US 3545747 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Richard A. Thomas Tallahassee, Florida (1 1302 SW 104 Ave., Miami, FL 33156)  Appl. No. 701,663
 Filed Jan. 30,1968
 Patented Dec. 8, 1970  Inventor [S4] WALKING AND BALANCE TRAINING AID 4 Claims, 3 Drawing Figs.
 1.1.8. 273/1, 1 272/60  Int. Cl A63b 1/02, A63b71/04  FleldofSearch 273/1; 272/60; 46/17, 28, 202; 238/130, 231
 ReIereneesClted UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,206,992 12/1916 Coonts 238/231 1,323,617 12/1919 Ward....
1,490,201 4/1924 Brown 273/! 3,3 39,920 9/1967 Moritz 272/60 FOREIGN PATENTS 924,167 '1955 Germany 272/60 Primary Examiner-Anton 0. Oechsle Assistant Examiner-Paul E. Shapiro AttorneyClarence A. OBrien and Harvey B. Jacobson ABSTRACT: A walking and balancing training aid. Three elongate inverse T-shaped elements are placed on the ground in abutting longitudinal relationship. The abutting ends of the elements are connected by mortise and tenon joints. The elements are provided with colored zones numerically marked for score keeping to render the device amusing for rival participants.
PATENTEUDEC 8 I976 Richdrd A. Thomas INVENTOR.
WALKING AND BALANCE TRAINING AID This invention relates to a portable exercising and amusement device which has the capability of enticing youngsters to walk along a relatively narrow tread atop a slightly elevated base-supported track or rail by reason of the fact that it provides fun exercise and promotes the instinctive desire to train and perfect skills, recognition and results based on each youngsters score.
. Briefly, the invention can be used indoors or outdoors. It is portable and sectional and the cooperating sections are compact and convenient for separable and connectable use and easily readied for carrying and storage. The essence of the concept has to do with an appropriately elongated self-standing base made up of end-to-en'd boards or planks. The adjacent and cooperating ends of the respective boards are easy to link together or dismantle and, to the ends desired, the
board sections are interlocked by mortise and tenon jointing elements. More significantly, the upper median lengthwise surface of the overall baseis provided with a tracklike relatively narrow walkers rail, that is, a simple ridge or rib having a narrow tread elevated to assume a plane slightly above the plane of the top surface of the base. With this construction and arrangement of component parts each competitor is called upon to resort to and acquire capably balanced skill similar, in a manner of speaking, to the skill of a tightrope walker.
The upwardly facing surface of the base has distinguishable color coded zones ranging lengthwise along the surface to assist the walking participants when they desire, as is usually the case, to keep tab on the distance walked and to determine, by established scoring points, which participant is the admitted winner.
In addition to the interlocking mortise and tenon connectors and the distinguishably colored zones, each zone is preferably provided with an indicating number. By arranging the numbers consecutively the participants can keep score on each other according to the accepted rules of play.
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:
FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of a walking and balance training device or aid wherein the sections are interlocked and showing one manner in which the restricted walking rail can be and is used;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross section on the plane of the section line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view showing the individual sections and how they are constructed for cooperating end-to-end use.
The base is adapted to be made of either wood or plastic material and may be of one-piece construction and of requisite length and width. However, and for ease of handling and portability the base is made up of a plurality of similarly constructed companion or complemental sections and several, more or less, sections are preferably used and placed end-toend in coplanar cooperating alignment in the manner shown in FIG. 1.
The term base is here intended to cover either a one piece board or plank of the general cross-sectional construction shown in FIG. 4. This base, considered as an entity, comprises a flat bottom self-standing surface 6 which is capable of placement and use atop a foundation or suitable support surface 8. The spaced parallel longitudinal marginal edges are denoted at 10. The overall base" as shown in FIG. 2 is denoted by the numeral 12. The upper central longitudinal portion 14 is provided with a track rail 16 which is secured in place by screw-threaded headed fasteners or equivalent means 18. The walking surface atop the track is designated as the tread 20. Experimental models use a rail (strip member or rib) which is approximately three-quarters ofan inch in cross sec tion and three-quarters of an inch in height, that is to provide the tread 2Q slightly elevated above the base as shown in FIG". 2. The half portions of the top surface of the base to the left and right of the walking rail provide ledges one of which is denoted at 22 and the other one at 24.
The preferred embodiment of the base is one wherein it is made up of a plurality of similar companion sections. One section is denoted by the numeral 26 in FIG. 3, a second section by the numeral 28 and a third section by the numeral 30. These three sections when put together are interlocked or joined in the manner suggested at the right in FIG. 1. Any number of additional interlocked sections can be added to increase the overall ends of the base and rail in keeping with the area available and the required skill and stamina of the participants. The endto-end or abutting sections are interlocked by mortise and tenon connectors, the tenon being dovetailed and of the construction denoted at the left and right in FIG. 3 by the numeral 32. Each mortise is likewise of a size and shape to conformingly receive and interlock the tenon 32 which is cooperable therewith. These mortise and tenon connectors may be arranged as shown or reversed to separably join the cooperating sections.
Each section is preferably color coded in the manner illustrated in FIG. 3. It will simplify the description to mention that the color shown at 36 is orange and is cooperable with the next adjacent black zone or area 38 which in turn is cooperable with the next adjacent red zone or area 40. The color zones are separated by white or equivalent demarcation lines 42. In addition each color zone is further distinguished by providing on at least one side identification indicia such as consecutive numbers each denoted by the numeral 44. These numbers may range consecutively (from 1 to 8 inclusive) in FIG. 3.
It will be evident that the objective of the game is to walk along the tread or peak surface 20 of the centralized elongated rib or rail and to try to walk the entire distance. If the walker loses balance and falls off at a color zone the color is noted and the number is noted and the score is to be kept accordingly. As many trials may be attempted by the competitors or participants as they desire. The participant having the most points is declared the winner. To derive maximum balancing benefits. One foot can be placed lengthwise on the walking edge or tread in a heel-and-toe manner (not shown).
Should the walker lose balance and still stay in a supported position atop either of the rail or the base, a predetermined scoring credit can be attained.
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, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
1. An exercising, muscle coordinating, balance practicing, training, and amusement device for competitive use indoors or outdoors comprising: an elongated self-standing base having a flat bottom which is designed and adapted to be placed and seated flatwise and firmly on a floor or an equivalent support surface, and a correspondingly elongated tracklike walkers rail fixed atop said base, said rail having a relatively narrow traversing tread elevated to assume a plane slightly above the plane of the top surface of said base, said tread being of a prescribed gauge and requiring each competitor to resort to and acquire a capable balanced skill similar, in a manner of speaking, to the skill of a tightrope walker in order to walk unaided along said rail, the upwardly facing surface of said base having distinguishable color coded zones ranging along said surface to assist the walking participants to keep tab on the distance walked and to determine, by established scoring points, which participant is the winner and to, at the same time, improve each participants equilibrium, poise and posture commensurate with his capability of trial and error performance, said zones being visually separated by demarcation lines, and wherein said zones have indicating numbers such as l, 2, 3 displayed consecutively therein to assist in keeping score according to the accepted rules of play, said base comprising a plurality of similar sections having coacting abutting end portions having separable and connectable mortise and tenon members joining said end portions together.
2. The device defined in and according to claim 1, and wherein each section is substantially T-shaped in cross section, each tenon being dovetail in plan and each companion mortise being conformingly dovetail in size and shape.
3. A portable knockdown exercising, muscle coordinating, balance practicing and tar training device for use by competing youngsters comprising elongated sectional base means, said base means being characterized by .a first section, a second section in cooperable traversing alignment with said first section and at least-one intervening and uniting section between said first and second sections, each section having a flat bottom side capable of self-standing use on an indoor or outdoor support surface and having an upper side, said upper side being provided with an upstanding lengthwise rib, said rib being reduced in cross section and arranged midway between adjacent longitudinal edge portions of said section and having a flat relatively narrow tread surface for a user, lengthwise portions of each section to the left and right of said rail projecting a distance beyond the respective vertical side portions of the rail and providing substantially flat amply wide landing ledges, said sections being in a common plane and arranged end-to-end and having abutting end portions and said abutting end portions being interlocked by cooperating manually separable and connectable mortise and tenon jointing elements, and wherein each section is provided with longitudinally spaced and distinguishable color zones, each zone having an indicating number whereby the distinguishable numbers and colors assist users in keeping score of the points made by each participant.
4. The device defined in and according to claim 3 and wherein each section is substantially T-shaped in cross section, each tenon being dovetail in plan and each companion mortise being dovetail in plan and conformingly dovetail in size and shape, each color zone being of a length in plan indicative of the zone distance traversed by each user, and the respective zones being separated from each other by transverse demarcation lines.