Title:
Portable exercise device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable exercise device for exercising the abdominal muscles is disclosed. The device includes a wheel and a handle. The handle is formed from two handle parts that are releasably attachable to one another to form a bearing surface upon which the wheel is mounted. Various forms of attachment mechanisms are disclosed which lock the device into an exercise position and bear the load on the device when used for exercising. The portable exercise device provides a strong, lightweight, easy to use device that can be broken down into three component parts for storage and transportation and easily assembled to provide a device for exercising the abdominal muscles.



Inventors:
Donald Jr., Mabe E. (Huntington Beach, CA, US)
Cota, Frank (Whittier, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/214061
Publication Date:
02/13/2003
Filing Date:
08/07/2002
Assignee:
MABE DONALD E.
COTA FRANK
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/132
International Classes:
A63B22/20; A63B23/02; (IPC1-7): A63B21/00; A63B26/00; A63B71/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BAKER, LORI LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MENDELSOHN DUNLEAVY, P.C. (PHILADELPHIA, PA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A portable exercise device comprising: a wheel having a first side and a second side, a first handle part including a grip, a second handle part including a grip, wherein said second handle part is releasably attachable to said first handle part to form a handle, and said wheel is mountable on said handle for rotational movement independent of, and relative to, said handle.

2. A portable exercise device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the wheel comprises an outer portion that is slightly deformable.

3. A portable exercise device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the handle includes a bearing upon which said wheel is mountable for rotational movement independent of, and relative to, said handle.

4. A portable exercise device as claimed in claim 3, wherein the first and second handle parts are releasably attachable to each other by a detent.

5. A portable exercise device as claimed in claim 4, wherein the detent includes a biased locking mechanism for releasably locking the first handle part to the second handle part to prevent relative movement between the first handle part and the second handle part during use of the exercise device.

6. A portable exercise device as claimed in claim 5, wherein the detent is spring-loaded for the purpose of preventing release of the detent during use of the exercise device.

7. A portable exercise device as claimed in claim 6, wherein the detent is a ball detent.

8. A portable exercise device as claimed in claim 6, wherein the detent is a threaded ball detent.

9. A portable exercise device as claimed in claim 6, wherein the detent comprises a means for fine-tuning the ball detent.

10. A portable exercise device as claimed in claim 3, wherein said first and second handle parts are releasably attachable to one another by a threaded shaft affixed to one of said handle parts, and a corresponding threaded bore in said other handle part.

11. A portable exercise device as claimed in claim 2, wherein the outer portion of the wheel comprises a deformable polyurethane material.

12. A portable exercise device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the grips are formed from a material having friction and wear characteristics suitable for providing a good grip on the exercise device by the user.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION DATA

[0001] This application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) of U.S. provisional application No. 60/310,454, filed on Aug. 8, 2001.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates to a portable exercise device.

[0004] 2. Brief Description of the Prior Art

[0005] One of the more popular physical training devices that is commercially available today is a device for exercising the abdominal muscles. One such device is known as the so-called “Ab-Roller.” These devices are characterized by a centralized wheel or wheels, which are designed to roll on the floor or other flat surface and two handles of some kind affixed to the wheel or wheels. The user grasps one handle with each hand, and kneels on the ground bending forward so that the wheel or wheels are on the ground in front of them. Then, the user goes forward and backward rolling the wheel on the ground to exercise at least the abdominal muscles.

[0006] There is a need in the art for a portable version of this type of abdominal exercise device, which can be easily transported and stored. There is also a need for a portable abdominal exercise device that is lightweight and durable. There is a further need for a portable abdominal exercise device that can be easily disassembled for storage and reassembled for use.

[0007] Accordingly, it is an object of certain embodiments of the present invention to provide a portable exercise device, which can be easily transported and stored.

[0008] It is a further object of certain embodiments of the present invention to provide a portable exercise device that is lightweight and durable.

[0009] It is a still further object of certain embodiments of the present invention to provide a portable exercise device that can be easily disassembled for storage and reassembled for use.

[0010] These and other objects of the present invention will be apparent from the summary and detailed descriptions of the invention that follow.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0011] The present invention relates to a portable exercise device, which includes at least one wheel and at least two handles attached to either side of said at least one wheel. The device is characterized by the fact that it can be easily disassembled into two or more elements for transport and storage. For this purpose, the device includes a releasable attachment between the at least one wheel and the at least two handles attached either side of the at least one wheel. The device of the present invention is particularly advantageous in that it can be easily disassembled for storage and transport and can be easily reassembled for use to thereby encourage the owner to exercise when travelling away from home.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] FIG. 1 is a top view of a portable exercise device in accordance with the present invention.

[0013] FIG. 2 is a side view of the male handle part of a first embodiment of the exercise device of the present invention.

[0014] FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of a female handle part of the first embodiment of the exercise device of the present invention.

[0015] FIG. 4 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view of a release pin in accordance with the present invention.

[0016] FIG. 5 is a lateral cross-sectional view of the release pin of FIG. 4 taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 4.

[0017] FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of the first embodiment of the female handle part of the present invention.

[0018] FIG. 7 is a top view of a second embodiment of a portion of a female handle part in accordance with the present invention.

[0019] FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of a second embodiment of a male axle for use with the female handle part of FIG. 7.

[0020] FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of along the line 9-9 of FIG. 7.

[0021] FIG. 10 is a side view of a suitable ball detent for use with the female handle member 78 of FIG. 9.

[0022] FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional view of the ball detent shown in FIG. 9.

[0023] FIG. 12 is a partial cutaway view of portion of the male member shown in FIG. 8.

[0024] FIG. 13 is a partial cross-sectional view of the female member of FIGS. 7 and 9, which fits with the handle of FIG. 12.

[0025] FIG. 14 is an exploded, cross-sectional view of a third embodiment of the exercise device of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0026] The present invention relates to a portable exercise device, which is especially suitable for exercising the abdominal muscles. Like numerals in different figures represent the same elements of the device.

[0027] Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a top view of a portable exercise device 10 in accordance with the present invention. The device includes two main parts, a wheel 12 and a handle 14 formed from handle parts 16, 18. Handle parts 16, 18 each includes a grip 20, 22 on at least the outer portion of handle parts 16, 18 for gripping by the user during exercise. Grips 20, 22 may be made from any suitable material and preferably have good friction and wear characteristics.

[0028] In essence, handle parts 16, 18 can be readily disassembled from one another and from wheel 12 to reduce the device 10 to three distinct parts 12, 16 and 18. These parts 12, 16 and 18 can be easily stored in a relatively small space and can be transported with, for example, a business traveler. When it is desired to use device 10, it can be easily reassembled from parts 12, 16 and 18 for use.

[0029] Wheel 12 preferably has an outer portion made of polyurethane material so that it is soft, slightly deformable and has good friction and wear characteristics in use. One suitable wheel 12 for use in the invention is the type of wheel, which may be found on scooters such as the Razor® Scooter.

[0030] Referring to FIG. 2, there is shown a first embodiment of handle part 16 which forms part of a device 10 that employs a detent means to releasably attach handle parts 16 and 18 together. In this embodiment, handle part 16 is a male handle part, and handle part 18, shown in FIGS. 3-4, is a female handle part. Male handle part 16 includes a grip 20, an axle 24 and a locking mechanism 26. Axle 24 is designed to pass through a central bore (shown in FIG. 14) having a bearing surface (shown in FIG. 14) in wheel 12 and into a central bore 69 in female handle part 18.

[0031] Distal end 28 of axle 24 fits into central bore 69 of female handle part 18 upon assembly. Locking mechanism 26 in axle 24 engages release pin bore 30 in female handle part 18 to lock male handle part 16 and female handle part 18 together via a snap-fit arrangement. Locking mechanism 26 is spring-loaded for this purpose. Central bore 69 in female handle part 18 must have sufficient clearance for axle 24 of male handle part 16 to slide in and/or out easily.

[0032] Female handle part 18 includes a release pin bore 32 into which a release pin 50 fits as shown, for example, in FIGS. 3 and 6. Release pin 50 includes a slot 52 into which set screw 34 fits and also includes a head 53. Head 53 is raised up a short distance 54 from female handle part 18 to leave room for a grip, not shown, and to allow some downward movement of release pin 50 relative to female handle part 18 to position the bottom surface 56 of release pin 50 flush with the end of release pin bore 32 for disengaging locking mechanism 26 when disassembly is desired.

[0033] Below release pin 50 in release pin bore 32 there is a distance 55, which must be sufficient to allow locking mechanism 26 to fully engage with release pin bore 32. When distal end 28 of axle 24 is fitted into central bore 69 as shown in FIG. 6, locking mechanism 26 engages with release pin bore 32 in female handle part 18 to lock male handle part 16 and female handle part 18 together via a snap fit. Release pin bore 32, must also have sufficient clearance to permit release pin 50 to move up and down relative to female handle part 18.

[0034] In an alternative embodiment, not shown, it is not necessary to have a slot 52 in release pin 50 and the set screw 34 is omitted. FIG. 3 shows the release pin 50 in the position wherein locking mechanism 26 locks female handle part 18 with male handle part 16. FIG. 6 shows the release pin 50 in the position wherein it disengages locking mechanism 26 to release male handle part 16 from female handle part 18.

[0035] Referring to FIG. 7, there is shown another embodiment of the present invention wherein a female handle part 78 includes a threaded hole 79 therein to accept a spring-loaded ball detent 90. The distal end of a corresponding male axle 76 is shown in FIG. 8. Male axle 76 includes a slot 75 therein which aligns with the end of ball detent 90 in female handle part 78 when the device 10 is assembled for use. Male axle 76 passes through the central bore in wheel 12 and into the central bore 80 of female handle part 78. Male handle part 16 and female handle part 78 are then rotated, for example about 90 degrees, relative to one another to lock them together using ball detent 90.

[0036] At the end of the 90 degree travel of ball detent 90 in slot 75, the ball detent 90 is pushed into an indentation 77 to achieve a snug fit and provides sufficient strength to the device 10 to bear the user's weight.

[0037] FIGS. 9 and 13 depict a threaded hole 82 through one wall of the end of the female handle part 79, which includes a central bore 69. Threaded hole 82 is designed to accept a threaded ball detent 90, as shown in FIGS. 10-11. Ball detent 90 includes a slot 93 for insertion of a screwdriver for assembly and fine-tuning. The ball 91 is spring-loaded by a spring 105 and will require radial force greater than that developed during normal usage to release the ball detent 90 from the indentation 77 at the end of slot 75 on male axle 76.

[0038] Referring to FIG. 11, the details of ball detent 90 are shown. The ball detent 90 includes a ball 91, a slot 93 for insertion of a screwdriver and a spring 105 which can be loosened or tightened by screwing ball detent 90 in slot 79 of female member 78 as described above. FIGS. 12-13 show different views of male axle 76 and female handle part 78.

[0039] Referring to FIG. 14 there is shown a further embodiment of the present invention in an exploded view. The device 200 of FIG. 14 includes a male handle part 210, a female handle part 220 and a wheel 230. Male handle part 210 includes a central portion 211 which is preferably made from a strong, lightweight material to provide sufficient strength to male handle part 210 to bear the weight of the user. Male handle part 210 also includes an outer portion 212, which is preferably made from a soft, resilient material having desirable frictional properties to function as a grip for the user.

[0040] Embedded or otherwise affixed in central portion 211 is a threaded shaft 213 provided with threads 214 on the outer surface of the distal end thereof and may have a bearing surface 215, as shown. Threaded shaft 213 should be made from a strong material as it will have to bear the force of the weight of the user. Threaded shaft 213 is designed to pass through bore 231 in wheel 230 such that bearing surface 215 aligns with the internal bearing surface of bore 231 in wheel 230. Threaded shaft 213 will function as an axle for wheel 230 and thus bearing surface 215 must allow free rotation of the internal bearing surface of bore 231 about threaded shaft 213.

[0041] The distal end of threaded shaft 213 is designed to screw into threaded bore 223 in female handle member 220 by virtue of threads 224 on the internal surface of threaded bore 223, until there it a tight fit between male handle member 210, wheel 230 and female handle member 220. Female handle member 220 also includes a central portion 221 which is preferably made from a strong, lightweight material and an outer portion 222, which is preferably made from a soft, resilient material having desirable frictional properties to function as a grip for the user.

[0042] The preferred wheel 230 includes a central portion 232 which forms the bore 231 and provides strength to wheel 230, and an outer portion 233 which provides the desired frictional, wear and weight characteristics to the wheel. Central portion 232 may be made from metal or hard plastic materials and outer portion 233 is preferably made from polyurethane, natural or synthetic rubbers or plastics or other suitable materials. Similarly, central portions 211, 221 may be made from metal or hard plastic materials and outer portions 212, 222 made be made from polyurethane, polyurethane foams, natural or synthetic rubbers, plastics or other suitable materials known for use as grips. Central portions 211, 221 include suitable materials to form bearing surfaces, where required. Outer portions 212, 221 may optionally include a contour to make gripping the device easier. One suitable contour includes a plurality of indentations for each finger of the hand.

[0043] Many modifications and variations within the scope of the invention will be apparent to a person of ordinary skill in the art from the foregoing description. The scope of the invention is not to be limited by the specific embodiments described above.