Title:
Cushion disposed on weightlifting bar
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cushion disposed on a weightlifting bar whereby a weightlifter's body is protected from direct contact with the weightlifting bar during periodic impact and whereby the weightlifter is protected from hyperextension, and provided with bounce, a convenient assistance to spotting, and unencumbered use of the weightlifting bar. In a preferred embodiment, a cushion assembly is disposed on a bench press bar whereby the bench press bar extends through a hollow axis of a cylindrical cushion and the cushion assembly comprises the cylindrical cushion made of foam rubber with a radial slit and a removable cover for protecting the cylindrical cushion. The removable cover may be either rectangular material fastened with hook and loop strips or pliable material sewn into a cylindrical shape.



Inventors:
Akins, Travis A. (Walnut, CA, US)
Application Number:
09/735850
Publication Date:
06/13/2002
Filing Date:
12/13/2000
Assignee:
AKINS TRAVIS A.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/109
International Classes:
A63B21/072; A63B21/078; (IPC1-7): A63B21/06; A63B15/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DONNELLY, JEROME W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Sharon L. Taylor, Esq. (Garden Grove, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A resilient cushion disposed on a weightlifting bar whereby a weightlifter's body is protected from direct contact with the weightlifting bar and the weightlifter is protected from hyperextension and provided with bounce, unencumbered use of the weightlifting bar, and a convenient assistance to spotting.

2. The cushion of claim 1 wherein the cushion is cylindrical and the weightlifting bar extends through a hollow axis of the cylindrical cushion.

3. The cushion of claim 1 wherein the cushion is made of foam rubber.

4. The cushion of claim 1 wherein the cushion is permanently attached to the weightlifting bar.

5. The cushion of claim 1 wherein the cushion is removable.

6. The cushion of claim 2 wherein the cushion is manufactured with a radial slit.

7. The cushion of claim 1 wherein the weightlifting bar is a bench press bar and the cushion protects a weightlifter's chest.

8. The cushion of claim 1 wherein the weightlifting bar is a curl bar and the cushion protects a weightlifter's chest.

9. The cushion of claim 1 wherein the weightlifting bar is a lat pull-down bar and the cushion protects a weightlifter's head, chest, shoulders, neck or upper back.

10. The cushion of claim 1 wherein the weightlifting bar is a bar for doing military lifts and the cushion protects a weightlifter's head, chest, shoulders, neck or upper back.

11. The cushion of claim 1 wherein the weightlifting bar is a bar for doing squats and the cushion protects a weightlifter's head, shoulders, neck or upper back.

12. A cover for a cushion disposed on a weightlifting bar.

13. The cover of claim 12 wherein the cover is removable.

14. The cover of claim 13 wherein the cover is manufactured of material cut into a rectangular shape with a perimeter comprising two length ends and two width ends, wherein the material is wrapped around the cushion, and joined at the length ends with hook and loop strips.

15. The cover of claim 12 wherein the cover is permanently secured to the cushion.

16. The cover of claim 15 wherein the cover is manufactured of pliable material cut into a rectangular shape with a perimeter comprising two length ends and two width ends, curled until the length ends meet, joined together where the length ends meet by a seam and made to fit firmly with elastic around edges formed by the width ends, said cover can be made to cover the cushion by removing weights at an end of the bar and sliding the cover from the end of the bar with weights removed towards a central portion of the weightlifting bar and then disposing the cover neatly about the cushion.

17. The cover of claim 12 wherein the cover protects the cushion.

18. The cover of claim 12 wherein the cover secures the cushion about the weightlifting bar.

19. A cushion assembly disposed on a bench press bar whereby a weightlifter's body is protected from direct contact with the weightlifting bar and the weightlifter is protected from hyperextension and provided with bounce, unencumbered use of the weightlifting bar, and a convenient assistance to spotting, and wherein the bench press bar extends through a hollow axis of the cylindrical cushion, comprising: a. a removable resilient cylindrical cushion made of foam rubber with a radial slit; b. a removable cover for securing the cylindrical cushion.

20. The cushion assembly of claim 19 wherein the removable cover is manufactured of material cut into a rectangular shape, wrapped around the cylindrical cushion, and joined at the ends with hook and loop strips.

21. The cushion assembly of claim 19 wherein the removable cover is manufactured of pliable material cut into a rectangular shape with a perimeter comprising two length ends and two width ends, curled until the length ends meet, joined together where the length ends meet by a seam and made to fit firmly with elastic around edges formed by the width ends, said cover can be made to cover the cushion by removing weights at an end of the bench press bar and sliding the cover from the end of the bench press bar with weights removed towards a central portion of the bench press bar and then disposing the cover neatly about the cushion.

22. A method of weightlifting comprising the steps of: a. providing a weightlifting bar with a cushion disposed thereon, the cushion being positioned such that the cushion comes into contact with a user of the bar, whereby protecting the user; b. using the weightlifting bar.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention relates to weightlifting equipment and, more specifically, to equipment for protecting a weightlifter while using a weightlifting bar and for enhancing the weightlifter's use of the bar.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] In the past, people using a weightlifting bar have been inconvenienced and even injured by contact with the weightlifting bar. For example, a weightlifter performing bench presses would repeatedly “drop” the bar onto his chest to get the “bounce” needed to lift the weight. After repeated sets over time, the weightlifter would become bruised in the middle of the chest accompanied by considerable pain.

[0005] It has been known to wrap a towel around the bar as a protective measure. However, the towel had the disadvantage of acting as an awkward hindrance and did not provide any “bounce.”

[0006] It has also been known to use cushions on a leg-lift machine to protect a weightlifter's knees and feet from constant contact with the leg-lift machine while the weightlifter uses the machine. However, the cushions on the leg-lift machine did not provide “bounce” nor did they provide protection for the periodic impact of contact of a weightlifter's body with the machine.

[0007] There is a need for a protective device that provides a good “bounce” and is not a hindrance. There is also a need to provide a simple method of preventing hyperextension and to assist with spotting. There is also a need for a protective device to protect a weightlifter from the impact of periodic contact with a weightlifting bar. There is also a need to allow such a protective device to be either conveniently removable or permanently attached to a weightlifting bar.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] A cushion disposed on a weightlifting bar whereby a weightlifter's body is protected from direct contact with the weightlifting bar in an unencumbered manner and whereby the weightlifter is protected from hyperextension has been discovered. The protection from direct contact occurs during the impact of periodic contact of the weightlifting bar with a weightlifter's body. This invention provides a good “bounce.” It also can be used to prevent hyperextension and to assist with spotting. It may be removable or permanently attached.

[0009] In a preferred embodiment, a cushion assembly disposed on a bench press bar comprises a removable cylindrical cushion made of foam rubber with a radial slit and a removable cover for protecting the cylindrical cushion. In other embodiments, the cushion may be permanently attached with or without a radial slit. In additional embodiments, the cover may secure the cushion about the weightlifting bar instead of or in addition to protecting the cushion. In various embodiments, the cover may be permanently secured or it may be removable, depending on whether convenience of removal or prevention of removal is desired. Various types of removable covers may be used. These may include covers such as the following: a cover manufactured of material cut into a rectangular shape, wrapped around the cushion and joined at the ends with hook and loop strips; a cover manufactured of pliable material joined by a seam at the ends and made to fit firmly with elastic around the edges, said cover can be made to cover the cushion by removing the weights at one end of the bar and sliding the cover from the end of the bar with weights removed towards the central portion of the weightlifting bar and then stretching the cover neatly over the cushion; various other covers can be used.

[0010] The cushion may also be made with various openings to accommodate protrusions from a weightlifting bar. For example, a lat pull-down bar with a chain protruding from the central portion of the lat pull-down bar could have a cushion disposed thereon with an opening to accommodate the chain.

[0011] In addition, multiple cushions may be used on one bar. This could be useful for example on a lat pull-down bar where in addition to having a cushion on the central portion of the lat pull-down bar, two additional cushions could be placed on either side of a centrally-placed cushion to protect a weightlifter's shoulders.

[0012] In further embodiments, the cushion may be disposed on a curl bar, a lat pull-down bar, a bar for doing military lifts, or a bar for doing squats. In addition, this invention may also be used to provide a convenient assistance to spotting and protection from hyperextension.

[0013] In additional embodiments the cushion may be disposed in various manners on a bar. The cushion may also be of various shapes.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the cushion according to an embodiment of the invention.

[0015] FIG. 2 is a side view of the cushion shown in FIG. 1.

[0016] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the cushion disposed on a chest press bar, according to an embodiment of the invention, which in turn is resting upon an exercise bench assembly.

[0017] FIG. 4a is a view of a removable cover manufactured of material cut into a rectangular shape, fastened with hook and loop strips at the length ends according to an embodiment of the invention.

[0018] FIG. 4b is a view of the removable cover shown in FIG. 4a before fastening the hook and loop strips.

[0019] FIG. 5 is a view of a cylindrical cover joined by a seam at the length ends and made to fit firmly with elastic around the edges formed by the width ends according to an embodiment of the invention.

[0020] FIG. 6 is a view of a weightlifter using a bar with a cushion disposed thereon.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0021] Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, a cylindrical cushion 10 according to a preferred embodiment of the invention is shown. In an embodiment of the invention, a removable version of the cushion 10 has a hollow axis 20 to accommodate a weightlifting bar and a radial slit 30 to facilitate ease of placing the cushion 10 upon a weightlifting bar and removing the cushion 10 from the weightlifting bar. In an embodiment of the invention, the hollow axis 20 is defined by an inner cylindrical surface 40 and is arranged such that the cushion 10 fits snugly on the weightlifting bar. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, a diameter 25 of the hollow axis 20 is approximately 1.25 inches. In a later preferred embodiment, the cylindrical cushion 10 is manufactured of a resilient material such as foam rubber to provide “bounce,” to provide protection to the weightlifter's body, to assist in spotting, to allow use of the weightlifting bar in an unencumbered manner and to help prevent hyperextension of the weightlifter's arms. The cylindrical cushion 10 has a thickness 35 to facilitate the above listed objectives, measuring outward from the inner cylindrical surface 40 defining the hollow axis 20 to the outer surface 50 of the cushion 10. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the thickness 35 is approximately 1.5 inches, resulting in the cushion 10 having an overall diameter 45 of approximately 4.25 inches. In a more preferred embodiment, the thickness 35 is typically 0.5 inches to 2 inches and preferably approximately 1.5 inches. Referring again to FIG. 1, the length 15 of the cylindrical cushion 10 in a preferred embodiment is approximately 7.75 inches.

[0022] In other embodiments, a cylindrical cushion 10 may be of different dimensions. In further embodiments, the cushion 10 may be permanently attached to the bar with or without a radial slit. Other embodiments may comprise cushions of various shapes. In additional embodiments, a cushion 10 may be disposed on a weightlifting bar by various means.

[0023] In a preferred embodiment, the cushion is made of foam rubber. In other embodiments, the cushion may be made of other resilient material that is compressible and returns to its original shape, thus providing the weightlifter with “bounce.” Some weightlifters may desire to take advantage of the “bounce” feature on a regular basis as it gives them a pleasing quality to their weightlifting experience, which they may consider efficient. Other weightlifters may prefer not to use the “bounce” feature on a regular basis because they prefer a workout in which there is little or no impact upon periodic contact of the weightlifting bar with the weightlifter's body. However, for weightlifters who prefer not to use the “bounce” feature on a regular basis, the resiliency of the cushion would provide “bounce” while providing protection upon such a weightlifter accidentally contacting his body with the weightlifting bar with sufficient impact. Whether the weightlifter uses the “bounce” feature on a regular basis or not, the weightlifter will be protected from the impact of periodic contact of the weightlifting bar with the weightlifter's body.

[0024] FIG. 3 shows the cushion 10 disposed on a chest press bar 60, according to a preferred embodiment, which in turn is resting upon an exercise bench assembly 70. In other embodiments, the cushion 10 is disposed on other weightlifting bars such as a curl bar, a lat pull-down bar, a bar for doing military lifts, or a bar for doing squats. When disposed on a bench press bar 60, the cushion 10 protects a weightlifter's chest. When disposed on a curl bar, the cushion 10 also protects a weightlifter's chest. When disposed on a lat pull-down bar, the cushion 10 protects a weightlifter's head, chest, shoulders, neck and upper back. When disposed on a bar for doing military lifts, the cushion 10 protects a weightlifter's head, chest, shoulders, neck and upper back. When disposed on a bar for doing squats, the cushion 10 protects a weightlifter's head, shoulders, neck and upper back.

[0025] The cushion 10 may also be made with an opening or openings so as to accommodate various protrusions on equipment on which the cushion 10 is disposed. For example, an opening or may be made in the cushion 10 so that a hook on a lat pull-down bar can extend through the opening.

[0026] In addition to the embodiments described above, multiple cushions may be used on one bar. This could be useful for example on a lat pull-down bar where in addition to having a cushion on the central portion of the lat pull-down bar, two additional cushions could be placed on either side of a centrally-placed cushion to protect a weightlifter's shoulders.

[0027] Now referring to FIGS. 4a and 4b in a preferred embodiment, a removable cover 80 is manufactured of material 83 cut into a rectangular shape with a perimeter comprising two length ends 85 and two width ends 87, curled until the length ends 85 meet, joined together where the length ends 85 meet and fastened with complementary hook and loop strips 90 at the length ends 85 according to an embodiment of the invention. The removable cover 80 is found to fit around the cylindrical cushion 10 and to be secured with complementary hook and loop strips 90 at the length ends 85 of the rectangular material 83 as shown in FIG. 4a. The complementary hook and loop strips 90 are flexible strips provided with one surface having a plurality of minute loops of synthetic resin to engage a second surface having a plurality of minute hooks of synthetic resin. Some of such flexible strips are made by the American Velcro Company and sold under the trademark “VELCRO.” In further embodiments, the length ends 85 may be fastened by various means such as hooks, eyelets, ties, lacing, snaps, buttons, tongue-in-groove closures, zippers, buckles, clamps, various types of permanent or removable tapes or adhesives, and any other suitable fastening mechanisms.

[0028] FIG. 4b is a view of the removable cover 80 shown open before fastening the complementary hook and loop strips 90. The removable cover 80 may also be made with an opening or openings so as to accommodate various protrusions on equipment on which the cushion is disposed. For example, an opening may be made in the removable cover 80 so that a hook on a lat pull-down bar can extend through the opening.

[0029] The removable cover 80 may be used to protect or to secure the cushion 10. The removable cover 80 may also be used both to protect and to secure the cushion 10.

[0030] FIG. 5 is a view of a cylindrical cover 100 joined by a seam 110 at the length ends 135 and made to fit firmly with elastic 120 around the edges 130 formed by the width ends 137. The cylindrical cover 100 may also be made with an opening or openings so as to accommodate various protrusions on equipment on which the cushion 10 is disposed. For example, an opening may be made in the cylindrical cover 100 so that a hook on a lat pull-down bar can extend through the opening.

[0031] The cylindrical cover 100 may be used to protect or to secure the cushion 10. The cylindrical cover 100 may also be used both to protect and to secure the cushion 10.

[0032] The cylindrical cover 100 is manufactured of pliable material cut into a rectangular shape with a perimeter comprising two length ends 135 and two width ends 137, curled until the length ends 135 meet, joined together where the length ends 135 meet by a seam 110, and made to fit firmly with elastic 120 around edges 130 formed by the width ends 137. The cylindrical cover 100 can be made to cover the cushion 10 by removing weights at an end of the bar and sliding the cylindrical cover 100 from the end of the bar with weights removed towards a central portion of the weightlifting bar and then disposing the cylindrical cover 100 neatly about the cushion 10.

[0033] FIG. 6 is a view of a weightlifter 140 using a bench press bar 60 with the cushion 10 disposed thereon. In other embodiments, the weightlifter may use various other weightlifting bars with the cushion 10 disposed thereon, such as a curl bar, a tat pull-down bar, a bar for doing military lifts, a bar for doing squats, and any other type of weightlifting bar.

[0034] Although presently preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described in detail hereinabove, it should be clearly understood that many variations and/or modifications of the basic inventive concepts herein taught, which may appear to those skilled in the pertinent art, will still fall within the spirit and scope of the present invention.