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Publication numberUS3323366 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 6, 1967
Filing dateOct 7, 1963
Priority dateOct 7, 1963
Publication numberUS 3323366 A, US 3323366A, US-A-3323366, US3323366 A, US3323366A
InventorsJr Thomas Lanier De Lorme, Gannon Jesse Wayne, Mcdouough Henry Wilmot
Original AssigneeElgin Elmac Entpr Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Muscular exercising and evaluation apparatus
US 3323366 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 1967 T. DE LO RME, JR., ETAL 3,323,366

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June 6, 1967 T. L. DE LORME, JR., ETAL 3,323,366

MUSCULAR EXERCISING AND EVALUATION APPARATUS Filed Oct. 7, 1963 5 Sheets-Sheet [17 1/512 2271 5 7740/ /45 ZA/V/E)? DEL 094/5; J2 J5$5E WAY/V5 GA/V/VO/V 1/5449) W/AMOTM W/VOUGH United States Patent 3,323,366 MUSCULAR EXERCISING AND EVALUATION APPARATUS Thomas Lanier De Lorme, Jr., Milton, Mass., and Jesse Wayne Gannon, Elgin, and Henry Wilmot McDonough, Dundee, Ill., assignors to Elgin Elmac Enterprises, Inc., a corporation of Illinois Filed Oct. 7, 1963, Ser. No. 314,116 Claims. (Cl. 73379) This invention relates to apparatus which may be utilized in conjunction with a program of physical exercise and muscular development.

It is a well-known fact that the force exerted by a muscle results from a contraction of the muscle, whether the body be engaged in exercise, work, or normal physical activity. There are two basic types of muscular contractions, namely isotonic contractions and isometric contractions. Isotonic contractions occur when the muscular fibers undergo a change in length while developing tension against a constant load or resistance. If the muscle fiber shortens while contracting, as when an object is moved toward the body with the arms, the contraction is known as a concentric isotonic contraction. If, on the other hand, the muscle fiber lengthens while contracting, as when an object is gradually moved away from the body with the arms, the contraction is said to be an eccentric isotonic contraction. An isometric contraction consists of the development of tension in the muscle against a constant load or resistance without any appreciable change in the length of the muscle fibers, i.e., the muscle fibers neither shorten or lengthen during the contraction. An example of such a contraction is the development of tension in a muscle when an attempt is made to move an immovable object.

When a portion of the body is assisted in its movement through its range of motion, the exercise imparted tothe associated muscles is said to be passive. Passive exercise is frequently utilized to strengthen muscles weakened through injury or disease and may be achieved by counterbalancing much or all of the weight of the portion of the body being moved. Passive exercise is also beneficial to healthy muscles, however, in that it tends to stretch muscles beyond their normal resting length. It has been found that skeletal muscles develop a greater force after being previously stretched.

The strength of a muscle can be augmentedmost rapidly by contracting the muscle against a degree of resistance that calls forth maximal effort, such a resistance being known as a maximal resistance. Ideally, then, a maximal resistance should be utilized in all strength exercises. Exercises may, of course, be undertaken under a submaximal resistance, as in weight lifting. However, there can be no significant increase in strength as a result of such exercises until the muscles become fatigued to the point at which the load becomes a maximal load for the muscle in the fatigued state.

The maximal resistance for a single contraction of a non-fatigued muscle is, of course, diflicult to predict. Such a resistance will vary, for example, with each particular muscle being exercised, and with the speed at which the contraction is undertaken. The maximal resistance also varies throughout the range of motion of the body part associated with the muscle, since the lever arm lengths and advantages of muscle pull differ depending upon the position of the body.

It is a principal object of the present invention to provide an improved apparatus for use in conjunction with a program of physical exercise and muscular development.

Another object of the invention is to provide an appa- 3,323,366 Patented June 6, 1967 "ice ratus which can be utilized for exercises involving either isotonic or isometric contractions.

A further object of the invention is to provide an apparatus which can be utilized for exercises involving both concentric and eccentric isotonic contractions.

A still further object of the invention is to provide an exercising apparatus which can be utilized to apply a submaximal, maximal or supra-maximal resistance to muscles during the contraction thereof.

Another object of, the invention is to provide anexercising apparatus which can be utilized to provide either assistance or resistance to muscles during the contraction thereof.

An additional object of the invention is to provide an apparatus which can be utilized in conjunction with exercises involving the isotonic contraction of a muscle at a constant controlled speed, and which is capable of effecting a selective variation in the speed of the contraction.

A further object of the invention is to provide an appar-atus which can be utilized in conjunction with exercises involving the isotonic contraction of a muscle throughout the range of motion of the bodily parts associated with the muscle.

Still another object of the invention is to provide an improved exercising apparatus which may be used to increase, as well as to evaluate, the strength of various muscles and muscle sets of the body.

A further object of the invention is to provide an apparatus which is capable of evaluating the strength of a muscle or muscle set during movement of the associated portion of the body.

An additionalobject of the invention is to provide an apparatus which is adapted to provide an isometric evaluation of the strength of a muscle or muscle set at any point in the range of motion of an associated bodily part.

A still further object of the invention is to provide an apparatus which is adapted to evaluate the strength of a muscle or muscle set at any point in the range of motion of an associated bodily part.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent with reference to the following description and the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of an apparatus showing various of the features of the invention;

FIGURE 2 is an enlarged, partially broken-away plan liew of the apparatus of FIGURE 1, but showing the view of the apparatus as seen in FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is an enlarged partially broken-away rear end view of the apparatus as viewed in the direction of the arrows 44 of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged fragmentary partially brokenaway sectional elevational view taken along line 55 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 6 is an enlarged fragmentary partially brokenaway sectional end view taken along line 6-6 of FIG- URE 3; 7

FIGURE 7 is an enlarged fragmentary partially brokenaway plan view of a portion of the apparatus shown in FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary sectional elevational view taken along line 8-8 of FIGURE 5;

FIGURE 9 is an enlarged sectional plan View taken along line 9-9 of FIGURE 8;

FIGURE 10 is an enlarged sectional view taken along line 1tl10 of FIGURE 8; and

FIGURES 11 through 13 are diagrammatic views illustrating a manner in which the apparatus of FIGURE 1 may be utilized.

Very generally, in a specific embodiment of an apparatus formed in accordance with the present invention, there is provided a body support 11, a rail or track 13 extending outwardly from the body support, a carriage 15 mounted on the rail for move-ment therealong toward tween a portion of the body and the carriage 15. For

example, the user may assume a seated position on the body support and engage the carriage with the hands (FIG. 1), or with the feet (FIG. 3). If, as the carriage moves, the user exerts no force thereon but merely permits the body to be moved by the carriage, a passive exercise or stretching is accomplished.

If the user chooses, he may resist the movement of the carriage b-y exerting a force thereon through a contraction of the related muscles. Since the carriage is moving both toward and away from the user, these contractions will effect both a shortening and a lengthening of the muscle fibers and, thus, will be both concentric and eccentric isotonic contractions. As will be seen shortly, these contractions may be caused to encompass any desired selected segment of the range of motion of the associated portion of the body by a selective variation in the distance through which the carriage travels.

The capacity of the power means 17 is such that the force exerted by the user is not sufficient to hinder its traveling movement. Hence, the resistance provided by the carriage is supra-maximal, although a sub-maximal or maximal force may be applied to it by the user. The power means 17 is capable of moving the carriage at selectively variable speeds so that the speed of the contractions and, hence, the power applied by the user, ma be varied.

A gauging unit or indicating means 18 is mounted on the carriage and provides an indication to the user of the energy which he is expending and, when the speed of the carriage and the distance through which it moves are held constant, the gauge reading provides an accurate indication of the force applied by the user during isotonic contractions. If the movement of the carriage is halted at any given point, an isometric evaluation of the strength of the muscles can be obtained at that point. Further, while the carriage is stationary, the user may accomplish isometric contractions as well.

Referring now more specifically to the structure of the apparatus as shown in the drawings, the body support 11 is in the form of a generally rectangular hollow box formed of interconnected sheet metal bottom, top, forward and end walls 19, 21, 23 and 25 respectively, and is reinforced internally by a rigid frame 27. The sheet metal box, in addition to providing a support for the body of the user of the apparatus, also encloses the power means 17, soon to be described, and is closed at its rearward end by means of a metallic screen 29' to provide for the ventilation of its interior. Floor-engaging pads 31 adjacent the lower surface of the bottom wall '19 elevate the box above a supporting surface and are preferably formed of a resilient material so as to dampen vibrations of the power means 17.

A rod 33 extends forwardly a short distance from the frame 27 of the box and has a cross arm 35 attached to its outer end which is adapted to provide a foot brace for the user. A member 37 provided with a floor-engaging pad 39 depends from each end of the cross arm and is adjustable in height so as to permit adjustment of the height of the forward end of the brace 33. In addition to providing a foot brace, the above structure serves to stabilize the apparatus during traveling movement of the carriage along the rail.

. Secured to the top wall 21 of the sheet metal box is an arrange-ment of body-supporting cushions 41 which may assume the position shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, in which they define a seat 43 and backrest 45, or which may be moved into the position shown by the broken lines of FIGURE 3 in which they define an elongated platform 47. The cushion arrangement 41 includes an elongated stationary horizontally disposed cushion 49 carried on a plate (not shown) having a configuration substantially the same as that of the cushion 49 and provided with an upstanding flange 51 along its longitudinal edges to provide lateral support for the cushion. Both the cushion and plate have a length greater than the forward to rearward depth. of the box and are disposed on the box with their rearward portions, i.e., the portions of each farthest from the carriage 15 and rail 13-, overhanging the rearward wall 29 of the box in cantilever fashion. The forward portion of the cushion 49 defines the sheet 43, previously referred to.

A second section 53 of body-receiving cushions is supported on the overhanging portion of the horizontally disposed cushion 49 and comprises a first cushion 55 backed by a rigid plate 57 and skirted on three sides by a pair of arms 59 and a web 61 of a U-shaped frame 63 (FIG. 1). The ends of the arms 59 of the frame 63 are pivotally attached to the rearward ends of the flanges 51 of the plate of the cushion 49 by ears 65 projecting from each of the arms and flanges and, when the cushions are arranged in seat-forming position, is disposed so as to cause the cushion 55 to overlie the cushion 49 in inverted relationship. When the cushions are in a platform-defining position, the cushion 55 faces upwardly and defines the rearward end of the platform 4'7. A second cushion 67 is secured to the web 61 and forms the lower portion of the backrest 45 when the cushions are arranged in seat-forming position. Preferably, the frame 63 is constructed so that when the cushions are in the latter position, the cushion 67 will be inclined rearwardly slightly to thereby add to the comfort of the user.

To complete the cushion arrangement 41, a third section in the form of a single cushion 69 is hingedly connected to the upper edge of the Web 61 of the frame 63 so as to be movable between a generally upright position (FIG. 3) in which it is disposed in the same plane as the cushion 67 and thereby provides support for the upper portion of the back of the user, or a folded out-ofthe-way position in which it allows freedom of movement for the arms and shoulders of the user.

The cushion 69 is maintained in the upright position by an over-center linkage 71 which locks in the position shown in FIGURES 1 and 3 and includes hingedly interconnected upper and lower arm members 73 and 75 respectively, one of which is pivotally mounted on the under surface of the cushion 55 and the other of which is pivotally mounted on the rearward surface of the cushion 69. The linkage 71 is preferably biased toward the over-center position of FIGURES 1 and 3.

The relative position of the cushions when in the platform-forming position are best seen in FIGURE 3 wherein it will be noted that the cushions 49 and 55 are co-planar and define a flat horizontal surface upon which the outstretched body of the user may be supported. When the cushions 49 and 55 are so disposed, the cush ions 67 and 69 depend'therefrom in a generally vertical disposition and are of such a length as to engage the floor and support the cushion 55 in generally co-planar relation to the horizontally disposed cushion 49. The edge of the cushion 69 which is lowermost when the cushion is in the depending position is provided with a pad 77 which engages the floor and eliminates wear on the edge of the cushion.

The cushion arrangement 41 is maintained in the seatforming position by a latch mechanism 79 which includes a rod 81 extending through the arms 59 adjacent the Web 61 of the U-shaped frame 63. Each of a pair of vertically disposed latch bolts 83 is keyed at its upper end to one of the ends of the rod 81 and has an enlarged head portion 85 at its lower end which is adapted to be engaged by a hook-shaped bracket 87 supported on the top wall 21 of the hollow box from which the bolt can be easily released by merely rotating the rod 81. With the latch mechanism 79 in the locked position, the second and third cushion sections 53 and 69 are prevented from pivoting into the platform-forming position. Rotation of the rod 81 to release the latch is facilitated by a knurled extension 89 on the left hand side thereof (FIG. 4). A coil spring 91 encircles the mid-portion of the rod 81 intermediate the arms of the frame 63 and biases the latch toward the locked position.

From the foregoing discussion of the cushion arrangement, it should be apparent that the apparatus may be operated with the user in either the sitting or the lying position. In the sitting position, supported by the backrest 45, the user can place his feet firmly on the carriage and push with his legs in a manner similar to a leg press (FIG. 3 thus exercising and evaluating the anterior thigh muscles. Alternatively, the carriage may be engaged only with the toes or forward portion of the feet and thus exercise and evaluate the calf muscles as well. Still further, the feet may be fastened to the carriage, as with a harness 93 (FIG. 3), so that the user can exert a pulling force with the legs, thereby exercising and evaluating the hamstring muscles and the anterior muscles of the lower leg.

- the head nearest the carriage, the user may grasp the carriage and exert a pulling or a pushing force. Alternatively, the user may lie on the back with the head furthest from the carriage, engage the carriage with the feet, and exert either a pushing or a pulling force with the legs.

An additional manner of using the apparatus is shown in FIGURES 11 through 13 and will be described in further detail shortly.

In order to stabilize the user when exerting a pulling force on the carriage, a seat belt 95 is preferably provided for the seat 43. To enable the user to maintain balance when in the sitting position and exerting a force on the carriage with the legs, a hand grip in the form of a horizontally disposed bar 97 is provided adjacent the forward edge of the seat 43 and is supported by means of mounting plates 99 secured to the flanges 51 of the plate of the cushion 49.

Referring now to the rail 13 (FIG. 6), there is provided a channel beam 100 including a vertically disposed web 101 and horizontal flanges 103. A vertically disposed plate 105 is secured to the outer edges of the flanges, as by welding, and includes upper and lower horizontally extending edges which are disposed above and below the flanges 1G3 and define tracks 107 and 109 on which the carriage rides and is guided. A foot bar 111 extends transversely through the rail 13 adjacent the body support 11 and is adapted to support the feet of the user during those exercises and evaluations performed from a seated position with the carriage 15 engaged by the hands (FIG. 1).

The rail 13 extends forwardly of the rectangular sheet metal box generally centrally of the cushion arrangement 41 so that the legs of the user may straddle the rail and rest either upon the foot bar 111 or the carriage 15 when the user is in the sitting position. The rail is relatively long, e.g., six feet, and is supported in an elevated position by suitable connection at one of its ends to the frame 27 of the sheet metal box and at the other of its ends to an I-support 115 having a pair of upper arms 117 and a pair of lower arms 119 interconnected by a web 121. Foot members 123 are provided adjacent the lower edges of the lower arms 119 to stabilize the unit, these members being preferably resilient to dampen any vibrations which the traveling of the carriage or operation of the power means may induce.

As previously mentioned, the carriage is supported on the rail 13 for traveling movement toward and away from the body support 11 and, hence, toward and away from a user disposed thereon in either a sitting or a lying position. The carriage comprises a vertically disposed, generally L-shaped plate 125 which includes a horizontally extending base portion 127 and an upright standard 129. The plate is positioned with the base 127 thereof disposed adjacent the vertical plate 105 of the rail 13 opposite the channel beam 100, with approximately equal portions of the base projecting above and below the edges of An upper and a lower set 133 and 135 respectively of horizontally spaced wheels are rotatably mounted on the upper and lower portions respectively extending beyond the tracks, and each wheel is grooved, as at 139 (FIG. 6). The grooves of the upper set 133 of wheels 137 receive the upper track 107 of the rail 13, and the grooves of the lower set 135- of wheels 137 receive the lower track 109. It will be seen, therefore, that the plate 125 and, hence, the carriage 15, is adapted for rolling movement along the rail 13 by the provision of the wheels 137, the side walls of the grooves serving to maintain the carriage on the rail. Preferably, the clearance between the wheels and the tracks 107 and 109 of the rail is sufficiently small such that the wheels are maintained in close rolling contact with the tracks, thereby preventing shifting or wobbling of the carriage as it travels. The sets 133 and 135 of wheels are each enclosed by guard shells 141 (FIG. 6) to enhance the appearance of the apparatus and to prevent clothing or the like from being engaged by the wheels.

The carriage 15 is provided with means for assisting a user in exerting either a pulling or a pushing force on the carriage, which means comprise generally a hand grip assembly 143 and a foot plate assembly 145. These assemblies are interconnected such that a force appliedto one assembly is transmitted to the other. The foot plate assemindicate the magnitude of the force applied.

More specifically, a generally rectangular frame 147 (FIG. 5) formed of narrow elongated strips is affixed to the central portion of the standard 129 of the carriage plate 125, with longitudinally extending edges of the strips being secured, as by welding, to the face of the plate nearest the rail-13. The frame includes a top strip 149 disposed in vertically spaced relation to the upper edge of the standard 129, a bottom strip 151 spaced downwardly therefrom a substantial distance, and forward and rearward side strips 153 and 155 respectively extending between the top and bottom strips.

Disposed adjacent the top and bottom strips 149 and 151 of the frame 147 and in vertically spaced relation thereto are an upper and lower strip 157 and 159 respectively. As will be seen in FIGURE 5, the top strip 149 of the frame and upper strip 157 define therebetween an upper channel 161, and the bottom strip 151 of the frame and the lower strip 159 define therebetween a lower channel 163. The upper and lower channels 161 and 163 receive portions of the hand grip assembly 143 and foot plate assembly 145 respectively, as hereinafter described.

rectangular cross section and dimensioned so as to be freely slidable within the channel. A similar tube 169 is positioned within the lower channel 163.To permit essentially frictionless sliding movement of the tubes within the channels, a bearing member 171 is interposed between each of the faces of the tubes 167 and 169 and the adjacent walls of the channels, and each bearing member comprises a thin plate 173 having a transverse slot adjacent each of its ends to receive a cylindrical roller 175. Each of the tubes 167 and 169 is provided with a pair of opposing lugs 177 which project outwardly from opposite sides thereof and facilitates the interconnection of the tubes, as hereinafter described.

Each of the tubes 167 and 169 has telescopically disposed therein a second tube of rectangular cross section which is adapted at one end for engagement by the body of the user. More specifically, a tube 179 is disposed within the upper tube 167 of the carriage and projects past each of the ends of the tube. The tube 179 is of such a dimension as to be slidable within the tube 167 so as to be adjustable relative to the carriage, but may be secured against relative movement, as when a desired posi tion of adjustment has been achieved, by a latch mechanism 181. A cross bar 193 serving as a hand grip is affixed to the rearward end of the tube 179 to enable the tube to be grasped'with the hands by the user.

A tube 195 is disposed within the lower tube 169 and projects from tube 169 at the rearward end thereof. The tube 195 is adjustable within the tube 169 and a latch mechanism 181 is also provided to interlock the tubes 169 and 195 after the desired position of adjustment has been achieved. A cross bar 199 of rectangular cross section is secured to the rearward end of the tube 195 and has a foot plate 201 secured thereto, thereby providing a flat surface which can be engaged by the feet of the user.

The latch mechanism 181 comprises a hollow stud 183 (FIG. 10) projecting from a side wall of the tube 167 (or 169) in encircling relation to a hole 187 in the side wall. A cap 185 is carried at the outer end of the stud and is connected to a bolt 189 which is urged inwardly of the tube by a compression spring 190. The bolt 189 projects through the hole 187 V in the side wall of the tube 167 or 169 and through one of a plurality of holes 191 which are provided in the adjacent side wall of the tubes 179 and 195 and which are alignable with the hole 187. Disposition of the bolt 189 in a hole 191 prevents relative sliding movement between the tubes but, when the bolt is withdrawn, any of several positions of adjustment may be achieved.

' The hand grip assembly 143 comprising the tubes 167 and 179, and the foot plate assembly 145 comprising the tubes 169 and 195, are interconnected by means of a linkage 203 so that a force exerted on one of the assemblies will be transmitted to the other assembly. Thus, the gauging unit 18 need be responsive to a force exerted on only one of the assemblies which, in the illustrated embodiment, is the foot plate assembly 145. The linkage 203 comprises a pair of rockers 205 disposed on opposite sides of, and extending between, the tubes 167 and 169 and'engageable at their outer ends with the lugs 177 which project from each of the sides of the tubes. The rockers are in turn pivotally mounted intermediate their ends to the carriage by means of a mounting unit 207.

More specifically, the mounting unit 207 comprises a. generally fiat plate 209 disposed adjacent the rearward side strip 155 of the frame 147. A block 211 integral with the plate and projecting rearwardly therefrom is provided with a transverse horizontally extending bore for receiving a pin 213 which defines the axis about which the rockers pivot.

The rockers 205 are disposed on opposite sides of the mounting unit 207 and each is in the form of an elongated generally vertically disposed bar having a central hole to receive the pin 213. Each of the rockers is bifurcated at each of its ends to provide slots 215 which receive the lugs 177 of the tubes 167 and 169. Accordingly, the rockers pivot about the axis of the pin 213 and, when one of their ends is moved incident to a force applied to one of the assemblies 143 or 145, the opposite end will be moved also and thereby transmit the applied force to the opposite assembly.

It will be appreciated that unless the rockers are pivoted exactly centrally of the tubes 167 and 169, there will be a mechanical advantage in favor of one of the assemblies and a factor of error, however small, will be introduced into the system. Accordingly, and in order to facilitate accurate centering of the pin 213, the mounting 207 is adjustably secured to the strip 155. In this regard, the plate 209 is provided with a vertically elongated slot 217 above and below the block 211, each slot being adapted to receive a bolt 219 threaded into a tapped hole in the strip 155. The plate 207 is therefore vertically adjustable when the bolts 219 are loosened. In addition, a boss 221 is secured to the strip 155 above and below the plate 209 and is provided with a vertically disposed tapped hole adapted to receive an elongated adjusting bol-t 223 which engages the adjacent edge of the plate 209. By loosening one of the bolts 223 and tightening the other with the bolts 219 loosened, the position of the plate 209 and, hence, of the pin 213, can be adjusted within very close tolerances.

Accordingly, a force applied to one of the assemblies 143 or is transmitted to the other assembly through the rockers 205. More importantly, a force is exerted on the foot plate assembly 145 regardless of whether the user applies a force .to the hand grip assembly 143 or directly to the foot plate assembly. The gauging unit 18 is connected to the foot plate assembly but, because of the above referred to interconnection, is responsive to forces exerted on the hand grip assembly as well. Actual ly, the transmission of the forces through the rockers 205 results in a change in direction of the forces, i.e., a forwardly directed force on one of the assemblies will be transmitted to the opposite assembly as a rearwardly directed force. However, this does not affect the gauging unit 18, which is equally responsive to forces in either of two directions.

Referring now to the gauging or indicating unit 18, there is provided a transducer 225 mounted at the forward end of the tube 169 of the foot plate assembly 145, the transducer being effective to translate longitudinally directed forces applied to the tube 169 into fluid pressure, whether these forces be applied directly through the foot plate 201 and tube 195, or indirectly through the tube 167 and linkage 203. The fluid pressure within the transducer 225 is transmitted through a conduit 227 to a gauge 229 which provides a reading, preferably in units of force. The gauging unit 18 is responsive to both push and pull forces, thus rendering it effective to indicate push and pull forces applied to the carriage incident to both eccentric and concentric isotonic contractions.

More specifically, the transducer 225 comprises a generally cylindrical body 231 which includes a cup section 233 and a cap section 235 threadedly interconnected to define an internal cavity 237. The cup section 233 includes a generally circular end wall 239 and a generally cylindrical side wall 241. The end wall is provided with abutments 243 and 245 on each of its outer and inner faces respectively, and a hole 246 extends centrally through the abutments and receives an elbow-shaped fitting 247 which provides a connection between the transducer and the conduit 227. The outer edge portion of the cylindrical side wall 241 is machined to provide a somewhat greater internal diameter terminating in a shoulder 249, and is threaded to receive the cap 235.

The cap 235 comprises a generally cylindrical threaded plug 251 flanged adjacent its outer end and adapted to be inserted into the cup until the peripheral portion of its inner end is disposed immediate-1y adjacent the shoulder 249 of the cup. A hole extends centrally through the cap and receives the threaded neck of a relatively short square shaft or bar 253 having a configuration similar to, but

dimensions less than, the interior of the tube 169. The shaft extends outwardly of the cap and is fixedly secured thereto.

The cavity 237 of the body 231 is divided into a forward and rearward chamber by means of a generally circular diaphragm 255 clamped between the forward peripheral portion of the cap 235 and the shoulder 249. The forward chamber (to the left in FIG. 7) is filled with an oil or similar fluid which also occupies the conduit 227 and a portion of the gauge 229. A piston 257 occupies a portion of the rearward chamber and comprises a flat circu-lar disk 259 and a piston rod 261. The disk 259 is disposed in face to face contact with the rearward surface of the diaphragm 255, and the rod 261 extends outwardly from the disk through a bore 262 provided in the square shaft 253, previously referred to.

It will be seen, therefore, that when the piston 257 is moved forwardly (to the left, FIG. 8), the fluid within the transducer is placed under pressure and a reading is provided on the gauge 229. Likewise, if the piston is maintained in a stationary position but the transducer body 231 is moved rearwardly (to the right, FIG. 8), the fluid will again be placed under pressure and a reading again provided. Relative movement between the transducer body and the piston is effected whenever a force is applied to the foot plate assembly by virtue of a unique connection between the transducer and the tube 169, as hereinafter described.

More specifically, the square shaft 253, which is rigidly connected to the transducer body 231 and which is provided with a bore 262 to receive the rod 261 of the piston 257, is also provided with a transverse slot 263 adjacent the inner end of the bore 262 and with a transverse circular hole 265 spaced rearwardly from the slot 263. Each the slot 263 and hole 265 receive pins 267 and 269 respectively. However, the slot 263 is so disposed relative to the bore 262 that, when the pin 267 is positioned in the slot, the rearward end of the piston rod 261 abuts the side wall of the pin. Moreover, the slot 263 is elongated in the direction of the length of the shaft, thereby permitting the pin 267 to be moved forwardly in the slot relative to the shaft 253 and, in so moving, to also urge the piston rod 261 forwardly relative to the shaft 253. Since the shaft 253 is affixed to the transducer body 231, movement of the piston relative to the shaft results in movement of the piston relative to the transducer body as well.

The body of the shaft 253 is carried within the forward end of the tube 169 and is maintained therein by the pins 267 and 269 which project through horizontally spaced slots 271 and 273 respectively located in opposite side walls of the tube 169. The slots 271 and 273, like the slot i not being operated, the pin 267 is disposed in abutting relation to the rearward wall of the slot 263.

It should now be understood that since the pin 267 is in engagement with the piston rod 261, and since the shaft 253 is aflixed to the transducer body 231, movement of the pin forwardly relative to the shaft 253 will cause relative movement between the piston and trans-' ducer body so as to create a fluid pressure within the transducer. This relative movement may be accomplished by maintaining the pin 269 stationary (there is no relative movement between the pin 269 and the shaft 253) and moving the pin 267 forwardly, or may be accomplished by holding the pin 267 stationary and moving the pin 269, and with it the shaft 253, rearwardly. The pins 267 and 269 are alternately moved by forward or rearward movement of the tube 169, as when a force is applied thereto,

' and are alternately maintained in a stationary position by engagement thereof with the carriage 15, as hereinafter described.

More particularly, the tube 169, within which the shaft 253 is carried, is disposed, as has already been mentioned, Within the lower channel 163. The channel 163 is defined on opposite sides by the plates and 165 of the carriage, which plates are stationary insofar as the carriage is concerned, and these plates are provided with slots 279 and 281 elongated in a horizontal direction and spaced horizontally from one another such that the distance between the rearward edge 283 of a slot 279 and the forward edge 285 of a slot 281 is equal to the distance between the rearward edge 275 of a slot 271 and the forward edge 277 of a slot 273 of the tube 169. The ends of the pins 267 and 269 protrude through the slots 279 and 281, and these pins may be capped at their outer ends to prevent them from being inadvertently withdrawn.

In the operation of the gauging unit 18-, when a force directed toward the left (FIG. 9) is applied to tube 169, either through the tube or as transmitted from the tube 167 through the linkage 203, the tube, pins, shaft 253 and transducer 225 are moved until the pin 269' abuts the forward edges 285 of slots 281 in plates 125 and 165, thus limiting forward movement of the pin 269 and, hence, of the shaft 253 which is affixed to the transducer body. Further forward movement of the tube 169 causes forward movement of the pin 267 by virtue of the engagement of the rearward edges 275 of the slots 271 of the tube with the pin, and this forward movement of the pin 267 causes forward movement of the piston rod 261 which is in abutting relation thereto. Accordingly, the piston is moved while the shaft 253 and transducer body 231 are stationary, thus placing the fluid within the transducer under pressure.

Movement of the tube 169 in the rearward direction (to the right in FIGS. 7 and 9) causes the pin 267, the shaft 253 and transducer 225 to be moved rearwardly until the pin 2 67 engages the rearward edges 283 of slots 279 in plates 125 and 165, thus limiting further rearward movement of the pin 267. Since the piston rod 261 abuts the pin 267, such contact maintains the piston in a stationary position as well. Further rearward movement of the tube 169 causes the pin 269 to move rearwardly by virtue of the engagement of the edges 277 of slots 273 with the pin, and this movement of the pin 269 carries with it the shaft 253 and, hence, the body 231 of the transducer 225. Accordingly, the transducer is moved relative to the piston and a fluid pressure is again created within the transducer.

It will be appreciated that the movement of the above described elements is very slight, e.g., A; inch. This slight movement is negligible and does not affect the accuracy of the evaluation where it is desired to maintain at a constant value the distance through which the body moves.

The gauging means 18 enables a user to obtain an indication of the magnitude of the force applied to the carriage when the carriage is moving and the force is exerted by muscles in isotonic contraction, or when the carriage is at rest, in which case the force is exerted by muscles in isometric contraction. It should be realized that the force exerted on the carriage will vary with the distance of the carriage from the body support 11, with the particular muscles which exert the force, and, when the carriage is moving, with the speed at which it is traveling. The gauging means 18 can be utilized to accurately determine the strength of various muscles, to determine a weakness in a muscle as in a portion of its range of motion, and to determine the degree to which the muscle responds to therapy.

Referring now to the power means 17, there is providing generally a constant speed electric motor 287, a

' drive shaft 289 coupled to the carriage 15, and a pulley drive shaft to be varied while the speed of the motor remains constant. The power means 17 also includes a mechanism 293 for reversing the direction of rotation of the motor substantially instantaneously so as to effect a corresponding reversal in the direction of movement of the carriage.

More particularly, the electric motor 287 is preferably capable of rapidly achieving and then maintaining a constant speed, and of rapidly reversing the direction of rotation of its armature by a sudden change in the electrical power supplied to the motor. For example, the motor may be operated on direct current, in which case a reversal in the direction of flow of current will effect a reversal in the direction of rotation of the armature. Alternatively. the motor may be a single-phase A.C. motor with the switch means 295 being effective to cause a change in the direction of a rotating magnetic field.

' Either form of motor would be suitable. The shaft of the motor has affixed thereto a pulley 299 to receive a belt 301 by means of which the mechanical power of the motor is transmitted to the drive shaft 289.

Also, the size and torque characteristics of the motor 287 are preferably such that it is capable of causing traveling movement of the carriage at a constant speed whether or not a load is applied to the carriage and despite the magnitude of the load. In effect, therefore, the motor-driven carriage provides a supra-maximal resistance to isotonic contractions. Accordingly, even though the user exerts a maximal rather than a supra-maximal force, he is always assured of at least a maximal resistance. The user may, of course, exert less than a maximal force, in which case the carriage will offer a sub-maximal resistance.

The motor 287 is afiixed to a plate 303 pivotally mounted adjacent its upper end to the upper portion of the frame 27 of the rectangular metal box of the body support 11. Accordingly, the plate 303 is swingable within the box about its pivotal axis and is therefore capable of shifting the position of the motor slightly to compensate for changes in the position of the pulley 291, hereinafter described. The plate is guided in its swinging movement by a bolt 305 secured adjacent the lower end of the frame 27 and extending inwardly of the box and through a suitable hole in the plate. An enlarged head 307 is provided at the inner end of the bolt and a compression spring 309 encircles the bolt and serves to urge the plate 303 in a direction which will maintain the belt 301 of the motor pulley 299 in a taut condition.

Electrical connection to the motor 287 is made through the switch 295 which controls the nature of the power supply to the motor. The switch has two operative conditions which are determined by the alternate positions of a toggle 311. When the toggle is in a first position, the motor shaft 297 is caused to rotate in one direction, and when the toggle is in a second position, the motor shaft 297 is caused to rotate in the opposite direction. An onoff switch (not shown) is preferably also provided to permit interruption of the electrical connection to the motor. Accordingly, movement of the carriage can be halted at any point in its travel to permit isometric exercise and evaluation.

The toggle 311 is pivoted between its first and second positions by a sliding bar 313 which is moved by the carriage when the latter has reached a predetermined limit position. More specifically, the bar is in the form of a thin tube of square cross sectional configuration supported adjacent one end within a square hole provided in the upper arm 117 of the I-support 115 and passing through a similar square hole provided in the forward wall 23 of the body support 11 into engagement with a second support adjacent its opposite end. The rod is therefore slidable longitudinally in either direction within the holes, and is preferably capped at opposite ends to prevent its being inadvertently moved out of the holes.

The portion of the bar disposed within the body support 11 has affixed thereto a collar 315 which is adapted to engage the toggle 311 of the switch 295 and cause the toggle to pivot as the bar moves longitudinally. The postions of the toggle are preferably coordinated with the directions of rotation of the shaft of the motor and, hence, with the directions of rotation of the drive shaft 289 such that movement of the bar rearwardly causes the toggle to be pivoted to a position causing the motor 287 to rotate the drive shaft in a direction which will move the carriage forwardly, and such that movement of the bar forwardly causes the toggle to be pivoted to a position causing the motor to rotate the drive shaft in a direction which will move the carriage rearwardly. As will soon become'apparent, movement of the carriage rearwardly past a predetermined position causes the bar to move rearwardly and reverses the direction of rotation of the motor so as to cause the carriage to commence forward movement. Conversely, movement of the carriage forwardly past a predetermined position causes the bar to shift forwardly so as to reverse the direction of rotation of the motor and cause the carriage to commence rearward movement.

Sliding movement is imparted to the bar 313 incident to movement of the carriage by means of a bracket 317 extending laterally from the carriage and including a hole 319 through which the bar extends. A pair of stops 321 are carried by the bar in spaced relation to one another on opposite sides of the bracket 317 and are positionable in any of a plurality of positions along the bar. Accordingly, movement of the carriage in either direction eventually brings the bracket 317 into contact with one of the stops 321, thus causing the bar to be shifted in the direction of movement of the carriage and causing a reversal in the direction of movement. Each stop comprises (FIG. 6) a frame 323 which carries a pin 325 biased downwardly by a spring 327 into engagement with any one of a plurality of holes 329 in the upper Wall of the bar. Preferably, a compression spring encircles the bar 313 adjacent each of the stops to absorb the shock of the bracket striking the stop.

The stops 321 can be positioned in any of several locations along the bar 313 and can be utilized to selectively control the distance through which the carriage travels in either direction. Since the extent of movement of the carriage is directly related to the range of motion of the body during the exercise, this range of motion can thus be selectively controlled by merely moving the stops 321. Thus, if the muscles of a particular portion of the body are found to be especially weak in a small segment of the range of motion of this portion of the body, the exercise can be concentrated in this segment. If, on the other hand, a stretching of the muscles is desired, a traveling movement of much greater length can be provided.

The drive shaft 289 of the apparatus (FIG. 7) comprises a hollow tube 331 extending outwardly from the interior of the rectangular box in adjacent relation to the rail 13 and journalled for rotation in bearings 332 affixed to the frame 27 and to the rail 13. A large pulley 333 is keyed to the rearward or inwardly disposed end of the tube 331 to receive a belt 334, and a nut 335 and is secured within the tube adjacent its forward end to receive a threaded shaft 337, hereinafter described.

The threaded shaft 337 is affixed to the plate of the carriage by means of a block 338 through which it passes and to which it is keyed by a pin 339. The shaft extends rearwardly from the block 338 into threaded engagement with the nut 335 of the tube 331 such that the tube and shaft are concentrically disposed. When the tube rotates, the shaft 337 is moved either inwardly or outwardly thereof so as to move the carriage toward or away from the body support 11.

The pulley 229 of the motor 287 and the pulley 333 of the drive shaft 289 are interconnected by means of the belts 301 and 334, each of which extends to, and encircles, the intermediate speed control pulley 291 rotatably mounted on a shaft 340. The pulley 291 comprises a pair of plates 341 and 342 disposed in a fixed spaced relation to one another on the shaft 339 and provided with conical surfaces on their opposing faces. A shiftable plate 343 having conical surfaces on each of two oppositely directed faces is disposed intermediate the plates 341 and 342.

Accordingly, it will be seen that, in effect, two pulleys are provided on a common shaft, one pulley being defined by the plate 341 and the adjacent side of the plate 343 and receiving the belt 334; the other pulley being defined by the plate 342 and the adjacent side of the plate 343 and receiving the belt 301. As the shaft 339 on which the pulley 291 is mounted is moved toward the pulley 333 of the drive shaft, the tension on the belt 301 will cause the plate 343 to shift toward the plate 341, thus providing the belt 301 with a lesser pulley diameter at the shaft 339 and increasing the speed of rotation of the shaft 339 and, hence, of the drive shaft pulley 333. This shifting of the plate 343 also increases the pulley diameter of the belt 334 at the shaft 339 and therefore further increases the pulley diameter of the belt 334 at the shaft 339 and, consequently, further increases the speed of rotation of the pulley 333.

Shifting movement of the pulley shaft 339 to effect a change inspeed of the drive shaft 289 is accomplished by the mounting of the pulley shaft on the lower end of an arm 345 pivotally attached at its upper end to the frame 27 of the body support 11. Swinging movement of the arm 345 effective to shift the position of the shaft 339 is accomplished'by means of a lever 347 secured at one of its ends to the arm in spaced relation to the upper end thereof, and having at its opposite end a circular plate 349 eccentrically keyed to a shaft 351 such that rotation of the shaft will cause generally lateral movement of the arm lever 347 and, hence, pivotal movement of the arm 345. Rotation of the shaft 351 is accomplished by a crank 353 affixed to the shaft and disposed adjacent the forward wall 23 of the body support 11.

By virtue of the above-described pulley arrangement, it is possible to selectively vary the speed at which the carriage moves on the rail 15. By varying the speed, the rate at which the muscle fibers change length, either by shortening, as in concentric contractions, or lengthening, as in eccentric contractions, can also be varied.

In the above description of the apparatus, it has been assumed that the user engages the hand or foot assemblies of the carriage directly, i.e., that either the hands or feet of the user are brought into direct engagement with one of the assemblies. In FIGURES 11 through 13, however, a manner of using the apparatus in which there is no direct contact but rather, one or more cables 355 interconnect the body of the user with the foot plate assembly. The cables are guided by a pair of horizontally disposed pulleys 357 mounted on the rail 13 adjacent the body support 11 and by a vertically disposed pulley 359 mounted on the forward wall of the body support. The pulleys determine the direction of the force applied to the body of the user through the cables 355. For example, longitudinal forces are applied with the vertically disposed pulley 359 and transverse or lateral forces are applied by the horizontally disposed pulleys 357.

As can be seen from the drawings, the use of the cables is capable of providing the desired exercise involving both isotonic and isometric contractions at selectively variable speeds and over a selected segment of a range of motion of the body. The use of the cables permits exercise and evaluation of substantially all of the major muscles of the body.

Accordingly, it will be seen that an apparatus has been provided which is adapted to both increase and evaluate the strength of the muscles of a user throughout the range of motion of portions of the body associated with these muscles. The evaluation of the strength of the muscle provides an accurate indication of the forces exerted thereby by maintaining constant both the speed of movement of the bodily parts and the distance through which the parts move.

' porting the body of a user, which apparatus comprises a carriage, means guiding said carriage for movement along a predetermined path, power means for effecting movement of said carriage along said path, means on said carriage for assisting a user in exerting a force on the carriage in a direction parallel to the direction of movement thereof, said latter-mentioned means including a first member engageable by the hands of the user and a second member engageable by the feet of the user, said members being interconnected through a pivot point located inter mediate said members so that a force exerted on one of the members is transmitted without change in magnitude to the other of the members, and means connected to the other of the members for indicating the magnitude of the force exerted by the user.

2. An exercising apparatus comprising means defining a surface for supporting the body of a user, an elongated track extending from said surface, a carriage movable along said track and adapted to receive a force exerted thereon by the user, power means for moving said carriage along said track toward and away from said bodysupporting surface, a cable attachable at one of its ends to said carriage and adapted to be engaged by the user at the other of its ends, pulley means intermediate the carriage and the body-supporting surface for guiding said cable, and means for effecting movement of said carriage along said path.

3. An exercising apparatus having a platform for supporting the body of a user, which apparatus comprises a member adapted to receive forces exerted thereon by the user in directions toward and away from the user, means for guiding said member for movement along a predetermined path, power means for effecting movement of said member along said path, and means for evaluating the magnitude of the said forces exerted on the member by the user, said evaluating means comprising a transducer including a hollow body defining a reservoir containing a quantity of liquid, a rod disposed adjacent said reservoir and movable relative thereto incident to a force applied to the rod, movement of said rod in a given direction relative to said reservoir being effective to place said liquid under a pressure proportionate to the force applied to said rod, said transducer being mounted on said carriage such that a force applied to said carriage in a given manner causes relative movement of said rod in said given direction, and gauge means connected to said transducer and adapted to indicate the force required to create the said fluid pressure.

4. An apparatus for providing resistance to push and pull forces exerted by a muscle incident to isotonic contractions of the muscle, which apparatus comprises a platform for supporting the body of a user, a track extending from said platform, a carriage moving along said track and adapted to receive a force applied thereto by a user, power means for moving said carriage along said track, a transducer mounted on said cariage and including a hollow body defining a reservoir containing a quantity of liquid, a rod extending inwardly of said transducer body into adjacent relation to said reservoir and movable inwardly of said transducer body incident to a force applied to said rod in a given direction, movement of said rod inwardly of said transducer body being effective to place said liquid under a pressure proportionate to the force causing said movement, means limiting relative movement between said carriage and said transducer body in one direction, means limiting relative movement between said rod and said carriage in the opposite direction, a member slidable relative to said carriage and connected to said transducer body and said rod in such a manner that movement of said member relative to said carriage in said one direction is effective to move said rod in the direction of said transducer body, and in such a manner that movement of said member relative to said carriage in said other direction is effective to move said transducer body in the direction of said rod, thereby placing said fluid under a pressure, and gauge means connected to said transducer and adapted to indicate the force required to create the said fluid pressure.

5. An apparatus for providing resistance to push and pull forces exerted by a muscle incident to isotonic contractions of the muscle, which apparatus comprises a platform for supporting the body of a user, a track extending from said platform, a carriage movable along said track and adapted to receive a force applied there-to by a user, power means for moving said carriage along said track, a transducer mounted on said carriage and including a hollow body defining a reservoir containing a quantity of liquid, one end of said transducer body being provided with a hole, a rod extending inwardly of said transducer body through said hole and having an end disposed adjacent said reservoir, movement of said rod inwardly of said transducer body being effective to place said liquid under pressure, a bar secured to said one end of said transducer body in the vicinity of the said hole and having a longitudinally extending bore to receive the outwardly extending portion of the said rod, said rod being provided with a first transverse hole located adjacent the end of said bore and with a second transverse hole spaced from the first transverse hole in a direction away 16 from said transducer body, a first and a second pin disposed in said first and second transverse holes respectively, said first pin being engaged by the opposite end of said rod, a hollow member slidably mounted on said carriage and adapted to receive said bar, said member being provided with slots to receive the pins of the transverse holes of the bar, said member being disposed on said carriage such that when said member is moved in one direction relative to the said carriage, the said second transverse pin engages said carriage and is restrained from movement Whereas the said first transverse pin moves in said one direction and moves said rod inwardly of said transducer body, and when said member is moved in the oppositedirection the said first transverse pin engages said carriage and is restrained from movement whereas the second transverse pin moves in said opposite direction and causes movement of said rod inwardly of said transverse body, and gauge means connected to said transducer and adapted to indicate the force required to create the said fluid pressure.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 528,779 11/ 1894 Kellogg 73379 1,984,165 12/1934 Tolchin 27279 2,714,507 8/1955 Goodrich 27279 X 2,924,456 2/ 1960 Miller 27279 3,045,667 7/1962 Sellner 12825 3,103,357 9/1963 Berne 73--379 X 3,130,968 4/1964 Feen 27279 X RICHARD C. QUEISSER, Primary Examiner.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification73/379.9, 601/33, 482/909, 482/5, 482/138, 601/26
International ClassificationA63B21/005, A61B5/22, A63B23/02, A63B21/002, A63B23/04, A61H1/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2069/0062, A63B23/0488, A63B2021/0026, Y10S482/909, A63B2208/0252, A63B2208/0257, A63B21/002, A63B2208/0238, A63B23/0211, A61H1/02, A63B22/203, A63B23/0355, A63B23/1263, A61B5/224, A63B23/0233, A63B21/0058, A63B23/03525, A63B23/0417, A63B23/0222
European ClassificationA63B23/02A2, A63B23/035F, A63B23/035C2, A63B23/12D2, A63B21/002, A61H1/02, A61B5/22D