Title:
Pad for use on an exercise machine
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides a pad for use on a conventional exercise machine. The pad of the present invention comprises an elongated foam core having a bar receiving opening formed longitudinally therethrough and formed in the shape of two oppositely directed, truncated cones positioned in point to point relation to one another, and leather, or other durable material, covering the foam. Alternatively, the pad may be shaped in the form of two wedges positioned in point to point relation to one another (e.g., two truncated cones bisected along their longitudinal axes and positioned in point to point relation to one another).



Inventors:
Lafountain, Thomas (New Hartford, NY, US)
Application Number:
09/803566
Publication Date:
09/12/2002
Filing Date:
03/12/2001
Assignee:
LAFOUNTAIN THOMAS
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/94
International Classes:
A63B21/06; A63B23/12; (IPC1-7): A63B21/06; A63B26/00
View Patent Images:
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20050227838Core-barOctober, 2005Friesen
20090023561RESISTANCE SYSTEM FOR FITNESS EQUIPMENTJanuary, 2009Ross et al.
20030092546POWERFUL WAIST TWISTERMay, 2003Yu
20060189441RECREATIONAL STRUCTURE USING A COUPLING MEMBERAugust, 2006Vanelverdinghe et al.
20030040407Incremental weight training system, apparatus, and methodsFebruary, 2003Rothacker
20080081745Multiple-piece exercise apparatusApril, 2008Sargen et al.
20020119871Apparatus for mechanical emulation of dumbbellsAugust, 2002Fulks



Primary Examiner:
BAKER, LORI LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HANCOCK & ESTABROOK, LLP (Syracuse, NY, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A pad adapted for use on an exercise machine, comprising: a. a core having first and second sides, a transverse axis extending therethrough, and first and second portions that taper uniformly outwardly from said transverse axis towards said first and second sides, respectively; and b. a durable material positioned in covering relation to said core.

2. The pad according to claim 1, wherein said core includes a longitudinal axis and an opening extending through said pad along said longitudinal axis.

3. The pad according to claim 1, wherein said core is composed of a foam material.

4. The pad according to claim 1, further comprising first and second washers mounted to said first and second sides, respectively.

5. The pad according to claim 1, wherein said core is shaped in the form of first and second truncated cones positioned in point to point relation to one another with said transverse axis extending through the interface of said first and second truncated cones.

6. The pad according to claim 1, wherein said core is formed in the shape of first and second truncated cones that have been longitudinally bisected, and with said transverse axis extending through the interface of said first and second truncated cones.

7. A method of exercising using a machine equipped with a pad comprising a core having first and second sides, a transverse axis extending therethrough, and first and second portions that taper uniformly outwardly from said transverse axis towards said first and second sides, respectively, said method comprising the steps of: a. employing a first force against said pad along a vector that is co-extensive with said transverse axis; and b. employing a second force against said first portion of said pad along a vector that extends at a predetermined, oblique angle to said transverse axis.

8. The method according to claim 7, further comprising, employing a third force against said second portion of said pad at a predetermined, oblique angle to said transverse axis.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of Invention

[0002] The present invention relates generally to mechanical exercise equipment, and more particularly to multi-functional exercise equipment that isolates muscle groups.

[0003] 2. Description of Prior Art

[0004] Exercise machines used for muscle strengthening and rehabilitation commonly focus on specific muscle groups, such as a biceps machine, leg extension machine, abdominal machine, and the like. While free weight training is quite effective at building muscle, many users of exercise equipment prefer the balanced and smooth motion offered by mechanical machines that commonly include a stack of weights (or some equivalent form of resistance, such as a spring) that may be lifted via a pad covered bar tethered to the weight stack by a cable that runs through a pulley mechanism. The amount of weight to be lifted can be selectively controlled by inserting a pin under the stack of weights that equal the amount desired to be lifted. In addition, by the user adjusting the angle or positioning of his or her body relative to the padded bar, different parts of the particular muscle group can be isolated on the machine.

[0005] Although mechanical exercise machines offer a user flexibility and a targeted muscular workout, they do limit the user to work on a muscle group in one particular direction of motion. Moreover, because the bars on these types of machines are covered with a user engaged pad that is typically cylindrical in shape (or shaped to contour the particular body part that it is designed to engage, such as a calf or forearm), the user is limited to movement in only one direction. This, consequently, limits the extent of work that can be achieved for a particular muscle group.

[0006] 3. Objects and Advantages

[0007] It is therefore a principal object and advantage of the present invention to provide a pad for use on conventional exercise machines that permits a user to alter the angle of resistance without changing the normal muscle/joint range of motion.

[0008] It is another object and advantage of the present invention to provide a pad for use on a conventional exercise machine that permits a user to work on a combination of muscle groups on a single machine without having to make adjustments to the machine.

[0009] It is a further object and advantage of the present invention to provide a pad for use on exercise machines that decreases ligament stress for increased joint stability.

[0010] It is yet another object and advantage of the present invention to provide a pad for use on conventional exercise machines that stimulates joint proprioception for more effective rehabilitation.

[0011] Other objects and advantages of the present invention will in part be obvious, and in part appear hereinafter.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0012] In accordance with the foregoing objects and advantages, the present invention provides a pad for use on a conventional exercise machine. The pad of the present invention comprises an elongated foam core having a bar receiving opening formed longitudinally therethrough and formed in the shape of two oppositely directed, truncated cones positioned in point to point relation to one another, and leather, or other durable material, covering the foam. Alternatively, the pad may be shaped in the form of two wedges positioned in point to point relation to one another ( e.g., two truncated cones bisected along their longitudinal axes and positioned in point to point relation to one another).

[0013] The pad is adapted to be positioned on any conventional exercise machine, such as those designed to target the hamstrings, quadriceps, buttocks, lumbar and thoracic regions, abdominals, pectoral major, deltoid, biceps, triceps, and cervical muscle-skeletal groups, among others, the traditional arm that anchors to a cable attached to the weights through a pulley system is inserted through the opening of the pad, thereby enabling the pad able to be retro-fit on pre-existing machines. The user may then use the machine in the normal manner except that the vector at which the force is directed can be selectively changed by the user engaging the pad at a particular angle. For instance, by positioning a body part at about the middle of the pad and directing the force along a straight line (e.g., a straight vector), relative to the direction of motion of the machine, the user will isolate the same general muscle groups that would be isolated if using the machine with a conventional pad in place. However, by directing the force at an angle by engaging the pad towards one side or the other (i.e., at an angled vector relative to the direction of movement of the bar), the corresponding outer portions of the muscle group will be isolated, as opposed to the general muscle group isolated by using the straight vector. Accordingly, various groups of muscles may be isolated through use of the pad.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] The present invention will be more fully understood and appreciated by reading the following Detailed Description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0015] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the present invention mounted on a conventional leg extension exercise machine;

[0016] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the present invention;

[0017] FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the present invention;

[0018] FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the present invention;

[0019] FIG. 5 is an elevational view illustrating the present invention's use in connection with the anterior thigh muscles (quadriceps);

[0020] FIG. 6 is an elevational view illustrating the present invention's use in connection with the posterior thigh muscles (hamstrings);

[0021] FIGS. 7 and 8 are elevational and plan views, respectively, illustrating the present invention's use in connection with the hip abductors isolating the gluteal muscles;

[0022] FIGS. 9 and 10 are elevational and plan views, respectively, illustrating the present invention's use in connection with hip adductors isolating the medial thigh muscles;

[0023] FIG. 11 is an elevational view illustrating the present invention's use in connection with hip flexors;

[0024] FIGS. 12 and 13 are elevational and plan views, respectively, illustrating the present invention's use in connection with hip extensors isolating the muscles of the posterior thigh and gluteal regions;

[0025] FIGS. 14 and 15 are elevational and plan views, respectively, illustrating the present invention's use in connection with chest flyes isolating the muscles of the pectoralis major region;

[0026] FIGS. 16 and 17 are elevational and plan views, respectively, illustrating the present invention's use in connection with shoulder raises isolating the muscles of the shoulder and rotator cuff regions;

[0027] FIGS. 18 and 19 are elevational and plan views, respectively, illustrating the present invention's use in connection with lateral pull-down isolating the muscles of the latissmus dorsi region;

[0028] FIGS. 20 and 21 are elevational and plan views, respectively, illustrating the present invention's use in connection with a mid to upper back machine isolating the trapezius muscles;

[0029] FIGS. 22 and 23 are elevational and plan views, respectively, illustrating the present invention's use in connection with lower back machines isolating the muscles of the lumbar and thoracic regions;

[0030] FIGS. 24 and 25 are elevational and plan views, respectively, illustrating the present invention's use in connection with abdominal machines isolating the abdominus muscles;

[0031] FIGS. 26 and 27 are elevational and plan views, respectively, illustrating the present invention's use in connection with biceps curl machines isolating the biceps muscles;

[0032] FIGS. 28 and 29 are elevational and plan views, respectively, illustrating the present invention's use in connection with triceps machines isolating the tricep s muscles; and

[0033] FIG. 30 is an elevational view of an alternate embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0034] Referring now to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout, there is seen in FIG. 1 a pad, designated generally by reference numeral 10, mounted to a conventional exercise machine, designated generally by reference numeral 12. Exercise machine 12 comprises a frame 14 on which a plurality of individual weights 16 are stacked. A cable 18 is attached at one end to weights 16 and is run through a pulley system 20 before terminating at a bar 22. A pair of pads 10 are mounted on rods 24 attached to bar 22 and are adapted to be engaged by a body part of the user of machine 12 (in the case of machine 12, the body part would be the feet of the user). The user may sit or lay on a bench 26 operably positioned on frame 14 and which may be adjusted via a telescoping rod 28 and pin 30 to alter the precise muscle being focused on by the exercise. Exercise machine 12 is illustrated as being a conventional leg extension machine used to target the anterior thigh (quadriceps) muscles, it should be understood that pad 10 may be incorporated into any conventional exercise machine, as will be explained in greater detail hereinafter.

[0035] Pad 10 comprises a conventional foam core and leather, vinyl or other durable material in covering relation to the foam core. The foam core of pad 10 is symmetrically shaped about its transverse axis A-A (see FIG. 4) in the form of opposing truncated cone portions 32 and 34 positioned in point to point relation to one another, and includes an opening 36 formed entirely therethrough along its longitudinal axis B-B (see FIG. 4). Opening 36 may be reinforced with a metal or plastic washer 38 attached to the side of pad 10 in circumferentially surrounding relation to opening 36. Cone portions 32 and 34 each taper uniformly outwardly from axis A-A (i.e., at a predetermined angle) towards the side edges of pad 10, thereby creating an exercise pad that provides its user with the option of altering the angle at which force/resistance is applied to the machine.

[0036] Pad 10 is mounted to exercise machine 12 by inserting rod 24 fully through opening 36. In this manner, pad 10 may be retrofit onto existing exercise machines or installed as original equipment on an exercise machine.

[0037] Referring to FIG. 30, an alternate embodiment of a pad 100 is illustrated. Pad 100 is of the same material composition as pad 10, but is shaped in the form of two opposing truncated cone portions 102 and 104 positioned in point to point relation to one another that have been bisected along their longitudinal axes. Opposing cone (or semi-cone) portions 102 and 104 taper uniformly outwardly from a transverse axis C-C towards the respective side edges of pad 100. A channel 106 is formed along the entire length of the rigid rear surface 108 of pad 100 which provides the opening 110 through which a rod, such as rod 24, may be inserted in order to mount pad 100 to an exercise machine. Pad 100 may be used on an exercise machine, such as a neck machine, that may not facilitate attachment of the larger pad 10, but will offer the same exercise benefits as pad 10.

[0038] The use and benefits of pad 10 will be explained hereinafter with specific examples being made to particular muscle groups that may be targeted using pad 10. It should be understood that the following descriptions are for example purposes only and are not meant to limit the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims. For purposes of consistency and understanding, reference numerals 200, 300, and 400 will be used exclusively hereinafter to designate vector forces directed along transverse axis A-A, a predetermined, oblique angle to one side of axis A-A, and a predetermined, oblique angle to the other side of axis A-A, respectively. Vectors 200, 300, and 400 represent the force/resistance applied by a user to pad 10 (or 100) in order to isolate a particular muscle group.

[0039] FIG. 5 illustrates use of pad 10 on a leg extension machine which isolates the anterior thigh, or quadriceps, muscles. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 200, the general quadriceps (rectus femoris dominant) muscles 202 will be isolated. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 300, the vastus lateralis dominant muscles 302 will be isolated, and if the user directs the force/resistance along vector 400, the vastus medialis dominant muscle will be isolated.

[0040] FIG. 6 illustrates use of pad 10 on a leg curl machine that isolates the posterior thigh muscles, or hamstrings. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 200, the general hamstring 204 will be isolated. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 300, the lateral hamstring 304 will be isolated, and if the user directs the force/resistance along vector 400, the medial hamstring 404 will be isolated.

[0041] FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate use of pad 10 on a hip abductor machine. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 200, the general hip and gluteal muscle group will be isolated. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 400, the hip abductors with gluteas medius, gluteas minimus, and tensor fascia lata are isolated. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 300, the hip abductors with dominant piriformis, obturator internus, superior-inferior gemellus is isolated.

[0042] FIGS. 9 and 10 illustrate use of pad 10 on a hip adductor machine that isolates the medial thigh muscles. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 200, the general abductors are isolated. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 400, the gracilus dominant muscles are isolated. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 300, the pectineus, abductor longus, adductor brevis dominant muscle groups are isolated.

[0043] FIG. 11 illustrates use of pad 10 on a hip flexor machine that isolates the anterior thigh and pelvic muscle groups. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 200, the general hip flexors will be isolated. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 300, the adductor muscle dominant will be isolated, and if the user directs the force/resistance along vector 400, the sartorius, iliopsoas dominant group will be isolated.

[0044] FIGS. 12 and 13 illustrate use of pad 10 on a hip extensors machine that isolates the muscles of the posterior thigh and gluteal regions. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 200, the general hip extensors will be isolated. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 300 the biceps femoris dominant, and lateral rotation component to gluteas maximus will be isolated, and if the user directs the force/resistance along vector 400, the semintendinosus, semimembranosus dominant groups are isolated.

[0045] FIGS. 14 and 15 illustrate use of pad 10 on a chest fly machine which isolates the pectoral muscles. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 200, the general pectoralis major (sternocostal part) is isolated. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 300, the abdominal part—dominant—of the pectorals is isolated, and if the user directs the force/resistance along vector 400, the clavicular part—dominant—of the pectorals is isolated.

[0046] FIGS. 16 and 17 illustrate use of pad 10 on a shoulder (lateral raise) machine which isolates the muscles of the shoulder and rotator cuff. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 200, the general abduction muscles (deltoid, supraspinatus) are isolated. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 300, the anterior deltoid, subscapularis, and teres major dominant muscle groups are isolated, and if the user directs the force/resistance along vector 400 the posterior deltoid, infraspinatus, and teres minor dominant muscle groups are isolated.

[0047] FIGS. 18 and 19 illustrate use of pad 10 on a pull-down machine that isolates the latisimus dorsi muscles. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 200, the general latisimus dorsi muscle group is isolated. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 300, the adduction—internal rotation dominant part of that muscle group is isolated, and If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 400 the adduction—external rotation dominant part of that muscle group is isolated.

[0048] FIGS. 20 and 21 illustrate use of pad 10 on a mid to upper back machine that isolates the trapezius muscles. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 200, the general scapular retraction (mid-trapezius) posterior deltoid muscle group is isolated. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 300, the humeral external rotation, shoulder/scapular elevation dominant (upper trapezius, levatur, infraspinatus, teres minor) muscle groups are isolated, and If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 400, the humeral internal rotation, shoulder/scapular depression dominant (lower trapezius, teres major, subscapuline) muscle groups are isolated.

[0049] FIGS. 22 and 23 illustrate use of pad 10 on a lower back machine. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 200, the general lumbar/thoracic extensor muscles are isolated. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 300, the right lumbar/thoracic extensors are isolated, and if the user directs the force/resistance along vector 400, the left lumbar/thoracic extensors are isolated.

[0050] FIGS. 24 and 25 illustrate use of pad 10 on an abdominal machine. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 200, the rectus abdominis muscles are isolated. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 300, the left external/internal oblique dominant muscle groups are isolated, and if the user directs the force/resistance along vector 400, the right external/internal oblique dominant muscle groups are isolated.

[0051] FIGS. 26 and 27 illustrate use of pad 10 on an arm curl machine that isolate the biceps muscles. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 200, the general biceps/brachialis muscles are isolated. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 300, the short head of the biceps and coracobrachialis muscles are isolated, and if the user directs the force/resistance along vector 400, the long head of the biceps-dominant muscles are isolated.

[0052] FIGS. 28 and 29 illustrate use of pad 10 on a triceps machine (illustrated for use by the left arm). If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 200, the general triceps muscle is isolated. If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 300, the lateral head of the triceps dominant muscle is isolated, and If the user directs the force/resistance along vector 400, the long head/medial head of the triceps dominant muscles are isolated.

[0053] In use, a user may use pad 10(or 100) to synergistically work a variety of muscle groups on a single machine by performing repetitions at a combination of vectors 200, 300, or 400, or using a combination of the vectors in a single repetition. This will enhance rehabilitation of a muscle group and fosters low grade, yet safe ligament stress for improved joint stability.

[0054] Again, it should be noted that pads 10 and 100 of the present invention may be used on any existing type of exercise machine or future machines that use a pad as a user interface. In addition, pads 10 and 100 may be of any size. The scope and spirit of the present invention should not be limited by the details of the present description, but instead should extend to the extent defined in the appended claims.