Title:
EXERCISE APPARATUS AND METHOD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An exercise apparatus is disclosed, including a body portion, a first foot extension, connected to the body portion closer to a bottom of the body portion than to a top of the body portion, and a second foot extension connected to the body portion closer to the bottom of the body portion than to the top of the body portion. The exercise apparatus may also include a first bracing device connected to the body portion closer to the top of the body portion than to the bottom of the body portion, and a second bracing device connected to the body portion closer to the top of the body portion than to the bottom of the body portion. The exercise apparatus may further include a first cord attached to a resistance device, wherein an individual can pull the first cord in order to cause the resistance device to exert a tension force on the first cord and thereby on the individual.



Inventors:
Centrella, Anthony V. (Colts Neck, NJ, US)
Application Number:
12/098839
Publication Date:
10/08/2009
Filing Date:
04/07/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B21/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20030017916Treading apparatusJanuary, 2003Juan
20170001062Functional Exercise DeviceJanuary, 2017Abelbeck
20060166791Elliptical exercise machine with adjustable elliptical pathJuly, 2006Liao et al.
20030148858Balance stabilizing deviceAugust, 2003Jones
20100105531SPORTS SKILLS TRAINING DEVICEApril, 2010Crawford
20020137607Device for attaching an elastic member to exercise apparatusSeptember, 2002Endelman
20050245364Exercise deviceNovember, 2005Horvath
20050272570Anatomical shoulder pulley systemDecember, 2005Gustafson
20110082013SUPPORT APPARATUS FOR AN EXERCISE MACHINEApril, 2011Bastian
20150182798EXERCISE MONITORING SYSTEM AND METHOD OF USEJuly, 2015Carriveau et al.
20040009846Hand exerciser with enhanced strengthening abilityJanuary, 2004Smith



Primary Examiner:
DONNELLY, JEROME W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mr. Walter J. Tencza Jr. (Edison, NJ, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An exercise apparatus, the exercise apparatus comprising: a body portion having a top and a bottom; a first foot extension connected to the body portion closer to the bottom of the body portion than to the top of the body portion; a second foot extension connected to the body portion closer to the bottom of the body portion than to the top of the body portion; a first bracing device connected to the body portion closer to the top of the body portion than to the bottom of the body portion; a second bracing device connected to the body portion closer to the top of the body portion than to the bottom of the body portion; a second bracing device; a first cord attached to a resistance device; and wherein an individual can pull the first cord in order to cause the resistance device to exert a tension force on the first cord and thereby on the individual.

2. The exercise apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a first member attached to the first foot extension such that the individual can insert their first foot into the first member so that the first foot rests on the first foot extension; and a second member attached to the second foot extension such that the individual can insert their second foot into the second member so that the second foot rests on the second foot extension, while the first foot is inserted into the first member and while the first foot rests on the first foot extension.

3. The exercise apparatus of claim 1 wherein the first foot extension is connected to the body portion so that the first foot extension can rotate with respect to the body portion in order to reduce an area taken up by the exercise apparatus; and the second foot extension is connected to the body portion so that the second foot extension can rotate with respect to the body portion in order to reduce the area taken up by the exercise apparatus.

4. The exercise apparatus of claim 3 wherein the first bracing device is connected to the body portion so that the first bracing device can rotate with respect to the body portion in order to reduce the area taken up by the exercise apparatus; and the second bracing device is connected to the body portion so that the second bracing device can rotate with respect to the body portion in order to reduce the area taken up by the exercise apparatus.

5. The exercise apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a first handle; and a second handle; and wherein the first handle and the second handle are connected to the first cord.

6. The exercise apparatus of claim 1 wherein the resistance device includes a spring.

7. The exercise apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a first pulley; and wherein the first cord is wound around the first pulley and attached to the resistance device.

8. The exercise apparatus of claim 7 further comprising a second pulley; and wherein the first cord is wound around the first and the second pulley and attached to the resistance device.

9. The exercise apparatus of claim 1 wherein the body portion is shaped substantially in the form of a cylinder.

10. The exercise apparatus of claim 1 wherein the first foot extension and the first bracing device are separated by a distance which allows an average adult to place their first foot onto the first foot extension while the first bracing device braces against a first shin corresponding to the first foot; and the second foot extension and the second bracing device are separated by a distance which allows an average adult to place their second foot onto the second foot extension while the second bracing device braces against a second shin corresponding to the second foot.

11. A method comprising standing a body portion of an exercise apparatus substantially upright; placing a first foot of an individual onto a first foot extension connected to the body portion of the exercise apparatus; placing a second foot of an individual onto a second foot extension of the exercise apparatus, while the first foot is on the first foot extension, the second foot extension connected to the body portion of the exercise apparatus; bracing a first bracing device of the exercise apparatus against a first shin corresponding to the first foot of the individual, wherein the first bracing device is connected to the body portion of the exercise apparatus; bracing a second bracing device of the exercise apparatus against a second shin corresponding to the second foot of the individual, wherein the second bracing device is connected to the body portion of the exercise apparatus; and pulling a first cord attached to a resistance device to cause the resistance device to exert a tension force on the first cord and thereby on the individual.

12. The method of claim 11 further comprising inserting the first foot into a first member attached to the first foot extension; and simultaneously inserting the second foot into a second member attached to the second foot extension.

13. The method of claim 11 wherein the first foot extension is connected to the body portion so that the first foot extension can rotate with respect to the body portion in order to reduce an area taken up by the exercise apparatus; and the second foot extension is connected to the body portion so that the second foot extension can rotate with respect to the body portion in order to reduce the area taken up by the exercise apparatus.

14. The method of claim 13 wherein the first bracing device is connected to the body portion so that the first bracing device can rotate with respect to the body portion in order to reduce the area taken up by the exercise apparatus; and the second bracing device is connected to the body portion so that the second bracing device can rotate with respect to the body portion in order to reduce the area taken up by the exercise apparatus.

15. The method of claim 11 wherein the exercise apparatus includes a first handle, and a second handle; and wherein the first handle and the second handle are connected to the first cord.

16. The method of claim 11 wherein the resistance device includes a spring.

17. The method of claim 11 wherein the exercise apparatus includes a first pulley; and wherein the first cord is wound around the first pulley and attached to the resistance device.

18. The method of claim 17 wherein the exercise apparatus includes a second pulley; and wherein the first cord is wound around the first pulley and the second pulley and attached to the resistance device.

19. The method of claim 11 wherein the body portion is shaped substantially in the form of a cylinder.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to improved methods and apparatus concerning exercise devices.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Rowing as an exercise is known as an excellent way to involve multiple muscle groups in an effective, low-impact workout. It incorporates many of the upper body muscles that directly affect one's posture, upper body muscular strength, flexibility, fitness, circulation, and cardiovascular health.

Many people work long hours seated at desks, driving, and/or do many tasks that negatively affect the posture and/or do not exercise the upper body regularly enough to stay in shape.

Some of the benefits of rowing in general are: strengthens the involved muscles (mainly upper back but also biceps, abdominals, lower back, etc.), improves posture and spinal health, both energizes and relaxes one's phsyical and mental being and reduces stress, combats the negative affects of long periods of sitting, combats and improves poor posture, provides low-impact exercise, and aids joint health.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,883,268 to Salkind provides a rowing exercise apparatus. The apparatus includes a large rigid lever 40 and a large base structure 22. Although the exercise apparatus of Salkind can be reduced in size to some degree for transporting, it still remains a large bulky device.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In at least one embodiment of the present invention a portable, compact, substantially vertical rowing exercise apparatus is provided. The apparatus may be called “VerteRow”. The apparatus and a method of use provide a convenient, portable, compact rowing exercise unit to exercise the upper body and combat the negative affects of long periods of sitting and/or poor posture. The apparatus can be used as an exercise machine in a traditional sense and/or incorporated into one's workday at the office. For example an individual can take periodic breaks to use the apparatus. The apparatus can be kept under one's work desk, beside one's couch or in a truck driver's cab. These are just a few of the many uses for an apparatus in accordance with at least one embodiment of the present invention. The apparatus can be used for exercise movements other than a rowing movement. One can also do a bicep curl movement, or an over the head shoulder press movement (which may require a cable extension to be connected), or other types of movements.

In at least one embodiment of the present invention an exercise apparatus is provided. The exercise apparatus may include a body portion having a top and a bottom, a first foot extension connected to the body portion closer to the bottom of the body portion than to the top of the body portion, and a second foot extension connected to the body portion closer to the bottom of the body portion than to the top of the body portion. The exercise apparatus may also include a first bracing device connected to the body portion closer to the top of the body portion than to the bottom of the body portion, and a second bracing device connected to the body portion closer to the top of the body portion than to the bottom of the body portion. The exercise apparatus may further include a first cord attached to a resistance device. In at least one embodiment, an individual can pull the first cord in order to cause the resistance device to exert a tension force on the first cord and thereby on the individual.

The resistance device may include a means for adjusting a resistance level. For example, a knob or screw may be attached to the resistance device. When the knob or screw is turned clockwise the resistance level of the resistance device may increase so that it is harder to pull the first cord. When the knob or screw is turned counter clockwise the resistance level of the resistance device may decrease so that it is easier to pull the first cord.

A first member may be attached to the first foot extension such that the individual can insert their first foot into the first member so that the first foot rests on the first foot extension, and a second member may be attached to the second foot extension such that the individual can insert their second foot into the second member so that the second foot rests on the second foot extension, while the first foot is inserted into the first member and while the first foot rests on the first foot extension. The first foot extension may be connected to the body portion so that the first foot extension can rotate with respect to the body portion in order to reduce an area taken up by the exercise apparatus, and the second foot extension may be connected to the body portion so that the second foot extension can rotate with respect to the body portion in order to reduce the area taken up by the exercise apparatus. Similarly, the first bracing device may be connected to the body portion so that the first bracing device can rotate with respect to the body portion in order to reduce the area taken up by the exercise apparatus, and the second bracing device may be connected to the body portion so that the second bracing device can rotate with respect to the body portion in order to reduce the area taken up by the exercise apparatus.

The exercise apparatus may further include a first handle and a second handle. The first handle and the second handle may be connected to the first cord. The resistance device may include a spring. The exercise apparatus may further include a first pulley, wherein the first cord is wound around the first pulley and attached to the resistance device. A second pulley may also be provided, wherein the first cord is wound around the first and the second pulley and attached to the resistance device.

The body portion may be shaped substantially in the form of a cylinder. The first foot extension and the first bracing device may be separated by a distance which allows an average adult to place their first foot onto the first foot extension while the first bracing device braces against a first shin corresponding to the first foot; and the second foot extension and the second bracing device may be separated by a distance which allows an average adult to place their second foot onto the second foot extension while the second bracing device braces against a second shin corresponding to the second foot.

In at least one embodiment a method is provided comprising standing a body portion of an exercise apparatus substantially upright, placing a first foot of an individual onto a first foot extension connected to the body portion of the exercise apparatus, and placing a second foot of an individual onto a second foot extension of the exercise apparatus, while the first foot is on the first foot extension, the second foot extension connected to the body portion of the exercise apparatus. The method may also include bracing a first bracing device of the exercise apparatus against a first shin corresponding to the first foot of the individual, wherein the first bracing device is connected to the body portion of the exercise apparatus, and bracing a second bracing device of the exercise apparatus against a second shin corresponding to the second foot of the individual, wherein the second bracing device is connected to the body portion of the exercise apparatus. The method may further include pulling a first cord attached to a resistance device to cause the resistance device to exert a tension force on the first cord and thereby on the individual.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a front view of an apparatus in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows a cross sectional view of part of the apparatus of FIG. 1 in a first state;

FIG. 3 shows a cross sectional view of part of the apparatus of FIG. 2 in a second state;

FIG. 4 shows a side view of the apparatus of FIG. 1 along with a person using the apparatus; and

FIG. 5 shows a bottom view of a body portion of the apparatus of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a front view of an apparatus 10 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The apparatus 10 includes a body portion 12, handles 14, and 16, bracing devices 18 and 20, and feet extensions 26 and 28.

The body portion 12 may be a cylinder, made of a suitable plastic, aluminum, or other material. The body portion 12 may have a length, L1, shown in FIG. 4, which may be approximately twenty to twenty-four inches which is designed to be about the distance from the ground 160 to just below the knee 106 of an average adult person.

The apparatus 10 includes cords 14a and 16a, each having a first end and a second end. The first end of cord 14a is attached to handle 14 and the second end of cord 14a is attached to cord 17. The first end of cord 16a is attached to handle 16 and the second end of cord 16a is attached to cord 17.

The bracing devices 18 and 19 are connected to the body portion 12 so that the bracing devices 18 and 19 can be folded up so as to be flush with the body portion in a convenient manner. The bracing device 18 may be connected to the body portion 12 by hinge 19. The hinge 19 may include plates 19a and 19c, and pivot pin 19b, and can facilitate both folding and rotational pivoting, so that the body portion may rotate independently of the bracing devices. The plate 19a may be fixed to the bracing device 18 and the plate 19c may be fixed to the body portion 12. Similarly, the bracing device 20 may be connected to the body portion 12 by hinge 21. The hinge 21 may include plates 21a and 21c, and pivot pin 21b. The plate 21a may be fixed to the bracing device 20 and the plate 21c may be fixed to the body portion 12.

The handles 14 and 16 may be movable in a hinged like fashion to provide for the handles 14 and 16 to spread apart as one pulls. The handles 14 and 16 when not in use may be made to stay together via magnets or clips and connected to the top of the body portion 12 for storage by means of a snap or clip type fastener.

The feet extensions 26 and 28 are connected to the body portion 12 so that the feet extensions can be folded up so as to be flush with the body portion 12 in a convenient manner. The foot extension 26 may be connected to the body portion 12 by hinge 23. The hinge 23 may include plates 23a and 23c, and pivot pin 23b, and can facilitate both folding and rotational pivoting, so that the body portion 12 may rotate independently of the feet extensions 26 and 28. The plate 23a may be fixed to the foot extension 26 and the plate 23c may be fixed to the body portion 12. Similarly, the foot extension 28 may be connected to the body portion 12 by hinge 25. The hinge 25 may include plates 25a and 25c, and pivot pin 25b. The plate 25a may be fixed to the foot extension 28 and the plate 25c may be fixed to the body portion 12. Members, such as straps or loops 22 and 24 may or may not be provided, attached to foot extensions 26 and 28, respectively, as shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 2 shows a cross sectional view of part of the apparatus 10 of FIG. 1, with the part of the apparatus 10 in a first state. FIG. 1 shows the cord 17 and rollers or pulleys 30 and 32. The cord 17 winds its way around the roller 30 and then around the roller 32. The cord 17 is attached at a first end to both cords 14a and 16a as shown in FIG. 1, and then is attached at a second end to a spring or shock absorber device 34. The spring device 34 includes a portion 34a, a rod 34b, coil 34c, and an end 34d. In FIG. 2, the cord 17 is not being pulled and the spring device 34 is at its full level of expansion. The spring device 34 may be or may be replaced by a coil-over shock absorber, a hydraulic compression or expansion device, a wound spring, or any combination or other means to provide resistance.

The body portion 12 may have a circular bottom 46 with an indented section 44 in which is located a knob 40. The knob 40 is attached to a shaft 42 which is attached to portion 34d of the spring or resistance device 34. FIG. 5 shows a bottom view of a body portion 12 of the apparatus 1 of FIG. 1. The circular bottom 46 is shown in FIG. 5 along with the indented section 44, and the knob 40. The knob 40 can be turned in a clockwise direction to increase the resistance of resistance or spring device 34, or can be turned in a counter clockwise direction to decrease the resistance of the spring device 34.

FIG. 3 shows a cross sectional view of part of the apparatus 10 of FIG. 1, with the part of the apparatus 10 in a second state. In FIG. 3, the cord 17 is being pulled so that the spring device 34 is at its full level of contraction. In the transition from the FIG. 2 state to the FIG. 3 state, the cord 17 was pulled causing the portion 34a to be pressed downwards on the coil 34c, causing the coil 34c to be compressed. This also exerts a tension force on the cord 17 so that if a person stops pulling the cord 17, the spring device 34 will return to the expanded or non-compressed state of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 shows a side view of the apparatus 10 of FIG. 1 along with a person 100 using the apparatus 10. The person 100 has a foot 102, a lower leg or shin portion 104, a knee 106, hands 108 and 110, a back 112, and a thigh 114. The foot 102 of the person is shown inserted into the loop or strap 24 and the sole of the foot 102 rests on the foot extension 28. A second foot (not shown) of the person 100, would be inserted into the loop or strap 22 and the sole of the second foot would rest on the foot extension 26. The bracing device 20 rests against the lower leg or shin 104 of the person 100, just below the knee 106. Similarly, the bracing device 18 would rest against a second lower leg or shin (not shown) of the person 100, just below a second knee.

As shown in FIG. 4, the person 100 grips the handles 14 and 16 with his hands 108 and 110, respectively. The person 100 is shown in FIG. 4 pulling the handles 14 and 16 away from the apparatus 10 so that the cord 17 is pulled. This causes the spring device 34 to contract as shown in FIG. 3. The person 100 is shown sitting on a bench 150 which a seat 152 and legs 154 and 156. The back 112 of the person 100 is substantially perpendicular to ground 160. The apparatus 10 may be substantially perpendicular to the ground 160 or may be angled towards the person 100.

Although the invention has been described by reference to particular illustrative embodiments thereof, many changes and modifications of the invention may become apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is therefore intended to include within this patent all such changes and modifications as may reasonably and properly be included within the scope of the present invention's contribution to the art.