Title:
Muscle conditioning device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
While performing push-ups, the individual pushes against a pair of swivel devices between his hands and the floor or other supporting surface. As his body is raised, he twists the swivel devices in mutually opposite first directions through arcs of 180° or more, and as his body is lowered back toward the floor, he twists the devices in mutually opposite second directions through 180° or more. The combined pushing and twisting actions increase the conditioning of muscles in the wrists and arms not otherwise fully exercised by conventional push-ups. Each swivel device includes a non-rotatable base and a swivel member rotatably secured to the base for carrying out the twisting action about an upright axis. Each swivel device has a gripping handle to facilitate clenching of the user's hand substantially into a fist as he performs the conditioning routine.



Inventors:
Schwendeman, Cory (Olathe, KS, US)
Application Number:
10/832115
Publication Date:
12/30/2004
Filing Date:
04/26/2004
Assignee:
SCHWENDEMAN CORY
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B23/12; A63B23/14; (IPC1-7): A63B26/00; A63B71/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BAKER, LORI LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Hovey Williams LLP (Overland Park, KS, US)
Claims:
1. A muscle conditioning device comprising: a base adapted to rest on a horizontal supporting surface; and a swivel member rotatably secured to said base and adapted to be manually twisted by a user about an axis of rotation passing through the base while the user pushes forcefully downwardly against the member, base, and supporting surface.

2. A muscle conditioning device as claimed in claim 1, said swivel member including a handle adapted to be gripped by a user during the twisting and pushing action.

3. A muscle conditioning device as claimed in claim 2, said handle comprising a bar spaced above said base and extending in transverse relation to said axis.

4. A muscle conditioning device as claimed in claim 3, said bar being so disposed that said axis of rotation intersects the bar intermediate opposite ends thereof.

5. A muscle conditioning device as claimed in claim 1, said swivel member including a generally U-shaped body having a pair of laterally spaced apart arms projecting generally upwardly away from said base and a bight interconnecting said arms generally adjacent the base, said swivel member further including a gripping handle spanning said arms adjacent upper ends thereof in spaced relation to the base.

6. A muscle conditioning device as claimed in claim 5, said base having a spindle projecting upwardly therefrom, said bight of the swivel member being journalled on the spindle.

7. A muscle conditioning device as claimed in claim 6, further comprising an anti-friction component between the bight of the swivel member and the base.

8. A muscle conditioning device as claimed in claim 7, further comprising a non-skid surface on a bottom side of said base.

9. A muscle conditioning device as claimed in claim 8, said non-skid surface comprising a non-skid, compressible pad secured to the bottom side of the base.

10. A muscle conditioning device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising an anti-friction component between the base and the swivel member.

11. A muscle conditioning device as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a non-skid surface on a bottom side of said base.

12. In a muscle conditioning method, the improvement comprising: while performing push-ups on a supporting surface, pushing against a pair of swivel devices on the supporting surface with the user's hands to raise and lower the user's body and simultaneously twisting the devices with the user's hands about respective upright axes.

13. In a muscle conditioning method as claimed in claim 12, said twisting being carried out in one direction with each hand during raising of the user's body and in the opposite direction during lowering of the user's body.

14. In a muscle conditioning method as claimed in claim 13, said twisting in each direction being approximately 180°.

15. In a muscle conditioning method as claimed in claim 12, said pushing action being carried out with the user's hands clenched around handles on the swivel devices.

16. In a muscle conditioning method as claimed in claim 15, said upright axes of the twisting motion passing generally longitudinally through the forearms of the user.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the priority benefit of provisional application Ser. No. 60/465,744, filed Apr. 25, 2003, incorporated into the present application by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present invention relates to the field of muscle conditioning devices and methods for strengthening muscles of the human body

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY

[0003] Many athletes such as martial artists, boxers and pitchers perform extensive physical conditioning exercises to strengthen their arms while improving the quick muscle response of the muscles in each arm. Push-ups are often performed as part of such exercises, wherein the person's body is positioned parallel to the floor with only their toes and hands touching the floor or other flat surface. The exerciser then repetitively raises and lowers the body while pushing against the floor with his hands, keeping the back and legs straight. While conventional push-ups are helpful for some of the muscle groups, there are several smaller muscle groups in the forearms and upper back that may not be fully exercised by this technique.

[0004] The present invention provides a way of obtaining improved and more effective conditioning of various muscle groups used when punching or throwing. In the present invention, as the person pushes away from the floor and then lowers himself back down to the floor as in conventional push-ups, he simultaneously rotates his forearms by 180° or more to more nearly simulate the actual throwing or punching actions performed during such activities. Preferably, the person's hands are clenched to form fists during the pushing and twisting motions.

[0005] In one preferred form of the invention, a pair of swivel devices are grasped by opposite hands of the user alongside opposite sides of his body. Instead of pushing directly against the floor or other supporting surface, the exerciser grips and pushes against the swivel devices to raise and lower his body in repetitive motions while simultaneously twisting the devices about upright axes that are generally aligned with and pass through the user's forearms during the exercise routine. Each swivel device has a sturdy, normally horizontally extending handle that is gripped by the user and which is rotatably secured to a stationary base having a non-skid lower surface that engages and remains in place against the floor or other surface during the workout. Foam grips on the handles of the devices and foam pads on the bottom sides of the devices increase the user's comfort during workouts. The relatively lightweight, portable nature of the devices allows them to be transported to and used at any number of different convenient locations.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a muscle conditioning device constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention and useful in carrying out the steps of my novel method;

[0007] FIG. 2 is a side elevational view thereof;

[0008] FIG. 3 is a top plan view thereof;

[0009] FIG. 4 is a vertical cross sectional view thereof taken substantially along line 4-4 of FIG. 2;

[0010] FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective view of the device illustrating the different components thereof; and

[0011] FIGS. 6 and 7 are illustrations of the manner of using a pair of the devices in performing an exemplary exercise routine.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0012] The present invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms. While the drawings illustrate and the specification describes certain preferred embodiments of the invention, it is to be understood that such disclosure is by way of example only. There is no intent to limit the principles of the present invention to the particular disclosed embodiments.

[0013] Each muscle conditioning device 10 includes a base 12 adapted to rest on a horizontal supporting surface such as a floor, and a swivel member 14 rotatably secured to base 12 and adapted to be manually twisted about an axis of rotation passing through the base. Swivel member 14 includes a generally U-shaped body 16 formed from a piece of sturdy plate material such as steel to present a pair of laterally spaced, upstanding arms 18 and 20 that are interconnected at their lower ends by a bight portion 22. Preferably, arms 18, 20 taper as their upper ends are approached and are rounded at such upper ends to avoid the presence of sharp comers or points. Preferably, bight 22 has its opposite lateral edges convexly rounded to likewise avoid the presence of sharp comers and the like.

[0014] Swivel member 14 further includes a handle 24 formed in part by a tubular cross bar 26 that is rigidly affixed at its opposite ends to the upper, inside surfaces of arms 18 and 20. Cross bar 26 is adapted to extend essentially horizontally during use of device 10 and is spaced above bight 22 a sufficient distance that the user's knuckles and fingers have more than adequate clearance to facilitate easy gripping of handle 24. Preferably, a tubular, foam sleeve or grip 28 encircles bar 26 to provide comfort and facilitate a secure gripping action.

[0015] Bight 22 has a centrally disposed hole 30 that receives a short, upright spindle 32 defining the axis of swiveling or twisting movement of swivel member 14. Spindle 32 has an enlarged, circular head 34 and a shank that includes an intermediate portion 36 of somewhat smaller diameter than cap 34 and an end portion 38 that is smaller in diameter than intermediate potion 36. Due to the enlarged diameter of head 34 relative to hole 30, head 34 remains above hole 30 and slightly overlaps adjacent portions of bight 22.

[0016] Base 12 includes a flat, rigid base plate 40 provided with a nonskid bottom surface presented by a foam pad 42. Pad 42 is bonded or otherwise suitably affixed to the bottom side of base plate 40 and conforms in shape to the configuration of base plate 40 as viewed in plan. In one preferred form of the invention, base plate 40 is shaped somewhat in the nature of a cross to present legs or arms that project outwardly beyond the lateral dimensions of swivel member 14 for added stability during use. Although base 12 is disclosed as being portable, it may also be immovably affixed to the floor or other supporting surface.

[0017] Base plate 40 has a centrally disposed hole 44 that is sized to receive reduced diameter end portion 38 of spindle 32. The lowermost termination of end portion 38 is substantially flush with the bottom surface of base plate 40 and is preferably welded or otherwise suitably rigidly affixed to such bottom surface in order to render spindle 32 stationary relative to base plate 40. Spindle 32 thus rotatably secures swivel member 14 to base 12 and provides the axis of rotation 46 about which swivel member 14 twists and turns during use. Handle 24 of swivel member 14 is aligned directly above axis of rotation 46 and is intersected thereby. Preferably, handle 24 is bisected by axis 46 so that equal portions of the length thereof are disposed on opposite sides of axis 46 between the axis and the corresponding arms 18 and 20. As viewed in cross section in FIG. 4, it will be seen that handle 24 is also symmetrical with axis 46 in a transverse sense.

[0018] To facilitate rotation of swivel member 14 about axis 46, suitable anti-friction means such as thrust bearings or a simple Nylon disc 48 are provided between the bottom of swivel member 14 and base plate 40. Disc 48 is provided with a central hole 50 corresponding in diameter to hole 30 in swivel member 14 so as to rotatably receive enlarged diameter portion 36 of spindle 32. Although in one form of the invention anti-friction means such as disc 48 are utilized to reduce the effort needed to twist swivel member 14 about axis 46, in an alternative embodiment suitable resistance increasing structure (not shown) may be provided to increase the effort required to twist swivel member 14 and thus provide an additional degree of muscular workout for the user.

[0019] One manner of suggested use of the conditioning device 10 is illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7. As shown therein, the user in many respects performs conventional push-ups against a floor 52 or other suitable surface, placing his toes against the floor, keeping his body straight and rigid, and using his arms to raise and lower his body toward and away from floor 52. In accordance with the present invention, however, instead of placing his hands flatly against floor 52, the exerciser grips one of the devices 10 in each hand and places bases 12 against the floor on opposite sides of his body at the same locations as he would normally directly engage the floor with his palms. With handles 24 gripped tightly in almost a complete fist, he then raises and lowers his body by pushing against handles 24. Simultaneously, using handles 24, he twists the two swivel members 14 in mutually opposite directions through included angles of 180° or more to thus exercise the muscles in the wrists and forearms that would typically be used in a throwing or punching action. It will be seen in this respect that each swivel member 14 is rotated about its axis of rotation 46 during this routine and that such axis extends generally upwardly through and in alignment with the user's forearms. Preferably, as the user lowers his body toward floor 52, each swivel member 14 is rotated in a first direction, and then as his body is raised away from floor 52, each swivel member 14 is rotated in an opposite direction.

[0020] It will be seen that this basic exercise routine can be varied substantially to provide different degrees of workout as may be necessary or desirable. When the exercise routine is completed, the conditioning devices may simply be picked up and removed to a convenient storage location.

[0021] The inventor(s) hereby state(s) his/their intent to rely on the Doctrine of Equivalents to determine and assess the reasonably fair scope of his/their invention as pertains to any apparatus not materially departing from but outside the literal scope of the invention as set out in the following claims.