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Publication numberUS2311274 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 16, 1943
Filing dateOct 10, 1940
Priority dateOct 14, 1939
Publication numberUS 2311274 A, US 2311274A, US-A-2311274, US2311274 A, US2311274A
InventorsKenneth B Whitney
Original AssigneeKenneth B Whitney
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Foot exercising apparatus
US 2311274 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 16, 1943. K. B. WHITNEY 2,311,274 FOOT EXERCISING APPARATUS Filed Oct. 10, 1940 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 m @m i Q v I gin Q INVENTC|F KENNETH B.WH|TNEY.

Feb. 16, 1943. WHITNEY 2,311,274.


I ,I-EY V A'r'rcmqq ELY.

Patented Feb. 16, 1943 Application October 10, 1940, seriai' No. 360,683 In Great Britain October 14, 1939 4 Claims.

This invention relates to exercising apparatus and has more particular reference to apparatus for exercising the feet, and especially is it an improvement over my Patent No. 2,189,693.

lfreatment of foot trouble is generally recogized as correcting and in many instances curing obstinate and frequently obscure physical debilitie's which are attributed to conditions not direct- 1y associated with foot trouble, yet with proper adjustment and exercise of the feet congestion and other conditions of ailment not ordinarily attributable to foot trouble, right themselves and the human system functions normally and the complaint or debility removes itself automatically.

It is observed that the present invention differs from my aforementioned patent by providing a vibratable platform with novel means for resiliently connecting the platform to a base member so that the feet are acted upon not only by weight of body pressure but by vibratory action as well.

The present invention then, broadly speaking, contemplates treating weak, defective and otherwise abnormal foot conditions by gently articulating and otherwise exercising the bones, muscles', tendons and other parts of the feet so that they become properly adjusted and flexed thus strengthening the muscles, easing the tension of the tendons, relieving nerve pressures and improving circulation with the result that not only the feet but the system as a whole is toned up and the general health materially improved.

-One of the objects of the present invention therefore is to provide a device of this character wherein defective feet such as maladjustment of the bones, weak or fallen arches and similar foot conditions are effectively treated.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a device of this character wherein the cuboid, cuneiform, metatarsal and other related bones of the feet are subjected to corrective adjusting exercise and treatment.

A- further object of the invention is to provide a device of this character which induces a vibratory action in the device during the exercising and treatment of the feet.

A still further object of the invention is to provide apparatus of this character which imparts vibratory motion to the elements of the foot exercising apparatus.

Yet a further object of the present invention is to provide apparatus of this character which is simple in structure yet rugged innature and one that will the more satisfactorily perform the functions required of it.

Having regard to the foregoing and other objects and advantages which will become apparent as the description proceeds,.the invention consists essentially in the novel combination and arrangement, of parts hereinafter described in detail and illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which,

Fig. 1 is a front elevation of an embodiment of my present invention embodied in cabinet form.

Fig. 2 is an enlarged side elevational view of the apparatus shown in Fig. 1, the cabinet being illustrated mainly in dotted lines and the foot exercising apparatus being arranged in an operative foot treating position.

Fig, 3 is a view similar to Fig. 2 shown in plan.

Fig. 4 is an enlarged sectional elevation taken on the line ,4- 4 of Fig. 3.

Fig. 5 is an enlarged section taken on the line 5 5 of Fi 3.

f Fig. dis a section taken on the line 6-6 of Fig. 5.

Fig. 7 is an enlarged perspective view of one of the resilient connector members, and 7 Figs. 8 and 9 are fragmentary plan and side elevational views respectively of the apparatus in modified form.

Referring now to the drawings wherein like letters and numerals of reference represent similar structure in the several illustrations, the letter A- designates the foot treating and exercising apparatus generally, the letter B thesupporting medium for the apparatus and the letter C' a cabinet in which the apparatus may be housed or enclosed.

The cabinet C is of suitable structure and conveniently provided with a window member II, a mirror member I2 and a pair of handle grips H] which are preferably mounted on the cabinet top,

all of which will be hereinafter more fully referred to.

The structure designated by the letter B as closed within the cabinet throug'hthe medium of suitable doors l8. When the'apparatus is required to be placed in operation, the doors H? areswung open, the member B lowered to a horizontal position or to a position at an angle to the horizontal as circumstances and occasion may require and the prime mover connected with a suitable source of energy supply when the apparatus is ready for operation.

Relatively, the member B is positioned close to the floor or platform in normal operative position and preferably the base I5 is larger in size than the platforml6, thus a person requiring treatment finds no difliculty in stepping first from the floor onto the base memberlB and from there it is an easy convenient step to the platform I6 where exercise and treatment is obtained.

structurally, one of the features of the present invention is the resilient connection between the member I5 and the platform IS. The connecfaces 29 and 3D. Adjacent the outer longitudinal tion referred to may take anysuitable form and in the present instance I have shown practical means in the nature of connector members 1 l9 and preferably embodyingmaterials possessing the characteristics of. resiliency, (see Figs. 2, 5 and 7) The members l9 amen are shown-in paired form and carried by. the base and platform members respectively and arranged in spaced, opposed relationship as more particularly illustarted in Fig.5 and connected through the medium of. a bolt 2| or other similar'device. In order to maintain the platform 16 in spaced relation to the base member.l5, I provide a series of spacer members 22 preferably in spheroid form and preferably, like the members l9 and 20, possessing the characteristics of resiliency. These spheroids or ball-shaped spacer. members may be arranged at suitable spaced intervals between the members l5 and: I6 and are adapted to engage the cup-like. sockets 23 which are mounted in opposed, spaced relationship in the base and platform members respectively. (see Figs. 5 and 6). The sockets 23 it will be'observed appear substantially oval in'plan and thus reflect provision for greater longitudinal movement than otherwise. However, movement of the platform 16 with respect to the base member l5'is not to be implied as being restricted to longitudinal movement, I rather one platform or member is movablewith respect to the other longitudinally, transversely or vertically, as a matter of fact the resilient connection enables the member I G-to be movable universally. I A further novel feature of the invention is the imparting of vibratory action or movement to the platform Hi. This means includes an electric motor or other suitable prime mover 24, provided with a rocker arm .or the. like'25. The prime mover is mounted on the base 15 and while one end of the rocker arm is connected to the shaft of the motor through an eccentric as at 26, the other end of the rocker arm is connectedtothe platform H5 as indicated at2l.

From what has already been described it will be seen that the application of power to the prime mover will cause the arm 25 to operate with a succession of rapid reciprocative movements, in turn, imparting rapid back and. forth movement to the platform with the resultant vibration being imparted to theplatform Hi and associated parts. Referring now to, a further feature of the invention, this includes a footreceiving member 28 which maybe fixedly secured to the platform IS in any suitable manner. The member. 28 corresponds inform .to substantially an inverted V in cross section and as more particularly. observed in Fig. 4 is provided with angularly disposed and appreciably sloping, foot receiving sur- 3| and 32 which are designed to form bracing members for the feet during treatment. As more especially indicated at 28 in Figs. 2 and 3, the outer corners of the bracing walls may be provided with ball like pads for exercise of certain parts of the feet requiring special consideration. Here it may be said that in practice it has been found beneficial to apply a covering of relatively thin yet appreciably resilient rubber or the like 33 to the surfaces contacted by the feet. Thus apart from providing anti-slipping means for the members l5 and [6 where the foot contact is effected, the surfaces are provided a cushioning medium that eliminates the harsh jar ordinarily accompanying non-resilient structures.

i Arranged in spaced relation to one another and extending from side to side of the foot receiving surfaces 29 and 30 are rib members 34 and 35. These rib members protrude above theno'rmal surface of the foot receiving members and are relatively'hard in structure yet somewhat resil 'ient in nature. The number, size, arrangement and structure of the rib members may be varied and while I illustrate the present rib members asdiffering in size and decreasing in thickness toward the abutting walls, it will be understood they may take other forms, for example, they .may increase in size toward the abutting walls and decrease in size toward the medial ridge 36, all of which is to be construed as being within the purview and scope of the invention. Additionally, the members 34 and 35 may be formed as an integral part of the foot receiving surfaces or if desired they may be detachably connected.

The contiguous arrangement of the foot receiving surfaces 29. and 30 and the outward and downward sloping thereof at an appreciable angle to the horizontal plays an important role in the effectiveness of the instant invention One of the reasons for this is that such arrangement induces the person receiving exercise and treatment to stand with the feet in spaced relation to one another andin' a sloping position with the soles of the feet turned somewhat upwardly so that they tend to face toward one another. This particular posture or stance causes somewhat of a bowing of the limb extremitiesresult ing in extensive relaxation of muscles thus enabling the exercise, adjustment and treatment to be more effective, thorough and efficient,

Located on the platform l6 adjacent the member 28 is a further rib member 31. This further rib member as particularly observed in Fig. 2 is substantially arcuate in form as seen in elevation and protrudes above the platform level and is designed more especially where treatment of the anterior arch 'is desired as will be later referred to.

In the modification form as illustrated in Figs. 8 and 9, the platform [6 is provided with a pair of rib members 38 and 39 which conform to the arcuate form of the rib member 31 and which also protrude above the normal level of the platform. Adjacent these rib members I provide protruding abutment members 40 and 4|. Primarily, this arrangement is, designed for the treatment of foot conditions commonly known as bunions as will be hereinafter more fully explained. a

Operation For exercise and treatment of the feet, the

suitable source or power and as previously ex plained the prime mover causes the 1mm; to move the platform It and associated-partswith a succession of fapidback and forth movements, thus With the resilient, yieldable connection or mounting of the platform already mentioned, vibration is imparted-to the platform 16 including its associated parts.

The person desiring or requiring foot exercise and manipulation now steps upon the base i5 and from there places both feet upon the vibrating platform l6 where he or she may stand for a moment, the while gripping" the handle members ID for steadying purposes if necessary. After the preliminary moment on the platform Hi the next advance is to place the feet on opposite sides of the slopingly arranged foot receiving surfaces 29 and 30 of the member 28. In the case of weak or fallen arches, the arches of the feet are preferably placed upon the smaller of the rib members where, according to the pressure imposed by the individual, the exercise and treatment may be gentle or strenuous according to physical well being. The feet will of course be moved to different relative positions during the exercise and treatment in order that corrective adjustment and treatment may be imparted to the entire arch. As exercise of the feet progresses the individual may determine the exact and correct positioning of the feet by glancing through the window II where the mirror I2 refleets the instant foot positions, this without unnecessary bending or body movement. During the period of exercise, the platform l6, member 28 and all associated parts have been caused to vibrate through the medium already described so that foot adjustment, manipulation and exercise is effected not only by the rib members and other exercising devices but by the addition of the vibratory action which is imparted to the elements concerned. Exercise and treatment of the feet through the rib members and associated parts is thus two-fold and imparts corrective adjustment, massage and exercising manipulation to the tendons, muscles, bones, ligaments, joints and other related parts of the foot structure and through them the related organisms of the legs, back, body and other co-related parts of the anatomy.

Where exercise and treatment of the anterior arch is desirable or required, it is preferably effected through foot contact with the rib member 31. This particular treatment consists in first placing the foot in the position shown in Fig. 3 with the rib member between the first and second toes where it acts upon the bones of the anterior arch according to the pressure applied by the individual. When this portion of the foot has been sufliciently treated the foot is moved over so that the rib member is now between the second and third toes where the adjustment, exercise and treatment is continued. In this manner exercise progressively continues until the entire anterior arch has been subjected to exercise and corrective treatment.

Apart from the presently indicated treatment of the anterior arch, defective conditions such as hallux valgus, commonly known as bunions, may be treated by the modified form of apparatus disclosed in Figs. 8 and 9. In this latter case that portion of the foot upon which the bunion appears is placed against the abutment member 40 or 4| as the case may be while the first and second toes are placed in a position of straddle over the arcuate rib member which contacts' the anterior arch attliis point. Gentle, m'edium or heavy pressure by the individual according to physical condition, causes-the arcuate member to press upwardly So tospeak soth'at' the joint at the head of the great metatarsal boneis subjected to corrective manipulation and adjustment.

Simultaneous with this application of pressure the individual gently turns the foot sideways so that while the dislocated-joint is being'correctively manipulated, the tension upon the strained muscles, tendons and -'ligaments is eased and by continued applicationof correctionthey become strengthened, supple and revitalized until eventually the joint is restored to normal position and the toe to normal alignment. It is not of course to be construed that one simple adjustment is suflicient to effect the above mentioned result. The number of treatments and adjustments would be governed largely by the nature and condition of the defective member and the physical condition of the individual. The corrective manipulation and treatment just described may be defined in itself as two-fold yet there is the additional feature of the vibration which, during the adjustment gently applies a massage to the effected parts simultaneous with the adjustment. Thus the corrective adjustment and treatment is in fact three-fold in that the rib member gently eases the dislocated joint into proper position, the abutment member in combination with the rib member enables the toe to be eased back to normal while the vibratory action gently massages the affected parts, breaks down lesions and strengthens and revitalizes the entire joint structure.

The invention disclosed may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof and the present disclosure is therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative rather than restrictive and all changes coming within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are intended to be embraced therein.

What I claim as my invention is:

1. In a device of the character described, a base member and a platform member, the said base and platform members being provided with spaced receiving sockets arranged in opposed relationship to one another for the reception of spacer means, spacer members mounted in the sockets and movable therein, means for resiliently connecting the platform to the base member comprising resilient members mounted in the base and platform members respectively in spaced relationship to one another, means connecting the spaced resilient members to resiliently connect the platform to the base member, a foot receiving member mounted on the platform having opposed foot receiving surfaces slopingly arranged at an appreciable angle to the horizontal from a medial ridge, spaced rib members extending from side to side of the foot receiving surfaces. and protruding thereabove and drive means operatively connected to the platform for imparting vibration to the said platform.

2. In a device of the character described, a base member and a platform member, the said base and platform members being provided with spaced receiving sockets arranged in spaced register for the reception of spacer means, spherical spacer members mounted in the said sockets and operably movable therein adapted to maintain the platform in spaced relationship to the base, means for connecting the platform to the base'member comprising a series, of resilient members mounted in the platform and base members respectively in spaced relationship to one another,bolt means for connecting the spaced resilient members to resiliently connect the platform to the base member, a foot receiving member mounted on the platform having opposed foot receiving surfaces slopingly arranged at an appreciable angle to the horizontal from a medial ridge, rib members mounted on the foot receiving surfaces and extending from side to side thereof and arranged in spaced relationship to one another sufficient to accommodate foot lengths :and drive means operatively connected to the platform for imparting vibration to theheight respectively with regard to one another as from the medial ridge. V


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2512621 *Nov 23, 1944Jun 27, 1950Emerson John HTherapeutic vibrator
US2835492 *Apr 15, 1955May 20, 1958La Londe Fred JPirouette exerciser
US3063714 *Oct 19, 1959Nov 13, 1962Carl KraussExercising device
US3454273 *Jul 18, 1966Jul 8, 1969Vogt Appliance CorpExercise device of the twist board type
US3761084 *Aug 5, 1971Sep 25, 1973E DieckmannBalance board game
US3765407 *Jan 29, 1971Oct 16, 1973C PrinceExercise stand
US3787047 *Oct 15, 1971Jan 22, 1974Brawn DSki motion simulating training device
US5094226 *Oct 31, 1990Mar 10, 1992Mark T. MedcalfContinuous passive motion device for the first metatarsal phalangeal joint
US7563235Sep 20, 2004Jul 21, 2009Power Plate North America, Inc.Body vibration apparatus
US7705500Jan 15, 2008Apr 27, 2010Brookstone Purchasing, Inc.Vibration apparatus and motor assembly therefore
U.S. Classification601/61, 482/147, 601/30
International ClassificationA61H23/02
Cooperative ClassificationA61H23/0254, A61H2201/1635, A61H2201/164, A61H2205/12
European ClassificationA61H23/02R