US 3006645 A
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Oct. 31, 1961 D. c. FRAZIER 3,006,645
ACROBATIC TRAINING AID Filed May 27, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Don C. Frazier INVENTOR.
Oct. 31, 1961 D. c. FRAZIER ACROBATIC TRAINING AID 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 27, 1959 Dan C. Frazier 1N VEN TOR.
United States Patent 3,006,645 ACROBATIC TRAINING AID Don C. Frazier, P.O. Box 276, Rantoul, Ill. Filed May 27, 1959, Ser. No. 816,141 4 Claims. (Cl. 272-60) This invention relates to training devices and more particularly to an acrobatic twisting and safety belt.
An object of the invention is to provide an acrobatic training and safety device to be used for all types of aerial twisting that are performed in trampoline, tumbling and acrobatic work.
A further object of the invention is to provide an acrobatic trainer and aid which materially facilitates teaching and training by furnishing support for the pupil at his waist and by enabling the teacher to exert various lifting, lowering and twisting forces on the body of the pupil. The part of the training device which embraces the waist of the pupil, is mounted for rotation in an outer ring and is capable of full and free or essentially free rotation. Consequently, the pupil will be able to perform all of the acrobatic work in the ordinary repertoire, under the control of a trainer thereby teaching and improving technique.
Briefly, the acrobatic training device is worn with an inner belt buckle in the back, the belt buckle being the means by which to tighten a belt around the waist of the pupil. This provides stability for the pupil within a pair of concentric rings around the performers waist. Further, tightening the belt buckle places the rings closer to the body in the front and gives more room for the elbows and forearms, automatically placing the training ropes by which the rings are lifted, tilted, etc. behind the performers arms and out of his way. There are loops, preferably made of nylon fabric, to which the safety ropes are attached, and when hit by the performers elbows no injury is caused. Other types of fastening of the ropes to the rings is quite dangerous because the elbows or arms are swinging into them and the performer could possibly be injured or cut.
An advantage of this training aid is found in the inner shock cord connecting the belt at spaced places to the inner ring so that the belt is form-fitting and automatically adjusts to any waist size, the adjustment merely being made by tightening the belt buckle around the performers waist. The shock cord also provides a more rigid mounting on the performer so as to prevent any rocking up and down and slipping of the performer within the belt.
A further feature of the training aid is that it provides a smoother more effortless operation so that when the performer initiates a twisting or turning motion the device absorbs the torque so initiated, and allows the performer fgllil freedom in any turning or twisting motion he may t e.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a top view of the acrobatic training device.
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view showing the concentric ring, shock cord and bearing constrnction of the device.
FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of the training device showing it in use and rigged with safety ropes.
FIGURE 4 is a sectional view taken on the line 44 of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 5 is a sectional view taken on the line 5--5 of FIGURE 1.
3,006,645 Patented Oct. 31., 1961 "ice FIGURE 6 is a sectional view taken on the line 6-6 of FIGURE 1.
In the accompanying drawings FIGURE 3 shows a schematic portion 10 of a pupil or other performer with the device or unit 12 connected to and encircling his waist in the suggested manner. Safety ropes 14 and 16, which are under supervision and manual control of an instructor are attached to device 12 and they are reeved or trained over aligned pulleys 18, 20 and 22, the latter pulley being a double sheave over which both ropes are entrained. Rope 16 extends from pulley 22, over central guide pulley 20 and around pulley 18, and the free ends of the ropes are adapted to be held and maintained under the control of another person, usually an experienced instructor.
Device 12 is an annular frame and consists of a pair of concentric inner and outer rings 24 and 26 mounted for relative rotation with reference to each other. Inner ring 24 has a circumferential groove 28 in its outer surface, and outer ring 26 has a circumferential groove 30 in its inner surface. The grooves are endless and they form a raceway for a number of plastic antifriction balls 32 which provide bearings and which hold the rings assembled with each other. The balls enter the raceway by being passed through a passage 34 (FIGURE 2) in outer ring 26. Removable plug '36 is threaded in passage 34 and forms a closure for the passage. The surface 38 which confronts the balls 32 is partially cylindrical to form a smooth continuation of groove 30. When the plug 36 is removed, the balls 32 can be removed one-ata-time from the confronting grooves 30 and 28 for cleaning purposes. They can be replaced through the same passage 34 and the plug 36 replaced. The plug 36 is held against displacement by a setscrew 39.
There is a shock cord 42 connected to the inner ring 24 at equidistant circumferentially spaced places. Being a shock cord, cord 42 is made of rubber or some other flexible, elastic and resilient substance. The attachment between the shock cord and ring 24 is made by having short arcuate channels 44 formed in ring 24 and by causing the coacting portions of the shock cord 42 to pass therethrough. The ends (not shown) of the rubber or equivalent shock cord are connected together thereby forming a multi-point suspension for the shock cord.
The body encircling belt 46 is attached to the shock cord at a number of spaced places on the periphery of the belt. A conventional buckle 50 is at the ends of the belt so that it may be tightened around the waist of the performer. The means for attaching the shock cord 42 to belt 46 are shown in FIGURE 6 and consist essentially of short straps 54 connected by stitching 56 to the belt on opposite sides of shock cord 42.
Although a number of methods of attaching ropes 14 and 16 may be resorted to there is a special advantage in using loops 60 and 62 for this purpose. Egch loop, for instance loop 62, is made of nylon fabric or some other flexible and very strong substance. Loop 62 has an inner loop portion 64 which extends through a transverse slot 66 (-FIG. 4) in ring 26, and has an outer loop portion 68 to which a conventional clamp 70 at the end of rope 14 is secured. Loop 60 is connected to ring 26 at a place diametrically opposed to the connection of loop 62 to the same ring 26.
The use and operation of the acrobatic training device has been mentioned previously. In summary, outer ring 26 is maintained supported by ropes 14 and 16, and it can twist because loops 62 and 60 are capable of flexing and because of the flexible nature ofv ropes 14 and 16. Inner ring 24 is freely rotatable with respect to the outer ring. Further, the body of the performer may flex, twist, etc. with reference to ring 24 because belt 46 which surrounds the waist of the performer, is attached to and thus mounted on the endless single rubber shock cord 42. The shock cord 42 establishes the only but desired mechanical operating connection between belt 46 and the inner ring 24.
. Briefly summarized, the 'ring'26 has a ball race or groove 30 on its inner surface. Ring 24 also has a complemental ball race or groove 28' of a corresponding dimension on its outer surface. Ring 26 has a screwthreaded plug 36 screwed into ball loading hole 34 on the outside diameter for uick assembly and disassembly of rings 24 and 26. Plug 36 may be held in position by setscrew ,39 (FIG. 5). Ring 24 has a slot 44 therein as 7 shown in FIGURE 2. Nylon fabric suspension loops 62 are securely mounted on the ring 26 180 degrees apart, to which swivel harness, snaps 7.0 and ropes 14 and 16 are attached, The inner ring 24 has an elastic shock cord 42 mounted at equidistant circumferentially spaced points to whichbelt 46 is attached by nylon fabric sleeves 54,
the latter spitably secured on said belt. These front and rear sleeves 54 are attached at four places to the rubber shock cord 42, with the front section of the cord left unattached at the belt buckle, for ease in donning and 7 free ends of ropes are under control of the instructor.
These ropes are allowed 29 run slack under the control of. the instructor until such time as the performer needs to be held with a taut rope to prevent injury. Center pulley 2.0 is merely to keep the rope 16 from fouling. Pulley 22 is a double sheave with both ropes trained th re ver d running h ugh The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, i is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and des ribed, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the in en i n a claimed.-
What is claimed as new is as follows: .r a robat tra n n de i e om o an an la frame embodying coplanar concentric inner and outer panion r n h v n pposed ro ve s r s with he g oove there t reg s r n n Pr v ding a e ay, a p u ality of ant -f iction ba s mount d in sa raceway nd in atiab e and remo able b Wa of a P u h p o id d le e a he ute r n a d encircling belt d pt d to embr ce the body o a tr s g a belt bein Pr vided a ircumt r n a lv space poin w sleeves, t e nne per pheral po o Qfsa d nner n being p vided with equidistant circumferentially spaced open-ended ate p ss ges s u ptin rc m ers fi spaced p tions occurring between the spaces existing between the ee es a sin elast c ho c d having u rn a spa e por ions Pa sing in y through the passages in the inner ring and other circumferentially spaced portions laced thr ugh their respectively coopert ag l e es th se sle ves a e reari of the b l being fixed to adjacent complemental portions of the shock cord to prevent shifting of the belt relative to the shock cord yet permitting the 'belt to be balanced and well suspended from and by way of the inner ring, said outer ring being provided at diametrically opposite points with slots,
said slots being situated to the left and right of the user,
and a pairof diametrically opposite looped straps having end portions connected to the outer ring by way of the slots, said straps being adapted to accommodate instructor-controlled ropes.
2. The structure defined in claim 1, and several of cooperating alined pulleys which may be secured in spaced alinement to a ceiling or other fixed support, a first instructor-controlled cord having a snap fastener secured to one strap at one side of the frame and having a portion trained over all three of the pulleys with .a free end for use by the instructor, and a second instructor-controlled cord cooperating with said first cord and having a snap fastener secured to the remaining looped strap and having a portion thereof trained over one only of the several pulleys and provided with a free end for use by the instructor.
3. acrobatic training device comprising an outer ring, an inner ring concentric with said outer ring, means including ball bearings mounting said rings for rotation with reference to each other, an adjustable body embracing belt positioned within the confines of and coplanar with said inner ring, resilient means securing said belt to said inner ring'in spaced relationship to said inner ring and at a plurality of different places at the periphery of said belt and the inner periphery of said inner ring, said resilient means including a single elastic shock cord, sleeves on the outer periphery of said belt securing said shock cord to said belt, means also securing said shock cord to said inner ring, said means mounting said rings for relative rotation including in addition to said ball bearings a pair of grooves formed in the confronting surfaces of said inner and outer rings and constituting a raceway within which said ball bearings are captive, means in One of said rings constituting an entrance and exit hole by way of which to remove and replace said bearings in said raceway, said outer ring having a pair of flexible but inelastic loops attached thereto, said flexible loops being attached to said outer ring at diametrically opposite places thereon and protruding laterally outwardly from said ring, and safety instructor-controlled ropes having swivelled snap fasteners attached to said loops.
4. An acrobatic training device comprising an annular frame embodying coplanar concentric inner and outer companion endless rings having duplicate opposed surfaces having correspondingly located grooves registering with each other and providing an endless ball accommodation raceway, a plurality of antifriction balls mounted in said raceway and insertable and removable by way of a screw-threaded filler hole provided in said outer ring, said hole having an inner end opening into the groove and an outer end opening through the outer periphery of said outer ring, and-a screw-threaded closing plug screwed into said hole, a body encircling belt adapted to embrace the body ,of the trainee, said belt being provided on an outer peripheral surface thereof and at circumferentially spaced points with fixed sleeves, the inner peripheral surface portion of said inner ring being provided with short open ended arcuate passages occupying circumferentially paced positions between the spaces separating the sleeves, a single elastic shock cord having .circurnferentially spaced portions passing through the intended cooperating passages in the inner ring and also having circumferentially spaced portions laced through cooperating sleeves, certain of said sleeves being fixed to complemental portions of the shock cord to prevent shifting of the belt relative to the shock cord but permitting the belt to be balanced and well suspended from and by way of the inner ring.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,107,377 Howland Feb. 8, 1938 2,496,748 Pond Feb. 7, 1950 2,590,049 Sidlinger Mar. 18, 1952 2,610,056 Lovell Sept. 9, 1952 2,725,853 Nordheim Dec. 6,1955