US20100041527A1 - Exercise apparatus, method of using, and kit therefor - Google Patents

Exercise apparatus, method of using, and kit therefor Download PDF

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Publication number
US20100041527A1
US20100041527A1 US12228692 US22869208A US2010041527A1 US 20100041527 A1 US20100041527 A1 US 20100041527A1 US 12228692 US12228692 US 12228692 US 22869208 A US22869208 A US 22869208A US 2010041527 A1 US2010041527 A1 US 2010041527A1
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right
left
elastic
user
lower leg
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US12228692
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Jamie Miller
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Jamie Miller
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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
    • A63B21/40Interfaces 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
    • 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
    • A63B21/4007Arrangements for attaching the exercising apparatus to the user's body, e.g. belts, shoes or gloves specially adapted therefor to the chest region, e.g. to the back chest
    • 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
    • A63B21/4011Arrangements for attaching the exercising apparatus to the user's body, e.g. belts, shoes or gloves specially adapted therefor to the lower limbs
    • A63B21/4015Arrangements for attaching the exercising apparatus to the user's body, e.g. belts, shoes or gloves specially adapted therefor to the lower limbs to the foot
    • 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
    • A63B21/00061Replaceable resistance units of different strengths, e.g. for swapping
    • 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

Abstract

An exercise apparatus is disclosed. The apparatus may include a belt to be worn proximate a waist of a user. The apparatus may include a right lower leg attachment device to be worn on a right lower leg of the user. The apparatus may include a left lower leg attachment device to be worn on a left lower leg of the user. The apparatus may include a right elastic connector coupled between the belt and the right lower leg attachment device. The apparatus may include a left elastic connector that is coupled between the belt and the left lower leg attachment device. Other apparatus, methods, and kits are also disclosed.

Description

    BACKGROUND
  • 1. Field
  • Embodiments of the invention relate to either an exercise apparatus, a method of using the apparatus, or a kit for the exercise apparatus. In particular, one or more embodiments relate to an exercise apparatus including elastic connectors.
  • 2. Background Information
  • Exercise may help to improve health, conditioning, and strength. In addition, exercise may help to improve performance in sports.
  • Commonly, exercise equipment may be used during the exercise. The exercise equipment may help to enhance or focus the exercise in order to obtain enhanced health benefits, conditioning, or performance.
  • Various different types of exercise equipment are known in the arts. One example of known exercise equipment is ankle and wrist weights that may help to strengthen legs and arms, respectively. Another example of known exercise equipment is running parachutes that may provide resistance or drag to a runner in order to help strengthen leg muscles. Yet another example of known exercise equipment is angled slide boards, which are used, for example, in hockey, in order to help strengthen leg muscles.
  • However, there are drawbacks or limitations to each of these types of exercise equipment. There are advantages to new, different types of exercise equipment.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The invention may best be understood by referring to the following description and accompanying drawings that are used to illustrate embodiments of the invention. In the drawings:
  • FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment of an exercise apparatus.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a user wearing an embodiment of an exercise apparatus.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment of an exercise apparatus having detachable and re-attachable elastic connectors.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates a first embodiment of a set of extra or replacement elastic connectors.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates a second embodiment of a set of extra or replacement elastic connectors.
  • FIG. 6 illustrates a user wearing an embodiment of an exercise apparatus having guiding members proximate the knees.
  • FIG. 7 illustrates a user wearing an embodiment of an exercise apparatus having a leg-to-leg elastic connector.
  • FIG. 8 illustrates a user wearing an embodiment of an exercise apparatus having components to strengthen the arms as well as the legs.
  • FIG. 9 illustrates an embodiment of suit exercise apparatus.
  • FIG. 10 illustrates an embodiment of an exercise kit.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • In the following description, numerous specific details are set forth. However, it is understood that embodiments of the invention may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well-known structures and techniques have not been shown in detail in order not to obscure the understanding of this description.
  • FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment of an exercise apparatus 100. The exercise apparatus may represent a garment or article to be worn on a body of a user to help the user exercise, such as for strength training, sports training, or aerobic exercise.
  • The exercise apparatus includes a belt 102. The belt is to be worn proximate a waist of a user.
  • The exercise apparatus also includes a right lower leg attachment device 106R. The right lower leg attachment device is to be worn on a right lower leg of the user.
  • The exercise apparatus also includes a left lower leg attachment device 106L. The left lower leg attachment device is to be worn on a left lower leg of the user.
  • The exercise apparatus also includes a right elastic connector 108R. The right elastic connector is coupled between the belt and the right lower leg attachment device.
  • The exercise apparatus also includes a left elastic connector 108L. The left elastic connector is coupled between the belt and the left lower leg attachment device.
  • Now let's briefly discuss the belt, the attachment devices, and the elastic connectors. First the belt will be discussed, then the attachment devices will be discussed, and then the elastic connectors will be discussed.
  • As previously mentioned, the belt 102 may be worn proximate the waist of the user. As used herein, proximate the waste means at the waste, or between three inches above the waste (toward the head) and three inches below the waist (toward the feet), or a combination thereof.
  • The belt may include a band of material to fit around the waist of the user, and a fastener 104 to fasten the band around the waist. Examples of suitable materials commonly used for the belt include, but are not limited to, fabric (e.g., cotton, nylon, etc.), leather, rubber, plastic, and various combinations thereof. Examples of suitable fasteners include, but are not limited to, buckles, buttons, hook-and-loop fasteners (e.g., VELCRO®), stringed laces, and combinations thereof.
  • In one or more embodiments, the belt may optionally be similar in size, shape, construction, and material, to any of various weight lifting belts known in the arts. In some cases, a weight lifting belt may be used or minimally adapted and then used for the belt of the exercise apparatus. Examples of a few suitable weight lifting belts include, but are not limited to: (1) Progryp 6″ Contour Form-Fit Belt which is available from Phyzex Technologies Inc., of Brampton, Ontario, Canada; (2) Harbinger 5″ Firmfit Belt which is available from Harbinger/Grizzly Fitness USA, of Napa, Calif.; and (3) Schiek 6″ Power Leather Contour Belt which is available from Schiek Sports, Inc. of Oshkosh, Wis.
  • In one or more other embodiments, the belt may optionally be similar in size, shape, construction, and material, to any of various rock climbing harness belts or utility belts. Although, it is not required that the belt have special features used for rock climbing or special utility features included for the utility belt (e.g., it does not need to hold tools, etc.).
  • Now let's discuss the right and left lower leg attachment devices 106R, 106L. The right and left lower leg attachment devices are devices that are operable to attach, and in the illustration are attached to, the respective right and left elastic cables 108R, 108L. The right and left lower leg attachment devices are to be worn on the respective right and left lower legs of the user.
  • In some embodiments, the right lower leg attachment device may be a right ankle attachment device to be worn proximate a right ankle of the user, and the left lower leg attachment device may be a left ankle attachment device to be worn proximate a left ankle of the user. As used herein, proximate an ankle means at the ankle, at the foot coupled with the ankle, or on the leg coupled with the ankle within a distance of eight inches up the leg measured from the ankle, or a combination thereof
  • Various attachment devices are suitable. Commonly, the attachment device may wrap or fit around at least a portion of the ankle, foot, or lower leg. In various embodiments, each of the right and left lower leg attachment devices may include at least one of a strap (e.g., an ankle strap and/or a foot strap), a band (e.g., an ankle band and/or a foot band), a foot stirrup, a ring, and footwear (e.g., a durable sock, a shoe, a boot, etc), or other means for attaching proximate an ankle. The illustrated attachment devices are ankle bands. Another example attachment device may include a foot stirrup that may fit around the arch of a foot, an ankle band connected with the foot stirrup that wraps around the ankle, and a ring connected with the ankle band that is operable to attach the elastic connector. Yet another example attachment device may include footwear (e.g., a durable sock) having a ring, hook, or other connector that is operable to attach the elastic connector. These are just a few illustrative examples.
  • Now let's discuss the right and left elastic connectors 108R, 108L. The right elastic connector is operable to be coupled between the belt and the right lower leg attachment device. The left elastic connector is operable to be coupled between the belt and the left lower leg attachment device. In the illustration, the connectors are shown as being already coupled between the belt and the lower leg attachment devices, but they may also have the capability of being uncoupled. Various ways of coupling the elastic connectors between the belt and the attachment devices are suitable, such as, for example, through sewing, with hooks and rings, by tying knots, or other interlocking metal connectors, etc.
  • The elastic connector has elasticity. Elasticity generally refers to a property of being cable of being stretched or expanded when an external force is applied, such as by the user wearing the exercise apparatus, and then being capable of returning to the original length or shape when the external force is removed. Arrows are used in the illustration to show the direction of stretching. When the elastic connectors are stretched, they apply an opposing force or resistance. Examples of elastic materials suitable for the connector include, but are not limited to, elastomers (e.g., various natural or synthetic rubbers), stretchable fabrics (e.g., the material used in bungee cords, spandex, etc.), and other elastic materials.
  • Each of the elastic connectors may be an elastic member or element. Examples of suitable connectors, members, or elements include, but are not limited to, elastic cords and elastic cables. By way of example, the elastic connectors may be bungee cords. The bungee cords may each have S-hooks, J-hooks, locking hooks, rings, locking rings, carabiner's, or other connectors on each end thereof. Bungee cords are commercially available from numerous sources, such as large chain hardware stores and The Original Bungee Company of Harbor City, Calif. Molded rubber straps with S-hooks in various sizes are also available from The Original Bungee Company. Alternatively, the elastic connectors don't have to be single cords or cables, but may instead by rings or bands. By way of example, rubber bands or rubber rings analogous to the rubber ring Weightstraps used in Soloflex equipment could be used.
  • Initially, a user may put on the exercise apparatus 100. A method of putting on the exercise apparatus may include a user putting the belt 102 around a waist, and then securing the belt around the waist, such as with a buckle, or other fastener 104. The method may also include the user attaching the right lower leg attachment device 106R to a portion of a right lower leg and attaching the left lower leg attachment device 106L to a portion of a left lower leg. These later operations may be performed in any desired order and either of these operations may be performed either before or after putting on the belt.
  • In some embodiments, the right and left elastic connectors 108R, 108L may already be coupled between the belt and the respective right and left lower leg attachment devices. In such embodiments, there would be no need for the method to include operations to couple these components. Alternatively, if the right and left elastic connectors are not yet coupled between the belt and the respective right and left lower leg attachment devices, then the method may include coupling or connecting each of the right and left elastic connectors between the belt and the respective right and left lower leg attachment devices. Such coupling operations may be performed at various stages in the method, such as, for example, before beginning to put the exercise apparatus on, between putting on the belt and one or more of the attachment devices, or after putting on the belt and the attachment devices. The method may optionally include adjusting the apparatus (e.g., the length or position of the elastic connectors).
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a user 201 wearing an embodiment of an exercise apparatus 200. As shown, a belt 202 is worn around the users waist. A right lower leg attachment device 206R is worn on a right lower leg of the user. A left lower leg attachment device 206L is worn on a left lower leg of the user. A right elastic connector 208R is coupled between the belt and the right lower leg attachment device. A left elastic connector 208L is coupled between the belt and the left lower leg attachment device.
  • As shown, in one or more embodiments, the right and left elastic connectors may be positioned along backs of respective right and left legs of the user. When the legs are fully extended, the elastic connectors may be partially stretched or extended. The partially stretched or extended elastic connectors may apply an opposing force or resistance that may help to exercise or strengthen the user by opposing or resisting muscular contraction. This may help to exercise and strengthen the muscles of the legs.
  • An embodiment of a method of using the exercise apparatus may include stretching and relaxing the elastic connectors, one or more times, in connection with sports, other exercise, or other movement. For example, the user may extend one or more of the legs to stretch one or more corresponding elastic connectors, and then may bend the leg(s) to un-stretch or relax the elastic connector(s). Advantageously, use of the exercise apparatus may help to improve the fitness and/or leg strength of the user.
  • In one or more embodiments, the exercise apparatus may be worn while playing sports or performing another similar specialized activities in order to enhance performance during those activities. By way of example, a hockey player may wear the exercise apparatus while playing hockey. The hockey player may kick out with a leg in conjunction with striding, which may stretch the corresponding elastic connector thereby helping over time to strengthen the leg and in particular the muscles used for the striding motion. Advantageously, use of the exercise apparatus during actual playing of a sport or other activity may help to particularly condition and/or strengthen muscles used for that sport or activity.
  • In one or more embodiments, in which the exercise apparatus is worn while playing a sport or performing another similar specialized activity, the elastic connectors may be positioned so that they are relatively optimized, at least effective, or at least based on a particular motion used in the sport or activity. For example, in hockey, the elastic connectors may be positioned (e.g., around midway between the back of the leg and the outer side of the leg) so that they are relatively optimized, at least effective, or at least based on a striding motion performed during hockey. Similar key motions are found in other sports. Advantageously, such positioning of the elastic connectors may further help to particularly condition and/or strengthen muscles used for a particular sport or activity.
  • Another potential advantage in sports is that the elastic connectors may help to encourage the legs to bend. Advantageously, in some sports, such as hockey, basketball, tennis, and others, encouraging the legs to bend may help to promote a stance that tends to provide faster or more explosive bursts or reaction times. This may help to avoid the need to bend the legs at the last minute before reacting, which may tend to delay reaction time. The desired amount of bend of the knees may depend in part upon the sport or intended exercise. In one or more embodiments, the elastic connectors may be designed or be operable to provide a resistance to encourage legs to bend to achieve angles on the insides of the knees that range from about 120 to 160 degrees, although this is not required. In one or more embodiments, the elastic connectors may provide little or minimal resistance (e.g., be substantially unstretched) when the legs are bent to the desired angle, and may provide increasing resistance as the legs are straightened away from the desired angle.
  • In one or more embodiments, a mechanism or means may be included to allow the user to effectively “lengthen” or otherwise reduce the resistance provided by the elastic connectors temporarily during a period when the user wants to stand up. For example, the belt may have lower and upper rings or other points of attachment of the elastic cables. When the user desires to stand up straight, he/she may decouple the elastic cable from the upper point of attachment and couple the elastic cable to the lower point of attachment thereby reducing the amount of stretch and the corresponding amount of resistance. When the user desires to provide additional resistance to encourage bending of the legs, the user may recouple the elastic connectors with the upper points of connection. Other approaches such as looping and unlooping the connectors around a structure, tightening levers, and other mechanisms are also contemplated. The means may include a structure on the belt.
  • Other potential advantages include that the exercise apparatus is wearable, portable, relatively light-weight, and relatively inexpensive compared to some other exercise equipment.
  • The illustration shows a single elastic connector for each leg. In alternate embodiments, in addition to the two illustrated elastic connectors, the exercise apparatus may also optionally include at least one additional (e.g., a second) right elastic connector (not shown) coupled between the belt and the right lower leg of the user, and at least one additional (e.g., a second) left elastic connector (not shown) coupled between the belt and the left lower leg of the user. The elastic connectors for a given leg may run on different sides of the leg. Advantageously, such different elastic connectors on different sides of the leg may help to emphasize the exercise of different leg muscles.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment of an exercise apparatus 300 having detachable and re-attachable elastic connectors 308R, 308L.
  • The exercise apparatus includes a belt 302. The belt is to be worn proximate a waist of a user. The belt has a buckle 304 as a fastener. This particular buckle or fastener is not required. The belt has a right ring 314R coupled therewith and a left ring 314L coupled therewith. By way of example, the rings may pass through a fabric loop sewn to the belt.
  • The exercise apparatus also includes a right lower leg attachment device 306R. The right lower leg attachment device is operable to be worn on a right lower leg of the user. The exercise apparatus also includes a left lower leg attachment device 306L. The left lower leg attachment device is operable to be worn on a left lower leg of the user.
  • The right lower leg attachment device includes an ankle band 320R, a foot stirrup or band 322R, and a ring 316R all coupled together, as shown. By way of example, the foot stirrup may be sewn or otherwise fastened to the ankle band and the ring may pass through a fabric loop sewn or otherwise fastened to the ankle band. Other methods of connection are also suitable. Similarly, the left lower leg attachment device includes an ankle band 320L, a foot stirrup or band 322L, and a ring 316L all coupled together, as shown.
  • The exercise apparatus also includes the right elastic connector 308R and the left elastic connector 308L. The right elastic connector is operable to be, and in the illustration is, coupled between the belt and the right lower leg attachment device. The left elastic connector is operable to be, and in the illustration is, coupled between the belt and the left lower leg attachment device.
  • The right elastic connector 308R and the left elastic connector 308L are each detachably and re-attachably coupled between the belt and the attachment devices. The illustrated right elastic connector includes an upper J-hook 318U hooked through the right ring 314R (or other attachment device) of the belt and a lower J-hook 318L hooked through the ring 316R (or other attachment device) of the right lower leg attachment device. Similarly, the illustrated left elastic connector includes an upper J-hook 319U hooked through the left ring 314L (or other attachment device) of the belt and a lower J-hook 319L hooked through the ring 316L (or other attachment device) of the left lower leg attachment device. Other couplings are also contemplated. For example, in alternate embodiments, the elastic connectors may have S-hooks, other shaped hooks, locking hooks, locking rings, carabiner's, or other connectors on each end thereof. As another option, the belt may have hooks, locking hooks, caribiner's, locking rings, or the like, and the elastic connectors may have rings that may be hooked or fastened thereby. Elastic cables with various such connectors are commercially available from various sources including large chain hardware stores and online from the aforementioned The Original Bungee Store. Alternatively, the elastic connectors may be permanently or substantially permanently coupled with the respective lower leg attachment devices.
  • The elastic connectors may be detached and reattached, or coupled and decoupled. This may offer various potential advantages. In one aspect, this may allow a broken or defective elastic connector to be replaced. In another aspect, this may allow the elastic connectors to be replaced with elastic connectors of different lengths. Advantageously, this may allow the exercise apparatus to be used by users of different heights or leg lengths. In yet another aspect, this may allow the elastic connectors to be replaced with elastic connectors of different elasticities or resistances. Advantageously, this may allow the exercise apparatus to be used by users having different strengths, or different exercise goals, or to allow the exercise apparatus to adjust to accommodate increasing or otherwise changing strength of the user. Other reasons for exchanging elastic connectors are also possible.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates a first embodiment of a set 424 of extra or replacement elastic connectors 408A, 408B. The set includes a shorter elastic connector 408A and a longer elastic connector 408B. The longer elastic connector 408B has a longer length than the shorter elastic connector 408A. No particular lengths or differences between lengths are required, although as used herein longer means intentionally longer (not just due to manufacturing variation, etc.) including at least an inch longer.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates a second embodiment of a set 524 of extra or replacement elastic connectors 508A, 508B. The set includes a less resistive elastic connector 508A and a more resistive elastic connector 508B. In the illustration, extra thickness is used to represent extra resistance, although this is not required. The less resistive elastic connector 508B offers less resistance to stretching than the more resistive elastic connector 508A. No particular resistance or difference in resistances is required, although as used herein less resistance as used herein means intentionally less resistance including more than due to average manufacturing variation including more than 8% less.
  • The illustrated elastic connectors have J-hooks, although this is not required. In alternate embodiments, the elastic connectors may instead have S-hooks, other shaped hooks, locking hooks, rings, locking rings, caribener's, or other connectors.
  • Each of the illustrated sets includes two elastic connectors, although more elastic connectors may optionally be included in either or both sets. In one or more embodiments, a duplicate of each of the elastic connectors may be included to provide a pair for a pair of legs.
  • In one or more embodiments, such a set of elastic connectors may be included in an exercise kit. Exercise kits will be discussed further below.
  • Referring again to FIG. 2, the right and left elastic connectors 208R, 208L may be positioned along backs of respective right and left legs of the user. As shown, when the knees are bent, the right and left elastic connectors may be separated from the knees by a distance. In some implementations, such separation may offer drawbacks, such as greater risk of catching the elastic connectors on something.
  • FIG. 6 illustrates a user 601 wearing an embodiment of an exercise apparatus 600 having guiding members 628R, 628L proximate the knees. The guiding members may help to guide or restrain elastic connectors.
  • As before, the exercise apparatus includes a belt 602, a right lower leg attachment device 606R, a left lower leg attachment device 606L, a right elastic connector 608R, and a left elastic connector 608L. These may be similar to, or the same as, those previously described.
  • In addition, the exercise apparatus has the guiding members 628R, 628L proximate the knees. Proximate means within four inches of the knees. The guiding members include a right knee guiding member 628R and a left knee guiding member 628L.
  • By way of example, the guiding members may each include a knee band, knee guard, or like attachment device to attach around the knee. A ring, lockable ring, caribener, a wheel with a groove between two flanges around its circumference (as in a pulley), or like guiding device may be coupled with the attachment device. For example, a ring may be sewn to a band via a fabric loop. The elastic connectors may run through the rings or other guiding devices.
  • The guiding devices may help to restrain or guide the elastic connectors. In particular, the guiding members may help to hold the elastic connectors close to the knees, when the knees are bent. Advantageously, such guiding members may help to prevent the elastic connectors from catching on something.
  • FIG. 7 illustrates a user 701 wearing an embodiment of an exercise apparatus 700 having a leg-to-leg elastic connector 730. The leg-to-leg elastic connector is coupled between the legs of the user.
  • As before, the exercise apparatus includes a belt 702, a right lower leg attachment device 706R, a left lower leg attachment device 706L, a right elastic connector 708R, and a left elastic connector 708L. These may be similar to, or the same as, those previously described.
  • In addition, the exercise apparatus has the leg-to-leg elastic connector 730. As shown, the leg-to-leg elastic connector may be coupled with the right lower leg attachment device 706R and coupled with the left lower leg attachment device 706L. For example, the leg-to-leg elastic connector may be sewn to the right and left lower leg attachment devices. As another example, each of the right and left lower leg attachment devices may have a hook, lockable hook, ring, lockable ring, caribener, or other attachment device to couple the leg-to-leg elastic connector.
  • Advantageously, the leg-to-leg elastic connector may help to strengthen other leg muscles, such as the leg muscles primarily responsible for pulling legs apart and/or together.
  • In one or more embodiments, it may be desired to strengthen the arms in addition to the legs. FIG. 8 illustrates a user 801 wearing an embodiment of an exercise apparatus 800 having components to strengthen the arms as well as the legs.
  • As before, the exercise apparatus includes a belt 802, a right lower leg attachment device 806R, a left lower leg attachment device 806L, a right elastic connector 808R, and a left elastic connector 808L. These may be similar to, or the same as, those previously described.
  • In addition, the exercise apparatus has a right forearm attachment device 832R to be worn on a right forearm of the user, and a left forearm attachment device 832L to be worn on a left forearm of the user. The exercise apparatus also has a right elastic forearm connector 834R that is coupled between the belt and the right forearm attachment device, and a left elastic forearm connector 834L that is coupled between the belt and the left forearm attachment device.
  • The right and left forearm attachment devices may be attached proximate the right and left wrists, respectively. As used herein, proximate a wrist means at the wrist, at the hand connected with the wrist, or on the forearm connected to the wrist within six inches of the wrist, or a combination thereof.
  • The right and left forearm attachment devices may be the same as, similar to, or analogous to, the lower leg attachment devices. For example, each of the right and left forearm attachment devices may include at least one of a strap (e.g., a wrist or hand strap), a band (e.g., a wrist or hand band), a hand stirrup, a ring, and handwear (e.g., a glove). The illustrated right and left forearm attachment devices are wrist bands.
  • FIG. 9 illustrates an embodiment of suit exercise apparatus 940.
  • The suit exercise apparatus includes a suit 942. The suit may be a one-piece garment or article of clothing. The suit may optionally be form fitting and in some cases optionally relatively tight-fitting or skin-tight, although this is not required. As shown, in some cases, the suit may be a full body suit having both an upper body portion and a lower body portion, although this is not required. The upper body portion may cover the torso. As shown, in some cases, the suit may have both arm portions (e.g., sleeves) and leg portions (e.g., pants), although this is not required. Alternatively, rather than arm portions, the suit may have shoulder straps. In some cases, the suit may resemble a bodysuit or unitard. In alternate embodiments, either but not both of an upper body portion and a lower body portion may optionally be included. For example, a lower body suit (e.g., pants) may be used potentially with suspenders or shoulder straps. The suit may be made of spandex, neoprene, rubber, cloth, fabric, or other suitable materials. In some cases, the suit may include an elastic material, although this is not required.
  • A plurality of rings, flush/embedded rings, hooks, locking rings, locking hooks, caribener's, or other attachment devices operable to attach elastic connectors are fixedly coupled with the suit at a plurality of predefined locations. In the particular illustration, a first plurality of attachment devices 944R are fixedly coupled proximate the right ankle, a second plurality of attachment devices 944L are fixedly coupled proximate the left ankle, a third plurality of attachment devices 946 are fixedly coupled proximate the waist. A fourth plurality of attachment devices 948R are fixedly coupled proximate the right wrist, a fifth plurality of attachment devices 948L are fixedly coupled proximate the left wrist. The aforementioned meanings of proximate apply. Dashing is used to show attachment devices on the backside of the suit. In alternate embodiments, fewer or more attachment devices and/or different arrangements of attachment devices may optionally be used. For example, attachment devices at some locations may optionally be omitted (e.g., only those near the waist and either the ankles or the wrists may optionally be included) and/or more or less attachment devices may be used at a given location.
  • As shown, a plurality of rings, locking rings, caribener's, or other guiding members operable to guide or restrain elastic connectors may optionally be fixedly coupled with the suit at predefined locations. As shown, a sixth plurality of guiding members 950R may optionally be fixedly coupled proximate the right knee, and a seventh plurality of guiding members 950L may optionally be fixedly coupled proximate the left knee. An eighth plurality of guiding members 952R may optionally be fixedly coupled proximate the right elbow, and a ninth plurality of guiding members 952L may optionally be fixedly coupled proximate the left elbow. Dashing is used to show guiding members on the backside of the suit. Having them at both the knees and the elbows is not required.
  • By way of example, embedded/flush rings may be sewn into or to the suit, held by a clamping action, held by interdigitized metal teeth, or the like. Rings, hooks, locking rings, locking hooks, caribener's, or other attachment devices may be coupled with the suit by sewing them to the suit, or coupled to the suit with a fabric loop sewn to the suit, to name just a few examples. As another option, the attachment devices may simply be holes in the suite, provided that the material of the suit is strong enough, or holes in the suit reinforced by sewing, or the like.
  • Reinforced regions shown between dashed lines may optionally be included. The reinforced regions may optionally include a strong material. By way of example, a strengthening patch may be sewn, glued, or otherwise adhered to these regions. This is not required provided that the fabric of the suit is sufficiently strong to support the resistance of the elastic connectors coupled between the attachment positions.
  • Elastic connectors may be coupled between the attachment devices or positions. By way of example, elastic connectors may be coupled between an attachment position proximate the waist and an attachment position proximate an ankle and may optionally pass through a guiding device proximate a knee. To further illustrate certain concepts, a possible position of an elastic connector 908L is shown dashed lines. This is just one illustrative example.
  • In one or more embodiments, the suit may have predefined pockets, fabric tubes, rings, or like guiding devices to guide or restrain the elastic connectors. By way of example, tubular pockets may be sewn on the outside of the suit. As another example, additional guiding devices similar to the guiding devices 950R, 950L may be included in other locations.
  • FIG. 10 illustrates an embodiment of an exercise kit 1060. The exercise kit includes a manufacturers sealed package 1062, such as a box or other package.
  • Various components of the kit are sealed inside the package. The components include components of an assembled, partly assembled, or unassembled exercise apparatus 1000. These include a belt 1002, right and left elastic connectors 1008R, 1008L, and right and left lower leg attachment devices 1006R, 1006L. These components may be similar to or the same as those disclosed elsewhere herein. Dashed lines are used in the illustration to indicate that these components may be uncoupled or some or all of these components may already be coupled together in the package.
  • The kit may also optionally include instructions 1064. By way of example, the instruction may include instructions about how to assemble and/or use the kit and/or the exercise apparatus. The instructions may be paper instructions, or instructions on a compact disc or other machine-readable medium.
  • The components may optionally include one or more extra elastic connector(s) 1066. In one or more embodiments, the kit may include a set of extra or replacement elastic connectors, such as the sets shown in FIG. 4 and/or FIG. 5. In one aspect, the one or more extra elastic connector(s) may include multiple elastic connectors having different lengths than the right and left elastic connectors 1008R, 1008L. In another aspect, the one or more extra elastic connector(s) may include multiple elastic connectors having different resistances to stretching than the right and left elastic connectors 1008R, 1008L.
  • Other components 1068 may optionally be included in the kit. For example, one or more wrist attachment devices and one or more corresponding elastic connectors to exercise one or more arms may optionally be included. As another example, one or more additional elastic connectors to work in conjunction with the right and left elastic connectors to exercise one or more legs may optionally be included. As yet another example, an additional elastic connector to couple between the lower legs of the user may optionally be included.
  • An alternate kit is contemplated in which the exercise apparatus 1000 is replaced with an suit exercise apparatus, such as, for example, the suit shown and described in conjunction with FIG. 9. Such a kit may include a number of elastic connectors of different lengths and/or resistances.
  • In the description above, for the purposes of explanation, numerous specific details have been set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the embodiments of the invention. The particular embodiments described are not provided to limit the invention but to illustrate it. Embodiments may be practiced without some of these specific details. Modifications may be made to the embodiments disclosed herein, such as, for example, to the sizes, shapes, configurations, forms, functions, materials, and manner of operation, and assembly and use, of the components of the embodiments. All equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are encompassed within embodiments of the invention. The scope of the invention is not to be determined by the specific examples provided above but only by the claims below. In other instances, well-known structures, devices, and operations have been shown in block diagram form or without detail in order to avoid obscuring the understanding of the description.
  • For simplicity and clarity of illustration, elements illustrated in the figures have not necessarily been drawn to scale. For example, the dimensions of some of the elements are exaggerated relative to other elements for clarity. Further, where considered appropriate, reference numerals or terminal portions of reference numerals have been repeated among the figures to indicate corresponding or analogous elements, which may optionally have similar characteristics.
  • Methods have been described. The methods have been described in a basic form, but operations may optionally be added to the methods. In some cases certain operations may be removed from the methods or replaced by one or more other operations. The operations of the methods may also often optionally be performed in different order.
  • It should also be appreciated that reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment”, “an embodiment”, or “one or more embodiments”, for example, means that a particular feature may be included in the practice of the invention. Similarly, it should be appreciated that in the description various features are sometimes grouped together in a single embodiment, Figure, or description thereof for the purpose of streamlining the disclosure and aiding in the understanding of various inventive aspects. This method of disclosure, however, is not to be interpreted as reflecting an intention that the invention requires more features than are expressly recited in each claim. Rather, as the following claims reflect, inventive aspects may lie in less than all features of a single disclosed embodiment. Thus, the claims following the Detailed Description are hereby expressly incorporated into this Detailed Description, with each claim standing on its own as a separate embodiment of the invention.

Claims (29)

  1. 1. An exercise apparatus comprising:
    a belt to be worn proximate a waist of a user;
    a right lower leg attachment device to be worn on a right lower leg of the user;
    a left lower leg attachment device to be worn on a left lower leg of the user;
    a right elastic connector that is coupled between the belt and the right lower leg attachment device; and
    a left elastic connector that is coupled between the belt and the left lower leg attachment device.
  2. 2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein each of the right and left elastic connectors comprise at least one of an elastic cord, a bungee cord, an elastic cable, an elastic band, and an elastic ring.
  3. 3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the right lower leg attachment device comprises a right ankle attachment device to be worn proximate a right ankle of the user, and wherein the left lower leg attachment device comprises a left ankle attachment device to be worn proximate a left ankle of the user.
  4. 4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein each of the right and left lower leg attachment devices comprises at least one of an ankle strap, a foot strap, a foot stirrup, a band, a ring, a sock, a shoe, a boot, and athletic footwear.
  5. 5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the right and left elastic connectors are positioned so that they would be along backs of respective right and left legs of the user.
  6. 6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the right and left elastic connectors are designed to provide a resistance to encourage right and left legs of the user to bend to achieve angles on insides of knees that range from 120 to 160°.
  7. 7. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising means for reducing resistance provided by the right elastic connector, said means including a structure on the belt.
  8. 8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein each of the right and left elastic connectors are detachably coupled with the belt, and wherein each of the right and left elastic connectors are detachably coupled with the right and left lower leg attachment devices.
  9. 9. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:
    a second right elastic connector that is coupled between the belt and the right lower leg attachment device; and
    a second left elastic connector that is coupled between the belt and the left lower leg attachment device,
    wherein the right elastic connector and the second right elastic connector are positioned to run along different positions of a right leg of the user, and wherein the left elastic connector and the second left elastic connector are positioned to run along different positions of a left leg of the user.
  10. 10. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising an elastic connector that is coupled between the right lower leg and the left lower leg.
  11. 11. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:
    a right forearm attachment device to be worn proximate a right forearm of the user;
    a left forearm attachment device to be worn proximate a left forearm of the user;
    a right elastic forearm connector that is coupled between the belt and the right forearm attachment device; and
    a left elastic forearm connector that is coupled between the belt and the left forearm attachment device.
  12. 12. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein each of the right and left forearm attachment devices comprises at least one of a wrist strap, a hand strap, a hand stirrup, a band, a ring, and a glove.
  13. 13. A kit comprising:
    a belt to be worn proximate a waist of a user;
    a right elastic connector to be coupled between the belt and a right lower leg of the user;
    a left elastic connector to be coupled between the belt and a left lower leg of the user;
    instructions on how to use the kit; and
    a package enclosing the belt, the right and left elastic connectors, and the instructions.
  14. 14. The kit of claim 13, further comprising a pair of additional elastic connectors to be coupled between the belt and the respective right and left lower legs of the user, wherein the pair of additional elastic connectors have different lengths than the right and left elastic connectors.
  15. 15. The kit of claim 13, further comprising a pair of additional elastic connectors to be coupled between the belt and the respective right and left lower legs of the user, wherein the additional elastic connectors have different resistance to stretching than the right and left elastic connectors.
  16. 16. The kit of claim 13, further comprising a right ankle attachment device to be worn proximate a right ankle of the user and a left ankle attachment device to be worn proximate a left ankle of the user, and wherein each of the right and left elastic connectors comprise at least one of an elastic cord, a bungee cord, an elastic cable, an elastic band, and an elastic ring.
  17. 17. A method of a user putting on an exercise apparatus comprising:
    fastening a belt around a waist;
    attaching a right lower leg attachment device to a portion of a right lower leg;
    attaching a left lower leg attachment device to a portion of a left lower leg;
    coupling a right elastic connector between the belt and the right lower leg attachment device; and
    coupling a left elastic connector between the belt and the left lower leg attachment device.
  18. 18. The method of claim 17, further comprising the user playing hockey while wearing the exercise apparatus.
  19. 19. The method of claim 18, wherein said playing hockey comprises the user bending knees due in part to resistance provided by the exercise apparatus and the user strengthening muscles used for striding due in part to resistance provided by the exercise apparatus.
  20. 20. An exercise apparatus comprising:
    a suit;
    a plurality of attachment devices fixedly coupled with the suit at a plurality of predefined locations; and
    a plurality of elastic connectors, each of the elastic connectors coupled between a pair of the attachment devices.
  21. 21. The apparatus of claim 20, wherein the suit comprises a one-piece garment.
  22. 22. The apparatus of claim 21, wherein the suit has pants.
  23. 23. The apparatus of claim 22, wherein the suit further comprises an upper body portion coupled with the pants.
  24. 24. The apparatus of claim 20, wherein the plurality of attachment devices comprise a first attachment device fixedly coupled with the suit at a predefined location proximate a waist position of the suit, and a second attachment device fixedly coupled with the suit at a predefined location proximate a right ankle position of the suit.
  25. 25. The apparatus of claim 24, further comprising a guiding member operable to guide an elastic connector fixedly coupled with the suit at a predefined location proximate a right knee position of the suit.
  26. 26. The apparatus of claim 20, wherein the plurality of attachment devices comprise a first attachment device fixedly coupled with the suit at a predefined location proximate a waist position of the suit, and a second attachment device fixedly coupled with the suit at a predefined location proximate a right wrist position of the suit.
  27. 27. The apparatus of claim 26, further comprising a guiding member operable to guide an elastic connector fixedly coupled with the suit at a predefined location proximate a right elbow position of the suit.
  28. 28. The apparatus of claim 20, wherein the attachment devices comprise attachment devices selected from rings embedded in the suit, rings coupled with the suit, hooks coupled with the suit, caribeners coupled with the suit, holes in the suit, and combinations thereof.
  29. 29. The apparatus of claim 20, wherein the suite comprises reinforced regions where the plurality of attachment devices are fixedly coupled with the suit.
US12228692 2008-08-15 2008-08-15 Exercise apparatus, method of using, and kit therefor Abandoned US20100041527A1 (en)

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