Patent application title: TREADMILL APPARATUS
Joseph D Maresh (West Linn, OR, US)
IPC8 Class: AA63B2202FI
Class name: Exercise devices involving user translation or physical simulation thereof treadmill for foot travel
Publication date: 2011-11-17
Patent application number: 20110281692
An apparatus comprising a rigid member movably supported overhead of a
user wherein the rigid member has guiding arrangement for guiding a
handle of the rigid member through a path having a vertical component,
and wherein said handle has a biasing arrangement for biasing the handle
toward an upper end of the path.
1. An apparatus adapted for use with a treadmill for exercising a user's
upper body while simultaneously reducing the level of exercise exertion
of the user's lower body, comprising: a frame designed to rest upon a
floor surface positionable about the treadmill, at least one stanchion
rigidly connected to said frame and extending upwardly therefrom, at
least one boom rigidly secured to an upper end of said stanchion, said
boom extending in a substantially horizontal direction above the user and
substantially parallel to the floor surface, a handle connected to a
distal end of said boom in substantial vertical alignment with the user,
and biasing means for resisting a downward user applied force to said
2. A method of exercising a user's upper body while simultaneously reducing the level of exercise exertion of the user's lower body while walking on a treadmill, comprising the steps of: a) providing a frame designed to rest upon a floor surface; b) mounting an upwardly extending stanchion on said frame; c) fixedly securing a horizontally extending boom to an upper end of said stanchion; d) connecting a gripping bar to a distal end of said boom, wherein said gripping bar is supported in substantial vertical alignment above a user walking on the treadmill; e) moving said at least one handle through a predetermined path having a vertical component in response to a user applied force to said at least one handle; and f) biasing said at least one handle for resisting a downward user applied force to said handle.
3. The method of claim 2 further comprising the step of vertically adjusting said stanchion to accommodate the height of a user.
4. The method of claim 2 further comprising the step of positioning said frame about a treadmill designed to rest upon a floor surface, said treadmill including a movable walking surface for a user to walk upon.
5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said handle is movable through a predetermined path having a vertical component.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
 The application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/713,923, filed Mar. 5, 2007, and claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/779,656, filed Mar. 6, 2006, which application is incorporated herein by reference.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The following invention pertains to exercise equipment, and more specifically to treadmill apparatus which enables the user to exercise the upper body while simultaneously reducing the level of exercise exertion of the lower body.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 The apparatus herein described enables a treadmill user to grasp a rigid member, such as a bar, and exert a force in a generally downward direction, thus exercising bicep, clavicle, deltoid, pectoralis, brachialis, brachioradialis, and other body muscles. The rigid member (bar) may be restrained to some degree in the transverse and longitudinal directions with respect to the treadmill, wherein the longitudinal direction corresponds with the front/rear, and transverse corresponds to a side to side direction.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 One of the benefits in utilizing the present invention while simultaneously walking on a treadmill is that the user would be able to have a direct influence on, or effect a change, in the portions of the body that the user wishes to exercise. Furthermore, the user is enabled to reduce spine weight and fatigue at the lower body while the upper body is anxious to exert itself. In such a manner, the constraints imposed at the handle bar allow, for example, the user to grasp said bar, perform a "lat pull-down", or some form of a lat pull-down, with or without the handle bar(s) being in motion. The dynamics thus available enable the user to perform a wide variety of exercises new in the art. Additionally, an inherent advantage, particularly when walking on a moving surface, is that while grasping the hand grips the user has an instant non visual sense of the user's relative position upon the treadmill belted region, primarily with regard to lateral restraints imposed on said bar. Also to be noted is that the right and left portions of the body may be exercised dependently or independently. For example, a user with an injured foot, ankle, or leg would nevertheless be able to exercise on a treadmill because of the potential to reduce weight at all, or at a specific region, of the lower body, whereas with prior art such a user had only limited types of exercise equipment suitable to use when in such a physical condition. The prior art does not disclose the novel features of the invention disclosed herein.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment shown with a user and a typical treadmill.
 FIG. 2 is another perspective view of the first embodiment shown with a user and a typical treadmill.
 FIG. 3 is another perspective view of the first embodiment, however the user and the treadmill is omitted. The reader will note that the present invention may be used without a treadmill.
 FIG. 4 is a side view of the first embodiment shown with a user and a typical treadmill.
 FIG. 5 is a top view of the first embodiment shown with a user and a typical treadmill.
 FIG. 6 is a back view of the first embodiment shown without a user, and without a typical treadmill.
 FIG. 7 is a zoomed fragmentary perspective view of a portion of the mechanism of the first embodiment.
 FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a second embodiment shown with a user and a typical treadmill.
 FIG. 9 is another perspective view of the second embodiment shown with a typical treadmill.
 FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a third embodiment shown with a user and a typical treadmill.
 FIG. 11 is another perspective view of the third embodiment shown with a typical treadmill.
 FIG. 12 is another perspective view of the third embodiment shown with a user and a typical treadmill.
 FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a fourth third embodiment shown with a user and a typical treadmill.
 FIG. 14 is another perspective view of the fourth embodiment shown with a user and a typical treadmill.
 FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a fifth embodiment.
 FIG. 16 is a perspective view of a sixth embodiment.
 FIG. 17 is a perspective view of a seventh embodiment.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 Referring to the figures, and first to the first embodiment shown in FIG. 1 through FIG. 7, the apparatus is shown being used in conjunction with treadmill 50. Right and left frame portions 110 of this first embodiment may be adjusted to accommodate a wide range of treadmill widths available on the market today. Specifically, this embodiment is designed to accommodate treadmills that range in widths from 30-44 inches wide (W100 shown in FIG. 3).
 While walking on the treadmill, the operable interface with the user occurs at handgrips which are normally biased up or alternatively fixedly secured, such that the user may reach up to head level or above, and subsequently grasp and pull either of the hand grips and exert downward force at the handgrip in a manner which in some respects may provide for the exercise activity known as lat pull-downs'. However, because of the optional independent, right versus left action possible, and furthermore because motion may also be initiated at the hand grips themselves, the analogy of "lat pull-down" form of exercise is not entirely accurate. More will be discussed about this later.
 Continuing with FIG. 1, handgrips 170 are secured to handle bar 160, and upon loosening knob 159, the handle bar 171 will telescope in or out of handle bar receiver tube 150 when making adjustments to accommodate the different sizes of users and/or longitudinal dimensions of treadmills. Handle bar receiver tube 150 is secured to socket 160, wherein socket 160 is rotatably connected to the machine frame stanchion 180 about axis D100 at bearing pairs 165 and 166, and wherein socket 160 is connected to resistance element(s) of this embodiment. In order to accommodate different heights of users, or alternatively to define a particular form of exercise, an adjustment of circumferential nature is provided between said handle bar receiver tube 150 and said socket 160. In order to facilitate such adjustment, threaded bolt having knob 158 may be loosened, followed by lifting spring 163 (FIG. 7) loaded pin 155 radially outward, adjusting handle bar receiver tube 150 by moving hand grip in a circumferential direction relative to axis D100, allowing spring loaded pin 155 to bias radially inward and lock said receiver tube 150 to said socket 160, and then finally tightening knob 158. Socket 160 has internal splines, or in this instance, a female square receiver tube which cooperates with a smaller male square tube of rocker 140 in a telescoping manner while the exercise machine is set up and adjusted to accommodate different treadmill widths. Tightening of hex bolts 169 fixes the machine width constant. Rocker 140 is rigidly connected to said male square tube as a weldment, or other means, such that transmission of force from the user may be transmitted to the resistance element, or in this instance, weight member 120.
 In this embodiment, intermediate between said rocker 140 and said weight member 120 is connector member 130. An upper distal end of connector member 130 is rotatably connected to rocker 140 about axis C100; and a lower distal end of connector member 130 is rotatably connected to weight member 120 about axis B100. Weight member 120 is rotatably connected to the machine frame 110 about axis A100, wherein weight member 120 is normally down at rest against stop pad 122. Shocks are optional and in this embodiment allow controlled ascent of the handlebars. This speed of ascent of the handgrips 170 may be constant velocity damper control or force dependent damper control. Continuing now, a lower end of shock 125 is rotatably connected to the machine frame 110 at axis F100, and an upper end of shock 122 is rotatably connected to said weight member 120 at axis E100. Generally, the weight member will seldom be required to have an angular range of motion beyond 40 degrees, which corresponds coincidentally to approximately 40 inches of hand grip 170 travel. Typically, 10 inches or so of hand grip 170 motion perhaps is all that is most commonly desirable. Continuing now, the transverse distance between right and left weight member 120 is determined when the machine is set up and the frame 110 width is established. In addition to the telescopic relationship which exists for this purpose between socket 160 and rocker 140, telescopic elements 112 and 182 also exist to permit adjustment of the machine frame width.
 While exercising in the independent mode, interesting forms of exercise are possible of an asymmetrical nature. Additionally, while exercising in the dependent mode, completely different forms of exercise are possible, including those which involve the user lifting one's self off of the treadmill belted surface. In order to switch to dependent mode, the user aligns both right and left female square receiver tubes 162 and 161 respectively, of sockets 160, and inserts synchronization lock key 195. In this embodiment, the weight load may be modified by changing the weight stack 115. The amount of weight present at each side of the machine corresponds approximately to a one to one ratio (1:1) with the upward resistive force present at the hand grips 170. For example, if 200 pounds are installed in each weight basket, a 400 pound user could perform a lat pull-down without the weight member 120 being lifted. Continuing now, when changing individual weight plates, retaining pins 117 and 118 may be withdrawn and reinserted in this process. If the user intends to use the full range of motion, employment of the retaining pins is suggested, if however the user only intends to use approximately 10 inches of hand grip motion, then the retaining pins 117 and 118 are not necessary. Other variations in weight load securement may be suitable and in some instances preferable. Also to be considered is to provide means to limit the range of motion of the hand grips 170 upon contact with un-illustrated stops and the like. In this regard, the range of motion of the hand grips 170 may be reduced to zero.
 Directing attention now to the second embodiment shown in FIG. 8 and FIG. 9, the mechanism is shown situated proximate treadmill 50 and having a central weight load 215 which exerts resistance to a dependent form of hand grip 270 motion. Handle bar 270 is adjusted telescopically relative to handle bar receiving member 250, wherein handle bar 250 is rotatably secured to machine frame 210 about axis A200. Rocker 251 is rigidly connected to handle bar 250. Pulleys 220 are rotatably connected to the machine frame 210 about axes B200 and C200. A first end of cable 216 is connected to said weight load 215, and a second end of said cable 216 is connected to a lower distal end of said rocker 251 at connection 217. Intermediate said cable 216 ends said cable 216 is routed around said pulleys 220. Adjustment of handle bar 250 relative to rocker 251 is accomplished upon removal, adjustment, and subsequent insertion of pin 234 into holes 233 of holey yoke 230, wherein said pin 234 engages both said handle bar 250 and said holey yoke 230.
 Referring now to the third embodiment shown in FIG. 10, FIG. 11, and FIG. 12, a mechanism is shown which allows the user to alter the position of the handle bar 360 pivot axis B300. Frame 310 rigidly secures stanchion 312, wherein adjustable support member 340 may be pivoted about axis A300, and subsequently locked in place with unillustrated elements. Resistance to motion of hand grips 370 is provided by torsion springs 376. The magnitude of the resisting torsion spring 376 may be adjusted as desired by using a spanner wrench, for example, at spring hub 372, and locking said hub with hex nut 374. In order to accommodate different treadmills 50 and/or different user leverage against said torsion spring 376, handle bar 360 may be telescoped in or out of handle bar receiver member 350 upon loosening, adjusting, and subsequently tightening lock bolt 359. Referring specifically to FIG. 10, the handgrips are generally constrained to travel vertically. Referring to FIG. 11, the handgrips are constrained to travel both longitudinally and vertically. Referring to FIG. 12, the adjustable support members 340 have been established in a non parallel relationship, and thus the hand grips 370 are independent and also able to move in distinct circumferential arcs when viewed from the machine side, thus exhibiting additional characteristics of asymmetrical operation.
 Direction attention now to the fourth embodiment shown in FIG. 13 and FIG. 14, treadmill 51 has display console secured at tubular member 52. Stanchion 412 is rigidly secured to frame 410. An upper portion of said stanchion 412 rigidly secures horizontal grab bar 471 and cross beam 460. Sway bar 469 is pivotally secured to cross beam 460 about axis B400. Handle bar 470 is rotatably secured to sway bar 469 about axis A400. Typically, when the user grasps and manipulates handle bar 470 during treadmill activity, the dual axes of A400 and B400 perform in combination to simulate geometry which exhibits characteristics in which the user would sense the presence of qualities of caster. Caster is a design condition that serves to cause the handle bar 470 to want to track straight rearward as longitudinal rearward forces are exerted against said handle bar 470. In the event this effect is desired to be enhanced such that downward vertical forces at the handle bar 470 also tend to cause transverse self centering of axis A400 relative to the treadmill 51 belted walking surface, then an inclined kingpin may be introduced wherein either or both axes A400 and B400 are non vertical, and generally inclined upwardly and rearwardly. This aspect, as noted earlier, gives the user a sense of being centrally located on the treadmill belt, while still having the flexibility of performing a wide variety of upper body exercises. Additionally, having a vertical axis that cooperates with a central region of the handle bar 470 enables the user to change direction readily by initiating a 180 degree spin, and walk backward for example, while grasping said handle bar 470, if it is desired to exercise a different combination of lower body muscles.
 Directing attention now to a fifth embodiment shown FIG. 15, frame 512 rigidly secures stanchion 514. Vertical extension 513 may be adjusted in height and secured when using a combination of un-illustrated pin(s) and hole(s). Alternatively, a simple coil compression spring, a gas spring, or a spring damper 515 having a lower end connected at pin 531 and an upper end connected to pin 532, may be employed such that vertical movement of vertical extension 513 is possible while being biased upwardly. Boom 511 is rigidly attached to vertical extension 513. Handle bar 570 is rotatably connected to boom 511 about axis A500. Axis A500 may be vertically orientated, or may be inclined upwardly and rearwardly in order to introduce the inherent advantages discussed earlier of a self centering handle bar 570. Furthermore, the handle bar 570 may be optionally configured in a circuitous route such that the effect of an inclined axis A500 is thereby amplified.
 Referring now to the sixth embodiment shown in FIG. 16, a collapsible treadmill apparatus is shown which may be readily stored into a low profile during periods of inactivity. Frame 612 rotatably secures side props 620 about axis A600. Upper distal ends of said side props 620 are rotatably connected to adjustable stanchion 645 at axis B600. The adjustable stanchion 645 has a lower distal boss 660 which engages any one of a plurality of angular slots 650 while establishing the preferred height of handle bar 670. When collapsed for storage, said bosses 660 are disengaged from said slots 650, and the stanchion 645 is collapsed parallel against frame 612.
 Referring finally now to a seventh embodiment shown in FIG. 17, frame 712 rotatably secures a lower distal end of prop 720 about axis A700, and an upper distal end of prop 720 is rotatably secured to adjustable stanchion 745 about axis B700. When adjusting the handle bar 770 for height, rotation of knob 785 causes boss 760 to move fore and aft along linear race 790. With the threaded means illustrated, a threaded swivel joint having an axis coincident with axis C700 cooperates with said boss 760 and said linear race 790 while adjusting or collapsing the mechanism for operation or storage.
 In conclusion, a few general comments are in order and may pertain to one or more embodiments of this invention:
 1] Portions of the machine, such as any pivot joint (or joint connected to the machine frame), and/or any cable pulley, may be moved as desired in any direction in order to allow the operator to alter the specific exercise.
 2] Remote control electric and/or mechanical actuators may be utilized such as solenoids, servo motors, and/or hydraulic and/or pneumatic components, elastic bands, or other means without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Furthermore, a user interface device may be mounted at the console, and a switch provided within reach of a person applying force against the handle bar. Additionally, the user may make the exercise arm strokes longer or shorter, at different resistance levels, simply by communicating with a circuit, or pushing a button or effecting a switch. In this instance, the hand grips or handle bar of this treadmill apparatus may exhibit programmable and/or interactive force and motion characteristics with the user.
 3] In the embodiments which provide movable hand grips or handle bars and wherein pivotal members are present, a remote flywheel may connected to such movable members for purpose of inertia by means of sprag or one-way clutches and the like, in order to provide a cyclic rhythm of the users arm motion. Alternatively, an electric motor may or may not be used in substitution to, or in conjunction with said movable members.
 4] The user may face any direction and may use this mechanism with or without a treadmill, or while on other categories of exercise equipment machines such as skiers or elliptical machines.
 Thus, improved mechanisms are shown which provides the operator with motion and force characteristics new in the art. While preferred embodiments of these inventions have been shown and described, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications can be made in these embodiments without departing from the principles and spirit of the invention.
Patent applications by Joseph D Maresh, West Linn, OR US
Patent applications in class Treadmill for foot travel
Patent applications in all subclasses Treadmill for foot travel