Title:
Pivoting backrest for exercise apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An exercising machine includes a seat having a seat back that is normally oriented in a substantially vertical orientation and a seat bottom on which the user of the machine can sit while performing a variety of different exercises. The seat and the exercising machine are designed so that the said user can sit on the seat bottom in a position facing forwardly away from the seat back or facing rearwardly toward the seat back. The seat back is movable between its substantially vertical orientation and a substantially horizontal orientation by pivoting either the top or the lower end thereof forwardly and a locking mechanism is provided for maintaining the seat back in its selected position. When the seat back is in the horizontal position, the user can sit on the seat bottom facing rearwardly and perform various exercises such as pulling exercises using the top edge or the lower end of the seat back as a horizontal restraint. The top edge and/or the lower end of the seat back is padded for the comfort of the user. The seat bottom may also be movable to accommodate the user.



Inventors:
Deola, James A. (Vineland, NJ, US)
Application Number:
09/892707
Publication Date:
01/02/2003
Filing Date:
06/27/2001
Assignee:
DEOLA JAMES A.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B21/00; A63B23/02; A63B23/12; (IPC1-7): A63B26/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, TAM M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Norman E. Lehrer (Cherry Hill, NJ, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. In an exercising machine including a seat having a seat back that is normally oriented in a substantially vertical orientation and a seat bottom on which the user of said machine can sit while performing a variety of different exercises and wherein said user can sit on said seat bottom in a position facing forwardly away from said seat back or facing rearwardly toward said seat back wherein the improvement comprises said seat back being movable between said substantially vertical orientation and a substantially horizontal orientation and wherein said user can sit on said seat bottom facing rearwardly and perform various exercises when said seat back is in said substantially horizontal orientation.

2. The improvement as claimed in claim 1 wherein said seat back is movable into said horizontal orientation by moving the top of said seat back forwardly.

3. The improvement as claimed in claim 2 wherein said top of said seat back is padded for the comfort of the user.

4. The improvement as claimed in claim 1 wherein said seat back is movable into said horizontal orientation by moving the lower end of said seat back forwardly.

5. The improvement as claimed in claim 4 wherein said lower end of said seat back is padded for the comfort of the user.

6. The improvement as claimed in claim 1 wherein said seat back is mounted for pivotal movement between its substantially vertical and substantially horizontal orientations.

7. The improvement as claimed in claim 1 wherein said seat bottom is movable forwardly and rearwardly.

8. The improvement as claimed in claim 1 further including means for locking said seat back into one of said two orientations.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention is directed toward exercise equipment and more particularly toward the type of exercise equipment which includes multi-stations or positions allowing the user to perform various types of exercises. The invention is specifically designed to allow a user to perform various pulling exercises such as lat pulldowns.

[0002] Typically, exercise apparatus useful with the present invention is of a type known as weight machines which include a support frame on which a weight stack is mounted for vertical movement and which is linked to various exercise stations by way of a linkage system such as cables and pulley mechanisms. This allows the user to lift the weights using different muscle groups depending on the exercise station used.

[0003] One exercise that is desired and frequently incorporated into weight machines is designed to exercise the latissimus dorsi muscle group and is commonly referred to as a lat pulldown or exercise lat pulls. This is normally performed while the user is in a sitting position. He or she reaches a bar that is suspended overhead and pulls the same straight down in a vertical plane. The bar can be pulled down either in front of the user or behind the head of the user. In either case, movement of the bar downwardly is resisted by the weights in the weight stack in the manner which is well known in the art.

[0004] Weight machines that allow for lat pulldowns must, therefore, be of a relatively large size since they must include a frame for supporting the lat pulldown bar mounted overhead. Such machines, therefore, cannot normally be made as compact as may be desired.

[0005] In an attempt to simplify weight machines capable of doing lat pulldowns and making them more compact, it has been suggested to perform lat pulldown exercises while the user is in a horizontal prone position lying either on his or her back or front. While there may be some merit to this approach, it requires that the weight machine be somewhat longer to accommodate the length of the person lying down and also requires some type of locking or holding mechanism for the user's feet to prevent the user's body from being drawn toward the bar or weights being pulled. This solution, therefore, may create more problems than it solves.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The present invention is designed to overcome the deficiencies of the prior art described above. The exercising machine according to the invention includes a seat having a seat back that is normally oriented in a substantially vertical orientation and a seat bottom on which the user of the machine can sit while performing a variety of different exercises. The seat and the exercising machine are designed so that the said user can sit on the seat bottom in a position facing forwardly away from the seat back or facing rearwardly toward the seat back. The seat back is movable between its substantially vertical orientation and a substantially horizontal orientation by pivoting either the top or the lower end thereof forwardly and a locking mechanism is provided for maintaining the seat back in its selected position. When the seat back is in the horizontal position, the user can sit on the seat bottom facing rearwardly and perform various exercises such as pulling exercises using the top edge or the lower end of the seat back as a horizontal restraint. The top edge and/or the lower end of the seat back is padded for the comfort of the user. The seat bottom may also be movable to accommodate the user.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there are shown in the accompanying drawings forms which are presently preferred; it being understood that the invention is not intended to be limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.

[0008] FIG. 1 is a side elevational view shown somewhat diagramatically of the pivoting backrest of the present invention in combination with a weight machine;

[0009] FIG. 2 is an enlarged view of a portion of FIG. 1 showing the details of the pivoting backrest;

[0010] FIG. 3 illustrates the use of the present invention when the backrest is pivoted into a substantially horizontal position;

[0011] FIG. 4 illustrates a further use of the present invention;

[0012] FIG. 5 illustrates a still further use of the invention;

[0013] FIG. 6 illustrates a use of the invention with the user sitting with his back to the pivoting backrest of the invention;

[0014] FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 1 illustrating a second embodiment of the invention with the backrest in its substantially vertical orientation, and

[0015] FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 7 showing the pivoting backrest pivoted into its substantially horizontal position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0016] Referring now to the drawings in detail wherein like numerals have been used throughout the various figures to designate like elements, there is shown in FIG. 1 a pivoting backrest constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention and designated generally as 10. The backrest 10 is shown in combination with a weight machine 12. This is, however, by way of example only as various other types of weight machines could also be employed with the present invention. Furthermore, the pivoting seat back of the present invention could be used with a much simpler exercising apparatus as will be explained more fully hereinafter.

[0017] In any event, the exercising machine 12 includes a seat including a seat bottom 14 mounted on a frame 16. The seat bottom 14 is preferably mounted so as to be slidably moveable forwardly i.e. to the right as shown in FIG. 1 or rearwardly i.e. to the left as shown in FIG. 1 in order to accommodate the user of the apparatus in performing various different exercises.

[0018] The exercise machine 12 also includes a weight stack 18 which is linked to various parts of the equipment through a plurality of cables and pulley mechanisms such as shown at 20 to enable the user to exercise various different muscle groups.

[0019] At the very least, the apparatus useful with the present invention must include resistive means that can be gripped by a person's hands and which are moveable in a substantially horizontal direction. In the exercise equipment 12 illustrated in the figures, this includes a lever 22 having its lower end pivoted to a base member and including a pair of arms 24 that extend forwardly at either side of the apparatus and terminate in hand grips 26.

[0020] The foregoing apparatus thus described is, per se, well known in the art. Similar machines have been known for some time and are shown and described, for example, in prior U.S. Pat. Nos. Des. 359,326 and 6,030,322. Since the apparatus is, per se, well known, it is not believed that a detailed description of the operation of the component parts thereof is necessary.

[0021] The present invention is primarily concerned with the backrest or seat back 28 and more particularly with its ability to be moved between its substantially vertical orientation as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 and a substantially horizontal orientation as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. It must be understood, however, that when utilizing the term substantially vertical orientation with reference to the seat back 28, Applicant does not intend the same to require that the seat back be perfectly vertical or 90° to the horizontal. Rather, this term is intended to refer to the orientation of the seat back wherein a person sitting on the seat bottom 14 and resting against the forward facing surface 30 of the seat back 28 will be sitting essentially upright or leaning back slightly. Similarly, the term substantially horizontal orientation is not intended to refer to an orientation wherein the seat back 28 is parallel to the floor. Rather, this term is intended to refer to any position such as that shown in FIG. 3 wherein the padded top 32 of the seat back (or the padded bottom in the second embodiment to be described hereinbelow) has been moved into a substantially horizontal enough position to engage the user's stomach as shown in FIG. 3 to provide horizontal restraint for the user's body while performing various pulling exercises.

[0022] In order to achieve the advantages of the present invention, the backrest or seat back 28 is secured to a substantially triangularly shaped bracket 34 which has its lower forward end pivoted at pivot point 36 to the upper end of a substantially vertically extending frame member 38 which forms part of the exercise machine.

[0023] The upper end of the frame member 38 also includes an opening 40 spaced at a slight distance from the pivot point 36. The bracket 34 supporting the seat back 28 includes a plurality of apertures such as shown at 42 in an arcuate arrangement whereby any one of the apertures 42 can be placed into alignment with the opening 40 when the seat 28 is pivoted clockwise as viewed in FIG. 1 or 2. When the seat back 28 is in its desired position such as the substantially horizontal position as shown in FIG. 3, a pin can be inserted through the selected aperture 42 which passes into the opening 40 to maintain the seat back in its pivoted position.

[0024] FIG. 3 illustrates the seat back 28 having been pivoted into its substantially horizontal orientation. This was done, as pointed out above, by moving the top 32 of the seat back forwardly thereby rotating the seat back 28 about the pivot point 36. By sitting on the exercise machine and facing rearwardly, the user can then perform lat pulldown exercises by grasping the lever 22 and pulling forwardly. The top 32 of the seat back 28 provides horizontal restraint for the user's body and, as pointed out above, is padded to provide comfort to the user. Other exercises that can be performed with the seat back 28 in a pivoted position are illustrated diagramatically in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6.

[0025] FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate a second embodiment of the improved pivotal seat back of the present invention. This embodiment is similar to the embodiment described above but, instead of the seat back 28 pivoting in a clockwise direction whereby the top 32 pivots forwardly, in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, the seat back 128 pivots in a counterclockwise position wherein the bottom or lower end 132 of the seat back 128 moves forwardly.

[0026] In order to accomplish the foregoing, a substantially triangularly shaped bracket 134 is secured to the back of the seat back 128. The triangularly shaped bracket 134, however, is designed so to have its triangular peak adjacent the center portion (from top to bottom as viewed in FIG. 7) of the seat back 28. The bracket 134 is pivoted to the top of the vertically extending frame 38 through the use of a pivot member 136. In this way, the seat back 128 can be pivoted between its substantially vertical orientation as shown in FIG. 7 and by moving the lower end 132 forwardly, into its substantially horizontal orientation as shown in FIG. 8. The seat back can be locked in position using any means known in the art such as a locking handle threaded to the pivot joint. Since the lower end 132 of the seat back 128 will now engage the user's body, the lower end 132 is preferably padded for the comfort of the user.

[0027] In both of the embodiments of the invention described above, the seat back 28 or 128 is mounted for pivotal movement with respect to the frame of the apparatus. This is, by way of example only. It is not beyond the scope of the present invention to provide means other than pivoting for orienting the seat back. It is possible, for example, to provide the seat back and frame member with a plurality of pins and slots or the like wherein the seat back is totally removed, reoriented and reapplied to the frame member.

[0028] While the improved seat 10 or 110 of the present invention has been shown in combination with a relatively complex exercise machine, much simpler machines could be used. For example, the moveable seat back of the present invention could be combined with a relatively simply chair which is placed next to a wall where elastic cords with handles are secured. The user would then sit on the seat bottom 14 facing the wall with the seat back in its substantially horizontal orientation and would pull on the cords in order to perform lat pulldowns.

[0029] The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential attributes thereof and accordingly, reference should be made to the appended claims rather than to the foregoing specification as indicating the scope of the invention.