« PreviousContinue »
AEROBIC EXERCISE EQUIPMENT
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention 5 The present invention relates generally to exercise apparatus, and particularly to aerobic exercise equipment that enables a person to exercise their arms and legs while in a seated position.
2. Description of the Known Art
Persons today are very aware of the need to exercise on a regular basis as a means for staying physically fit and healthy. In recent years there has been a proliferation of various kinds of exercise equipment for use at health fitness 15 centers and at home. Such equipment has also been developed for use in an aquatic environment in which a person who, for example, may be recovering from a bone injury can perform rehabilitating exercise while partially submerged so as to avoid undesirable stress or shock in the region of the 20 injury while working out.
A thorough cardiovascular or aerobic workout on a regular basis is particularly beneficial to elderly persons. The key to good health and longevity is regular exercise, and elderly persons need to exercise more than others to stay healthy. 25 Yet, as a person ages, exercising may become more difficult. Accordingly, there is a need for aerobic exercise equipment that is configured to meet a mature individual's special needs that may be brought on because of physical restrictions and limitations of the individual. It has also been found 30 that providing aerobic exercise equipment for use in an aquatic environment provides a safe workout for such individuals as well.
Because of the buoyancy of a person's submerged body, undesirable stresses that would otherwise be exerted at the 35 joints and other body parts when working out on land, are significantly reduced. Also, because resistance to an individual's body motions may be developed not by weights or springs but simply from the drag of certain moving parts of an underwater exerciser, there is no danger of over exertion. 40 Further, an aquatic workout provides a natural cooling mechanism for the individual.
An exercise machine for use on land, including a seat, a pair of swivelable arm exercise bars pivoted beneath the 45 forward portion of the seat, and a pair of swivelable foot pedals mounted remotely from the forward edge of the seat, is known by the designation "Aerobot", from ProForm, Inc. of Beaverton, Oreg. The front edge of the seat is supported relatively close to the floor, and a seated person's legs can 5Q not swing the foot pedals in an upward motion.
Various patented above-ground equipment including a seat, arm exercise bars or levers with hand grips, and leg exercise bars, are known. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 263, 978 (Apr. 20,1982) illustrates a physical exerciser having a 55 "U"-shaped exercise bar, with hand grips at the ends of the bar extending above the forward edge of the seat. The bar extends transversely below the seat and is connected to a bottom hinge joint through a support member joined at the middle of the bar. The exercise bar is also pivoted to the free go end of an hydraulic piston shaft, so that a preset force must be exerted on the hand grips to move the bar.
The exerciser of the '978 patent also shows a generally "V"-shaped bar pivoted at one free end near the forward edge of the seat with the other end facing down in a vertical 65 plane. The bar has foot-engaging pads projecting sideways, and is pivoted to the free end of another hydraulic piston
shaft. The patented exerciser is not constructed so as to permit independent movement of the arms while a person holds the hand grips, and the person's legs must move in unison as well while the feet are positioned in the foot pads.
U.S. Pat. No. 271,603 (Nov. 29, 1983) shows a physical exerciser having a single, pivoted leg pad support assembly disposed below the seat with an hydraulic piston arrangement similar to that of the '978 patent.
Exercise apparatus for use underwater is known from U.S. Pat. No. 5,217,420 (Jun. 8,1993) which in one embodiment provides a base frame to be disposed at the bottom of a pool of water, a seat, and a pair of L-shaped poles pivoted beneath the seat and arranged to be moved independently to simulate a "rowing" motion. A pair of flaps are mounted on the poles to provide resistance to movement of the poles through the water. A similar arrangement is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 5,098,085 (Mar. 24, 1992).
A striding exerciser shown in U.S. Pat. No. 4,850,585 (Jul. 25, 1989) is arranged to allow a user to stand on foot supports and move his or her legs in a striding-type motion while gripping a pair of arm members that are fixed to the leg supports at common hubs. The hubs are pivoted in line at the top of a frame, and the user is supported by the frame while standing on the foot supports and gripping the arm members.
Aerobic conditioning apparatus in U.S. Pat. No. 4,940, 233 (Jul. 10, 1990) is also adapted to accommodate a user while standing on swivelable foot engaging plates and griping a pair of upwardly extending swivelable members. The foot and hand engaging members of the apparatus are interconnected to move synchronously. As mentioned, the apparatus of the '585 and '233 patents is designed for use by a person standing in an upright position, and the person's leg and arm movements are coordinated by means in the apparatus.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
An object of the invention is to provide aerobic exercise equipment capable of providing a safe and healthy workout for persons of all ages.
Another object of the invention is to provide aerobic exercise equipment that allows the arms and the legs to perform exercising movements independently of one another, allowing the user to have full range of motion.
Another object of the invention is to provide aerobic exercise equipment that enables a user, while seated, to perform a total body cardiovascular aerobic exercise, and to perform an exercise for developing the stomach muscles.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide aerobic exercise equipment having arm and leg exercise bars mounted to be swung about a common axis aligned with the front edge of a seat.
According to the invention, aerobic exercise equipment includes a frame body defining a base portion, and a seat portion over the base portion to support a seated person above a floor on which the base portion rests. Shaft portion means fixed with respect to the frame body, define pivot axes aligned with a front edge of the seat portion.
A pair of arm exercise bars are mounted each at a side of the seat portion to swing about a pivot axis, the arm exercise bars having grip portions that can be grasped by the seated person. A pairbf leg exercise bars are mounted each at a side of the seat portion to swing about a pivot axis, while the leg exercise bars are engaged with the seated person's feet.
Preferably, the arm and the leg exercise bars are mounted to be swung about a common axis, and adjacent arm/leg exercise bars at the sides of the seat portion have an associated spring action and limit stop mechanism. In an underwater version of the equipment, specially adjustable 5 drag paddle assemblies on the exercise bars take the place of the spring mechanisms.
For a better understanding of the present invention, together with other and further objects, reference is made to the following description taken in conjunction with the 10 accompanying drawing, and the scope of the invention will be pointed out in the appended claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of aerobic exercise equipment according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an elevational view of the present exercise equipment as seen from the right side in FIG. 1; 20
FIG. 3 is an elevational view of the present exercise equipment as seen from the front in FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the present exercise equipment for use in the water; 25
FIG. 5 is an exploded view of a paddle assembly provided on the equipment of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view of paddle assembly mounts in the equipment of FIG. 4;
FIG. 7 is a partial front elevational view of a mounting 30 arrangement for arm and leg exercise bars in the equipment of FIG. 4;
FIG. 8 is a partial side elevational view of the mounting arrangement in FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a partial front elevational view of a mounting arrangement for arm and leg exercise bars in the equipment of FIGS. 1-3;
FIG. 10 is an assembly view of part of a cross member in the equipment of FIGS. 1-3, and an interior spring retaining 40 and limit stop member; and
FIG. 11 is a partial side elevational view of the mounting arrangement of FIG. 9.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE 45
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of aerobic exercise equipment 10 according to the present invention.
The equipment 10 has a frame body 12 formed of left and 5Q right, generally "C"-shaped tubular members 14a, 14b. The lower portions of the tubular members 14a, 14b are joined at their ends to opposite ends of a cross bar 16. Left and right rubber end caps 18a, 18b are provided to cap the ends of cross bar 16 and to prevent scratching of a floor surface 20. „ See also FIG. 2.
The cross bar 16, end caps 18a, 18b and the lower portions of the C-shaped tubular members 14a, 14b define a base portion of the frame body 12 for resting on the floor surface 20. The frame body 12 also forms a seat portion over so the base portion, to support a person (not shown) in a sitting position at a certain height H (FIG. 3) above the floor surface 20.
Upper portions of the tubular members 14a, 14b cooperate to form a mount for a seat 22 a forward edge 22a of 65 which faces in the direction of the open side of the "C" formed by tubular members 14a, 142>. Seat 22 is fastened in
place by way of, e.g., a set of bolts that pass through corresponding openings through the walls of the tubular members 14a, lib and engage mating threaded openings in the seat bottom. Two seat bolts 24, 26 are shown in FIG. 2 through the tubular member 14b. A corresponding number of seat bolts (not shown) also pass through the tubular member 14a.
Tubular members 14a, 14b of the frame body 12 have upper end portions 30a, 30b that curve upwardly adjacent the seat forward edge 22a, and which portions are joined (e.g., by welding) to a cylindrical cross member 32. Cross member 32 extends in alignment with the seat forward edge 22a, and supports pivot shaft portions 34a, 34b that extend in axial alignment from the left and the right ends of the cross member 32 as viewed in FIG. 3.
A pair of arm exercise bars 36a, 36b are mounted each at one end for swivelling movement about a corresponding one of the pivot shaft portions 34a, 34b. Details of the mounting arrangement of the arm exercise bars 36a, 36b about the shaft portions 34a, 34b are shown in FIGS. 9-11. Each arm exercise bar is formed of one-inch diameter tubular steel stock and has a hand grip portion 38a, 38b at the end remote from the pivot shaft portions 34a, 34b. The arm exercise bars are preferably formed each with 30 degree bends 40a, 40b at their central regions, as depicted in the drawing.
Bends 40a, 40b extend over a 30 degree arc in the vertical plane, perpendicular to the axes of pivot shaft portions 34a, 34b. With the pivoted ends of the bars 36a, 36b located at each side and just forward of the seat edge 22a, bends 40a, 40b preferably begin at a distance of about 12 inches from the pivot axes.
With the arm exercise bars 36a, 36b mounted relative to the seat 22 as described, a person sitting in the seat 22 will be able to grasp the hand grip portions 38a, 38b while seated, and urge each bar forward about the pivot shaft portions 34a, 34b independently against a torque created by a spring action mechanism associated with the cross member 32. See FIGS. 9-11.
A pair of leg exercise bars 50a, 50b are mounted for swiveling movement about the axes of the pivot shaft portions 34a, 34b at end bushings 51a, 51b of the bars. Each leg exercise bar is formed of, e.g., one-inch O.D. tubular steel stock and has a foot pad support member 52a, 52b projecting at right angles at the remote end of the bar. Foot engaging pads 54a, 54b are mounted coaxially on the support members 52a, 52b to act as a cushion against the insteps of a seated person's feet as the person urges the bars 50a, 50b to swing upward.
The end bushings 51a, 516 of the leg exercise bars 50a, 50b have an associated spring torsion mechanism as described in connection with FIGS. 9-11. Accordingly, when a person is sitting on the seat 22 and urges his or her feet against the pads 54a, 54b at the ends of leg exercise bars, the person can swing the bars upward independent of one another against a determined resistance.
The frame body 12 is constructed and arranged so that the height H of the seat portion above the floor surface 20, and the position of the pivot shaft portions 34a, 34b, are such that the seated person can swing their legs about the knees from a position where the feet approach the floor beneath the seat edge 22a while urged against the foot pads 54a, 54b; to a position where the legs extend straight.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of another embodiment of aerobic exercise equipment 100. Parts of the equipment 100 that are similar to parts of the exercise equipment 10 of FIGS. 1-3, have corresponding reference characters.