Portable Rowing Machine

Patent Number: 9,005,086

Filing Date: August 28,2013

Issue Date: April 14, 2015

Inventors(s): O’Neil; John J. (Palm Harbor, FL)

Assignee: Hermann; Douglas L. (Clearwater, FL)

U.S. classification: 482/72

Claims: 16

  Fig. 1 Expanded view of the rowing machine for functional use

   Fig. 2, Collapsed view of the rowing machine

This exercise machine is a portable rowing machine which embodies a light weight frame and a more realistic rowing movement. The claims of this invention describe the overall structure and function of the machine. It claims to have a structural frame of two parallel tubular members connected to each other by three cross members and supported by floor brackets with tubular members inserted into the structural frame to allow for telescoping. A foot rest assembly locks partially to the third cross member and the frame to allow for stability of the user when in use.  Two swivel arms are pivotally attached to the first cross member which are able to be positioned parallel to the tubular member or perpendicular to the tubular member. Attached to the swivel arms are resistances that allow for comparable resistance experienced in rowing a boat. These resistances also include band brakes attached by clutch bearings for varying the frictional force. The oar arms of the rowing machine are attached to the resistance shafts and are extendable according to the user’s preference. The seat of the machine has rollers attached to the underside and is situated over the two structural tubular members. This allows for translation of the seat along the machine.

Competitive crew members, kayakers, and any rowing enthusiasts alike would be interested in using this portable rowing machine. The rowing machine changes the point of resistance from in front of the user to the side which is similar to the points of resistance experienced in a rowing boat. This can benefit competitive crew members who would like to train when they cannot train in the water, since this machine will train the same muscle groups with the same movements as those used in competition. According to the claims, the resistance between the swivel arms and oar allows for variance due to the clutch bearings so the resistance can be increased or decreased based on the preference of the user. This aspect can also be used for physical therapy to rehabilitate injured rowers. The portable rowing machine will allow for the rowing motion and an increase in resistance as the injury heals which will then increases arm-leg force production and core stabilization.

The portable rowing machine is based off of older oar-based rowing machines. The issue with these machines is that they were bulky, permanent structures that allowed for only one force of resistance. They mostly took half of a boat and attached it to a permanent structure, while this does allow for a realistic rowing motion it is not practical for most users. The current portable rowing machine combines the positive aspects of prior literature like of the off-set points of resistance with aspects that allow the machine to be portable, light weight, and suitable for a wider range of users. The novelty of the portable rowing machine is that it allows for variable resistance at off-set oar points to allow for various training conditions that maybe encountered while actually on the water.

I find this patent is interesting in that it is different from the typical rowing machines that you would find at the gym. The typical rowing machines have a bar attached to a tension cable that the user pulls on while also extending their legs. This means that the user might extend their arms and legs more than what is needed for the motion of rowing a boat. While this movement can be beneficial for the general exerciser in increasing arm-leg force production and increasing core stabilization; the movement can hinder competitive rowers who might want a more specific rowing movement. The patent moves the point of resistance from in front of the rower to perpendicular of the rower, where resistance typically occurs from the interaction of the oars with water. This provides a more natural rowing movement that a competitive rower would encounter during competitions. Another interesting aspect is that the machine is collapsible, which can reduce space taken up in a home gym or allow for easier mobility.

Learn more about this patent here.

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