US 3531112 A
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p 29, 1970 'r. T. GIBBS 3,531,112
HYDRAULIC DAMPED PEDAL-TYPE EXERCISE APPARATUS I Filed April 26, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR U v fi THOMAg T. GIBBS ATTORNEYS P 29, 1970 v T. 'r. GIBBS 3,531,112
HYDRAULIC DAMPED PEDAL-TYPE EXERCISE APPARATUS Filed April 26, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR THOMAS T. GIBBS 0% ATT'DRNEYs I United States Patent O ce 3,531,112 HYDRAULIC DAMPED PEDAL-TYPE EXERCISE APPARATUS Thomas T. Gibbs, 1539 Edgeware Road, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada Filed Apr. 26, 1967, Ser. No. 633,950 Int. Cl. A63b 21/22 US. Cl. 272-79 2 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A pedal-type exerciser to be operated from a seated position, the pedal thereof being arranged to support the feet of an individual taking exercise in side by side relationship for rotation in unison. A rotatable flywheel is attached to the pedal through a crank arm, and a double acting hydraulic damper is attached to the crank arm to retard rotation.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to pedal-type exercisers and is particularly directed to exercisers which may be used when the individual taking exercise is in a seated position.
The need for proper exercise of the leg and body muscles by those individuals who spend a great number of hours in a seated position, has long been recognized. It is appreciated that many forms of exercisers have been developed to aid in the proper exercising of the human body. However, these exercisers have not been so designed that proper exercise of the body and legs may be achieved from a sitting position while the individual is working at his desk or sitting in his home.
It has, furthermore, always been evident that pedal-like exercisers of prior art wherein the pedals are arranged in tandem, provide sufficient exercise for the legs but little or no exercise for the body proper as in the pedalling operation the balanced movement of the legs require little or no effort on the part of the body muscles.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a pedal-like exerciser having a crank mounted on a low supporting base which is arranged in front of the chair or the like. The crank has one pedal upon which !both feet of the individual taking exercise may be placed so as to rotate the crank and with it a flywheel which is mounted on the base and connected to the crank in driving and driven engagement therewith. The rotation of the crank is retarded by hydraulic damping means so that the exerciser is required to simultaneously push his feet down upon the pedal to rotate the flywheel then lift them from the pedal to permit the flywheel to return the pedal to a position to permit it again to be depressed.
The lifting and lowering of the legs during rotation of the pedal requires constant alteration of body attitude which brings into play many muscles not used in the operation of standard pedal-type exercisers in which pedals are operated in tandem.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front view, partially in section, of one embodiment of the invention,
FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 in position in front of a chair,
FIG. 3 is a side elevation of another embodiment of the invention,
FIG. 4 is an isometric view of still another embodiment of the invention applied to an easy chair,
FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 4 taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 4,
3,531,112 Patented Sept. 29, 1970 FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken on line 6-6 of FIG. 5,
FIG. 7 is a front elevation of still another embodiment of the invention,
FIG. 8 is a central sectional front view of a portion of another embodiment of the invention, and
FIG. 9 is a sectional view of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 8 taken on line 9-9 thereof.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Apparatus 10, as illustrated in FIG. 1, includes an elongated supporting base 11 which is preferably formed of a small sheet of plywood or the like on which a casing 12 is mounted as by bolts 13.
A flywheel 15 of solid construction is non-rotatably mounted on a horizontal shaft 16, the latter being journalled for rotation in suitable brackets 17 formed in or secured to the casing. Also non-rotatably mounted on the shaft 16 is a small gear 19, this gear meshing with a larger gear 20 which is non-rotatably mounted on the crankshaft 21 of a crank 22. This crank is journalled for rotation at one end 24 in a bracket secured to one wall 26 of the casing and extends horizontally outwardly of and transversely of the supporting base through the opposite wall 27 of the casing being rotatably supported by the latter by means of a bearing 28.
A pedal arm 3-2 extends laterally from the other end 34 of said crankshaft and carries at its free end 35 an elongated pedal 36 which extends horizontally across the supporting base 11. This pedal 36 is a rubber covered shaft 3-7 which is secured at one end 38 by welding or the like to the free end 35 of the pedal arm. This shaft 37 has a cylindrical exposed portion 39 adjacent its juncture with the free end 35 of the pedal arm, and to said exposed portion 39 is rotatably connected one end 40 of a piston 41 of a conventional double acting hydraulic damper 42. The cylinder 43 of the hydraulic damper is pivotally con nected to a shank 44 of a bolt 45 passing between a pair of brackets 47 secured to the supporting base 11.
In the use of exercising apparatus 10 as illustrated in FIG. 2 of the drawings, said apparatus 10 is positioned in front of a chair 50 so that the pedal 36 may be easily operated by an individual in a seated position. The individual then taking exercise positions the pedal arm 32 so that upon downward pressure being exerted upon the pedal by his feet, the pedal arm will rotate downwardly thereby rotating the flywheel 15, sufficient pressure being applied so that the flywheel will have enough momentum to return the pedal against the drag of the damper 42 to a position in which it again may be depressed by the feet. It will be appreciated that in order for the pedal to complete a full circle, the feet must be lifted therefrom during the upstroke of the pedal.
It will be evident that the alternate pressing downwardly with the feet and legs against the pedal during onehalf revolution of the pedal arm and then lifting the feet and legs during the following half revolution of the pedal arm, the exerciser must move his body alternately back- Ward and forward so as to retain proper balance in the chair. It has been found that the exerciser usually moves his body between a half bent position and a straight position.
The use of the exercising apparatus 10, therefore, not only results in exercise of the muscles of the body as the exerciser moves his legs up and down, but provides movement most benficial to the lungs and other internal organs.
Exercising apparatus 10, due to its simple con truction, is very light and therefore easily transportable and may be positioned beneath a desk or table, not shown, so that an individual wishing to take exercise, whose work necessitates the use of a table or desk, need not discontinue his work.
FIG. 3 illustrates another embodiment of the apparatus. Apparatus 60 includes an elongated flat supporting base 61 at the forward end 62 of which a housing 63 is secured, said housing supporting a flywheel, not shown, similar to flywheel 15 of apparatus 10. From this housing extends a rotatable crank 65 having a pedal arm 66 and elongated pedal shaft 67 which extends horizontally across supporting base 61.
At the other or after end 69 of the supporting base, a
. chair 70 is secured as by suitable anchor brackets 71. This chair 70 has a relatively strong seat 72 beneath which and substantially centrally thereof an elongated hanger 74 is swingably suspended on a shaft or bolt 75 passed between a pair of brackets 77 fastened by screws 78 to said seat.
An elongated foot supporting platform 80 which is preferably made from a sheet of plywood or the like of suitable thickness, is rotatably connected at one end 81 to the pedal shaft 67 by means of a bearing block 82 secured to the undersurface 83 of said platform, said bearing block being adapted to rotatably receive the pedal shaft 67.
The platform 80 extends at its other end 85 beneath the chair 70 and is swingably connected for fore and aft movement by a bracket and bolt assembly 87 to the lower end 88 of the hanger 74.
Apparatus 60 may be operated in a somewhat different manner than apparatus 10. In apparatus 60 the individual taking exercise seated in the chair 70 may position his feet side by side or one ahead of the other on the platform 80. He may then simply press downwardly upon the platform to rotate the crank 65 and then lift his feet to permit the crank to return the platform to a position from which it may again be depressed. He may also in conjunction with the pressing downwardly and lifting thrust the platform backwardly and forwardly as the crank is rotated, thus bringing into play muscles which would ordinarily not be used in a simple pressing and lifting motion.
As the platform 80 has a reciprocal motion rather than a rotary motion, the energy required for reciprocal movement thereof makes the provision of a damper to retard the rotation of the crank unnecessary. However, if it is desired, a damper, not shown, similar to damper 42 of apparatus 10 may be employed, and connected between the pedal shaft 67 and supporting base 61 in the same manner as damper 42 is connected in apparatus 10.
FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 illustrate another embodiment 90 of the exercising apparatus. Exercising apparatus 90 includes an easy chair 92 having combined arm rests and side support structures 94 and 95 on either side of the seat 96 thereof. Structure 94 is elongated so as to extend forwardly of the seat and comprises a fabric covered frame 97 having a heavy lower frame member 98.
To this frame member 98 is bolted a pair of spaced upright stanchions 99 which rotatably support at their upper ends 100, a shaft 101. On this shaft is non-rotatably secured a flywheel 102 of solid construction and a small chain sprocket 103.
Forwardly of the rear stanchion 99 are a pair of spaced apart front stanchions 105 also bolted in an upright position to the frame member 98.
A crank 107 is rotatably supported in bearings 108 secured at the upper ends 106 of front stanchions 105. The crank 107 is U-shaped between the stanchions 105 to form a crank pin 110 to which is rotatably connected one end 111 of a piston 112 of a double acting hydraulic piston and cylinder damper 113, the cylinder 114 of said assembly 113 being pivotally secured on the shank 115 of a bolt 116 passed between a pair of brackets 117 bolted to the frame member 98. A sprocket 118 of larger diameter than sprocket 103 is non-rotatably secured to the crank and a roller chain 119 passed over both sprockets.
One end 120 of the crank extends through the structure 94 and carries a pedal arm 121 from which extends an elongated rubber coated pedal shaft 122. The crank 107 is situated a suflicient distance ahead of the seat 96 so that an individual wishing to take exercise may seat himself in the chair with his feet in a comfortable position upon the pedal shaft 122. Apparatus 90 is operated in exactly the same manner as apparatus 10'.
FIG. 7 illustrates another embodiment of the exercise apparatus. Apparatus 130 is particularly adapted for use by invalids or the like who cannot impose too great a strain on their body muscles. Apparatus 130 includes a supporting base 131 upon which an electrically operated motor 132 is secured. This motor has a horizontal drive shaft 133 to which is secured by suitable means, a crank 134 having an elongated horizontally extending pedal 135 which is rotated by the motor 132 when the latter is connected to any suitable source of electrical power.
The individual taking exercise simply seats himself in front of apparatus 130 with his feet on the pedal 135. As the pedal rotates the individual taking the exercise may simply permit his feet to be carried around in a circle by the pedal 135 or may, to imposed a limited strain upon the body muscles, press down upon the pedal as the latter is rotated upwardly.
FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate a portion of another embodiment of the exercise apparatus. Apparatus 140 includes a flywheel 141 which is in the nature of a small drum having end walls 142 and 143, and a cylindrical side wall 144. This flywheel is divided into two compartments by means of a diametrically extending wall 145 having a communicating passage 146 formed therethrough. Flywheel 141 is filled with a liquid through a hole 147 formed through the end wall 143, said hole being closed with a suitable plug 148, a vent 149 also being provided and closed by suitable means.
A pair of flanged stub shafts 150 and 151 are nonrotatably connected to walls 142 and 143, respectively, by means of studs 155 extending from the latter. These shafts 150 and 151 are rotatably journalled in walls 157 and 158, respectively, of a casing 160, the latter only being shown partially as it may be constructed in the same manner as casing 12 and mounted to a sheet of plywood or the like, not shown, in the manner of casing 12.
A crank arm 161 is non-rotatably connected to stub shaft 151 and carries an elongated pedal 162 upon which both feet of the individual taking exercise may be placed.
In the operation of apparatus 140, the rotation of flywheel 141 will also result in the rotation of the liquid carried therein forcing the latter outwardly against the side wall 144. This will thereby result in the flywheel acting as its own damper as the energy required to maintain the liquid outwardly against wall 144 will retard the rotation of the flywheel through its return half revolution.
It is therefore unnecessary to employ the hydraulic damper 42 of embodiment 10 as energy must continually be expended to maintain rotation of the flywheel 141.
It will be appreciated that flywheel 141 may also be employed in apparatus 60 or 90 in place of the solid-type flywheels and hydraulic dampers of the latter apparatus.
1. Exercising apparatus comprising a fore and aft elongated supporting base, a flywheel mounted for rotation on the base, a crank mounted on the base for rotation about an axis transversely of the base, said crank being connected in driven and driving engagement with the fiywheel, said crank having a crank arm, a single pedal connected to and rotatable with the crank arm for supporting the feet of an individual taking exercise in side by side relationship for rotation in unison as the crank is rotated, and a double acting hydraulic damper extending between the crank arm and supporting base for retarding rotation of the crank.
2. Exercising apparatus as claimed in claim 1 including a chair connected to the supporting base aft of the crank for supporting an individual taking exercise in a seated position.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Kinsey 27282 Erickson 128-25 Kauffman 12825 Brown 128-25 6 FOREIGN PATENTS US. Cl. X.R. 272-58, 73