protection ring, and a rope for connecting the protection ring to the belt, it is ensured that since hands, feet and body of a user are caused to stay in the protection ring in a plane including a frame at which the feet fixture is arranged and a frame at which the hands fixture is arranged, even if a user fainted or fell unconscious while exercising, it would be possible to prevent the user from protruding out of the contour frame.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the rotary exercise apparatus in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view in which the main body of the rotary exercise apparatus and a pedestal are separated from each other.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the main body of the rotary exercise apparatus, taken along a plane including a center and four vertices of the main body.

FIG. 4 is a plan view as viewed from an arrow “A” in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5A is a perspective view of a detail of a connector illustrated in FIG. 1.

FIG. 5B is a plan view of a detail of a connector in FIG. 1.

FIG. 5C is a cross-sectional view taken along the line B-B in FIG. 5B.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of an edge of the pedestal.

FIG. 7 is a side view showing a detail of the feet fixture.

FIG. 8A illustrates the rotary exercise apparatus in use.

FIG. 8B illustrates the rotary exercise apparatus into which a user enters or out of which a user exits.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a rotary exercise apparatus in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

INDICATION BY REFERENCE NUMERALS

1 Main body of the rotary exercise apparatus

2, 10 Contour frame

2a, 10a Pipe

3 Ball

3a, 10b Connector

3b Arm

3c Screw

4 Semispherical surface

4a Buffer

5 Pedestal

6 Feet fixture

6a Foot plate

6b Toe case

6c, 6d Band

7 Hands fixture

7a Grip

7b String

7c Wrist band

8 Protection ring

8a Support pipe

9 Belt

9a Rope

11 Fixture

12 Arm

13 Rubber

BEST EMBODIMENT FOR REDUCING THE INVENTION TO PRACTICE

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the rotary exercise apparatus in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating a main body of the rotary exercise apparatus and a pedestal separated from each other, FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of a main body of the rotary exercise apparatus, taken along a plane including a center and four vertices of the main body, FIG. 4 is a plan view as viewed from an arrow “A” in FIG. 3, FIG. 5A is a perspective view of a detail of a connector illustrated in FIG. 1, FIG. 5B is a plan view of the connector, FIG. 5C is a cross-sectional view taken along the line B-B in FIG. 5B, FIG. 6 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of an edge of the pedestal, and FIG. 7 is a side view showing a detail of the feet fixture.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 3, the rotary exercise apparatus in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention comprises a contour frame 2 in the form of a regular icosahedron as a polyhedron defining a main body 1 of the rotary exercise apparatus, balls 3 each rotatably supported at a position outside of each of 12 vertices of the contour frame 2 defining a regular polyhedron, and a pedestal 5 having a semispherical surface 4 inscribing the balls 3 of the contour frame 2 therein, and rotatably supporting the contour frame 2 therein.

The contour frame 2 is comprised of 30 pipes 2a as frames for connecting each of 12 vertices of the icosahedron to five vertices therearound, and connectors 3a each rotatably supporting the ball 3 thereon. The contour frame 2 has twenty equilateral-triangular outer planes. As illustrated in FIGS. 5A and 5B, the connector 3a includes five arms 3b into which the pipes 2a are inserted, in which case, the pipes 2a are fixed to the arms 3b by means of a fastener such as a screw 3c. The connectors 3a and the pipes 2a can be separated from each other while the rotary exercise apparatus in accordance with the present embodiment is not in use or is being carried.

As illustrated in FIG. 5C, only the balls 3 rotatably supported by the connectors 3a make contact with the semispherical surface 4 to thereby allow the contour frame 2 to rotate on the semispherical surface 4. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the semispherical surface 4 has an edge which is smoothly curved outwardly to ensure that the contour frame 2 in rotation can smoothly enter the semispherical surface 4 when the connectors 3a enter the semispherical surface 4 from upward. As illustrated in FIG. 6, a buffer 4a may be formed on the edge of the semispherical surface 4.

As illustrated in FIG. 3, the contour frame 2 is designed to include feet fixtures 6 therein at a position inside of a certain pipe 2a for fixing feet of a user P entering the contour frame 2. As illustrated in FIG. 7, each of the feet fixtures 6 is comprised of, for instance, a foot plate 6a fixed on the pipe 2a, a toe case 6b to cover a toe of the user therein, and bands 6c and 6d fixing feet there to thereby positioning and fixing the feet so as to keep them from moving.

The contour frame 2 further includes hands fixtures 7 for fixating hands of the user P at a position inside of a pipe 2a disposed in facing relation to the pipe 2a on which the feet fixtures 6 are mounted. Each of the hands fixtures 7 is comprised of, for instance, a grip 7a, and a wrist band 7c connected to the grip 7a through a string 7b. The user P puts the wrist bands 7c around his/her wrists, and grasps the grips 7a during exercise. This ensures that even if the user P releases his/her hands off the grips 7a, the strings 7b and the wrist bands 7c prevent the user's hands from protruding out of the contour frame 2.

The contour frame 2 includes therein a protection ring 8 disposed in a plane including both the pipe 2a at which the feet fixtures 6 are mounted and the pipe 2a at which the hands fixtures 7 are mounted, and a belt 9 to be wound around the body of the user P inside of the protection ring 8. The protection ring 8 restricts an area in which a body of the user P moves, and has an inner diameter greater than a body size of the user P. The protection ring 8 is supported in the contour frame 2 by means of support pipes 8a. The belt 9 is comprised of, for instance, a hook-and-loop fastener for fitting to and fixing a body of the user P. The protection ring 8 and the belt 9 are connected through connection ropes 9a such that the belt 9 can move only within the protection ring 8.

In use of the rotary exercise apparatus having the above-mentioned structure, the user P enters the main body 1 of the rotary exercise apparatus through an opening of the contour frame 2, and then, fixes his/her feet to the feet fixtures 6 and puts the wrist bands 7c around his/her wrists, and then, grasps the grips 7a. Thereafter, moving his/her center of gravity by twisting or shaking his/her body, the main body 1 of the rotary exercise apparatus rotate on the semispherical surface 4 of the pedestal 5. Thus, the user P can carry out muscle training and enhance the sense of equilibrium.

Since the rotary exercise apparatus in accordance with the present embodiment is comprised of the contour frame 2 defining a regular icosahedron, the balls 3 each rotatably supported at a position outside of each of vertices of the contour frame 2 defining a regular icosahedron, and the pedestal 5 having the semispherical surface 4 inscribing the balls 3 of the contour frame 2 therein, there are formed spaces between peripheral planes of the contour frames 2 and the semispherical surface 4. Accordingly, even if the limbs of the user P protruded out of the peripheral planes of the contour frame 2 to some degree while exercising, it would be possible to keep the user P safe.

Furthermore, it is possible to separate the connectors 3a and the pipes 2a from each other while the rotary exercise apparatus in accordance with the present embodiment is not in use or is being carried, the rotary exercise apparatus is more suitable in storage and carriage than the conventional rotary exercise apparatuses.

The contour frame 2 in the rotary exercise apparatus in accordance with the present embodiment is in the form of a regular icosahedron, and has twelve (12) vertices supported by. the balls 3. Accordingly, if the semispherical surface 4 of the pedestal 5 defines an intrinsic semispherical surface, that is, one of halves obtained by dividing a ball into two pieces with a plane passing a center of the ball, a half of the vertices, that is, the six vertices always make contact with the semispherical surface 4, ensuring to the possibility of sufficiently dispersing loads acting on the balls 3 supported at the vertices. The semispherical surface 4 illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 defines a smaller one among halves of a ball obtained when the ball is divided into two pieces with a plane passing out of a center of the ball, even in which case, the three vertices make contact with the semispherical surface 4, ensuring that the main body 1 of the rotary exercise apparatus is able to smoothly rotate within the semispherical surface 4.

Furthermore, the rotary exercise apparatus in accordance with the present embodiment may be designed to include fixture 11 as illustrated in FIGS. 8A and 8B in order to prevent the main body 1 of the rotary exercise apparatus from rotating when the user enters or leaves the contour frame. FIG. 8A illustrates how the fixture 11 operates when the rotary exercise apparatus is in use, and FIG. 8B illustrates how the fixture 11 operates when the user enters or leaves the rotary exercise apparatus. As illustrated in FIGS. 8A and 8B, the fixture 11 is comprised of, for instance, arms 12 supported at the foot plate 6a such that the arms 12 can raise and lower, and rubbers 13 mounted at distal ends of the arms 12 for preventing slip. When the user enters or leaves the rotary exercise apparatus, as illustrated in FIG. 8B, the arms 12 are lowered to compress the rubbers 13 onto the semispherical surface 4 of the pedestal 5, resulting in that the contour frame 2 is kept not moved. When the rotary exercise apparatus is in use, as illustrated in FIG. 8A, the arms 12 are raised to thereby release the rubbers 13 from the semispherical surface 4, resulting in that the contour frame 2 can rotate.

In place of the contour frame 2, there may be employed a contour frame 10 defining a regular dodecahedron which is one of polyhedrons, as illustrated in FIG. 9. The contour frame 10 is comprised of thirty pipes 10a each connecting each of twenty vertices of the regular dodecahedron to three vertices therearound, and connectors 10b similar in structure to the connectors 3a. The contour frame 10 has twelve peripheral planes which are in the form of a regular pentagon. The contour frame 10 includes balls 3 each rotatably supported at a position outside of each of the twenty vertices of the regular polyhedron, similarly to the contour frame 2. Though not illustrated, the contour frame 10 includes the feet fixtures 6 and the hands fixtures 7, similarly to the contour frame 2.

Since the contour frame 10 defining a regular dodecahedron has twenty vertices which are greater in number than the twelve vertices of the contour frame 2 defining a regular icosahedron, it is possible to cause three balls 3 to always make contact with the semispherical surface 4, even if the semispherical surface 4 is formed smaller, ensuring that it is possible to form the pedestal 5 smaller in size. Thus, it is possible to lessen an area in which the field of view of the user is shut out by the pedestal while the user P entering the contour frame is rotating with his/her head directing downwardly, ensuring that a sense of oppression caused by the field of view of the user being shut out can be lessened.

The contour frame 2 defining a regular icosahedron has high intensity, because the peripheral planes define a regular triangle which is dynamically most stable. Furthermore, since the contour frame 2 defining a regular icosahedron has a small number of vertices, specifically, twelve vertices, it is possible to arrange a small number of the balls 3. Since the rotatably supported balls 3 increase fabrication costs and cause the rotary exercise apparatus to be heavy in weight, it is possible to reduce fabrication costs of the rotary exercise apparatus by reducing a number of the balls 3.

Furthermore, since the rotary exercise apparatus in accordance with the present embodiment may be designed to include the feet fixtures 6 for fixating the feet of the user at a position inside of the pipe 2a or 10a of the contour frame 2 defining a regular icosahedron or a regular dodecahedron, and the hands fixtures 7 for fixating the hands of the user at a position inside of the pipe 2a or 10a disposed in facing relation to the pipe 2a or 10a at which the feet fixtures are arranged.

In the rotary exercise apparatus in accordance with the present embodiment, if the contour frames 2 and 10 had a common outer diameter (a diameter measured from a center to the balls 3), it would be possible to use a common pedestal 5, ensuring that the user P can select any one of them by his/her preference.

Furthermore, since the rotary exercise apparatus in accordance with the present embodiment may be designed to include the protection ring 8 for restricting an area in which a body of the user P moves, the protection ring being arranged within a plane perpendicular to a plane including both the pipe 2a at which the feet fixtures 6 are arranged and the pipe 2a at which the hands fixtures 7 are arranged, the belt 9 wound around a body of the user P within the protection ring 8, and the rope 9a for connecting the protection ring 8 and the belt 9 to each other, it is ensured that since hands, feet and body of the user P are caused to stay in the protection ring 8 in a plane including the pipe 2a at which the feet fixtures 6 are arranged and the pipe 2a at which the hands fixtures 7 are arranged, even if the user P fainted or fell unconscious during exercise, preventing the user from protruding out of the contour frame 2.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

The rotary exercise apparatus in accordance with the present invention is useful as an exercise apparatus which a user enters and with which a user rotates for carrying out muscle training and enhancing the sense of equilibrium.