US 3582069 A
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United States Patent (72] Inventors Francis S. Flick Bensenville; Edward R. Burke, Hoffman Estates, both of, Ill.
 Appl. No. 769,068
 Filed Oct. 21, 1968 [45} Patented June 1,1971
 Assignee [flick-Reedy Corporation  CRAWLER-TYPE EXERCISING DEVICE 5 Claims, 12 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl 272/79, 35/29, 272/70  Int. CL... A63b 21/00  Field of Search 272/79, 80, 8 l, 82, 83, 70, 57; 35/29  References Cited I UNITED STATES PATENTS l,909,l90 5/1933 Sachs 272/70 3,363,335' 1/1968 Burhnsetal 3,460,272 8/1969 Pellicore Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-William R. Browne Attorney-Hofgren, Wegner, Allen, Stellman & McCord ABSTRACT: An improvedlinkage or coupling arrangement for an exercise apparatus of the creeping and crawling type having pairs of pads mounted for to-and-fro parallel movement in each of pairs of adjacent channels, wherein the diametrically opposite pads simultaneously move in the same direction and pairs of pads move toward and away from each other, characterized by a single cable strand reeved about two pulleys or drums or two separate strands reeved about two spaced pairs of pulleys and interconnecting all of the four pads for such movement or rigid linkage means for interconnecting the pads.
PATENTED VAJUN 1 I97! SHEET 3 [1F 4 CRAWLER-TYPE EXERCISING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to therapeutic exercise apparatuses and, more particularly, to an improvement in creeping apparatuses.
2. Brief Description of the Prior Art This is an improvement in the structure shown in Flick application Ser. No. 682,295, entitled Creeping Apparatus" filed Nov. l3, I967. That invention was directed to a creeping apparatus comprising a frame with two sets of handand kneepads movably mounted on the frame for simultaneous movement parallel to each other, with each pad of each set mounted for movement with or toward and away from the companion pad. The two sets of pads were interconnected with a single continuous cable strand wound about (in one embodiment) six pulleys, or (in the other embodiment) five pulleys to provide the four strands of cables by means of which the movement could be effected.
There is a continuing desire with respect to any manufacr turedproduct to reduce the material expense and assembly time thereof to thereby reduce the consumer cost and make the device available to a broader spectrum of the public. Such cost reductions are to be accomplished without any sacrifice in quality or performance of the device. It is to the fulfillment of this desire and the also continuing desire to improve significant advances in any art that the instant improvement invention is directed by simplifying the structure of the creeping apparatus.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention is directed, in brief, to the provision of an improved creeping apparatus having reduced number of pulleys and cable windings by means of which the several limb pads are interconnected for simultaneous movement. The best mode currently contemplated for carrying out the invention includes the provision of only two laterally centered longitudinally opposite coplanar pulleys generally centrally positioned between the two limb pad channels at the opposite ends thereof with a generally continuous cable wound about the pulleys and crossed between the pulleys in an X-fashion, and connected to all four limb pads.
Another mode of carrying out the invention is the provision of two generally laterally centered drums rotatable about a horizontal axis with respect to the normal orientation of the apparatus with two strands of cable running around opposite ends of the pairs of drums. Each strand runs in only one of the two limb pad channels with one limb pad in each channel connected to the upper run of the cable strand and the other limb pad connected to the lower run of the cable strand.
Another mode of carrying out the invention is the provision of a linkage system including a pivoted arm across each end of the limb pad channels with an interconnecting link pivoted to diametric opposite ends of the aforementioned arms and the opposite ends of the arms having pivoted legs extending into the limb pad channels with each leg being connected to a limb pad. The oppositely facing legs in each limb pad channel may be at different elevations to avoid interference during the mutually inward movement of the limb pads toward each other.
To improve the continuity of operation of the creeping apparatus and reduce vibration and shock, the invention further comprehends the provision of bumper means on opposing edge of the limb pads.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. l is a top plan view of an exercise device made in accordance with this invention;
FIG. 2 is a section view taken generally along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of a modified form of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2;
FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic view of the modified form of the embodiment shown in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary enlarged section view of the clamping arrangement utilized with the modified form of the invention shown in FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a top plan view of an alternate embodiment of this invention;
FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic view of the alternate embodiment of this invention shown in FIG. 6, taken generally along the lines 7-7 of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is another diagrammatic view of the alternate embodiment of this invention taken generally along the lines 8-8 of FIG. 6;
FIG. 9 is a top plan view of another alternate embodiment of this invention;
FIG. 10 is a fragmentary enlarged view of a portion of the alternate embodiment shown in FIG. 9; and
FIGS. 11 and 12 are plan views of the limb pads utilized with the creeping apparatus of this invention showing in section bumper means provided on opposing edges of the limb pads.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring first to FIGS. 1 and 2, the exercise device 10 of this invention shown therein is substantially similar to that described and claimed in the aforementioned Flick application Ser. No. 682,295 filed Nov. 13, 1967 and entitled Creeping Apparatus. The device includes a frame 12 having a bottom in the form of a substantially flat base 14 of suitably rigid material adapted to permit placement of the apparatus on a generally flat supporting surface such as a floor or shelflike structure.
Upright sidewalls 16 and 18 extend along opposite sides of the base, generally parallel to each other. The top of each sidewall has a cap 16a and 18a, respectively, which partially overlies the base 14. End members 20 and 22 are provided at opposite ends of the base, each of which has pulley-receiving cavities, such as the cavities 20a and 22a, respectively, in which there are rotatably mounted pulleys 20b and 22b, on shafts 20c and 22c, respectively. In the illustrated embodiment, shafts 20c and 220 extend generally vertically or from top to bottom. The pulleys are generally coplanar and centered in the members 20 and 22 with respect to the intermediate wall 24. Wall 24 extends the length of the frame between sidewalls l6 and 18, and in combination with base 14, defines two channels 26 and 28 having a closed bottom and open top for movably receiving limb pad supports. Intermediate wall 24 is also topped by a .cap 24a which partially overlies base 14 on both sides of wall 24. Wall 24 is also slotted at 24b intermediate its ends.
Each channel has two limb pad supports, such as hand pad 30 and kneepad 32 in channel 26 and hand pad 30 and kneepad 32 in channel 28. The hand pad is elongated relative to the kneepad to permit the fingers and palm of a users hand to occupy an area entirely upon the pad.
Each pad includes a relatively rigid base member, such as 30a, to which is attached means, such as wheels 30b and 3212, respectively, to permit to-and-fro rolling movement of the pads in the channels. The top surface of each of the pads is provided with suitable padding, such as 30c and 32c for accommodating the extremities of the limbs of the user.
As best seen in FIG. 2, the base of each pad is sufficiently wide so as to underlie the portions of caps 16a and 24a or I and 24a. Each side of the base of each pad is provided with small bumper elements 34 to assist in maintaining the pads in parallel as they track to and fro in each channel 26 and 28 and to further cushion the pads against any shocks imposed by striking any of walls I6, 18 and 24. The top of the base of each pad closely underlies each of the caps 16a, 18a and 24a, but is not in facial abutment therewith so that some minute vertical movement may be possible but not of a significant amount to interfere with the normal use of the device. The combination of the caps 16a, 18a and 24la together with the lateral extent of the pad base and the provision of the bumpers 3 3 at each side thereof serves to hold the pads in the channels against significant vertical movement with respect thereto.
Means are provided for coupling all of the limb pads together for simultaneous like quantitation movement. In the illustrated embodiment, this means takes the form of a cable 36 secured at itsopposite ends 36a and 36b to kneepad 32. Cable 36 is reeved about the pulleys b and 22b intermediate its ends, thereby providing a continuous flexible tensioncd interconneeting member. Each of the limb support pads is provided with a cable-securing or clamp means 37 which is positioned generally vertically in upright steppedbore or opening 38 in each of the pads.
The cable clamp means shown herein comprises a boltor capscrew 42 received in stepped-bore 38, having an enlarged shank 44a and a reduced end 44b to which nut 46 is threaded. The cable 36 is fed in the area of the reduced end 44b between bolt 42 and nut 46. As the capscrew 42 is tightened, nut 46 moves upwardly to clamp the cable against the underside of the enlarged portion 440 of bolt 42. This fixes each of the pads for movement with the cable.
As mentioned, preferably each of the cables is coplanar. However, it is preferred that the strands of cable run in different planes to permit them to cross over each other. For this purpose, diametrically opposite clamp means 37 have an enlarged shank 44a of reduced axial extent relative to clamp means 37 for the other pad in the same channel. A spacer (not shown) may be positioned between nut 46 and the enlarged shank 44a to clamp the cable and hold the same in a different plane than the clamp means provided for the adjacent pad in the same channel.
Each of the pads is further provided with a cable-deflecting means or feedout means. ln the illustrated embodiment, this takes the form of a generally uprightly extending rod 52 extending below one side of each pad which would be adjacent the intermediate wall 24. The cable runs by this rod to be fed out of the side of the pad, through the opening 24a in the medial portion of the intennediate wall 24 and thereby directed to a diametrically opposite pad wherein it is fed through another clamp means 37 as described.
Because the cables crisscross in the X-fashion as illustrated and described, only two strands of cable are required and this further only requires two pulleys about which the continuous cable may be wound. Each strand of the cable occupies a portion of each of the channels and thereby has the effect of giving four strands of cable out of only two strands. As a result, shorter cables and fewer pulleys may be utilized to produce the same results as obtained with prior known devices.
Exercise device 110 shown in FIG. 3 is similar to exercise device 10. Accordingly, exercise device 110 has a frame 112 with a generally flat base 114 upright sidewalls 116 and 118 each of which has a cap 116a and 1180 overlying base 114. End members 120 and 122 at opposite ends of the base 114 have pulley-receiving cavities 120a and 122a in which pulleys 12% and 122b, are rotatably mounted on shafts 120s and 122e, the axis of which extends from side to side of the device 110 or generally horizontally with respect to the position of intended use. Pulleys 120a and l22b are generally coplanar and centered with respect to intermediate wall 124 which, in combination with respect to intermediate wall 124 which, in combination with base 114, walls 116 and 118, defines two channels 126 and 128 for movably receiving limb pad supports 130 an 132.
As shown diagrammatically in FIG. 4, cable 136 has two vertically spaced runs with diametrically opposite handand kneepads connected to a common run. In the illustrated embodiment, kneepad 132 of channel 126 and hand pad 130 of channel 128 are connected to the upper run of cable 136 and kneepad 132 of channel 128 and hand pad 130 of channel 126 are connected to the lower run of cable 136. By this arrangement, the four pads are coupled together for simultaneous movement, with diametrically opposite pads movable in a common direction and pads in a common channel movable in opposite directions.
Center wall 124 has a lengthwise extending opening 140 to accommodate upper and lower runs of cable 136. Suitable means 141 are provided for connecting each pad to the appropriate cable run. One such means is shown in FIG. 5.
Each pad has a depending leg, such as the short leg 142a and/or the long leg 1421). These legs are close to center wall 124 and support, in openings 143a and 143b, a transversely extending bolt 144 having a head 146 and a cross bore 148 at the end opposite the head. A spring 150 is interposed between the inside of head 146 and the inside of extension 142a or 142b to normally urge the bolt away from opening 140 in center wall 124. One of the upper or lower runs of cable 136 extends through bore 148 in bolt 144. EAch pad is thereby normally fixed for movement with the cable in that spring 150 holds the portion of cable 136 adjacent bore 148 firmly clamped against either legs 142a or 142b.
To provide a means to adjust the placement of pads 130 and 132, each pad has a rotatable stub such as short stub 152a or long stub 152b which depends therefrom adjacent to the legs 142a and 142b, respectively. The top of each stub is slotted, as at 154 to receive a suitable tool, such as a screwdriver, to rotate the stub. The opposite end of the stub is provided with a cam 156 in abutment with head 146. By rotating stub 152, cam 156 turns against head 146 and moves bolt 144 toward wall 124, releasing the clamping action on the cable 136 and permitting adjustment of the pads.
Exercise device 210 shown in FIG. 6 is also similar to exercise device 10. Accordingly, exercise device 210 has a frame 212 with a generally flat base 214, upright sidewalls 216 and 218, each of which has a cap 216a and 218a overlying base 214. End members 220 and 222 at opposite ends of the base 214 have pulley-receiving cavities 220a and 222a in which drumlike pulleys 220b and 222b are rotatably mounted on shafts 220C and 222C, the axis of which extends from side to side of the device 210 or generally horizontally with respect to the position of intended use. Pulleys 220a and 222b are generally coplanar and centered with respect to intermediate wall 224, which, in combination with base 214, walls 216 and 218, defines two channels 226 and 228 for moveably receiving limb pad supports 230 and 232.
As shown diagrammatically in F165. 7 and 8, each cable 236 and 238 is reeved about opposite ends of pulleys 220b and 222b and lies in one channel, such as cable 236 in channel 226 an cable 238 in channel 228 closely adjacent the center wall 224. One pad of each channel is connected to the lower run of each cable and the other pad of each channel is connected to the upper run of each cable with the diametrically opposite pads of the two channels connected to a like run of each cable. Since the two cables are reeved about common drumlike pulleys, by this arrangement, the four pads are coupled together for simultaneous movement with diametrically opposite pads movable in a common direction and pads in a common channel movable in opposite directions.
The pads may be clamped to the cables by any suitable means, such as clamp means 37 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 or the means 141 shown in FlGS. 3 through 5.
Referring to FIGS. 9 and 10, exercise device 310 also includes a frame 312 having a base 314 and spaced upright sidewalls 316 and 318 spanned by end members 320 and 322 at opposite ends of the base 314. Each of end members 320 and 322 have generally semicircular cavities 320a and 3220 for accommodating the swinging movement of the pivoted member or arm or beam 32Gb and 322b. Arm or beam 320k and 322b is pivoted for swinging movement about a shaft 320cand 322c, is the axis of which extends from top to bottom of the device, or generally vertically with respect to the position of intended use. Shafts 320c and 322c lie generally along the longitudinal centerlines of the exercise device 310 at the opposite end of the channel 326 formed by the base 314, walls 316 and 318.
Two hand pads 330 are provided at one end of the channel 326 and two kneepads 332 are provided at the opposite end of the channel 326. The embodiment shown in FIG. 9 utilizes generally rigid beamlike interconnecting members for the several pads. The opposite ends of each of the members 320b and 322b are slotted as shown by the slots 320d and 320e in beam 32% and the slots 322d and 322e in the beam 322b.
Legs 333 and 334i are connected to beam 3263b by means of 5 pivot pins 332a and 334a extending through slots 320d and 320e, respectively. Each of hand pads 330 is connected to one of legs 333 and 33d and thereby coupled for movement with the arm. Similarly, legs 336 and 338 are connected to arm or beam 322b by means of pivot pin 336a and 338a which extends through slots 322d and 322a in arm 322k. Each of the kneepads 332 is connected to one of the legs 336 and 338 to thereby couple the kneepads together for movement with the arm or beam 32%. Thus, each of the legs 333, 334i, 336, and 338 provide limb-support-connecting elements which extend into the channel at opposite sides of the movable beam members for connecting the limb supports with the movable beam members.
Means are further provided for interconnecting the movable beam or arm members for cooperative movement of the arm or beam members and for movement of diametrically opposite legs or connecting elements in a common direction. This interconnecting means takes the form of a rigid link 340 which extends between diametrically opposite ends of the arms or beams 32% and 32%. In the illustrated embodiment, the link 340 is also connected with pivot pin 334a in the slot 3202 of beam 32% and connected with pivot pin 336a in the diametrically opposite slot 322d of arm or beam 322b. By this arrangement, the movement of arms or beams 32% and 322b, legs 333, 334, 336 and 338 and link 340 is tied together for movement as a unit. Thus, as a force is applied to the system to cause the arms 320i) and 3221b to pivot, the rocking action will result in like ends of the arms 32% and 32212 moving in opposite directions as illustrated by the arrows in FIG. 9. Thus, as the slotted portion 3320c of arm 1320b moves to the left in the direction indicated by the arrow A in FIG. 9, the slotted portion 322a of arm 32% will move to the right as indicated by the arrow B in FIG. 3. Accordingly, the slotted portion 320d of beam 32% will move to the right as indicated by the arrow C in FIG. 9 and the slotted portion 322111 of beam 322b will move to the left as indicated by the arrow D in FIG. 9. Corresponding movement will be effected in the legs which are connected in the aforementioned slots and further in the pads which are connected to the related legs. Therefore, diametrically opposite legs and pads will move in a common direction, as indicated by the arrows C and B in FIG. 9, and the arrows A and D in FIG. 9. Furthermore, directly opposite pads will move in opposite directions. Thus, the movement obtained by the linkage arrangement shown in FIG. 9 is the same as that shown with respect to the devices 110, U0 and 210 shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 6, respectively.
The pivoting movement of the beams 32% and 322b is accommodated by the arcuate recesses 320a and 322a and the end members 320 and 322, respectively. Also the slots in the ends of the beam members provide a lost motion connection to accommodate the arcuate movement of the opposite ends of link 3 M and permitted to be translated into linear movement of the several legs 333 through 338. it is to be understood that mutually opposite legs 333 and 336 and 334 and 333 could be offset with respect to one another to avoid abutment with each other during the to-and-fro movement as the device is in operation.
H68. 1111 and 112 show a form of bumper or shock-absorbing means which could be utilized with the several limb pads. It has been found that, on some occasions, the limb pads of each channel may come together with a rather abrupt fashion causing some physical shock to the user. To eliminate this discomfort, it has been found to be desirable to provide a shock-absorbing or bumper means on opposite ends of the pads so that as they slide to and fro in the channel, the shock-absorbing means will absorb the abrupt forces or loads resultant from collisions and will further provide a means tending to return the limb pad in the intended direction of subse uent movement. Thus, as shown in MG. 11, the limb pa 330 has a bumper means 3% provided on opposite ends thereof, this bumper means taking the form of cellular sponge rubber and being generally bulbous or centrally enlarged. In FIG. 12, the limb pad 332 is shown as being provided with a bumper means 346 being generally rectangular in cross section and preferably of a soft rubber. These bumpers or shock-absorbing means not only give the advantages of reducing fatigue in the user and encouraging further movement of the limb pads, but they further reduce the noise which may accompany the abrupt collision of the limb pads with each other and the opposite end members of the exercise device.
The foregoing detailed description has been given for clearness of understanding only, and no unnecessary limitations should be understood therefrom, as some modifications may be obvious to those skilled in the art.
1. A creeping machine comprising frame means having opposite sides and opposite ends, said frame means including a base defining a bottom and further including spaced upright wall members cooperating with said base to define a pair of channels therewith; a pair of hand and knee limb supports having rolling support means in engagement with the base for to-and-fro linear movement of the said limb supports within the lateral confines of each of the channels; and improved means for coupling said limb supports for simultaneous quantitative movement thereof including a movable member rotatably mounted at each end of the frame and a limb-support-connecting element, said limb-support-connecting element extending from its connection to a first limb support in one channel to a position whereby said connecting element is supported and guided by one movable member, said connecting element than extending to connect with a second limb support in the other channel and then extending therefrom to connect with a third limb support in said one channel, said connecting element than extending to the other movable member, said movable member guiding the connecting element to connect with a fourth limb support in the other channel, said connecting element then extending to and being secured to the first limb support.
2. The creeping machine of claim 1 wherein the limb-support-connecting element comprises a cable having portions which cross in spaced relationship to each other between the channels.
3. The creeping machine of claim 2 wherein the movable members comprise a pulley generally centered at opposite ends of the frame about which the cable is wound.
4. The creeping machine of claim 2 wherein the limb supports have portions with openings through which the cable is fed and wherein means are provided in the opening for gripping the cable and further, for deflecting the cable toward the channel other than the channel in which the limb support is located.
5. The creeping machine of claim ll wherein the connecting element is a cable which further extends from connection with the other limb support in the other channel to a return connection with the one limb support in the one channel, with the movable members being a pulley at each end of the frame about which the cable is wound, and wherein the connection of the cable to at least some of the limb supports is by releasable clamp means.