US 3544105 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 72] Inventor Richard S. Latta Trumansburg, New York (1 Cathy Place, Succasunna, NJ 07876)  Appl. No. 663,015
 Filed Aug. 24, 1967  Patented Dec. 1, 1970  CONTINUOUS RESISTANCE TYPE EXERCISING 3,186,231 6/1965 Sexeetal.
Primary Examiner Delbert B. Lowe Attorney-Raymond N. Matson ABSTRACT: A portable support or housing including a reeled rope having an outer end passed about a smooth fixed cylinder to furnish continuous and variable resistance to the rope-unreeling pull on its end by a user standing on or adjacent the support or housing which includes variable rope-tensioning means and reel-braking means to also enable use of the device for isometric exercies, the tensioning means being a member having a curved surface conforming to the curvature of the rope, said member being movable toward and away from the rope by movement of a mounting block having a vernier adjusting means.
Patented Dec. 1,1970- 3,544,105
Shoot 1 o t 2 Richard 8. mm
Patented 'Dec. 1,1970 I 3,544,105
INVENT OR Richard S. Lotto /m/m his PATENT AGE/VT CONTINUOUS RESISTANCE TYPE EXERGISlNG-DEVIGII' This invention relates generally to physical fitness apparatus and more particularly to an exercising deviceof the continttous resistance type which may also be used for isometric-exercises.
While isotonic and isometric exercising devices-are'relatively well known, exercising devices of t the continuous resistance type are not, although the advantages of the latterare" now beginning to be regarded with great favor'asbeing superiorirr.
the exercising of the various muscles of the human body.
Accordingly, the main object of the presenttinventioneis to provide an improved exercising device which enables thesper formance of both isotonic exercises with continuous re-- sistance and isometric exercises.
An important object of the present invention-is toprovideaportable support or housingincluding'a reeled rope'having an; outer end passed about a smooth cylinder tofurnishcontinuous resistance to a rope-unreeling pull onsits end by'a-user' standing on the housingwhich includes variable rope-"retard!- ing means to also enable the user of 'thedevice tovary the amount of resistance as desired, andrope-braking means to enable the use of the device for isometric exercises.-
Another important object of the present inventioniisto pro-- vide an improved exercising device ofthe type described? wherein the continuous resistance maybe-varied by the number of turns of the rope about the smooth cylinder (as long as there is some resistance on the remote endiof'the:
FIG. 1 is a horizontal sectional view of 'a preferred form'off the invention;
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view thereof;
FIG. 3 is a transverse sectional view thereof taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. I;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view thereofshowing.
the vernier cam and slide in the zero rope tension position;
FIG. 5 is an elevational view to an enlarged scale of the slide spool and its ratchet;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary plan view of the cam, slide and spool in the maximum rope tension position;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary perspective view similar to FIG". 4' but showing the vernier cam slide in the maximum ropetension position and the braking bar in the applied'position;
FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 6 butshowing'thebraking bar in the applied position; and
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary vertical sectional viewshowing the braking bar in the at rest position as in FIG. 4.
Referring to the drawings, the exercising: device comprisesa' generally rectangular housing, although it may be of other configuration, having top and bottom members I8 and I9, side members 22 and 23, intermediate,transverse, reinforcing members 24 and 25, and front wall'26, having-a r'ecessedportion 27 so to enable the reinforcing wall members 24 and to receive the ends 28 of the shaft 29 of the smooth cylinder 32'. The housing may be formed of wood, metal or strong plastic. While the cylinder may be nonrotatably fixed by its shaft ends" in its support, the cylinder 32 has a ratchet wheel 33 fixed to one end thereof and its shaft 29 is rotatably mounted in the wall members 24 and 25. A pawl 34- is mounted on the front wall portion 27 over the ratchet 33 and is spring-loaded so as to bear thereagainst.
A reel 36 is rotatably mounted in the housing about a fixed shaft 37 and resiliently resists counterclockwise rotation by means of a torsion spring 38 which applies tension to the reel and hence to the inner end of an inelastic, flexible connecter 39 such as a rope. The inner end of the rope is fastened to the reel and the rope is coiled thereabout and passed through an aperture 42 in the wall 27 where at least a part of one turn is taken about the smooth surface of the cylinder'32, after which the rope terminates in a handle.
Itiis readilydemonsttablethat .a pull on one end of a rope having from at leasta partof one turn to a plurality of turns about a cylinder will readily remove the rope therefrom unless a tension of some degree is placed on the other end of the rope. In such event; the withdrawal of the rope will become more difficult in direct proportion to the number of turns about the cylinder and be, to an. even greater degree, proportional to the amountof tension placed 'on the end of the rope. Such continuing resistanceto being: pulled from the cylinder, when employed, has been determined to be highly effective in the development and conditioning of many. human muscles.
In use,.the.operator'standsonthe housing top-18 and pulls atza steady rate on the handle soasto rotate the reel 36 against itsspring..38zandlwithdrawthe rope 39"through the aperture 42 'andabout the. cylind'er.-32; the rope passing around the cylinder in a counterclockwise direction asseen in FIG. 3.
Inithis mannentheropeis in sliding frictional engagement with-thecylinder whereby the operator must exert a certain amount of force and thereby exercise various muscles of the body. inpullingtherope through-the device and around the cylinder.-The" resistance. to such ,unreeling pull is variable directly inaccordance with; the number of turns of the rope about thecylinder 32' withzthe tensiononthe remote end of the rope beingyl'ield'irelatively constant by the torsion spring.
ksiszapparentafrom FIG; I, the'cylinder is held against countercIockwise'rotation by theengagement of. the pawl 34 withtheperiphery ofiratchet33.
The-rope 39'-,is-unreeled to the desiredextent by the operator in: his exercise. who thenpermits the reeling of the rope backv from the-cylinder 32 upon the reel 36 under the action of the.spring' ,.whichis permitted in thisdirection by the pawl 34, and this cycle. is repeated adesired number of times to develop and condition'the human muscles by the continuous resistance afforded by thezdevice described. The. one-way rotation of the cylinder provides-forthe rapid and convenient return of the rope to the starting position'for each repetitionof the exercise and also provides forbetter alinement of the rope as it turns withthecylinder.
An important feature of the invention resides in its capacity for. ready conversion to use for the performance of isometric exercises and in also being able to vary the resistance to pull of therope by-brakemeans in addition to varying the number of turns of the rope about the cylinder.
An important feature ofthe invention resides in providing very simple vernier control means for varying the restraining tensiononthe rope39 from a minimum to a maximum in an infinite number of increments.
As shown, a U-shaped guide block 86 having spaced transversely extending guide legs 88 for the reception therebetweenof a slide 90",is mounted on the bottom wall 19 of the housing against the recessed front wall 27, and has a cam 92 keyed to a rotatable shaft 94=. The cam has a control button196 projecting through an opening in the top 18 of the housing and is provided with a flange 97- which bears against the top portion defining the opening while the cam 92 bears against the guide block 86 under the action of a spring 98 to provide sufficient friction so as to prevent accidental turning of the cam. 92 by the pressure of a slide-mounted pin 100 against the cam surface.
A pair of fixed (or rotatable, if desired) rope guide pins 102 are fixed to the outer portions of the guide legs 88 and direct the rope 39 directly to the opening 42 leading to the cylinder 32 as shown in FIG. I. The opposite side of the rope urges the slide 90 to the left or minimum rope tension position against the guide block 86 by its tension and tangential engagement with the convergent surfaces 104 of a rotatably mounted spool 106 on the slide 90. The spool is freely rotated clockwise upon retraction of the rope 39 during use of the device in exercising but is prevented from rotating counterclockwise by a pivoted pawl I08 engaging a ratchet 110 fixed to or integral with the underside of the spool under the action of a spring I 12 fixed to the slide 90 as at 114 (FIG. 9).
It will be appreciated that as the cam 92, which is designed so as to provide a constant change in radius for each degree of are of its periphery, is manually rotated counterclockwise from the zero rope tension position shown in FIGS. 1 and 4 to increase the tension on the rope 39, its increasing radius will cause its edge surface to act on the pin 100 to move the slide 90 and spool 106 to the right against the rope 39. The spool 106 thus puts the rope under tension and more of the periphery of the spool is engaged by the rope which is forced more tightly against the tapered spool surfaces 104. The control button 96 is thus a vernier control of the tension in the rope 39 ranging from the zero tension position shown in FIGS. 1 and 4 by an infinite number of adjustments of the vernier control button 96 to the maximum tension position shown in FIGS. 6 to 9. In the latter position, of course, the rope 39 is forced to pass through or between a greater periphery of the tapered edges 104 of the spool 106 to thus provide a simple,
effective means of varying the rope tension or resistance according to the requirements of the user.
A further feature of the invention which adapts it for use for isometric exercises is shown in FIGS. 4 and 7 to 9 and comprises a U-shaped rope-braking bar having legs 116 pivoted as at 118 over the guides 88 to a block 120 fixed to the wall member 24. The base portion 122 of the braking bar is offset upwardly so as to clear the spool 106 and has a foot-operated pedal 124 fixed thereto which projects just above the housing top 18 (FIGS. 2, 3 and 7). The braking bar is maintained in the at rest nonbraking position with the legs 116 just above the rope 39 (FIGS. 4 and 9) by a tension spring 126.
The operation of the preferred forms of the invention is believed to be apparent. Regardless of the number of turns of the rope 39 about the cylinder 32, the vernier cam 'control button 96 provides a simple effective means of increasing the tension of or the resistance of the rope to unreeling by an infinite number of increments. At the zero position of adjustment or minimum radius of the cam 92 (FIGS. 1 and 4), the spool 106 (and its supporting slide 90) are in such a position to the left as shown as to allow free, frictionally unencumbered rewinding of the rope 39 on the reel 36 which rewinding is guided by the aperture 42, the convergent faces 104 of the clockwise rotatable spool 106 and the guides 102 while being confined from above by the braking bar legs 116.
If the vernier cam 92 is turned counterclockwise by'its button 96, its increasing radius acts against the slide pin 100 to move the slide 90 and the spool 106 to the right forcing the rope, as it is withdrawn or extended for and exercise, farther between the convergent peripheral faces of the spool, which does not rotate counterclockwise, being held by the pawl and ratchet 108, 110. If the cam is turned further, the spool is forced further to the right and a greater length of rope engages the convergent peripheral spool faces 104 to further increase i the tension or resistance to unreeling of the rope 39.
As disclosed, the device is designed so that the amount of ropetension or resistance that can be added to any selected number of rope turns about the smooth cylinder 32 by the maximum tension position to the right of the spool, is greater than that which is provided by adding another turn of rope around the cylinder, and varies from a few ounces to hundreds of pound feet.
When isometric exercising is desired, the user pulls out the rope to the desired extend and steps on the brake-operating pedal 124 to clamp the rope 39 on opposite sides of the spool 106 to the upper sides of the slide guide legs 88 just inside of the rope guide pins 102 (FIGS. 7 and 8). Upon completion of the exercising, the pedal is released and the braking bar and its legs 116 are returned to the at rest position of FIGS. 4 and 9 by the tension spring 126.
1. An exercising device comprising, in combination, a support; a smooth cylinder mounted on said support; means preventing rotation of said cylinder in one direction upon a pull of rope thereabout; a rope including an end to be pulled on; said rope being wound about said cylinder to an extent within a range between a part of one turn and a plurality of turns; and springhretarded reel means mounted on said support for applying to e other end of said rope a unlform, continuous resistance to, while permitting, the pulling of a length of said rope about said smooth cylinder cylinder while stationary in the direction of pull for exercising purposes; and means for varying said resistance comprising a member having a frictional surface mounted on said support for movement transversely against an intermediate portion of said rope; said frictional surface being arcuate in the direction of movement of said rope whereby said resistance varies in accordance with the amount of said surface moved into contact with said rope.
2. The exercising device recited in claim 1; and vernier means mounted on said support and operable to move said member to control the amount of surface in contact with said rope.
3. The exercising device recited in claim 1 wherein said member is mounted on a slide on said support; and vernier means mounted on said support for controlling the amount of movement of said slide.
4. The exercising device recited in claim 3 wherein said vernier means comprises a cam acting against said slide; and means tending to maintain said rope straight except for the portion engaging said surface.