Title:
Adjustable dumbbell rack assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides an adjustable dumbbell rack assembly that can be used as a built-in dumbbell spotter. The assembly is capable of presenting dumbbells in various adjustable positions to a user. The assembly may be used in combination with any suitable exercise bench adaptable into a flat or inclining position. The assembly comprises a rack configured for positioning horizontally between a pair of vertical supports or a compatible commercial barbell or dumbbell support. The rack includes two rotatable dumbbell holders slideably fastened thereon. Each dumbbell holder defines a cutout that allows the user to see and grab the handle of the dumbbell that extends across the cutout. The height of the rack are adjustable along the legs of the vertical supports.



Inventors:
Hummer Jr., Robert G. (Detroit, MI, US)
Application Number:
10/881567
Publication Date:
01/13/2005
Filing Date:
06/30/2004
Assignee:
HUMMER ROBERT G.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B21/06; A63B21/078; A63B21/072; A63B71/00; (IPC1-7): A63B21/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BAKER, LORI LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FAEGRE DRINKER BIDDLE & REATH LLP (INDIANAPOLIS, IN, US)
Claims:
1. An adjustable dumbbell rack assembly for supporting dumbbells for weight lifting exercises, said assembly comprising: a pair of vertical supports; a rack supported by said pair of vertical supports; a first dumbbell holder position at a first end of said rack; a second dumbbell holder position at a second end of said rack, each of said first and said second dumbbell holder positions defining a cutout for allowing a user to see and reach dumbbells placed on said rack in a plurality of angular orientations.

2. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 1 wherein said rack is adjustably fastened between said pair of vertical supports for supporting said rack horizontally allowing for adjusting the height of said rack.

3. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 1, wherein each of said first and said second dumbbell holder positions defines a front lip portion for limiting a dumbbell from sliding.

4. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 1, wherein said first and said second dumbbell holder positions are adjustably fastened to said rack, whereby the distance between said first dumbbell holder and said second dumbbell holder is adjustable.

5. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 4, further including a fastener associated with each of said first and second holder positions capable of attaching said first and second holder positions to said rack wherein each of said first and said second dumbbell holders defines an elongated slot for receiving each of said fasteners.

6. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 4, further including a fastener associated with each of said first and second holder positions capable of attaching said first and second holder positions to said rack wherein each of said first and said second dumbbell holders defines a plurality of holes for receiving one of holder fasteners.

7. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 4, further including a fastener associated with each of said first and second holder positions capable of attaching said first and second holder positions to said rack wherein said rack defines a plurability of holes for receiving fasteners for fastening said first and said second dumbbell holders to said rack.

8. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 1, wherein said vertical supports define two legs and a base.

9. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 8, wherein said rack and said legs have complimentary locking mechanism for adjustably fastening said rack to said legs.

10. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 1, wherein said first and second holder positions define an angle relative to said rack of up to forty-five degrees.

11. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 1, wherein said rack defines a concave portion.

12. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 11, wherein said rack defines a backstop.

13. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of claim 1 further comprising a plurality of weight holders located at a height proximate that of said first and second dumbbell holder positions.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The field of the invention relates to an exercise equipment, and more particularly a dumbbell rack.

2. Description of the Related Art

Weight lifting using free-weights is widely enjoyable as a form of exercise and strength conditioning. Barbells and dumbbells are used in different workout routines to exercise and strengthen various muscle groups, such as biceps, triceps, pectorals, etc., depending upon the manner in which the free-weights are lifted and for the body position of the user.

During an execution of a weight lifting exercise, good form and proper range of motion are very important for both safety and effectiveness. At the beginning of a lifting exercise, a lifter should assume a position that would allow the target muscle to be exercised to bear the weight. If the weight is transferred to the easily damaged ligaments or tendons, a serious injury may occur.

The use of dumbbells in an exercise routine may help strengthen biceps, triceps, pectorals, and other muscle groups. During certain dumbbell lifting exercises, a partner who can act as a “spotter” may be needed. The spotter's job may include passing the weight to the lifter at the beginning of the exercise, while the lifter is properly situated in the lifting position. The spotter may also lift the weight off the lifter, when the lifter's muscles are fatigue, or at the end of the exercise. Particularly, using a spotter for dumbbell bicep curls may help eliminate the natural tendency to flare out the arms to get the weight to the completion phase of the exercise. Heavy weight with the arms slightly out tends to put a lot of pressure on the tendon.

Obviously, it is not possible to have a person acting as a spotter for all occasions. In using dumbbells, the dumbbells are typically stored in a rack or on the floor. The user must lift the dumbbells into the starting exercise position for chest or shoulder muscle exercises. The starting exercise position for various muscle groups is well off the ground. Attempts have been made to reduce or eliminate the need of a spotter for certain dumbbell lifting exercises. The attempts involve providing a lifting equipments with a support rack as a built-in spotter. The idea is that the risk of injury may be reduced if the dumbbell can be presented to the lifter or can be returned on the rack by the lifter, while he is in a lifting position.

For example, one known dumbbell support attachment modifies a conventional weight lifting bench for use with dumbbells. The attachment includes a holder on which up to two dumbbells can be rested simultaneously . The holder is part of a rack assembly which is rigidly attached to both a horizontal support bar and a pair of vertical mounting legs. The holder defines two cutouts through which a lifter, as he lies on the weight bench, can reach to grab the dumbbell and lift it from its resting position. Another known attachment that can be mounted on a weight lifting exercise equipment includes a rack assembly for holding up to two dumbbells, a pair of mounting legs rigidly attached to distal ends of the rack assembly and an extension bar slideably connected to opposing parts of the assembly for adjusting the span between the mounting legs. A drawback with these dumbbell support attachments is that the pair of dumbbells are positioned at 180 degree angle from each other. Therefore, the lifter is limited to initiate the lifting exercise from the same position every time, regardless of the muscle exercise to be conducted. The risk of muscle injury may be high, especially if the lifter has to shift or change muscle motions while lifting very heavy dumbbells.

Another known dumbbell position rack holds a single dumbbell. A pair of the dumbbell position racks are needed if two dumbbells are being used in an exercise routine. The pair of the dumbbell position racks can be positioned at a distance and an angle that are convenient for the start of various exercises. However, positioning of the dumbbell position rack involves lifting each rack and stand assembly individually, making the initial positioning rather cumbersome. In addition, the individual rack and stand assembly may be easily bumped out of place while being used.

Therefore, there is a need for a dumbbell rack that can be adjustable so that a lifter can initiate and complete various lifting exercises in different positions. The present inventor has realized this need, and has designed an automatic elevation adjustment mechanism, disclosed in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/008,394, filed Nov. 7, 2001, the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference. This prior work of the present invention addresses some of the short comings of the prior art, but further improvements are desired.

A further need exists for a dumbbell rack that can be used with a traditional weight lifting bench or chair.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides an adjustable dumbbell rack assembly that can present dumbbells in various adjustable positions to a lifter. The assembly may be used in combination with any suitable utility bench adaptable into a flat or an inclining position. The assembly comprises a rack configured for positioning horizontally between a pair of vertical support or a compatible commercial barbell or dumbbell support. The assembly further comprises a first dumbbell holder position at a first end of the rack, and a second dumbbell holder position at a second end of the rack. Each dumbbell holder position defines a cutout, across which a dumbbell handle may extend. The cutout allows a user to see and grab the dumbbell from the holder from a plurality of possible exercise positions.

In one form of the invention, each of the first and the second dumbbell holders defines a front lip portion for preventing a dumbbell from sliding off of that rack. The rack may have a concave portion for allowing free standing dumbbells to gravitate to the concave portion. Also, the rack may have a backstop to deter dumbbells from sliding off of the rack from the back side.

In another form of the invention, the first and the second dumbbell holders are slideably fastened to the rack, whereby the distance between the first dumbbell holder and the second dumbbell holder is adjustable. Each of the first and the second dumbbell holders may define an elongated slot or a plurality of holes for receiving a fastener for fastening each dumbbell holder to the rack. Alternatively, the rack may define an elongated slot or a plurality of holes for receiving a fastener for fastening the dumbbell holder to the rack. In another alternative embodiment, both the rack and each of the dumbbell holders may define a plurality of holes for selectively receiving a fastener for slideably positioning each holder to the rack.

In one embodiment of the invention, a pair of vertical supports is provided for supporting the rack in a horizontal position. The rack may be attached at a varying height of the vertical supports and within the reach of a lifter.

In another embodiment of the invention, the pair of vertical supports may include a horizontal platform for receiving the rack. In this embodiment, the rack is fastened to the horizontal platform of the vertical supports. The height of the rack is adjusted by adjusting the height of the horizontal platform. The horizontal platform itself may be configured to hold a barbell or dumbbells. The vertical supports in this specific embodiment may be used alone in some exercise routines without the rack attaching thereto.

It is an objective of this invention to provide a dumbbell rack assembly that can be used as a built-in spotter.

It is another objective of this invention to provide a dumbbell rack assembly that can be used in combination with any suitable utility bench.

It is yet another objective to provide a dumbbell rack assembly that can be used by a lifter to exercise various muscles.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above-mentioned and other features and advantages of this invention, and the manner of attaining them, will become more apparent and the invention itself will be better understood by reference to the following description of embodiments of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of dumbbell rack assembly according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 2A-2F are plan views of dumbbell racks according to the embodiment shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side sectional view of the dumbbell rack of FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of dumbbell rack according to another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a single dumbbell position of the embodiment of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a single dumbbell position of the embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a dumbbell rack assembly according to another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of vertical supports; and

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the dumbbell rack of FIG. 7, but compatible with the vertical supports of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of a dumbbell rack shelf;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of another alternative embodiment of a shelf for a dumbbell rack;

FIGS. 12 and 13 are perspective views of a further embodiment of the dumbbell rack of the present invention;

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a still further embodiment of the dumbbell rack of the present invention;

FIGS. 15 and 16 are perspective views of a split spotter embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of an angularly adjustable single dumbbell holder; and

FIG. 18 is a perspective drawing of a movable support element which may be used in embodiments of the present invention.

Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views. Although the drawings represent embodiments of the present invention, the drawings are not necessarily to scale and certain features may be exaggerated in order to better illustrate and explain the present invention. The exemplification set out herein illustrates an embodiment of the invention, in one form, and such exemplifications are not to be construed as limiting the scope of the invention in any manner.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The embodiments disclosed below are not intended to be exhaustive or limit the invention to the precise form disclosed in the following detailed description. Rather, the embodiments are chosen and described so that others skilled in the art may utilize their teachings.

The present invention provides a dumbbell rack assembly that functions as having a built-in dumbbell spotter. The assembly can be used in combination with a utility or exercise bench that is adjustable into a horizontal position or an inclining position. A lifter/user may be able to reach and grab a pair of dumbbells from the dumbbell rack assembly and initiate an exercise while lying down or sitting up on the bench, without using a partner as a spotter. Several specific exercises, including the shoulder press, military press, and incline press, typically involve a natural starting grip position that is at an angle relative to the position of the dumbbell rack. The adjustable dumbbell rack assembly of the present invention can present dumbbells in various adjustable positions to the lifter.

In the exemplary embodiment of FIGS. 1-3, dumbbell rack 1 of assembly 8 provides holder positions 2 and 3 that allow for dumbbells 20 to align handle 21 in a position angled from rack 1. The shape and size of holder positions 2 and 3 are configured to allow both straight (non-angled) and angled (such that handle 21 is not parallel to the sides of rack 1) positioning, so that the user may manually position/rotate dumbbell 20 prior to lifting it.

As shown in FIG. 3, rack 1 is configured with lip portion 4, concave portion 5, and backstop 6. Lip portion 4 inhibits the movement of dumbbell 20 sliding off the front (user-side) of rack 1, while backstop 6 inhibits such sliding movement off the other side of rack 1. Concave portion 5 provides a gravity well so that the tendency of dumbbell 20 is to slide into concave portion 5 and come to rest there. With this configuration, the user may conveniently place dumbbells 20 on rack 1 prior to seating or lying on exercise bench 7. Then, once properly situated on bench 7, the user may grip and adjust the orientation of dumbbell 20 from the seated or lying position. Next, the user may lift and begin the exercise, possibly resting dumbbells 20 in positions 2 and 3 periodically, before finishing the exercise and setting dumbbells 20 on rack 1.

In this exemplary embodiment, rack 1 may have a width of about forty to fifty inches (corresponding to the typical site of the supporting assembly) and a depth of about eight to twenty inches. Backstop 6 may have a height of about three to twelve inches, and holder positions 2 and 3 may define a gap of about four to seven inches and may have angled sides of up to a forty-five degree angle, for example with rack 1 being rectangular with 15°, 30°, and 45° angles (FIGS. 2A, 2B, and 2C respectively) or with rack 1 having wing sections 7 and 8 disposed at 15°, 30°, and 45° angles with perpendicularly disposed holder portions 2 and 3 (FIGS. 2D, 2E, and 2F respectively).

Referring now to FIG. 4, dumbbell rack assembly 10 comprises rack 11 configured for positioning horizontally between a pair of vertical support or any compatible commercial dumbbell rack that has a pair of vertical support. Assembly 10 further comprises first dumbbell holder 12 and second dumbbell holder 13. First dumbbell holder 12 is fastened to first end 14 of rack 11 and second dumbbell holder 13 is fastened to second end 15 of rack 11. Dumbbell holders 12 and 13 can be slidingly adjusted along axis a-a and rotatably adjusted in the b-b direction relative to axis c-c, prior to fixedly fastened to rack 11. The positions of the two dumbbell holders 12, 13 should be adjusted according to the type of exercise on which the lifter wishes to work.

According to FIGS. 4 and 5, each dumbbell holder defines a cutout. First dumbbell holder 12 defines cutout 18 and second dumbbell holder 13 defines cutout 19. As demonstrated in FIG. 2, when dumbbell 20 is placed on dumbbell holder 12, handle 21 extends across cutout 18 so that a lifter can grab handle 12 through cutout 18. Cutout 19 of dumbbell holder 13 provides the same access as cutout 18.

As shown in FIG. 4, dumbbell holders 12 and 13 are fastened to rack 11 with fasteners 25 and 27, respectively. Fasteners 25 and 27 may be nuts and bolts or screws and washers, or any other suitable fasteners such as clamps or pivotable brackets.

In one exemplary embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, dumbbell holders 12 and 13 define slots 24 and 26, respectively, which may be a single point or elongated to allow for lateral positioning. Slots 24 and 26 are aligned to a hole or a slot defined on rack 11 (not shown). The distance between dumbbell holders 12 and 13 may be adjusted by loosening and tightening fasteners 25 and 27 at selected positions along elongated slots 24 and 26, respectively. Fasteners 25 and 27 may be adapted for an easy release so that the position and the orientation of each of dumbbell holders 12 and 13 can be easily readjusted. Fasteners 25 and 27 may also be configured as a knob to allow for user adjustment of the angle of dumbbell holders 12 and 13.

In an alternative embodiment shown in FIG. 6, dumbbell holder 60, may define a plurality of holes 61, while rack 62 defines a plurality of holes 63. One of plurality of holes 61 and one of plurality of holes 63 are aligned prior to receiving bolt 64. Nut 65 is used to tighten bolt 64 to hold dumbbell holder 60 on rack 62. Dumbbell holder 60 may be moved along axis a-a and rotated in the direction b-b relative to axis c-c during the alignment between one of plurality of holes 61 and one of plurality of holes 63. Nut 34 is adapted for easy releasing and tightening. A second dumbbell holder may be fastened to rack 60 through a similar method.

In the exemplary embodiment demonstrated in FIGS. 3-4, dumbbell holders 12 and 13 define front lip portions 36 and 37, respectively. Each lip portion is designed to support a dumbbell in a way that the dumbbell does not easily slide off the dumbbell holder. In the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 6, dumbbell holder 60 is configured with a slight angle, keeping the dumbbell from sliding off dumbbell holder 60. It is contemplated that other designs of the dumbbell holder, such as a J-shape (not shown), may also be used to serve the same purpose.

In another embodiment of the invention, as depicted in FIG. 7, a pair of vertical supports 70 is provided to support rack 11. Pair of vertical supports 70 includes first leg 71 and second leg 72, which may be supported by base 73. First leg 71 supports first end 14 of rack 11, and second leg 72 supports second end 15 of rack 11, keeping rack 11 in a horizontal position. Rack 11 may be moved up and down vertical supports 70 in d-d direction, prior to being locked into a working position with a suitable locking mechanism.

As depicted in FIG. 7, legs 71 and 72, each defines a plurality of holes 75 and 76, respectively, along the length of the legs. Each of first end 14 and second end 15 of rack 11 defines a locking portion (not shown) that further defines a hole (not shown) that can be aligned with one of the plurality of holes 71 and 72. After the alignment is made, a locking pin, a popper pin, or other similar attachment (not shown) may be inserted through the holes to lock rack 11 onto legs 71 and 72.

In another exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, legs 71 and 72 define a plurality of locked pins 78 and 79 along the length of legs 71 and 72 for receiving locking portions 80 and 81 of rack 11. Each of locking portions 80, 81 may define tubes 82 and 83, respectively, for receiving one of plurality of locked pins 78 and one of plurality of locked pins 79. When rack 11 is placed between legs 71 and 72, tubes 82 and 83 slide over a pin on each of legs 71 and 72, keeping rack 11 extending horizontally between legs 71 and 72.

Both racks 1 and 11, vertical supports 70, and horizontal platform 90 are made of a strong rigid material capable of supporting the weights of the dumbbells. Suitable rigid material may include steel, or stainless steel or aluminum. In addition to the laminar plate design depicted in the drawings, racks 1 and 11 may be made of poles or pipes suitably connected, e.g. for welding, molding, or forging. It is contemplated that other synthetic rigid materials such as fiberglass or resin may also be used. Such an assembly may also be used with barbells (not shown).

Alternative embodiments of shelves are shown in FIGS. 10 through 14. FIG. 10 shows shelf 200 having a generally curved shape for retaining the dumbbell in bottom 205 of the curved portion, while providing access slots 210 for a grouping of the dumbbells (not shown). FIG. 11 shows a shelf 300 which is comprised of a series of interconnected bars which may house dumbbells having circular weights, or with the addition of plate member 305, may provide a flat surface for resting hexagonally shaped weights of dumbbells (not shown). FIGS. 12 and 13 show dumbbell rack assembly 400, having two separate sides. Each of the sides are positioned on plate member 405, which is rotatably supported by bar 410. Bar 410 is also adjustably mounted on cross bar 415. One side of the platform 405 has generally parallel disposed access slots 425. The other side plate 405 has adjustably mounted dumbbell holding positions 435 and 440, which may be at one of a plurality of angles relative to the center line of plate 405. Each of the embodiments of FIGS. 10 through 13 may have various angular orientations like in FIGS. 2A-2F. FIG. 14 shows dumbbell rack 450 having transverse bars 455 and 460 supporting separately mountable and slideably adjustable dumbbell holding positions 420, using a curved sloped design in this embodiment. The angular orientation of bars 455 and 460 may also be varied for suitable exercising positions.

FIG. 15 shows dumbbell assembly rack 500 having separately adjustable dumbbell holding positions. Each of these dumbbell holding positions is rotatably mounted on a respective support pole 505, and may be maintained in a parallel relationship or used individually if desired. Each of the holders has a holding portion 510 which is independently rotatable and positionable to provide a plurality of dumbbell holding positions.

FIG. 16 shows rack 500 with weight holder 525 which advantageously locates barbell weights around the height of holding portions 510. Weight holder 525 may have a half-moon frame with weight mounting portions at various positions on the diameter and semi-circumference as shown, or a circular or angled structure to position weights proximate the likely height of holding portion 510.

FIG. 17 shows single dumbbell holder 600 having two separate adjustable positions. In a first position, holder 610 is mounted on holding bar 615. Alternatively, holder 610 may be mounted on either of poles 620 or 625, at least one of which is at an angle relative to holding bar 680 and which are mutually transverse.

Additionally, adjustable holder 700 is shown in FIG. 18. Formed in the shape of an “L” holder 700 has both vertical adjustment mechanism 710 and a horizontal adjustment mechanism 720, with a corner of the “L” also having wheel 730 allowing for its easy movement and support over a floor. This support may be used to support cross-bar 740 for leg support, or alternatively in conjunction with weight bars, or with seating arrangements relating to the dumbbell holders of the present invention.

While the present invention has been described as having a preferred design, the present invention can be further modified within the spirit and scope of this disclosure. This application is therefore intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention using its general principles. Further, this application is intended to cover such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which this invention pertains.