Title:
Exercise Chair
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An exercise apparatus in the form of a chair has a seat that is flexibly connected to a base such as with a helical spring that allows flexing in multiple directions. The chair has a base such as a plurality of legs so that it may be fixed with respect to a floor. The chair may include handlebars having handles positioned no higher than the height of the seat above the floor. A user may flex his or body so that the seat flexes with respect to the base and thereby exercise the user's core musculature.



Inventors:
Perez Jr., Charles B. (North Hills, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/649052
Publication Date:
06/30/2011
Filing Date:
12/29/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B26/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20150375046Resistance Motor for Exercise ApparatusDecember, 2015Zhao et al.
20020177509Aerobic step cubeNovember, 2002Rodgers et al.
20040005960Treading exercise machine with elliptical traceJanuary, 2004Chang
20050107224Cardiovascular spine exerciserMay, 2005Akhmetov
20160016035FLATTENED TREADMILLJanuary, 2016Hao
20070093367Back treatment with slant table and user adjustmentsApril, 2007Walton
20020132709Amusement apparatusSeptember, 2002Varga
20110028278Dynamic Rowing MachineFebruary, 2011Roach
20030148862Adjustable dumbbellAugust, 2003Chen et al.
20010011053Compact exercise deviceAugust, 2001Miller
20170001060FITNESS TRAINING AIDJanuary, 2017D'alesio



Other References:
March 28, 2008 - posted by TheTotalMindBody.com Online video depicting non-pausing, leg-raising, waist-flexing exercise. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v-zA8jsZSGU74, last visited April 3, 2013
Primary Examiner:
FISCHER, RAE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STANLEY J. GRADISAR ATTORNEY AT LAW, LLC (CASTLE ROCK, CO, US)
Claims:
1. An exercise apparatus comprising: a. a seat connected via a flexible means to a central mounting plate, b. one or more handlebars connected to said central mounting plate, c. a base connected to said central mounting plate, d. a plurality of leg supports extending from said central mounting plate, and e. a plurality of legs, wherein one of each of said plurality of legs is received in one of each of said plurality of leg supports, and further wherein said seat is flexible with respect to said central mounting plate and said one or more handlebars.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the flexible means used to connect said seat to said central mounting plate is a spring.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the spring is a helical spring.

4. (canceled)

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the base is fixed with respect to the floor.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the one or more handlebars are telescopically connected to the central mounting plate, such that the height of the one or more handlebars can be adjusted by the user.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the one or more handlebars are positioned no higher than a height of the seat.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the number of the one or more handlebars is two.

9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the seat is a rectangular shape having a longer dimension and shorter dimension, with the longer dimension along an axis drawn between the two handlebars.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the plurality of legs are telescopically connected to the plurality of leg supports of the central mounting plate, such that a height of the seat can be adjusted by the user.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the seat can be flexibly rotated around the central mounting plate in a pitch rotation.

12. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the seat can be flexibly rotated around the central mounting plate in a roll rotation.

13. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the seat can be flexibly rotated around the central mounting plate in a pitch and a roll rotation.

14. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the seat can be somewhat flexibly rotated around the central mounting plate in a yaw direction.

15. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the flexible means applies a resistive force when the seat is flexed with respect to the central mounting plate.

16. A method of exercising a user having a body having a waist comprising the steps of: a. sitting by the user on a seat connected via flexible means to a central mounting plate, said central mounting plate having a plurality of leg supports extending from said central mounting plate, and a leg received in each of the plurality of leg supports; b. holding by the user none, one or more handlebars connected to said central mounting plate; and c. flexing by the user the body at the waist such that the seat flexes with respect to the central mounting plate.

17. The method of exercising of claim 16, wherein the user exercises by flexing the body such that the seat flexes with respect to said one or more handlebars.

18. The method of exercising of claim 16, wherein the user exercises by flexing the body without pausing between movements.

19. The method of exercising of claim 16, wherein the user having one or more legs additionally lifts at least one leg while flexing the body at the waist.

Description:

I. TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to exercise and fitness equipment, and related methods and programs for using the equipment, and more particularly to exercise equipment for home or personal use such as abdominal or cardiovascular workout machines such as rowing machines, treadmills, abdominal trainers, sit up boards, or other similar systems.

II. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In modern culture, it is highly desirable for a person to obtain and retain a trim and strong physique. Likewise, it is advantageous to a person's health to habitually perform cardiovascular exercise and to exercise the person's core muscles (meaning the abdominal and back muscles). To these ends, people are continuously looking for exercise equipment that is easy, safe, fun, and effective for engaging the core muscles. A person's core muscles are made up of a set of muscle groups that facilitate movement such as bending forward or sideways at the waist, leaning backwards, and returning to an upright position from a bent position.

Many of the exercise machines available are based on the traditional sit-up from a prone or near-prone position. Furthermore, many of the machines available restrict the user to movement in one or two directions, thus failing to engage the full set of abdominal muscles. There is a need for exercise equipment that allows for a user to exercise the core muscles in every relevant direction.

There are many machines in this field that use complicated systems of weight, cables, and/or pulleys. Such systems are often large and expensive, and thus unsuitable for home use. There is a need for small, inexpensive home equipment that is easy to use, robust, effective, and relatively inexpensive.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, where the seat mounting bracket, 110, is not visible.

FIG. 2 is an elevation view of the same embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a close up of the central mounting plate 130, with attached handle horizontal support 140, and with four leg supports 170, from the embodiment as seen from the floor.

FIG. 4 is a close up of the seat 100, seat mounting bracket 110, and spring 120, from a preferred embodiment.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a user exercising according to an embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention allows a user to effectively exercise his or her core muscles by using a seat attached to a base through a flexible means as described hereinbelow. The invention allows a user to exercise his or her core muscles in every direction. The seat takes up only a small area on the floor, is easy to use, and does not require expensive pulleys or weights. Therefore, it is appropriate for home ownership and use.

In one embodiment, a seat 100 is attached via fastening means such as screws or bolts to a seat mounting bracket 110. The seat mounting bracket 110 is attached to a flexible support structure such as a helical spring 120. Said bracket 110 may be attached to one end of the spring 120 through a weld or fastening means such as screws or other connectors. The other end of the flexible support structure 120 is attached to a central mounting plate 130 (which is shown in detail in FIG. 3). Said mounting plate 130 is attached to a base, such as number of legs 170 supporting the seat 100 from the floor as well as handle bars 150 that terminate in a handle 160 for a user. In most embodiments, two handles would be preferable. A preferred starting position for a user on this embodiment would be seated on the seat 100, such that there is a handle 160 on the left and right of the user, and the user's feet would be on the floor in front of the user and equidistant from either handle 160. See FIG. 5.

In a preferred embodiment, the seat 100 has a rectangular shape, as seen from directly above the chair, such that the seat is shorter in the direction perpendicular to chest of a seated user, and longer in the direction parallel to the seated user. Preferably, the length of the longer side of the seat 100 is about twice that of the shorter side. Additionally, the seat 100 may be curved such that the ends of the longer dimension of the seat are higher from the floor than is the middle of the seat. The rectangular and curved shape of the seat 100 facilitate the side to side rocking motion of the user. Furthermore, the corners of the seat 100 should be rounded to avoid scratching or injury. The seat 100 ideally should comprise or be padded such as with foam or cloth for user comfort. The seat of a preferred embodiment, as described here, can be seen in FIG. 4.

In a preferred embodiment, each handle bar 150 is connected to a horizontal support bar 140 which is welded or otherwise fixed to the mounting plate 130. In one embodiment, the support bar is in a U-shape as shown in FIG. 1, having a central portion that is horizontal relative to the floor, with said central portion attached to the central mounting plate, and with the ends of the support bar tilted at an angle of roughly 25 degrees up from the floor. Specifically, a separate handle bar 160 can be attached to each end the horizontal support 140. Additionally, each handle bar 150 may be attached in a telescoping manner so that the handle bars can be easily removed for storage, or such that the height of the handlebar adjusted to suit the user.

The handle 160 can be a final portion of the handle bar, comprising a sufficient length of the bar so as to properly fit a hand of a user. The handle 160 may be formed by the final portion of the handle bar 150 bent at an angle from the rest of the handle bar such that the handle is parallel to the direction of the user's feet, that is, to the major axis of the seat 100. In an alternate embodiment, the handle 160 might be formed perpendicular to the direction of the user's feet, that is, to the minor axis of the seat 100. The handle 160 is preferably no higher than the seat itself, such that the users hand is lower than the seat 100 and several inches away from the seat. The handle 160 may comprise or be covered with a material such as foam, plastic, vinyl, cloth or a similar substance to increase the comfort and grip.

The base of the chair can be attached to the central mounting plate 130 directly through a weld or other fastening means. The base may comprise a number of legs 180, such as four, sufficient to provide a stable base. In a preferred embodiment, each leg 180 can be connected to leg support bars 170 that are directly welded to the central mounting plate 130 in a tubular telescoping manner, such that the height of the chair may be adjusted to suit the user. The legs 180 may also be designed for quick removal from the leg supports 170, as shown in FIG. 3, for storage or transportation. The portion of the legs 180 that contact the ground are known as the feet 190. Each foot 190 may simply comprise the final portion of the leg 180 bent toward the floor, or any other shape designed for stability. Each foot 190 may comprise or be coated with plastic or vinyl coating or cap to increase stability. In a preferred embodiment, the seat is fixed relative to the floor when the user is seated upon it (that is, the device does not have wheels or the like).

A feature of the invention is that the seat is flexible in each direction relative to the central mounting plate. Thus, when a user is seated on the chair in a preferred starting position, the seat 100 can be flexed in a direction toward or away from the user's feet, toward or away from the user's side, or any combination thereof. That is, as facing the user in the typical position (see FIG. 5), the seat can rotated in both pitch and roll directions around and with respect to the central mounting plate, and may have some flexibility in the yaw direction. The flexible connection, such as a spring, allows rotation in the pitch and roll directions in a flexible manner, such that the flexible connection apply a resistive force pulling the user back to the starting position.

In a typical exercise routine, the user sits on the chair and repeatedly bends at the waist in order to engage the core muscles. The user can bend forward at the waist for a discrete number of repetitions, and then bend sideways to one side or the other for a number of repetitions. During these exercises, the user may or may not choose to hold onto the fixed handles of the machine. Gripping the handles increases the stability and balance of the exercise, but is not necessary in all cases. Alternatively, the user can raise and lower one or both knees while performing the waist bends, or as an isolated exercise.

The user can also perform the various repetitions to music, which facilitates the orderly rhythm of the exercise. Specifically, the movements can be performed as though the user were accomplishing a dance while seated.