Title:
Abdominal and back exercise device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
As mentioned earlier, this version of the invention is the presentation of an abdominal and back exerciser that permits a user to vary the intensity of an exercise session by the placement of various free weights onto the device. The device overcomes all of the shortcomings listed previously and brings with it some novel aspects. What we see is a low-cost, easy-to-manufacture, easy-to-market, easy-to-use, inexpensive, lightweight and portable abdominal and back exercising device which boasts versatility and some unique operating advantages.



Inventors:
Sanchez, Bernardo Benny (Houston, TX, US)
Application Number:
09/797463
Publication Date:
02/28/2002
Filing Date:
09/05/2001
Assignee:
SANCHEZ BERNARDO BENNY
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B21/06; A63B21/068; A63B23/02; (IPC1-7): A63B26/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MATHEW, FENN C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Bernardo B. Sanchez (Houston, TX, US)
Claims:
34. What I claim as my invention is an improved abdominal and back exercise device that is relatively simple and easy to manufacture, yet affords a variety of uses. While my description contains many specificities, these should not be construed as limitations on the scope of the version of the invention, but rather as an exemplification of the preferred embodiment thereof. The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention. Although this invention has been described in its preferred form with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure of the preferred form has been made only by way of example and numerous changes in the details of construction and combination and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0002] Not Applicable

REFERENCE TO A MICROFICHE APPENDIX

[0003] Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0004] This version of the invention is concerned with the field of exercise devices and apparatuses. More specifically, this version of the invention is concerned with an abdominal and exercise device that permits a user to vary the intensity of an exercise session by the placement of various free weights onto said device.

[0005] Exercising and toning of the abdominal muscles, specifically the rectus abdominous, inner oblique, and outer oblique muscle groups, along with certain back muscles are an integral part of any exercise and fitness program. Strong abdominal muscles are important in a variety of sports and athletic activities as they allow an athlete or player to achieve certain motions and physical feats while minimizing the chance of sustaining injury to the abdominal area while performing such activities. In some sports, such as football and boxing, strong abdominal muscles are especially important in preventing or minimizing injury to internal organs that may result from a series of sustained blows or impacts to the abdoman. In addition, a lean, firm abdomen and torso is a desired physical attribute to both men and women, serving as a manaifestation of physical conditioning and as a means to boost self image and esteem.

[0006] A variety of methods and devices are available to exercise the abdomen, torso, and back, ranging from the conventional sit up to various types of exercise machines. While such means function in some degree to provide an exercising feature, they are hampered by various disadvantages. For instance, with the conventional sit up, whereby a person is situated on their back upon a floor with their knees bent and hands clasped behind their head at the commencement of the exercise, risk hyperflexing the neck and back muscles as they raise their chest and abdomen from the starting position to their knees or legs. More recently, the conventional sit up has been modified to a “crunch” wherein the range of abdominal motion is more limited in order to prevent neck and back injury at the expense of achieving full abdominal exercise.

[0007] Numerous designs for abdominal exercise machines and devices have been provided in the prior art. Even though these designs may be suitable for the specific individual purposes to which they address, they would not be suitable for the purposes of the present version of the invention as such devices are cumbersome to use or limited in their ability to vary the intensity of the workout or exercise session. For instance, U.S. Pat. No. 5,094,449, Exercise Apparatus For Abdominal Exercises, issued to Stearns on Mar. 10, 1992 discloses a relatively elaborate device that is comprised of a multitude of parts and components, resembling in many aspects a professional exercise and workout device. While this device provides the user with the means to vary the intensity of the workout and to concentrate on specific muscle groups, it is a relatively elaborate apparatus that requires significant financial resources to acquire and a dedicated room, space, or area to house during use and non-use.

[0008] Portable exercise apparatuses are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,776,042, Abdominal Exercise Device, issued to Szabo on Jul. 7, 1988 and in U.S. Pat. No. 5,913,757, Crunch Abdomen Exercise Apparatus, issued to Winters on Jun. 22, 1999. The Szabo design consists of a lightweight tubular device that is used during the performance of an abdominal “crunch.” A pair of adjustable, resilient straps are connected to the distal portions of two pivoting sections in order to provide additional resistance to the exerciser during the performance of an abdominal “crunch.” While the straps can be adjusted to increase the resistance or force to be overcome, such increased resistance may unwittingly retard the movement of the pivoting sections and compromise the effectiveness of the exercise. In addition, the device does not provide the means to vary the resistance over a range of motion as found in the more elaborate devices, which employ various cams and eccentrically mounted disks to achieve such a variation of resistance. In Winters, a belt-like construction is revealed and is comprised of a rectangular portion with strap fasteners attached to a first end thereof for releasable attachment to the waist of a user and a pair of elongate strap fasteners attached to a second thereof for grasping by the hands of said user. The rectangular portion is fitted over the back of the user and functions to facilitate the performance of an abdominal “crunch.” As disclosed, the device does not provide the means to vary the intensity of the exercise or workout session.

[0009] As illustrated by the background art, efforts are continuously being made in an attempt to develop devices for exercising the abdomen and back. No prior effort, however, provides the benefits attendant with the present invention in that an abdominal and back exercise is provided, which is lightweight, portable and relatively inexpensive, yet provides the means to fully exercise the abdomen by varying the resistance or force encountered during the performance of an abdominal “crunch” and by varying a specific level of resistance over a specific range of motion. As such, it may be appreciated that there is a continuing need for a new and improved abdominal and back device. In these respects, the present version of the invention substantially departs from the conventional concepts and designs of the prior art, and in so doing provides an apparatus that substantially fulfills this need. Additionally, the prior patents and commercial techniques do not suggest the present inventive combination of component elements arranged and configured as disclosed herein.

[0010] The present invention achieves its intended purposes, objects, and advantages through a new, useful and unobvious combination of method steps and component elements, with the use of a minimum number of functioning pasrts, at a reasonable cost to manufacture, and by employing only readily available materials.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0011] The present version of the invention, which will be described in greater detail hereinafter, relates to the field of exercise devices and apparatuses. More specifically, this version of the invention is concerned with an abdominal and back exercise device that permits a user to vary the intensity of an exercise session by the placement of various free weights onto said device. My version of the invention overcomes all of the shortcomings listed previously, in addition to novel aspects that will be described in detail hereinafter.

[0012] Described briefly, according to a typical embodiment, the invention presents an abdominal and back exercise device that is comprised of a one piece tubular member, rectangular cushion, and pair of cylindrical members attached vertically to the tubular member. The tubular member is fabricated of lightweight, durable material such as aluminum, carbon steel, and the like and overlaid or covered with a layer of rubber or similarly constructed impact absorbing material. The tubular member is comprised of two complimentary curved portions that are maintained in parallel arrangement and secured thereto by connection to a common straight portion. The rectangular cushion is fastened to the curved portions along straight portions thereof proximate to the ground or floor surface. The cylindrical members are attached to the curved portions adjacent to the inside curved sections thereof and in perpendicular relation to the floor or ground surface when the device is in its stationary position.

[0013] Before use, one or more free weights (disc-sshaped with a central aperture) are placed onto each cylindrical member in order to provide sufficient resistance during the performance of an abdominal and back exercise. Once the weights are situated thereon, the device rotates forward for some distance from the starting or stationary position. A user assumes a lying position with their back making contact with the cushion. If the free weights supported by the cylindrical members are of sufficient mass, the device will raise the user's back above the floor or support surface. The user counteracts the forward motion caused by the free weights placed placed onto the cylindrical members by tightening their abdomminal and back muscles and urging their back against cushion until the device rolls or rotates backward to its stationary position. The user then releases their abdominal and back muscles until the device rotates forward at which point the abdominal and back muscles are tightened. The process is repeated until a sufficient exercise workout is achieved.

[0014] My invention, therefore, resides not in any one of these features per se, but rather in the particular combination of all of them herein disclosed. It is distinguished from the prior art in this particular combination of all of its structures for the functions specified.

[0015] In order that the detailed description of the invention may be better understood and that the present contribution to the art can be more fully appreciated, additional features of the invention will be described hereinafter. It should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the conception and the disclosed specific methods and structures may be readily utilized as a basis for modifying or designing other structures for carrying out the same purposes of the present invention. It should be realized by those skilled in the art that that such equivalent methods and structures do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention.

[0016] In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

[0017] As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception, upon which this disclossure is based, may readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention.

[0018] Further, the purpose of the foregoing abstract is to enable the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the public generally, and especially the scientists, engineers and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent or legal terms or phraseology, to determine quickly from a cursory inspection the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. The abstract is neither intended to define the invention of the allpication nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.

[0019] Accordingly, it is an object of my version of the invention to provide a low-cost, easy-to-manufacture, and easy-to-market abdominal aand back exercise device.

[0020] A further object of my version of the invention is to provide an easy-to-use and versatile abdominal and back exercise device.

[0021] A significant object of the invention is to provide an abdominal and back exercise device that is relatively inexpensive, lightweight, and portable.

[0022] A final but very significant object of the invention is to provide an abdominal and back exercise device that is equipped with means to vary the force or resistance encountered during the performance of an exercise routine without interfering with or encumbering the execution of said routine from said force or resiistance.

[0023] For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and the specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be made to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there is illustrated a preferred embodiment of the invention. The foregoing has outlined some of the more pertinent objects of the invention. These objects should be construed to be merely illustrative of some of the more prominent features and applications of the present invention. Many other beneficial results can be attained by applying the disclosed invention in a different manner or by modifying the invention within the scope of the disclosure. Accordingly, other objects and a fuller understanding of the invention may be had by referring to the summary of the invention and the detailed description of the preferred embodiment in addition to the scope of the invention illustrated by the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

[0024] The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become more fully understood from the following description of the preferred embodiment of the invention as illustrated in the accomanying drawings in which like reference characters refer to the same parts throughout different views. The drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating the principles of the invention.

[0025] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an abdominal and back exercise device in accordance with the present version of the invention.

[0026] FIG. 2 is a front elevation view of an abdominal and back exercise device in accordance with the present version of the invention.

[0027] FIG. 3 is a top plan view of an abdominal and back exercise device according to line 1-1 of FIG. 2.

[0028] FIG. 4 ia a side elevation view of an abdominal and back exercise device according to line 2-2 of FIG. 2.

[0029] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an abdominal and back exercise device prepared for use with an assortment of free weights supported by cylindrical members attached to the device.

DRAWING REFERENCE NUMERALS

[0030] 10 Abdominal and Back Exercise Device

[0031] 12 Tubular Member

[0032] 14 Cushion

[0033] 16a,b Cylindrical Members

[0034] 18 Straight Sections of Tubular Member

[0035] 20 Curved Sections of Tubular Member

[0036] 22 Straight Sections of Tubular Member

[0037] 24 Curved Sections of Tubular Member

[0038] 26 Straight Sections of Tubular Member

[0039] 28 Edge of Cushion

[0040] 30 Edge of Cushion

[0041] 32 Upper End of Cylindrical Members

[0042] 34 Lower End of Cylindrical Members

[0043] 36 Aperture

[0044] 38 Free Weights

[0045] 40 Aperture

[0046] 42 Fastener

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0047] Referring now to the drawings and, in particular, to FIG. 1 to FIG. 4 wherein there are illustrated a typical embodiment of the abdominal and back exercise device 10. The present version of the invention 10 consists of unitary tubular member 12, rectangular cushion 14, and pair of cylindrical members 16a, b. The tubular to acquire and manufacture, such as high impact plastic or fiberglass, aluminum, carbon steel, and various composite materials. The tubular member 12 is formed as a one-piece section of the preferred material through the machining, rolling, or extruding processes that can achieve the desired configuration or as individual pieces or sections that are joined into said configuration by well known methods such as welding, bonding, chemical adhesion, and the like. The tubular member 12 is further constructed with an outer layer of soft, resilient, shock absorbing substance, such as rubber, foam, etc.

[0048] The tubular member 12 is comprised of two portions of identical configuration that are joined by or to a common section. As such, each portion of the member 12 is comprised of a first straight section 18 making contact with a floor or ground surface, first curved section 20 attached at a first end to one end of the first straight section 22. A second end of the second straight section 22 is connected to a first end of a second curved section 24, which is joined at a second end to one end of a common, straight section 26. As the first and second straight sections 18, 22 and first curved section 20 are joined by the second curved section 24 to the common, straight section 26 in perpendicular relation, they are maintained in parallel relation to their respective counterpart.

[0049] The cushion 14 is comprised of two longer edges 28 that are maintained in parallel relation and two shorter edges 30 at which said cushion 14 is joined to the straight sections 18 of the device 10. The cushion 14 is constructed of a rigid, internal rectangular member (not shown) that bears the weight of the load imposed upon it. A shock absorbing substance, such as sponge rubber or foam, is positioned onto the top surface of the internal member and secured in place by a tight fitting cover of suitable material, such as rubber coated or inpregnated cloth; soft, moisture absorbing cloth; or the like.

[0050] The cylindrical members 16a, b are formed with a first upper end 32, a second lower end 34, and an aperture 36 formed within the body of each member 16a, b proximate to the upper end 32 thereof. Each member 16a, b is attached to the tubular member 12 in parallel relation to each other 16a, b proximate to the junction of the respective first curved section 20 and second straight sectionss 22. Additionally, the attachment of the cylindrical members 16a, b to the tubular member 12 maintains the members 16a, b in perpendiicular relation to the floor or support surface when the device 10 is disposed in its initial, stationary position before the placement of weights thereon.

[0051] Referring to FIG. 5, therein illustrated is the abdominal and back exercise device 10 fitted with a series of free weights 38 or other similar type “weights that are disc-like in shsape and appearance with a central aperture 40 formed therein. The weights 38 are situated onto the cylindrical members 16a, b by means of the central apertures 40. Pin like fasteners 42 are removably inserted into the apertures 36 of the cylindrical members 16a, b in order to prevent the weights 38 from sliding off or being ejected from the cylindrical members 16a. b during use of the device 10. Once the weights 38 are situated thereon as illustrated, the device 10 will begin to rock, rotate, or roll forward as indicated by the arrows with forward motion generally indicated in the direction of the first curved sections 20. The device 10 will thus rotate or roll in a forward motion upon said first curved sections 20. The user will situate the upper portion of their body within the area enclosed by the tubular member 12 so that the upper shoulder area of their back rests upon the cushion 14. A sufficient amount of weights 38 attached onto the device 10 will overcome the weight of the user resting against the cushion 14 and raise the user up and away from the floor or ground surface upon the first curved sections 20. The user thus engages in abdominal and back exercise by tightening the appropriate abdominal and back muscles in order to urge their back against the cushion 14 with force sufficient to overcome the mass of the weights 38 and return the device 10 to an initial, stationary position. Once the user has relaxed the muscles, the device 10 exerts the forward motion imposted upon it by the weights 38 and one repletion or “rep” has been achieved. If necessary, the user can grasp any portion of the second curved sections 24 or common straight section 26 for assistance in achieving the desired form or position during exercise with the device 10. Additionally, the outer surface of the first 10 so that the resistance produced by the weights 38 can vary or remain constant, if necessary, during the range of motion covered by the device 10 similar to that of the function of cam-shaped, rotating discs or wheels employed in elaborate exercise machines.

[0052] While this version of the invention has been illustrated and described in detail in the drawings and foregoing description, the same is to be considered as illustrative and not restrictive in character, it being understood that only the preferred embodiment has been shown and described and that all changes and modifications that come within the spirit of the version of the invention are desired to be protected. With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.

(Conclusion and Scope of Invention)





 
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