Since Lockdown 3.0, and the ban on indoor sports that came with it, there has been a great desire amongst the masses to Work out from Home (WOFH). However, it may not always be practical (or possible) to have a fully stocked gym at home. There have been several efforts made to compensate for the lack of access to gyms and other indoor sports arenas. This article takes a look at some of the interesting inventions aimed at improving the WOFH experience.

The ‘Smart’ Dumbbell

Legend has it that the term “dumbbell” was coined in England during the sixteenth century when athletes trained with handheld bells with the clappers removed. Without these clappers, the bells were regarded as dumb, and as such were dubbed ‘dumbbells’. However, there is nothing ‘dumb’ about the dumbbells presented in Korean Patent Application no. KR 10 2015/0082408.

Figure 1

This ‘smart’ dumbbell (illustrated in Figure 1) allows users to check weight training progression and muscular strength improvement between workouts. It has a tri-axial acceleration sensor, a battery, a micro control unit, and a communication module on a handgrip unit of the dumbbell to measure and store workout data related to a user. It can also connect to a smartphone, so you can store your workout progress there for easy access. What’s more, is the dumbbell comes with a display unit (120) and a speaker (130). So, if one wanted, they could pump out some tunes while pumping that iron!

The Bike Desk

For when you have a Teams meeting at 5pm and a Tour de France at 7pm, US Patent no. US 2006/0264306 provides an elegant solution. As shown by Figure 2, this patent provides a setup wherein a bike frame is secured to a desktop (20) via an ‘adapter’ (40). The beauty of such a system is that the adapter can allow the desktop to be attached to a plethora of different exercise machines. This means a user could send emails while running on a treadmill, or finish off that important presentation while using an elliptical. The possibilities are numerous! Furthermore, the desk is selectively adjustable and pivotable relative to the exercise machine that it is attached to, so there is no need to sacrifice form while working and/or exercising.

Figure 2

The Rotatable Torso Machine

With sports having been called off these past few months, many may have found it difficult to shed some of those lockdown pounds. I’ll admit that I can still see some of the many (perhaps too many) mince pies I had over the festive period lurking around my belly button. For those who are concerned about the tone of their torso, US Patent no. US 2007/0042880 provides a potential WOFH solution.

As shown by Figure. 3, this device allows a user to exercise their torso by using their abdomen to work against resistance provided by the assembly (110), which rotates about a point (120). The machine’s legs can fold down and/or detach so that the device may be stored in a small space. The machine is also intended to be fashioned from lightweight materials, making it highly portable!

Figure 3

Gym goers and fitness fanatics across the country are most likely rejoicing that indoor sports resumed from the 12th of April. I know I am! I am confident that I speak for the masses when I say that we’d rather have gyms than just resistance bands and Joe Wicks workouts (not that I have anything against him!). However, in the future, a mixture of traditional gym and home workouts will most likely become the norm so we may start to see some, if not all, of the inventions mentioned above around the house, sooner rather than later.