Title:
Convertible weightlifting belt
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Weightlifting belt convertible to a dip belt comprises a weightlifting belt sub-assembly and a chain sub-assembly removably attachable to the weightlifting belt sub-assembly. The weightlifting belt sub-assembly includes a belt having a buckle at one end and a D-ring or a grommet, and adjusting apertures at the other. The chain sub-assembly incorporates a chain provided at each extremity with a feature that is independently securable to the buckle and D-ring, or securable together to one of the foregoing. In the last situation, one feature is securable directly, while the other-indirectly, after passing throughout one of the forgoing to which it is not directly secured. A weight traversed by the chain is suspended between the legs of a user. The position of at least one of the features that is securable to the chain is adjustable with respect to the latter.



Inventors:
Mcbride, James (Vancouver, CA)
Application Number:
11/448904
Publication Date:
12/13/2007
Filing Date:
06/08/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B21/065
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ROLAND, DANIEL F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FREDERICK KAUFMAN (Vancouver, BC, CA)
Claims:
What I claim is:

1. A weightlifting belt convertible to a dip belt comprising in combination a weightlifting belt sub-assembly and a chain sub-assembly removably attachable to the latter, said weightlifting belt sub-assembly including a belt provided at one end with means for buckling; and at another end with means for adjusting said belt for different users' sizes by interacting with said means for buckling; means for pulling/relieving said means for adjusting, fastened to and disposed on an end of said belt oppositely to said means for buckling; said means for pulling/relieving said means for adjusting being so sized and located with respect to said means for buckling, that it can easily pass through the latter; said chain sub-assembly including a chain provided with a means for securing attached at each end of said chain, said chain sub-assembly being adapted to be used with at least one weight attached to said chain, so that said weight is suspended between the legs of a user when one of said means for securing is directly connected to said means for buckling, and another one of said means for securing is directly connected to said means for pulling/relieving said means for adjusting, or both said means for securing are directly secured to either the former or the latter, with one of said means for securing being directly connected, while another one of said means for securing being indirectly connected by passing through either said means for buckling or said means for pulling/relieving said means for adjusting.

2. The weightlifting belt convertible to a dip belt, as defined in claim 1, wherein said means for pulling/relieving said means for adjusting incorporates a D-ring fastened to said belt, oppositely disposed with respect to said means for buckling, and so designed as to pass through said means for buckling.

3. The weightlifting belt convertible to a dip belt, as defined in claim 1, wherein said means for pulling/relieving said means for adjusting incorporates a grommet press fitted into said belt and disposed past said means for adjusting, and near said end of said belt that is oppositely disposed with respect to said means for buckling.

4. A weightlifting belt convertible to a dip belt comprising a weightlifting belt sub-assembly adapted to be used with a chain sub-assembly removably attachable to the latter, said weightlifting belt sub-assembly including a belt provided at one end with means for buckling; and at another end with means for adjusting said belt for different users' sizes by interacting with said means for buckling; means for pulling/relieving said means for adjusting, fastened to and disposed on an end of said belt oppositely to said means for buckling; said means for pulling/relieving said means for adjusting being so sized and located with respect to said means for buckling, that it can easily pass through the latter; said chain sub-assembly including a chain provided with a means for securing attached at each end of said chain, said chain sub-assembly being adapted to be used with at least one weight attached to said chain, so that said weight is suspended between the legs of a user when one of said means for securing is directly connected to said means for buckling, and another one of said means for securing is directly connected to said means for pulling/relieving said means for adjusting, or both said means for securing are directly secured to either the former or the latter, with one of said means for securing being directly connected, while another one of said means for securing being indirectly connected by passing through either said means for buckling or said means for pulling/relieving said means for adjusting.

5. The weightlifting belt convertible to a dip belt, as defined in claim 4, wherein said means for pulling/relieving said means for adjusting incorporates a D-ring fastened to said belt, oppositely disposed with respect to said means for buckling, and so designed as to pass through said means for buckling.

6. The weightlifting belt convertible to a dip belt, as defined in claim 4, wherein said means for pulling/relieving said means for adjusting incorporates a grommet press fitted into said belt and disposed past said means for adjusting, and near said end of said belt that is oppositely disposed with respect to said means for buckling.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to weightlifting and dip belts and, more specifically, to a weightlifting belt, convertible when required, to a dip belt.

2. Description of the Prior Art

The wearing of weightlifting belts in the weight room constitutes a normal procedure today. Weightlifting belts are no longer just used for competitive weightlifting, but rather, even for recreational use in gym, they have become an indispensable piece of equipment.

The benefit of wearing a weightlifting belt is twofold.

First, a weightlifting belt increases intra-abdominal pressure (IAP), especially during squats and deadlifts, both of which require significant efforts. A weightlifting belt decreases tension on the lower back by compressing the contents of the abdominal cavity when a person is lifting in an upright position, and it precludes back hyperextension during overhead lifts. Thus, the intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) is expanded, resulting in improved support in front of the bones of the lower back. This permits the spinal erector muscles to be under less tension during a lifting operation.

Second, a weightlifting belt worn loosely can increase proprioception (the body's ability to react appropriately to external forces in the area), since the body receives sensory feedback that provides more information than usual about what is happening and what must be done.

A weightlifting belt prevents back hyperextension by producing a rigid wall around the lower torso that “connects” the rib cage to the hip. This not only restricts back movement, but it also opposes sideward bending and twisting.

Weightlifting belts must be well tightened to augment their utility. This constitutes a shortcoming and, therefore, they should not be worn for long periods of time. Medical research has demonstrated that the use of tight weightlifting belts during lifting can cause a rise in blood pressure. This occurs especially during maximal or submaximal lifting, such as with squats or deadlifts, or during exercises such as the military press. After such exercises, the weightlifting belt should be loosened to permit blood pressure to return to normal levels.

Dip belts are generally intended to add weight to the lifter's own body weight during exercises such as dips, chin-ups, and pull-ups, but they can also be used for calf raises. Thus, a dip belt provides additional weight resistance without restricting the usual movement of the exercises.

Usually, a dip belt is essentially a strap with an attached chain and no buckling features. One end of the chain is permanently secured to the strap; the other end is threaded through a weight or wrapped around a dumbbell and then attached to the strap. The weight disk or dumbbell will then be suspended between the lifter's legs. The weightlifting belt must sit securely on the hips of the lifter, such that it will not fall off the latter.

As can be seen from the foregoing presentation, weightlifting belts and dip belts co-exist as separate entities.

An example of prior art is U.S. Pat. No. 4,984,786 granted on Jan. 15, 1991 to Lemke et al. for a “WEIGHT SUSPENSION APPARATUS FOR SQUAT EXERCISES”. This patent discloses an apparatus comprising a belt, a front strap, a rear strap, a weight and a chain for connecting the weight to the front and rear straps. The front and rear straps are each V-shaped and stitched to the belt, with the nadir of the V-shape positioned between the legs of the user.

As can be seen, this apparatus can only be used as a dip belt, since the permanently attached straps will render the weight suspension apparatus cumbersome.

Another example is United States Patent Application No. 2004/0018921 published on Jan. 29, 2004, (by inventor Smith), and with the title “WEIGHTLIFTING BELT HOOK”. This Patent Application discloses a hook assembly attached to a user's weightlifting belt. The hook assembly includes an anchor that extends downwardly over the pelvic area, generally terminating at the user's thighs as an element in the shape of a diamond. A weight supporting rod extends from the bottom of the latter upwardly, and away from the user. The angle of the weight supporting rod in relation to the element in the shape of a diamond should be less than 90°, such that the weights do not fall off the weight supporting rod.

The foregoing Patent Application No. 2004/0018921 has two main shortcomings. First, due to the fact that the weight supporting rod extends away from the user, the center of gravity of the latter and the center of gravity of the weights do not coincide, thus creating a balance problem. Second, the hook assembly constitutes a structural design, which is uncomfortable to carry.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Thus, a need exists for a weightlifting belt that is convertible, when required, to a dip belt.

Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide a weightlifting belt that is readily convertible to a dip belt, and thus is easy to independently use for both purposes.

Another object of the present invention is to be able to adjust the distance between the user's waist and the location of the weights in order to conveniently adapt to the user's height.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a weight lifting belt that allows the user to tighten or loosen it with ease.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a weightlifting belt that is convertible to a dip belt at low cost.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a weightlifting belt that is convertible to a compact, easy to store, and easy to carry, dip belt.

Broadly stating, the present invention relates, in one embodiment, to a weightlifting belt that is convertible to a dip belt, which comprises

    • a weightlifting belt sub-assembly combined with or adapted to be used with
    • a chain sub-assembly removably attachable to the latter.
    • The weightlifting belt sub-assembly includes a belt provided at one end with
      • a feature for buckling; and at another end with
      • a feature for adjusting the belt for different users' sizes by interacting with the feature for buckling;
      • a feature for pulling/relieving the feature for adjusting, fastened to and disposed on an end of the belt oppositely to the feature for buckling; the feature for pulling/relieving the feature for adjusting being so sized and located with respect to the feature for buckling, that it can easily pass through the latter.
    • The chain sub-assembly includes a chain provided with a feature for securing attached at each end of the chain.
    • The chain sub-assembly is adapted to be used with at least one weight attached to the chain, so that the weight is suspended between the legs of a user when one of the features for securing is directly connected to the feature for buckling, and another one of the features for securing is directly connected to the feature for pulling/relieving the feature for adjusting, or both features for securing are directly secured to either the former or the latter, with one of the features for securing being directly connected, while another one of the features for securing being indirectly connected by passing through either the feature for buckling or the feature for pulling/relieving the feature for adjusting.

Specifically, in one embodiment, the weightlifting belt convertible to a dip belt, comprises, in the feature for pulling/relieving the feature for adjusting, a D-ring fastened to the belt, oppositely disposed with respect to the feature for buckling, and so designed as to pass through the feature for buckling.

Specifically, in another embodiment, the weightlifting belt convertible to a dip belt, comprises, in the feature for pulling/relieving the feature for adjusting, a grommet press fitted into the belt and disposed past the feature for adjusting, and near the end of the belt that is oppositely disposed with respect to the feature for buckling.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

While the novel features of the convertible weightlifting belt assembly of the present invention are set with particularity in the appended claims, a full and complete understanding of the invention may be had by referring to the detailed description of the preferred embodiments, which are presented subsequently, and as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of one embodiment of a weightlifting belt sub-assembly, designed in accordance with the present invention, wherein use is made of a buckle and a D-ring;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of another embodiment of a weightlifting belt sub-assembly, designed in accordance with the present invention, wherein used is made of a buckle and a grommet;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of a weightlifting belt sub-assembly combined with a chain sub-assembly, depicting a first example of securing the latter to the former;

FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of a weightlifting belt sub-assembly combined with a chain sub-assembly, depicting a second example of securing the latter to the former; and

FIG. 5 is a side elevation view of a weightlifting belt sub-assembly combined with a chain sub-assembly, depicting a third example of securing the latter to the former.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to FIGS. 1 to 5, in which like numerals indicate like parts, the convertible weightlifting belt assembly of the present invention is shown generally at 10 and comprises a weightlifting belt sub-assembly 12 and a chain sub-assembly 14 that is removably attachable to weightlifting belt sub-assembly 12.

The specific configuration of one embodiment of weightlifting belt sub-assembly 12 can be seen in FIG. 1. Weightlifting belt sub-assembly 12 includes a belt 16 that is sturdy, semi-rigid and adjustable when made of thick leather (padded leather for comfort), or can include a flexible and adjustable belt (not shown) when made of synthetic materials such as heavy nylon. No matter what the material is, the foregoing belts serve the same purpose. Belt 16 can have the same width all the way around or have a wide part that is worn in the back.

Weightlifting belt sub-assembly 12 further includes a two tongue buckle with heavy steel roller 18, further designated in the present disclosure as “buckle 18”. One end 20 of belt 16 passes through buckle 18, then is doubled back upon itself, and eventually, permanently secured with rivets 22 to remaining of belt 16. Weightlifting belt sub-assembly 12 of this embodiment (see FIG. 1) includes as well a D-ring 24. An opposite end 26 of belt 16, after passing through D-ring 24, is doubled back upon itself, and eventually, secured with rivets 22 to remaining of belt 16. Obviously, the size of D-ring 24 is so chosen such that the latter can freely pass together with opposite end 26 of belt 16 through buckle 18. Belt 16 is provided, in proximity of rivets 22 used to permanently secure D-ring 24 to opposite end 26 of belt 16, with several pairs of adjusting apertures 28 for interacting with buckle 18 for accommodating different sizes of users. Alternatively to two tongue buckle with heavy steel roller 18 (designated buckle 18), other conventional types of buckles such as interacting, positionally adjustable male and female buckles, or other types of devices for attaching and adjusting the ends of the belts can be used. It is obvious that buckle 18 (or other devices) can be used with belt 16 to lengthen or shorten the latter to an effective size for accommodating different sized users.

Another purpose of providing weightlifting belt sub-assembly 12 with D-ring 24, besides the one of facilitating, by pulling/relieving, the foregoing adjustments to fit different users, is to rapidly cease the tightening of belt 16 so that blood pressure may quickly return to normal values after strenuous exercises. Yet another purpose for providing weightlifting belt sub-assembly 12 with D-ring 24 will be described later in the forthcoming disclosure.

In another embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2, a grommet 30 is press fitted into belt 16, past adjusting apertures 28 and near opposite end 26 of belt 16, thereby substituting D-ring 24 and rivets 22 used to secure the latter to belt 16. Another purpose of providing weightlifting belt sub-assembly 12 with grommet 30, besides the one of facilitating, by pulling/relieving, the foregoing adjustments to fit different users, is to rapidly cease the tightening of belt 16 so that blood pressure may quickly return to normal values after strenuous exercises. Yet another purpose of providing of weightlifting belt sub-assembly 12 with grommet 30 will be described later in the forthcoming disclosure.

A flap 32 is attached to the back of belt 16 to cover a zone under buckle 16 and, thus, to render the wearing of weightlifting belt sub-assembly 12 more comfortable.

Chain sub-assembly 14, illustrated in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, includes a chain of annular rings 34 provided at one end with a snap-bolt snap with round swivel eye 36, permanently attached to it. A double-eye snap bolt 38 serves to anchor to the other end of chain of annular rings 34, but can also be quickly and easily attached and detached at any part of the latter. In one variant, a double-eye snap bolt 38 could be used at both ends of chain of annular rings 34. In other variants, foregoing snap bolts 36 and 38 could be replaced by snap-hooks, quick-links, S-hooks, hoops, or any known securing elements or combination of securing elements. At least one of the two securing elements, used in combination with said chain of annular rings 34, is, preferably, removably attachable to the latter.

Chain sub-assembly 14 is compatible with both standard and Olympic type weight(s) 40. For use with weight(s) 40, snap-bolt snap with round swivel eye 36 is secured to buckle 18, while double-eye snap bolt 38 must be opened and removed from chain of annular rings 34. Thus, chain of annular rings 34 can be passed through a hole 42 in the center of weight(s) 40 and reattached to double-eye snap bolt 38. Double-eye snap bolt 38 is then secured to D-ring 24 (see FIG. 5) or can pass through it to be secured to buckle 18 (see FIG. 3). Once double-eye snap bolt 38 is secured and weightlifting belt sub-assembly 12 sits on the hips of the lifter, weight(s) 40 can be conveniently suspended between the lifter's legs. The working length of chain of annular rings 34 can be modified by removing double-eye snap bolt 38 from an end of chain of annular rings 34 and refastening it on a chosen annular ring of the latter. Thus, double-eye snap bolt 38 is used to adjust the positioning of weight(s) 40 according to the height and convenience of the user.

Conversely, snap-bolt snap with round swivel eye 36 can be secured to D-ring, while double-eye snap bolt 38 can be secured to buckle 18, or pass through the latter to be secured to D-ring.

Grommet 30 is functionally similar to D-ring 24. By detaching double-eye snap bolt 38 from chain of annular rings 34, the latter could traverse hole 42 of weight(s) 40, pass through grommet 30 (see FIG. 4), and then be reattached, where is desired, to double-eye snap bolt 38 that is finally secured to buckle 18. Obviously when hole 42 in the center of weight(s) 40 is larger in size than the snap bolts used above, detachment of the latter for passing throughout hole 42 is not necessary. It is also evident that when a snap bolt or its equivalent has such a size which allows direct attachment to grommet 30, the latter is not necessarily used merely for passage of the snap bolt or its equivalent.

As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention.





 
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