US20060030465A1 - Reconfigurable attachment for rehabilitation equipment - Google Patents

Reconfigurable attachment for rehabilitation equipment Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060030465A1
US20060030465A1 US10/911,571 US91157104A US2006030465A1 US 20060030465 A1 US20060030465 A1 US 20060030465A1 US 91157104 A US91157104 A US 91157104A US 2006030465 A1 US2006030465 A1 US 2006030465A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
portion
handle member
axis
coupling portion
force
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US10/911,571
Inventor
Kenneth Johnson
Adam Mongeau
Joseph Perret
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Baltimore Therapeutic Equipment Co
Original Assignee
Baltimore Therapeutic Equipment Co
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Baltimore Therapeutic Equipment Co filed Critical Baltimore Therapeutic Equipment Co
Priority to US10/911,571 priority Critical patent/US20060030465A1/en
Assigned to BALTIMORE THERAPEUTIC EQUIPMENT COMPANY reassignment BALTIMORE THERAPEUTIC EQUIPMENT COMPANY ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: JOHNSON, KENNETH BRUCE, MONGEAU, ADAM DAVID, PERRET, JR., JOSEPH FRANCIS
Assigned to BTE TECHNOLOGIES, INC. reassignment BTE TECHNOLOGIES, INC. CONFIRMATORY LICENSE (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: JOHNSON, KENNETH BRUCE, MONGEAU, ADAM DAVID, PERRET, JR., JOSEPH FRANCIS
Publication of US20060030465A1 publication Critical patent/US20060030465A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B21/00Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices
    • A63B21/15Arrangements for force transmissions
    • A63B21/151Using flexible elements for reciprocating movements, e.g. ropes or chains
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B15/00Clubs for gymnastics or the like, e.g. for swinging exercises
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B21/00Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices
    • A63B21/40Interfaces with the user related to strength training; Details thereof
    • A63B21/4001Arrangements for attaching the exercising apparatus to the user's body, e.g. belts, shoes or gloves specially adapted therefor
    • A63B21/4017Arrangements for attaching the exercising apparatus to the user's body, e.g. belts, shoes or gloves specially adapted therefor to the upper limbs
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B21/00Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices
    • A63B21/40Interfaces with the user related to strength training; Details thereof
    • A63B21/4027Specific exercise interfaces
    • A63B21/4033Handles, pedals, bars or platforms
    • A63B21/4035Handles, pedals, bars or platforms for operation by hand
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B60/00Details or accessories of golf clubs, bats, rackets or the like
    • A63B60/06Handles
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B60/00Details or accessories of golf clubs, bats, rackets or the like
    • A63B60/06Handles
    • A63B60/08Handles characterised by the material
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B60/00Details or accessories of golf clubs, bats, rackets or the like
    • A63B60/06Handles
    • A63B60/10Handles with means for indicating correct holding positions

Abstract

An apparatus includes a handle member that has a grip portion and a coupling portion. In one embodiment, the grip portion is removably coupled to the coupling portion. The coupling portion is configured to be slidably coupled to a tension member such that the tension member may slide with respect to the coupling portion from a first portion of the coupling portion to a second portion of the coupling portion. In one embodiment, the travel distance of the tension member from the first portion of the coupling portion to the second portion of the coupling portion is greater than 2 inches (5 cm). In another embodiment, the grip portion includes a vertex location. A first axis is defined by the handle member and extends from the vertex location to the first portion of the coupling portion. A second axis is defined by the handle member and extends from the vertex location to the second portion of the coupling portion. In one embodiment, the angle defined by the first axis and the second axis is greater than 5°.

Description

    BACKGROUND
  • This invention relates generally to handle members for rehabilitation equipment and/or exercise equipment, and in particular to handle members for rehabilitation equipment and/or exercise equipment that may be used throughout a range of motion.
  • Known handle members for rehabilitation equipment and/or exercise equipment are configured to be coupled to a tension member of the rehabilitation equipment and/or exercise equipment. The tension member generally applies a force to the handle member. Accordingly, a user can grasp the handle member and can move the handle member through a range of motion against the force that is applied to the handle member by the tension member. This action allows the user to develop and/or strengthen different muscles.
  • Known handle members, however, do not allow the tension member to apply a constant and/or stable torque to the handle members throughout the range of motion of the handle members. In other words, the torque applied to the known handle members varies or changes throughout the range of motion of the handle members. For example, in some known handle members, the amount of torque applied to the handle member by the tension member varies throughout the range of motion of the handle member. This causes the user to experience inconsistent and/or unrealistic torque throughout the range of motion of the handle member.
  • Thus, a need exists for a handle member for rehabilitation equipment and/or exercise equipment that allows the tension member of the rehabilitation equipment and/or exercise equipment to apply a constant or desired torque to the handle member throughout the range of motion of the handle member.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • An apparatus includes a handle member that has a grip portion and a coupling portion. In one embodiment, the grip portion is removably coupled to the coupling portion. The coupling portion is configured to be slidably coupled to a tension member such that the tension member may slide with respect to the coupling portion from a first portion of the coupling portion to a second portion of the coupling portion. In one embodiment, the travel distance of the tension member from the first portion of the coupling portion to the second portion of the coupling portion is greater than 2 inches (5 cm). In another embodiment, the grip portion includes a vertex location. A first axis is defined by the handle member and extends from the vertex location to the first portion of the coupling portion. A second axis is defined by the handle member and extends from the vertex location to the second portion of the coupling portion. In one embodiment, the angle defined by the first axis and the second axis is greater than 5 °.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of a handle member coupled to a tension member in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a side view of a handle member coupled to a tension member in accordance with the invention.
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a coupler of the handle member of FIG. 2.
  • FIG. 4 is an exploded view of the handle member of FIG. 2.
  • FIG. 5 is a side view of the handle member of FIG. 2.
  • FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the handle member of FIG. 2 coupled to the tension member in a first position.
  • FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the handle member of FIG. 2 coupled to the tension member in a second position.
  • FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the handle member of FIG. 2 coupled to the tension member in a third position.
  • FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the handle member of FIG. 2 coupled to the tension member in another position.
  • FIGS. 10 and 11 are side views of other embodiments of a grip portion of the handle member in accordance with the invention.
  • FIGS. 12 through 14 are side views of other embodiments of a coupling portion of the handle member in accordance with the invention.
  • FIGS. 15, 15 a and 16 are side views of other embodiments of the handle member in accordance with the invention.
  • FIG. 17 is a side view of a handle member coupled to another tension member in accordance with the invention.
  • FIG. 18 is a schematic illustration of another tension member in accordance with the invention.
  • FIG. 19 is a top view of another apparatus in a first position in accordance with the invention.
  • FIG. 20 is a top view of the apparatus of FIG. 19 in a second position.
  • FIG. 21 is a top view of the apparatus of FIG. 19 in a third position.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of an apparatus 100 including a handle member 105 coupled to a tension member 170 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The tension member 170 has a cable 180 that is coupled to a force-generating mechanism 190.
  • The handle member 105 has a grip portion 110 and a coupling portion 140. In one embodiment, the grip portion 110 is coupled to the coupling portion 140. In another embodiment, the grip portion 105 and the coupling portion 140 are unitarily or monolithically formed.
  • The coupling portion 140 of the handle member is configured to be coupled to the tension member 170. Specifically, the coupling portion 140 is configured to be coupled to the cable 180 of the tension member 170. Accordingly, the force-generating mechanism 190 is configured to apply a force to the handle member 105 (through the cable 180).
  • The grip portion 110 of the handle member 105 is configured to be grasped by a user. The user may move the handle member 105 against the force applied by the force-generating mechanism 190. Accordingly, the apparatus 100 may be used to strengthen and/or develop muscles.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates an embodiment of an apparatus 200 according to an embodiment of the invention. The apparatus 200 includes a handle member 205 and a tension member 270. The tension member 270 includes a cable 280 and a force-generating mechanism 290. The cable 280 has a first end portion 282 and a second end portion 284 opposite the first end portion 282. The first end portion of 282 the cable 280 is coupled to the force-generating mechanism 290.
  • The force-generating mechanism 290 is configured to apply a force to the cable 280 and, accordingly, to any object that is coupled to the cable 280. In the illustrated embodiment, the force-generating mechanism 290 includes a weight 292. When the weight 292 is lifted from a support surface 294, the gravitational force acting on the weight 292 is transferred to the cable 280. In the illustrated embodiment, the force-generating mechanism 290 includes several weights 292. Thus, any number of weights may be coupled to the first end portion 282 of the cable 280.
  • Although the force-generating mechanism 290 is described and illustrated as including a weight 292, it is not required that the force-generating mechanism include a weight. For example, in one embodiment, the force-generating mechanism is a brake or clutch controlled device as described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,471,957 to Engalitcheff, Jr., issued on Sep. 18, 1984 and entitled “Method and Apparatus for Rehabilitation of Damaged Limbs” and U.S. Pat. No. 4,768,783 to Engalitcheff, Jr., issued on Sep. 6, 1988, and entitled “Apparatus for the Rehabilitation of Damaged Limbs” the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the tension member 270 includes a housing 272, a support arm 274, a first pulley assembly 276, and a second pulley assembly 278. The housing 272 is configured to house or store the weights 292. The support arm 274 extends from the housing 272. The first pulley assembly 276 and the second pulley assembly 278 are coupled to and supported by the support arm 274. The cable 280 is supported by and movably coupled to the first pulley assembly 276 and to the second pulley assembly 278. The cable 280 extends from the handle member 205 to the weight 292 and cooperates with the first pulley assembly 276 and the second pulley assembly 278. Accordingly, the cable 280 may be moved with respect to the first pulley assembly 276 and the second pulley assembly 278 to move the weight 292.
  • The handle member 205 includes a grip portion 210 and a coupling portion 240. The coupling portion 240 of the handle member 205 is configured to be coupled to the tension member 270. Specifically, the coupling portion 240 is configured to be coupled to the second end portion 284 of the cable 280. Accordingly, the force applied by the force-generating mechanism 290 to the cable 280 is transferred to the handle member 205. Thus, the handle member 205 may be moved to raise or lower the weight 292 of the tension member 270.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the second end portion 284 of the cable 280 is slidably coupled to the coupling portion 240 of the handle member 205. In other words, the second end portion 284 of the cable 280 may slide or otherwise move with respect to the handle member 205. In the illustrated embodiment, the second end portion 284 of the cable 280 is slidably coupled to the coupling portion 240 of the handle member 205 via a coupler 295. As best illustrated in FIG. 3, the coupler 295 includes a lumen 296 that is configured to slidably receive the coupling portion 240 of the handle member 205. The coupler 295 also includes an attachment portion 297, which includes a lumen 299, that is configured to be attached to the second end portion 284 of the cable 280.
  • In another embodiment, the second end portion of the cable is slidably coupled to the handle member via another known coupling mechanism. In yet another embodiment, the second end portion of the cable is coupled directly to the handle member. For example, the second end portion of the cable may be tied or secured around the handle member such that the second end portion may slide with respect to the handle member. Alternatively, the second end portion of the cable may include a loop portion that is configured to receive a portion of the coupling portion of the handle member to slidably couple the cable to the handle member.
  • The handle member 205 is best illustrated in FIGS. 4 through 9. FIG. 4 is an exploded view of the handle member 205. As discussed above, the handle member 205 includes a grip portion 210 and a coupling portion 240. In the illustrated embodiment, the handle member 205 also includes coupler 207 and a stop member 201.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the coupling portion 240 of the handle member 205 includes a first end portion 242 and a second end portion 244 disposed opposite the first end portion 242. The coupling portion 240 also has a curved portion 246 disposed proximate the first end portion 242 of the coupling portion 240 and a substantially linear portion 248 disposed proximate the second end portion 244 of the coupling portion 240.
  • Although the coupling portion is described and illustrated as including a curved portion and a substantially linear portion, the coupling portion may be of any shape. For example, the coupling portion may include a curved portion that is more or less curved than the illustrated coupling portion. Additionally, the coupling portion may not include a substantially linear portion. Similarly, the coupling portion may not include a curved portion.
  • The grip portion 210 of the handle member 205 is configured to be grasped by a user. For example, the grip portion 210 may be grasp by a user with one hand or with two hands. The grip portion 210 includes a first end portion 212 and a second end portion 214 opposite the first end portion 212, and extends along an axis A1 (best illustrated in FIG. 5). The grip portion 210 also includes a lumen 216 that extends from the first end portion 212 of the grip portion 210 to the second end portion 214 of the grip portion 210. The lumen 216 of the grip portion 210 is configured to receive the substantially linear portion 248 of the coupling member 240 to removably and rotatably couple the grip portion 210 to the coupling portion 240. Specifically, the grip portion 210 is configured to rotate with respect to the coupling portion 240 about axis A1.
  • In another embodiment, the grip portion and the coupling portion are not removably coupled. For example, the grip portion may be fixedly coupled to the coupling portion. In yet another embodiment, the grip portion and the coupling portion are unitarily or monolithically formed.
  • Although the grip portion 210 is illustrated and described as including a lumen that receives a portion of the coupling portion 240 of the handle member 205 to couple the grip portion 210 to the coupling portion 240, the grip portion 210 does not need to be coupled to the coupling portion 240 in such a manner. In other embodiments, other mechanisms and/or methods can be used to couple the grip portion to the coupling portion. For example, in one embodiment, a joint, such as a ball and socket joint, can be used to couple the grip portion to the coupling portion. In another embodiment, an adhesive may be used to coupled the grip portion to the coupling portion.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the grip portion 210 is configured to simulate a baseball bat handle. In other embodiments, the grip portion is configured to simulate handles of other devices, such as a handle of a golf club (as illustrated in FIG. 10 and described in detail below), a handle of a tennis racquet (as illustrated in FIG. 11 and described in detail below), a handle of a racquetball racquet, and a handle of a yard tool. In one embodiment, the various grip portions are interchangeable. In other words, a grip portion that simulates a baseball bat may be coupled to the coupling portion and used in conjunction with the tension member. Subsequently, the grip portion that simulates a baseball bat may be removed from the coupling portion, and a grip portion that simulates a handle of another device, such as a handle of a golf club, may be coupled to the coupling portion. In yet a further embodiment, the grip portion is not configured to simulate a handle of a device.
  • The first end portion 242 of the coupling member 240 includes a cavity or opening 250. The cavity or opening 250 includes threads (not illustrated) disposed on the inner surface of the cavity or opening 250. The stop member 201 includes a coupling portion 203 and a stop portion 204. The coupling portion 203 of the stop member 201 has a projection 202 that has threads 206 that are configured to interact with the threads (not illustrated) of the cavity 250 of the coupling portion 240 when the projection 202 is disposed within the cavity 205. Accordingly, the stop member 201 may be secured or otherwise coupled to the first end portion 242 of the coupling member 240 to help retain the coupler 295 coupled to the coupling portion 240. In other words, the stop member 201 helps prevent the coupler 295 from sliding off of the coupling portion 240 of the handle member 205. Although in the illustrated embodiment the stop member and the first end portion of the coupling member include complementary threads, it is not necessary that the stop member and the coupling member have such threads. In another embodiment, the stop member is press fit into the cavity to secure or couple the stop member to the coupling portion of the handle member. In yet a further embodiment, the handle member does not include a stop member.
  • The second end portion 244 of the coupling member 240 includes a cavity or opening 252. The cavity or opening 252 includes threads (not illustrated) disposed on the inner surface of the cavity or opening 252. The coupler 207 includes a projection 208 that has threads 209 that are configured to interact with the threads (not illustrated) of the cavity 252 of the coupling portion 240. Accordingly, the coupler 207 may be secured or otherwise coupled to the second end portion 244 of the coupling member 240 when the projection 208 is disposed within the cavity 205 to retain the linear portion 248 of the coupling portion 240 within the lumen 216 of the grip portion 210. Although in the illustrated embodiment the coupler and the second end portion of the coupling member include complementary threads, it is not necessary that the coupler and the coupling member have such threads. In another embodiment, the coupler is press fit into the cavity to secure or couple the coupler to the coupling portion of the handle member. In yet a further embodiment, the handle member does not include a coupler.
  • Although the handle member 205 is illustrated as being substantially planar, it is not necessary that the handle member have such a shape. For example, in one embodiment, the handle member has a non-planar, irregular shape.
  • As best illustrated in FIGS. 6 through 8, the handle member 205 is slidably coupled to the cable 280 of the tension member 270 such that the tension member 270 may slide with respect to the handle member 205 along a travel path TP1. Specifically, the tension member 270 slides or travels with respect to the handle member from a first portion 254 of the coupling portion 240 of the handle member 205 (see FIG. 6), to a second portion 256 of the coupling portion 240 of the handle member 205 (see FIG. 7), and to a third portion 258 of the coupling portion 240 of the handle member 205 (see FIG. 8). In the illustrated embodiment, the travel distance of the tension member 270 (the linear distance of the travel path TP1, of the tension member with respect to the handle member) between the first portion 254 of the coupling portion 240 and the third portion 258 of the coupling portion 240 is about 12 inches (30.5 cm).
  • In another embodiment, the travel distance of the tension member between the first portion of the coupling portion and the third portion of the coupling portion is less than 12 inches (30.5 cm). For example, in some embodiments, the travel distance of the tension member is between 2 inches (5 cm) and 12 inches (30.5 cm). In another embodiment, the travel distance of the tension member is less than 2 inches (5 cm). In yet another embodiment, the travel distance of the tension member between the first portion of the coupling portion and the third portion of the coupling portion is greater than 12 inches (30.5 cm).
  • As best illustrated in FIG. 5, the handle member 205 defines an axis A2 that extends from a vertex location VL disposed on the grip portion 210 to the first portion 254 of the coupling portion 240. Similarly, the handle member 205 also defines an axis A3 that extends from the vertex location VL to the third portion 258 of the coupling portion 240. Axis A2 and axis A3 intersect at the vertex location VL and define an angle Θ. The angle Θ defined by axis A2 and axis A3 is about 90’0 .
  • In another embodiment, the angle Θ defined by axis A2 and axis A3 is less than 90°. For example, in one embodiment the angle Θ is between 5 ° and 90°. In another embodiment, the angle Θ is less than 5°. In yet another embodiment, the angle Θ is greater than 90°.
  • The term vertex location is used herein to mean a point or a group of adjacent points. For example, the vertex location may be any point or group of adjacent points on the grip portion of the handle member.
  • As best illustrated in FIGS. 6 through 8, the tension member 270 is configured to apply a force on the handle member in a direction D1. The force applied by the tension member 270 defines an axis A4. The handle member 205 may be rotated about an axis A5 from a first position (see FIG. 6), to a second position (see FIG. 7), and to a third position (see FIG. 8). As shown in FIGS. 6 through 8, axis A5 is orientated as coming out of the page. The axis of rotation A5 is orthogonal to the axis of force A4. Additionally, the axis of rotation A5 is orthogonal to the grip axis A1.
  • As described above, the tension member 270 is configured to slide along the coupling portion 240 of the handle member 205 as the handle member 205 is rotated about axis A5 from its first position (see FIG. 6), to its second position (see FIG. 7), and to its third position (see FIG. 8). Specifically, when the handle member 205 is in its first position (see FIG. 6), the tension member 270 slides with respect to the coupling portion 240 to the first portion 254 of the coupling portion 240; when the handle member 205 is in its second position (see FIG. 7), the tension member 270 slides with respect to the coupling portion 240 to the second portion 256 of the coupling portion 240; when the handle member 205 is in its third position (see FIG. 8), the tension member slides with respect to the coupling portion to the third portion 258 of the coupling portion 240. Accordingly, the angle defined by the axis of force A4 and the grip axis A1 is different when the handle member 205 is in its first position, when the handle member is in its second position, and when the handle member is in its third position.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, an intersection zone IZ is associated with the handle member 205. The axis of force A4 passes through the intersection zone IZ at each location along the travel path TP1, of the tension member 270 with respect to the coupling portion 240. In other words, regardless of where the tension member 270 is located between the first portion 254 of the coupling portion 240 and the third portion 258 of the coupling portion 240, the axis of force A4 passes through the intersection zone IZ. Specifically, when the handle member 205 is in its first position, the axis of force A4 passes substantially through the intersection zone IZ (see FIG. 6). Similarly, when the handle member 205 is in its second position, the axis of force A4 passes substantially through the intersection zone IZ (see FIG. 7). Finally, when the handle member 205 is in its third position, the axis of force A4 passes substantially through the intersection zone IZ (see FIG. 8).
  • The term intersection zone IZ is used herein to mean a three-dimensional space. In one embodiment, the intersection zone is about as large as the grip portion of the handle member. In another embodiment, the intersection zone is about as large a fist or a hand of a human user. In another embodiment, the intersection zone is a three-dimensional space that is about 8 cubic inches (131 cubic cm). In yet another embodiment, the intersection zone is a three-dimensional space that is less than 8 cubic inches (131 cubic cm), such as 3 cubic inches (49 cubic cm).
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the axis of rotation A5 passes through the intersection zone IZ. Additionally, in the illustrated embodiment, the axis of force A4 intersects the axis of rotation A5 when the handle member is in its first position, its second position, and its third position. Specifically, the intersection of the axis of force A4 and the axis of rotation A5 occurs within the intersection zone IZ.
  • In an another embodiment, the axis of rotation is not disposed within the intersection zone. In such an embodiment, the axis of force passes substantially through the intersection zone when the handle member is in a first position, a second position, and a third position. Accordingly, as the axis of rotation is not disposed within the intersection zone, the axis of force does not intersect the axis of rotation when the handle member is in the first position, the second position, or the third position. In such an embodiment, the different amounts of force or torque (as will be described in detail below) will be applied to the handle member.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 6 through 8, the handle member 205 can be rotated about an axis A5 that intersects the grip axis A1. Accordingly, the intersection zone IZ is disposed such that a portion of the grip portion 210 is disposed within and axis A5 passes through the intersection zone IZ. As illustrated in FIG. 9, however, the handle member 205 need not be rotated about an axis that intersects the grip axis A1. FIG. 9 illustrates an alternative arrangement where the handle member 205 is illustrated as being rotated about an axis A6 that does not intersect the grip portion 210 of the handle member 205. Additionally, the intersection zone IZ is disposed such that the grip portion 210 is not disposed within the intersection zone IZ.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 9, a user may grasp the grip portion 210 of the handle member 205 with a single hand and may rotate the handle member 210 about an axis A6 that intersects the user's wrist. As shown in FIG. 9, axis A6 is orientate as coming out of the page. As the handle member 205 is rotated about axis A6, the tension member 270 slides with respect to the handle member 205 from a first portion 254 of the coupling portion 240 to a second portion 256 of the coupling portion 240 and to a third portion 258 of the coupling portion 240. As illustrated in FIG. 9, the intersection zone IZ is disposed such that the grip portion 210 of the handle member 205 is not disposed within the intersection zone IZ. Accordingly, the axis of force A4, which is defined by the force applied by the tension member 270 to the handle member 205, passes through the intersection zone IZ when the tension member is disposed at the first portion 254 of the coupling portion 240, the second portion 256 of the coupling portion 240, and the third portion 258 of the coupling portion 240. Additionally, the axis of force A4 intersects the axis A6 at a location disposed within the intersection zone IZ.
  • As the handle member 205 is rotated or moved through its range of motion from its first position, to its second position, and to its third position, the tension member 270 applies a force and a torque to the handle member 205. It may be desirable to vary the amount of torque applied to the handle member depending on the activity that is being simulated with the handle member. For example, as a baseball player swings a baseball bat very little, if any, torque is experienced by the baseball player. Thus, it would be desirable to eliminate the torque applied to the handle member when the handle member is used to simulate a baseball swing. Conversely, there may be some activities for which it would be desirable apply a constant or varying amount of torque to the handle member as the handle member is moved through its range of motion.
  • Torque is measured by the following equation:
    Torque=d*F sin φ
  • where d is the distance between the point about which the torque is being measured and the point at which the force is applied, F is the amount of force applied, and φ is the angle between the direction of the applied force and the axis extending from the point about which the torque is being measured and the point at which the force is being applied.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 6 through 8, the axis of force A4 intersects the intersection zone (and the axis of rotation A5) when the handle member is in its first position, its second position, and its third position. Accordingly, the amount of torque applied by the tension member about the intersection zone IZ (and the axis of rotation A5) is substantially the same when handle member is in its first position, its second position, and its third position. Specifically, in the illustrated embodiment, because the distance between the intersection zone IZ (and the axis of rotation A5) and the point at which the force is being applied is zero, the amount of torque applied by the tension member about the intersection zone IZ (and the axis of rotation A5) is zero.
  • In another embodiment, the tension member applies a constant amount (other than zero) of torque to a location associated with the handle member. For example, in one embodiment, the coupling member can have frictionless zones and friction zones. Thus, as the handle member is rotated and the tension member slides with respect to the coupling member, the amount of torque applied to a location of the handle member can be constant. Alternatively, the amount of torque applied to a location of the handle member when the handle member is rotated can be selectively controlled.
  • FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrate other embodiments of the grip portion. FIG. 10 illustrates a grip portion 310 that is configured to simulate a handle of a golf club. The grip portion 310 extends along an axis A7 and includes a first end portion 312 and a second end portion 314 opposite the first end portion 312. The grip portion 310 also includes a lumen 316 that extends from the first end portion 312 of the grip portion 310 to the second end portion 314 of the grip portion 310. The lumen 316 of the grip portion 310 is configured to receive a portion of the coupling member 240 to removably and rotatably couple the grip portion 310 to the coupling portion 240. Specifically, the grip portion 310 is configured to rotate with respect to the coupling portion 240 about the axis A7.
  • FIG. 11 illustrates a grip portion 410 that is configured to simulate a handle of a tennis racquet. The grip portion 410 extends along an axis A8 and includes a first end portion 412 and a second end portion 414 opposite the first end portion 412. The grip portion 410 also includes a lumen 416 that extends from the first end portion 412 of the grip portion 410 to the second end portion 414 of the grip portion 410. The lumen 416 of the grip portion 410 is configured to receive a portion of the coupling member 240 to removably and rotatably couple the grip portion 410 to the coupling portion 240. Specifically, the grip portion 410 is configured to rotate with respect to the coupling portion 240 about the axis A8.
  • FIGS. 12 through 14 illustrate other embodiments of the coupling portion of the handle member. As illustrated in FIG. 12, the coupling portion 340 includes a first end portion 342 and a second end portion 344 disposed opposite the first end portion 342. The coupling portion 340 also has a curved portion 346 disposed proximate the first end portion 342 of the coupling portion 340 and a substantially linear portion 348 disposed proximate the second end portion 344 of the coupling portion 340. The curved portion 346 has a first curved segment 345 and a second curved segment 347. The second curved segment 347 has a radius of curvature that is smaller than the radius of curvature of the first curved segment 345. Additionally, the second curved segment 347 is disposed between the first curved segment 345 and the first end portion 342 of the coupling portion 340.
  • The coupling portion 340 is configured to be slidably coupled to a tension member (not shown in FIG. 12) such that the tension member may slide with respect to the coupling portion 340 along a travel path TP2. Specifically, the tension member may slide with respect to the coupling portion 340 from a first portion 354 of the coupling portion 340 to a second portion 356 of the coupling portion 340 and to a third portion 358 of the coupling portion 340.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 13, the coupling portion 440 includes a first end portion 442 and a second end portion 444 disposed opposite the first end portion 442. The coupling portion 440 also has a curved portion 446 disposed proximate the first end portion 442 of the coupling portion 440 and a substantially linear portion 448 disposed proximate the second end portion 444 of the coupling portion 440. The curved portion 446 has an inner curved segment 447 and an outer curved segment 449.
  • The coupling portion 440 is configured to be slidably coupled to a tension member (not shown in FIG. 13) such that the tension member may slide with respect to the coupling portion 440 along a travel path TP3. Specifically, the tension member may slide with respect to the coupling portion 440 from a first portion 454 of the coupling portion 440 to a second portion 456 of the coupling portion 440 and to a third portion 458 of the coupling portion 440. Although the travel path TP3 is illustrated as being associated with the outer curved segment, in another embodiment, the travel path is associated with the inner curved segment.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 14, the coupling portion 540 includes a first end portion 542 and a second end portion 544 disposed opposite the first end portion 542. The coupling portion 540 also has a curved portion 546 disposed proximate the first end portion 542 of the coupling portion 540 and a substantially linear portion 548 disposed proximate the second end portion 544 of the coupling portion 540. The curved portion 546 has a first inner curved segment 447, a second inner curved segment 445, and an outer curved segment 449.
  • The coupling portion 540 is configured to be slidably coupled to a tension member (not shown in FIG. 14) such that the tension member may slide with respect to the coupling portion 540 along a travel path TP4. Specifically, the tension member may slide with respect to the coupling portion 540 from a first portion 554 of the coupling portion 540 to a second portion 556 of the coupling portion 540 and to a third portion 558 of the coupling portion 440.
  • FIGS. 15, 15 a and 16 illustrate other embodiments of the handle member in accordance with the invention. As illustrated in FIG. 15, the handle member 605 includes a grip portion 610 and a coupling portion 640. The coupling portion 640 includes a curved portion 646 and a substantially linear portion 648. In some embodiments, the coupling portion 640 is rigid. In other embodiments, the coupling portion (or a portion of a coupling portion) is not rigid, but is flexible. The curved portion 646 includes a first end portion 647 and a second end portion 649 located opposite the first end portion 647. The substantially linear portion 648 includes a first end portion 641 and a second end portion 643. The first end portion 647 of the curved portion 646 is coupled to the first end portion 641 of the substantially linear portion 648. Similarly, the second end portion 649 of the curved portion 646 is coupled to the second end portion 643 of the substantially linear portion 648. In the illustrated embodiment, the curved portion 646 and the substantially linear portion 648 are unitarily or monolithically formed. In another embodiment, the end portions of the curved portion are removably coupled to the end portions of the substantially linear portion.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the substantially linear portion 648 of the coupling member 640 is configured to be coupled to the grip portion 610. In one embodiment, the grip portion 610 is removably coupled to the substantially linear portion 648 of the coupling member 640. For example, the grip portion can be a clam-shell-type structure and can include a hinge that allows the grip portion to be secured around the substantially linear portion 648 of the coupling member 640. In another embodiment, the grip portion 610 is fixedly coupled to the substantially linear portion 648 of the coupling member 640. In yet another embodiment, the grip portion 610 is integrally or monolithically formed with the coupling portion 640.
  • The coupling portion 640 is configured to be slidably coupled to a tension member (not shown in FIG. 15) such that the tension member may slide with respect to the coupling portion 640 along a travel path TP5. Specifically, the tension member may slide with respect to the coupling portion 640 from a first portion 654 of the coupling portion 640 to a second portion 656 of the coupling portion 640 and to a third portion 658 of the coupling portion 640.
  • The handle member 605 may be rotated about an axis A9. As the handle member 605 is rotated about axis A9, the tension member slides with respect to the handle member from the first portion 654 of the coupling portion 640 to the second portion 656 of the coupling portion 640 and to the third portion 658 of the coupling portion 640. As illustrated in FIG. 15, the intersection zone IZ is disposed such that the grip portion 610 of the handle member 605 is disposed within the intersection zone IZ. Accordingly, the axis of force (not illustrated), which is defined by the force applied by the tension member to the handle member 605, passes through the intersection zone IZ when the tension member is disposed at the first portion 654 of the coupling portion 640, the second portion 656 of the coupling portion 640, and the third portion 658 of the coupling portion 640. Additionally, the axis of force intersects the axis A9 at a location disposed within the intersection zone IZ when the tension member is disposed at the first portion 654 of the coupling portion 640, the second portion 656 of the coupling portion 640, the third portion 658 of the coupling portion 640, and portions therebetween.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 15 a, the handle member 605 a includes a grip portion 610 a and a coupling portion 640 a. The coupling portion 640 a is flexible or otherwise deformable. For example, in some embodiments, the coupling portion 640 a is a cord or a rope. In other embodiments, the coupling portion is another type of flexible member.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the coupling portion 640 a extends through a lumen (not illustrated) that extends through the grip portion 610 a. The grip portion may be removably coupled to the coupling portion 640 a. For example, in one embodiment, the grip portion is a clam-shell-type structure that includes a hinge that allows the grip portion to be secured around the coupling portion. In another embodiment, the coupling portion includes end portions that are fixedly coupled to the grip portion.
  • The coupling portion 640 a is configured to be slidably coupled to a tension member (not shown in FIG. 15 a) such that the tension member may slide with respect to the coupling portion 640 a along a travel path TP5a. Specifically, the tension member may slide with respect to the coupling portion 640 a from a first portion 654 a of the coupling portion 640 a to a second portion 656 a of the coupling portion 640 a and to a third portion 658 a of the coupling portion 640 a. In some embodiments, the coupling portion 640 a is slidably coupled to the tension member via a pulley assembly 695 a.
  • The handle member 605 a may be rotated about an axis A9a. As the handle member 605 a is rotated about axis A9a, the tension member slides with respect to the handle member 605 a from the first portion 654 a of the coupling portion 640 a to the second portion 656 a of the coupling portion 640 a and to the third portion 658 a of the coupling portion 640 a. As illustrated in FIG. 15 a, the intersection zone IZ is disposed such that the grip portion 610 a of the handle member 605 a is disposed within the intersection zone IZ. Accordingly, the axis of force (not illustrated), which is defined by the force applied by the tension member to the handle member 605 a, passes through the intersection zone IZ when the tension member is disposed at the first portion 654 a of the coupling portion 640 a, the second portion 656 a of the coupling portion 640 a, and the third portion 658 a of the coupling portion 640 a. Additionally, the axis of force intersects the axis A9a at a location disposed within the intersection zone IZ when the tension member is disposed at the first portion 654 a of the coupling portion 640 a, the second portion 656 a of the coupling portion 640 a, the third portion 658 a of the coupling portion 640 a, and portions therebetween.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 16, a handle member 705 includes a grip portion 710 and a coupling portion 740. The coupling portion 740 includes a curved portion 746 and a substantially linear portion 748. The curved portion 746 substantially defines a circle, and the substantially linear portion 748 is disposed within the circle defined by the curved portion 746. In the illustrated embodiment, the curved portion 746 and the substantially linear portion 748 are unitarily or monolithically formed. In another embodiment, the substantially linear portion is removably coupled to the curved portion.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the grip portion 710 is configured to be coupled to the substantially linear portion 748 of the coupling member 740. In one embodiment, the grip portion 710 is removably coupled to the substantially linear portion 748 of the coupling member 740. For example, the grip portion 710 can be a clam-shell-type structure and can include a hinge that allows the grip portion 710 to be removably secured around the substantially linear portion 748 of the coupling member 740. In another embodiment, the grip portion 710 is fixedly coupled to the substantially linear portion 748 of the coupling member 740. In yet another embodiment, the grip portion 710 is integrally or monolithically formed with the coupling portion 740.
  • The coupling portion 740 is configured to be slidably coupled to a tension member (not shown in FIG. 16) such that the tension member can slide with respect to the coupling portion 740 along a travel path TP6. Specifically, the tension member can slide with respect to the coupling portion 740 from a first portion 754 of the coupling portion 740 to a second portion 756 of the coupling portion 740 and to a third portion 758 of the coupling portion 740. As illustrated in FIG. 16, as the curved portion 740 substantially defines a circle, the first portion 754 of the curved portion 740 is disposed directly adjacent the third portion 758 of the curved portion 740. The tension member may be coupled to the curved portion of the coupling member via any known mechanism. For example, in one embodiment, the curved portion of the handle member includes a groove that is configured to receive a portion of a projection of the tension member to slidably couple the tension member to the coupling portion of the handle member.
  • The handle member 705 may rotated about an axis A10. As the handle member 705 is rotated about axis A10, the tension member slides with respect to the handle member from the first portion 754 of the coupling portion 740 to the second portion 756 of the coupling portion 740 and to the third portion 758 of the coupling portion 740. As illustrated in FIG. 16, the intersection zone IZ is disposed such that the grip portion 710 of the handle member 705 is disposed within the intersection zone IZ. Accordingly, the axis of force (not illustrated), which is defined by the force applied by the tension member to the handle member 705, passes through the intersection zone IZ when the tension member is disposed at the first portion 754 of the coupling portion 740, the second portion 756 of the coupling portion 740, and the third portion 758 of the coupling portion 740. Additionally, the axis of force intersects the axis A10 at a location disposed within the intersection zone IZ when the tension member is disposed at the first portion 754 of the coupling portion 740, the second portion 756 of the coupling portion 740, the third portion 758 of the coupling portion 740, and portions therebetween.
  • FIG. 17 illustrates another embodiment of the tension member according to the invention. The tension member 370 includes a cable 380 and a force-generating mechanism 390. The cable 380 includes a first end portion 382 and a second end portion 384 disposed opposite the first end portion 382.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the force-generating mechanism 390 includes a flexible member 392, a base member 394, a support arm 396, and a pulley assembly 398. The support arm 396 extends from and is supported by the base member 394. The pulley assembly 398 is fixedly coupled to the support arm 396.
  • The flexible member 392 includes a first end portion 391 coupled to the base member 394 and a second end portion 393 coupled to the first end portion 382 of the cable. The flexible member 392 is made of a resilient material and is configured to flex or otherwise bend along a range of motion that includes a first end position and a second end position when a force is applied to the flexible member 392. Additionally, when the flexible member 392 is bent or otherwise flexed into its second end position, the flexible member 392 will exert a force as it attempts to return to its first end position.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the cable 380 is coupled to the flexible member 392, extends across the pulley of pulley assembly 398, and is coupled to a handle member 805. Specifically, the second end portion 384 of the cable 380 is coupled to the handle member 805. Accordingly, the handle member 805 may be moved with respect to the flexible member 392 to flex or bend the flexible member 392 along its range of motion. Additionally, once the flexible member 392 is displaced from its first end position, the flexible member 392 will apply a force to the handle member 805 (through the cable 380).
  • FIG. 18 is a schematic illustration of another embodiment of the tension member according to the invention. The tension member 470 includes a cable 480 and a force-generating mechanism 490. The cable 480 includes a first end portion 482 coupled to the force-generating mechanism 490 (as described in detail below) and a second end portion 484 coupled to a handle member (not illustrated).
  • The force-generating mechanism includes a housing 492, a shaft 494, and a brake 496. The housing 492 houses the shaft 494 and the brake 496. The housing can have a variety of shapes and sizes as appropriate for the application, e.g., a medical rehabilitation device and/or an exercise device.
  • The shaft 494 is coupled to the housing 492 such that the shaft 494 is configured to move with respect to the housing 492. For example, in one embodiment, the shaft 494 is rotatably coupled to the housing 492 and is configured to rotate with respect to the housing 494. In another embodiment, the shaft is slidably coupled to the housing and is configured to slide or move in a linear motion with respect to the housing.
  • The brake 496 of the force-generating mechanism 490 is disposed within the housing 492 and is coupled to the shaft 494. Although a brake is described and illustrated, a clutch may be used in place of the described brake. Said another way, in another embodiment, the force-generating mechanism does not include a brake, but rather includes a clutch.
  • The brake 496 is configured to oppose or resist movement of the shaft 494 with respect to the housing 492. The first end portion 482 cable 480 is coupled to the shaft 494. For example, in one embodiment, the cable 480 is wrapped around the shaft 494. Accordingly, as the handle member (not illustrated) is moved with respect to the housing 492, the cable 480 is moved with respect to the shaft 494 to move or rotate the shaft 494 with respect to the housing 492. Thus, the brake 496, which applies a force to the shaft to oppose the movement of the shaft 494, causes a force to be applied to the handle member (through the cable).
  • FIGS. 19 through 21 illustrate another embodiment of the invention. As illustrated in FIG. 19, an apparatus 900 includes a handle member 905 and a tension member 970. The handle member includes a grip portion 910 and a coupling portion 940. The grip portion 910 is configured to be grasped by a user. In the illustrated embodiment, the grip portion 910 is removably and rotatably coupled to the coupling portion 940. In another embodiment, the grip portion 910 is fixedly coupled to the coupling portion 940.
  • The tension member 970 includes a cable 980 and a force-generating mechanism (not illustrated). One end of the cable 980 is coupled to the force-generating mechanism. Another end of the cable 980 is coupled to the coupling portion 940 of the handle member 905.
  • The force-generating mechanism is configured to apply a force to the cable 980 and, accordingly, to any object that is coupled to the cable 980. For example, in one embodiment, the force-generating mechanism includes a weight (not illustrated). Thus, when the weight is lifted from a support surface (not illustrated), the gravitational force acting on the weight is transferred to the cable 980 and to any object that is coupled to the cable 980.
  • The tension member 970 also includes a track 972 and a pulley assembly 976. The pulley assembly 976 is movably coupled to and supported by the track 972. In other words, the pulley assembly 976 can move with respect to the track 972.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the cable 980 extends from the handle member 905 to the force-generating mechanism and engages the pulley assembly 976. Accordingly, when a user grasps the handle member 905 and moves it, the weight is lifted with respect to the support surface. Additionally, once the weight is lifted from the support surface, the force-generating mechanism applies a force to the handle member 905 (through the cable 980). The force that is applied to the handle member 905 defines an axis.
  • The apparatus 900 is configured such that a user may move the handle member 905 with respect to the track 972 from a first position (see FIG. 19) to a second position (see FIG. 20) and to a third position (see FIG. 21). The apparatus 900 also includes a sensor 999 that is configured to cooperate with the pulley assembly 976 to cause the axis to pass through an intersection zone IZ when the apparatus 900 is in its first position, its second position, and its third position. Specifically, the sensor 999 is configured to measure the axis of force relative to the intersection zone IZ. The sensor 999 causes the pulley assembly 976 to move with respect to the track 972 when the sensor 999 detects that the axis does not pass through the intersection zone IZ. The movement of the pulley assembly 976 with respect to the track 972 changes or moves the axis with respect to the handle member 905, for example, to maintain a desired relationship between the axis of force and the intersection zone IZ.
  • Thus, as the axis of force passes through the intersection zone IZ when the apparatus 900 is in its first position, its second position, and its third position, the torque applied to the handle member 905 about the intersection zone IZ is substantially the same when the apparatus is in its first position, its second position, and its third position. Specifically, as the axis of force passes through the intersection zone IZ when the apparatus is in its first position, its second position, and its third position, the torque applied to the handle member about the intersection zone IZ is substantially zero.
  • In another embodiment, the sensor is configured to cooperate with the pulley assembly to selectively control the amount of torque applied by the tension member to the intersection zone. Although the track 972 is illustrated as being a linear track, in another embodiment, the track includes a curved portion.
  • While the invention has been described in detail and with references to specific embodiments thereof, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that various changes and modifications can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope thereof. Thus, it is intended that the present invention covers the modifications and variations of this invention provided they come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.

Claims (29)

1. An apparatus, comprising:
a handle member having a grip portion and a coupling portion, the coupling portion configured to be slidably coupled to a tension member from a first portion of the coupling portion to a second portion of the coupling portion, the grip portion includes a vertex location,
the handle member defining a first axis extending from the vertex location of the grip portion to the first portion of the coupling portion, the handle member defining a second axis extending from the vertex location of the grip portion to the second portion of the coupling portion, the first axis and the second axis defining an angle formed about the vertex location, the angle being greater than 5 degrees.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the coupling portion includes a curved portion.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the grip portion is removably coupleable to the coupling portion.
4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the grip portion is in the form of a baseball bat handle.
5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the grip portion is in the form of a tennis racquet handle.
6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the grip portion is in the form of a golf club handle.
7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the grip portion is a first grip portion, the handle member includes a second grip portion, the first grip portion is removably coupleable to the coupling portion, the second grip portion is removably coupleable to the coupling portion.
8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the coupling portion includes an end portion, the grip portion includes a cavity configured to receive at least a portion of the end portion of the coupling portion.
9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the coupling portion includes an end portion, the grip portion includes a cavity configured to slidably receive at least a portion of the end portion of the coupling portion, the grip portion is configured to rotate about the at least a portion of the end portion of the coupling portion.
10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the tension member includes a cable and a force-generating mechanism, the cable having a first end portion coupled to the coupling portion of the handle member and a second end portion coupled to the force-generating mechanism.
11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the tension member includes a cable and a force-generating mechanism, the cable having a first end portion coupled to the coupling portion of the handle member and a second end portion coupled to the force-generating mechanism, the force-generating mechanism is a brake controlled rotation shaft.
12. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the tension member includes a cable and a force-generating mechanism, the cable having a first end portion coupled to the coupling portion of the handle member and a second end portion coupled to the force-generating mechanism, the force-generating mechanism is a weight suspended above a support surface.
13. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the tension member includes a cable and a force-generating mechanism, the cable having a first end portion coupled to the coupling portion of the handle member and a second end portion coupled to the force-generating mechanism, the force-generating mechanism is a flexible member configured to be bent from a first position to a second position.
14. An apparatus, comprising:
a handle member having a grip portion and a coupling portion, the coupling portion configured to be slidably coupled to a tension member from a first portion of the coupling portion to a second portion of the coupling portion, the travel distance between the first portion of the coupling portion and the second portion of the coupling portion being at least 5 centimeters.
15. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the coupling portion includes a curved portion.
16. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the grip portion is removably coupleable to the coupling portion.
17. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the grip portion is a first grip portion, the handle member includes a second grip portion, the first grip portion is removably coupleable to the coupling portion, the second grip portion is removably coupleable to the coupling portion.
18. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the coupling portion includes an end portion, the grip portion includes a cavity configured to receive at least a portion of the end portion of the coupling portion.
19. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the coupling portion includes an end portion, the grip portion includes a cavity configured to slidably receive at least a portion of the end portion of the coupling portion, the grip portion is configured to rotate about the at least a portion of the end portion of the coupling portion.
20. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the travel distance is at least 10 centimeters.
21. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein at least a portion of the coupling portion is flexible.
22. An apparatus, comprising:
a handle member including a grip portion and a coupling portion, the grip portion extending along an axis, the coupling portion configured to be coupled to a tension member that applies a force to the handle member along an axis,
the handle member being configured to rotate about an axis of rotation between a first position and a second position, the first position is different than the second position, the axis of rotation is substantially orthogonal to the axis of force, the axis of rotation is substantially orthogonal to the grip portion axis, the axis of force substantially intersects an intersection zone associated with the handle member when the handle member is in its first position, the axis of force substantially intersects the intersection zone when the handle member is in its second position.
23. The apparatus of claim 22, wherein at least a portion of the handle member is disposed within the intersection zone.
24. The apparatus of claim 22, wherein at least a portion of the grip portion of the handle member is disposed within the intersection zone.
25. The apparatus of claim 22, wherein at least a portion of the axis of rotation is disposed within the intersection zone.
26. The apparatus of claim 22, wherein at least a portion of the axis of rotation is disposed within the intersection zone, the axis of force substantially intersects the axis of rotation when the handle member is in its first position, the axis of force substantially intersects the axis of rotation when the handle member is in its second position.
27. The apparatus of claim 22, wherein at least a portion of the coupling portion is flexible.
28. An apparatus, comprising:
a handle member including a grip portion and a coupling portion, the grip portion extending along an axis, the coupling portion configured to be coupled to a tension member that applies a force to the handle member along an axis,
the handle member being configured to rotate about an axis of rotation between a first position, a second position and a third position, the first position is different than the second position and the third position, the second position is different than the third position, the axis of rotation is substantially orthogonal to the axis of force, the axis of rotation is substantially orthogonal to the grip axis, the force applied to the handle member produces an amount of torque on a location on the handle member when the handle member is in its first position, the force applied to the handle member produces substantially the amount of torque on the location on the handle member when the handle member is in its second position, the force applied to the handle member produces substantially the amount of torque on the location on the handle member when the handle member is in its third position.
29. The apparatus of claim 28, further comprising:
a sensor coupled to the handle member and configured to detect the angle between the force axis and the grip axis;
a track; and
a pulley movably coupled to the track,
the tension member includes a cable and a force-generating mechanism, the cable having a first end portion, a second end portion opposite the first end portion, and a medial portion disposed between the first end portion and the second end portion, the first end portion coupled to the handle member, the second end portion coupled to the force-generating mechanism, the medial portion configured to interact with the pulley, the pulley configured to be disposed at a first location on the track when the sensor detects a first angle between the force axis and the grip axis, the pulley configured to move to a second location on the track in response to the sensor detecting a second angle between the force axis and the grip axis.
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