Title:
Portable exercise pole and method of use
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is a portable exercise pole that generally comprises a first hollow rod with a round base connected at the bottom, an extension, and a top piece. First rod has first and second threaded collars (e.g. nuts) welded therein. The extension generally comprises a second rod having a first threaded rod at the bottom, capped with first and second threaded collars. Third and fourth threaded collars are welded inside second rod. Top piece generally comprises a second round plate connected to a second threaded rod that snugly fits into third and fourth threaded collars or directly into first and second threaded collars, if the extension is not used. An alternate embodiment of the pole generally comprises floor and ceiling bases, a first hollow rod, a threaded insert, an extension, and an adjustment rod. Pole exercises are designed to tone and strengthen an athlete's muscles as well as build self-confidence.



Inventors:
Ammon, David (Towson, MD, US)
Ammon, Anita (Towson, MD, US)
Application Number:
11/639061
Publication Date:
06/19/2008
Filing Date:
12/14/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
482/33
International Classes:
A63B23/00; A63B9/00
View Patent Images:
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20070135279Resistance garmentsJune, 2007Purdy et al.
20100041521STRENGTHENING GLOVEFebruary, 2010Ingvast et al.
20090156368Exercise device and its arm restJune, 2009Ketomaki
20070249466Device for Conditioning Balance and Motor Co-OrdinationOctober, 2007Chiari et al.
20100048362Exercise equipment and exercise equipment systemsFebruary, 2010Liford et al.
20060270524Compact trampoline packagingNovember, 2006Colling
20070099780Shoulder Stretcher AssemblyMay, 2007Bowser



Primary Examiner:
CROW, STEPHEN R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ober, Kaler, Grimes & Shriver (Baltimore, MD, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A portable exercise pole comprising: a first rod having threaded collars proximate one end of said first rod; a base connected to an opposing end of said first rod, said base comprising a first plate; and a top piece including a second plate, a flange mount bearing connected to said second plate, a ball joint swivel bearing connected to said flange mount bearing; a second threaded rod connected to said ball joint swivel bearing; and a jam nut surrounding said second threaded rod.

2. A portable exercise pole according to claim 1, further comprising an extension including a second rod having third and fourth threaded collars proximate one end of said second rod; and a first threaded rod attached at an opposing end of said second rod.

3. A portable exercise pole according to claim 2, wherein said first, second, third, and fourth threaded collars comprise nuts.

4. A portable exercise pole according to claim 1, said first plate comprising a flange having apertures and rubber stops inserted into said apertures for added friction and stability and to prevent marring a floor.

5. A portable exercise pole according to claim 1, further comprising rubber padding fully adhered to top of said second plate for added friction and stability and to prevent marring a ceiling.

6. A portable exercise pole comprising: a floor base including a curved top surface and a planar bottom surface, said top surface having a centrally defined aperture extending lengthwise from said top surface to said bottom surface and a slot substantially surrounding said aperture; a first hollow rod; an adjustment rod including a threaded body having a capped top end; a ceiling base including a planar top surface and a curved bottom surface having a centrally defined aperture extending lengthwise from said top surface to said bottom surface of said ceiling base.

7. A portable exercise pole according to claim 6, further comprising a threaded insert for insertion into an end of said first hollow rod.

8. A portable exercise pole according to claim 6, further comprising an extension including a hollow rod having a threaded insert at one end and a short threaded rod attached at opposing end.

9. A portable exercise pole according to claim 6, said capped top end of said adjustment rod further comprises an aperture for receiving a fastener.

10. A portable exercise pole according to claim 6, further comprising rubber bumpers adhered to said bottom surface of said floor base and to said top surface of said ceiling base.

11. A portable exercise pole according to claim 6, wherein said ceiling base further comprises a slot substantially surrounding said aperture within said ceiling base.

12. A method of performing exercises with a dance pole that tone, strengthen, and increase an athlete's flexibility as well as creates a sexy feeling of confidence in said athlete comprising the steps of: performing warm up exercises; performing transition moves; performing strength building exercises; performing spins; reviewing said performing transition moves, performing strength building exercises, and performing spins steps; dancing freestyle; and performing cooling down exercises at a slow and steady pace to lower heart rate of said athlete.

13. A method of performing exercises according to claim 12, wherein said step of performing warm up exercises comprises the substeps of: standing up straight with both feet on floor spaced shoulder length apart; holding pole with one hand; placing opposite hand on knee; and moving hips and abdominal muscles in a circular movement.

14. A method of performing exercises according to claim 12, wherein said step of performing warm up exercises comprises the substeps of: standing up straight with both feet on floor; lifting one foot up to touch toes on said dance pole; thrusting hips out and away from body; tracing hand slowly down entire standing leg; and peaking head through created leg hole.

15. A method of performing exercises according to claim 12, wherein said step of performing warm up exercises comprises the substeps of: placing both feet close to base of said pole; gripping said pole overhead with one hand; leaning body away from said pole; holding free arm straight; and holding stretch.

16. A method of performing exercises according to claim 12, wherein said step of performing transition moves comprises the substeps of: standing up straight with both feet on floor; gripping said pole with one hand; rolling body in a circular motion; and tracing body with opposing free hand.

17. A method of performing exercises according to claim 12, wherein said step of performing transition moves comprises the substeps of: standing up straight with both feet on floor; gripping said pole with one hand; arching back of body; and pulling body up one body part at a time.

18. A method of performing exercises according to claim 12, wherein said step of performing transition moves comprises the substeps of: standing up straight with both feet on floor; gripping said pole with one hand; keeping torso straight; bringing chin to chest; and rolling neck in a circular movement.

19. A method of performing exercises according to claim 12, wherein said step of performing transition moves comprises the substeps of: lying on back on floor; gripping said pole with one hand; bringing both legs straight up in air together; bending said legs at a 90-degree angle; alternating kicking of said legs, bringing one of said legs up and then bringing said leg down; and moving pelvis from side to side.

20. A method of performing exercises according to claim 12, wherein said step of performing transition moves comprises the substeps of: gripping said pole with one hand; and kicking calf of one leg up, taking a step with opposite leg, and tilting head back.

21. A method of performing exercises according to claim 12, wherein said step of performing transition moves comprises the substeps of: gripping said pole with one or both hands; turning both ankles back and forth; pointing toes; and spreading both legs apart in a V-shape and shaking said legs.

22. A method of performing exercises according to claim 12, wherein said step of performing strength building exercises comprises the substeps of: standing with back facing said pole; gripping said pole with both hands directly behind athlete; bringing legs together; walking away from said pole; bending at elbows; dropping rear and torso towards floor; and bringing rear and torso back upwards without touching said rear and torso to said pole.

23. A method of performing exercises according to claim 12, wherein said step of performing strength building exercises comprises the substeps of: standing up straight with both feet on floor next to said pole; gripping said pole with one hand; and sliding said hand down and lowering body to said floor in split position wherein both legs are separated in opposite directions and pelvis abuts said floor;

24. A method of performing exercises according to claim 12, wherein said step of performing strength building exercises comprises the substeps of: sitting on said floor next to said pole; gripping said pole with both hands above head; lifting rear end of athlete off said floor with upper body strength; and lifting remaining part of body off said floor until said body is parallel to said floor.

25. A method of performing exercises according to claim 12, wherein said step of performing spins comprises the substeps of: gripping said pole with one or both hands high onto said pole; walking around said pole; lifting body off ground; wrapping legs around pole; and spinning down said pole.

26. A method of performing exercises according to claim 12, wherein said step of dancing freestyle comprises the substeps of: performing an exercise routine including repeating said performing transition moves, performing strength building exercises, and performing spins steps with matching melody.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to exercise equipment and the use thereof, and more particularly to a portable exercise pole mounted from floor to ceiling that does not mar either surface.

2. Description of the Background

Aerobic and other conventional exercise classes tend to grow somewhat redundant over time, and participants tend to become bored. Consequently, there is always a demand for imaginative and different exercises and routines to encourage people to continue enjoying fitness in their lives, as well as to help clubs and instructors retain their customers. Recent exercise trends include pilates, step aerobics, spinning, cardio kick-boxing, and many other equipment-intensive exercises. Pilates equipment includes, for example, a soft rubber ring, therapy exercise balls, power cords, and a mat. Step aerobics requires use of a portable aerobic exercise step. An exercise bicycle is necessary to partake in spinning exercises, while a punching bag is required for cardio kick-boxing.

Pole dancing is a fairly new form of exercise and instruction based on the better-known form of erotic dancing. It has become popular of late because some people enjoy learning how to pole dance, and because it brings an entirely new erotic element into fitness classes. Pole dancing is different from all other forms of exercise as it is intended to induce feelings of sensuality and confidence in the athlete performing the exercise. Pole dancing exercise requires the use of a vertical pole extending from floor to ceiling, and the dancer progresses through a sequence of exercises all entailing some degree of suspension, the pole thereby increasing upper body strength, toning and conditioning, and increasing an athlete's flexibility all at the same time.

The general concept of an exercise pole mounted floor to ceiling is known (U.S. patent application 20040220031 to Blacker). However, the Blacker '031 application is drawn to a telescoping exercise pole having an inner tension spring. The Blacker '031 pole requires a capture plug fixedly attached to the ceiling, to hold the upper pole section in tension with the ceiling.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,042,066 to Maharg et al. is also somewhat relevant inasmuch as it discloses a floor to ceiling tension support pole with a locking mechanism. The pole pieces are telescopable to adjust the length. A locking mechanism is done by turning a handle. Rubber feet absorb part of the telescopic movement.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,576,354 to Blessing, Sr. shows a panel support column for supporting sheet rock panels in an overhead position using telescoping rods and a compression spring. The support rod uses a plurality of height adjusting holes to which a clamp is attached to allow adjustment of the height of the column.

Neither of the foregoing nor any other known references teach or suggest the use of a portable exercise pole that can be readily and securely mounted from floor to ceiling, and which does not mar either surface despite arduous use.

It would be greatly advantageous to provide a portable exercise pole that is readily mounted floor to ceiling with nothing screwed into either surface, and that uses only screw-type compression to be held upright, and further has rubber stops on the base flange and rubber padding covering the top of the pole, which prevent both the floor and ceiling, respectively from being marred or damaged. Furthermore, it would be greatly advantageous to provide a portable exercise pole comprised entirely of inexpensive components that are easy to assemble.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a portable exercise pole having removable parts, where nothing is screwed into the floor or ceiling, thereby making the pole portable and simple to assemble and disassemble.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a portable exercise pole having stop nuts and a jam nut, which counter compressive forces giving the pole added support and stability.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a portable exercise pole with 2-inch diameter rods so the athlete can grip the pole comfortably with one hand while performing exercises.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a portable exercise pole that is sufficiently rigid to withstand at least 250 pounds of human weight and to withstand lateral forces exerted upon the pole during use.

It is yet another object of present invention is to provide a portable exercise pole with an extension to create a pole of additional height for a ceiling that is taller than a standard 8-foot ceiling.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a portable exercise pole that has rubber stops on the base and rubber padding covering the top piece to prevent marring of the floor and ceiling, respectively.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a portable exercise pole having rubber stops and padding, which provide friction and a firm grip between the pole and the floor and ceiling, respectively, thereby allowing the pole to stand sturdy vertically and withstand lateral forces.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a portable exercise pole having rubber bumpers adhered to floor and ceiling bases that prevent damaging the floor and ceiling, respectively and that add stability to the pole through friction forces.

It is another object of the present invention is to provide a portable exercise pole that is fabricated of materials chosen to provide the appropriate degree of resiliency, durability, and longevity.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide an exercise pole and method of use thereof that builds confidence in the athlete using the pole for exercises.

It is yet another object of the present invention to provide an exercise pole and method of use thereof that instills a sexy feeling in the athlete that uses the pole for exercises.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide an exercise pole and method of use thereof as described above which tones, strengthens, and increases the athlete's flexibility while performing the pole exercises.

These and other objects are accomplished by a portable exercise pole that generally comprises a first hollow rod with a base connected at the bottom of first rod, an extension, and a top piece. The base generally comprises a first round plate with rubber stops inserted through the flange. First round plate connects to first rod, which includes first and second threaded collars (e.g. stop nuts) welded therein. First and second threaded collars cap both ends of the first threaded rod, of the extension, which can be connected to the first rod to create a taller pole for a higher ceiling. The extension generally comprises a second rod having a first threaded rod at the bottom. Third and fourth threaded collars (e.g. stop nuts) are welded inside second rod (opposite the first threaded rod). Both ends of first threaded rod are capped with first and second threaded collars. Third and fourth threaded collars cap both ends of second threaded rod of the top piece. The top piece generally comprises a second threaded rod connected to a second plate.

A flange mount bearing is affixed to one side of a second round plate, and a ball joint swivel bearing is affixed to the flange mount bearing to receive and connect to second threaded rod.

Rubber padding is fully adhered to the side of the second plate opposing the flange mount and ball joint swivel bearings. The second threaded rod snugly fits into third and fourth stop threaded collars or directly into first and second threaded collars, if the extension is not used. A jam nut is tightly and snugly jammed around the lower part of second threaded rod. In assembly, the second threaded rod is inserted into third and fourth threaded collars, and the jam nut sits directly above the third collar. An alternate embodiment of the pole generally comprises floor ceiling bases, a first hollow rod, a threaded insert, an extension, and an adjustment rod. A number of exercises using the pole are designed to tone, strengthen, and increase the athlete's flexibility as well as build a sexy, confident feeling in the athlete.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment and certain modifications thereof when taken together with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an assembly drawing of the components of a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a flowchart of the method steps associated with using the pole 1.

FIG. 3 is an illustration of an athlete performing warm-up exercise F.

FIG. 4 is an illustration of an athlete performing a transition exercise B.

FIG. 5 is an illustration of an athlete performing strength building exercise A.

FIG. 6 is an illustration of an athlete performing strength building exercise B. in an inverted position.

FIG. 7 is an illustration of an athlete performing spin exercise F.

FIG. 8 is an assembly drawing of the components of an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 is an assembly drawing of the components of a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

The present invention is a portable exercise pole 1 that generally comprises a first hollow rod 2 with a base 3 connected at the bottom, an extension 4, and a top piece 5. The base 3 generally comprises a round plate 6 with a flange 7 having holes 8 (four being illustrated) drilled therein for insertion of an equivalent number of rubber stops therethrough. The rubber stops provide friction between the floor surface (e.g. carpet, tile, hardwood) and the base 3, and thus the base 3 more firmly grips the surface allowing the pole 1 to stand sturdy vertically and withstand lateral forces. Stops made of rubber are preferred because they will not mar floor surfaces. The round plate 6 includes three screws for connecting first rod 2 to first plate 6.

First 9 and second 10 threaded collars (e.g. stop nuts) are welded inside toward the top of the first rod 2. First threaded collar 9 is welded into the opening of first rod 2 (opposite of the base 3). Second threaded collar 10 is welded into the rod 2, three inches beneath first collar 9. First 9 and second 10 threaded collars are one inch in diameter to cap both ends of the first threaded rod 11, of the extension 4, having the same diameter. First rod 2 is preferably approximately two inches in diameter so a user's hand can grip around the rod 2 comfortably when performing exercises with the pole 1. First rod 2 should be approximately 7′6″ in length to accommodate a standard 8-foot ceiling.

The extension 4 can be connected to the first rod 2 to provide the pole 1 with additional height if the ceiling is taller than the standard ceiling, particularly if the ceiling is a 9-foot ceiling. The extension 4 generally comprises a second rod 12 one foot three inches in length and further wherein one foot of second rod 12 is hollow and the remaining three inches at one end of second rod 12 are a first threaded rod 11. Third 13 and fourth 14 threaded collars (e.g. stop nuts) are welded inside second rod 12 (opposite the first threaded rod 11). First threaded rod 11 is three inches in length and one inch in diameter for easy insertion into one-inch diameter first 9 and second 10 threaded collars. Both ends of first threaded rod 11 are capped with first 9 and second 10 threaded collars. Second rod 12 is preferably two inches in diameter so a user's hand can comfortably grip around it. Third threaded collar 13 is welded into the opening of second rod 12 and fourth threaded collar 14 is welded three inches beneath third collar 13. Third 13 and fourth 14 threaded collars are for example, one-inch diameter stop nuts that receive and cap both ends of second threaded rod 15 of the top piece 5. The top piece 5 and first rod 2 are essential parts of the pole 1, while the extension 4 may only be utilized if the ceiling is greater than the standard 8-foot ceiling. The top piece 5 generally comprises a second threaded rod 15 connected to a second plate 16. The length of the top piece 5 is one foot, including the second plate 16. A flange mount bearing 17 is affixed to one side of a second round plate 16. Second round plate 16 is preferred to be ¼ inch thick and made of steel to provide adequate stability, structure, and adequate support for the pole 1. Holes 18 may be drilled into the flange mount bearing and a corresponding number (four are illustrated) of screws are inserted therein for affixation to the steel plate 16. A ball joint swivel bearing 19 is affixed to the flange mount bearing 17 to receive and connect to second threaded rod 15. Any of a number of different methods of attachment may be used, including but not limited to welding, brazing, gluing, etc.

Rubber padding 20 is fully adhered to the side of the second plate 16 opposing the flange mount 17 and ball joint swivel bearings 19. The rubber padding 20 at the top of the pole 1 is held up to the ceiling by screw-type compressive force, provided by second threaded rod 15 (and first threaded rod 11 if the extension 4 is used), when the pole 1 is installed. The rubber padding 20 is chosen as the contact surface with the ceiling so it will not mar the ceiling or damage it any other way.

The second threaded rod 15 is 1-inch in diameter so it can fit snugly into third 13 and fourth 14 threaded collars of the extension 4 or directly into first 9 and second 10 threaded collars of first rod 2 (if the extension 4 is not used). A jam nut 21 is tightly and snugly jammed around the lower part of second threaded rod 15, three inches from the end opposing the second plate 16. In assembly, the second threaded rod 15 is inserted into third 13 and fourth 14 threaded collars, and the jam nut 21 sits directly above the third threaded collar 13. The jam nuts 21 causes third 13 and fourth 14 threaded collars to press on second threaded rod 15 in opposite directions, so that second threaded rod 15 is clamped between the threaded collars 13, 14, and this clamping is not relieved if the threaded collars 13, 14 should turn slightly, so that unscrewing is discouraged. The threaded collars 13, 14 counter the compressive force of the jam nut 21, thereby providing the pole 1 with additional stability. In fact all of the threaded collars 9, 10, 13, and 14 give the pole 1 added support and stability. The nuts 9, 10, 13, 14, and 21 can be positioned at different lengths along the rods 2, 12, and 15 to accommodate differing installation depths required for ceilings of nonstandard height.

Assembling the pole 1 requires finding a joist or other support (using a stud finder) in the ceiling of a room and then placing the base 3 flat in the corresponding location on the floor. Three screws are used to connect and secure the round plate 6 to first rod 2. If the ceiling is taller than the standard 8-foot ceiling, then the extension 4 is utilized. First threaded rod 11 of the extension 4 is inserted into the open end of first rod 2 where first 9 and second 10 threaded collars tightly cap both ends of the first threaded rod 11. After the extension 4 is secured to first rod 2, the top piece 5 is firmly connected to the extension 4 by inserting second threaded rod 15 of top piece 5 into third 13 and fourth 14 threaded collars welded into the opening of second rod 12 of extension 4. If the ceiling is a standard 8-foot ceiling then the extension 4 is not used. In this case, second threaded rod 15 of top piece 5 is directly inserted into first rod 2 such that first 9 and second 10 threaded collars tightly cap second threaded rod 15. The entire assembly thus far should be tilted to the side so that the end of second threaded rod 15, opposing the end inserted into the second rod 12, can be inserted into ball joint swivel bearing 19 of second plate 16. After second rod 12 is secured to bearing 19, the pole 1 is turned to stand upright such that the rubber padding 20 (adhered to second plate 16 on the side opposing swivel bearing 19) contacts the ceiling and the rubber stops in the base flange 7 contact the floor.

FIG. 8 is an assembly drawing of the components of an alternative embodiment of the present invention. An alternate embodiment is a portable exercise pole 22 that generally comprises a floor base 23, a first hollow rod 24, a threaded insert 25, an extension 26, an adjustment rod 27, and a ceiling base 28. The floor base 23 has a curved top surface 29 and a planar bottom surface 30. The top surface 29 has a centrally defined aperture 50 which extends the full length of the base 23, from the top surface 29 down to the bottom 30. A concentric slot 31 surrounds the centrally defined aperture 50. The slot 31 extends lengthwise from the top surface 29 down to approximately one-third the length of the base 23.

The floor base 23 and ceiling base 28 are each 6″ in diameter and both preferably comprise aluminum for stability. Also, rubber bumpers 33 are adhered to the planar surfaces 30, 43 of both floor 23 and ceiling 28 bases. The rubber bumpers 33 add stability through friction forces and prevent damaging the floor and ceiling. Preferably eighteen rubber bumpers 33 are attached to the floor 23 and ceiling 28 bases. First hollow rod 24 has an open end 46 for receiving a threaded insert 25, and an open end 47 which connects to the floor base 23. The end 47 of first hollow rod 24 inserts over the aperture 50 in floor base 23 and rests within the slot 31 for a snug fit.

Floor 23 and ceiling 28 bases, first hollow rod 24, and adjustment rod 27 are essential parts of the pole 22, while the extension 26 may only be utilized if the ceiling is greater than the standard 8-foot ceiling. The maximum ceiling height that the pole 22 (with the maximum height of the extension 26) can accommodate is 9′4″. The extension 26 comprises a hollow rod 34 with a threaded insert 35 at one end and a short threaded rod 36 connected to opposing end. If the extension 26 is utilized, the threaded rod 36 of extension 26 inserts into the threaded insert 25 positioned in first hollow rod 24, for a secure fit.

An adjustment rod 27 can fit directly into the threaded insert 25 positioned in first hollow rod 24 or into the extension 26, it if is utilized. The adjustment rod 27 has a threaded body 38 that moves through the threaded insert 35 and into the hollow rod 34 of the extension 26 or first hollow rod 24 directly, if the extension 26 is not utilized (i.e. the ceiling is a standard 8-foot high ceiling). A jam nut 37 is positioned around the threaded body 38 such that when the adjustment rod 27 is positioned in place, the nut 37 secures the rod 27 to either the extension 26 or first hollow rod 25, thereby creating a sturdy pole 22. The nut 37 can be positioned at different lengths along the threaded body 38 to accommodate differing installation depths required for ceilings of nonstandard height. The threaded body 38 comprises a top capped end 39 having an aperture 51 at the top end for screw insertion, and a horizontal thru-hole 40 passing through the end 39. Ceiling base 28 generally comprises a planar top surface 43 and a curved bottom surface 41, which includes a centrally defined aperture 52 that extends the full length of the base 28, from the top surface 43 down to the bottom 41. A concentric slot 44 surrounds the centrally defined aperture 52. The slot 44 extends lengthwise from the bottom surface 41 upwards to approximately one-third the length of the base 28. The slot 44 does not extend the full length of the base 28 so that it stops the adjustment rod 27 within the base 28 rather than having the rod 27 pass through the base 28 and abut the ceiling (which can mar or otherwise damage the ceiling).

A bearing 45, preferably comprising nylon, is inserted into the aperture 52, so that the top capped end 39 of threaded body 38 securely inserts into the aperture 52 of the ceiling base 28. A bearing 45 is a device which allows contrained motion between two parts, those parts being the ceiling base 28 and adjustment rod 27 disclosed herein. A washer 49 is aligned with aperture 52 from the topside 43 of ceiling base 28, and a thumb screw 48 is inserted through the washer 49 and the aperture 52 of ceiling base 28 and into the aperture 51 of the top capped end 39 to further secure the base 28 and adjustment rod 27 together.

First hollow rod 24 and extension 26 are each 2″ in diameter. The extension 26 is 1′ long. The adjustment rod 27 is 1″ in diameter and approximately 12″ in length. The apertures 50, 52 in floor 23 and ceiling 28 bases, respectively have an inner diameter of approximately 1″.

Assembling the pole 22 requires finding a joist or other support in the ceiling of a room and then placing the floor base 23 flat in the corresponding location on the floor. First hollow rod 24 is inserted endwise into the slot 31 of floor base 23. The threaded rod 36 of extension 26 is inserted into a threaded insert 25 which is positioned in open end 46 of first hollow rod 24, for a secure fit. Then the adjustment rod 27 is inserted into the threaded insert 35 of extension 26. At a maximum height (fitting a 9′4″ ceiling), the adjustment 27 is fully extended, with only 2″ of the threaded body 38 sitting within the extension 26. Alternately, if the extension 26 is not utilized, then the threaded body 38 of adjustment 27 is directly secured into threaded insert 35 within open end 46 of first hollow rod 24. Then the capped end 39 of adjustment 27 is inserted into the bearing 45 within aperture 52 in ceiling base 28. To secure the base 28 and adjustment rod 27 together, a washer 49 is placed over aperture 52 on the topside 43 of ceiling base 28, and a thumb screw 48 is inserted through the washer 49 and into aperture 52 of ceiling base 28 and finally into aperture 51 of the top capped end 39 of adjustment 27. A hand tool, such as a screwdriver, can be inserted into thru-hole 40 of adjustment rod 27 to further secure the adjustment 27 within the ceiling base 28 and tighten the entire pole 22 assembly. The pole 22 is turned to stand upright such that the rubber bumpers 33 on the bases 23, 28 contact the floor and ceiling, respectively.

The pole 1, 22 has removable parts and nothing is screwed into the floor or ceiling thereby making the pole 1, 22 easily portable and simple to assemble and disassemble. Portability is an especially useful feature of the pole 1, 22 as it is allows the athlete to perform exercises anywhere, whether it be in an exercise studio and/or in the privacy of their own home. Additionally the rubber stops on the base flange 7 and the rubber padding covering the second plate of the top piece 5 of pole 1 prevents surfaces from being marred or damaged in any way. The rubber bumpers 33 adhered to both the floor 23 and ceiling 28 bases of pole 22 also prevent marring or other damage to surfaces and add stability through friction forces.

The pole 1, 22 is fabricated of materials chosen to provide the appropriate degree of resiliency, durability, and longevity. Particularly, first 2 and second 12 rods of pole 1 and hollow rods 24, 34 of pole 22 may be made of brass, polished stainless steel, or chromed steel. Each material provides different gripping ability. Brass poles 1, 22 provide more friction, thereby allowing for an easier hold with hands or thighs and creating a slow, sensual exercise. Polished stainless steel, one of the slickest materials, creates a faster, more fluid exercise. A chromed steel pole 1, 22 falls between brass and polished steel poles 1, 22 in terms of slickness, and thus it allows an athlete to create a more steady-paced movement when exercising with the pole 1, 22. The pole 1, 22 is sufficiently rigid to withstand at least 250 pounds of human weight and to withstand lateral forces exerted upon the pole 1, 22 during use.

FIG. 2 is a flowchart of the method steps associated with using the pole 1. The method steps generally comprise the following:

Step 100: Warm-up;

Step 200. Transition moves;

Step 300. Strength building;

Step 400. Spins;

Step 500. Review;

Step 600. Freestyle; and

Step 700 Cool down.

The method of the present invention involves exercises with the pole 1, which incorporate exotic dance movements that tone, strengthen, and increase an athlete's flexibility as well as create a sexy feeling of confidence in the athlete, which is an element that is missing from other methods of exercise.

Step 100 is the warm-up, which involves standing next to the pole 1 and engaging in exercises to warm the body up in preparation for exercises with the pole 1. The objective of step 100 is to achieve pliability of the athlete's muscles to ensure no tears or sprains occur because of improper preparation. Another objective is to increase the athlete's flexibility and develop lean muscle. Many exercises varying in degree of difficulty are possible during step 100, and these may be categorized as follows:

A. A warm-up exercise preparation for exercises with the pole 1. While standing up straight, the athlete extends arms out to shoulder length and then makes slow rotations forward in a circular manner as if drawing circles in the air with the fingertips. The athlete then reverses this motion to stretch out arms and shoulders before engaging in pole exercises.

B. A warm-up exercise preparation for exercises with the pole 1. The athlete is propped up, on the floor, on one side of the body. The athlete brings the shoulders and hips together in a crunching motion and pushes the chest out while performing this exercise.

C. A warm-up exercise in preparation for exercises with the pole 1. The athlete stands with feet shoulder length apart. The athlete holds the pole with one hand and puts the other hand on the knee. Then the athlete moves hips and abdominal muscles in a circular movement so that the body is moving in a uniform circular movement.

D. A warm-up exercise in preparation for exercises with the pole 1. The athlete sits on the floor with legs separated and places arms on knees. Then the athlete moves the entire torso forward and around the body in a circular movement, using arms as leverage.

E. A warm-up exercise in preparation for exercises with the pole 1. The athlete begins in the standing position and then lifts one foot up and touches toes to the pole 1. The athlete then thrusts the hips out and away from the body. The athlete slowly traces hands down the leg that is standing, until the hand reaches the farthest point of that leg. At that point, the athlete peaks through the leg hole created. The athlete holds and stretches in this position and then repeats this exercise with the other leg.

F. A warm-up exercise in preparation for exercises with the pole 1. The athlete places feet close to base 3 of pole 1, and then grips the pole 1 overhead with one hand, leans the body away from the pole 1, and holds the free arm out straight. The athlete holds this stretch and then repeats it for the other side of the body. FIG. 3 is an illustration of an athlete performing warm-up exercise F.

G. A warm-up exercise in preparation for exercises with the pole 1. The athlete sits on the floor, extends one leg out and away from the body, points the toes of that leg and uses the pointed toes to touch the thigh of the opposite leg. The athlete stretches arms toward the extended leg. The athlete repeats this exercise with the other leg.

Step 200 involves performing transition moves to get the athlete comfortable with the idea of holding onto a pole 1 and using it as a tool. An objective of step 200 is to keep the athlete's body moving and the muscles pliable. Multiple exercises varying in degree of difficulty are possible during step 200, and these may be categorized as follows:

A. A transition exercise with the pole 1. While standing, the athlete grips the pole 1 with one hand and slowly rolls both shoulders in a circular motion (either forward or back) and traces body parts, with the free hand, while rolling the shoulders.

B. A transition exercise with the pole 1. While standing, the athlete grips the pole 1 with one or both hands and slowly moves the hips in a solid circular motion. If one hand is free, then the athlete may use that hand to trace body parts, while moving the hips. FIG. 4 is an illustration of an athlete performing a transition exercise B.

C. A transition exercise with the pole 1. While standing, the athlete grips the pole 1 with one hand and slowly moves the pelvis in four different isolated directions. The athlete may also trace body parts, with the free hand, while moving the pelvis.

D. A transition exercise with the pole 1. While standing, the athlete grips the pole 1 with one hand and slowly arches the back deep and then pulls the body up one body part at a time (e.g. first pull the chest up, then the stomach, etc.). The athlete may also trace body parts, with the free hand, while pulling the body up.

E. A transition exercise with the pole 1. While standing, the athlete grips the pole 1 with one hand and while keeping the torso straight, brings the chin to the chest, rolls the neck to the side, back, and then the other side. The head is tracing an imaginary circle and stretching out all of the muscles in the neck. The athlete may also trace body parts, with the free hand, while rolling the neck.

F. A transition exercise with the pole 1. While standing, the athlete grips the pole with one hand and slowly rolls both shoulders in a circular motion (either forward or back) and then squats down at the pole base 3. The athlete may also trace body parts, with the free hand, while rolling the shoulders and/or squatting down.

G. A transition exercise with the pole 1. While in the crawl position on the floor, the athlete grips the pole 1 with one hand and slowly crawls around it exaggerating movements for the legs and arms. If desired, the athlete may arch the back while crawling.

H. A transition exercise with the pole 1. Sitting on the floor, the athlete moves both legs together and off to one side of the body. The athlete grips the pole 1 with one hand and moves the free hand to the side of the bent legs. Then the athlete rests the weight of the body on the palm of the free hand.

I. A transition exercise with the pole 1. While laying on the back on the floor, the athlete grips the pole 1 with one hand and then brings both legs straight up in the air together and then bends them to a 90-degree angle. Alternating legs, the athlete kicks one leg up and then brings it down while keeping toes pointed at all times. If an added abdominal workout is desired, the athlete may move the pelvis slightly from side to side.

J. A transition exercise with the pole 1. While standing, the athlete grips the pole 1 with one hand and lets the other one hang to side while taking a slow sensual walk around the pole 1, swinging the hips to one side, pushing the rear out, and tilting the head back to look at the rear, after taking each step.

K. A transition exercise with the pole 1. While standing, the athlete grips the pole 1 with one hand and lets the other one hang to side while walking around the pole 1 and kicking the calf of the leg (opposite the one moving forward), and tilting the head back to look at the rear, after taking each step.

L. A transition exercise with the pole 1. While standing, the athlete grips the pole 1 with one or both hands, turns both ankles back and forth and then shakes both legs entirely. For added difficulty, the athlete may spread the legs apart, while shaking them, to make a V-shape, keeping toes pointed throughout the exercise.

M. A transition exercise with the pole 1. While standing, the athlete grips the pole 1 at a high point with one hand and then starts to walk around the pole 1 swinging from side to side. When the athlete decides to take the last step around the pole 1, the athlete bends the knee of the outermost leg away from the pole 1 and then turns that knee, away from the pole 1, and kicks the leg out at the end of the turn. During the entire turn, the one hand remains gripped to the pole 1.

Step 300 is the strength building step, which involves building the athlete's upper body strength to perform complex exercises with the pole 1 and increase physical condition. This step 300 utilizes the athlete's own body to create resistance and tone the muscles in the arm, shoulder, and abdominal regions. While performing exercises in step 300, the athlete should switch arms to prevent overuse or injury of one arm. Also by switching arms, the athlete will keep muscle strength symmetrical. Many exercises varying in degree of difficulty are possible during step 300, and these may be categorized as follows:

A. A strength building exercise with the pole 1. While standing with the back facing the pole 1, the athlete grips the pole 1 with both hands directly behind the rear, brings legs together, walks away from the pole 1, bends at the elbows, drops the rear and torso towards the floor and then brings both back up without touching the rear to the pole 1. FIG. 5 is an illustration of an athlete performing strength building exercise A.

B. A strength building exercise with the pole 1. While standing next to the pole 1, the athlete grips the pole 1 with one hand and then places one foot against it so the toes meet the pole 1. Then the athlete pushes the foot into the pole 1 so the bottom of the shins hook the pole 1. Using the arms, the athlete pulls the body up the pole 1 (hands first followed by the feet). The athlete kicks the free leg out and then uses it to take the next step up the pole 1. Between steps up the pole 1, the athlete grips the pole 1 at the ankles. FIG. 6 is an illustration of an athlete performing strength building exercise B. in an inverted position.

C. A strength building exercise with the pole 1. While standing next to the pole 1, the athlete grips the pole 1 with one hand and then slides that hand down while lowering the body to the floor in the split position (both legs completely separated in opposite directions, until the pelvis is next to the floor).

D. A strength building exercise with the pole 1. While sitting on the floor next to the pole 1, the athlete grips the pole 1 with both hands above the head and then uses upper body strength to gracefully lift the rear end off the ground, and then the rest of the body off the ground until the athlete's body is parallel to the floor.

Step 400 involves spin exercises, in which athletes should use both the left and right hands to create lean muscles on both sides of the body. To increase difficulty of the spin exercises in step 400, the athlete may invert movements on the pole 1. Many exercises varying in degree of difficulty are possible during step 400, and these may be categorized as follows:

A. A spin exercise with the pole 1. The athlete holds onto the pole 1 with both hands (one gripping the pole 1 on top of the other hand). The athlete then hooks one ankle around the pole 1, holds the opposite leg away from the pole 1 in a bent position, and then spins the ankle and then the whole body around the pole 1 in a seated-like position.

B. A spin exercise with the pole 1. The athlete holds onto the pole 1 with both hands (one gripping the pole 1 on top of the other hand), hooks both legs at the ankle around the pole 1 and then spins down the pole 1 either to the left or to the right side.

C. A spin exercise with the pole 1. The athlete grips one hand high onto the pole 1 and then walks around the pole 1. The athlete may swing hips while walking, if desired. Using the momentum from the walk, the athlete lifts the body off the ground and then wraps the legs around the pole 1 while spinning down around it.

D. A spin exercise with the pole 1. The athlete grips one hand high onto the pole 1 and then walks around it with feet close to the base 3. The athlete takes large steps while walking and then gently swings around the pole 1, bringing the body half way around the pole 1. If desired, the athlete may swing hips while walking.

E. A spin exercise with the pole 1. The athlete grips one hand high onto the pole 1 and then walks around it with feet close to the base 3. The athlete takes large steps while walking and may swing hips, if desired. The athlete may stop walking at any point, and hooks the inner leg closest to the pole 1, around the pole 1 and swing around the pole 1 in the direction opposite that which the athlete was walking.

F. A spin exercise with the pole 1. The athlete stands next to the pole 1 and hooks the inner leg closest to the pole 1, around it. The athlete then grips one hand around the pole 1 above the knee and then upwardly grips the other hand around the pole 1, beneath the first hand. Then the athlete leans into the pole 1, turns, and then slides down the pole 1. FIG. 7 is an illustration of an athlete performing spin exercise F.

G. A spin exercise with the pole 1. The athlete stands next to the pole 1 and places the dominant hand high on the pole 1 and the non-dominant hand body width apart. The non-dominant hand utilizes an underhand grip. The athlete kicks both legs off the ground so that body is parallel to the floor. Once the athlete's legs are in the air, the legs are bent at the knee and pulled towards the body. The non-dominant hand loosens the grip to allow the body to naturally spin with the momentum of the kick to the floor. The body in this spin (stomach and legs) appears to be “crunched” around the pole 1.

Step 500 is a review of the transition moves, strength building, and spin exercises of steps 200, 300, and 400, respectively. The purpose of the review is to remind the athlete of the exercises performed in earlier steps of the method.

Step 600 is the freestyle portion of the method, in which the athlete may turn the lights off and turn on a disco light in the exercise room to create an alluring atmosphere. Step 600 involves one to two repetitions of the transition moves, strength building, and spin exercises of steps 200, 300, and 400 in one fluid routine performed in conjunction with a matching musical melody.

Step 700 is the cool down whereby the athlete may perform any of a number of the exercises performed in step 100. However in step 700, the athlete controls the breathing while performing the exercises at a slow and steady pace to lower the heart rate. The athlete is to take deep breaths at the beginning of an exercise and exhale while finishing the exercise. The lights in the exercise room may remain off during step 700 to create a calming atmosphere while finishing the steps of the method.

Having now fully set forth the preferred embodiments and certain modifications of the concept underlying the present invention, various other embodiments as well as certain variations and modifications of the embodiments herein shown and described will obviously occur to those skilled in the art upon becoming familiar with said underlying concept. It is to be understood, therefore, that the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically set forth in the appended claims.





 
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