Patent application title: Exercise Device
Jonathan Farrow (Austin, TX, US)
Benjamin Edward Feltner (Austin, TX, US)
IPC8 Class: AA63B2102FI
Class name: Exercise devices user manipulated force resisting apparatus, component thereof, or accessory therefor utilizing inertial force resistance
Publication date: 2012-03-29
Patent application number: 20120077648
An exercise device having a longitudinal tensioner having a first and
second end, a elastomeric member having a first and second end disposed
around said longitudinal tensioner along a portion of the length of said
tensioner, weighted members operably connected to said tensioner at said
first and second ends and a handle circumferentially disposed about said
longitudinal member substantially equidistantly spaced between said
weighted members. The tensioner may be surrounded by an ribbed
cylindrical portion and have weighted members covered in compressible
1. An exercise device comprising: An longitudinal tensioner having a
first and second end; A elastomeric member having a first and second end
disposed around said longitudinal tensioner along a portion of the length
of said tensioner; Weighted members operably connected to said tensioner
at said first and second ends; and A handle circumferentially disposed
about said longitudinal member substantially equidistantly spaced between
said weighted members.
2. The exercise device of claim 1, wherein the longitudinal member is generally cylindrical.
3. The exercise device of claim 1, wherein the elastomeric member is comprised of flexible ribbed sections.
4. The exercise device of claim 1, wherein the weighted members are generally round and formed to include an indentation to allow for a member to affix to said tensioner member.
5. The exercise device of claim 3, wherein the weighted members comprise a compressible material.
6. The exercise device of claim 1, wherein the tensioner member extends to approximately three times the length of the handle.
7. An exercise device comprising: An longitudinal spring having a first and second end; A elastomeric member having a first and second end disposed around said spring along a portion of the length of said spring; Weighted members fixedly attached to said first and second ends of said spring; and A handle circumferentially disposed about said spring substantially equidistantly spaced between said weighted members.
8. The exercise device of claim 7 wherein said elastomeric member is comprised of ribbed sections.
9. The exercise device of claim 7 wherein the weighted members comprise a compressible material.
10. A method for exercising a human appendage comprising: Grasping a device having one or more flexible extensions situated about a central pivot Lifting said device via a handle on said device; and Flexing one or more muscles via moving said device to dispose a moment about one or more muscles via one or more said extensions.
11. The method of claim 7 wherein the one or more extensions are weighted.
12. The method of claim 7 wherein the grasping device is an elastomeric longitudinal member.
13. The method of claim 7 wherein the grasping device is a generally longitudinal.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 This application claims Priority to: U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/386,563, filed 27 Sep. 2010, titled "Handheld Exercise Device" and is incorporated by reference herein.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 1. Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates to Exercise Equipment. In particular, the present invention relates to a handheld exercise bar with flexible ends that may be used by a human appendage.
 2. Description of Related Art
 Since the beginning of time, mankind has experienced a wide variety of ailments that affect the body. From joint pain to fatigue to a lack of flexibility; almost all of these problems can be fixed through simple exercises. Various exercise programs have been developed over the years, many of which employ stretching techniques and others which use accessories in combinations.
 Numerous accessories have been developed to assist in exercises. Some of these accessories include both freestanding weights, while others include intricate mechanical components which require regular maintenance. Those components which require maintenance can from time to time break down. Exercise equipment has certainly improved over the last few years.
 Yet, despite the fervor over various types of exercises, the endless amounts of money expended in investing in exercise regimes and exercise equipment, none so far have been able to sufficiently exercise various muscles. Overall, there has been a general lack of stimulation of the hand, arm, and finger muscles. Numerous devices have been made to improve grip strength along with various muscles affecting the human appendages. However, these devices are often bulky and/or complex, such that they require continued maintenance. Thus there exists a need for a relatively simple piece of exercise equipment that can sufficiently exercise multiple parts of the body through interactive movement of extensions attached to a handheld bar.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 The novel features believed to be characteristic of the invention are set forth in the appended claims. However, the invention itself, as well as a preferred mode of use and further objectives and advantages thereof, will best be understood by reference to the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
 FIG. 1 illustrates a cross sectional view of an exercise device according to a preferred embodiment of the invention.
 FIG. 2 illustrates a plan view of an exercise device according to a preferred embodiment of the invention.
 FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of an exercise device according to a preferred embodiment of the invention
 FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of a weighted member according to a preferred embodiment of the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
 Referring now to the figures, FIG. 1 illustrates exercise device 10. Exercise device 10 includes elastomeric longitudinal members 20, tensioner member 30, weighted members 40a and 40b, and handle 50. Tensioner member 30 has a first end 32 and a second end 34. First end 32 and second end 34 are disposed within and along the length of longitudinal members 20. Weighted members 40a and 40b are operably connected to tensioner member 30 about first end 32 and second end 34. Additionally handle 50, is circumferentially disposed about tensioner member 30. Tensioner member 30 may be of any of a variety of memory type system for creating tension including springs, carbon rods, torsion bars, or other flexible composite or plastic materials. So long as tensioner member 30 is flexible and can freely move about the desired range of motion, it is sufficient for these purposes.
 Elastomeric longitudinal members 20 may be configured in accordion fashion with a series of ribs that flex upon movement of the member. The accordion style configuration permits use of flexible plastics or other composite materials and provides a cover to the tensioner member 30. If tensioner member 30 is composed of a coiled spring, the elastomeric member 20 does not interfere with the full range of motion available in the spring as it flexes-or stretches upon use
 In this particular embodiment, elastomeric longitudinal members 20 serve as a flexible barrier to provide a user protection for his or her hands from tensioner member 30. Preferably, elastomeric longitudinal members 20 are attached to tensioner member 30 in a manner that allows it to remain disposed between each of weighted members 40a and 40b. As weighted members 40a and 40b transition via tensioner member 30, elastomeric longitudinal members 20 remains relatively flexible. Weighted member 40a comprises core 41a fixedly attached to threaded bushing 47 via bolt 48. Core 41a is threaded into tensioner 30 until it is tightly engaged at the end of tensioner 30. As is readily apparent, in a preferred embodiment tensioner 30 has a series of spring coils for reception of threaded bushing 47. Core 41b is similarly attached to tensioner 30.
 Sheath 49 is fixedly attached to tensioner member 30 through any of a variety of conventional Means, including crimping the sheath around the tensioner member for stable engagement. In one embodiment, sheath 49 may be a metal cylinder configured to fit around tensioner 30 which in a preferred embodiment is a coiled spring. Sheath 49 may also be made of a flexible material that is fixedly attached to a more rigid metal sheath. In other embodiments, sheath 49 may be attached with glue or affixed with fasteners. Handle 50 is disposed about sheath 49 and provides a compressible handle positioned between elastomeric longitudinal members 20. Handle 50 is configured for easy engagement by a human hand and for holding the exercise device.
 However, tension member 30 flexes substantially to allow an almost free flow of weighted members 40a and 40b, such that weighted members 40a and 40b can extend towards and almost touch elastomeric longitudinal members 20. Tensioner member 30 not only flexes to allow weighted members 40a and 40b to flex about a lateral direction but also flexes in the longitudinal direction. For example tensioner member 30 can flex such that it extends and contracts in a longitudinal direction. Because tensioner member 30 has memory, it can both partially wind and unwind allowing for the length to expand and contract. The composition of tensioner member 30 to wind and unwind adds to the ability for each of weighted members 40a and 40b to rotate almost freely, relative to elastomeric longitudinal member 20. For example, tensioner member 30 is capable of allowing weighted members 40a and 40b to rotate relative to elastomeric longitudinal member 20 in an almost fixed location. Because weighted members 40a and 40b extend from a sufficient distance from elastomeric longitudinal member 20, the weight of each members provides for a sufficient moment to be established upon minimal movement.
 Weighted members 40a and 40b are comprised of core 41a and 41b respectively which are fixedly attached to tensioner member 30. Flexible covers 43a and 43b are placed around cores 41a and 41b to provide a relatively soft and graspable ball for human use. Weighted members 40a and 40b also provide users with individual exercise capabilities as they can be modified and changed in dimension and mass according to a user's specifications. Weighted members 40a and 40b are preferably comprised of an elastomeric material that allows for compression. Users can perform strength routines by grasping and squeezing each weighted member 40a and 40b and allowing them to compress and redeploy. Additionally users can grasp each of weighted members 40a and 40b individually and perform various exercises. By grasping either weighted member 40a or 40b, the opposing weighted member establishes a significantly greater moment than if exercise device 10 is grasped via the middle at elastomeric longitudinal member 20. Similarly, one can grasp exercise device 10 about either of weighted members 40a or 40b in combination with elastomeric member 20 in order to stabilize exercises performed when a moment is disposed about the opposing weighted member.
 FIG. 2 shows a plan view of exercise device 10 with weighted members 40a and 40b with elastomeric longitudinal member 20 and handle 50. Elastomeric longitudinal member 20 is positioned about the spring or tensioner (not visible) and on each end of the device. The elastomeric member 20 may abut handle 50 to permit free movement of the weighted members upon activation of movement to the handle. FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of exercise device 10.
 FIG. 4 shows a Perspective view of weighted member according to a preferred embodiment of the invention. Weighted member 40a is shown with protruding bushing 47 engaged to bolt 48. Void 55 is sufficiently sized to receive a portion of the elastomeric member 20 (not shown) that contains one end of tensioner 30 (not shown) that is in turn threadably engaged to bushing 47. In an alternative embodiment, the spring may be fitted with a threaded member that in turn is fixedly attached to the mateable threading of the bushing. It will be understood to those of skill in the art that any of a variety of conventional means for stable engagement of the core to the tensioner or spring may be employed. As previously described, flexible covers may be placed around core 41a.
 In alternative embodiments, exercise device 10, can take different shapes. For example, exercise device 10 can be styled such that it includes two tensioner members 30 extending about each end of elastomeric longitudinal member 20. From each tensioner member 30, various weighted members 40 can be connected from each tensioner member 30. In certain embodiments, different numbers and various combinations of tensioner members 30 can extend from elastomeric longitudinal member 20. For example, in one embodiment, a singular tensioner member 30 can extend about one end of elastomeric longitudinal member 20 while two or more tensioner members 30 can extend from another end of elastomeric longitudinal member 20.
 In certain embodiments various modifications may be made to exercise device 10. For example weighted members 40a and 40b can individually be made to form different shapes. While weighted members 40a and 40b are preferably spherical, in other embodiments, they may take any sort of "-hedron" shapes. In particular embodiments, weighted members 40a and 40b can take the shape of an octahedron, an icosahedrons, or a cuboctahedron. Yet in other embodiments weighted members 40a and 40b can also be formed as a prismoid or a similar shape. Still in other embodiments, weighted members may take the shape of cubes. In such embodiments the cube shapes can be formed out of pads to assist in boxing exercises.
 Further, the surface of the weighted members 40a and 40b can have various textures. The surface of weighted members 40a and 40b can be rough or smooth if desired or be a combination of various textures in various portions to allow greater or less grip if desired.
 In various embodiments, elastomeric member 20 can also be formed to separate into various pieces. For example, elastomeric longitudinal member 20 can be formed to a set of components that interlock to establish a singular device. In such embodiments, tensioner member 30 can be formed of two component devices that share an interlocking juncture along tensioner longitudinal member 30. As such, each component tensioner longitudinal member 30 could individually be grasped such that a person could hold separate portions of tensioner longitudinal member 30 in both hand and each arm can perform separate exercises. In the event that a user desired, each component longitudinal tensioner 30 could be recombined to establish a single longitudinal tensioner 30.
 In operation, exercise device 10 may be used to perform a variety of exercises. For example, a user can lift exercise member 10 at which point weighted members 40a and 40b impose a load on ones muscles. For further exercise, a user can then rotate exercise device 10 via elastomeric longitudinal member 20 using one's wrist. As a wrist rotates exercise device 10, the flexibility of tensioner member 30 allows weighted members 40a and 40b to follow its motion which in turn forces various hand muscles to flex. Rotating ones wrist while holding exercise member 10, causes weighted members 40a and 40b to transition and in turn exercises the triceps and other similarly situated muscles. In the event than one desired to employ exercise device 10 for the use with another appendage, straps, which connect exercise device 10 about ones legs and feet can be used. Such straps can wrap from about tensioner member 30 and about the outside of handle 50.
 In the event that one desires to store exercise device 10, a holding mechanism can be employed to suspend exercise device 10 about between longitudinal tensioner 30 and weighted members 40a and 40b. In certain embodiments, longitudinal tensioner can be suspended in storage such that one weighted member rests at a greater height than the other weighted member.
 Additionally, in certain embodiments of the present application, various electronic devices can be included in component parts of the present application to interact with another device. For example, in certain embodiments; signaling mechanisms can be disposed about longitudinal tensioner 30 and optionally within weighted members 40a and 40b. In such an application, as weighted members are rotated relative to longitudinal tensioner 30, signaling mechanisms embedded within each component can track the locations within each component and in turn relay it to a receiving apparatus to track the various locations of each component. Such a receiving apparatus could then convey the signals to another input or output such as a video gaming device.
 In the event that additional exercises are desired, the elasticity of weighted members 40a and 40b allows for squeezing. For example, a user can grasp and squeeze each of weighted members 40a and 40b in one's hand, either singularly or in unison. As each of weighted members 40a and 40b are squeezed their material composition is such that they will return to their original shape in a short period of time. After either of weighted members 40a and 40b returns to its original shape, a user can again squeeze either of member for additional exercise
 Various components of exercise device 10, including stationary member 11, and weighted members 40a and 40b may be made from a wide variety of materials. These materials may include metallic or non-metallic, magnetic or non-magnetic, elastomeric or non-elastomeric, malleable or non-malleable materials. Non-limiting examples of suitable materials include metals, plastics, polymers, wood, alloys, composites and the like. The metals may be selected from one or more metals, such as steel, stainless steel, aluminum, titanium, nickel, magnesium, or any other structural metal. Examples of plastics or polymers may include, but are not limited to, nylon, polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyester (PE), polytetraflouroethylene (PTFE), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polyvinylchloride (PVC), or polycarbonate and combinations thereof, among other plastics. Exercise device 10 and its various components may be molded, sintered, machined and/or combinations thereof to form the required pieces for assembly. Furthermore exercise device 10 and its various components may be manufactured using injection molding, sintering, die casting, or machining.
 It will be understood that particular embodiments described herein are shown by way of illustration and not as limitations of the invention. The principal features of this invention can be employed in various embodiments without departing from the scope of the invention. Those skilled in the art will recognize, or be able to ascertain using no more than routine experimentation, numerous equivalents to the specific procedures described herein. Such equivalents are considered to be within the scope of this invention and are covered by the claims.
 All of the compositions and/or methods disclosed and claimed herein can be made and executed without undue experimentation in light of the present disclosure. While the compositions and methods of this invention have been described in terms of various embodiments, it will be apparent to those of skill in the art that other variations can be applied to the compositions and/or methods and in the steps or in the sequence of steps of the method described herein without departing from the concept, spirit and scope of the invention. All such similar substitutes and modifications apparent to those skilled in the art are deemed to be within the spirit, scope and concept of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
Patent applications in class Utilizing inertial force resistance
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