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Publication numberUS2764412 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 25, 1956
Filing dateAug 5, 1953
Priority dateAug 5, 1953
Publication numberUS 2764412 A, US 2764412A, US-A-2764412, US2764412 A, US2764412A
InventorsGeorge W Dunham
Original AssigneeGeorge W Dunham
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Exercising apparatus
US 2764412 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

p 25, 1956 e. w. DUNHAM 2,764,412


Filed Aug. 5, 1953 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 l F q'gz JNVENTOR. 6505a: 14 Du/w/AM ATTORNL'Y,

Sept. 25, 1956 G. w. DUNH'AM 2,764,412

EXERC ISING APPARATUS Filed Aug. 5, 1953 2 Sheets-Sheet 2' az I INVENTOR. 650E615 W DU/VHAM xifmhxmm ATTORNEY cated by 20 (see Fig. 10).

EXERCISING APPARATUS George W. Dunham, Westport, Conn. Application August 5, 1953, Serial No. 372,563

6 Claims. (Cl. 272-58) The invention relates to exercising apparatus and more particularly to apparatus to assist those who, for various reasons, find it necessary to take what is sometimes called the Berger Exercise.

The Berger Exercise consists in lying on the back with the legs held up substantially vertical for a given period of time. The patient then sits up with the legs hanging over the edge of the couch without touching the floor while the feet and toes are articulated. After this, the patient lies down with the legs stretched out horizontally. The above cycle is then repeated.

According to the present invention, a special couch is provided having special provision for taking the Berger Exercise with a maximum of comfort. Other objects'of the invention will be apparent from the description and c auns.

. In the drawings which illustrate oneembodiment of the invention,

Fig. 1 is a perspective of the exercise apparatus, according to the invention, in set up position;

Figs. 2, 3 and 4 show diagrammatically the three main positions of the Berger Exercise, to illustrate how the apparatus is used;

Fig. 5 showsthe apparatus. folded flat for storage;

Fig. 6 is a detail, taken on the line 6-6 of Fig. 1,'illustrating the construction of a leg pivot and of a diagonal brace;

Fig. 7 is a section, on the line 7--7 of Fig. 1, illustrating the adjustment of the upper foot rest;

Fig. 8 is a perspective of a special washer;

Fig. 9 is a section, on the line 9--9 of Fig. 1, illustrating the manner of hinging the lower foot rest; and

Fig. 10 is a section, on the line 1010 of Fig. 5, illustrating how a strand of webbing is attached to a supporting tubular member. v

Referring now to the drawings, the couch comprises in general a couch top 10, legs 11 at the head end of the couch, legs 12 at the foot :end, a lower foot rest 14, an upper foot rest 15, and diagonal braces 27. The couch, in general, may be made up of metal tubing, and flexible webbing, such as commonly used in garden furniture.

United States Patent 0 The couch top 10 comprises a U-shaped frame made up 1 of side rails 16 having extensions 17, with a cross brace 18 at the foot end suitably welded to the rails 16. Web bing, indicated in general by 19, is stretched across the couch, both longitudinally and transversely, in an interwoven configuration. Each end of each web strand is wrapped around the particular tubing to which it is connected and held in place by set screws and washers indi- The couch top is of such length as to accommodate the trunk and head of the tallest patient for which the couch is designed. The couch legs 11, 12 are long enough to place the couch top 10 above knee height (Fig. 4).

The extensions 17 support a lower foot rest 14 in such position as to support the patients legs or feet as he lies down on the couch, as shown in Fig. 3. A hinge strap 23 (Fig. 9) loosely surrounds the adjacent extension 17 so that the foot rest 14 may be raised to permit a patient to walk between the extensions 17 and sit down on the foot of the couch at cross brace 18. The lower foot rest is also adjustable lengthwise of the extensions 17 according to the patients height.

The legs 11 at the head of the couch are made of a single U-piece pivoted to the insides of the rail 16, as shown. The legs 12 at the foot of the couch have uprights 13 formed into U-shape and pivoted to the outside of the rails 16.

The upper adjustable foot rest 15 has a fixed hook' 24 (Fig. 7) attached thereto by which the foot rest 15 is slidable on the upright 13. An adjustable hook 25, in the form of a clamp, is provided at the other end of the foot rest 15. A thumb nut 22 is provided for adjusting the clamp 25. It will be understood thatby loosening the thumb nut 22, the foot rest 15 may be slid vertically up and down uprights 13, to accommodate the patients height. I

It will be noted from the drawing that the lower foot rest 14 actually contacts the lower leg of the patient and thus indirectly supports the patients foot; in the claims the term foot rest is intended to cover any rest that supports leg or foot of the patient.

The several pivots for securing the legs to the rails 16 have similar construction. The pivot securing leg 12 to rail 16 is described with reference to Figs. 6 and 8. Special washers 32, having one face curved and the other face plane, are provided. The curved faces fit the tubular stock and the plane faces abut. A'pivot pin 26 passes through tubular stock, and washers, and is riveted over as indicated.

The diagonal braces 27 are of similar construction. Referring to Fig. 6, the diagonal brace 27 is suitably pivoted to the rail 16 and has a pin 28 adapted to fit in a hole in the leg 12. A slide '29 is mounted on screws 31 and has a seat 30 engaging over the brace 27 to hold the pin 28 in its hole.

The above construction permits folding the couch into a flat space, as indicated in Fig. 5. To set up the apparatus, it is only necessary to fold down the legs, as indicated in Fig. 1, place the pins 28 of braces 27 in their respective holes, and move the slides 29 to engage over the braces 27.

To use the apparatus, the patient merely lifts the lower foot rest 14, walks between extensions 17 to the foot of the couch and sits down. He then folds down the lower foot rest 14 and adjusts both the lower foot rest, and the upper foot rest 15 to proper position. He is then ready to take the three exercise positions illustrated in Figs. 2, 3 and 4.

Thus, convenient apparatus is provided for those who must take an exercise sometimes called the Bergen Exercise. This is as follows. The patient must lie on his back, with legs extended vertically above his trunk with his feet against the upper foot rest, for a given period of time (Fig. 2). He then sits up and allows his legs to hang over the edge of the couch while the feet and toes are articulated for a certain length of time (Fig. 4). The patients legs dangle so that the feet do not touch the floor, and the patient may grasp the uprights. After this, the patient lies down with his legs stretched out horizontally and resting upon the lower foot rest (Fig. 3). The above cycle is then repeated. Other exercises requiring similar positions of the patients body may be taken on this apparatus.

It will be noted that the spacing of the lower foot rest 14 from the foot of the couch top provides a lower passage through the frame of the couch; and that the spacing of the upper foot rest 15 at head height above the foot of the couch top provides an upper unobstructed passage through the frame of the couch. These two passages have decided advantages for the patients comfort. The lower passage provides space through which the patients .legsacan .dangle 'as in Fig. A; -it provides --space through which the patient can raise his legs to rest them on the lower foot rest 14, as in Fig. 3. The upper passageqrrovidesmpaee ithrough which the patientmay move his legs Tfrom :the :horizontalposit-ion of Fig. '3 to the upraisedtposition ofiFig. 2. iInadditiou,'when=lower foot rest zl lxis raised, ithe lower and upper 1 passages give the patient direct access to the foot of thedeoueh top enabling him to slt downzin the=position shown in Figx4, without hindrance.

Itiwill alsobeuoted-that'the eouch=top 10, lower foot rest 14,:upper foot rest '15 and upper and lower' passages all lie in the same vertical plane so that the patlentisirce to-movehisibody into'ithe three main positions, .shown in Figs. 2, '3 and 4, by=-s'implyswinging 'his legs or trunk. as .the case'-may be,=about horizontal axes 1 adjacent his hips orikneen without any tiresome shifting, pivoting or twisting -oflhis'body.

'lIhe :apparatus is simple to-"construction, easy vtosetup andzuse; and easily folded'fonstorage. It has been' found from aetual experienee -that, whenthe upper foot-rest is adjusted to accommodate the feet in upright position,-it will clear the patientshead whensitting up. lf=it -develops-that some "people'sit 'higher'so that 'their heads strike the -upper foot :rest, its center part-canbe .cut away-"and thwpatient-s feefirested 'on each sideofthe opening. The foot rests may, of course, be convenientlypaddedifor the patient scomfo'rt.

Whileficertainnovel features ofthe-invention have been disclosed herein, and are pointed out in the annexed claims,-it willbe understood thatwarious omissions, "substitutions mud-"changes may be made -by *those skilled in the-art without'tleparting from the spirit of theinvention.

What is-:claimed is:

'1. In :an exercise :couch, :-a framework comprising a couch top to support a patients -headand trunk inprone position, an upright-standard at 'the foot=endof said couch top, saidstandard comprising an upright'on each side:o'f the couch top, a foot rest comprising 'a rigid member bridging the upper portions of said uprights, saidfoot-rest being'vertically spaced from said couch top a distance corresponding-to the=patients I trunk and head to a provide an-unobstructed'passagethrough the frameworlg'the center lines of said couch top, said foot rest and passage lying generally i11-=the=same'-vertical plane, means to support said 'couch' top above the fioor'a distance greater-than the height of the patients-knees, whereby the patient may sit on the foot end of'the couch with his-hands-graspingrsaid uprights-and with -'his legsprojectingithrough said unobstructed passage-and 'danglingpveri-the'end of the couch top, and whereby the patientmaytswing-his trunk and head to prone position on the couch top and swing his legs through said unobstructed passage to a position :against sai'd foocrest, all without twisting his 'body.

2. man-exercise much, a unitaryframework comprising 'a-eoueh top to 'support a-patienfis head and trunk in prone positiorna' lower 'foot rest on said-frameworkat .gen-

erall ythesameflevel asssaid couch top,-said footrestbeing horizontally spaced from the foot end of said couch top to provide a lower passagefor the patients legs through the framework between said couch top and foot rest, a generally vertical standard at the foot end of said couch top, an upper foot rest at the upper end of said standard, said upper foot rest being vertically spaced above said couch top a distance corresponding to thepatients trunk and head to provide an upper unobstructed passage through the..framework or.the;pa.tient1s.trnnk,.the center lines of said couch top, lower passage and lower foot rest and ofssaidmpper feoc'rest and'upperpassage lying generally in the same vertical plane, means. tosupport said couch top above the floor a distance greater than the height of the patients knees, whereby the patient may sit on the foot end of the couch with his legs dangling over the end of the couch top through said upper and lower passages, and wherebyrthepatientmayiswing his trunk and hea'dtoprone position :on the .couch'ftop and =swing'hisllegs through said lower passage 10 (a position on said lower 'foot 1'=est,and whereby said patient may swing his legs-through saidupper passagettozaiposition'against saidupper foot'rest,*-all withmitt twistingrhis body.

B. couehaaceordingrto cl-aim .2 in*-which the standard comprisesramuprig'ht-on each side of the 'couchtop, which therpatientmnaytgrasp when in-sitting position with his :legs danglingrthroughsaichlower passage.

4. A couch according to claim 2-in which-'means are provided Tforzmovingsaid -lower-foot res'tfrom its opera- 'tiveposit-ienstoprovide unobstructed access for the-patient to theifootien'dwf thecouchitop.

:5..-A wcoueh according toclaim 2 in which separate means are provided for adjusting the position of the lower andulpperffoot rests for patients-of different height.

6. A couch according to claim 3 in which sai'd-couch topcOmpriSes side railspsaid eupporting means comprising first couch legs hingedly pivoted=to'the=head'end of the con-chimpz-at theiinside of the rails and second couch legs hingedly 'pivoted "at-the foot end of'the 'couchtop at-"the ell) outside of the rails, said uprights comprising extensions of said'second couch legs,'-whereby, to folcl-the couch, said uprights .rnayibe foldedtd'own outside said rails andsaid first :couch legsmay be folded up" inside of said rails.

References (Cited inthe rfilecof this "patent UNITED STATES -PPITEIIFS Donald Mar. 19,.1-895 554,098 'Tilley Feb. 4, .1896 943,217 Clark s Dec. 14,..19'09 1,038,623 Merchant -.Sept. .17, 19.1.2 1,539,214 Shockey .May.26, .1925 2,067,891 vCornper .J an. .19., .1937 2,644,688 "Roberge July 7, .1953 FOREIGN PATENTS "526,469 TGreatBritain Sept. 18,1940

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2867485 *May 8, 1957Jan 6, 1959Schmidt Theodore FFolding stand
US2893803 *Jan 31, 1958Jul 7, 1959Edwin L ZiviCollapsible overbed table
US3030109 *Sep 23, 1959Apr 17, 1962Albitz Benjamin FPunching bag exercising apparatus
US3119613 *Nov 13, 1962Jan 28, 1964Zbyszko WladekExercising apparatus
US3379434 *Jan 7, 1965Apr 23, 1968Peter J. GuzaldoExercising apparatus to aid in the practice of yoga
US3709488 *Nov 17, 1971Jan 9, 1973J GarnerCollapsible portable exercising machine
US4140128 *Jul 14, 1977Feb 20, 1979Schaaf Joe V DSun tanning table
US4337942 *Apr 2, 1980Jul 6, 1982Sidlinger Bruce CPortable exercising device usable alone or with other devices for multiple routines
US4341378 *Sep 22, 1980Jul 27, 1982Agyagos Ferenc IMultipurpose exerciser device
US4830367 *Nov 23, 1987May 16, 1989Spine Design, Inc.Exercise device
US5122106 *Sep 13, 1990Jun 16, 1992Duncan F. AtwoodStretching apparatus
US5127647 *Mar 20, 1991Jul 7, 1992Wilkinson William TPortable, adjustable exercise step/bench
US5653670 *Apr 11, 1994Aug 5, 1997Endelman; KenExercise apparatus
US6966404 *May 19, 2003Nov 22, 2005Cosco Management, Inc.Folding step stool
US20040231918 *May 19, 2003Nov 25, 2004Meeker Paul K.Folding step stool
US20130225378 *Feb 14, 2013Aug 29, 2013Denis E BurekLeg Stretching Machine For Simultaneously Stretching All Stride Muscles And Method Of Using
EP0460535A1 *May 29, 1991Dec 11, 1991William T. WilkinsonPortable, adjustable exercise step/bench
U.S. Classification482/142, 5/178, 108/129, 5/648
International ClassificationA63B23/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B21/00047
European ClassificationA63B21/00E