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Publication numberUS2760774 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 28, 1956
Filing dateApr 1, 1952
Priority dateApr 1, 1952
Publication numberUS 2760774 A, US 2760774A, US-A-2760774, US2760774 A, US2760774A
InventorsWilly M Perez
Original AssigneeWilly M Perez
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Foot exerciser
US 2760774 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

W. M. PEREZ FOOT EXERCISER Aug. 28, 1956 I5 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 1, 1 52 Agen/s 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed April 1, 1952 INVENTOR.

BY l V/'//y M Perez Age/ifs.

United States Patent FOOT EXERCISER Willy M. Perez, Old Greenwich, Conn.

Application April 1, 1952, Serial No. 279,816

9 Claims. (Cl. 272-57) This invention relates to' therapeutic exercises for persons suifering from functional or structural disorders of the feet. More particularly, the invention relates to a foot exerciser. The invention is especially useful in correcting, rebuilding, restoring and strengthening by resistive exercises the longitudinal and transverse arches of the foot, or either of such arches.

Heretofore, attempts have been made to treat the longi ,tudinal and transverse foot arches by exercises without the use of apparatus. Such attempts have depended largely upon the understanding, will-power and persistence of the patient; and have not been uniformly successful. Where apparatus has been employed, it has usually taken the form of rollers or the like which do not exercise all of the muscles and tendons involved.

I have now found it possible to construct a foot exer ciser in simple and relatively inexpensive form, and which may be easily and effectively used by a patient "with a minimum of complication and inconvenience. Furthermore, the apparatus is easily adjustable by the individual user to fit his personal needs. Finally, in one form, the exerciser may be mechanically operated by a user whose muscles and tendons have become so atrophied or paralyzed as to make direct exercise impossible.

According to the invention, the exerciser provides heelpositioning means whereby the heels are held in rigid position, together with separate toe-receiving members which may be moved toward and away from each other along a plane surface. Movement of the toe-receiving members toward each other is resiliently opposed by springs to make possible suitable resistive exercises by one using the apparatus.

The invention is shown by way of illustration in the accompanying drawings, in which Fig. l is a perspective view illustrating one form of foot exerciser constructed and arranged according to the invention, the feet of the user being shown in the initial position of exerciser use;

Fig. 2 is a broken perspective view of the exerciser, the feet of the user being shown in the second position of exerciser use;

Fig. 3 is an enlarged perspective view of the exerciser, seen from a dilferent angle, the feet of the user being shown in a subsequent position of exerciser use;

Fig. 4 is a plan 'view of the exerciser, the feet of the user being removed therefrom, showing the construction and adjustability of this form of exerciser in greater detail than in the foregoing figures;

Fig. 5 is an enlarged fragmental plan view of the plate of the foot exerciser with one element of one of the heel-positioning members adjustably fixed thereon;

Fig. 6 is a cross-section taken on the line VIVI of Fig. 5; and

Fig. 7 illustrates, in perspective view, a modification of the invention wherein mechanical means is provided for operating the toe-receiving members of the apparatus, and further illustrates in broken perspective view a container for storage or transportation of the apparatus.

In the embodiment of the invention which is shown in Figs. 1 to 6 inclusive, there is shown a foot exerciser which comprises a plate 10, upon which the feet of th user are placed during the exercise.

The plate 10 may be formed of any known or convenient material, as wood, metal, plastic or the like, and should be of suflicient size for the feet of the user to be placed upon it in substantially parallel position with ample plate area all around them. The thickness of the plate should be such as to give support to radially stressed pins inserted in holes or sockets 11 and 12 in the plate, for a purpose later to be described.

In order that the feet of the user may be subjected to the contemplated resistive exercises, it is necessary that the positions of the heels be suitably defined and maintained upon the plate 10. To this end, a pair of heel-positioning members 13, 13 are fixed in spaced relationship upon the plate, serving to outline and confine the heels of the feet when the feet are placed directly on the plate. As here illustrated, each heel-positioning member is formed of two separate blocks 14 and 15, of appreciable thickness, having complementary concave faces 16 and 17 thereon to correspond generally to the contour of the back and sides of the heel.

It is preferred that the heel-positioning members be adjustable, andthey are so shown in the drawings. Thus, the blocks 14 and 15 are provided with pins 18, 19 and 20 which project from their under sides and which fit into holes or sockets 11 in the plate 10. Accordingly, the heel-positioning members 13 are adjustable. The blocks 14 and 15 of each member may be brought closer together or moved farther apart to hold a smaller or a larger heel; and when so positioned the pins 18, 19 and 20 thereon extend into selected holes or sockets 11 in the plate to'h'old the blocks in place upon the plate 10. Furthermore, the blocks forming the heel-positioning members may be positioned forwardly or rearwardly of the plate, for a purpose'later to be described, by inserting their pins in holes or sockets 11 ahead of or back of those presently occupied.

Obviously, the heel-positioning members might be otherwise formed and adjusted.

The resistive exercise requires that thefeet be turned .inwardly against resilient restraint while the heels are positioned as described. To facilitate this exercise, the apparatus includes a pair of separate toe-receiving members 21, 21 and resilient means fixed to these members to resist movement of the members toward one another.

In the embodiment of the invention which is illustrated in Figs. 1 to 6 inclusive, the toe-receiving members 21, 21 are separate from the heel-positioning members. They each comprise a sole 22 and crossed straps 23 and 24 fixed thereto for retaining the forward end of the foot upon the sole. The sole 22 may be made of leather, plastic, linoleum, linen, or any other suitable material. The function of the toe-receiving member shown in Figs 1 to 6 inclusive is two-fold. It facilitates sliding of the foot over the plate 10. It also provides a connection for the resilient means which resists movement of the toe-receiving members toward one another.

Clearly, toe-receiving members of other form might effect this two-fold function. g

The resilient means which resists movement of the toe-receiving members toward each other is here illustrated as a 'pair of springs 25, 25 each connected at one end to a toe-receiving member 21 as at 26. At its opposite end, each spring 25 is fixed and pivoted, as at 27, to theplate 10, in front of the coacting heel-positioning member 13 to extend away from the other toe-receiving pin 28 which is inserted into one of the holes or sockets 12 in the plate 10, to provide adjustability.

Adjustment of the spring action may be effected by the position of the pins 28 in selected holes or sockets 12 in obvious manner. The shorter the distance between the hole or socket into which the pin 28 is inserted and the connection between the spring 25 and the sole 22, the less will be the resistance offered by the spring. Thus, the springs 25 act to hold the toe-receiving members directly in front of the respective heel-positioning members and to resist movement of the toe-receiving members together.

Substitute springs of ditferent strength and deflection capacity may be employed to vary the resistance to movement or the position of the toe-receiving members.

A positioning limiting strap 29, fixed to each of the toe-receiving members as at 30 and 31, and extending therebetween determines the maximum separation of the toe-receiving members. As the toe-receiving members are moved toward one another, this strap 29 merely buckles, as best seen in Fig. 3.

The toe-receiving members 21, 21 are further related to the heel-positioning members 13, 13, and are held upon the feet when the heels are in place in the heelpositioning members by means of tapes 32 and 33. Tapes 32 and 33 are oppositely attached, as at 34 and 35 to each toe-receiving member at their ends into which the toes are inserted. As here shown, the tapes are attached to the soles 22. A ring 36 is fixed in the plate behind the center of each heel-positioning member, and the two tapes of each toe-receiving member are brought rearwardly along the sides of the respective feet, passed through the related ring 36, and thence brought forwardly and tied around the ankles of the exerciser. See Figs. 1, 2 and 3.

It is preferred to employ a buckle or clasp 37 to tie the tapes about the ankles, although any other known or convenient means may be employed.

The tapes thus hold the toe-receiving members upon the feet of the exerciser, regardless of the size of the feet, the adjustment of the heel-positioning members and the adjustment of position of the springs 25, 25. This arrangement has proved to be flexible and simple.

It is preferred to employ a knee-spacer 38 when using the foot exerciser. The knee spacer may be simply formed from a smooth board, preferably about three and one-half inches wide and ten and one-half inches in total length, the ends of the board being recessed to approximate the contour of the legs. The knee spacer is placed between the exercisers legs either immediately above or immediately below the knees, to cause the legs to extend substantially parallel to one another above the plate 10 when the feet are in place upon the plate with the heels properly spaced within the heel-positioning members 13. See Figs. 1 and 3. The length of the knee spacer may be varied as required, but is so related to the transverse separation of the heel positioning members as to prevent the lower legs from forming a transverse angle in their position above the plate.

In using the apparatus the exerciser adjusts the position of the heel positioning members to separate the feet as required in order that they may extend directly forwardly from the respective heel positioning members parallel to one another with the position-limiting strap 29 fully extended. The two blocks 14, 14 comprising each heel positioning member are laterally adjusted to fit snugly about the heel. With the toes inserted in the toe receiving members 21, 21 the feet will assume substantially the position illustrated in Fig. l. The springs 25 and 25 are now adjusted by inserting the pins 28 and 28 into the desired hole or socket in the plate in order to give the necessary resistance to movement of the toe-receiving members toward one another. The tapes 32 and 33 are now drawn rearwardly passed through the rings 36 behind the heel positioning mem- 4 bers and thence brought forwardly tied, clamped or buckled about the ankles.

With the feet in the described position, the toes of both feet, and especially the big toes, are bent, or flexed and the toe points pressed clawlike against the soles 22 of the toe-receiving members. See Fig. 2. Next the feet are slowly rotated inwardly toward one another against the resilient resistance of the springs 25, to bring the toes as closely together as possible. See Fig. 3. This movement causes the longitudinal and transverse arches of the feet to become hollow, forming and imitating the proper anatomical concave form of the foot arches. "the feet are held in this position for about five seconds. Thereupon all of the toes are straightened and the feet are slowly returned to their original parallel position by action of the springs 25. This exercise is repeated. The second or relaxing phase of the exercise during which the feet return slowly to the original position against the pull of the springs, activates and strengthens the muscles and ligaments of the leg and thigh as well as the foot. This interplay of muscles and ligaments, so necessary to the restoration of the arches, is effective only if the heels are immovably fixed. Only then can the phalanges and toes move toward each other under the resistance of the springs in the prescribed manner.

Gradually in the course of time the tension of the springs 25 may be increased and the exercise repeated until the big toes are caused to meet. The effort of the big toes to meet each other against the stress of the springs brings the muscles of the foot and the leg into play. At the same time, the muscles of the leg and thigh are activated by the muscular effort to hold the knee separator in place.

For those whose foot muscles, tendons and ligaments have becoome atrophied or paralyzed it may be desired to provide mechanical means for moving the feet as described. Apparatus adapted to perform this function is illustrated in Fig. 7. In this embodiment the plate 10a has a plurality of sleepers 39 fixed to its underside and is positioned in a tray 40 above the bottom of which the sleepers position it. In this embodiment the position limiting strap 29 is replaced by a cord 41 the ends of which are attached to the soles 22, 22 of the toe-receiving members 21, 21 at 30 and 31 just as the ends of the position limiting strap are attached in the apparatus heretofore described. The ends of the cord 41 pass through rings 42, 42 fixed in the plate and thence extend through a slot 43 beneath the plate 10a. On the underside of the plate 10a the double cord passes rearwardly to a central ring 44 whence it is suitably carried to a segmental pulley 45 pivoted to the rim of the tray 40 coaxially with a pinion Wheel 46 to which it is fixed. The looped end of the cord 41 is attached to the forward end of the segmental pulley 45 and the cord 41 follows the contour of the pulley between flanges thereon. A lever 47, carrying a segmental gear 48 at its lower end, is pivoted as at 49 to the rim of the tray 40 in such position that the teeth of the segmental gear mesh with those of a pinion wheel 50 which meshes with the teeth of the pinion wheel 46. Thus, when the exerciser draws the lever 47 toward him the motion is multiplied, and the segmental pulley is rocked to tighten the cord 41 and draw the toe-receiving members 21 and 21 toward one another against the tension of the springs 25, 25. Upon release of the force upon the lever, the springs 25, 25, separate the toe-receiving members and return the elements of the apparatus to the original parallel position. As here shown, the segmental gear 48 is pivoted to an extension 51 which is removably attached in any known or convenient manner to the rim of the tray 40.

The long handle of the lever 47 is separable because of a tongue-and-socket connection 52; and the handle may be removed and placed in the tray. A carrying and storage case 53 for the apparatus is also illustrated in Fig. 7. Such a case may also be provided for the apparatus illustrated in Figs. 1 to 6.

Means may be provided for automatically bending the toes of paralyzed or partly paralyzed feet into the clawlike position described above and illustrated in Figs. 2 and 3 of the drawings. One such means is illustrated in Fig. 7 in the form of a slipper toe 54 of the forward end of each toe-receiving member. With the heels of the exerciser pressed firmly against the heel-positioning member 13, the toe-receiving members 21 are drawn over the exercisers toes and the tapes 32 and 33 are tightened until the slipper toes bend or flex the toes of the exerciser into suitable position. The lever 47 is then operated to draw the toe-receiving members together, as described. It will be seen, therefore, that use of the exerciser forces the long and short muscles of the foot and leg, which are essential to the maintenance of the longitudinal and transverse arches, to be in constant interplay. Exercising the muscles of the foot and leg in such manner strengthens the foot and a gradual correction of the fallen longitudinal and transverse arches takes place counteracting the main causes of progressive deterioration of the functions of the foot.

The particular forms of the invention here described and illustrated in the accompanying drawings are presented merely as examples of how the invention may be applied. Other forms and embodiments of the invention, coming within the proper scope of the appended claims, will readily suggest themselves to those skilled in the art.

I claim: I

1. A foot exerciser comprising a plate, a pair of heelpositioning members adjustably disposed immediately upon said plate in a fixed position respecting the plane of said plate and respecting each other, a pair of separate toe-receiving members, and resilient means fixed to said respective toe-receiving members to resist movement of said toe-receiving members toward one another, in combination with means for adjusting the distance between each toe-receiving member and each heel-positioning member, said means comprising a slide ring fixed in said plate behind substantially the center of each of said heel-positioning members, and a pair of tapes oppositely atttached to each of said toe-receiving members at the end thereof into which the toes are inserted, said tapes being of sufiicient length to pass through the nearest of said slide rings and thence to extend and be tied around the ankles of the user to hold said respective toe-receiving adjustable members upon the feet.

2. A foot exerciser comprising a plate, a pair of heelpositioning members disposed immediately upon said plate in fixed position respecting the plane of said plate and respecting each other to fix the position of the heels of a user immediately upon said plate, a pair of separate toe-receiving members, a position-limiting strap fixed to each of said'toe-receiving members and extending therebetween to determine the maximum separation of said toe-receiving members, and springs each connected at one end to one of said toe-receiving members on the side thereof opposite to that to which said positionlimiting strap is fixed and pivoted at its other end to said plate in front of a heel-positioning member to extend in a direction away from said position-limiting strap, said springs acting to hold said toe-receiving members in front of the respective heel-positioning members and to resist movement of said toe-receiving members together.

3. A foot exerciser comprising a plate, a pair of heelpositiom'ng members disposed immediately upon said plate in fixed position respecting the plane of said plate and respecting each other to fix the position of the heels of a user immediately upon said plate, a pair of toereceiving members separate from said heel-positioning members, a position-limiting strap fixed to each of said toe-receiving members and extending therebetween to determine the maximum separation of said toe-receiving members, and springs each connected at one end to one of said toe-receiving members on the side thereof opposite to that to which said position-limiting strap is fixed and pivoted at its other end to said plate in front of a heel-positioning member to extend in a direction away from said position-limiting strap, said springs acting to hold said toe-receiving members in front of the respective heel-positioning members and to resist movement of said toe-receiving members together. i

4. A foot exerciser comprising a plate, a pair of heelpositioning members disposed immediately upon said plate in fixed position respecting the plane of said plate and respecting each other to fix the position of the heels of user immediately upon said plate, a pair of separate toe-receiving members, a position-limiting strap fixed to each of said toe-receiving members at the end thereof adjacent the toes when fully inserted therein and extending therebetween to determine the maximum separationof said toe-receiving members, a pair of tapes oppositely attached to each of said toe-receiving members at the end thereof into which the toes are inserted, and a ring fixed in said plate behind the center of each heelpositioning member through which said tapes of said respective toe-receiving members may be passed and brought forwardly and tied about the ankles of the user to hold said toe-receiving members upon the feet, in combination with springs each connected at one end to one of said toe-receiving members on the side thereof opposite to that to which said position-limiting strap is fixed and pivoted at its other end to said plate in front of a heel-positioning member to extend in a direction away from said position-limiting strap, said springs acting to hold said toe-receiving members in front of the respective heel-positioning members and to resist movement of said toe-receiving members together.

5. A foot exerciser comprising a plate having sockets formed therein, a pair of two-piece heel-positioning members, serving to outline and confine the heels of the feet when the feet are placed directly on the plate, each piece of each heel-positioning member having means cooperating with said sockets for adjustably fixing said member directly upon said plate in adjustable transversely-spaced relationship to the other piece of the heel-positioning member of which it is a piece and with the other of said pair of heel-positioning members, a pair of separate toe-receiving members, disposed at an appropriate distance to'which said heel-positioning members are adapted to be adjustably fixed, and resilient means fixed to said respective toe-receiving members constructed and arranged to resist inward and claw-like movements of a users feet and arches within said toe-receiving members.

6. A foot exerciser comprising a plate, a pair of heelpositioning members disposed immediately upon said plate in fixed position respecting the plane of said plate and respecting each other serving to outline and confine the heels of the feet when the feet are placed directly on the plate; a pair of separate toe-receiving members disposed on said plate at an appropriate distance from said heel-positioning members, means for adjusting said distance between said heel-positioning members and said toe-receiving members, and resilient means fixed to said respective toe-receiving members constructed and arranged to resist inward and claw-like movements of a users feet and arches within said toe-receiving members.

7. A foot exerciser comprising a plate, a pair of heelpositioning members adjustably disposed immediately upon said plate in fixed position respecting the plane of said plate and respecting each other serving to outline and confine the heels of the feet when the feet are placed directly on the plate, a pair of separate toe-receiving members disposed directly forward from said fixed heelpositioning members, and resilient means fixed to said respective toe-receiving members to resist inward and claw-like movements of the arch and toe muscles of a users feet in said heel-positioning and toe-receiving members toward one another.

8. A foot exerciser comprising a plate, a pair of heelpositioning members disposed immediately upon said plate in fixed position respecting the plane of said plate and respecting each other serving to outline and confine the heels of the feet when the feet are placed directly on the plate, a pair of separate toe-receiving members, and resilient means fixed to said respective toe-receiving members resisting inward movement thereof, in combination with manually operable means connected with said toe-receiving members for effecting inward and clawlike movements of the arch and toe muscles in said toereceiving members from a parallel position toward one another against the resiliency of said resilient means.

9. A foot exerciser comprising a plate, a pair of heelpositioning members disposed immediately upon said plate in fixed position respecting the plane of said plate and respecting each other serving to outline and confine the heels of the feet when the feet are placed directly 8 on the plate, a pair of separate toe-receiving members, resilient means fixed to said respective toe-receiving members to resist inward and claw-like movements of the arch and toe portions of the users feet when placed in said toe-receiving members toward one another, and a knee spacer to fixedly maintain the legs in spaced parallel position, cooperating with said fixed heel-positioning members to enhance the effectiveness of said exerciser.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 309,678 Aubin Dec, 23, 1884 745,154 Chlada Nov. 24, 1903 1,531,670 Levy Mar. 31, 1925 1,671,096 Anderson May 29, 1928 1,972,308 Mayland Sept. 4, 1934 2,069,384 Ogden Feb. 2, 1937 2,132,862 Pilates Oct. 11, 1938 2,224,103 Nilson Dec. 3, 1940 2,455,274 Scriver Nov. 30, 1948

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Classifications
U.S. Classification482/79
International ClassificationA63B23/08, A63B23/00, A63B21/055, A63B21/04, A63B21/02, A63B23/04, A63B23/035
Cooperative ClassificationA63B21/0442, A63B23/08, A63B2023/003, A63B2208/0228, A63B21/143, A63B23/03533, A63B21/023, A63B21/04, A63B21/055, A63B21/00061, A63B2208/0233
European ClassificationA63B21/14A7F, A63B23/035C4, A63B23/08, A63B21/02B