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Publication numberUS2815020 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 3, 1957
Filing dateSep 16, 1955
Priority dateSep 16, 1955
Publication numberUS 2815020 A, US 2815020A, US-A-2815020, US2815020 A, US2815020A
InventorsEric Barkschat
Original AssigneeEric Barkschat
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic exerciser for feet and legs
US 2815020 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 3, 1957 E. BARKscHAT 2,815,020

AUTOMATIC EXERCISER FOR FEET AND LEGS Filed Sept. 16, 1955 4 Sheets-Sheet l Dec. 3, 1957 E, BARKscHAT 2,815,020

AUTOMATIC EXERCISER FOR FEET AND LEGS Fied sept. 1s, 1955 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 DC- 3, 1957 E. BARKscHAT 2,815,020

- AUTOMATIC EXFRCTSER FOR FEET AND LEGS Filed sept. 1e, 1955 4 sheets-sheet 5 Dec. 3, 1957 E. BARKscHAT 2,815,020

AUTOMATIC EXERCISER FOR FEET AND LEGS Filed Sept. 16, 1955 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 4sects l the ankles. rock-,may =be varied. The pedals may beadjustedsothat thetoes point` straight ahead, `to `the right or .to the left,

United States Patent i AUTOMATIC EXERCISER FOR FEET AND LEGS `Eric Barkschat, Chicago, Ill.

`ApplicationSeptember 16, 1955,*Serial No. 534,801 11 Claims. (Cl. 12S-25) The present invention relates to therapeutic exercising Mapparatus suitable for `people suffering from neuromuscular disturbances and diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, infantile paralysis, etc.; and particularly toapparatus for exercising the lower extremities of the user.

Y`The-primary object of the invention is to `create an apparatus which, without requiring the user to .supply the energy,shall `have the capacity to move the feet of the user through ankle tlexing cycles of various kinds.

Viewed `in another way, the inventionmay be said to "fhaveforlits objectto create `an apparatus for `automati- `cally. exercising the feet of userwhile the lattertis comfortably seated, or reclining on a table or bed.

Incarrying out my invention I employ two members,

thattwil'l herein ybe referred to as pedals, to which the feet of the user are strapped, together with mechanism torockthem back and forth about la stationary axis;

the arrangement being such that the pivotal axis `inter- YThe angle through whichthe pedals and also so that `for any given length of angular movement of the stroke.

The beneeial eiectin-:the use ofvmy apparatus isvnot .confined tothe feetand anklesvbu'tiextendsto thedegs and, to some :extent at least, lto theftorso` ofrtheuser.

@Infone aspect the `invention may i therefore `be said to rbethe 1 discovery of a novel form `of exercisefor-feet.` and `other `parts through `power `manipulation n of the -1Jfeetvof the user.

Further objects of the invention arewthe creationfofa movel, integrated, portableuapparatus 'that'.mayvprovide .a seatrfor theuser `while exercising or penmit attachment ofthe essentialpart of the apparatus to tlre hed or table on `which 'theuser may lie; that makeseasy shifting of some parts rtolreduce the volumefor storing or shipping;

that ycauses the apparatus to lbe held 'station-ary in @anyposition on affloorand `yet provides rolling support `when it is desired to .move the same; and `that provides a large frange ofeasily :made adjustments tosuit the need atrany given time of users `differing greatly in size.

The `various features of novelty which characterize my `invention `will `hereinafter `berpointed out withlpartiouylaritytin the claims; but, for :a full understanding` ofthe invention aand `of itsqobjects and advantages, reference maybe hadrto the followinggdetailed descriptionltaken vin connection 1withrthe accompanying drawings, wherein:

Fig. l is a perspective View of an apparatus embodying a preferred form of `my invention, showing a user seated therein for receiving therapeutic treatment;

Fig 2k is la top plan viewof `the.apparatus..shown in Fig. l, folded for `shipment or storage;

`Fig. `3 is a` topplan `view. showing, on a .larger scale,

`only` one `end of the apparatus, ready `foruse;

Fig. 4 is a -side view of so much of the `apparatus `as appears in Fig. 3;

l@Fig ..5 is arsectionron line-.5 5 `of Figwft, one of `the 2,815,020 Patented Dec. 3, 1957 :2 pedals being shown in two positions, one in full lines land the other by broken lines;

Fig. 6 is a sectionon line 6--6 of Fig. 4; Fig. 7 `i`s la'seetomon a stilllarger scale, on line^77 5 of Fig. 4, but showingithe handle atthe toprin a diifer- `ent position;

Fig. 8 is a section on line 8-8 of Fig. 5','illustrating fthe `means for securing a pedal to its immediatesupport;

Fig. 9is asicleview'on a large scale of the seat structure, only lact'ragmentbeing shown;

"FiglOis `a-section `on line 10-10 of Fig. 9;

Fig. 11 `-is a `topplan view, with parts in section, of

`the connection between one of the blocks 'that support -the pedals and theconnecting rod for rocking that block;

Fig. "12 is a-view of `a detail, partly in section and on a larger-scale, illustratingthe caster and its mounting .ap- `pearing at the leftend in Fig. 1 land at the right -in Fig. *4; and

Fig. `13 is la .view, partly in elevation and partly in section, `"illustratingmeans `to attach the apparatus tota bed `or table, `after the seat-supporting `framing has heen disconnected.

Referring to the drawings, 1 is a rigid base or bed, `shown `as comprising a `sturdy longitudinal bar2 fixedfat `its ends tosa pair of `cross bars 3 and 4. Bar 3 is pro- 'vided at its endswithshort legs 5, extending downward,

andwith floor engaging shoes 6 on the lower ends of these legs. Bar `4 is provided at its ends with supporting l casters l7.

AAt the middle of baris a caster S, the stem of which tis rotatably-supported in `apart 9 extending in screw threaded relation `to the `bar through `the same. t9 may "ber screwed up anddown by means of ya handle i10-on` its upperend. When the caster unit is in its upper- .r-most position, it is either out of contact with the `iloor tor, at least,` permitsthe shoes 8 to `carry the load. When the -casterunitis screwed ldown, the shoes are raised off the floor 'and thecaster forms the swivel element of a Part three point rolling support for the base. The base, casters and shoesfform a` carriage.

i tRisingt-'from bar3 `ofthe carriageis a vertical tubular frame 11 in the Iform of an inverted U the legs of which tare connected tof the bar near the ends of the latter. The

cross piece of the 1U serves `as a handheld 1for pushing the earriagei'fromrone place to another.

`At themiddle of the-carriage, namely, midway between `therends of Vbar 2, is .a socket 12. As best shown in fFig. 4, aztubularpost 141is fixed in and `rises from the `socket; thesocket and post beingof much greater diam- `eterthan the tubing of :whichframe 11 is made. In the upper lend of this post is lixed a plug15. Surrounding the ipost is a :sturdy sleeve L16 provided at its lower endiwith an `internalrkey 17 which tits slidably in a ver- Hticallslot i118 in the `wall-of the "tubular post; this slot `termlnating` a short distance below the top of the post.

25. "On the upper end `of stem 24 is ya handle 26 for `turningthe same andthe screw.

Projecting radially/in `opposite directions from the exlpo'sedportion of block 19 are two stub-shafts 27, 27, each containing an annular` peripheral groove 28. These shafts serve as supports for tworectangular blocks 29, 29; eadh fshaft extending into one ofthe blocks at the center of one oftheaverticalsides. `Each :of these blocksismprovided with a little screw 30 that enters the groove 28 in its supporting shaft; whereby each block is prevented from moving lengthwise of its shaft but is free to rotate or oscillate thereon.

On the outer vertical sides of blocks 29, namely, the sides opposite those through which shafts 27 enter, are mounted members to which the feet of a user of the apparatus may be secured. The immediate supports for such members are brackets 31, 31; each comprising a main central section 32, longer than blocks 29, and two sections, 33 and 34, extending laterally in opposite directions from the ends of the central section. Section 32 contains a slot 32a extending lengthwise thereof. Screws 35 pass through long plates or washers 36, through said slots and into the adjacent sides of blocks 29.

Section 33 of each bracket overlaps that end of the block facing rearwardly, namely, toward that end of the carriage at which bar 4 is located. A set screw 37 extends through this part of the bracket and contacts the rear edge or side of the block that supports the bracket.

Section 34 of each bracket 31 serves as the immediate support for one of the two foot engaging members or pedals 38. The pedal may be simply a long rectangular plate having at one end a curved ange 382l to serve as a rest for the heel of a user. As best shown in Figs. and 8, the pedal is placed in a more or less upright position against the front side of bracket section 34, with a washer 39 intervening. A short bolt 40 passes through the pedal, the washer and the bracket and is provided with a knurled nut 41 on the rear side of the bracket; the bolt head 40a being seated in a depression 38b in the face of the pedal. The bolt is located only about one quarter of the length of the pedal from the heel rest, namely, a little below the level of the stub shafts 27. Each pedal is provided with two straps. An ankle strap 42 extends crosswise of and is fastened to a short piece of a wider, stiffer strap 43, at one end of the latter. This short strap extends forwardly through the pedal just above flange 38a. Rising from the middle of the flange is a small pin 38c which is adapted to enter any one of a longitudinal row of holes 43a in strap 43 to locate the ankle strap at any desired `distance from the sole-engaging face 0f the pedal. Strap 44 is secured to the pedal near the toe end so that it may pass over the foot of the user at about the base of the toes.

Blocks 29 are adapted to be power operated. To this end a sturdy platform 45 is fixed on sleeve 16 near the lower end, so as to project forwardly from the sleeve and post assembly. On this platform is mounted a suitable electric motor 46. The motor may be provided with any suitable cord and push button (not shown) to permit connection to be made with any usual wall outlet and allow the user to control the operation of the motor by means of the push button.

As shown in Fig. 6, power is delivered by the motor through a vertical shaft 46*l which drives a shaft 47 mounted in and extending transversely through the platform; power being transmitted from shaft 46a to the latter shaft through suitable gearing 48. On each end of shaft 47 is a crank arm 49. A lengthwise adjustable connecting rod 50 is pivotally connected to each crank arm and extends upwardly to the block 29 that is on the same side of the apparatus. Each connecting rod consists of a central tubular section 50a and two end sections, 50b and 50c screwed into the central section; one thread being left hand and the other being right hand.

Each connecting rod is coupled to a second bracket on the corresponding rocker block 29. This is best shown in Figs. l and ll. As shown in Fig. 1l, a piece 51 is set into the rear side of block 29 and projects therefrom. The free end of the long arm of an L-shaped bracket 52 is fixed to piece 51 so as to constitute a rigid arm extending from the block at right angles to the common axis of stub shafts 27. A long screw 53 extends through the short arm of this'bracket and yenters a bearing seat 54`in the'block.

The screw is rotatable but held against lengthwise movement, and it has on its outer end a knurled knob or finger piece 53a. On screw 53 is a nut 55. A sturdy, round pin 56 is fixed to the nut and passes through a slot 52a extending lengthwise of the long arm of the bracket. The outer end of this pin extends through a head piece 57 on the upper end of the corresponding connecting rod 50 and serves as a pivot pin connecting the rod and the bracket.

In order that the apparatus may be used to the best advantage, it is desirable that means be provided to support the user restfully while exercising. That is the purpose of the apparatus which will now be described.

In Fig. l is shown an attachment for seating a User of the apparatus. This consists of two simple side panels 60, a seat 61, and a back 62 for the seat. Each panel consists of a single tubular frame, similar to part 11. Each frame has two horizontal tubular elements, 63 and 64, spaced apart from each other and connecting the legs of the U. The rear leg of each panel is provided with a shoe similar to shoe 6.

Seat 61 spans the distance between bars or tubes 64 and has thereon clips 65 that hook over the same. Back 62 has hooks 66 that slip down over bars or tubes 63. Loose collars 67 (Figs. 9 and l0), slidable on members 63 behind the seat and adapted to be locked to such members by setscrews 68, serve to prevent the back from being pushed rearwardly until the collars are released.

To facilitate assembling the seating attachment and the carriage of the power exerciser, I prefer to provide the rear bar 4 thereof with short posts 69, shown in Fig. 13, rising from the ends of the bar. These posts fit into the tubular front legs of side panels 60 and hold the two structures together, while permitting the seating unit to be detached by simply lifting its front end high enough to clear posts 69.

Providing the base with posts 69 makes it possible to connect a bed or table to the carriage for the power apparatus, so that the user may lie on his back while undergoing automatic exercising.

Thus, in Fig. 13, 70 represents one of two posts which are suflicient to couple the carriage for the power apparatus to a bed. Post 70 comprises a tube 71 that may be slipped over one of the short posts 69 on the carriage, a long screw 71 extending down into the tube from above, and a nut 72 on the screw and resting on the upper end of the tube. The upper end of the screw may be provided with a Isimple fork 73 in which a cross piece 74 ,at the foot of the bed frame may be seated. After the carriage has moved close to the bed or table, with two 'of posts 70 mounted thereon and positioned below cross lpiece 74 and in the vertical plane containing the latter, nuts 72 need only be turned to raise forks 73 high enough to engage the cross piece. The foot of the bed or the end of the table may be raised, if necessary, by further turning of the nuts.

For shipping or storing purposes and, also, when there is no immediate need for the apparatus, the seat-carrying structure may be collapsed and be placed in the carriage. In such cases the back and seat members are detached, permitting each of the two panels 60 to be swung about the point of `its connection with the carriage through an angle of as indicated in Fig. 2. The seat 61 and the back 62 may then be set on the carriage just behind frame 11. When so folded or collapsed the apparatus ccupies only one half the oor space as is required in Operation When exercising is to be carried out While the user is in a sitting position, the seat and back are adjusted so that the feet of the user will engage the pedals, with the legs straight or bent at the knees, and the feet are strapped to the pedals.

When a user lying on a bed or table is to be given a treatment, the seat structure is detached from the carriage asia-,cao

and the latter is coupled to the `bedoi table occupiedlby the user. When the bed or table is much higher than the seat which it replaces, the entirepower apparatus Jon the ,carriage may be raised, by turning-handle 26,'to15bring the pedals to the properlevel, anditlie usersrfeet are strapped to the pedals.

Thereafter the operation of the apparatus is the same, regardless as to whether the user is seated or lying down.

The apparatus, once in operation, simply rocks the pedals back and forth. What is of the utmost importance is that yan indefinite variety of effects may be achieved through the many adjustments that may be made in the apparatus. The bodily adjustments of the pedals from and toward 4the axis about which they rock, by shifting brackets 31, permits the feet to be positioned so that such axis intersects the angles regardless of the size of the feet.

The pedals may be adjusted so that the feet, as viewed by the user, may swing back and forth in parallel, vertical planes, namely as though they pointed straight ahead i-n walking; or the toes and heels may swing in different parallel, vertical planes, either with the toes closer together than yare the heels, or just the reverse. Th-is is made possible by the adjustable pedal mounting illustrated in Fig. 8.

The angle through which the feet are swung may be Varied over a considerable range by lengthening or shortening of the lever arms through which the connecting rods 50 -act on rocker members 29.

The point in a vertical plane at which a toe, for example, begins to move or ends a movement may be varied by adjusting the lengths of the connecting rods, so that the angle between a foot and the leg at the end of a stroke may be varied.

It will be noted that each adjustment is independent of any other so that what is happening to one foot may be quite different than the treatment being given to the other foot. Thus each foot may be subjected to stresses best adapted to achieve a `desired result.

As each foot is swung alternately back and forth, the forward movement places certain muscles in the corresponding leg under tension, whereas, during the return movement other muscles are affected. The effect with respect to each foot of course varies according to the adjustments of its pedal and operating means.

The user may wear shoes while exercising, so that all `references to the sole of the foot are intended to include the sole of a shoe worn on such foot.

In the drawings the parts are so arranged that one kpedal pulls a foot forward while the other pedal presses the foot thereon back, so that one foot and leg are being stressed in one manner while the other foot and leg are being given a different treatment. While that is the preferred method of operating, the two pedals could obviously lfbe caused to move in unison.

While the major benefits derived from the fuse of this automatic exerciser are received by the feet and legs, I have found that there is also some stimulating effect discernible in the body of the user.

While I have illustrated and described in detail a preferred form of my invention and the manner in which its various parts cooperate, I do not desire to be limited to such details; but intend to cover all forms that come within the definitions constituting the appended claims.

I claim:

l. An exercising apparatus comprising a pair of members mounted for rocking movements about a common axis; a pedal connected to each of said members and having a foot sole engaging surface parallel to and spaced a distance from said axis about equal to the distance from the sole of the foot of a user to the ankle joint, a radius from said axis at right angles to said surface intersecting the latter at a point about one-quarter of the way up from the heel end of the pedal; a rotatable shaft provided with j .one of `the cranks andjat' theotherendto one ofsaidnienibers; `and means forlrotating said shaft.

c2.` An exercising apparatus `as fsettforth in `claim `1, wherein means are provided to adjust the point of attachment for one end of each connecting rod to vary the angle through whichatpedallisfrocked- 3. An exercising apparatus was `set forth `in claim l, `wherein the connecting rods are adjustable in length, `so that theinc'linationof `afpedalto a'vertical plane at'the end of a rocking stroke may be varied.

4. An exercising apparatus as set forth in claim l, wherein the connection between each pedal and its supporting member is an element adjustable on the block transversely of while remaining at the same radial distance from the axis about which the pedal rocks.

5. An exercising apparatus comprising a movable carriage, a column on and rising from the carriage, a power operated exercising unit mounted on said column so as to permit it to be shifted bodily into various positions lengthwise of the column, such unit including rockable pedals for attachment to the feet of a user, and means for attaching the carriage to supports on which the user of the unit is seated or reclines.

6. A foot exercising apparatus comprising a carriage, a power-operated unit mounted on the carriage `and having pedals to be secured to the feet of a user, short posts rising from one end of the carriage at opposite sides thereof, and a collapsible structure meeting said end of the carriage for supporting such user; said structure including two side panels having in their lower ends sockets which fit over the short posts on the carriage, and detachable seat means 'between and connecting the panels together; and said panels being free to swing around the short posts through angles of upon removal of the seat means, to form sides for the carriage.

7. An exercising apparatus as set forth in claim 6, wherein the parts that are tted Ion the short posts on the carriage are adjustable lengthwise and are provided at their upper ends with means to be engaged with a structure for supporting a user to connect the same to the carriage.

8. In an exercising apparatus, a carriage comprising a bed portion having at one end an upright in the form of an inverted U spanning the width of the frame, short posts rising from the second end of the carriage at opposite sides thereof, two vertical panels, each containing a socket in which Ione of sa-id short posts is seated, extending away from the carriage parallel to the longitudinal axis of the latter, and detachable seat means extending between 4and connecting said panels together.

9. An exercising apparatus as set forth in claim 8, wherein each panel is in the form of a tube of inverted U shape and two parallel bars at right angles to the legs of the U and secured to such legs; land wherein the seat means consists of -a seat resting lon and slidable along the lower bars, together with a back detachably connected to the upper bars.

10. An exercising apparatus comprising a support, two blocks mounted on said support for rocking movements about a common axis, a bracket mounted `on each block, a pedal mounted on each block and having sole engaging surfaces paralleling said axis, the mounting for each pedal including means to adjust it angularly in its own plane about an axis |at right angles thereto and nearer the heel end than the toe end, means to adjust each bracket on its block to move the pedal thereon closer to or farther away from said common laxis, a power driven crank shaft, and connecting rods between said shaft and the two blocks.

1l. An exercising apparatus comprising a support, a pedal mounted on the support for rocking movements yabout an axis parallel t-o and spaced apart from the plane thereof, a heel-supporting ange at one end of the pedal, an ankle strap, an elongated supporting element for the ankle strap extending slidably through the pedal close to the flange, a pin rising from the flange, said element containing holes distributed ialong the same to receive the pin, and a toe strap on the pedal toward the other end of the pedal.

References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,948,534 Nelson Feb. 27, 1934 Clark Oct. 8, 1940 Minnberg Aug. 28, 1951 Pfaus Nov. 22, 1955 Jones Feb. 21, 1956 'Clark July 31, 1956

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1948534 *Jul 25, 1932Feb 27, 1934Henry Erwin WFoot muscle exerciser
US2216764 *Jun 1, 1937Oct 8, 1940Clark Charles WFoot muscle exercising machine
US2566239 *Mar 19, 1948Aug 28, 1951Mininberg Nathan DOscillator apparatus for beds
US2724592 *Aug 18, 1953Nov 22, 1955Andrew J PfausAdjustable chair for exercising apparatus
US2735422 *Nov 4, 1954Feb 21, 1956William Lloyd JonesExercise cycle
US2756743 *Dec 31, 1954Jul 31, 1956Frank L CarsonExercising machine
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3035570 *Aug 22, 1960May 22, 1962Lynn H EwingFoot treating device
US3370584 *Nov 25, 1964Feb 27, 1968William GirtenApparatus for the stimulation of blood circulation in the feet and legs
US3441014 *Mar 31, 1967Apr 29, 1969James E RamseyTiltable cot with reciprocal motion attachment
US3767191 *Jul 16, 1970Oct 23, 1973Riley BPractice pommel horse assembly
US4159111 *Jun 21, 1977Jun 26, 1979Scholl, Inc.Leg exercising apparatus
US4204676 *Dec 21, 1977May 27, 1980Givens Edmond WBack exerciser
US4337939 *Feb 20, 1980Jul 6, 1982Hoyle David CAnkle exercise device
US4432543 *Feb 24, 1982Feb 21, 1984Michel NormandinPhysiotherapeutic self-exerciser
US4480830 *Sep 14, 1982Nov 6, 1984Wright State UniversityMethod and apparatus for exercising
US4556214 *Aug 24, 1984Dec 3, 1985Wright State UniversityMethod and apparatus for exercising
US4629185 *Jul 11, 1985Dec 16, 1986Amann Michael JUniversal hydraulic exerciser
US4676501 *Sep 23, 1985Jun 30, 1987Michael J. AmorosoExercise machine
US4708128 *Oct 15, 1985Nov 24, 1987Enrico AncillottiStationary bicycle with inclinable pedal crank axes for treating knee anomalies
US4784121 *Jan 26, 1988Nov 15, 1988Brooks Lester NKnee exercising device
US7892154 *Mar 5, 2009Feb 22, 2011Austen AlexaShock absorber ankle exercise device
US20030060339 *Mar 15, 2002Mar 27, 2003Sundaram RavikumarSoleus pump
EP0205018A2 *May 24, 1986Dec 17, 1986Samuel HeatonLeg exerciser
EP0205018A3 *May 24, 1986Aug 5, 1987Samuel HeatonImprovements relating to leg exercisers
WO1994022411A1 *Mar 10, 1994Oct 13, 1994Medireha GmbhMovement system for the upper talocalcanean joint
U.S. Classification601/26, 601/27, 601/35
International ClassificationA61H1/02
Cooperative ClassificationA61H1/0266
European ClassificationA61H1/02L5