Patent application title: Exercise Belt
Mauro Spina (Los Angeles, CA, US)
IPC8 Class: AA63B2102FI
Class name: Utilizing resilient force resistance and user supplied counter force attached to user
Publication date: 2013-12-12
Patent application number: 20130331241
An exercise belt is disclosed a belt with a plurality of docking stations
and at least one resistance handle component. The resistance handle
component includes a line connected at one end to a handle and at the
other end to a retractor. The line is substantially completely retracted
into the retractor unless being affirmatively pulled from it. Each
resistance handle component is detachably connected to a docking station.
Multiple docking stations allow for adjustable sizing of the belt and
varying exercising angles. The resistance handle component's being
detachably connected to a docking station contributes to the adjustable
sizing, and allows for replacing one resistance handle component with
another resistance handle component having a higher resistance.
1. An exercise belt comprising a belt including a plurality of docking
stations and at least one resistance handle component, said resistance
handle component comprising a line connected at one end to a handle and
at the other end to a retractor, with the line's being substantially
completely retracted into the retractor unless it is being affirmatively
pulled from it, said resistance handle component being detachably
connected to a docking station.
2. The exercise belt of claim 1 wherein said line is formed of material selected from the group consisting of cable, cord and wire.
3. The exercise belt of claim 2 wherein said resistance handle component includes a rotating mount which detachably connects to a docking station.
4. The exercise belt of claim 3 wherein said docking station is a strip having each of its ends sewn to said belt.
5. The exercise belt of claim 1 wherein said handle is a closed loop.
6. The exercise belt of claim 5 wherein said closed loop is formed of a squeezable gel-filled material.
7. The exercise belt of claim 1 wherein said belt includes at least three docking stations and two resistance handle components.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 1. Field of the Invention
 This invention relates to the field of exercise and rehabilitation equipment.
 2. Prior Art
 Portable and light-weight upper body and arm strength developing equipment such as (i) low-weight dumb bells, (ii) chest expanders, with resistance bands, or coil springs disposed between hand grips and (iii) over-the-door or furniture-attached exercise equipment, also with resistance bands or coil springs, these with an attachment means at one end and a hand grip at the other, exist in the prior art.
 While these are portable, they are conveniently useful only when the user remains in one place. For a person desiring to exercise his upper body or arms while walking or jogging, over-the-door and furniture-attached equipment are obviously unsuitable. Dumb bells and chest expanders are inconvenient for a person walking or jogging because, as the person continues walking or jogging after the upper body or arm exercises are completed, such equipment must still be carried in the person's hand or hands.
 One potential solution is for the walking or jogging person to wear a belt on which the exercise equipment could be hung. Even so, walking or jogging with dumb bells or a chest expander on a belt would not typically be comfortable.
 A potential solution for the walker or jogger wanting to conveniently exercise his upper body and arms was hinted at in October 2010 on the Internet at www.noadoinc.com/belts.html. See FIG. 5 in the drawings included herewith. On that web page, an exercise belt (also known as a lumbar support belt) is shown with a two handles each attached to a retractable line that in turn is attached to a retractor that is sewn into a fixed position in the belt. The retractor does not rotate relative to the belt, thereby subjecting the line and retractor to friction and stress. The text accompanying a photograph of the belt states,
 "Add more to your walk and give your upper body a boost with fluid fingertip movement with our upper-body exercise belt. The soft plush handles feel good to the touch with forward movement and full hand rotation.
 "Get full range upper muscle movement all while your lower-lumbar gets Flex-Lastic support when you sit or walk."
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The invention is an exercise belt that provides convenience for people seeking to build arm and upper body strength while walking or jogging. The invention is also useful for rehabilitation of people recovering from illness, injury, and surgery, and for elderly people who should be exercising whenever they have the opportunity. Such people can wear the invention throughout the day and exercise their arms and upper bodies at almost any time, whether lying down, sitting, or standing or moving while fully upright.
 The invention includes a belt with a plurality of docking stations and at least one resistance handle component. The resistance handle component includes a line connected at one end to a handle and at the other end to a retractor. The line is substantially completely retracted into the retractor unless being affirmatively pulled from it. Each resistance handle component is detachably connected to a docking station. Multiple docking stations allow for adjustable sizing of the belt and varying exercising angles. The resistance handle component's being detachably connected to a docking station contributes to the adjustable sizing, and allows for replacing one resistance handle component with another resistance handle component having a higher resistance.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a view of outside the exercise belt (as opposed to the side of the belt that would face a wearer's body) of the present invention with its resistance handle components separated from the belt.
 FIG. 2 is a view of outside the exercise belt of the present invention with its resistance handle components attached to the belt.
 FIG. 3 is a view of outside the exercise belt of the present invention with its resistance handle components attached to the belt at different positions from those shown in FIG. 2.
 FIG. 4 is a view of the invention worn by a user.
 FIG. 5 is prior art.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 The preferred embodiment of the invention are illustrated in the attached drawings which are referred to herein. The same reference numeral will be used to identify identical elements throughout the drawings.
 The invention is an exercise belt that includes at least one, and preferably two, resistance handle components detachably connected to it.
 As shown in FIG. 1, the exercise belt 10 includes a belt 12 and two resistance handle components 20.
 Belt 12 is similar to lumbar support belts that are available from many commercial suppliers. Like many lumbar support belts, belt 12 includes hook-and-loop fastener 14 and 16 at its ends. (Fastener portion 14 is shown in phantom lines because the drawings show the outside of the exercise belt and fastener portion 14 is affixed to the inside of the belt--that is, the side of the belt that faces the wearer when in use.) Either or both of fastener portions 14 and 16 is sufficiently large to allow the belt to be adjusted for different sizes of waists. Other fastening systems could be used, including but not limited to strap and buckle fasteners.
 The exercise belt may be adapted to provide varying degrees and types of support for the back, and may include shoulder straps. For additional convenience, belt 12 may also include slots, sewn in pockets and pouches for the user to hands-free carry keys, money, identification cards and the like.
 Belt 12 of the invention also includes multiple docking stations 18. At a minimum there should be two docking stations, and preferably there are between three and ten docking stations. In the preferred embodiment there are at least three. Each resistance handle component is detachably connected to a docking station 18. Docking stations 18 may be of any type that can receive a resistance handle component, including but not limited to split rings and snap links that are securely sewn into the belt. In the preferred embodiment, each docking station 18 is a strip, made of strong material, such as, for example, nylon, with its ends sewn to belt 12 in a manner that is similar to the way a belt loop is sewn to the waist of a pair of pants. Preferably, the strip is attached to the belt so that it does not extend too far out from the belt so as to avoid the opportunity for snagging on other objects.
 Multiple docking stations allow for adjustable positioning of each resistance handle component as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, thereby accommodating different-sized users and allowing for different exercises and ranges of motion during exercises.
 The preferred resistance handle component 20 includes a high strength line 24, which may be formed of cord, cable or wire or other suitable material, that is connected at one of its ends to handle 26 and at the other end to retractor 22. The line is substantially completely retracted into the retractor unless it is being affirmatively pulled from it. Retractor and line combinations have been commercially available, such as the retractable tool tethers from Hammerhead Industries of Ventura, Calif. and AGC Enterprises NW, LLC of Portland, Oreg. Retractor 22 includes a mount by which it is detachably connected to a docking station on belt 12. The mount may be any suitable mount, including but not limited to a strap, spit ring and a snap link. In the preferred embodiment, the mount is a belt clip that is rotatably connected to the retractor's body. The belt clip may be detachably connected to a strip forming a docking station, and thus the resistance handle component 20 is detachably connected to belt 12. By having its mount rotatably connected to the retractor's body the retractor body can swivel as the user pulls or pushes on handle 26, thereby reducing shear stress and friction on the line as it is pulled out from and retracted back into the retractor's body. Because the resistance handle component is detachably connected to belt 12, as a user becomes stronger the user may replace a resistance handle component with one that offers greater resistance. Resistances (i.e., the force needed to pull or push the handle away from the retractor body) may range from several ounces to many pounds, depending upon the specific retractor body and line combination that is selected.
 Handle 26 may take any suitable shape. To reduce the risk that the handle may slip from the grip of a user, handle 26 is preferably a formed as a closed loop that is sufficiently large to fit around a user's hand. The closed loop may be a fixed closed loop, or it may be an adjustable closed loop, such as with a strap and buckle closure, or a hook and pile closure. To add a grip-strengthening exercise opportunity, the closed loop may be made of a squeezable gel-filled material.
 FIG. 4 illustrates the invention as worn and used by a user. In that drawing, the user is a version of Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. With his hands directly outstretched, with lines 24 and handles 26 shown in solid lines, one exercise is shown. With his hands extended slightly upward, with lines 24 and handles 26 shown in phantom lines, another exercise is shown. A user could also, while holding handles 26, (i) push his hands straight down to perform the equivalent of a dip exercise, (ii) pull his hands to his shoulders to perform the equivalent of a curl exercise, and (iii) push his hands straight up above his head to perform the equivalent of a overhead press exercise. Other exercises may also be performed, with the variety of available exercises being increased by the choices of docking stations available for the disposition of a resistance handle component or of two resistance handle components.
 Line 20 should be sufficiently long to accommodate the full extension of a user's hand away from the retractor's body. For most people, a 50 inch line should be more than long enough.
 Exercises may be done while the user is lying down, sitting, standing, and even while the user is walking or jogging. When the user is not exercising his arms and upper body, the user may simply allow the line to be retracted and the user can continue going about his day, including walking or jogging, with his hands free. Exercises may be conveniently done by those already fit, by the elderly, and by those going through rehabilitation.
 It will be understood that various changes of the details, materials, steps, arrangement of parts and uses which have been herein described and illustrated in order to explain the nature of the invention will occur to and may be made by those skilled in the art, and such changes are intended to be included within the scope of this invention.
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