CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present application is related to and claims priority from prior provisional application Ser. No. 61/155,598, filed Feb. 26, 2009 which application is incorporated herein by reference.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to the field of abdominal exercise devices and more specifically relates to abdominal exercising systems.
2. Description of the Related Art
Many individuals enjoy exercising as a means to recreate and to promote better personal health. A significant number of these individuals desire to tone or strengthen a specific muscle group such as the abdominals or core; however, using traditional exercises and devices the abdominal region may be difficult to strengthen and tone. The abdominal area of an individual is comprised of four muscle groups including the rectus abdominis, the external obliques, the internal obliques and the transverse abdominis. Since these four muscles are located in the center (core) of one's body, the process of toning and isolating them has proven difficult. As a result, proper exercise techniques have been developed for anatomy group-specific exercises and/or stretches with or without the use of equipment. These exercises have been designed to specifically tone and strengthen only certain muscles/muscle groups via isolation means. These exercises and/or equipment may aid in supporting the body weight of a user for certain types of exercises or provide resistance and/or weights to promote the toning and strengthening of the designated muscle group.
One universal exercise to tone the abdominal region is the sit-up. The sit-up is a strength training exercise commonly performed with the aim of strengthening the hip flexors and abdominal muscles. It begins with lying with the back on the floor, typically with the knees bent in an attempt to reduce stress on the back muscles and spine, and then elevating both the upper and lower vertebrae from the floor until everything superior to the buttocks is not touching the ground. However, since full sit-ups involve the hip flexors, as well as the abdominal muscles, the back may arch, with the risk of spinal damage. Additionally, the flexion of the lumber and thoracic spine over a significant range of motion may cause strain on the lower back. Further, positioning the hands clasped behind the neck may put undue stress on the neck and the spine when doing a sit-up. This is a particular risk for individuals with weak abdominal muscles, but also for individuals who train aggressively, exhausting their abdominal muscles in a training session. Even if these risks are avoided, the leverage exerted by the hip flexors risks compression of the lumbar intervertebral discs, thereby creating potentially unsafe health conditions for the exerciser.
Various solutions have been proposed for the aforementioned problems such as those found in U.S. Pat. No. 5,669,864 and U.S. Publication No. 2003/0139267. Although these patents address some of the problems stated previously, they fail to provide an abdominal exercise device that may be performed in an orientation substantially other than that of a user lying on one's back. Further, the mentioned patents do not have a compact design suitable to fit/store within limited space constraints. The above mentioned patents also tend to create muscle strain put on the back and neck since the abdominal exercises are largely performed with the user laying on his/her back.
- BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Ideally, an ab web system for exercising should efficiently and effectively tone an exerciser/user's abdominal muscles, be safe, user friendly, and manufactured at a modest expense. Further, the ab web system should be aesthetically pleasing, easy to operate within a confined space and allow for toning of one's abdominal muscles without the need to lie on one's back or strain one's neck. Thus, a need exists for an ab web system to avoid the above-mentioned problems.
In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the known abdominal exercising and strengthening art, the present invention provides a novel Ab Web system(s) for performing abdominal exercises. The general purpose of the present invention, which will be described subsequently in greater detail is to provide a users with a new way to tone their midsection without having to uncomfortably lie adjacent the floor. The Ab Web device may assist users in effectively working out without having to use and store cumbersome fitness equipment. This innovative item is ideal for individuals looking for a substantially simple way to flatten and strengthen their abdominals without having to lie on their back, and increasing the likelihood of straining their neck muscles.
The present ab web device disclosed herein preferably comprises the following components: roller gloves having braking mechanisms located proximate digit-tip portions, and rollers permitting a user to perform at least one upper body workout. The rollers may comprise casters within particular embodiments. Additionally, the present invention may also comprise leg roller units having, leg-contoured cast-profiles including a toe-inclusive portion. The leg roller units may also comprise casters for ease of movement on various substrates in multiple directions. The Ab Web may further comprise connection bands in certain embodiments made of resistably-stretchable cords. The connection bands preferably connect the roller gloves and the leg roller units through clips via which they are removably attached thereto. The user may don the roller gloves and the leg roller units thereby allowing the user to move the roller gloves and the leg roller units in relation to one another to perform at least one exercise.
A kit is embodied herein for the Ab Web system comprising: ab web device; at least one set of user instructions and a plurality of abdominal exercising instructions for exercising and toning at least one muscle set of the body comprising abdominals, arms, and legs.
In accordance with the embodiments of the present invention a preferred method of use is disclosed herein comprising: connecting connection bands to clips thereby linking roller gloves and leg roller units in at least one criss-cross configuration; moving roller gloves and leg roller units in relation to one another to perform at least one exercise in an orientation wherein the user faces a planar surface (such as a floor); pushing the toes of the user against the toe-inclusive portion of the leg-contoured cast-profile on leg roller units to perform calf strengthening and toning exercises; and optionally disassembling ab web device to separately use roller gloves or leg roller units in a removably couplable relationship.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The present invention holds significant improvements and serves as an ab web system. These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following drawings and description.
The figures which accompany the written portion of this specification illustrate embodiments and method(s) of use for the present invention, Ab web systems, constructed and operative according to the teachings of the present invention.
FIG. 1 shows a perspective view illustrating Ab Web systems in an in-use condition according to an embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating roller gloves of the Ab Web systems according to an embodiment of the present invention of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view illustrating braking mechanisms located proximate digit-tip portions of the roller gloves used in the Ab Web systems according to an embodiment of the present invention of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view illustrating leg roller units of the Ab Web systems according to an embodiment of the present invention of FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 shows top and bottom perspective views respectively, of the ab web systems according to an embodiment of the present invention of FIGS. 1-4.
FIG. 6. is a flowchart illustrating a method of use according to an embodiment of the present invention of FIGS. 1-5.
- DETAILED DESCRIPTION
The various embodiments of the present invention will hereinafter be described in conjunction with the appended drawings, wherein like designations denote like elements.
As discussed above, embodiments of the present invention relate to an abdominal exercise devices and more particularly to Ab Web systems 100 as used to strengthen and tone a user's abdominal muscles. Ab Web systems 100 provides user 120 an effective and efficient means to strengthen and tone the abdominal muscles and other muscles/muscle groups of the body without having to lie on his/her back or the hard ground, risking potential injury. Referring to the drawings by numerals of reference there is shown in FIG. 1, a perspective view illustrating Ab Web systems 100 in an in-use condition according to an embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 1 illustrates roller gloves 110, leg roller units 150, and connection bands 180 used in relation to each other to perform at least one abdominal exercise. Ab Web system 100 as disclosed herein may comprise ab web device 102 preferably including roller gloves 110, leg roller units 150, and connection bands 180. Roller gloves 110 further comprise left roller glove 112 and right roller glove 114. Left roller glove 112 may be placed on a left hand of user 120. Right roller glove 114 may be placed on right hand of user 120, within the particular embodiment shown.
Leg roller units 150 of the present embodiment further comprises left leg roller unit 152 and right leg roller unit 154, as also shown in FIG. 5. Left leg of user 120, as shown may be removably coupled to left leg roller unit 152 while right leg of user 120 may be removable coupled to right leg roller unit 154, also shown. It should be appreciated that in certain embodiments that left leg roller unit 152 and right leg roller unit 154 may be interchangeable and that they may be attached via straps, clips or other suitable means or methods.
Roller gloves 110 may be removably coupled to leg roller units 150 via connection bands 180, preferably threaded through clips 182, as shown or other suitable means. Connection bands 180 may comprise resistably-stretchable cords. Connection bands 180 link roller gloves 110 and leg roller units in a removably-couplable relationship via clips 182 within this particular embodiment. Connection bands 180 are preferably clipped, thereby linking roller gloves 110 and leg roller units 150 in at least one criss-cross configuration 184. Criss-cross configuration 184 may be used to increase resistance and tension in connection bands 180 thereby providing user 120 with a more challenging abdominal workout when ab web device 102 is in use. Further, criss-cross configuration 184 provides an inherent balancing means whereby a user may be substantially stabilized during the exercise routine.
When user 120 dons roller gloves 110 and leg roller units 150, user 120 may to rotationally move roller gloves 110 leg roller units 150 in relation to one another to perform at least one abdominal exercise in an orientation facing a planar surface. Certain embodiments may include toe-inclusive portion(s) 164 which are alluded to by the dotted lines in the bottom figure of FIG. 1. These toe-inclusive portions 164 allow user 120 to perform various exercises that help to strengthen calves and also may provide a further means whereby leg roller units 150 may be substantially secured to the legs of user 120. Toe-inclusive portions 164 may comprise a strap or have a cast-formed shape fitting to toes/foot of user 120.
Ab Web system 100 according to an embodiment of the present invention of FIGS. 1-5 may comprise kit 500. Kit 500 may comprise the following parts: ab web device 102; at least one set of user instructions 510 and a plurality of abdominal exercising instructions 520 for exercising and toning at least one muscle set of the body comprising abdominals, arms, and legs. Kit 500 may be manufactured and provided for sale in a wide variety of sizes and shapes for a wide assortment of applications. Further, the various components may be interchangeable between kits 500.
Upon reading this specification, it should be appreciated that, under appropriate circumstances, considering such issues as user preferences, design preference, structural requirements, marketing preferences, cost, available materials, technological advances, etc., other exercising methods and motions may be performed with the present invention as well as other configurations may be possible, etc., may be sufficient.
Referring now to FIG. 2 showing a perspective view illustrating roller gloves 110 of Ab Web systems 100 according to an embodiment of the present invention of FIG. 1.
Roller gloves 110 preferably comprise braking mechanisms 130 and rollers 210, as shown. Braking mechanisms 130 on roller gloves 110 may be located proximate at least one digit-tip portion 124. Digit-tip portion 124 within this description refers to the four fingers and thumb on hand 116 of user 120.
Rollers 210 on roller gloves 110 permit user 120 to perform at least one upper body workout by extending or retracting arms in relation to body of user 120. In this way user 120 exercises, thereby increasing their heart-rate causing the burning of calories via dynamic movement(s). Roller gloves 110 may be used as a pushup tool by rolling hands 116 of user 120 away from the chest and back towards the chest. Rollers 210 rotate in relation to roller gloves 110 as rollers 210 engage substrate such as a floor or the ground or other suitable surface. Roller gloves 110 may be substantially secured to the hand(s) of user 120 via straps, as shown. An enlarged view of rollers 170 is shown to illustrate the relative rotational movement capabilities as demonstrated by the arrows shown. Components of roller gloves 110 and their means of use are discussed in greater detail in the following figure.
Referring now to FIG. 3 showing a perspective view illustrating braking mechanisms 130 located proximate digit-tip portions 124 of roller gloves 170 used in the Ab Web systems 100 according to an embodiment of the present invention of FIG. 1. Braking mechanisms 130, within the present embodiment permits user 120 to substantially control ab web device 102 and halt ab web device 102 as so desired. Control is achieved via braking mechanisms 130 allowing user 120 to extend and retract arms in relation to body and/or leg roller units 150. In a position such that hands 116 of user are furthest from the body of user 120, connection bands 180 are in their highest state of tension. The tension is relieved as user's hands 116 move proximate user's body. The greater the ‘stretch’ the greater the tension in connection bands 180 in relation to roller gloves 110 and leg roller units 150. The greater the resistance produced, the greater the energy required to overcome the resistance, thereby causing strengthening and toning of the abdominal muscles of user 120.
Braking mechanism 130 on roller glove 110 are preferably ‘finger-operated’, more specifically digit-operated (including some of or all fingers and thumbs). In certain embodiments roller gloves 110 may also extend beyond digit tip portion 124 (not shown) to increase finger-safety and general manipulatability. Braking mechanism 130 within certain embodiments may comprise a periphery-protruding braking means whereby rollers 170 may be located in recessed portions in relation to periphery of roller gloves 110. Braking mechanisms 130 create at least one frictional-resistance to movement via digit-manipulated surfaces when braking mechanisms 130 contact rollers 170, (as shown in the lower figure of FIG. 3). Roller gloves 110 may also comprise a compressible foam or other suitable material between hand 116 and/or digit tip portion 124 and braking mechanisms 130 whereby that portion may be pressed against rollers 170 to provide frictional resistance. The foam may also provide user 120 with a comfortable resting point thereby potentially effectively reducing fatigue during exercise periods. In these embodiments user 120 may place hand 116 atop a non-glove assembly (not shown). In this embodiment a rubber rim may be used as a braking means via a sliding mechanism which causes a rubber stopper to go up and down to grab the substrate surface to slow or stop the unit.
Referring now to FIG. 4 showing a perspective view illustrating leg roller units 150 of Ab Web systems 100 according to an embodiment of the present invention of FIG. 1.
Leg roller units 150 are shown within the present figure at different orientations, the top left showing the bottom of leg roller unit 150 (also illustrating an embodiment having toe-inclusive portion 164), a perspective view is illustrated in the intermediate figure and the bottom figure illustrates a side profile to more fully explain the embodiments of the present invention. Leg roller units 150 may comprise leg-contoured cast-profiles 160, as shown. Leg-contoured cast-profiles 160 are designed and molded to specifically contour to the shape of a leg of user 120, thereby creating a comfort-fit to promote prolonged exercise. Leg-contoured cast-profiles 160 may also include a toe-inclusive portion 164 in certain embodiments (not shown, but alluded to in the present figure). Toe-inclusive portion 164 allows user 120 to perform calf strengthening exercises using the present invention.
Leg roller units 150 may further comprise a plurality of rollers 170. Rollers may comprise casters 174, thereby providing full range of movement. Caster 174 may be an undriven, single, double, or compound wheel mounted leg roller units 150 and roller gloves 110 designed to minimize resistance and create fluidity within movements. Further, caster 174 is durable in construction and less likely to harm substrate surfaces contacted. Casters 174 may be fixed to roll in one direction, or mounted on a pivot, such that caster 174 will automatically swivel, aligning itself to the direction in which it is moving. Caster 174 may come in various sizes and be made from various materials so as to support user 120 of varying weights during exercising routines.
As previously mentioned, it should be appreciated that Ab Web systems 100 may be used to perform various exercises, some of which are disclosed herein. Leg roller units 150 may be used separately from roller gloves 110 as a cardio fat burner by pushing the legs of user 120 up and down or running in place by using opposite legs in an up and down motion. Other motions that may be used comprise ‘scissor motion’ to build muscle and tone legs of user 120.
FIG. 5 shows top and bottom perspective views respectively, of Ab web systems 100 according to an embodiment of the present invention of FIGS. 1-4. The present figure illustrates criss-cross configuration 184 of Ab Web systems 100, thereby demonstrating spatial relationship between roller gloves 110, leg roller units 150, and connection bands 180. For clarity the bottom side and top side are shown respectively. Connection bands 180 may comprise various consistency material(s) to provide ranges in resistance in stretching. These resistances may be classed according to beginner, intermediate and difficult, thereby providing a system whereby user(s) 120 may train according to their personal preference and ability. Connection bands 180 may comprise retractable cables that may control relative tightness/looseness of the cables to provide suitable resistance. Retractable cables may retract into a cable box 560 as alluded to via dotted lines in right illustration of FIG. 5. Cable box 560 may house rotatable pulleys or cable retractors that are used to wind or unwind cable therefrom, via rotation as demonstrated by bi-directional arrow shown, causing liner motion of cables as demonstrated by liner bi-directional arrow. Cable retractors may be spring-loaded and be housed externally or internally to cable box 560.
Referring now to FIG. 6 showing flowchart 650 illustrating a method of use 600 according to an embodiment of the present invention of FIGS. 1-5.
In accordance with the embodiments of the present invention a preferred method of use 600 is disclosed herein comprising: step one 601 connecting connection bands 180 to clips 182 thereby linking roller gloves 110 and leg roller units 150 in at least one criss-cross configuration 184; step two 602 donning and moving roller gloves 110 and leg roller units 150 in relation to one another to perform at least one exercise in an orientation wherein user 120 faces at least one planar surface; step three 603 exercising abdominal muscles using the present invention as described above; step four 604 optionally pushing toes of user 120 against toe-inclusive portion 164 of leg-contoured cast-profile 160 on leg roller units 150 to perform calf strengthening and toning exercises; and step five 605 optionally disassembling Ab web device 102 to separately use roller gloves 110 or leg roller units 150 in a removably couplable relationship.
It should be noted that step 604 and step 605 are optional steps and may not be implemented in all cases. Optional steps of method 600 are illustrated using dotted lines in FIG. 6 so as to distinguish them from the other steps of method 600.
It should be noted that the steps described in method of use 600 can be carried out in many different orders according to user preference. Upon reading this specification, it should be appreciated that, under appropriate circumstances, considering such issues as design preference, user preferences, marketing preferences, cost, structural requirements, available materials, technological advances, etc., other methods of use arrangements such as, for example, different orders within above-mentioned list, elimination or addition of certain exercise or storing steps, including or excluding certain steps, etc., may be sufficient.
The embodiments of the invention described herein are exemplary and numerous modifications, variations and rearrangements can be readily envisioned to achieve substantially equivalent results, all of which are intended to be embraced within the spirit and scope of the invention.