US20110263389A1 - Multifunctional training apparatus for the lower limb muscles - Google Patents

Multifunctional training apparatus for the lower limb muscles Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110263389A1
US20110263389A1 US13/055,238 US200913055238A US2011263389A1 US 20110263389 A1 US20110263389 A1 US 20110263389A1 US 200913055238 A US200913055238 A US 200913055238A US 2011263389 A1 US2011263389 A1 US 2011263389A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
training
element
multifunctional
according
support element
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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US13/055,238
Inventor
Rinaldo Burgassi
Patrizio Innocenti
Roberto Risaliti
Nicola Romano
Original Assignee
Rinaldo Burgassi
Patrizio Innocenti
Roberto Risaliti
Nicola Romano
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Priority to ITPI2008A000068 priority Critical
Priority to ITPI2008A000068A priority patent/IT1390763B1/en
Application filed by Rinaldo Burgassi, Patrizio Innocenti, Roberto Risaliti, Nicola Romano filed Critical Rinaldo Burgassi
Priority to PCT/IB2009/006362 priority patent/WO2010010459A2/en
Publication of US20110263389A1 publication Critical patent/US20110263389A1/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
    • 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
    • A63B23/04Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body for limbs, i.e. upper or lower limbs, e.g. simultaneously for lower limbs
    • A63B23/0494Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body for limbs, i.e. upper or lower limbs, e.g. simultaneously for lower limbs primarily by articulating the knee joints
    • 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
    • A63B21/4029Benches specifically adapted for exercising
    • A63B21/4031Benches specifically adapted for exercising with parts of the bench moving against a resistance during exercise
    • 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
    • A63B21/4041Interfaces with the user related to strength training; Details thereof characterised by the movements of the interface
    • A63B21/4047Pivoting movement
    • 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
    • A63B23/03516For both arms together or both legs together; Aspects related to the co-ordination between right and left side limbs of a user
    • A63B23/03533With separate means driven by each limb, i.e. performing different movements
    • A63B23/03541Moving independently from each other
    • 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
    • A63B23/04Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body for limbs, i.e. upper or lower limbs, e.g. simultaneously for lower limbs
    • A63B23/0482Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body for limbs, i.e. upper or lower limbs, e.g. simultaneously for lower limbs primarily by articulating the hip joints
    • A63B23/0488Exercising apparatus specially adapted for particular parts of the body for limbs, i.e. upper or lower limbs, e.g. simultaneously for lower limbs primarily by articulating the hip joints by spreading the legs
    • 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
    • A63B21/008Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices using hydraulic or pneumatic force-resisters
    • A63B21/0085Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices using hydraulic or pneumatic force-resisters using pneumatic force-resisters
    • A63B21/0087Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices using hydraulic or pneumatic force-resisters using pneumatic force-resisters of the piston-cylinder type
    • 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
    • A63B2208/0242Lying down

Abstract

A multifunctional training apparatus for training the lower limb muscles includes a training bench adapted to support a user in a desired training position, a movable rotatable support unit for resisting a muscular force of a lower limb which is caused by a reciprocating movement, a contrast member that is adapted to provide a resistance force against the movement of the movable support unit, and a support element that is adapted to pivotally support the movable support unit and the contrast member. The support element is mounted on the training bench by a rotatable coupling about an axis that is at an angle with respect to the training bench, such that the movable support unit can rotate from a first substantially vertical position to a second substantially horizontal position. In this way, training movements of the lower limbs are possible according to movement in a vertical plane and in a horizontal plane, using a single training device.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to a training apparatus and, in particular, it relates to a multifunctional apparatus for developing the lower limb muscles.
  • More precisely, the invention can be use as household equipment for a self-sufficient training, but is also used in the field of fitness facilities as single tool that embodies different machines.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE TECHNICAL PROBLEM
  • Multifunctional training machines are known that allow a user, by means of reciprocating movements of the limbs of the body, to carry out training exercises on different muscle groups, by selectively changing the machine configuration. The main use of the multifunctional equipment is, normally, a household use, since it allows a user, even unskilled, who wishes a guide in the training movements, to carry out a differentiated training, i.e. involving many muscle groups. Further requirement is a minimum space to be occupied in a household space, notwithstanding different tools are available for each training exercise.
  • With reference to the types of exercises that are allowed by such machines, essentially, they can be distinguished among exercises for the upper limbs and exercises for the lower limbs. With reference to the latter category, multifunctional machines are known, for household use, but also for fitness facilities, that are normally equipped with a main structure to which different training tools can be added to carry out exercises for strengthening the lower limb muscles.
  • For example, a bench or a multifunctional equipment may provide a training plane at an end of which a substantially L-shaped rod is pivotally mounted, which is adapted in particular to exercise the lower limbs, commonly called “Leg Extension” or “Leg Curl”. In this solution, the reaction force is generated through a plurality of weights, which are put in a special weight hold member, which make a resistance force that is opposite to the muscular force applied by the user.
  • In other more advanced apparatus, instead, a pneumatic system is used that adjusts the resistance force responsive to the training exercise to carry out.
  • In the case, instead, of training machines for fitness facilities, a number of machines is provided that is adapted to train specifically each muscle group. However, owing to low available space, fitness facilities are often equipped with multifunctional machines. In this case, however, the machines for training the lower limbs can combine, in a single structure, only some exercises, and to achieve a differentiated training many machines are, in any case, necessary.
  • In view of the above the drawback of the presently available multifunctional machines is that of not providing a full variety of exercises for the lower limbs suitable for developing completely each muscle group of the lower limbs in a single machine, but only with a plurality of machines.
  • Further drawbacks are that in a multifunctional machine a user, when switching from an exercise to another, has to carry out a plurality of manual operations, such as addition or subtraction of components, in order to change the structure and achieve a configuration that is adapted to the desired exercise. As a consequence, much time is wasted to modify the machine, limiting thus the efficiency of the whole training.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • It is therefore a feature of the present invention to provide a multifunctional training apparatus for the lower limb muscles that allows carrying out a complete, various and effective training without resorting to different machines.
  • It is another feature of the present invention to provide a multifunctional training apparatus for the lower limb muscles that is structurally easy and of simple use.
  • It is also a feature of the present invention to provide a multifunctional training apparatus for the lower limb muscles that provides both a synchronous and an alternated training of the lower limbs.
  • It is also a feature of the present invention to provide a multifunctional training apparatus for the lower limb muscles with high modularity such that a plurality of different configurations can be achieved that can guide correctly the movement concerning a specific training exercise for the lower limbs.
  • These and other objects are achieved by a multifunctional training apparatus for the lower limb muscles comprising:
      • a training bench, said training bench having a training surface that is adapted to support a user in a desired training position;
      • a movable support unit for supporting a lower limb and for moving responsive to a muscular force that is caused by a reciprocating training movement of said limb;
      • a contrast member that is associated to said movable support unit and that is adapted to provide a resistance force against the movement of said movable support unit;
      • a support element that is adapted to pivotally support said movable support unit with respect to said bench; characterised in that said support element is mounted on said training bench by a rotatable coupling that can rotate about an inclined axis which is at an angle with respect to said training bench, such that said movable support unit can rotate from a first substantially vertical position to a second substantially horizontal position.
  • This way, using a single training equipment, training movements are possible of the lower limbs both as reciprocating movements in a vertical plane, both as reciprocating movements in a horizontal plane.
  • In particular, said inclined axis of the rotatable coupling between said support element and said training bench is at an angle according to a combined inclination angle consisting of a first inclination angle in a plane parallel to said training bench and a second inclination angle in a plane orthogonal to said training bench.
  • In particular, said first and second inclination angles are obtained from a fixed pin that is integral to a frame of said training bench, wherein said fixed pin has an inclined axis which is at an angle with respect to said frame and is a rotation pivot for said support element about said inclined axis.
  • Advantageously, lock means are provided for locking the rotation of said support element on said fixed pin according to a plurality of reference points, in particular said reference points allow to arrange said support element from said first substantially vertical position to said second substantially horizontal position.
  • In particular, said first inclination angle is set between 80° and 100°, preferably between 85° and 95°, in particular between 88° and 92°; whereas said second inclination angle is set between −10° and 10°, preferably between −5° and 5°, in particular between −2° and 2°.
  • Preferably, the multifunctional training apparatus provides two mirror-like multifunctional units, which are arranged symmetrically at opposite sides of said training bench, each having said movable support unit, said contrast member and said support element.
  • In particular, contrast members of two groups are connected pneumatically to each other. This way, training exercises can be effected moving the limbs either contemporaneously or alternatively. In the first way, the cylinders are compressed simultaneously, then the available volume, for example of air, in the circuit is low and the pressure increases coherently with the reduction of volume. In the latter way, the two cylinders are compressed alternatively, and each cylinder acts as reservoir for the other cylinder. The volume of air available in the circuit is reduced, then, less than the previous case and therefore the pressure increases less. In this case the action of contrast of the cylinders is lower. In view of the above, an athlete can start the training exercises in the first way, i.e. moving the legs contemporaneously, carrying out a stronger exercise. Then, without stopping the training exercise, the athlete continues in the second way, i.e. moving alternatively the legs, where the action of contrast is much lighter. The exercise of decreasing the training load is a very effective technique especially for losing weight or increasing muscular tone and resistance.
  • In particular said support element comprises a first and a second rectilinear portions and a connection portion that connects said rectilinear portions in a way that is suitable to form a determined angle set between said first rectilinear portion and said second rectilinear portion, in particular said angle is set between 20° and 30°, preferably between 15° and 18°, in particular between 10° and 12°.
  • Advantageously, said first rectilinear portion of said support element is at an angle with respect to the axis of said fixed pin according to an angle set between 3° and 15°, preferably between 5° and 10°, in particular between 7° and 9°.
  • Advantageously, said movable support unit comprises:
      • a transmission disc of said reciprocating training movement that is pivotally connected to said support element;
      • a push element integrally connected to said transmission disc;
      • a plurality of application points for said contrast member arranged on said transmission disc.
  • Advantageously, said push element has a movable support portion that is adapted to move from a positioning configuration, where the user is not obstructed when positioning on said training bench, to a training configuration, where the user can carry out the desired training exercise, said push element being completely integral to said disc, in particular, said push element comprising a support arm integral to one end to said transmission disc to whose other end said movable support portion is present, which is capable of moving from said training configuration to said positioning configuration and remains in a plane substantially orthogonal to said support arm.
  • In particular, said contrast member comprises a rectilinear contrast element having a first end that is pivotally connected to said support element and a second end that is pivotally connected to said transmission disc at a determined application point, in particular said rectilinear contrast element is connected through mutual engagement means with said transmission disc, at said application point. For example, the mutual engagement means provides a protruding bolt from said second end of said actuator that engages with a hole that is made at said application point. This way, for carrying out an extension exercise the contrast member is connected to the disc in order to oppose to this extension exercise, whereas for carrying out an bending exercise, the contrast member are connected to the disc in order to oppose to this bending exercise.
  • Advantageously, said plurality of application points is distributed along a circumference that is concentric to said transmission disc and, in particular, to each application point a specific type of training exercise to carry out corresponds.
  • Alternatively, said contrast member has a first end that is pivotally connected to an extension element that is slidingly engaged with said support element, in particular said extension element can slide with respect to said support element between a first position, where said first end of the contrast member is farthest from said transmission disc, and a second position, where said first end of the contrast member is much nearer to said transmission disc. Lock means are provided for locking the extension element with respect to said support element in said first and second position, as well as in intermediate positions.
  • In particular, the extension element is an extension sleeve that slides in the support element and the lock means consists of a bolt that engages respective holes correspondingly in the extension sleeve and in the support element, to allow locking sliding movements in the first and second position and in the intermediate positions. In particular, the bolt has an end that can be easily gripped by the user, for example having the shape of a ring or of a key.
  • This way, by causing the extension sleeve to slide within the support element it is possible to translate the application point of the contrast member with respect to the support element, thus avoiding the need of disconnecting the end of the pneumatic cylinder from the disc. In a same way, by displacing the movable fastening point of the cylinder, the disc can be put in the correct and desired positions for each single exercise. This solution allows furthermore adjusting the starting position of the exercise.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The invention will be made clearer with the following description of an exemplary embodiment thereof, exemplifying but not limitative, with reference to the attached drawings in which:
  • FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a multifunctional training apparatus for the lower limb muscles, according to the invention;
  • FIG. 2 shows respectively a diagrammatical top plan view and front of the support surface with the pin of connection of the support element;
  • FIG. 3 shows an enlarged view front of the transmission disc that is adapted to a connection with the contrast member;
  • FIG. 4 shows the transmission disc of FIG. 3 according to a rear view in which the connection with the contrast member is depicted;
  • FIG. 5 shows an elevational side view of the multifunctional equipment of FIG. 1, according to the invention;
  • FIGS. 6 and 7 show a configuration of the equipment for a training exercise of the femoral quadriceps of the leg and the relative movement carried out from the user;
  • FIG. 8 shows an elevational front view of the equipment, according to the invention, in the configuration of FIGS. 6 and 7;
  • FIGS. 9 and 10 show a second configuration of the equipment that is adapted to train mainly the femoral biceps and the relative alternative movement from the rest position to the position of contraction of the muscle as effected by the user;
  • FIGS. 11 and 12 show a further kind of exercise made with the multifunctional equipment, according to the invention, which is suitable in particular for toning up the gluteal muscles and the abdomen;
  • FIGS. 13 and 14 show an exercise for adductor muscles of the legs that is made in the configuration where the push element rotates in a horizontal plane;
  • FIGS. 15 and 16 show the configuration of the equipment that is adapted to provide the muscle that is antagonist to that of FIGS. 13 and 14, i.e. the abductor muscles;
  • FIG. 17 shows a plan view from below of the equipment for showing in detail the position of the movable support unit below the training bench;
  • FIG. 18 shows an elevational side view of the equipment with the user located in the training plane with the movable part at an angle for supporting the back;
  • FIG. 19 shows an elevational side view of an exemplary embodiment of the equipment in which it is possible to adjust the application point of the contrast member;
  • FIG. 20 shows an elevational side view of the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 19 that depicts the movable connection between the contrast member and the support element;
  • FIGS. 20 a and 20B show a diagrammatical view of the apparatus where two different positions of the pivot point of the cylinder with respect to the support element are respectively shown;
  • FIG. 21 shows an enlarged view of FIG. 20 that shows a support sleeve sliding within the support element;
  • FIGS. 22 and 23 show a perspective view, respectively according to a side and a rear view, of an exemplary embodiment of the multifunctional training apparatus that provides the application point of each contrast member that is movable with respect to the respective support element.
  • DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • In FIG. 1, a multifunctional training apparatus 10 for fitness of the lower limb muscles comprises a training bench 1 that is adapted to support a user 30 (visible in Figs. from 6 to 18) in a desired training position. In particular, training bench 1 provides a fixed part 13, which is fixed with respect to a frame 7, and a movable part 12, which is at an angle with respect to the fixed part 13. This way, user 30, according to the training exercise to carry out, can have a correct position pushing on the movable part 12 without activating the muscles of the back, which are normally particularly stressed in this kind of exercises.
  • Apparatus 10 according to the invention includes, furthermore, a movable support unit 20 that can rotate, which is suitable for resisting to a muscular force of a lower limb which is caused by a reciprocating training movement, and a contrast member 3, which is adapted to provide a resistance force against the movement of movable support unit 20. Furthermore, apparatus 10 provides a support element 2 that is adapted to pivotally support movable support unit 20 and contrast member 3. More precisely, support element 2 is mounted integral to training bench 1 and provides a rotatable coupling about an axis 8 that is at an angle with respect to training bench 1 such that movable support unit 20 can rotate from a first substantially vertical position 50 to a second substantially horizontal position 60 (visible, for example, in FIG. 13).
  • This way, by using a single training equipment, training movements are possible of the lower limbs both as reciprocating movements in a vertical plane, and as reciprocating movements in a horizontal plane.
  • In particular, the rotatable coupling about axis 8 is obtained through a fixed pin 4 that is integral to frame 7, which bears support element 2 and, in particular, through a connection portion 5 that works as rotation seat for support element 2 about pin 4.
  • FIG. 2 diagrammatically shows the arrangement and the orientation of pin 4 and of the relative axis 8 with respect to training bench 1. In particular, axis 8 of rotatable coupling between support element 2 and training bench 1 is at an angle according to a first inclination 8′ in a plane parallel to training bench 1 and according to a second inclination 8″ in a plane orthogonal to training bench 1. In particular, first inclination 8′ is set between 80° and 100° (90°±10), preferably between 85° and 95°, in particular between 88° and 92°, whereas second inclination angle 8″ is set between −10° and 10°, preferably between −5° and 5°, in particular between −2° and 2°. More precisely, pin 4 is mounted integral to connection portion 5 that, in the representation of FIG. 1, is shown in two different positions with respect to training bench 1. This way, multifunctional equipment 10 can be adjusted according to the height of user 30 allowing, thus, a correct positioning and a correct exercise.
  • In addition, lock means are provided for locking the rotation 4′ of support element 2 about pin 4 according to a plurality of reference points in order to allow substantially the displacement of support element 2 from the first vertical position 50 to the second horizontal position 60.
  • FIG. 1 shows, also, the contrast member as a cylinder-piston pneumatic device 3 having a cylinder 3″ and a contrast element 3′ that acts within cylinder 3″. In detail, pneumatic device 3 has a first end 3 a that is pivotally connected to support element 2 and a second end 3 b, shown in detail in FIG. 3, belonging to element 3′ and pivotally connected to a transmission disc 6 of movable support unit 20.
  • In particular, FIGS. 3 and 4 show an enlarged view of movable support unit 20, respectively according to elevational front and rear views, which comprises transmission disc 6, for transmitting the reciprocating training movement, that is pivotally connected to support element 2, and a push element 27 (shown, for example, in FIGS. 6 and 7), that is integrally connected to transmission disc 6. Furthermore, transmission disc 6 has a plurality of application points 16 for connecting contrast element 3′. At each application point 16 a specific type of exercise to carry out is associated. In an advantageous way, the plurality of application points 16 is distributed along a circumference that is concentric to transmission disc 6, such that in order to make an extension exercise, the end 3 b of pneumatic device 3 is connected to transmission disc 6 in order to produce a reaction force against an extension movement, whereas for carrying out a bending exercise, the end 3 b of pneumatic device 3 is connected to transmission disc 6 in order to produce a reaction force against a bending movement.
  • More precisely, rectilinear contrast element 3′ is connected to transmission disc 6, at one of application points 16, through mutual engagement means 21 that are depicted, in the present exemplary embodiment, with a protruding bolt 17, which engages with a hole 16 that represents the application point. Furthermore, as shown always in FIGS. 3 and 4, a handgrip 15 is provided that allows the user to adjust its connection point with transmission disc 6. In an example constrictive, protruding bolt 17 is biased by a spring (not shown) in a way such that, in use, it cannot come out from the hole 16. As a result, a user by engagement means 21 can simply and quickly move from a training configuration to another training configuration, thus reducing the loss of training time that are typical of the known multifunctional equipment. Another embodiment that is alternative to this exemplary embodiment is shown in Figs. from 19 to 23, as described below.
  • In addition, as shown in FIGS. 13 and 14, the multifunctional training apparatus 10 provides two mirror-like multifunctional units, which are arranged symmetrically at opposite sides with respect to training bench 1, each having a movable support unit 20, a contrast member 3 and a support element 2. In particular, contrast members 3 are pneumatic cylinders 3.
  • This way, a training exercise can be effected by moving the lower limbs either contemporaneously or alternatively. In the former case the compression of the cylinders 3 is simultaneous, then the available volume, for example the volume of an air circuit, is low and pressure increases coherently with the reduction of volume. In the latter case, the two cylinders 3 are compressed alternatively, and each cylinder 3 can act as reservoir for the other cylinder. The volume of the air circuit is then less reduced than the previous case and therefore the pressure rises less. For this reason, in this case an action of contrast of the cylinders is less strong. In view of this difference, the athlete 30 can start the exercise in the first mode, i.e. moving the legs contemporaneously, until the tiredness arises. At that point, without stopping the exercise, the athlete can continue with the second mode, i.e. with the alternate movement, where the action of contrast is much lighter. The exercise of decreasing the training load is a very effective technique especially for losing weight or increasing muscle tone and resistance.
  • FIG. 5 shows an elevational side view of multifunctional equipment 10 where the relative position of pin 4 with respect to support 2 is depicted. The main object of this arrangement is to allow turning from a configuration 50, where push element 27 rotates according to a vertical plane, in order to carry out exercises such as “Leg Extension” and “Leg Curl”, to a configuration 60, where push element 27 rotates according to a horizontal plane, used for training the adductor muscles and abductor muscles of the legs. In addition, in this representation a rod 19 is visible that is adapted to support movable part 12 of training bench 1 in inclined position.
  • With reference to the components of multifunctional equipment 10, as shown in FIG. 5, push element 27 has a movable support portion 25 that is adapted to move from a positioning configuration (not shown), where user 30 is not obstructed in positioning on the training bench, to a training configuration, where user 30 can carry out a desired training exercise. In particular, push element 27 is completely integral to transmission disc 6 and comprises a support arm 24 that is integral to one end of transmission disc 6, at whose other end movable support portion 25 is present, which is capable of moving from the training configuration to the positioning configuration and remains in a plane substantially orthogonal to support arm 24.
  • With reference to Figs. from 6 to 16 a variety of types of exercise for the lower limbs is diagrammatically shown, that can be carried out through the multifunctional equipment 10, according to the invention.
  • FIG. 6 shows a configuration of multifunctional equipment 10 for an exercise that is adapted to reinforce the femoral quadriceps muscles. In position 32 the exercise is started, where user 30 sitting on surface 1 with the lower part of the leg, more precisely the zone about the ankle, that contacts arm 25 of push element 27. From this starting position, by an extension 31 user 30 applies a force muscle that can cause element 27 to rotate up to reach a position 33, visible in FIG. 7, where the leg is substantially parallel to the surface of training bench 1. The alternated movement of this exercise is shown from position 32 to position 33 that is caused by extension movement 31, in which contrast element 3′ opposes a resistance against movement 31 of user 30. Similarly, a back stroke, i.e. a movement from actual position 33 to position 32, is contrasted by the pneumatic force of contrast member 3. The training exercise can, furthermore, be carried out by alternating the two limbs. In this case, the resistance that is offered by pneumatic contrast member is reduced and is useful, for example, for a step of loosening the muscles while training.
  • FIG. 8 shows an elevational front view of multifunctional equipment 10, where user 30 is in the rest position 32, of FIG. 6, and depicts the optimal position of a single multifunctional unit with respect to training bench 1. Furthermore, in FIG. 8 the particular shape of support element 2 is shown. In fact, the latter comprises a first rectilinear portion 2′ and a second rectilinear portion 2″ and a connection portion 2′″ (visible in FIG. 18) that connects the rectilinear portions in a way that is suitable to form a determined angle between first rectilinear portion 2′ and the second rectilinear portion 2″. A more explicative view of this structural part is shown in FIG. 18 and it described below.
  • In particular, the angle is set between 20° and 30°, advantageously between 15° and 18°, preferably between 10° and 12°. Furthermore, first rectilinear portion 2′ of support element 2 is at an angle with respect to axis 8 of pin 4, according to an angle set between 3° and 15°, preferably between 5° and 10°, in particular between 7° and 9°;
  • FIG. 9 shows the training configuration for training the femoral biceps muscle. In this case, user 30 lays on training bench 1 in an extended position, with the head oriented towards below. The lower limbs in the rest position 33′ are put against push element 25, like in the previous case, in the zone of the ankle. However, in this case, the foot is oriented in the opposite direction. In the execution of a bending movement 35, as visible in FIG. 10, the leg rotates about the knee articulation and brings push element 27 in the final position 34. When movement 35 is effected in an opposite direction, the muscle is brought to a not contracted position, contrasting also in this case the pneumatic force of the back stroke of contrast member 3.
  • FIG. 11 depicts, instead, another type of training exercise that I made according to rotation plane 50. This type of movement stimulates the gluteal muscle as well as the abdominal muscles. The training exercise provides user 30 in an extended position 36 on training bench 1, while carrying inside part of the leg, at the knee, to contact with the push element 25. In a moving extension 37 the leg moves to position 38 substantially parallel to the plane of training bench 1. As shown in FIGS. 11 and 12 rectilinear contrast member 3′ reacts against this movement, by contracting and rotating about support 2.
  • FIGS. 13 and 14 show a top plan view of multifunctional equipment 10, in configuration 60, where unit 20 rotates according an horizontal plane of action and both multifunctional units are located below training bench 1. In this configuration two training exercises are possible for antagonist muscles of the leg, such as the adductor muscles and the abductor muscles.
  • In particular, FIGS. 13 and 14 show the configuration for training the adductor muscles according to a bending movement 39, where user 30, in the sitting position as visible laterally in FIG. 18, brings the external part of the thigh against push element 27 as a starting position 41. By carrying out movement 39, biased by contrast member 3, user 30 achieves a position 42 where the legs are substantially parallel to each other. The contrast effect is present also at releasing the muscles, i.e. in the back movement to starting position 41.
  • Vice-versa, in FIGS. 15 and 16, multifunctional equipment 10 and, in particular, the contrast member 3, contrast a bending movement 40 such that the user in the starting position 43 reaches contracted position 44 biased by the pneumatic force. Even in this case, the step of releasing completes the alternated training exercise.
  • FIG. 17 shows a plan view from below of the multifunctional equipment 10 where the position of movable support unit 20 below training bench 1 is shown. Clearly, this position is particularly advantageous when the instrument is stored in household spaces, when it is not used. In fact, the total encumbrance of multifunctional equipment 10 is reduced remarkably with respect to configuration 50 (visible in FIG. 5) where the movable support unit is located in a vertical plane.
  • In FIG. 18 a side view of is shown multifunctional equipment 10 in movement configuration 60, where the movable part 12 of training bench 1 is at an angle by rod 19, in a position suitable for supporting the back during exercises to adductor muscles or abductor muscles described previously.
  • Furthermore, the structure of support element 2 is graphically visible, with first portion 2′ that is connected by a connection portion 2″ to second portion 2″. This feature allows the rotation from vertical position 50 to horizontal position 60, as well as a correct arrangement of the two multifunctional units with respect to training bench 1.
  • A relevant feature of the present multifunctional training apparatus 10 is to allow, as previously described, a training exercise of the limbs both contemporaneously and alternately. This function achieved by the pneumatic connection between the two contrast members 3 that allows user 30 to carry out, after all types of training exercise, a loosening action without adjusting the load but only carrying out an alternated movement of the limbs. Such an aspect is not present in the known apparatus that need, instead, an interruption of the training exercise and starting again after setting the machine with a lower load.
  • In an exemplary embodiment of the invention, as shown in Figs. from 19 to 23 each cylinder 3 has the first end 3 a that is pivotally connected to an extension element 9′ C—as a sleeve that is slidingly engaged in support element 2.
  • In particular, extension element 9′ can slide with respect to support element 2 between a first position A (FIG. 20A), where the first end of the cylinder 3 a is farthest from transmission disc 6, and a second position B (FIG. 20B), where the first end 3 a of cylinder 3 is nearest to transmission disc 6.
  • As shown in detail in FIG. 20 for blocking extension element 9′ with respect to support element 2 in the first and second position, as well as in intermediate positions, a bolt 11′ is provided that engages with respective holes 11 that are made correspondingly in extension sleeve 9′ and in support element 2, to allow locking the sliding movements in the first to and second position B and in the intermediate positions. In particular, bolt 11′ has an end that can be easily gripped by the user, for example having the shape of a ring or of a key.
  • Furthermore, to avoid a detachment of extension sleeve 9′ from support element 2 an elongated guiding hole 9 is provided that is integral to support element 2 and in which the rotatable connection pin or pivot 3 a slides between the first end of cylinder 3 and extension sleeve 9′. This way, by causing the extension sleeve to slide 9′ within support element 2, it is possible to translate application point 3 a of cylinder 3 with respect to support element 2, thus avoiding the need of disconnecting the end 3 b of the pneumatic cylinder 3 from transmission disc 6. In a similar way, like in the previous exemplary embodiment, by displacing the application point of the cylinder, i.e. point 3 a, transmission disc 6 can be arranged in the correct and predetermined positions for each single training exercise. This solution allows, furthermore, adjusting the starting position of the training exercise.
  • In particular, the rotation of transmission disc 6, in the direction of arrow 201 as shown in FIG. 19, is prevented by the impossibility of cylinder 3 of elongating further, since it has already reached an end stop in extension. In order to allow the above described rotation, it is necessary to let rotation pin of cylinder 3 a in the direction of arrow 200, within the elongated guiding hole 9. This is possible once ring nut 11′ has been removed.
  • In detail, with reference to FIGS. 20A and 20B the movement of rotation disc 6 from the first position A to the second position B is allowed since a dead point is passed allowing end 3 b of cylinder 3 to move from a configuration C, where it is located in a lower position of transmission disc 6, to a configuration D, where it is located in an upper portion of transmission disc 6.
  • FIGS. 22 and 23 show a multifunctional training bench in the latter exemplary embodiment, in which it is possible to displace independently, for each cylinder 3, the application point 3 a to support element 2.
  • The foregoing description of a specific embodiment will so fully reveal the invention according to the conceptual point of view, so that others, by applying current knowledge, will be able to modify and/or adapt for various applications such an embodiment without further research and without parting from the invention, and it is therefore to be understood that such adaptations and modifications will have to be considered as equivalent to the specific embodiment. The means and the materials to realise the different functions described herein could have a different nature without, for this reason, departing from the field of the invention. It is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.

Claims (13)

1. A multifunctional training apparatus for the lower limb muscles comprising:
a training bench, said training bench having a training surface that is adapted to support a user in a desired training position
a movable support unit for supporting a lower limb and for moving responsive to a muscular force that is caused by a reciprocating training movement of said limb;
a contrast member that is associated to said movable support unit and that is adapted to provide a resistance force against the movement of said movable support unit;
a support element that is adapted to pivotally support said movable support unit with respect to said bench;
characterised in that said support element is mounted on said training bench by a rotatable coupling that can rotate about an inclined axis which is at an angle with respect to said training bench such that said movable support unit can rotate from a first substantially vertical position to a second substantially horizontal position.
2. A multifunctional training apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said inclined axis of the rotatable coupling between said support element and said training bench is at an angle according to a combined inclination angle consisting of a first inclination angle arranged in a plane parallel to said training bench and a second inclination angle arranged in a plane orthogonal to said training bench, in particular said first and second inclination angles are obtained from a fixed pin that is integral to a frame of said training bench, wherein said fixed pin has an inclined axis which is at an angle with respect to said frame and is a rotation pivot for said support element about said inclined axis.
3. A multifunctional training apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein lock means are provided for locking the rotation of said support element on said fixed pin according to a plurality of reference points, in particular said reference points allow to move said support element from said first substantially vertical position to said second substantially horizontal position.
4. A multifunctional training apparatus, according to claim 2, wherein said first inclination angle is set between 80° and 100°, preferably between 85° and 95°, in particular between 88° and 92°; whereas said second inclination angle is set between −10° and 10°, preferably between −5° and 5°, in particular between −2° and 2°.
5. A multifunctional training apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said multifunctional training apparatus provides two mirror-like multifunctional units, which are arranged symmetrically at opposite sides of said training bench, each having said movable support unit, said contrast member and said support element, in particular said contrast member are connected pneumatically to each other.
6. A multifunctional training apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said support element comprises a first and a second rectilinear portions and a connection portion that connects said rectilinear portions, in a way that is suitable to form a determined angle set between said first rectilinear portion and said second rectilinear portion, in particular said angle is set between 20° and 30°, preferably between 15° and 18°, in particular between 10° and 12°.
7. A multifunctional training apparatus, according to claim 2, wherein said first rectilinear portion of said support element is at an angle with respect to the axis of said fixed pin according to an angle set between 3° and 15°, preferably between 5° and 10°, in particular between 7° and 9°.
8. A multifunctional training apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said movable support unit comprises:
a transmission disc for transmitting said reciprocating training movement that is pivotally connected to said support element;
a push element integrally connected to said transmission disc;
a plurality of application points for said contrast member arranged on said transmission disc.
9. A multifunctional training apparatus, according to claim 8, wherein said push element has a movable support portion that is adapted to move from a positioning configuration, where the user is not obstructed in positioning on said training bench, to a training configuration, where the user can carry out the desired training exercise, said push element being completely integral to said transmission disc, and, in particular, said push element comprises a support arm that is integral to one end to said transmission disc at whose other end said movable support portion is present, which is capable of moving from said training configuration to said positioning configuration and remains in a plane substantially orthogonal to said support arm.
10. A multifunctional training apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said contrast member comprises a rectilinear contrast element having a first end that is pivotally connected to said support element and a second end that is pivotally connected to said transmission disc at a determined application point, in particular said rectilinear contrast element is connected through mutual engagement means with said transmission disc, at said application point.
11. A multifunctional training apparatus, according to claim 1, wherein said contrast member has a first end that is pivotally connected to an extension element that is slidingly engaged with said support element, in particular said extension element can slide with respect to said support element between a first position, where said first end of the contrast member is farthest from said transmission disc and a second position, where said first end of the contrast member is nearest to said transmission disc.
12. A multifunctional training apparatus, according to claim 11, wherein lock means are provided for locking the extension element with respect to said support element in said first and second position, as well as in intermediate positions.
13. A multifunctional training apparatus, according to claim 11, wherein said extension element is an extension sleeve that slides in the support element and the lock means consists of a bolt that engages respective holes correspondingly in said extension sleeve and in said support element, to allow locking sliding movements in the first and second position and in the intermediate positions.
US13/055,238 2008-07-24 2009-07-24 Multifunctional training apparatus for the lower limb muscles Abandoned US20110263389A1 (en)

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ITPI2008A000068A IT1390763B1 (en) 2008-07-24 2008-07-24 multifunctional fitness equipment leg muscles
PCT/IB2009/006362 WO2010010459A2 (en) 2008-07-24 2009-07-24 Multifunctional training apparatus for the lower limb muscles

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WO2016105506A1 (en) * 2014-12-24 2016-06-30 Hoist Fitness Systems, Inc. Leg curl exercise machine including a moving support for performing prone leg curl exercises
US9884221B2 (en) * 2016-03-13 2018-02-06 Healthy U Personal Training, Inc. Exercise bench with enhancements that allow the obese, elderly, and physically challenged to participate in exercises performed on a conventional exercise bench
US10226665B2 (en) 2017-05-12 2019-03-12 Kormel, LLC Exercise apparatus for performing a gluteal bridge movement

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WO2016105506A1 (en) * 2014-12-24 2016-06-30 Hoist Fitness Systems, Inc. Leg curl exercise machine including a moving support for performing prone leg curl exercises
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WO2010010459A2 (en) 2010-01-28
ITPI20080068A1 (en) 2010-01-25
EP2313164B1 (en) 2012-05-09
WO2010010459A3 (en) 2010-06-10
EP2313164A2 (en) 2011-04-27
AT556747T (en) 2012-05-15
IT1390763B1 (en) 2011-09-23

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