Patent application title: DUAL GRIP BARBELL
Norbert T. Wierszewski (Dearborn, MI, US)
IPC8 Class: AA63B21072FI
Class name: User manipulated force resisting apparatus, component thereof, or accessory therefor utilizing weight resistance handheld bar with weight at each end (e.g., barbell, dumbbell, etc.) or component thereof
Publication date: 2013-02-07
Patent application number: 20130035218
An exercise barbell comprises two separated pairs of rings, all lying
along the length of the barbell in a common plane, each ring rotatably
supporting a handle member which bisects the ring. The members of each
pair are closely separated at their edges, or abutting one another, and
are connected by very short bars extending on opposite sides of the
center line of the bar. The two pairs are separated by a pair of longer
bars disposed on opposite sides of the center line of the bar. Shafts
extend outwardly along the length of the barbell from the outermost ring
of each pair and these extending shafts may be rotatable, for gripping by
the exerciser, and can support individual weights with center holes for
surrounding the bar. The dual sets of handles allow a variety of
different exercises to be performed with the barbell, most commonly by a
user gripping the handle supported in either the two innermost rings or
the two outermost rings of each pair.
1. An exercise barbell having a central axis, comprising: two pairs of
rings, all of the rings lying in the same plane and being arrayed
symmetrically along the central axis, each ring supporting a rotatable
handle which bisects the ring, each ring of a pair being adjacent to one
another and spaced from the other pair by a pair of bars disposed on
opposite sides of the center axis of the barbell and having their
opposite ends joined to opposite rings of each pair; and end extensions
of the bar connected to the ring of each pair closest to an end of the
bar and extending along the central axis bar.
2. The barbell of claim 1, wherein the bars connecting the two inner rings of each pair are curved and have their convex surfaces opposing one another.
3. The barbell of claim 1, wherein the end extensions are rotatably supported about the central axis of the barbell.
4. The barbell of claim 1, further including manually actuable locks supported on each ring adapted to lock the handle members against rotation relative to the rings.
5. The barbell of claim 4, wherein the rings comprise first flanges fixed relative to said bar and second rotatable flanges supporting each handle within its ring and extending on the outer side of the first flange, indentations at spaced intervals along the outer edge of the second rotatable flange; and pins slidably supported within an aperture in the first flange adapted to extend into a selected indentation to prevent the rotatable flange from rotating relative to the ring.
6. The barbell of claim 5, wherein each said pin is supported for motion, under manual force, transverse to the elongated bar between a first position in which the rotatable flange is free to rotate and a second position in which the rotatable flange is locked against rotation.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 This invention relates to a barbell for exercise purposes such as weightlifting and more particularly to such a barbell comprising two spaced sets of handgrips supported in rings, all lying in a common plane, with each handle bisecting its supporting ring and being rotatably supported within the ring.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 Barbells are commonly used to perform exercises including weightlifting, and it has been proposed to provide rotating handgrips for use in such apparatus so that the user's grip may be accommodated in any rotational position and not restricted to a single angle relative to the axis of the device. U.S. Pat. No. 7,094,186, of which I am an inventor, discloses a barbell with two spaced rings lying in the same plane, with each ring rotatably supporting a bisecting handle that can be adjusted to any angle relative to the bar and may be rotated as the user exercises. Similarly, U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,384,370; 4,618,183; 4,629,184; 5,334,113; 6,022,300; and Re. 33,218, as well as U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2008/0176723, all disclose barbell arrangements having handgrips which are rotatably supported so that their angle relative to the bar may be adjusted during exercise.
 A problem with all of these devices is that they are limited to two spaced rotatable handles for the user to grasp at a single spaced separation from one another, despite differences in the exercise being performed or the strength or physique of the user, which might make a different separation more appropriate. It would be desirable to provide a barbell arrangement using rotatable handles in which the exerciser had options as to the distance between the two handles used to grasp the bar.
 Another problem with the existing art is that in some circumstances it would be desirable to prevent rotation of the handles within their rings for use in particular exercises.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 Accordingly, the present invention is directed toward a barbell which overcomes these problems by providing alternate handle combinations for use by an exerciser in grasping the same bar and by providing locks that can secure the handles in a desired rotational position relative to the rings.
 In a preferred embodiment of the invention, which will subsequently be disclosed in detail, an elongated barbell is provided with four handles, consisting of two separated pairs, which may be used by an exerciser in any desired combination. In alternative embodiments of the invention additional pairs of handles could be provided, such as six or the like. The handles of the present invention are arranged in two pairs, with the members of each pair being closely adjacent to one another and the two pairs being spaced from one another in a symmetrical manner along the length of the barbell, at a convenient spacing for an exerciser to grasp a handle of each pair to exercise with the bar. That is, the exerciser may grasp the two innermost handles of each pair, the two outermost handles, or any other chosen combination of handles.
 The two handles of each pair are preferably joined by short connecting bars which are arranged symmetrically on opposite sides of the center line of the barbell. Similarly, the two pairs are preferably spaced from one another by a larger distance through two connecting bars, one on each side of the bar center line, which are preferably curved so that their convex sides face one another and their concave sides extend on the outside of the bar. This is advantageous to allow an exerciser to rest the barbell on his shoulder with the connecting bar between the two sets extending around the rear of the exerciser's neck.
 The handles of the barbell may also be locked at desired positions within their outer rings through a mechanism which engages notches formed on the periphery of the flanges which allow the handles to rotate within the rings. Pushbuttons, supported on the outer stationary portion of the rings for motion parallel to the axis of the rings, may be pressed in one direction so as to engage the notches in the flange or pressed in the opposite direction to release the handle to allow rotation. The notches may be formed around the entire periphery of the flange, with some convenient numbers such as four, eight, or sixteen notches.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 Other objects, advantages, and applications of the present invention will be made apparent by the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment of the invention. The description makes reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
 FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a weightlifter grasping a preferred embodiment of the present invention using the two outermost handles on a bar including four handles, illustrating the possibility of grasping the bar through the two inner handles in phantom lines;
 FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the bar of the present invention;
 FIG. 3 is a detailed side view of one of the outermost rotatable handles of the preferred embodiment of the present invention;
 FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view through the lock mechanism for either preventing rotation of the handle within a ring or allowing rotation, taken along section 4-4 of FIG. 3; and
 FIG. 5 is a partial perspective view of one end of the barbell illustrating the attachment of separable weights to an end extension.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
 Referring to the drawings, the barbell of the present invention generally comprises a center section 10 and two end sections 12. The center section 10 comprises four rings 14, each of which supports a rotatable handle 16 which bisects its ring 14 and is rotatably supported within the ring 14. The rings 14 are grouped in two pairs generally indicated at 18 and 20. The two rings in each pair are supported with their adjacent sections abutting one another or relatively closely spaced to one another. The two rings in each pair are joined by short connecting bars 22 with the two bars 22 connecting each pair being disposed symmetrically about the center line of the bar which extends along the projection of the axial end sections 12.
 All of the rings 14 are arrayed in the same plane symmetrically about the center line of the bar.
 FIG. 3 illustrates enlarged detail of one of the two outer rings 14 of each group 18 and 20 and its associated handle 16. Each handle 16 is supported between a pair of ringlike flanges 28 and 30 (FIG. 4). The flange 28 has a slightly larger diameter than the opposed flange 30 and has a plurality of notches 32 such as eight or sixteen formed at spaced intervals about its perimeter. Bolts 34 extend between the flanges and retain them in sandwiching relationship to the fixed ring 14.
 A cylindrical lock member 36 is supported in an aperture 38 which extends through the thickness of the ring 14. The lock 36 has a length slightly greater than the thickness of the fixed ring 14 so that one of its ends projects outwardly from the aperture 38. The lock member 36 may be manually moved between positions in which one end projects through one of the notches 32 formed in the ring 26 to lock the ring against motion, or an alternative position in which the other end of the lock member extends over the top of the opposite ring member 30 and allows rotation of the ring 28, under forces imposed by the handle 16, within the outer ring 14.
 The lock member 36 has a pair of recesses 40 and 42 along its length. A spring-loaded detent 44 supported within a recess 46 formed in the fixed ring 14 bears against the lock 36 and retains it in either its locked or unlocked position. It may be moved between these positions by the exerciser exerting finger pressure on the extending end of the lock 36 to move it to its alternative position. In this manner, the exerciser may choose to lock or unlock any of the handle members 16 against rotation or allowing rotation.
 The handle member 16 preferably has a grip surface created by forming serrations 50 along its length. This could be done by machining the handle if it is formed of metal, by molding the serrations if the handle is formed by a molding process, or by wrapping the handle with a suitable grip material.
 The two end sections 12 are preferably rotatably supported within end bars 52 so they may be grasped and used to lift the bar.
 The end sections 12 are preferably cylindrical, and weight members 56 may be supported on the sections 12 to adjust the total weight of the bar. Clips 58 formed on the weight members will secure them in place on the bar 12.
 The two center ring members 14 are joined together by bars 60, disposed symmetrically about the center line of the bar based on an extension of the end sections 12. These bars are longer than the short bars 22 that connect each pair. The bars 60 which connect the two end rings are preferably curved with their convex sections facing each other and their concave sections on the outer sides. This assists in exercises wherein the bar is placed on the shoulders of the exerciser with the concave section of one of the bars clearing the exerciser's neck.
 The barbell of the present invention is therefore very adaptable for a variety of exercises by the exerciser choosing the handles or the end sections 12 of the bars to grip and by choosing to lock or unlock various of the handles.
Patent applications by Norbert T. Wierszewski, Dearborn, MI US
Patent applications in class Handheld bar with weight at each end (e.g., barbell, dumbbell, etc.) or component thereof
Patent applications in all subclasses Handheld bar with weight at each end (e.g., barbell, dumbbell, etc.) or component thereof