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Publication numberUS3581739 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 1, 1971
Filing dateMar 24, 1969
Priority dateMar 24, 1969
Also published asDE2113021A1
Publication numberUS 3581739 A, US 3581739A, US-A-3581739, US3581739 A, US3581739A
InventorsWilliam E Brandt, Allen L Clark
Original AssigneeAllen L Clark, William E Brandt
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Motor-driven muscle-building machine
US 3581739 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

is-ass Kt? 39581. i739 l l l lnventors Appl. No. Filed Patented MOTQR-DRIVEN MUSCLE-BUILDING MACHINE 4 Claims, 8 Drawing Figs.

US. Cl 128/44,

272/57, 272/83, 73/7l.6 Int. Cl .1 A63b 23/04 Field of Search 128/25,

Assistant ExaminerRichard Dror Attorney Alfons Puishes ABSTRACT: A machine is equipped with a rotating support platform which may have two distinct degrees of freedom or motion in the plane of said platform which latter may be tilted at an angle to the horizontal. The body of a person mounting and bracing himself, or being placed on such platform is subject to downward as well as lateral gravitational forces as the platform rotates and/or translates. Muscular resistance to this pull produces an unusually effective and relatively effortless exercise and therapeutic effect. Angle of tilt and speed of rotation may be varied to suit the individual. When the body support function is combined with a two-directional effect, the user can receive a direct indication of the sufficiency with which he is performing the exercising routine by means of suitably located indicating instruments.


SHEET 1 UF 5 Fig./

INVENTORS William E. Brandt BY Allen L. Clark Attorney I PATENTED JUN 1 12m sum 2 [1F 5 INVENTORS E A EC mL .mn He II WA H B PATENTED JUN 1 l97l SHEET 3 BF 5 Y mm m mm w BJM nu .m A mL mn m W V1 B PATENTED JUN 1 I97! SHEET '4 [IF 5 I Attorney PATENTED JUN 1 I97! SHEEI 5 OF 5 INVENTORS William E. Brandt y Allen L. Clark Attorney MOTOR-DRIVEN MUSCLE-BUILDING MACHINE This application is a continuation-in-part of our copending application. Ser. No. 759,637 filed Sept. 13, 1968 now aban cloned.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION It is well known that the basic muscles of the human body which support the latter in the earth's gravitational field may be infrequently used in the normal course of our modern lives. These muscles known as skeletal" muscles are about 600 in number in the human body and their proper exercising has been the subject of some research.

In a paper entitled The Effects of Isometric and lsotonic Exercise on the Skeletal Muscles" by M. Maxim Asa published at Springfield College, Springfield, Mass. in I959, a series of muscle tone experiments were reported. Two types of exercises were performed on over 200 subjects and described as isometric" (exercises performed by contracting the muscle without moving the joint to which it is attached) and isotonic" (exercises in which a part is moved by muscle contraction) respectively. The author found that a 6-second isometric contraction followed by a -second relaxation repeated a few times per day, was the optimum method of strengthening the skeletal muscles.

It is also well known that strengthening the skeletal muscles reduces the-surplus tissue or fat, especially around the waist and abdomen. Many previous devices built for purposes of weight reduction-and muscle building have generally been self-propelled and, at best, supply uncontrolled exercise providing random physical exertion on the part of the user. The class of powered vibration machines, in general, provide a rather haphazard physical conditioning action. All existing devices have ignored the scientific approach of M. Maxim Asa indicated above.

SUMMARY It is therefore a general object of our invention to provide a more efficient machine for weight reducing and muscle building based upon the cylic contraction and relaxation principle outlined above.

It is a more specific object of our invention to provide a machine which would utilize the resistance of the human body to gravitational forces or components thereof in a novel manner to effect weight reduction and muscle building.

It is another general object of our invention to provide a form of full body exercise which utilizes the reaction of the body against a spring force which can be used to effect weight reduction and muscle building in a zero-gravity or weightless environment in a manner which is essentially equivalent to the effects produced due to the body reacting the gravitational component of weight on earth.

It is still another object of our invention to provide a body support platform which can translate with several degrees or directions of freedom with visual position indication so that the proper body muscle groups must be reacted to maintain the platform position and derive the maximum benefits from our invention.

It is yet another object of our invention to provide a body support platform which is snubbed or restrained by springs and can translate with visual position indication in several directions requiring the full body reaction of various muscle groups to maintain a given lateral platform deflection which does not necessarily require the pull of gravity.

We have discovered that by providing a machine whereby we utilize either the forces of gravity or suitable spring forces in a prescribed and regulated manner alone or in combination with lateral reaction forces to produce alternate muscular tension and relaxation in any desired part of the body, we are able to accomplish all of the objects enumerated above. Specifically, our machine is constructed to provide a rotating platform upon which the person stands, or is placed. Further provision is made for tilting the platform at an angle which may be variable or set to a predetermined value. The platform is then caused to rotate, thereby subjecting the body to cyclical action of the force of gravity. The person holds and braces himself, or is braced on the platform in the manner disclosed in more detail hereinbelow. The body of the person thus automatically resists the forces of gravity to a set degree and frequency according to a predetermined cycle. All parts of the body are thus given the benefit of the exercise and particularly the skeletal muscles in the isometric manner mentioned above and described in more detail below. We provide also a translating platform with complete visual position indicator which may be used alone or in combination with the above to achieve beneficial results of even a higher order. Furthermore, the above platform may be used in conjunction with spring forces to effect the above-described results in a zero-gravity environment.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is an isometric view of one embodiment of a machine utilizing the tilting and rotating platform of our invention.

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of another embodiment of a machine utilizing the tilting and rotating platform of our invention.

FIG. 3 is an isometric view of a two-directional exercise platform of our invention.

FIG. 4 is another embodiment of a two-directional exercise platform of our invention.

FIG. 5 is an elevation showing an adaptation of a twodirectional exercise platform to a horizontal spring reaction force exercising machine.

FIG. 5a is an elevation showing an adaptation of a twodirectional exercise platform to an inclined exercising machine.

FIG. 6 is an isometric view showing a machine utilizing a combination of a tilting and rotating platform with a twodirectional platform.

FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic representation partly in section showing the construction and operation of a telemeter system and position indicator which forms an important part in the control of the operation of our invention.

DESCRIPTION OF VARIOUS PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIG. 1, there is seen first an A-frame l which may be fabricated from pipe or other structural material. A hollow, tilting frame 2, which may be of generally rectangular construction, is pivotally mounted on frame 1 and arranged for tilting about a horizontal axis as described more fully below.

A rotating hollow frame 3 is mounted within frame 2 and arranged for rotation about a vertical axis.

A rotating platform 4 is mounted on the bottom of frame 3 which is equipped also with handles 5. Rotation of platform 4 and frame 3 is effected by geared head motor 6 which may be of any conventional type to effect rotation. We have found that the optimum speed in most instances lies between 3 to 10 rpm. Control of the speed of motor 6 is effected by means of a thumb control switch 7 positioned on one of the handles 5 and wired to the motor and power source in a conventional manner not shown.

The horizontal stub shafts or trunnions 8 positioned on a horizontal axis of frame 2 ride in bearings 9 which in turn are positioned on frame 1. Frame 2 may thus be tilted at any desired angle a to the vertical. The angle may be present by means of a ratchet and pawl arrangement 10 to any desired value as described more fully below.

Frame 3 is properly journaled and rides in top vertical bearing I1 and bottom vertical thrust bearing 12, both of which may be of the antifriction type.

In the embodimentof FIG. 2, we utilize stationary side frame supports 21 which may also be of pipe or other structural construction. Mounted on support frames 21 is hollow tilting frame 22 and within this is hollow rotating frame 23.

Rotating platform 24! is mounted on the bottom side of rotating frame 23 and is equipped with handles 25. Rotation of platform 24 and frame 23 is effected by geared head motor 26. Thumb control switch 27 positioned on one of the handles 24 controls the speed of motor 26 through interconnection to a power source not shown.

Trunnions 2% ride in horizontal bearings 23 positioned on side frame 2I.

Top and bottom vertical bearings 3I and 32 respectively provide for rotation of frame 23 inside frame 22.

Up to this point the embodiment of FIG. 2 is very similar to that of FIG. I.

For tilting of frame 22 of FIG. 2 and holding platform 24 at a predetermined angle we provide a series of holes 30a through the top portion of side frames 2I spaced at regular intervals. Pins 30b which may be spring loaded are positioned on frame 22 and disposed to engage holes 30a thereby holding frame 22 and platform 24! at the aforesaid predetermined angle.

We have discovered also that excellent results may be obtained by a number of variations and different embodiments of our basic invention described above. Referring now to FIG. 3, there is seen body support platform 3B which is suspended from U-frame support 32 by means of suspension members 33. Snubber springs 34 for resisting the motion of platform 3I are optional. When used these are held in place by spring support 35 and the tension may be adjusted by means of adjusting screws 36. Only one of the latter combinations is shown in full, but it is evident that four of these may be used on all four sides of platform 31 if desired. The arrows 37 indicate the directions in which the platform may be made to move during the operation of our machine.

Referring now to FIG. 4, there is seen an alternate embodiment of a two-directional platform. This comprises body support platform II and base support 412. These are separated by ball bearing members 43 which may rest in suitable sockets on the under surface of support platform II and ride on the upper surface of support 42. Snubber springs Mi, having spring support members I and adjusting screws as, may likewise be utilized in a manner similar to that disclosed in FIG. 3. The arrows 87 here also indicate the direction of motion of support platform II when in operation.

In FIG. 5 there is seen a combination of either of the platform embodiments of FIG. 3 or FIG. d in combination with a horizontal exercising machine, which provides a suitable lateral force I7 to be reacted which latter is proportional to the deflection of spring 44. In the illustration shown the embodiment of FIG. I is utilized, like numbers indicating like elements of the embodiment. In addition to this, the machine comprises side frames SI, handle for grasping 52, cable shield for the indicating device 53, and the indicator itself 54. The latter element is disclosed in detail in FIG. 7 and will be described more fully below.

In FIG. 5a there is shown one of our body support platforms in combination with an inclined machine, which provides a reactive force 47 proportional to the lateral component of body weight W and/or to the deflection of spring 44. Here the like numbers'represent the corresponding parts of FIG. 4 and FIG. 5. In addition there is shown a base support 55 and a hinge member 56 joining base support 52 with support member 55. A jack 57 interposed at the opposite end of these two members makes it possible to change the angle (It between these two members and thus get a variation in the gravitational forces on the person using the machine. The latter is illustrated by arrow W and shows two components acting on the body of the person exercising. Since the machine in this embodiment is nonrotational, the cyclic contraction-relaxation period is supplied by the user aided by a clock timer or other suitable instrument.

In FIG. 6 there is seen what may be termed a more complete embodiment of our invention. In this embodiment horizontal base oI supports tilting base 62 through hinge or pivot member 63. Tilting jack 641 permits variation of the angle between these two members as previously described. Tilting base 62 contains a housing 65 in which is positioned rotating drive as and electrical controls. (The latter is not shown in detail.) Drive shaft 67 connects the driving motor 65 which may also be equipped with a reduction gear, not shown. to rotating coupling 68. The latter is secured to rotating platform 69 in any desired manner. Rotating frames and handholes 70 are positioned on this platform also in a manner similar to that disclosed for previous embodiments. (FIG. I and FIG. 2.)

In this particular disclosure we show our exercising machine in combination with the two-directional platform of FIG. 3, although it is evident that the embodiment of FIG. 4 may also be used. In the disclosure shown there is body support platform 7I which is suspended from U-frame support 72 by means of suspension member 73. The snubber springs are not shown on this Figure, but it is evident that they may be used here also if desired. Position indicator transmission cable shield 74 connects from platform 71 to the indicator itself 75, as more fully described below.

FIG. 7 shows a preferred embodiment of our telemetering system and position indicator shown only schematically on FIG. 5, FIG. 5a, and FIG. 6. Inside of support platform 9I which may correspond to platform 31 of FIG. 3, II of FIG. 4, or 7I of FIG. 6 is located actuator support plate 92. Backward and forward actuator member is shown at 93 and sidewise actuator member at 94. These, of course, are fastened to the corresponding front and side edges of the support platform in any desired manner. Bearing 95 serves to support the backward and forward actuator while a four-bar linkage mechanism 96 serves the sidewise motion actuator. These in turn are acted upon by spring-loaded plungers 97 and 98, supported by bearings 99 to permit transmission of the respective motions to transmission wires MW in a manner well known to those skilled in the art for instrumentation of this type.

Transmission wires I00 are positioned inside of cable sheath I01 which may be of any type of flexible metallic or similar construction, also known to those skilled in the art.

Indicator housing I02 is fixedly positioned on handgrip support II2, in the embodiment shown on this Figure it may, it is evident, be supported on the corresponding structural element of any one of the other embodiments previously disclosed. A principal requirement is, of course, that the indicator face or dial III) be visible to the person using the machine.

Inside the housing I02 is positioned vertical slide W3 which moves in a vertical direction on slide guides I04 Horizontal slide guide I05 in turn moves on horizontal slide guides I06. The transmission wires I00 connect from the backward and forward motion actuators and the sidewise motion actuators respectively to the vertical slide W3 and horizontal slide I05. In the case of the latter, we again utilize a four-bar linkage mechanism 1105a in order to convert the motion of the transmission wire IIMI for the backward and forward motion from a vertical to a horizontal direction. It will be readily seen from the Figure that vertical slide I03 is positioned upon horizontal slide I05 so that its motion represents a composite or an integration of the motion of both slides in either direction. A ball and socket joint I07 is consequently positioned on top of the horizontal slide I05 and connects through pivot or support point I08 to pointer I09. Pointer I09 may be observed through a transparent indicator face III) positioned on housing I02. The face III] may serve also as a dial upon which there may be inscribed suitable graduations III. In the embodiment shown there are seen a series of concentric circles divided into quadrants which correspond to four positional zones of the platform. These may be designated by letters or numerals such as I, II, III, and IV denoting quadrants starting at the upper right facing the dial and moving in a clockwise direction through 360. Thus I would represent a positional zone of the platform forward and to the right hand, II rearward and to the right hand, III rearward and to the left hand, and IV forward and to the left hand. The intensity of the exercising effect would be indicated by the concentric circles of increasing diameter on the face of the dial.

OPERATION OF ABOVE EMBODIMENTS The operation herein described is directed to FIG. 1, although it will be evident that it applies also to FIGS. 2 and 6.

The person first sets the angle of tilt at of frame 2 to a predetermined value. Upon the latter will depend the intensity of the muscular contractions produced. It may vary from a few degrees in the case of elderly or physically limited persons during their early usage of the device up to 45 or more in the case of athletic persons requiring more strenuous exercising. We have found that 30 is a good angle for the average person. In the variation described above wherein a motor-driven tilting arrangement is used, this may be varied to suit the person after he has mounted the platform and even while the platform is rotating.

The gravitational pull on the body will increase with increase of angle a and the resistance to the pull will be effected by all the muscles, particularly the skeletal muscles and most particularly those around the waist and abdomen. For this reason the ability to vary angle forms an important feature of our invention.

After mounting platform 4, the person grasps handles 5 and depresses thumb switch 7 which starts rotation of platform 4.

The speed of rotation of platform 4 also forms an important feature of our invention. It governs the frequency of the exercise forces as distinguished from the intensity which is governed by the angle a as described above.

We have discovered that a speed of rotation of 3 to 10 rpm. is very effective and this may be varied by proper arrangement within the control circuit between switch 7 and motor 6, as is known to those skilled in the art. At this range of speed of rotation we produce a muscular contraction of from one every 6 seconds to one every seconds. We have found further that two exercises of 1 minute duration per day for as short a period as-Z weeks on our machine produces excellent results.

It is thus seen that our device when operated as described herein, closely parallels the optimum discovered by Asa and described above.

We have discovered that when the above-described device is used twice a day for a period of 1 minute at 12-hour intervals remarkable results in the matter of weight reduction and muscle building has been noted in a period of as little as 2 weeks.

As opposed to a cyclic contraction-relaxation period in the operation of embodiments 1 or to where muscle group intensity is proportional to the lateral component of gravity, the operator of FIG. 5 overcomes the platform reaction 47 caused by the deflection of spring 44. The operator causes a direct translation of the platform by means of exerting a combined force and moment upon the grips 52. Since the force of gravity is not a basic variable in this exercise, performance of it may be carried in a zero-gravity environment with complete equivalence to the other embodiments described herein. Since the platform is not rotating, the user regulates the exercise cycle by any suitable means as a clock timer. The intensity and extent of the exercise may be visually maintained at all times by use of the indicator 54 described above.

The primary difference between the embodiment of FIG. 5a and FIG. 5 is that the exercise intensity of FIG. 5a has been augmented by a lateral component of gravity due to the inclination of platform 42 to the horizontal. As in the previous exercise, the operator applies the prescribed force and mo' ment to grips 52 which is transmitted through the arms and shoulders and conducted throughout the body where it is finally reacted by the feet upon platform 41. Repetition and cyclical control are supplied by the operator and visual indication of intensity and extent of the exercise is provided by indicator 54 described above.

Although the machines of FIG. 5 and FIG. 5a are essentially simpler than the machine of FIG. 6, we have found them to be quite suitable where intensive exercise is not desired or where the exercising is limited to certain particular muscles or areas of the body only.

In the operation of the machine of FIG. 6, of course, we are able to obtain all of the benefits of the previous embodiments, either alone or in combination. Thus when base 62 is lowered to a horizontal position and motor drive 66 is stopped, we may obtain the effects of operation of the machine of FIG. 5. When tilting base 62 is raised to an angle with the motor drive still stopped we get the effects of the operation of the machine of FIG. 5a. If now we start the motor drive 66 rotating platform 69 rotates. If at the same time we set the snubber spring tension by means of adjusting screws 36, if the embodiment of FIG. 3 is used, or 46 if the embodiment of FIG. 4 is used, so that support platform 71 cannot move in either of the two horizontal directions, we get the effect of our basic invention shown in the embodiments of FIG. I and FIG. 2. If, however, we desire to get the greatest amount of flexibility and exercising effect, we adjust the latter springs to permit platform 7I to move in both horizontal directions while at the same time rotating around with platform 69, we are able to obtain a very thorough and comprehensive exercising effect upon the entire body and one whose overall salutary effect exceeds by far that of any known devices to date.

The force and moment exerted by the user on grip to maintain the position indicator reading 75 in the prescribed manner is transmitted throughout the entire body to where it is eventually reacted by the feet against the platform 71.

By proper programming and use of the automatic regulation which we disclose above, we are able to adapt our invention to a wide variety of exercise cycles and hence serve a variety of exercising and muscle-conditioning applications.

We claim:

1. A weight-reducing and muscle-building machine comprising:

a first platform disposed for rotation in a horizontal plane;

means for adjusting said platform to various predetermined angles to the horizontal;

a second platform adapted to receive a person in an upright position; said second platform being disposed for translating motion in at least two directions in a horizontal plane;

said second platform being fixedly positioned on said first platform;

means cooperating with said platforms to permit said person to be steadied thereon while in an upright position;

means for rotating said first platform.

2. The machine of claim 1, in which the means cooperating with said platforms includes a stationary frame and handles fixedly positioned with respect to the motion of said first platform.

3. The machine of claim 1 including means cooperatively engaging said second platform with said first platform to limit said motion of said second platform with respect to said first platform.

4. The machine of claim 3 in which said means for limiting said motion of said second platform comprises spring means.

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U.S. Classification601/5, 601/48, 482/146, 482/134, 73/666, 482/142, 601/49
International ClassificationA61H1/00, A63B19/00, A63G31/00, A63B19/04
Cooperative ClassificationA61H1/003, A63B19/04, A63G31/00
European ClassificationA63G31/00, A63B19/04, A61H1/00C2