US20060194679A1 - Portable exerciser - Google Patents

Portable exerciser Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060194679A1
US20060194679A1 US11/396,816 US39681606A US2006194679A1 US 20060194679 A1 US20060194679 A1 US 20060194679A1 US 39681606 A US39681606 A US 39681606A US 2006194679 A1 US2006194679 A1 US 2006194679A1
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mat
defined
primary component
portable exerciser
primary
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Abandoned
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US11/396,816
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James Hatcher
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James Hatcher
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Priority to US45859803P priority Critical
Priority to US10/786,654 priority patent/US20050187081A1/en
Application filed by James Hatcher filed Critical James Hatcher
Priority to US11/396,816 priority patent/US20060194679A1/en
Publication of US20060194679A1 publication Critical patent/US20060194679A1/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
    • A63B21/02Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices using resilient force-resisters
    • A63B21/055Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices using resilient force-resisters extension element type
    • A63B21/0552Elastic ropes or bands
    • 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
    • A63B21/02Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices using resilient force-resisters
    • A63B21/04Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices using resilient force-resisters attached to static foundation, e.g. a user
    • 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
    • A63B21/02Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices using resilient force-resisters
    • A63B21/055Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices using resilient force-resisters extension element type
    • 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
    • A63B21/4037Exercise mats for personal use, with or without hand-grips or foot-grips, e.g. for Yoga or supine floor exercises
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B23/00Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body
    • A63B23/035Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body for limbs, i.e. upper or lower limbs, e.g. simultaneously
    • A63B23/03575Apparatus used for exercising upper and lower limbs simultaneously
    • 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
    • A63B21/00058Mechanical means for varying the resistance
    • A63B21/00069Setting or adjusting the resistance level; Compensating for a preload prior to use, e.g. changing length of resistance or adjusting a valve
    • 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
    • A63B21/02Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices using resilient force-resisters
    • A63B21/04Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices using resilient force-resisters attached to static foundation, e.g. a user
    • A63B21/0442Anchored at one end only, the other end being manipulated by the user
    • 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
    • A63B21/02Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices using resilient force-resisters
    • A63B21/055Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices using resilient force-resisters extension element type
    • A63B21/0552Elastic ropes or bands
    • A63B21/0557Details of attachments, e.g. clips or clamps
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2208/00Characteristics or parameters related to the user or player
    • A63B2208/02Characteristics or parameters related to the user or player posture
    • A63B2208/0228Sitting on the buttocks
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2208/00Characteristics or parameters related to the user or player
    • A63B2208/02Characteristics or parameters related to the user or player posture
    • A63B2208/0228Sitting on the buttocks
    • A63B2208/0238Sitting on the buttocks with stretched legs, like on a bed

Abstract

A portable exerciser that includes a mat having first and second primary components that can be collapsed into a smaller arrangement. At least one of the primary components includes at least one exercise handle that can be used by an individual for exercising. An adjustment mechanism is mounted to at least one of the primary components of the mat to enable the first and second primary components to be selectively angularly adjusted and maintained relative to the other primary component.

Description

  • The present invention is a continuation-in-part of co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/786,654 filed Feb. 25, 2004, which in turn claims priority on U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/458,598 filed Mar. 28, 2003, both of which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • The present invention pertains to the art of exercising equipment and more particularly to a portable unit which can be used by an individual to perform various exercises.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Physical fitness of individuals has continued to become an important component of a person's health. Medical studies continue to show that an individual that exercises regularly can enhance his or her longevity and/or reduce incidents of heart disease, respiratory problems, diabetes, and/or other types of diseases. Individuals that are continuously on the road due to their jobs (e.g., salesmen, executives, truck drivers, airline pilots and flight attendants, etc.) are frequently away from home for extended periods of time, thus have difficulty in maintaining a daily exercise schedule. As such, it is not uncommon that such individuals do not regularly exercise, or begin an exercise program and soon thereafter give the program up due to the difficulty in maintaining the exercise program.
  • In view of the problems associated with maintaining an exercise program for individuals that frequently travel, there is a need for an exercise unit that is portable and which can be easily and conveniently used by an individual away from home to enable the individual to exercise while such individual is traveling.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention is directed to a portable exerciser which addresses the needs of individuals that frequently travel. More particularly, the portable exerciser is designed to be made in a convenient form so that a traveler can easily pack such a device and transport such a device when traveling on the road. The portable exerciser can not only be used by individuals that frequently travel, but also for individuals that periodically travel for business, vacationers, and the like. Although the portable exerciser of the present invention is directed to a traveler, it will be appreciated that the portable exerciser can be used by other individuals (e.g., office workers, work-at-home workers, stay-at-home moms, etc.).
  • In one non-limiting aspect of the present invention, the portable exerciser is designed to allow individuals to exercise their upper and/or lower body areas. As such, the portable exerciser can be used as the principal exercising device for the individual, or be used as a-supplement for the individual in combination with other exercising devices and/or exercise routines (i.e. push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, stretching exercises, etc.).
  • In another and/or alternative non-limiting aspect of the present invention, the portable exerciser includes a mat formed of at least two primary components which are connected together. The two or more of the primary components can be connected together in a variety of ways such as, but not limited to, mechanical hinges, straps, rope, Velcro, flexible materials, etc. In one non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the mat can be formed of two primary components; however, this is not required. In another and/or alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, two or more of the primary components can be connected together by hinges; however, this is not required. In still another and/or alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, two or more of the primary components can be detachably connected together; however, this is not required. In yet another and/or alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, two or more of the primary components can be non-detachably connected together; however, this is not required. In still yet another and/or alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, two or more of the primary components can have generally the same shape and/or size; however, this is not required. In another and/or alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the components of the collapsible mat can be sized, oriented and designed to enable an individual to place his/her back and buttocks on the mat during the use of the mat; however, this is not required. As such, the components provide comfort to the individual during the exercise routines when using the portable exerciser. In one non-limiting aspect of this embodiment, at least one of the primary components is generally D-shaped. In still another and/or alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the primary components can be at least partially foldable or otherwise collapsible to enable the portable exerciser to be reduced in size for easy packing, carrying, and/or transporting; however, this is not required. In one non-limiting aspect of this embodiment, components of the mat are foldable or otherwise collapsible to reduce the maximum longitudinal length of the mat by at least about 30%. In another non-limiting aspect of this embodiment, components of the mat are foldable or otherwise collapsible to reduce the maximum longitudinal length of the mat by at least about 40%. In still another non-limiting aspect of this embodiment, components of the mat are foldable or otherwise collapsible to reduce the maximum longitudinal length of the mat by about 45-50%.
  • In still another and/or alternative non-limiting aspect of the present invention, the portable exerciser can include a mat that has a compressible material to provide comfort to the user; however, this is not required. Such compressible materials include, but are not limited to, foam, rubber, gels, air pockets, blown polymers, and/or the like. The compressible material can include a protective covering material (e.g., fabric material, vinyl material, nylon material, leather material, rubber material, Kevlar material, etc.); however, this is not required. The protective material can be used to provide durability to the component, and/or water resistance to the component. In one non-limiting embodiment of the invention, at least about 30% of the top surface of at least one primary component of the mat can be covered by a compressible material; however, this is not required. In another non-limiting embodiment of the invention, at least about 50% of the top surface of at least one primary component of the mat can be covered by a compressible material; however, this is not required. In still another non-limiting embodiment of the invention, at least about 75% of the top surface of at least one primary component of the mat can be covered by a compressible material; however, this is not required. In yet another non-limiting embodiment of the invention, about 90-100% of the top surface of at least one primary component of the mat can be covered by a compressible material; however, this is not required.
  • In yet another and/or alternative non-limiting aspect of the present invention, the portable exerciser can include a mat that has at least one component that includes a relatively rigid structure; however, this is not required. Such relatively rigid structure includes wood, metal, plastic, fiber board, hard rubber, composite materials, etc. The relatively rigid structure provides integrity to the component and/or provides a structure to provide a rigid connection (e.g., connect a hinge, etc.). When a compressible material is used, the compressible material is typically connected to the relatively rigid material by, but not limited to, adhesives, rivets, nails, staples, thread, snaps, Velcro, tacks, magnets, etc. As can be appreciated, the compressible material can be designed to at encapsulate one or more portions of the relatively rigid material; however, this is not required.
  • In still yet another and/or alternative non-limiting aspect of the present invention, the portable exerciser can have a shape, size and weight that enables the portable exerciser to be conveniently carried, and placed and used in a vehicle seat; however, this is not required. In one non-limiting embodiment, at least one of the primary components of the mat can have a width of about 1.5-3.5 feet, a depth of about 1.5-3.5 feet, and a thickness of about 0.5-4 inches; however, this is not required. In one non-limiting aspect of this embodiment, at least one of the primary components of the mat has a width of about 2-3.5 feet, a depth of about 2-3.5 feet, and a thickness of about 1-3 inches. In another and/or alternative non-limiting embodiment, the mat in a collapsed position can have a maximum thickness of less than about 6 inches; however, this is not required. In one non-limiting aspect of this embodiment, the mat in a collapsed position has a maximum thickness of less than about 4 inches. In still another and/or alternative non-limiting embodiment, the mat in a collapsed position can have a maximum weight of less than about 50 pounds; however, this is not required. In one non-limiting aspect of this embodiment, the mat in a collapsed position has a maximum weight of less than about 40 pounds. In still another non-limiting aspect of this embodiment, the mat in a collapsed position has a maximum weight of less than about 30 pounds. In yet another non-limiting aspect of this embodiment, the mat in a collapsed position has a maximum weight of less than about 25 pounds. In still yet another non-limiting aspect of this embodiment, the mat in a collapsed position has a maximum weight of less than about 20 pounds.
  • In another and/or alternative non-limiting aspect of the present invention, the portable exerciser includes an adjustment mechanism or support system on the mat to enable at least two of the primary components of the mat to positioned in an angular relationship to one another. The angular relationship of the at least two components is at least about 0° (collapsed position) to at least about 180° (components in a flat position); however, other angular relationships can be used. In one non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the mat can include two primary components and the adjustment mechanism or support system enables the components of the mat to be oriented at least one angle between 90° and 180°; however, this is not required. The one or more position settings for the adjustment mechanism or support system enables the user to orient the two or more primary components with respect to one another to obtain the desired position for an exercise and/or the desired comfort level during the use of the portable exerciser. In one non-limiting aspect of this embodiment, the mat includes two primary components and the adjustment mechanism or support system enables the components of the mat to be oriented a plurality of angles between 90° and 180°. In another and/or alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the adjustment mechanism or support system can be secured to only one of the primary components; however, this is not required. In still another and/or alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the adjustment mechanism or support system can include at least two bars; however, this is not required. In one non-limiting aspect of this embodiment, at least one of the bars is adjustably connected to at least one of the primary components of the mat. Non-limiting examples of adjustable connection include, but are not limited to, rotatable connections, slidable connections, detachably and reattachable connections, etc. In one non-limiting aspect of this embodiment, at least one of the bars is rotatably connected to at least one of the primary components of the mat. In another and/or alternative non-limiting aspect of this embodiment, at least one of the bars includes securing arrangements to releasably secure one bar relative to another bar. Non-limiting examples of such securing arrangements include, but are not limited to, notches, slots, latches, grooves, magnets, pin arrangements, friction connections, Velcro arrangements, etc. In yet another and/or alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the adjustment mechanism or support system can include one or more bars that can be collapsed or reduced in size to facilitate in the storage of the portable exerciser; however, this is not required. In one non-limiting aspect of this embodiment, one or more of the bars are tubular type structure that are formed or two or more pieces and wherein at least one of the pieces is designed to at least partially telescopically receive another of the pieces so that the bar can be increased or reduced in size. As can be appreciated, bars having shapes other than a generally tubular shape can be used. In another and/or alternative non-limiting aspect of this embodiment, one or more of the bars are formed on two or more pieces that are slidably connected together, hingedly connected together, etc. so that the bar can be increased or reduced in size. In still yet another and/or alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the adjustment mechanism or support system can include one or more connectors that are designed to releasably and firmly secure the two or more bars together and/or one or more of the bars to one or more portions of the mat; however, this is not required. The one or more connectors can be used to inhibit or prevent the one or more bars becoming prematurely disengaged from one another and/or from one or more portions of the mat during an exercise routine. In one non-limiting aspect of this embodiment, the one or more connectors can include, but are not limited to, snaps, friction connections (e.g, semi-flexible slots or slot inserts, latches, Velcro bands, movable pins and/or spring loaded pins, magnets, locks, etc.). In another and/or alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the adjustment mechanism or support system can be designed such that two or more of the bars are rotatably connected together and that one or more portions of the backside of the mat includes a plurality of engagement arrangements to enable one or more of the bars to be releasably secured to the backside of the mat so as to enable one or more of the primary components of the mat to be angularly oriented with respect to one another; however, this is not required. The two or more bars can be permanently connected together or releasably connected together.
  • In still another and/or alternative non-limiting aspect of the present invention, the portable exerciser includes at least one exercise component. Such exercise components can include, but are not limited to, an exercise handle and a stretchable material (e.g., spring, rubber material, etc.), weights, grip exerciser or strengthener, etc. One or more of the exercise components can be permanently connected to one or more of the primary components of the mat, and/or one or more of the exercise components can be detachably connected to one or more of the primary components of the mat. In one non-limiting embodiment of the invention, at least one exercise component can include an exercise handle and a stretchable material; however, this is not required. In another and/or alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, at least two of the primary components of the mat can include at least one exercise component; however, this is not required. In another and/or alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, at least two of the primary components of the mat can include at least one detachable exercise component; however, this is not required. The exercise component, when detachable, can be detachable by use of a variety of arrangements such as, but not limited to, removable pins, hooks, latches, snaps, Velcro, buttons, zippers, etc. In still another and/or alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, at least one of the primary components of the mat can include at least two detachable exercise components; however, this is not required. In yet another and/or alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, at least two of the primary components of the mat can include at least two detachable exercise components. In still another and/or alternative non-limiting embodiment of the invention, at least one of the exercise components can include a stretchable material; however, this is not required. Such stretchable material includes, but is not limited to, rubber, elastic, springs, or the like, which is designed to resist being stretched by a user during an exercise routine. In one non-limiting aspect of this embodiment, the tension of the stretchable material and/or length of the stretchable material can be adjusted; however, this is not required.
  • In yet another and/or alternative non-limiting aspect of the present invention, the portable exerciser can include at least one handle used to carry the portable exerciser; however, this is not required. The one or more handles can be permanently connected or detachably connected to one or more components of the portable exerciser. In one non-limiting embodiment of the invention, at least one handle can be connected to the mat; however, this is not required.
  • In still yet another and/or alternative non-limiting aspect of the present invention, the portable exerciser can include at least one securing arrangement to maintain the first and second primary components of the mat in a collapsed manner so as to facilitate the transport of the portable exerciser; however, this is not required. The securing arrangement can be used in combination with a handle if a handle is used, or can be some other or additional arrangement. In one non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the securing arrangement can include a Velcro band or strip, a latch, a snap, a zipper, magnets, etc.; however, this is not required.
  • In another and/or alternative non-limiting aspect of the present invention, the portable exerciser can include a mat that has a warmer, a massager, or combinations thereof; however, this is not required. The warmer and/or massager can be positioned in one or more locations on the mat (e.g., located in the first and/or second primary components, etc.). The warmer and/or massager can be used to provide comfort to the user during an exercise routine and/or after an exercise routine. For example, when the portable exerciser is used in a vehicle, the warmer and/or massager can provide relief from cramping during extended trips. In another non-limiting example, after a user has finished an exercise routine, the warmer and/or massager can be activated to provide relief to sore and/or strained muscles, etc. In a further non-limiting example, in cold environments, the heater can be activated to heat one or more portions of the portable exerciser so as to provide comfort to the user when the user first positions him/herself on the portable exerciser. As can be appreciated, there can be many other or additional uses for the warmer and/or massager. As can also be appreciated, one or more timers can be used to regulate and/or limit the time of activation of the massager and/or heater. As can further be appreciated, one or more adjustable switches or other type of controllers can be used to select and/or maintain a certain temperature setting for the heater and/or massage intensity for the massager. As can also be appreciated, the heater and/or massager can be powered by a battery, a power source in a vehicle, a standard wall outlet, etc.
  • In still another and/or alternative non-limiting aspect of the present invention, the portable exerciser can include a mat that has one or more magnets; however, this is not required. The one or more magnets can be positioned in one or more locations on the mat (e.g., located in the first and/or second primary components, etc.). The one or more magnets can be used to provide comfort to the user during an exercise routine and/or after an exercise routine.
  • In yet another and/or alternative non-limiting aspect of the present invention, the portable exerciser can have the one or more of the primary components of the mat include and/or be available in various colors, prints and/or designs.
  • It is one non-limiting object of the present invention to provide a portable exerciser.
  • It is another and/or alternative non-limiting object of the present invention to provide a collapsible portable exerciser.
  • It is still another and/or alternative non-limiting object of the present invention to provide a portable exerciser that has an adjustable mat.
  • It is yet another and/or alternative non-limiting object of the present invention to provide a portable exerciser that includes one or more exercise handles.
  • These and other advantages will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon the reading and following of this description is taken together with the accompanying drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Reference may now be made to the drawings, which illustrate various embodiments that the invention may take in physical form and in certain parts and arrangements of parts wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a portable exerciser according to one aspect of the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of an adjustable mechanism of the portable exerciser of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a partial exploded front perspective view of the portable exerciser of FIG. 1; and,
  • FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a primary component of the mat along line 4-4 of FIG. 3.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • Referring now to the drawings wherein the showing is for the purpose of illustrating preferred embodiments of the invention only and not for the purpose of limiting the same, FIGS. 1-3 disclose one non-limiting portable exerciser in accordance with the invention. Referring new to FIG. 1, portable exerciser 10 includes a collapsible mat 12 formed of two primary components which are connected together, a first primary component or back mat 14 and a second primary component or bottom mat 16. These two primary components can be connected together in a variety of ways such as, but not limited to, mechanical hinges, straps, Velcro, flexible materials, etc. In the illustrated embodiment, one or more hinges 18 connects a bottom surface 22 of the first primary component 14 to a bottom surface 24 of the second primary component 16. The hinge is designed to maintain the two primary components together. The hinge can be a continuous hinge along the complete length or a portion of the length of the bottom surfaces of the two primary components, or can be formed of two or more spaced apart hinges. As can be appreciated, the two primary components can be permanently connected together or detachably connected together. The two primary components are designed to form the collapsible mat 12 and be oriented to allow an individual to place his or her head, back, and buttocks on the mat. As such, the two primary components 14, 16 of the mat provide comfort to the individual during the exercise routines when using the portable exerciser. The collapsibility of the two components 14, 16 of the mat 12 enables the portable exerciser 10 to be reduced in size for easy packing, carrying, and/or transporting. The size and shape of the two primary components 14, 16 is generally the same; however, this is not required.
  • As best illustrated in FIG. 3, each of the primary components is generally D-shaped; however, it can be appreciated that other shapes can be used. The D-shape for primary component 16 has two rounded comers so as to facilitate in the comfort of the legs of the user when using the portable exerciser, especially when placed in a seat or elevated position.
  • The width and depth of the each of the primary components is typically about 1-5 feet, and more typically about 1.5-3 feet; however, other dimensions can be used. The thickness of each of the primary components is typically about 0.5-4 includes, and more typically about 0.05-2.5 inches; however, other thicknesses can be used.
  • Referring now to FIG. 4, a cross-section of primary component 14 is shown. Primary component 14 includes a compressible material 18 and a generally rigid or less flexible material 20. The compressible material is typically positioned on the top side of the primary component. The compressible material is used to provide comfort to the user when positioned on the portable exerciser. The rigid material is used to provide rigidity and structural integrity to the primary component. Non-limiting examples of compressible materials include, but are not limited to, foam, rubber, gels, air pockets, blown polymers, and/or the like. Non-limiting examples of rigid materials include, but are not limited to, wood, metal, fiber materials, plastic, composite materials, etc. The compressible material is typically connected to the rigid material by, but not limited to, adhesives, rivets, nails, staples, thread, snaps, Velcro, tacks, etc. As can be appreciated, a primary component can be formed of a single material that is both compressible and provides the necessary rigidity of the primary component. Such materials can include, but are not limited to, rubber materials, etc. Primary component 14 can also include a durable top surface (not shown) that is designed to resist wear by the user during the use of the portable exerciser. Such materials can include, but are not limited to, vinyl, leather, nylon, Kevlar blends, rubber, and the like. As can be appreciated, primary components 14 and 16 can be formed and/or designed with the same or different materials. As can also be appreciated, many color schemes for the primary components of the mat, and/or textures of the components of the mat, can be used.
  • Referring now FIG. 2, the backside 30 of primary component 14 includes various components connected thereto. As can be appreciated, primary component 16 can also include various components connected thereto. The one or more components connected to the primary component 14 and/or primary component 16 can be permanently connected or detachably connected to the primary component. The backside of primary component 14 is shown to be a generally flat surface; however, this is not required.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 2, an adjustment mechanism 40 is connected to primary component 14. As can be appreciated, one or more components of the adjustment mechanism can be connected to primary component 16; however, this is not required. The adjustment mechanism is designed to enable primary components 14, 16 to be positioned in an angular relationship to one another. As illustrated in FIG. 2, adjustment mechanism 50 includes a first generally U-shaped support bar 42 and a second generally U-shaped bar support 44. As can be appreciated, the one or more support bars can have other shapes. Each of the support bars can be a solid non solid. The support bars are illustrated as having a generally circular cross-sectional shape; however, it can be appreciated that other shapes can be used (e.g., oval, polygonal, etc.). The support bars can be formed of a variety of materials such as, but not limited to, wood, plastic, metal, composite materials, fiber materials, etc.
  • Each of the support bars is illustrated as being rotatably mounted to the backside 30 of primary structure 14. The mounting of the one or more support bars in this fashion enables the support bars to be collapsed to facilitate in the storage of the portable exerciser and to also enable primary component 14 to be adjustably positioned relative to primary component 16. Many different arrangements can be used to rotatably secure the support bars to primary component 14. As illustrated in FIG. 2, mounting brackets 46 are used to rotatably secure the supports bars to the backside 30 of primary component 14. The mounting brackets are shown to be secured to the backside 30 of primary component 14 by screws 48; however, other connectors can be used (e.g., nail, rivet, bolt and nut, etc.). One or more of the support bars can be formed of two of more pieces (not shown) so as to enable the one or more support bars to be collapsed or otherwise reduced in size when the portable exerciser is positioned in a collapsed position; however, this is not required.
  • Support bar 42 is illustrated as having a greater width than support bar 44; however, this is not required. The greater width of support bar 42 is used to provide stability to the primary component 14 when primary component 14 is angularly positioned relative to primary component 16. The different shaped and sized bars also facilitates in the compactness that the support bars can be positioned relative to one another when the portable exerciser is to be stored.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 2, support bar 44 is rotatably mounted close to bottom surface 22 of primary component 14. As can be appreciated, support bar 44 can be mounted and/or secured to primary component 14 in other manners and/or be positioned in other locations on primary component 14. As can also be appreciated, a support bar could be mounted at or near bottom surface 24 of primary component 16 (not shown), slidably mounted on primary component 16 (not shown, or be telescopically received in primary component 16 (not shown). Support bar 44 is designed to have a sufficient length to provide stability to primary component 14 when angularly positioned relative to primary component 16, and to also have a sufficient length to enable support bars 44 and 42 to position primary component 14 and primary component 16 in the desired angular position relative to one another. Typically, the length of support bar 44 is about 40-150% of depth D of primary component 14, and more typically about 50-100% of depth D of primary component 14, and still more typically about 60-85% of depth D of primary component 14.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 2, support bar 42 is rotatably mounted near the mid-depth of primary component 14. As can be appreciated, support bar 42 can be mounted and/or secured to primary component 14 in other manners and/or be positioned in other locations on primary component 14. Typically, the length of support bar is less than support bar 44; however, this is not required. When the length of support bar 42 is less than support bar 44, support bar 42 is typically about 40-99% of the length of support bar 44, and more typically about 60-80% of the length of support bar 44.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 2, support bar 44 includes a plurality of spaced apart engagement members 60. The engagement members can have many forms (e.g., notches, grooves, C-shaped structures, pins, latches, clips, etc.). As illustrated in FIG. 2, the engagement members are in the form of three sets of notches that are designed to receive a top section 50 of support bar 42. The spaced notches enable top section 50 of support bar 42 to engage and be maintained on different regions of support bar 44 along the length of support bar 42. As such, primary component 14 of mat 12 can be selectively angularly adjusted and maintained relative to the primary component 16. As such, support 42 is adjustably engageable with support bar 44 such that primary component 14, when rotated or otherwise positioned relative to primary component 16, may be fixed at a predetermined angle relative to the primary component 16. As shown in FIG. 3, the angular relationship of primary components 14, 16 is about 180° when the two components are essentially in a flat position. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, primary components 14, 16 are oriented between 90°-180°. In this arrangement, primary component 16 is positioned essentially flat against a floor or other generally flat surface (e.g., car seat, surface of bed, chair seat, etc.) and primary component 14 is positioned in a non-perpendicular position to the floor or other generally flat surface. As illustrated in FIG. 2, there can be multiple position settings for the support bars 42, 44 to enable a user to orient the primary component 14, 16 angularly with respect to one another to obtain the desired position for an exercise and/or the desired comfort level during the use of the portable exerciser. As can be appreciated, many different mechanisms can be used to orient the two primary components from 0° to 360° with respect to one another.
  • As illustrated in FIGS. 1-3, two exercise components 70 are connected to each primary component 14, 16 of mat 12. As can be appreciated, different types of exercise components can be connected to one or more of the primary components. As can also be appreciated, more or less than two exercise components can be connected to one or more of the primary components. As illustrated in FIGS. 1-3, the exercise components are in the form of a handle 72 and stretchable strap 74 arrangement. Each of the exercise handles 72 are connected to a resilient stretchable strap such as, but not limited to rubber, elastic, or the like, which is designed to resist being stretched by a user during an exercise routine. Each of the two stretchable straps 74 include a clip 76 at one end and a clevis pin 78 at the other end. Clip 76 is used to secure handle 72 to the stretchable strip. The clip can be designed to enable the handle to be disconnected from the stretchable strap; however, this is not required. Clevis pin 78 includes at least one hole 80 as illustrated in FIG. 3 that is used to secure the clevis pin to pin bracket 90 that is secured to the backside of primary component 14 by screws 92. The clevis pin can be designed to be disconnected from the stretchable strap; however, this is not required. The pin bracket is designed to receive a portion of clevis pin 78 and be releasably locked to the pin bracket by inserting a clevis pin lock 94 into hole 80 in the clevis pin as illustrated in FIG. 2. As can be appreciated, many other arrangements can be used to releasably secure the stretchable strip or other type of exerciser component to primary component 14 and/or primary component 16. As can also be appreciated, the stretchable strip can be secured to other or additional regions on the primary component (e.g., side, front side, top , etc.). Although FIG. 1 illustrates the exercise handles and their respective stretchable straps being connected to both of the primary components of the mat, it can be appreciated that during a particular exercise routine, one or both handles can be connected to one primary component of the mat and only one or none of the handles and stretchable straps can be connected to the other primary component of the mat. As such, the portable exerciser can have increased flexibility in how it can be configured for particular exercises. As can also be appreciated, the one or both of the primary components can have various connection locations to secure one or more type of exercise components to one or both primary components so as to further increase flexibility in how the portable exerciser can be configured for particular exercises. As can also be appreciated, one or more of the exerciser components can be non-detachably connected to one or more of the primary components.
  • Referring again to FIG. 1, when an individual sits him or herself in the portable exerciser 10, the handles 72 and stretchable bands 74 that are attached to the portion where the individual sits can be used by the individual's legs to provide exercising routines to build up the legs and lower body, whereas the handles 72 and stretchable bands 74 that are connected to the mat to which the upper portion of the individual is laying against can be used to build up the arms and upper body of the individual. As can be appreciated, the degree of flexibility or the ease of stretching of the stretchable bands 74 can be adjusted by substituting one band for other types of bands. In one non-limiting arrangement, each handle 72 could be designed to be easily detached from a particular stretchable band and the handle can then be reattached to a different type of stretchable band having a different tension or resistance to extensibility. As such, a user could then select a particular tension for the stretchable band to obtain the desired degree of difficulty when using the portable exerciser during a particular exercise.
  • Although not shown in FIGS. 1-3, the portable exerciser can be packaged in a convenient holder so that it can be easily transported by a user. The holder can be designed to contain multiple sets of stretchable bands and/or other exercising accessories. In addition or alternatively, the portable exerciser could include one or more handles so that it can be easily transported by a user. In addition or alternatively, the mat of the portable exerciser can include one or more heating element, one or more massager components, and/or one or more magnets to enhance one or more functions of the portable exerciser.
  • It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent from the preceding description, are efficiently attained, and since certain changes may be made in the constructions set forth without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description and shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense. The invention has been described with reference to preferred and alternate embodiments. Modifications and alterations will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon reading and understanding the detailed discussion of the invention provided herein. This invention is intended to include all such modifications and alterations insofar as they come within the scope of the present invention. It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described and all statements of the scope of the invention, which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.

Claims (28)

1. A collapsible portable exerciser comprising a mat having first and second primary components that can be collapsed into a smaller arrangement, a plurality of stretchable bands that can be used by an individual for exercising; and an adjustment mechanism mounted to said first primary component, at least one of said plurality of stretchable bands detachably connected to said first primary component, said second primary component, or combinations thereof, said second primary component including a compressible material designed to be sat on by a user, said first primary component including a compressible material designed to be laid against by a user, said first and second primary components hingedly connected together, said adjustment mechanism including first and second generally U-shaped bar supports rotatably mounted to said first primary component, said second generally U-shaped bar support having a plurality of spaced apart engagement members designed to receive a section of said first generally U-shaped bar support wherein one of said first and second primary components can be selectively angularly adjusted and maintained relative to the other primary component.
2. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 1, wherein said adjustment mechanism orients and maintains one of said first and second primary components an angle between 0° and 180° relative to the other primary component.
3. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 1, wherein said second generally U-shaped bar support having a width that is less than a width of said first generally U-shaped bar support.
4. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 1, wherein said first and second primary components include a plurality of stretchable bands, at least two of the stretchable bands having different resistances to extensibility.
5. A collapsible portable exerciser comprising a mat including first and second primary components that are connected together and can be collapsed into a smaller arrangement, at least one exercise component that can be used by an individual for exercising; and an adjustment mechanism mounted to at least one of said primary components, said adjustment mechanism including a design to enable said first and second primary components to be selectively angularly adjusted in a plurality of positions and maintained relative to one another.
6. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 5, wherein at least one of said exercise components is detachably connected to said first primary component, said second primary component, or combinations thereof.
7. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 5, including a plurality of exercise components, at least one of said exercise components including a handle and a stretchable band, at least one of said exercise components detachably connected to said first primary component, said second primary component, or combinations thereof.
8. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 5, wherein said first primary component, said second primary component, or combinations thereof include a compressible material designed to provide comfort to a user positioned on said mat.
9. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 5, wherein said first primary component and said second primary component are hingedly connected together.
10. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 5, wherein said adjustment mechanism includes first and second bars, at least one of said bars connected to said first primary component, said second primary component, or combinations thereof, said first and second bars positionable relative to one another to enable said first and second primary components to be selectively angularly adjusted and maintained relative to one another.
11. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 10, wherein at least one of said bars of said adjustment mechanism is generally U-shaped.
12. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 11, wherein both of said bars of said adjustment mechanism are generally U-shaped, one of said U-shaped bars having a width that is less than a width of the other U-shaped bar.
13. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 10, wherein at least one of said bars includes a plurality of spaced engagement arrangements designed to receive a portion of another bar.
14. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 5, wherein said adjustment mechanism orients and maintains one of said first and second primary components an angle between 0° and 180° relative to the other primary component.
15. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 5, including a carrying handle connected to said first primary component, said second primary component, or combinations thereof.
16. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 5, including a binding arrangement to maintain said first primary component and said second primary component in a substantially fully collapsible position.
17. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 5, wherein at least one of said primary components of said mat are formed of a substantially rigid material.
18. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 5, wherein at least one of said primary components of said mat includes a compressible material.
19. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 5, further comprising a heater, a massager, or combinations thereof positioned in said mat.
20. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 5, further comprising a magnet positioned in said mat.
21. A collapsible portable exerciser comprising a back mat having a compressible material secured to a relatively rigid structure, said back mat including a first stretchable band for exercising mounted to said relatively rigid structure; a bottom mat hingedly connected to said back mat, said bottom mat having a compressible material secured to a relatively rigid structure, said back mat including a second stretchable band for exercising mounted to said relatively rigid structure; a first generally U-shaped support rotatably mounted to said relatively rigid structure of said back mat; and a second generally U-shaped support rotatably mounted to said relatively rigid structure of said back mat, wherein said first support is adjustably engageable with said second support, such that said back mat, when rotated relative to said bottom mat, may be fixed at a predetermined angle relative to said bottom mat.
22. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 21, wherein said second bar support includes a plurality of spaced apart notches for engaging a section of said first bar support.
23. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 21, wherein said first and second stretchable bands are detachably connected to said respective back and bottom mats, each stretchable band including a handle detachably connected to one end of said stretchable band.
24. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 21, wherein said back mat includes a pair of stretchable bands mounted adjacent opposing side surfaces of said back mat.
25. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 21, wherein said bottom mat includes a pair of stretchable bands mounted adjacent opposing side surfaces of said bottom mat.
26. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 21, further comprising a hinge for connecting the back mat to the bottom mat.
27. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 21, further comprising a heater, a massager, or combinations thereof positioned in said mat.
28. The portable exerciser as defined in claim 21, further comprising a magnet positioned in said mat.
US11/396,816 2003-03-28 2006-04-03 Portable exerciser Abandoned US20060194679A1 (en)

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